Sunday, September 22, 2019

Snøfrisk Waffle Tartines Recipe

Snøfrisk means "snow fresh" in Norwegian and is a goat cheese blend made from 80% goat's milk and 20% cow's milk. It is an extremely creamy, smooth and spreadable cheese that has all the tangy freshness of chevre but is as soft as sour cream. It's not aged, and has no additives or stabilizers, just a bit of salt. Made by a farmer-owned company in Norway, it's being introduced in a 3-pack at Costco in the San Francisco Bay Area. Two packages are plain and one is flavored with red onion and thyme. 

There are lots of ways to use Snøfrisk. Not surprisingly it's great to spread on toast, crackers, bread or vegetables. You can also toss it with pasta or add fresh herbs to it to make a dip. I also created a recipe for Snøfrisk Zucchini Risotto for the brand. But I found it's smooth enough that you can even spread it on waffles. I make waffles from a mix but I skip adding any sugar or honey and keep them slightly savory. Waffles, just like goat cheese can pair well with both sweet or savory ingredients. 

After smearing Snøfrisk on freshly-made waffles, I topped them with various things--slices of avocado, flakes of salmon, sliced strawberries and even blueberries. But really, the only limit is your imagination! I think they would be good topped with smoked salmon, cucumbers, arugula, tomatoes, peaches, you-name-it. I made my waffles with a mixture of buckwheat and whole-grain mixes, but use any waffle recipe or mix you like. This is more of a serving suggestion than a recipe and infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand. 

Snøfrisk Waffle Tartines
Makes 5 waffles

Ingredients 

4 waffles, buttermilk, whole grain or buckwheat
1/4 cup Snøfrisk
Toppings such as sliced fruit, vegetables, seafood, jam or chutney

Instructions 

Spread each waffle with about a tablespoon of cheese and top with slices of fruit, vegetables or topping of your choice. Serve immediately. 

Enjoy! 

Disclaimer: My thanks to Norseland Inc for providing me with the cheese. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post on this blog. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

All About Walnut Oil from La Tourangelle

La Tourangelle is a family-owned company that produces outstanding nut and seed oils, with heritage in the Loire Valley of France, an area known for nut oils. Their toasted sesame, roasted walnut, roasted peanut and roasted pistachio oils are all award winners. The company began in 2002 in Woodland, California and their nut oils are all expeller pressed and are GMO-free. Their walnut, almond, hazelnut, pecan and pistachio oil are made in house and their almonds and walnuts come from California. 

Earlier this year I got a chance to visit the La Tourangelle mill and also a farm that supplies some of their nuts. Bullseye Farms grows tomatoes, cucumbers, hay, and nuts sustainably on about 16,000 acres. They have 500 acres of walnuts and they use a black walnut rootstock which is resistant to diseases. The walnuts are a cross between different varieties and are self pollinators. You might be surprised to learn that ugly nuts make the best oil. It’s the variety of different nuts rather than uniformity that makes the oil taste better. 

The process La Tourangelle uses to make their oil is unique and combines two different styles—refined and unrefined to make an oil that is full-flavored and yet affordable. All their oils are made in small batches and they use only French presses for their limited edition oils. All the nut oils are handcrafted by the master roaster who relies on years of experience to know exactly how to roast the nuts for maximum flavor.

The scent in the mill is intoxicating! Luscious and buttery, roasted walnut oil is the essence of walnuts. Walnut oil has a very short shelf life. Unopened it will last about two years, but once opened it’s best to use it within six months. So don’t hoard it! Use it! If you don’t think you can use a whole tin of it, La Tourangelle now sells it in convenient single-serving pouches. While making a vinaigrette is probably the most common way to use roasted walnut oil, there are plenty of uses. Here are some of my favorite ways to use roasted walnut oil: 

+ Use on top of pancakes or waffles instead of butter
+ Add to pasta with Parmesan cheese and chopped toasted walnuts
+ Drizzle over grains such as farro, bulgar or freekeh, top with fresh herbs
+ Combine with toasted walnuts and use on top of brussels sprouts, green beans or asparagus
+ Use in place of olive oil in pesto 
+ Substitute it for butter or vegetable oil in granola recipes
+ Dip bread in it instead of olive oil or butter
+ Use in shortbread recipes 
+ Add a few drops to soup before serving
+ Use in a carrot walnut slaw salad with Dijon mustard
+ Drip on top of vanilla or chocolate ice cream
+ Add to popcorn instead of butter

More about the visit from my colleague Anneli Rufus over at Oakland Magazine.

Disclaimer: My thanks to La Tourangelle for hosting me, I was not compensated monetarily for this post. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Cherry Cranberry Chutney Recipe



It's #canbassador time again. That means I get a big box of cherries from the Northwest Cherry Growers and head into the kitchen to do some canning. Last year I finally bit the bullet and purchased a canner. It's not terribly expensive and stacks inside one of my stockpots. I generally can small batches and this time around I decided to make chutney with the help of my pal Alison. She shared the ingredients she would use and I tweaked the proportions.

The first rule of cooking with fruit is you need to taste it. How sweet is it? How juicy is it? That should guide your recipe. Adapt the recipe based on your preferences and the quality of your fruit. My cherries turned out to be very juicy so I added some dried fruit towards the end of the cooking to thicken the mixture. While this chutney has a great sweet and sour flavor, someone in my household actually used it in place of jam on toast. So far I've used it on grilled cheese sandwiches and on lamb chops. How you use it is entirely up to you! 

Cherry season is short, but there are so many great ways to preserve the fruit. In past years I've made cherry barbecue sauce and cherry vanilla balsamic shrub. When Winter comes, I'll be making cocktails with bourbon cherries and eating turkey with cherry cranberry chutney...

Cherry Cranberry Chutney
Makes about 5 1/2 pint jars

Ingredients

9 cups pitted cherries
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
2 onion chopped
Zest of two oranges
3 Tablespoons minced ginger
2 heaped teaspoons allspice
1 heaped teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions 

Fill a canner with water and bring to a boil. Place the jars in the canner and boil for 10 minutes. 

Roughly chop the cherries and in a large stockpot combine them with the vinegar, sugar, onion, orange zest, ginger, allspice, garam masala and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer, stirring occasionally until the fruit is cooked and soft about 30-40 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for another 15 minutes. Chutney will thicken further after being processed. 

Lift the jars out of the canner, pouring the hot water back into the canner. Ladle the chutney into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. After filling the jar, release the air bubbles by inserting a narrow silicone spatula or similar tool between the chutney and the inner surface of the jar. Place the rims on top of each jar and loosely seal with the bands. Carefully place the jars back in the canner and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from the canner and let rest overnight, you may hear the lids pop. Store for up to one year. 

Enjoy! 

Disclaimer: My thanks to Northwest Cherry Growers for providing me with fruit. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Fresh Corn & Smoked Salmon Flatbread Recipe

I always crave pizza but I am trying to cut back on carbs, so when I saw little street taco sized whole wheat tortillas at the store, I was inspired to revisit a recipe I created a few years back for Whole Wheat Mini Pizzas. This time I went in a slightly different direction, making flatbreads that are not very pizza like at all—no grated cheese, no tomatoes, no sauce, no meat. 

Right now it’s corn season and the combination of corn, smoked salmon, a little crunchy cucumber and goat cheese is a real winner. What takes this recipe from good to even better, is the addition of a bit of Chili Onion Crunch. Chili crisp has been a condiment I’ve been seeing all over the internet and I finally bought a jar from Trader Joe’s. It was so good I decided to do a little taste test and compare it to the more well known Lao Ganma brand. 

A comparison—

Lao Ganma Spicy Chili Crisp, 7.4 ounces, $2.19. available online or in Asian markets 
Ingredients: soybean oil, chili, onion, fermented soybeans, MSG, salt, sugar, prickly ash powder, sulfur dioxide and sodium sulfite
- Very oily and very crunchy, more salty than sweet, not much heat at all

Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch, 6 ounces, $3.99 availabe at Trader Joe's stores 
Ingredients: olive oil, dried onion, dried garlic, dried red bell pepper, crushed chili pepper, toasted dried onion, sea salt, natural flavors, paprika oleoresin (color) 
- Fine texture, more crisp than crunchy, not very oily, balanced sweet and salt, heat on the back end

Both are delicious, but I prefer the vegetal sweetness, texture and heat of the Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch. I also appreciate that it doesn't have any artificial ingredients. Also, doesn’t garlic make everything better? 

Fresh Corn & Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Serves 4 

4 small whole wheat tortillas
1/4 cup soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons water
1 small Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1 ear corn on the cob
4 slices smoked salmon, torn into bite sized pieces
2 teaspoons or to taste, chili oil, crisp or crunch 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Strip the corn off the cob and place 2-3 tablespoons of the corn on a piece of foil. Prick the tortillas with a fork to minimize puffing. Place the tortillas on a non stick pan along wit the corn on the foil, and bake for 5 minutes, flip the tortillas at about the halfway point. You want the tortilla to be crisp and browned, but not burnt. 

In a small bowl mix the goat cheese with the water in order to make a spreadable texture. 

Spread each tortilla with a tablespoon of goat cheese, top with the salmon and cucumber slices and scatter about 2 teaspoons of the corn. Drizzle the flatbread with the chile oil. 

Enjoy!