Chat Leftovers: Breakfast Tea Party, Snap Bean Nibbling
Breakfast tea: If you were hosting a little breakfast get together, for say 10 women, what would you serve? Keep in mind if people are coming over around 9:30 a.m., you would either want something easy to prepare (so you have time for a shower) or it's something that can be done the night before. Do you have recipes for a stuffed baked French toast and/or a German pancake (filled with berries)?
At this time of year, local in-season fruit is a no-brainer, and your guests will love you for having something easy to digest at an early hour. You could cut up cantaloupe the night before, then in the morning toss with an assortment of summer berries. Leave the banana behind (gets brown) and the grapes too. Instead, focus on what you can get from your own neck of the woods. Slice up a few peaches -- or even better, some firmer less fuzzy nectarines -- for even more sunshine. Some fresh mint or basil leaves make lovely garnish, too.
For a group of ten, you probably want a wee bit of variety in the baked goods department (and if anyone has a tried-and-true recipe for stuffed baked French toast or German pancakes, please share in the comments area). To continue the summery theme, I'm thinking something with zucchini -- either in the form of savory muffins or a sweeter, quick bread that you can whip up the night before. I wonder if chocolate zucchini cake would feel too dessert-y? You could reduce the amount of sugar to one cup for a more savory result, no problem.
These corn muffins studded with raspberries are pretty, and of course, the classic addition of blueberries is just as lovely. Now, if you want something kind of homey and old-school, have a look at this Dutch crumb cake from Liberty Tavern chef Liam Lacivita. It's a real classic.
In addition to hot tea, I think some cold tea at this time of year would be appropriate. Anyone with favorite home-spun cold brews to share?
Beans, beans, good for your heart...: Hola Kim, I have the better part of a huge quart of green beans from the farmer's market that I have no idea what to do with. Do you have a good idea for a cold salad that will incorporate them? I'd love to have them in the fridge, ready to fork when I'm browsing... thanks!
I love green beans, too. Two ideas immediately come to mind, but the best part about greens is their versatility; they can take on all kinds of flavorings and seasonings. These Szechuan-style beans are a personal fave, and although a little saucy, they work beautifully cold or at room temperature. You could snack on these babies all week long. I've also had fun nibbling on this ad hoc snap bean salad, just off the skillet or straight out of the fridge. The key is to do a quickie boil, drain, then throw into a skillet -- and that's when you can get creative.
The Last Word
Re: cost comparison shopping at Washington-area farm markets, here's a follow up comment from a local reader:
I've noticed the prices at my farmer's market in Kingstowne are 25 percent cheaper than the market at Del Ray, and almost half the price of the Foggy Bottom/Dupont Circle markets. If the reader can, she should check out the different markets in Fairfax County.
Big thanks to a reader in East Lansing, Mich., who shared the following recipe to add to the thread on how to fall in love with zucchini:
Indian Zucchini Curry
2 medium zucchini (you can make it with yellow summer squash too)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Thai greeen chilies, finely chopped
Â½-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Â½ teaspoon turmeric
Â½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Olive/Canola/Vegetable oil
Â¼ cup milk
Peel the skin of zucchini and cut into small pieces. Chop finely the onion and green chilies and fresh ginger.
Heat a pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. First heat the canola/oil/or vegetable oil. Once the oil heats up, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder and let the seasoning fry for 1-2 minutes. Once the mustard seeds start popping up add the chopped onion, Thai green chilies, and fresh ginger. Fry the mixture till the onion changes color and becomes translucent.
Add zucchini pieces and sautÃ© until tender for about 15 minutes on medium heat. While the zucchini is cooking, add salt to taste, and the turmeric powder. You can also add the chilli powder at this time to the zucchini mixture for a spicier version of the curry.
When the zucchini is cooked, add the milk and thoroughly stir it into the mixture. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, cover the pan and turn of the stove.
The curry tastes good with warm rice or pita, or Indian rotis. Seasonings should be available at any Indian grocery stores or Asian food stores.
For the chat in entirety: What's Cooking transcript
Coming up tomorrow: ELCers Alison in Dallas, Tex., and Claire in Auburn, Ala., share their experiences eating and cooking locally.
By Kim ODonnel |
July 23, 2008; 9:35 AM ET
Previous: ELC Guest Blogger: Kelly from Mass. | Next: ELC Guest Bloggers: Claire from Ala. and Alison from Tex.
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