Coming Changes

Hey everyone! Maybe you haven’t noticed but things have been pretty quiet around One Green Kitchen lately. I have some exciting things going on in my life these days. For one I’m getting married, in like 5 weeks! And I’m working two jobs, trying to move houses, and I have a 2 year old! So needless to say I’ve been pretty busy. It hasn’t left a lot of time to cook, I’ve been living on green smoothies pretty much and as much as you guys love my smoothie recipes I’m sure they would get old fast!

I have been thinking about ways to still keep this blog running and interesting while being so incredibly busy, I considered cooking at my desk but figured that might go over poorly. I tried cooking in the middle of the night but the lighting is terrible, and I really should sleep sometimes! Thus I have decided to shift this blog over to restaurant reviews for awhile. I mean I’ve always wanted to be the next Johnathan Gold. By the way if you don’t know who that is, hop on over to google and educate yourself….seriously do it now. rr

Richmond is a fabulous restaurant town. It has talented chefs, exciting new restaurants  and a vibrant local food scene. I am a bit of a foodie but I have realized lately that I really need an excuse to work through all the new amazing places in town. You guys give me a reason! I will be compiling a list of places I want to eat in richmond and working through them. Here is where you come in. I want suggestions! I am only going to review places that I have never been, at least initially, and it does not have to be limited to restaurants. Do you love a fabulous food truck, a great little dive, or delicious bar food? Let me know!

rr2I promise to take pictures of the food I eat, and to write an honest review.Now I know all my readers aren’t Richmond folk so I will still continue to post occasional recipes, and maybe even try and replicate some of the amazing food I am sure to eat in the upcoming restaurants. rfI will be starting this project in June, so in the meantime I have several posts to come of recipes and lots of time to compile my list so let’s get started! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say!!

Love,
Kelsey

Creme Brulee Eggnog Cupcakes

I pride myself on being seasonally aware, I try to eat seasonal foods, source locally, and post seasonally appropriate recipes on here. This post doesn’t qualify for that, but it’s worth it. I made these for several holiday parties in Dec and kept meaning to post them up and just never got around to it, until now that is. So do yourself a favor, make sure you come back around Christmas and i’ll do a re-post  But in the meantime you can always whip up some homemade eggnog or custard and make these babies now. I mean who doesn’t like eggnog, bourbon, and creme brulee? Even if it is February  We could all use a little holiday cheer in this gray and dreary month.IMG_2314

These can be a bit finicky requiring the combination of two different recipes  for time sake the cupcakes could be prepped the day before, but the creme brulee must be made on the spot. Do not attempt to make these half an hour before the party as they require a good deal of chilling to not fall apart on your counter. The many steps will be worth it, every party I took these to people would pick them up and mouths full begin muttering “mmm these are good, who made these, they are amazing!”

They are too, half fluffy cupcake packed with eggnog and bourbon and topped and filled with a rich vanilla creme brulee, and finally a crunchy caramelized shell with snaps under your teeth with a satisfying luxury, worth.every.step.

Creme Brulee Eggnog Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup dark rum or bourbon
1 cup eggnog
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar

For the Crème Brulee:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream
6 large egg yolks
7 sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract/paste or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod,
Fine sugar, for brûléeing

  • To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk to combine.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, vinegar, and sugar.  Beat on medium-low speed until well blended.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.IMG_2304
  • Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling the cups 2/3 full. Make sure the liners aren’t too full as you don’t want them to bake over the top of the liners to allow room for the crème brulee later. IMG_2305 Bake 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cupcakes cool make the crème brulee. Mix the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the cream making sure there are no lumps. You want this mixture to be as smooth as possible, if necessary gently rub out any lumps with your fingers.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth but not foamy.
  • Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat and cream mixture. Warm this mixture until the cream just starts to scald, but not boil. Turn off the heat and temper the egg mixture one tablespoon of cream at a time.
  • When the egg mixture is warm, turn the heat back to medium low and pour the tempered eggs into the warm cream whisking vigorously. This should come together smoothly with no lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer whisking constantly. Bring the custard to a boil, turning the heat to medium, it’s boiling when large bubbles slowly pop to the surface and the custard coats a spoon, it should not be a rolling boil. This will take 2 to 5 minutes. Make sure you whisk and scrap the pot the entire time, do not stop even if your arm aches a bit or the custard will burn.
  • Once the mixture has cooked for two minutes like this it should look quite thick, it will not stick on a spoon but it should hold some shape, ribboning slowly back into the mixture from a spoon. IMG_2308Whisk in the vanilla and set aside. If you want the custard to be extra smooth you can strain it through a fine mesh strainer before adding it to the cupcakes but I consider this a waste of good crème brulee!
  • Go back to your cupcakes, using a cupcake corer or a melon baller scoop out the middle of the cupcakes leaving a generous hole in each cupcake but don’t scoop through to the liners. IMG_2307Fill the cupcakes with the crème brulee mixture spreading the crème brulee over the top of the cupcakes like frosting to the top of the cupcake liners. IMG_2310Place the cupcakes in the fridge for 2 hours to overnight uncovered. When you’re ready to brulee the cupcakes place them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a little trick I learned for ensuring a good crisp brulee top.IMG_2311
  • Top the cupcakes with a generous layer of fine sugar and either using a culinary torch or placing them under the broiler allowing the sugar to become dark brown and caramelized. IMG_2313Let the cupcakes sit for at least five minutes before serving. Just a note, if you are particular about the brulee process you can place each cupcake in a ramekin and make sure it gets even heat or toss them onto a cookie sheet in batches of six. You can’t brulee all the cupcakes at once or some will burn and some will be underdone. The surface will not be an even brown but as long as the sugar is all melted and crunchy it’s perfect! IMG_2315

Serve and enjoy! A good cold glass of eggnog won’t go amiss with these!

Broccoli Cheese Latkes

We like broccoli around here, my 2 year old especially likes steamed broccoli and eats it like it’s going out of style. Occasionally though I want to eat my greens in a slightly more exciting version than steamed. These latkes are a nice spin on the traditional potato versions and are quite the adult take on steamed broccoli.  They make everyone happy! Not only are they a snap to make but contain a ton of fresh green broccoli. Even broccoli haters are likely to eat these. IMG_1415

I find the Parmesan cheese really lends a sophisticated flavor to them, but they are still pretty child friendly. You can add another cheese but it needs to be pretty hard and dry to not turn your latkes into a gooey mess. You of course could skip the cheese and/or substitute a little nutritional yeast instead. The flour in this is easily exchanged with rice flour and a little more liquid to make these gluten free, honestly they are so flexible I think you could make them to suit most anyone!IMG_1428

There is a lot of chunky broccoli in these, I just steamed and mashed the broccoli I didn’t puree it as this gives the latkes more texture. I’d also make sure to fry them crispy and serve with a bit of lemony yogurt, a fried egg, or just extra cheese!

Broccoli Cheese Latkes
Approx 20 min
Makes 12 latkes

  • 1 large head broccoli. Chop the broccoli florets into 1 inch pieces, peel the stem and slice into 1/2 rounds. Steam until bright green and soft but no mushy. About 4 cups
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour (can use any kind, I used all purpose, if using a gluten free flour use up to 1/4 to 1/3 a cup they absorb more liquid)
  • 3/4 cup hard cheese such as Parmesan Reggiano, Grana Padano, or Piave
  • 2 cloves garlic minced very finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt with more to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Once your broccoli has steamed place it in a bowl and mash it, I used a potato masher. You can mash it as fine as you like but I like it to have pretty large pieces so I just mashed it a little bit, till it had say 1/4 inch chunks left. IMG_1416

In a bowl beat your egg until frothy until add in the flour, garlic, seasonings and cheese. Then stir in the broccoli mash, gently. Alternatively you can just place the broccoli from the steamer into your bowl of other ingredients and mash them all together at once. IMG_1417The batter should stick together well, if is too runny add more flour and too thick add more liquid, thicker is better. Season to taste.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. The oil should get pretty hot, try the water droplet test, a drop of water should hiss in the oil, don’t pour a bunch of water in though, that’s dangerous. Scoop mounded spoons of batter into the pan and flatten slightly with a spatula.IMG_1420

There were 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter in each of my latkes. Leave plenty of space between each latke in the pan. After 3 minutes the latke should be golden brown, carefully flip over not splashing yourself with oil and cook for another 2 minutes until golden brown all over. They should be relatively crispy on the outside and not mushy on the inside.IMG_1425

Let drain on a towel. Serve this up as a quick lunch with some of the yummy suggestions from earlier, they are quite the treat, enjoy!

Roasted Winter Squash with Citrus Pepper Sauce

Every year in the fall I begin collecting winter squash. I buy one or two at every market I attend and store them in our little shed outside so they stay cool and dark. Usually they last me through the winter and I cook squash in everything! Soup, stews, breads, mashed, baked, roasted, the list goes on. We go through a lot of squash! It’s good for you, it’s versatile and it is rarely difficult or lengthy to make. The only downside is, it can get a little boring so I’m always looking for new ways to dress it up. I love adding summer flavors to winter foods, it offers a change for the palate and helps ward off the winter blues. This dish does exactly that, the warm creaminess of the squash just screams winter comfort food, the edges are buttery and caramelized as the squash slips out of it’s skin. The sauce really brings it alive though, the citrus sings through the roasted garlic with the chili bursting out right behind it lighting up your mouth with heat and flavor fighting for attention. IMG_1765

You can make this recipe with any type of winter squash, and the heat of the dish is totally up to you, reduce the amount, remove the seeds, or overload it with a bunch more. Either way it will be delicious! This pairs up great with some dark cooked greens or a nice winter soup. I would consider it a side dish but you can always have it as a main if you fancy!

Roasted Winter Squash with Citrus Pepper Sauce
Serves 4. Takes under an hour

2 winter squash cut into wedges
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked salt (regular will do)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 roasted garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime/lemon juice

Zest of 1 lime/lemon
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds. Can use red pepper flakes in a pinch. Use the same amount.
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Arrange your oven racks so you have one rack in the top third of the oven and one in the lower third and then prehead your over to 450°F (230°C Gas Mark 8). Slice your squash in half and scrape well tossing out the seeds and guts. Slice the squash into wedges. Line your pans with parcehment or pan lining paper. Combine in a bowl the black pepper, half of the salt, and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Coat the squash wedges in this mixture and then arrange them onto the baking sheets. IMG_1759Don’t crowd them too much as they won’t caramelize properly. Place one pan on the top rack and one on the bottom and cook for 30 minutes, switching the placement of the pans halfway through. The squash should be tender and the undersides golden brown and crispy around the edges. IMG_1763

While the squash is roasting prepare the sauce. Peel two garlic cloves and place in a toaster over or into the big oven while the squash roasts. Cook it until soft, should be 10 minutes on average, but not until it gets crispy. Mash it into a paste with the rest of the salt and the chili. Add in the citrus juice and zest. Then add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the cilantro mixing until smooth and combined. Let the squash cool slightly in the pan and then move it to a serving dish placing it cooked sides up. Pour the sauce over the squash until well coated and then serve! Enjoy! IMG_1766

Potato and Leek Soup

It’s cold, as in 20 degrees when I got up this morning, had to scrape my windshield of ice cold. I’ve been running early in the mornings these past few months, which has been great for so many aspects of my life, but I struggle with the cold, especially when I get home and cool off. A cup of soup early on in the day tends to do the trick for warming me up really well. I find that soup is really easy to make, freezes well so you can make a lot and is easy to vary to your taste.

I usually find leek and potato soup really boring, but with a couple of small alterations it can become a wonderful meal all of it’s own, singing with  caramelized leeks layered in with creamy yellow potatoes and fresh herbs. The soup hits your mouth with the comforting taste of potato and then opens up into a stronger bouquet of flavors. IMG_1752The real pleasure of this recipe is its adaptability, much like a butter cookie you can add any number of ingredients to vary the soup to taste. The other real joy of this soup is if you have a potato allergy or just don’t eat them, you can use celeriac root instead and no one will notice the difference! you could also try cauliflower or turnips. I’ll include a couple of variations at the bottom of the recipe.

While this recipe may seem time consuming the majority of it is inactive, so you can do other things while it’s cooking. I find that warm crusty bread, a few slices of cheese, and salad are all I need to round out this soup but you can always start a meal with it! Or just have a quick cup for breakfast if you’re strange like me!

Potato and Leek Soup

Heavily adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups

Serves 6

1 head garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large leeks, washed and chopped well
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
6 cups chicken or veggie broth
6 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup milk (I used coconut, tinned)
2 bay leaves
20 black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt
Ground Pepper

Trim the top 1/3 off the head of garlic, remove any extra loose papery skins from the bottom of the 2/3 left. Place on a piece of aluminum foil drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F. I usually do this in my toaster oven. When done unwrap and allow to cool enough to touch. Squeeze the cloves of garlic out into a bowl and mash with a fork, set aside. The tips of garlic in the top 1/3 of the garlic head can be minced and set aside.IMG_1452

Clean your leeks throughly, trim the root end of the leeks, keeping the leaves attached. Remove wilted leaves, and trim the tops. Slit each leek lengthwise down to where the white begins, give a quarter turn and slit again. Wash VERY throughly under running water to get all of the dirt out. If you leeks are fat, cut half length wise first. Then chop your leeks. Set aside two larger green pieces of leek leaf.IMG_1755

In a large heavy bottomed pot melt your butter and add in your leeks, cook for five minutes until softened and then add the minced garlic. Cook the leeks and garlic until caramelized, this will take awhile about 30 minutes but be patient it is worth it. The leeks should be a golden brown color with only some green left. If you’re leeks look like this they aren’t done yet! IMG_1757While the leeks are cooking make a bouquet garni by folding 2 leek leaves around the bay, the peppercorns and the thyme and tying into a packet with kitchen twine. Or if this is too fussy just pop it all into a piece of cheesecloth and tie tightly.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan vigorously, now add the potatoes, the bouquet garni, the garlic mash, and the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft. IMG_1769Remove the bouquet garni and using an immersion blender puree the soup until creamy. Add the cup of milk and serve topped with goat cheese and basil leaves like mine or maybe a little creme fraiche and chopped chives. IMG_1773

Additions
You can add in most any form or protein to make this a chunkier soup, cooked chicken, sautéed seitan, tempeh, a tin of pinto beans, it would all be yummy!

You could also add in red pepper flakes and a handful of fresh chopped Italian herbs to give this more of an herby kick.

You can leave out the milk and skip the puree step and have a broth based soup.

You can also use celeriac root or turnips instead of potatoes. If you do this make sure you peel them well and they may take longer than 30 minutes to cook. If you’re in a hurry steam them until just barely soft and then add to the soup and cook until very tender.

You could also crumble bacon into this soup and substitue 1/2 cup sour cream for the milk and reduce the broth by a cup and you’ll have a rich baked potato soup.

Use your imagination and see where this soup takes you. Keep warm out there!

Chicken of the Woods Risotto

I was wandering about the market recently hoping to find some inspiration, a lot of my recipes spring from ingredients I find locally grown and I noticed that Steve Hass had some very strange looking peachy colored mushrooms for sale. So of course, I had to have them. Turns out they are called Chicken of the Woods, and they taste like…wait for it…chicken! These mushrooms are scientifically called Laetiporus and are a shelf mushroom variety that grows on trees, not out of the ground. These mushrooms are very dense and very flavorful so a little goes a long ways. No seriously this is a meaty mushroom and this risotto is no side dish.

IMG_1657Now if you can’t get your hands on some of these you can always use regular mushrooms of whatever variety you desire. For this recipes I have listed 1 pound of mushrooms but you are going to want to use half as much of chicken of the woods because they are so strong flavored and heavy to eat. I also have heavy creme in this recipe, now I find this is a personal preference in risotto. I like my risotto to rich and creamy and a real treat but if you want a lighter version just skip it all together, or add tinned coconut milk or even just a touch of soy milk if you want.

There are two important tricks to making good risotto. First have everything measured and chopped and ready to go before you even turn on the stove. Once you get started you must stir the dish constantly, so do all of your preperation ahead of time.

IMG_1652Secondly do not over cook the risotto, it will continue to cook after you turn off the heat so you want the rice to have a bit of bite left to it or you’re just going to end up with a creamy mush which is a no no. This dish can easily be made vegan with a little bit of altering, substitute oil for butter, non dairy milk for the cream, and skip the cheese and you’re good to go! It will be just as tasty, though I’d reccomend upping the salt and pepper seasoning if you do not add cheese as the cheese is rather salty. Now go and make risotto and wow everyone at dinner tonight!

Chicken of the Woods Risotto
Makes 4 main-course servings.

6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms sliced in 1/4 pieces
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mixed herbs (I used oregano, thyme, & rosemary)

Bring broth to a simmer in a 4-quart pot. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered until needed.

Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl to let rest. Make sure the mushrooms are well browned and soft as they will not cook anymore. Don’t crowd the mushrooms! IMG_1653

Cook the garlic and shallots in 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrent and a very light brown. Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir the rice and wine until absorbed.IMG_1654

Add one cup of the warm broth into the rice and stir until absorbed. The broth should be at a strong simmer so turn up the heat if need be. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time stirring continuously. Allow each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy. You may have leftover broth, if so just keep it warm for later as you may need it. You want the rice to be tender but not mushy, it should still have texture.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, the heavy creme 1/2 cup at a time you may not want to add it all, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in the mushrooms and let the dish stand for 2 mintues covered. IMG_1658Check the consistency, if it’s too thick for you liking go ahead and thin the risotto down with additional broth. Serve topped with cheese shreds and additional black pepper if desired. This pairs up great with a fresh salad, some roasted beets, and a lovely glass of wine! Enjoy!

Babka Buns

One Green Kitchen has been on vacation! We have been traveling the world, and as a result might have slacked off on posting up many tasty recipes for all of our lovely readers! I picked up an awful lot of exciting new recipes while I was away though and can’t wait to share them all with you guys. Where I was in Memphis I ducked into a middle eastern bakery for a wander, a unique place that ignores middle eastern conflict and carries Israeli goods, Iranian goods, and goodies from Palestine all stocked cheek to jowl on the shelves. Tucked way in the back of the store was a little bakery counter filled to the brim with Baklava, burma, kunufa nabulsi, burekas, and of course slices of Babka. If you don’t know what Babka is let me introduce you. A sweet yeasty dough, filled to the brim with chocolate, twisted into a spiral and doused with strusel topping. It has pounds of butter, pounds of choclate and a really silly amount of sugar. It is terribly decadent and the chocolate to dough ratio is almost overwhleming. I came home with the goal of making this pastry into something a little more achieavable for the home cook, because while we all might want three giant babka’s in our kitchen no one really needs it. Also I hoped to make it a little healthier for the eating. I dramatically reduced the amount of sugar in the babka, changed the chocolate from semi sweet to bitter sweet and added a cup of whole wheat flour instead of using all white flour. If you are really trying to cut back on sugar skip the strusel topping or even just cut back on the amount you use but in my opinion when making treats, making them worth it!

The buns are delicious, they are yeasty and just slick and overflowing with chocolate. Best hot out of the oven with a cup of hot coffee they are definetly a treat! They keep well in the freeezer if you want to make them and then freeze them before baking. Let them rise in the fridge and they you can bake them directly from the fridge. Another note to the wise, if you are in a hurry use extra active yeast or increase the amount of yeast, but if you are patient they will rise just fine! These aren’t an everyday breakfast treat but for a special morning they will really blow the socks off someone that needs a bit of extra loving!

Bun Dough
1/2 cup (120 ml) full fat milk (I used full fat coconut milk and it was delicious!)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) active dry yeast
1 large room temperature egg
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (45 grams) room temperature unsalted butter plus extra for greasing tins

Bun Filling
3 tablespoons (45 grams) room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 pound (225 grams) bittersweet chocolate
Pinch of salt and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel Topping

1 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
6 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Make the streusel topping first. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and butter. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch. Place the bowl in the fridge and move onto making the dough.

Warm the milk and a pinch of sugar or a drop of agave to between 110 to 116°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you’re looking for it to be warm but not hot to the touch; best to err on the cool side, usually wrist temperature is ideal. Sprinkle yeast over milk and let stand until foamy, about 5 to 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then slowly stir in the yeast mixture.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Run mixer on low and pour in egg mixture until just combined. Add butter and mix until incorporated. Switch paddle out for dough hook and let it knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lower speed. The dough will be sticky and stringy but don’t worry the rising will help firm it up. Grease a large glass bowl and place dough in it. Place in a warm oven, max 110° and let rise for an hour or longer until doubled. If you do not have a stand mixer…do not fret! You can do this entire process by hand, mix everything together with a wooden spoon until it is time to switch to a dough hook. Then dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough reaches the right consistency. Then let rise as normal.

 While the dough is rising make your filling. Break the chocolate into rough chunks and then toss into a food processor along with the salt and cinnamon. If your chocolate is in large bars, roughly chop it. Toss the chocolate, salt, sugar, and cinnamon into your food processor and chop until the mixture is very fine with parts of it powdery. Add the butter and pulse until it’s distributed throughout the chocolate. If you don’t own a food processor, just chop the chocolate until it’s very finely chopped, then stir in the sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter until it a kind of amazingly delicious slurry. Set mixture aside.

Grease your 12 cup muffin tin well with butter and set aside.

 Now return to you dough, it should be double. Turn it out onto a well-floured surface and press down gently with floured hands. Let it rest for five minutes, go have a glass of milk or check your facebook while the dough calms down. Now roll the dough into a large, long rectangle. The short sides should be a scant 11 to 12 inches. The other side can be around 18 to 20 inches. The longer you can make it the more swirled and delicious your buns will be! Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough’s surface. It will be messy and look like you have too much filling but just stick with me here, it will all fit! Tightly roll the dough back over the filling from one short end to the other, forming a 12 to 13-inch log. For the last inch of the dough pick up and tuck over the roll instead of rolling it to completion as this will help retain all of the delicious filling. Smooth the seam down tightly. Now grab some unflavored clean dental floss and pull off a long strand say 18 inches. Wind several inches around your fingers, and slide the middle part of the floss  an inch under the log, now cross the strands and slice of one roll. If this seems to complicated to you use a sharp knife and cut slices, but the dental floss method provides the cleanest cut. Place each 1 inch segment into a greased muffin cup. Pull your streusel topping from the fridge and generously sprinkle each bun with a tablespoon or so of streusel topping. Let rise in a slightly warm oven for 30 minutes to an hour until doubled.

Once double pull the buns out of the oven and place in a warm place where they will remain undisturbed and heat the oven to 350°. Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and brown. Cool the the buns in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then gently pry them out of the pans and cool completely on a rack. They are delicious warm, just try and not burn yourself as the chocolate will be liquidy and hot! If you are looking for a wonderful sunday morning brunch treat you have found one! Enjoy your buns and I look forward to bring lots of new recipes culled from my travels to you in all in the next few weeks!

 

Braised Greens with roasted garlic

I’ve been getting some questions about what do we regularly eat over here in the One Green Kitchen household and the honest answer is we eat greens! Lots and lots of greens. When we are in a hurry we chop up a bunch of them, braise them quickly in a skillet and serve them up. I tend to add a variety of flavorings to braised greens but one of my favorites is roasted garlic and basalmic vinegar. 

I thought I would share a simple recipe with all of you for our favorite greens since we’ve been getting so many requests.

Braised Greens with Roasted Garlic

  • 1 head garlic roasted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar
  • 2 large bunches greens washed and chopped roughly
  • 1 tablespoon braggs liquid amino
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Wrap your head of garlic in foil and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. While the garlic is roasting chop wash your greens and chop them. For this recipe I used bok choy and rainbow chard but you can use just about any kind of green that you like. If you are using tough greens like kale or collards discard the stems. If you are using chard or bok choy chop the stems separately. Take out the garlic, it should be golden brown and soft to the touch, unwrap and let cool somewhat. 

In a small bowl combine the rest of your ingredients except for the olive oil. Squeeze the garlic out of it’s skins into the bowl, letting it cool a bit so you don’t burn yourself. Whisk the ingredients together well and set aside. 

Place half the olive oil in the largest skillet you have, add in the stems from the greens and cook until they begin to soften. Remove and place into a bowl. Add the rest of the olive oil and add in the leaves of the greens. Cook until they begin to wilt, add in the liquid stir to mix and place a lid tightly over the greens. Cook for 3 minutes. Add in the stems if using and cook another minute or two uncovered and mixing. The greens should be wilted but still bright, never gray. Taste and flavor to taste with salt and pepper if desired. These are a wonderful side dish and incredibly quick and healthy to make! 

Quick and Easy Pesto

Summer for me means many things, hot humid days, lazing in the hammock, digging in the garden, and the everpervasive smell of basil in my house. We grew a ton of basil this year for the express purpose of making enough pesto to get us through the year. Fresh pesto is a snap to make, incredibly delicious and freezes well. We love to put it on pasta, smear it on toast, put it on your pizza, toss steamed veggies in it, the ideas go on and on. And really is there anything better than fresh pesto? You’ll never eat jarred again after this!

You can make this in a blender or a food processor but I wouldn’t recommend using a stick blender. You can easily make a bigger batch of this just multiply the amounts of ingredients, the recipe holds up to large volumes. I prefer walnuts in my pesto but you can also use pine nuts which is more traditional. Make eye you use the highest quality of olive oil you can manage to afford, it really makes a difference.

Quick and easy pesto

4 cups basil washed leaves medium packed, no stems

1/2 cup walnut halves and pieces

4cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

Up to 1 cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

Place the basil leaves garlic cloves and walnuts in the good processor and blend until chunky. With the processor running drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Run for several minutes. Add up to another 1/2 cup of olive oil with the processor running until pesto reaches the consistency you desire. Flavor with salt and pepper to taste. You can use right away or freeze for future use. If freezing, place pesto in ice cubtray was, once frozen pop out the cubes of pesto and store in ziplock bags. This makes for easy use in the future. Enjoy!

Swiss Green Beans

Green beans have come into season here! They are all over the markets. I have been saving up this recipe until they arrived and now we have so many of them we are overflowing. I love this recipe as it stills delivers a bit hit of crisp green bean but accents it with summer yummies, such a sheep cheese, olives, fresh dill and a hint of mustard. If you want to make this vegan just skip out on the cheese, you can always tweak this recipe until it suits your family! 

Sometimes in the summer it’s just too hot to cook, one of my favorite alternatives is marinating veggies and then eating them. This recipe does require steaming the green beans but it barely heats up your kitchen. Make these the night before if you can and let them marinate, they are so much better. But if you are in a hurry they are pretty tasty right away!


Swiss Green Beans

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned, trimmed, and snapped into pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tbs fresh dill
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp wasabi mustard or dijon
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parlsey
  • 1/3 lb cheese (swiss, manchego, or other hard cheese) diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe olives
  • 2 small bell peppers sliced
  • 4 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs red wine or basalmic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped and toasted almonds

Steam the green beans until just tender, they should have a bit of snap left in them. Remove from heat and immediately rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.

Combine everything except the lemon juice, vinegar, and almonds in a large bowl. Add the drained beans to the bowl. Mix everything well and then cover tightly and refrigerate 3 hours to overnight. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, and almonds and serve right away. If you aren’t marinating just go ahead and add the last three ingredients with the rest, serve, and enjoy! That’s it, now go and give it a try!