Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

The last couple of weeks for our family have been the kind that are filled with stories that no one could invent. Some really tough stuff and very much real Life. But there was so much to be thankful for. And so many ways to show each other love during the hard days. Along with encouraging words, giving the gift of time, and good, strong hugs, food was a way we showed love. Bringing meals to nourish and strengthen, cooking favorite foods for dear old friends, grilling steaks at my grandfather’s farm because it’s a tradition, a reminder of happy days, and hosting dinners to gather loved ones together and celebrate that Love wins. So, even though I didn’t have a moment to jot down the latest from my kitchen during that time, I hope that when you are here at The Triangle Plate, you are inspired to show love to the people in your life with a simple meal, or a treat. In the long run, it means so much.

Here’s another delicious Yotam Ottolenghi recipe. I love soba noodles, I love Asian flavors, and this is another bold recipe that won’t disappoint. And all amazing flavor aside, it is just GORGEOUS to behold, don’t you think? And I love that you can prep the majority of this recipe in advance, and then just throw in some fresh herbs when you are ready to serve. Perfect for an easy night with friends, or in my case this time, a night when we come home from my girls’ gymnastics class starving and want dinner immediately!

SobawithEggplantandMango

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi from his book Plenty

Note: serves 6. To make this a bit more filling, I added tofu. Just use  14 oz. of organic, extra firm tofu: cut into 6 thick slices, and press out any extra water with paper towels. Heat about a Tbsp or so of olive oil over medium heat. Beat one egg in a shallow bowl, and dip each piece of tofu into it, making sure all sides are coated. Fry the tofu until golden and crispy on each side, and then sprinkle generously with sea salt and serve the slices while still hot with the noodles.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 fresh red chile, finely chopped (I used a jalapeño because you can’t get Fresnos around here yet)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 eggplants, cut into 3/4 inch dice
  • 8 to 9 oz. soba noodles
  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8 inch dice or into 1/4 inch thick strips (I used an extra half mango because we love it so much)
  • 1 and 2/3 cup basil leaves, chopped (if you can get some, use Thai basil, but much less… I used about 3/4 of a cup)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced (soak the slices in cold water for 20 minutes if you love the flavor but have tummy ache issues with raw onion, like I do!)

Preparation:

  1. In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chile and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
  2. Heat up the sunflower oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the eggplant in three to four batches over medium-high heat (takes about 5-8 minutes per batch). Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
  3. Cook the noodles in plenty of salted water, stirring occasionally. They should take 5 to 8 minutes to become tender but still al dente. Drain and rinse well under running cold water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel.
  4. In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. You can now leave this aside for 1 to 2 hours (or so). When ready to serve add the rest of the herbs and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.

Posted in spring, summer | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Roast Salmon with Tarragon

I have so many recipes to share with you. The list is long, and I have a couple of truly delicious recipes I tried recently which you’ll get to hear all about… soon. But the big theme of THIS week is: “heart healthy.” That’s a story for another day though…

As I was getting dinner ready this evening, I realized I have never written a post on this particular preparation of salmon, and after a little research in the archives, I found the recipe which this evolved from. It began on a warm a summer evening, cooking on the grill. But since the bold flavors of salmon and tarragon are so perfect for each other, I started making this throughout the fall and winter months, roasting the salmon in the oven and using fresh tarragon from the herb section of the grocery store. It’s my go-to for a quick dinner, and one that makes my little people squeal with excitement. It’s also so good, you can serve this to your friends and family and they’ll be thrilled.

SalmonwithTarragon

Roast Salmon with Tarragon

recipe by Stephanie Kunstle

Note: this makes enough for 4 people

Ingredients:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1.5 lbs. wild caught salmon filet (I used Coho)
  • 1/4 cup or so of white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon leaves
  • lemons sliced to squeeze

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a 9×13 inch pyrex baking dish, drizzle about a Tbsp or so of olive oil on the bottom of the dish, and lay the salmon filet over it.
  3. Drizzle olive oil generously over the salmon, and rub it around to cover the fish with your hand or a pastry brush.
  4. Sprinkle salmon generously with sea salt, and then scatter most of the tarragon over the top (reserving just a bit to scatter over the fish after it’s roasted), gently patting it into the fish.
  5. Pour the wine into the baking dish around the salmon.
  6. Roast for 20 minutes (if you are not living at high altitude and are much closer to sea level, decrease your roasting time by about 5 minutes or so, checking for doneness when fish is opaque but still very moist).
  7. Sprinkle with remaining tarragon, and serve the fish hot or at room temperature with wedges of lemon.

Posted in autumn, spring, winter | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Caramelized Onion Galette with Gorgonzola Dolce

Recently, we had the luxury of a slow weekend. Of course, once Sunday rolled around, the to-do list for the week was annoyingly at the forefront of my mind… mainly because, every 3-4 hours, someone would look at me and say “I’m hungry.” Again. Listen, I love to cook, I really do. But grocery shopping and errands, in general, I rather dislike. I began to read the writing on the wall: the leftovers were all eaten up at lunch, and I’d need to make a run in order to make dinner. First, there was a school project to help my Sofia with, then I was determined to get a shower in before the sun set, and I was feeling too tired to get in the car and go for a big haul. Gosh, can I tell you how I’d be a fair and gentle ruler if I could have a household staff of just, oh, say 20-50 people? Yeah, I know. The consequence of not marrying Enrique Iglesias, like my Grandma Salazar had hoped. Anyway…

So the new recipe for a leek and goat cheese galette I wanted to try went from “THE” dinner plan, to a pipe dream. But wait? I didn’t have leeks, but I had lots of onions. Hmmm. Oooh! And I had a nice piece of gorgonzola dolce. Baby. Then after some rummaging in the freezer, I found what appeared to be some frozen pastry dough I’d made around the new year. Perfect. I’d just make my own version of a galette. So, I got started on the onions, and pulled the pastry dough out to thaw… Which, a little bit later I discovered, upon a closer examination, was sugar cookie dough. Foiled again. No problem. That’s what my food processor is for. And so it came to be that I was creating a fun new pastry dough, since I was out of buckwheat flour (a favorite of mine for savory galettes) and even out of whole wheat flour (because I used up every last bit in the latest breadmaking recipe). Times like these remind me that it really is true that “necessity is the mother of invention.” I reached for some flaxmeal.

The pastry was totally light and flaky with a subtle nutty flavor from the flax meal, and the onions and gorgonzola complimented each other perfectly. Dave poured a Kabinett Riesling which was a fabulous pairing and we suddenly felt like we were celebrating. And I was. I never did go to the store.

CaramelizedOnionGalette

Caramelized Onion Galette with Gorgonzola Dolce

recipe by Stephanie Kunstle, inspired by Deborah Madison’s Leek & Goat Cheese Galette

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces
  • about 4 Tbsp. ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten (to be brushed on the the dough before baking)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 yellow onions, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup créme fraîche
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 oz. gorgonzola dolce, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. parsley (keep 1 Tbsp of this reserved for garnish)

Preparation of the pastry dough:

  1. Let’s get started with the pasty dough. I love to make my pastry dough in a food processor — it’s super fast and the dough is always so light and flaky. Add your dry ingredients to the food processor bowl, give it a quick pulse or two to mix the ingredients, and then add the butter you’ve already cubed. “Process” the butter with the dry ingredients until the butter is well distributed and is cut into little small pieces, pea-sized or even a bit smaller.
  2.  With the food processor running, add the the ice water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough suddenly turns into one big ball.
  3. (If you don’t have a food processor, mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, and then cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter. With a fork, stir in the ice water and incorporate using your hands if you need to until you have a smooth dough, but be careful not to overwork it or it will be tough).
  4. Take your dough and divide it into two pieces and give it a good 4-5 smears on a clean countertop to distribute the butter. Mash into one ball, and flatten into a 6 inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for about an hour (or cheat, like I do, and throw it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes but don’t forget about it!).

Preparation of the filling and galette:

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Turn the heat up to medium flame and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently so that they cook evenly and don’t burn, until golden in color, about 30 minutes.
  2. Turn heat up to medium-high, and add the white wine. Cook until reduced, about 2 minutes.
  3. Lower heat back to medium, add the crème fraîche, stirring until the onions are well coated and silky and the water is mostly cooked out, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1 beaten egg and 2 Tbsp of the chopped parsley.
  5. Butter or oil a large baking sheet.
  6. Prep your clean kitchen countertop with about 1/4 cup of sprinkled flour. Place the disk of cold dough on top of the flour and give it another generous sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough out to about a 14-15 inch circle.
  7. Roll pastry onto rolling pin and move the pastry dough to the middle of the baking sheet. Pour onion mixture into the center and spread evenly, leaving at least 2 inches of perimeter around the pastry (the onions will make about a 10 inch circle). Dot with cubes of the gorgonzola dolce and fold the pastry over the edges of the circle. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
  8. Bake at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is a deep golden and the onion mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing. Scatter the remaining 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley over the top. Serve hot or at room temp.

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