Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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TeenyTinyKitchen - Big Recipes, Tiny Kitchen - Jedd & Launie Kettler
Orzo Salad with Oregano, Parsley and Chive Pesto PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 01 September 2014 13:56

 

Fasten your seat belts folks, we're getting into the thick of produce season. And I love it.

 

I have a remarkably short memory when it comes to produce. Every summer (usually in June) I get really excited for tomatoes and peppers. Of course, completely forgetting that they don't come in big batches (or at all) until later in the season.

 

Which means that this week has been fantastic, because the Produce Fairy came! Between the CSA and the farmers market, I'm drowning in vegetables. Bright and sweet peppers, plumb little cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob, kale, herbs, herbs and more herbs, you name it – and it's in the kitchen.

 

(Yellow cherry tomatoes!)

 

(The peppers in the plastic bag are habaneros. My pepper lady at the farmers market was afraid I'd get the sweet and spicy mixed up. Talk about customer service!)

 

 

So even though it's Labor Day weekend, it's officially summer in our little apartment. We have bouquets of herbs and flowers on pretty much every available surface.

 

(Parsley with sunflowers peeking shyly from the background.)

 

Yay!

 

And this salad idea came to me just by looking at our library table. “Hmmm, chives, parsley and oregano would be great in a pesto – on a pasta salad,” I thought.

 

I gathered up the herbs, ran into the kitchen and threw them into the food processor. Within 15 minutes this salad was plated, and I was happily devouring it.

 

This is the part of summer I love.

 

 

 
A Spicy Treat: Tomato Water Bloody Mary PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:24

 

 

Recently Jedd I have been watching a lot of Top Chef, which has been really fun. Thanks, Hulu! We'd only seen a few episodes on television, because we only had Bravo for a nanosecond in '07.

 

However, it did give us an evening of fun a few years ago. We wrote a little “Top Chef” parody called “Cooking For Your Life” where cooking contestants didn't realize that they'd signed onto a show where the loser would be hunted down by “Parma” and killed at the end of every episode.

 

Let's go to the Judge's Table.

 

“Marcel, your seared scallops with a cilantro foam really missed the mark,” Tom 'Carpaccio' said. “That dish was so bad that I want to kill you myself.”

 

In the real Top Chef, you'll often hear a contestant say, “it's time to step it up a notch for the next challenge” or “I'm really cooking for my life here.”

 

Really?? Well, let's see how much more you mean that when “Parma” is hunting you down with an ax and some sea salt. Yeah, you might want to consider “bringing your A-game” - but you'll need more tenacity than just “standing by your dish” to make it to the end of the episode.

 

Goofiness aside, the other night I realized that a Top Chef contestant kept cooking with “tomato water” and that piqued my interest.

 

“What's tomato water?”

 

Well, it turns out tomato water is pureed tomatoes that are strained to get the sweet, sweet essence of the tomato.

 

Tomato water, come to Mama.

 

This is one of those recipes that you can only make in summer, when tomatoes are so sweet that they beg to be the star of a dish or drink.

 

 
A Lush Summer Cobb Salad with Lemon Chicken PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 22:59

 

 

Minus the tomatoes, a cobb salad can pretty good any time of year. The ingredients don't really need to rely on any particular seasonable produce, so it's a fairly independent type of meal.

 

But if you happen to have gorgeous farmers market vegetables, why not utilize them? We had three types of tomatoes in our hanging vegetable basket, and scallions literally* longer than my forearm in the refrigerator.

 

All of those flavors made me want to make the chicken a little extra special too. So I marinated it in lemon juice and herbs for the perfect summer salad.

 

*Really, literally. Not the new Merriam-Webster definition, where “literal” can actually mean “figurative.” This is actually literal. The scallions go from the tips of my fingers almost to my shoulder. Mmmm. Scallions.

 

 
Blackened Chicken with Grilled Avocados and Jalapenos PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 19:30

 

 

This little dinner is stunning and pretty healthy. And by “pretty healthy,” I mean “very healthy.” The spices are all good for you and avocado and jalapenos? Oh, yeah.

 

Bonus: by grilling the avocado you end up with a wonderfully softened and savory side dish. I just want to grill an avocado two or three times a day.

 

They're that delicious.

 

And grilling the jalapenos takes away some of the spice, and leaves them irresistible.

 

But don't take my word for it. Try this recipe out for yourself. The chicken is spicy, the avocado is creamy and the jalapenos and onions make everything better.

 

 
Proust Had Fond Memories of Madeleines, We Had Cricks In Our Necks. Hello, Berry Whip! PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 10 August 2014 20:04

 

Yesterday was my mother's birthday and I told her I would like to make her a birthday dinner - but that she was on her own for her birthday dessert. Because she makes amazing deserts.

 

Why not have the best?

 

So I made her a pork wellington filled with meat and greens - and she made something really special - my grandmother's berry whip.

 

As soon as she uncovered the bowl I grinned.

 

Normally Grammy's berry whip is made with wild strawberries that we'd spend hours picking. To give you an example of the work involved, look at your pinkie nail. When scouring the hills for wild strawberries, if we found one that big it was a score.

 

Score!

 

Needless to say, it would take awhile to pick a cup of the itty-bitty little things. To my grandmother's credit, that should have been a job that she'd just send the kids out to do - just to get us out from underfoot. But, she loves picking fruit and the hunt for the perfect wild strawberry - so she'd be out there with us. And as soon as we hit the one cup mark, we'd get back in the kitchen and Grammy would be prepping the berries.

 

And then the magic would begin.

 

From only three ingredients, this amazing frosting would be created. And no one had any shame about eating dinner so fast that none of it registered in our mouth. It was a race to the finish to get to this frosting.

 

Needless to say, my mother used berries from a bush - not the "hillside scour" - for the frosting yesterday, because wild strawberries are out of season. But the second I saw this, it reminded me of climbing hills, walking gently so we didn't crush any little strawberries, and the massive crick in our collective necks that followed.

 

Proust had his madeleine cookies to remind him of childhood, but in my family we have something even better. Berry whip.

 

So, so, so, so, good.

 
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