EVERYTHING I WANT TO EAT…..IN THE ISLAND KITCHEN WITH SQUIRL
I loved everything about this cookbook….. “EVERYTHING I WANT TO EAT” by JESSICA KOSLOW. She is the owner of SQIRL, a lovely restaurant in Silver Lake, California, and she writes an unique and fun cookbook. Its pages are full of amazing, inspiring and easy recipes, and I love the fantastic photographs of the dishes and the characters that fill her restuarant tables. It was hard to chose what to cook for the weekend, as I literally wanted to try it all! I chose some delicious ones and I hope you enjoy the Saturday Meal plan. I think it will inspire you and I highly recommend picking this book up for your weekend kitchen.
AVOCADO SMOOTHIE WITH CARDAMOM
SOOCA WITH FRESH GREENS AND LEBNE
CHICKEN KOFTE AND CABBAGE KUMQUAT SALAD
AVOCADO CARDAMOM SMOOTHIE
Serves 2, with some left over, like a milkshake (GF, VV)
½ teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (the little black things inside the green pods, not the pods themselves)
1 ripe Hass avocado
⅔ cup (160 ml) organic sweetened condensed milk
2 cups ice cubes
1 tablespoon high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Fleur de sel (optional)
In a small, dry pan over medium-low heat, toast the cardamom seeds for about 4 minutes, stirring every so often so they don’t burn. Transfer the seeds to a cutting board and use the back of a spoon to crush them to a powder.
Halve and pit the avocado, then scrape both halves of the avocado flesh into a high speed blender and discard the peel.
Pour in the condensed milk and ¾ cup (180ml) water. Add the ice cubes and ¼ teaspoon of the ground cardamom. Turn on the machine starting on the lowest setting and increasing the speed steadily. Blend for about 20 seconds. Turn off the blender and use a rubber spatula to check that the ice has been blended. If it has not, stir and then blend for another 10 seconds, starting on the lowest setting and increasing the speed steadily. Taste the smoothie and decide if you want to add more ground cardamom. (I always want to add more cardamom.)
Pour into two tall glasses. If you like drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon oil into each glass and finish with a pinch of fleur de sel.
*Just a note I made this with the condensed milk and found it rather sweet beyond my liking. I would make it again with almond or cocoanut milk, this would take it down a notch on the sweetness factor.
SOCCA (CHICKPEA FLOUR PANCAKE) MADE WITH ZUCCHINI
1 pound (455g) zucchini, carrot or winter squash ( see Notes), peeled and coarsely grated
Fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
4 large eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
⅔ cup (80 g) chickpea flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional: use with winter squash)
Pinch of ground ginger (optional; use with winter squash)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
½ cup (120 ml) labneh (page 71 or store-bought)
3 cups (60 g) spicy greens (such as watercress, arugula or baby mustard greens)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Toss the grated vegetable with a few big pinches of salt, then put it in a fine-mesh sieve and let drain, squeezing every so often so that the vegetable releases its water, for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the spices, shaking the pan often, until fragrant but not burned, about 3 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind the toasted spices to a powder.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk to break them up. Add the drained vegetables, along with the garlic, oregano, mint, cilantro, chickpea flour and toasted spices. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and mix well. If you are using winter squash, stir in a pinch each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger. (The pancake batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered in the fridge.)
Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add the butter, then spoon in two overflowing ½ cupfuls (120 ml) of pancake batter, pressing each to ½ inch (12 mm) thick. Cook, rotating the skillet occasionally for even browning, until the pancakes are nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Flip, then cook the second side for another few minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. Repeat to make two more pancakes, adding more butter to the skillet, if needed.
Season the labneh with salt.
Just before serving, toss the greens with the lemon juice, oil, and some salt and pepper. Top each socca pancake with a huge dollop of labneh and a tangle of greens.
DINNERCHICKEN KOFTE ON ROSEMARY SPRIGS WITH GARLIC SCHMEAR AND CABBAGE KUMQUAT SALAD
FOR THE GARLIC SCHMEAR
30 gloves garlic
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ cups (300ml) non-GMO canola oil
FOR THE CABBAGE KUMQUAT SALAD
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Fine sea salt
½ green cabbage (14 ounces/ 400g)
¼ cup (13g) loosely packed fresh mint leaves
FOR THE CHICKEN KOFTE
1 pound 10 ounces (750g) ground chicken
¼ cup (60ml) red wine
2 small roasted red peppers, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, stemmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon mild chile powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
12 thick fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped from bottom two-thirds of each
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
MAKE THE GARLIC SCHMEAR
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the garlic, salt, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons water. Puree until very finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the motor running, gradually pour in the oil, drop by drop at first, then in a very thin stream. How slowly can you go? Let the blade spin for a little while and take your time, up to 10 minutes of it. Emulsification plus patience create this magic fluffy schmear. There will be more garlic schmear than you’ll need for six servings. Fortunately, leftover schmear can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.
MAKE THE CABBAGE KUMQUAT SALAD
Cut the kumquats in half at their waists. Roll each half away from you, pressing gently to squeeze out the seeds. In the bowl of a blender or a food processor, combine the kumquat pieces, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth. Cut out the core of the cabbage. Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible. (We use a mandoline, but a sharpe knife will do.) In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the mint and most of the kumquat dressing. Taste and add more salt or dressing as needed.
MAKE THE CHICKEN KOFTE
Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °C).
In a bowl, combine the chicken, wine roasted peppers, thyme, garlic, chile powder, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Mix well. Mold the mixture evenly around the rosemary sprigs to form cylinders, using about 2½ ounces (70 grams) for each.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lay as many chicken skewers as will fit in a single layer in the pan and ear them until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the searing process, adding oil as needed, until you’ve browned all the kofte. Roast in the oven until the centre of each one is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
To serve, spread some garlic schmear on six plates. Divide the cabbage kumquat salad among the plates, piling it atop the schmear, then lay two kofte skewers next to each salad.
Makes 1 quart (1 L); serves 6 (GF, VV)
1 ⅓ cups (200 g) chopped rhubarb
⅔ cup (135 g) sugar
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (135 ml) fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
Put the rhubarb, sugar and 1⅔ cups (400 ml) water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the syrup simmers. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the rhubarb has fallen apart and imbued the liquid with its colour.
While the syrup is still hot, pour it through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl. Use a rubber spatula to really press on the rhubarb mush and squeeze out every last drop. Let cool.
There should be about 1 ¼ cups (300ml) rhubarb syrup. (if there is more , save it for adding later on. My palate loves a good amount of acid, so you may want to use the extra syrup. ( If there is more, save it for adding later on. my palate loves a good amount of acid, so you may want to use the extra syrup to increase the sweetness to your liking.) Pour the rhubarb syrup into a 1-quart (1-L) jar. Add the lemon juice and 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (495 ml) water. Screw on the jar’s lid and shake well.
Serve chilled over ice.