Strawberry Apricot Rhubarb Cobbler

| DESSERTS, DINNER, LUNCH, SWEET

strawberry.apricot.rhubarb cobbler_finalI’m loving these little dessert in a mason jar that I made last night for our after dinner dessert. I love being inspired by spring and all of the abundant produce we are having now at the markets. I stopped by on my way home to one of my favorite fresh markets called Krugers Farm to pick up some produce and got inspired by these beautiful berries and fruits that are available locally now. I’ve never tasted red apricots before until last night… they are sweet and tangy at the same time, which I thought would go so perfect with local strawberries and rhubarb for a cobbler. This recipe is so simple and I thought I would share it, if you wanted to make some for your next party or to enjoy at home.

strawberry.apricot.rhubarb cobbler_ingredientsNote : You can make these as individual jars or in one dish, up to you… I love individual desserts personally.
strawberry.apricot.rhubarb cobbler_2
strawberry.apricot.rhubarb cobbler_1strawberry.apricot.rhubarb cobbler_platedyield: 8 servings using these 8 oz wide mouth KERR mason jars, or one baking dish
cooking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 6 stems of rhubarb, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 container of ripe strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered or chopped
  • 4-5 small apricots cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • zest of one lemon
Cobbler topping:
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
  • Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato
  • Passion Fruit Vinegar to drizzle on top
Directions :

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix the rhubarb, apricots and the strawberries with the sugar, corn starch, and lemon zest. Let sit for 30 minutes to bring out the juices.

2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or your hands. Combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the milk, egg, and vanilla, stir until just moistened. Don’t overmix.

3. Pour strawberries, rhubarb and apricots into individual mason jars, ramekins or a baking dish.  Drop the cobbler batter on top of the fruit. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the cobbler topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cobbler crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling. If desired, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the Passion Fruit Vinegar if you have some. I also added a sprinkle of thyme flowers for added color and a bit of flavor.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Bon Appétit. Leave a comment and let me know how you liked it.

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Blood Orange Panna Cotta & Raspberry Coulis

| DESSERTS, DINNER, LUNCH, SWEET

panna_cotta3_lenaskitchenblog panna_cotta4_lenaskitchenblog
So excited to share this tasty recipe with you all for my new favorite dessert I’ve been making. It’s a perfect little treat after dinner or with your cup or tea or coffee. This is a very simple recipe to make and takes about 4 hours to chill in the fridge.

panna_cotta1_lenaskitchenblog

The Flavor is this Panna Cotta is light and not too sweet. The flavor of the Sweet Orange Essencial oil and olive oil delicately infuses this rich, but light custard with the essence of fresh oranges, the blood orange cuts through the sweetness from the sugar and the zest adds just enough zing to make it a perfect dessert for spring and summer when you can get your hands on blood oranges.

panna_cotta2_lenaskitchenblog
yield:
 10-12 servings using these molds from Ikea

Ingredients for Panna Cotta:
  • 2 cups whipping cream (you can substitute half & half if desired, I use cream)
  • 1 packet of unflavored Gelatin (about 2 teaspoons worth inside)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups greek yogurt (fat or non-fat, I used regular fat)
  • zest of 2-3 blood oranges, about baseball size
  • juice of 2-3 blood oranges, about baseball size (zest them first and then juice)
  • 10-15 drops of Aura Cacia Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • a few drops in each mold of Blood Orange Olive Oil from Oregon Olive Mill
Ingredients Raspberry Coulis:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 18 ounces (1 1/2 pints) raspberries
Directions for Raspberry Coulis:

1. Combine sugar, berries, and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low; cook until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Remove from heat; cool completely. Place mixture in the jar of a blender; puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh colander, and discard solids.

Directions for Panna Cotta:

1. Place 1/4 cup of cream into a small bowl, sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand to soften (about 10 minutes).

2. While gelatin is softening, pour remaining cream and 1/2 cup of sugar into a 2-quart saucepan; place over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat. Add zest of blood oranges directly into the saucepan, then cut the blood oranges in half and squeeze the juice in, making sure the seeds don’t go in. It’s ok if some of the pulp is in the mix, it will add a great flavor. After juicing 2 blood oranges, taste and see if you want more juice and zest. I prefer it citrucy, so I add the third. Pour into a large bowl.

3. Add softened gelatin and whisk together to combine. Add yogurt and whisk. Lastly, add the Sweet Orange essential oil, add about 10 drops and whisk it, taste it, if you want more citrus flavor add a few more at a time and whisk, until desired flavor is achieved. Don’t add more than 15 drops.

4. Add a drop or two of the Blood Orange Olive oil (if you don’t have this oil, I would use a very light oil instead, but this oil is amazing and so worth the investment, so i recommend buying it, I have the link here to purchase it directly from the source). use your finger and make sure the molds are coated.

***Note : You can skip this step if you decide to keep the Panna Cotta in glass cups or glasses and not take them out of molds.

5. Divide between your choice of molds or glasses and chill for several hours or overnight, until set. I think 4 hours is plenty of time if you are using the molds I am using.

6. When you are ready to serve, let them sit out of the refrigerator for about 5 minutes before taking them out of the molds. Add the raspberry coulis and serve with optional toppings like toasted chopped hazelnuts or a small cookie. Enjoy and let me know what you think when you try it or if you have any questions.

xoxo,
LENA : : lenaskitchenblog

 

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Beer Battered Fish Tacos

| DINNER, FISH, MEXICAN, TACOS

lenaskitchen_FishTacos2
I am excited to share this recipe in time for you to try out for Cinco De Mayo, or any time you would like to enjoy this. I am excited that these Tacos were featured on http://www.thefeedfeed.com/mexican (scroll down to my tacos feature).

lenaskitchen_beerBatteredFishTacos

It’s best to make the batter a few hours before you actually dip the fish. The resting time will allow the bubbles in the beer to activate the baking powder and flour, making for a crispier, fluffier crust when the fish fries.

yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients for the batter and tacos:
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • 1 (12 ounce) (355ml) bottle of beer,I used Negro Modelo Especial,
    any light colored beer will work too
  • 1 teaspoon (8 grams) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (8 grams) Mexican seasoning
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (this is for dredging)
  • 2 pounds fresh cod fillets, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • canola oil for frying
  • lime wedges, for drizzling at the end
  • fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • corn tortillas
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • radishes, sliced thin
  • cheese is optional, we had some leftover Mexican mixed cheese for the kids
Ingredients for a spicy Sriracha sauce:
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 2 – 4 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (start will less and add to your spice level)
  • salt, add a pinch at a time after tasting it to your liking
  • squeeze of lime

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and enjoy!

Ingredients for a Creamy Avocado/Lime sauce:
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • salt, add a pinch at a time after tasting it to your liking
  • lime, add a bit at a time
  • cilantro, add to your liking

    Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend well together and enjoy!

Preparation for Fish tacos:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and beer until a smooth thin batter forms. If the batter is too thick add a bit more beer (or water or club soda) to thin it out. If the batter is too thin add a bit more flour to thicken it. It should be thinner than a pancake batter but slightly thicker than a crepe batter. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but 2 hours would be better.

2. Cut the cod fillets into (2-3 inch pieces) strips. Pat the fish with a paper towel to make sure it is completely dry. Season both sides with some of the salt. Reserve half of the seasonings for later on. In a shallow dish, pour the 1 cup of all-purpose flour and the reserved salt, Mexican seasoning, whisk or stir to combine. That is your flour dredging. We do this so the beer batter can stick to the fish.

3. In a large pot, or dutch oven, heat oil to 375°. If you fill up the pot halfway with oil, that should be fine. Once the oil is hot, the fish is ready to be fried. Working with one piece at a time, dip the fish into the seasoned flour, coat evenly on both sides. Then dip the fish into the beer batter, completely dunking it until it is fully submerged. Drain excess batter and then carefully drop the battered fish into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot, work in batches. Fry for about 4 minutes on the first side. Flip it over and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Only flip the fish once. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish. To keep the fried fish warm and crispy until ready to eat, place the baking sheet in a 200°F oven.

**Note: If you find your batter to be too thick add a splash more beer or water to thin it out. If your batter is too thin add a bit of flour to thicken it. It’s really equal parts liquid and flour so you can’t really mess this one up. It’s easily fixable.

I used cod for this recipe. I just think that it’s a perfect fish for frying and it doesn’t break the bank either. Try to use fresh fish (if you can find it or have access to it) but if you must and only if you absolutely must, well then go ahead and use frozen.**

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PICKLED VEGGIES

| BREAKFAST, DINNER, LUNCH, PICKLED

I love anything pickled. And one of my favorite condiments to pickle are cucumbers, radishes, daikon and carrots and so much more. So I just love this Mexican version with spicy jalapeños and cilantro. These pickled vegetables are so addictive I found myself snacking on them straight from the jar and I am almost finished with the entire batch in a week. You can add these to your breakfast, lunch and dinner. You till love them. I hope you try these yourself and let me know what you think.

 

pickled veggies pickled veggies

INGREDIENTS:

2 bundles of radishes, thinly sliced
3 carrots, thinly sliced into rounds or matchsticks
1 red onion, thinly sliced (cut into half and then thin slices)
A few garlic cloves (this is optional, but if you like garlic flavor, you can add more)
1-2 jalapeños thinly sliced (you can substitute with your favorite spicy pepper too)
A handful of cilantro, minced
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (or you can use all white vinegar)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of kosher or sea salt
Different sized Mason Jars

Wash the radishes and carrots and cut into matchstick sizes, or round sizes (about thickness of a 25¢ quarter). Cut your red onion in half and then into thin slices.

In a small saucepan, heat the two vinegars, water, salt and sugar until it starts to simmer and the salt and sugar has dissolved.

Place your veggies and jalapeño in a bowl and mix in the cilantro and then distribute them equally into the mason jars. Pour the vinegar mixture over the veggies.

Store in a jar and enjoy within the next two weeks!

Other optional veggies to try and pickle : daikon, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, mini peppers, sweet onions, garlic.

 

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MENU FOR POP-UP DINNER WITH IPACS CELLARS ON OCTOBER 18,2014

| DINNER

lenaskitchenblog_dinner10.18

Announcing the menu that you will be enjoying during my inaugural pop-up dinner on October 18th, 2014 from 6-9pm. All courses will be beautifully married with the delicious wine from Ipacs Cellars Wine. The dinner will be held in my home with beautiful plate setting and mood lighting.

APPETIZER
Crispy Polenta cake topped with a spicy salmon tartar
SALAD
Multi colored terrine of beets, cornichons (little pickles), on a bed of arugula,
drizzled with a homemade fig vinegar and toasted hazelnuts
MAIN
Half of Cornish hen stuffed with figs, apples, onions and red wine. Drizzled with a pomegranate and cherry sauce with a side of cauliflower purée and veggies
DESSERT
Vanilla bean, orange, thyme, honey and wine poached pears tarts with a almond/vanilla custard.

Spaces are still available at $65 per person. You can get a free app though Square Cash to buy your ticket for the dinner. All details for the location will be sent to you after tickets are purchased. You will need to provide my email to Square Cash (ettolena@gmail.com). let me know if you have any questions. And subscribe to my blog to receive announcements on the next dinner if you can’t make this one. Hope to see you there.

xoxo,
lenas kitchen

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LENA’S KITCHEN & IPACS CELLARS POP-UP DINNER SERIES

| DINNER

Lena's Kitchen & Ipacs Cellars Fall Flavors Pop-Up Dinner

Hey guys. So excited to be back this fall and posting, but before I do… I am excited to share something I’ve been working on for a few months with a good friend who is a local wine maker. I want to introduce my first “Flavors of Fall” pop-up dinner series. It will be a great evening filled with delicious food made by me and paired with Ipacs Cellars wine. This will be a a four-course prix-fixe dinner. I will be focusing on the flavors of fall and bringing you some amazing flavors and Ferenc will be pairing the food with his amazing wine.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18th from 6-9pm
The dinner will be held at my place in SE Portland (address will be provided after your reservation is made). Seats are limited to 12-14 people.

The tickets will be on sale starting today until October 14th or until they sell out. You can pay by creating a free account with square cash and make your payment to reserve a spot for the dinner. You will need to provide my email (ettolena@gmail.com) to make the payment of $85. If you have any questions about the dinner or payment please let me know.

You can check out some of the dishes I have made before on my Instagram account.

PLEASE NOTE : No substitutions allowed. Pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans would find it a challenge to enjoy our dinner. Since my kitchen is not that big I can’t make changes to the set menu. The menu will include dairy, gluten, nuts, poultry. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions this dinner won’t work for you.

 

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FRESH FRUIT TART/GALETTE or SAVORY QUICHE

| DESSERTS

raspberry_tart

peach_galette copy

peach_tart

This is one of my favorite desserts to make all year round, but especially in the spring and summer time when the berry seasons starts. It’s easy to make. The dough is versatile, and you can use it to make delicious quiches, savory tarts or galettes. You can make the dough ahead of time, and keep in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for up to a month. You can use any stone fruit that you like that’s in season, and you can also switch out different preserves. (more…)

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HONEY & STOUT GLAZED CHICKEN

| DINNER

skewered chicken

I found this recipe for chicken on Pinterest last week, and thought I would give it a try. Let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed. The chicken was so tender, balanced in flavors, and literally finger licking good. It’s one I will be making again and again. I changed the ingredients a bit and used fresh chili peppers instead of dried flakes. I also omitted black pepper, since I am allergic to it. I paired it with white rice, grilled mini sweet peppers, which I glazed with the same sauce as the chicken, and garlicky green beans, recipe to follow.
(more…)

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LENA’S KITCHEN BLOG LAUNCH

| WELCOME

lenaskitchen

lenaskitchenblog.com / my kitchen

Welcome everyone to the much anticipated LENA’S KITCHEN BLOG launch. I’m excited to finally get my blog going after a much anticipated time. Thank you all who have pushed and supported me to start this new journey. I would also like to thank my amazing friend Tracy for all her technical guidance, which helped launch this blog. (more…)

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WONTON SOUP

| SOUPS

lenaskitchenblog.com / wonton soup / ingredients

To start things off I am posting the recipe for my Wonton Soup. The best wonton soup I’ve made to date. I infused the miso/beef broth with cilantro stems, ginger, lemongrass, chili, smashed garlic and green onions. The smell in the kitchen will be divine… so prepare for some tasty scents happening in your kitchen.  (more…)

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