Swiss Chard Fritters With Feta, Fennel and Radish

This recipe from the New Orleans-based restaurant pairs crisp, lemony Swiss chard fritters with creamy feta and a radish-fennel salad.

From the Wall Street Journal.

There’s no way to lose with these ingredients, especially when you deep fry the fritters in ghee.  You probably don’t need three inches of oil either. That sounds like something a pro would do.

With a Summer veggie garden largess, swiss chard, radishes and fennel are always more abundant than we can eat. We saw this recipe and decided to take a page from the best of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organizations and share recipes for the goodies being distributed to the community. Feel free to play around with the ingredients and experiment with what’s growing in your garden.

ZING BEARERS | Dill, mint and lemon zest mixed into the batter brighten the earthy flavor of the Swiss chard. Christopher Testani for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Heather Meldrom, Prop Styling by Stephanie Hanes

The Chef: Susan Spicer

Her Restaurants: Bayona and Mondo, both in New Orleans

What She’s Known For: Bringing easygoing grace to fine dining in the Crescent City. Delivering global flavors with classical-French finesse.

SUSAN SPICER RUNS a democratic kitchen. “It’s the stone soup approach,” she said. “Everyone has something to add. I want cooks to feel invested.” She credits Amarys Herndon, her sous-chef at Bayona, for this dish of chard fritters with whipped feta and a fennel-radish salad. “Amarys made this for a special one night, and I was like, ‘That is the best thing I have ever tasted with chard,’ ” she said. “Though I like greens, chard is probably my least favorite; it can taste too earthy. But these fritters were lighter than I expected. They really elevated the chard experience.” The batter, made of shredded chard, beaten egg and chickpea flour, quickly fries up into airy puffs, crisp on the outside and creamy within. Finding the right way to complete the plate was largely intuitive. “The fritters felt Greek to me,” Ms. Spicer explained. “That’s why we used feta and lemon in the sauce.” The shaved radish and fennel provide needed contrast: “If we do something fried, we like to put a nice, fresh element in there too

 

 

Ingredients

Swiss Chard Fritters With Feta, Fennel and Radish

Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4

2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped

1 cup chickpea flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

½ cup soda water

1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus juice of half a lemon

1 teaspoon finely grated garlic

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill, plus sprigs for garnish

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil, for frying and drizzling

1 cup feta cheese, at room temperature

½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature

6 radishes, thinly sliced

2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

 

Directions

1. In a food processor, pulse chard until finely shredded. Remove ⅔ of chard and set aside in a large bowl.

2. Add chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, eggs and soda water to chard remaining in food processor. Process until evenly mixed, about 1 minute.

3. Scrape chard purée into large bowl with shredded chard. Add lemon zest, garlic, dill, mint, cinnamon, Aleppo pepper and nutmeg to bowl and fold everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Set batter aside.

4. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring 3 inches oil to 350 degrees. Use a deep-fat or candy thermometer to monitor temperature and keep it steady throughout cooking.

5. Meanwhile, clean bowl of food processor. Add feta and cream cheese and process until fluffy. Season with lemon juice and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, toss radishes and fennel slices with a squeeze of lemon juice, a light drizzle of olive oil and salt to taste. Set aside.

6. Use a ladle to add 3 tablespoons batter to oil. Working in batches, fry 4 fritters at a time until crisp and puffy, about 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fritters to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt.

7. To serve: Smear feta spread onto each plate. Place 2-3 fritters and some fennel-radish salad alongside. Garnish with dill sprigs.

 

Caffeine Against Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Caffeine Has Positive Effect On Tau Deposits In Alzheimer’s

As part of a German-French research project, a team led by  Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer’s disease. The two-years project was supported with 30,000 Euro from the non-profit Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) and with 50,000 Euro from the French Partner organization LECMA. The initial results were published in the online edition of the journal “Neurobiology of Aging.”

Tau deposits, along with beta-amyloid plaques, are among the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. These protein deposits disrupt the communication of the nerve cells in the brain and contribute to their degeneration. Despite intensive research there is no drug available to date  which can prevent this detrimental process. Based on  the results of Prof. Dr. Christa Müller from the University of Bonn, Dr. David Blum and their team, a new class of drugs may now be developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist, blocks various receptors in the brain which are activated by adenosine. Initial results of the team of researchers had already indicated that the blockade of the adenosine receptor subtype A2A in particular could play an important role. Initially, Prof. Müller and her colleagues developed an A2A antagonist in ultrapure and water-soluble form (designated MSX-3). This compound had fewer adverse effects than caffeine since it only blocks only the A2A adenosine receptor subtype, and at the same time it is significantly more effective. Over several weeks, the researchers then treated genetically altered mice with the A2A antagonist. The mice had an altered tau protein which, without therapy, leads to the early development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

In comparison to a control group which only received a placebo, the treated animals achieved significantly better results on memory tests. The A2A antagonist displayed positive effects in particular on spatial memory. Also, an amelioration of the pathogenic processes was demonstrated in the hippocampus, which is the site of memory in rodents.

“We have taken a good step forward,” says Prof. Müller. “The results of the study are truly promising, since we were able to show for the first time that A2A adenosine receptor antagonists actually have very positive effects in an animal model simulating hallmark characteristics and progression of  the disease. And the adverse effects are minor.”

The researchers now want to test the A2A antagonist in additional animal models. If the results are positive, a clinical study may follow. “Patience is required until A2A adenosine receptor antagonists are approved as new therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease. But I am optimistic that clinical studies will be performed,” says Prof. Müller.

Attached files

  • Characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease: The tau protein. (c) Photo: Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V.

 

→  Read full article

 

Mediterranean 5-grain Salad with Sunchokes, Beets & Mozzarella

Our friends at Green Kitchen Storie  created this salad in collaboration with Swedish/Italian family company Zeta. They are launching a new range of organic whole grain mixes . Since grains can be a little colourless, they asked Green Kitchen Stories for a delicious recipe that looked stunning (no pressure, right). Luise and Elsa share a deep love for Italy and Italian flavours and they truly indulged in that while creating this salad.

The grains add a nourishing base for this salad and they are tossed in pesto for extra flavor. They add sunchokes that are roasted until buttery soft  and mix with thinly sliced raw, crunchy chioggia beets (aka candy cane or polka beets) and radishes. Of course they threw in some mozzarella and pine nuts (influenced by Italy!), and added red grapes for sweetness. All in all, it’s a real beauty of a salad, it is very nourishing and tastes just as good as it looks.

The idea of mixing chioggia beets with radishes for a colourful kick is shamelessly inspired by some of the salads in Erin Irelands instagram feed (worth checking out btw!).

Mediterranean 5-grain Salad with Sunchokes, Beets & Mozzarella
Serves 4–6

1 bag (250 g / 1 1/2 cup) Zeta organic 5-grain mix (Farro, Barley, Kamut, Brown Rice and Oat Groats), or grains of choice
500 g / 1 lb sunchoke/jerusalem artichoke
2 chunks mozzarella di bufalo
4 polka beets (chioggia) or yellow beets, peeled
1 bunch radishes, rinsed
200 g / 7 oz red grapes, halved
1 handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 handfuls rucola/arugula
1 bunch fresh basil

Pesto dressing
5 tbsp green pesto
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Rinse and brush the sunchokes (don’t bother peeling them) and cut them in 5-10 mm (1/4-inch) slices. Place the slices in a bowl, drizzle over olive oil and toss them until everything is covered in oil. Spread out the slices on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft with crispy edges.

Meanwhile, cook the grains in a large sauce pan filled with salted water, following the cooking time on the package. Drain any excess water and scoop the grains back into the sauce pan.

Stir together the pesto dressing and pour over the grains in the sauce pan. Make sure they are all covered and then pour the grains out onto a wide plate or salad bowl.

Layer with sunchoke slices and torn mozzarella chunks. Use a mandolin (or sharp knife) to shave the polka beets and radishes very thinly and spread on top of the salad together with pine nuts, grapes, rucola/arugula and basil.

Tasty Tomato Tart Always a Crowd Pleaser

Tasty Tomato Tart

Ingredients

1 package Phyllo Dough (thaw to package instructions)

1 egg

1/2 stick of Butter(1 tablespoon for caramelizing onions and melt the rest for the layering of the Phyllo)

1/2 cup yellow and red grape tomatoes

1/2 up heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup zucchini and yellow squash

1 cup Ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Feta cheese

1 brown onion sliced thin

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons Red Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup Fresh Basil chopped fine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

1.Slice Tomatoes place in a bowl with salt , pepper ,a drizzle of EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar .Cover and refrigerate at least an hour. Slice onions ,place in skillet with butter and EVOO,add salt and pepper, saute until golden brown.Remove from skillet and let cool. Slice zucchini and squash in circles, add to skillet , saute about 5 to 10 mins. in EVOO, add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.Remember it is important to flavor every layer. Salting the tomatoes and letting them drain before adding them to the tart ensures that your tart ends up intense and jammy instead of watery.
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush the bottom and side of a 9-inch tart pan with some of the melted butter. For crust, unroll phyllo dough; cover with plastic wrap. Remove one sheet of phyllo and lightly brush with melted butter. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top, placing it at an angle to the first sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets one at a time, placing each at an angle to the previous sheet to form a circle and brushing each with butter. Using a wide spatula, transfer the phyllo stack to the prepared pan, carefully easing it into the pan and allowing some of the phyllo to hang about 1/2 inch over the edge of the pan. Make two slits in the center of the phyllo stack for steam to escape.

3. Bake in preheated oven about 8 minutes or until phyllo is light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
4.Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes, reserving 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Set tomatoes aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese with fork until smooth. Add feta cheese,  herbs, lemon zest ,mix well. Add eggs,mix just until combined (do not over mix). Pour mixture into crust-lined pan.
5. Add the carmelized onions to the top of the ricotta and drizzle a tablespoon of the tomato marinade on the onions .  Begin placing the tomatoes around the outer edge of the tart pan,continue to fill in. Place the zucchini and squash in a similar pattern( see photo) until the tart is completely filled in.Drizzle with the remaining marinade.
6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until center is soft-set and edge stays firm when gently shaken. If necessary, loosely cover the edge with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Remove  from pan,if desired, let tart stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to bring out its fullest flavor. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs. Cut tart into wedges. Makes 10 servings.

This wonderful simple tart is always a crowd pleaser. I constantly get asked “what’s in it ?”  or “Tell us how to make it!”.

Heirloom tomatoes are some of the most impressively colorful fruits out there. They range from dark purple to sunshine yellow, and can be as small as a Roma tomato or as big as a navel orange. You’ll find the best ones at the best prices in July and August when they’re in season, but no matter when you get them, use them quickly. Their shelf life is shorter than that of their classic red brethren.

If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes in your area, you can make this recipe with Roma or plum tomatoes instead. Here it is… I LOVE to cook for others and am an avid fan of the local foodie movement .

A little back history on my love of food..I was fortunate to have grown up in a time where the kitchen and gathering together for meals was an important daily activity. We prepared a well rounded variety of styles of cooking from around the globe. We grew some veggies, herbs, scratched baked everything,made our own sauces and jams,etc. My grandmother had me washing rice and helping prepare meals ever since I can remember. Fresh as can be (luckily Grandma worked for a major Produce vendor) was Grandma’s way. Watching Julia Child, the Galloping Gourmet and Jacque Pepin were my visual  food influencers as well.

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