Category Archives: Savory

Corn Cob Jam + Rustic Drop Biscuits

As like many of you fellow food bloggers, my television is almost always on either the Food Network or the Travel Channel and lately I have been hooked on Andrew Zimmern’s show, Bizarre Foods America. Some of the dishes he eats on this show are repulsive; however, there are a lot of great traditional recipes that may have been unknown or have gone forgotten – corncob jam being one of them.

I love making jams and jellies but I usually only get around to doing this once or so a year. Now, I have never before had corncob jam but many say it has a sweet honey like flavor to it, and I love honey, so I thought I would give it a try.

The process is surprisingly simpler than making a traditional jam with fruit and just as sweet. There is almost a buttery aspect to the jam, the sugar brings out the sweetness of the corn yet maintains the heartiness of the vegetable. Knowing I was going to need a vessel for this jam, I whipped up a quick, and I mean quick, batch of drop biscuits.


A hot drop biscuit with a little butter and corncob jam for breakfast overwhelms your body with this warm country sensation unlike any other. So next time you are about to throw those corncobs in the garbage, throw them in a pot of water first … there is a few jars of delicious jam ahead.

Corn Cob Jam
Inspired by an episode of Bizarre Foods

8 Ears of Corn
2 Quarts of Water
¼ Cup of Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
4 Cups of Granulated Sugar
1 Box of Pectin

Method

Start by bringing the water to a rapid boil in a large stockpot. After shucking the husks and removing the kernals, place the cobs in the boiling water. Let the cobs boil for about an hour. Strain the corn-infused water through cheesecloth to remove any corn remnants and place the corn “juice” back into the pot. Combine the lemon juice with the corn “juice” and begin to simmer.

In a separate bowl combine the sugar with the pectin followed by transferring the pectin sugar into the corn juice and bring to a rapid boil. Once the mixture has begun to boil add in the remaining sugar and continue to boil for 1 – 2 more minutes, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat. Handle the corncob jam as you would any other jam and individually jar them.

Rustic Drop Biscuits
Inspired by Abigail Chipley from Real Simple
Makes about a dozen biscuits

2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
2 ½ Teaspoons of Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
½ Cup of Unsalted Butter, chilled
1 Cup of Milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 450°F

Using a stand mixer combine the dry ingredients and lightly mix. Add the chilled butter and allow the paddle mixer to cut through the butter until a sandy texture has formed. Slowly stream in the milk until sticky dough forms.

Using your clean hands, scoop out about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and drop it on a greased baking sheet. Continue until all the dough has been used. Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the bottoms have become a nice golden brown.

S H A R E - I T|T W E E T - I T|P I N - I T
March 7, 2012 - 11:03 pm

Christy - I can say first hand or should I say first mouth the corn cob jam is out of this world! Biting into the biscuit with the jam is so yummy! Great to taste odd combinations work so well together! You have done it again!

March 6, 2012 - 12:37 am

Simply Life - Oh these biscuits look like they have the perfect texture and consistency- wish I could eat one now!

March 3, 2012 - 4:08 pm

MaryZ - When it’s corn season again, I will definitely be trying this jam. I love how pretty the color looks. Can’t wait to taste it! Thanks for sharing :)

March 3, 2012 - 1:48 pm

sarah - I can’t wait for Summer now! The jam looks awesome, thanks!

March 3, 2012 - 5:42 am

susan - wow – I am in awe of you and your art! I will be back again, and again!

March 2, 2012 - 7:41 pm

sweet road - What a great idea! Corn is sweet, why not use it that way? It’s an unexpected ingredient to base a jam on, but in reality it sounds so good!

Arugala Mint Salad with Spicy Pepitas + Candied Red Chard Croutons

My kitchen is my playground and it always amazes me the things that arise when you just start playing around in the kitchen. I was in the mood for a light lunch yet was eager to play around in the kitchen a bit so what started out as a light and simple salad became more like a complex one.

The flavors are still light and refreshing, no doubt, but it is definitely a hands on salad. I have been loving the idea of transforming one thing into another, which is how these Red Chard Croutons came about, and you know what? They are surprisingly refreshing and sweet but not too overpowering. The sweet candy coating adds a bit of a crunch and fresh aspect like that of bitter citrus.

I started to add a little heat and little sweet constantly balancing out each flavor profile; hence the Spicy Pepitas and Candied Red Chard Croutons. I feel that 90% of the time, balancing flavors will usually result in a beautiful dish. I always recommend playing around with recipes and never following them exactly and I still cannot stress this.

Arugala Mint Salad
1 Cup of fresh Arugala, chopped
1 Cup of fresh Red Chard leaves, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh Mint, thinly chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
Spicy Pepitas
Candied Red Chard Croutons
Filo Dough Discs

Savora Champagne Vinaigrette

Method

Assemble the salad by combining the greens making sure everything is thoroughly washed. Toss the greens along with the apples in the Savora Champagne Vinaigrette followed by a sprinkle of the Spicy Pepitas on top. Garnish with a Filo Dough disc (I just cut out a circle of Filo Dough and baked them for 5 minutes) and some Red Chard Croutons.

Spicy Pepitas
1 Cup of Pepitas
½ Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly cracked
½ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder
½ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

Method

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss until evenly coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 – 6 minutes or until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.

Candied Red Chard Croutons
2 Stalks of Red Chard, chopped
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Sugar

Method

Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan until it begins to rapidly boil. Using a candy thermometer, wait for the temperature to rise to about 245°F. Once the temperature has hit the soft crack stage add in the chopped red chard stalks and reduce heat. Let the pot simmer for about an hour. Remove red chard “croutons” and place on a drying sheet. Sprinkle with a light dusting of sugar and garnish.

Savora Champagne Vinaigrette
½ Cup of Olive Oil
¼ Cup of Champagne
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
½ Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly cracked
2 Tablespoons of Savora Mustard

Method

In a glass bowl whisk together the olive oil, champagne and lemon juice. Continuing to whisk, add in the remaining ingredients. Store chilled in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

S H A R E - I T|T W E E T - I T|P I N - I T
March 6, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Julia - I am a big chard lover lately and that does sound like an interesting dish…candied chard…have to try it!

March 1, 2012 - 2:01 am

Ambika - Such a fresh salad! Love the feel of your photos!

February 29, 2012 - 6:14 am

Jackie @ Marin mama cooks - Hi Kimber. I love the looks of this salad and there are so many amazing components to it. I’m definately going to have to give this recipe a try. Your photography is amazing! Wow is all I can say!

Spinach Pasta + Citrus Brown Butter

 

Believe it or not I had yet to make pasta from scratch. This is something I had been dying to try since I can remember and after I saw Giada De Laurentiis’ episode on making fresh pasta I thought to myself “Hey, that doesn’t look too hard.” So the other day I gave it a shot and you know what? It really is not that hard. If you have the time, I highly recommend making fresh pasta over throwing prepackage pasta into hot water (not that there is anything wrong with that!) The flavors you get from fresh pasta are worth the time alone. The heartiness and richness from the eggs and semolina flour is something unmatched by prepackaged pasta.

I had fun finding new flavors to incorporate into my pasta; I played around with spinach, tomato and saffron – all three were amazing. For the complete dish I decided to keep it simple using the spinach pasta. I wanted to play up the flavors yet showcase the main ingredient. To keep it light (because we all know how heavy pasta can be) I went with a light browned butter sauce and a hint of citrus to lighten it up. The overall concoction was surprisingly light, refreshing and filling. Like I always say, take a recipe and be inspired – there is never a need to follow a recipe exactly. If you don’t like salt then use pepper, if you don’t like spinach use something else that tickles your fancy – you may just surprise yourself with a wonderful new treat.

Spinach Pasta Dough
Inspired by CyberCucina 

2 Cups of Spinach, fresh
½ Cup of All Purpose Flour
¼ Semolina Flour
1 Egg
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Method

Begin by cooking down the spinach in a saucepan over a medium flame. Cook for about 2 minutes or until all of the spinach leaves have completely wilted and reduced. Remove the spinach from the pan and squeeze them between a towel to remove any excess water. Place the spinach in a food processor and purée. Make sure to leave the food processor running long enough to get every bit of the spinach leaves – the smoother the purée the smoother the pasta.

Using the mixture of both the All-Purpose Flour and the Semolina Flour, create a mound in the middle of a clean working surface. Make a well in the center of the mound and crack the egg into the well. Add the spinach purée, salt and olive oil into the well and using a fork carefully begin the mix the spinach and egg mixture slowly combining the flour – a little bit at a time. Continue mixing until nice dough begins to form.

Once you can no longer mix with the fork, use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Dust the work surface with a little more flour and begin to knead the dough ball until it is smooth – about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough ball into a bowl and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes. Once the dough has rested, roll out the pasta dough and cut into your desired pasta formation. For this recipe, I cut the pasta dough into fettuccine noodles.Once the pasta has been cut, either boil in hot salted water for 4 to 6 minutes or hang to dry until later use.

Citrus Brown Butter Sauce

½ Cup of Unsalted Butter
1 Garlic Clove, minced
3 Tablespoons of Grapefruit Juice, freshly Squeezed
Salt and Pepper

Method

In a medium skillet, cook the garlic over a medium heat until highly fragrant. Add in the butter and reduce heat until the butter has completely melted. Continue to cook until the top of the butter liquid has just turned to a golden shade and remove from heat.

Transfer the butter mixture to a glass bowl and whisk in the grapefruit juice – season with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve warm over noodles and garnish with cheese of your choice. For this dish I used thinly shaved Sharp Irish White Cheddar and it was amazing!

S H A R E - I T|T W E E T - I T|P I N - I T

Lazy Day + Greek Breakfast Strudels

 

I must admit I have been enjoying my slow mornings lately. There is just something about starting the day off with absolutely no sense of urgency; it creates a calmness that stays with you the entire day. If you have the chance to rid yourself of all urgencies, I highly recommend it.

It is amazing the places you will find if you take the time to look around. I have always been so busy, whether I was coming or going, I rarely took the time to enjoy, experience or explore. Like many of you, work and life often times consumes me and I find myself daydreaming of the life I would have if I lived in New York, Paris or even the South. I would imagine spending my days browsing vintage stores, sipping tea at local Parisian cafés or perusing the local farmer’s markets. It is odd that I never thought to myself, until recently, “What is stopping me from doing this here and now?” The other day, I came to my realization and have decided to start living my dream life now. After all, I do live in Southern California and all of these wishes of mine are easily accessible here.

I finally realized that living in New York, Paris or the South has nothing to do with the relaxed lifestyle I craved; I have been physically able to accomplish this all along. It is just that I have always had a sense of urgency to keep going which hindered my ability to slow down. I now am able to stop for a minute, take a deep breath, and release my body of any sense of urgency I feel. I do not mean running late, cancelling appointments, or tuning out the world but creating positive space. I can assure you that the minute you detach yourself from any unnecessary urgency you create space to breathe and are able to truly relax.

Anyways, enough with my spiritual babbling . . . I took the other day to begin my whole “enjoy – experience – explore” philosophy and had quite a good time. I spent the morning with family whipping up a great new brunch item I stumbled upon; breakfast strudels. I found this great recipe on Cuisine at Home and ran with it. Because of my love for traveling, I tend to incorporate some sort of ethnic infusion in many of my dishes and apparently I was in a Greek mood. Nevertheless, it turned out very scrumptious. This is a great basic recipe; you really can add anything to it. I mean honestly, scrambled eggs inside a puff pastry?

I joined my dear friend of over 13 years, Casey, for a relaxing cup of tea at the quaint Yellow Vase Café. We spent an hour or so reminiscing about the past and chatting about the future. She too, is on this kick about releasing unnecessary urgencies and we made one pot of tea last for hours.

The day was also spent paying a very overdue visit to Nikki, a new mama and friend of mine. It is saddening to see how time can separate friendships. I spent a late afternoon with her and her newborn son, Logan. Seeing new life can add such a perspective to your own.

Exhausted from the day, I felt extremely fulfilled. I filled 20-some odd hours of my day spending it with people I love and care about. Many of us do not do this as often as we should. Like I said, if you get the chance I highly recommend you jumping at the opportunity. But if the opportunity does not present itself to you, present yourself to the opportunity – after all life is awfully short.

GREEK BREAKFAST STRUDEL
Inspired by Cuisine at Home
Makes 2 Personal-sized Strudels

6 Eggs, whisked
1 Tablespoon Grape Seed Oil
¼ Onion, chopped
2 Cups of Spinach, fresh
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
½ Ounce of Kalamata Olives
2 Ounces of Cream Cheese, thawed
¼ Cup of Feta Cheese, crumbled
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper

1 Sheet of Puff Pastry Dough, thawed

1 Egg
1 Tablespoon of Water

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a large skillet, heat the grape seed oil over a medium flame and cook the onions until translucent; about 5 minutes. Add in the spinach and minced garlic and keep over a medium flame until the spinach has reduced and wilted.

Add the whisked eggs and olives to the skillet and cook until the eggs have set. Stir occasionally to prevent the eggs from burning and to allow even cooking; season with salt and pepper.

Remove the skillet from the heat; stir in the thawed cream cheese and mix well. Transfer the egg mixture to the fridge and allow it cool while prepping the pastry dough.

Using a baking sheet lined, preferably, with a Silpat, roll out the puff pastry dough and cut it in half, so you have two individual pastry sheets approximately 12” wide by 5” high.

Place half of chilled egg mixture into the center of the pastry dough leaving a 1-inch margin on the top and bottom and a 3-inch margin on both the left and right sides of the filling sprinkle the feta cheese on top of the filling. Repeat with the second pastry dough.

Slice the left and right margins into ½-inch strips at about a 45° angle. Fold the top left strip across followed by the top right strip across continuing in this fashion and creating a “braided” look.

Once all the strips have been “braided” mix 1 egg with water and give the pastry a quick brush with the egg wash; bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the pastries have reached a nice golden brown.

Serve warm.

S H A R E - I T|T W E E T - I T|P I N - I T
February 28, 2012 - 4:55 pm

PrudiCae - Kimber is a special young lady to our extended family. ‘Enjoyed talking about this photo shoot over her French onion soup at Red Robin recently. She enjoys and shoots creatively photos of children, models, food, outdoors, animals … you name it. Great job … Kimber. ‘Like your layout and complementing swatches of color around the top photos. :) You did it again! :) :)

People will keep coming back to your site because of your talent!

January 24, 2012 - 4:39 am

ASHLEA - Hi Kimber, I am so glad you left a comment because I love your blog! Your pictures are beautiful and I love the style. Will definitely be back soon and often!

January 23, 2012 - 7:05 pm

NicoleD - This is a beautiful post. It is so easy to fantasize about a Parisian/New York life, but you’re right, life is what you make of it!

This streudel looks so incredible!! Just gorgeous.

January 23, 2012 - 6:39 pm

KimberHills - Hi Dana, and what a beautiful blog you have as well. Thanks for the love!

January 23, 2012 - 6:30 pm

Dana - What a beautiful site! I’m so glad you stopped by mine so I could find you. Keep up the good work!

January 23, 2012 - 5:53 pm

KimberHills - @Kathy I bet living in the country side would also have that same serene affect, but I promise you that you can achieve that feeling wherever you are!

@Kitchen Belleicious Thank you!

January 23, 2012 - 2:30 pm

Kitchen Belleicious - OMG! Really? the danish is amazingly beautiful and delicious looking!

January 21, 2012 - 11:20 pm

Kathy - I’ve heard that living in the country side makes life seem more calm, serene, and last longer. Although, this was only something I’ve heard from a language arts teacher (who has lived in both the city and country). I love your photos, and it sure is great to stop and just visit old friends.

http://daily-iphoneography.posterous.com

Apple Sausage + Rosemary Potatoes

I have been on the hunt for a hearty recipe and I have been scouring my cookbooks, magazines, and even old newspapers. (Side note: I was at the gym the other morning on the treadmill reading a cookbook! I am sure my fellow gym go – ers thought I was nuts!) Anyways, the reason behind this; my boyfriend thinks most of recipes are not “manly” enough. So going off of that advice, I started with the man-basics: meat and potatoes. What is manlier than meat and potatoes, right?

After rummaging through my old cookbooks, I fell in love with the idea of apples and sausage. The tartness of the apples paired with the heartiness of the sausage not only creates a manly meal but plays upon the notes of autumn as well; which I am all about these days. Of course, spices are a must – yet, I decided to keep it simple by using one strong aromatic. The simple combination works beautifully. Each ingredient is perfectly married to the next and works together as a whole creating a simple yet hearty autumn-inspired dish.

APPLE SAUSAGE + ROSEMARY POTATOES

1 ½ Pounds of Smoked Chicken Sausage, pierced with a fork
1 ½ Pounds of Small Potatoes, quartered
2 Red Delicious Apples, quartered
1 Tablespoon of Rosemary Leaves, fresh
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Black Pepper, freshly cracked
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.

On a rimmed baking sheet, scatter the sausage, potatoes, and apples. Drizzle olive oil and carefully toss to coat the ingredients. Give a generous dusting of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, followed by a sprinkle of the loose rosemary leaves. Try to keep all of the ingredients spread throughout the baking sheet to create an even layer.

Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing the ingredients occasionally to prevent burning. Once the sausage has browned and the potatoes have become tender, slice the sausages crosswise and serve warm.

 

S H A R E - I T|T W E E T - I T|P I N - I T
November 11, 2011 - 4:35 pm

Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen - I love the rustic simplicity of this recipe! Perfect for autumn.

November 2, 2011 - 1:16 pm

Kitchen Belleicious - I think if my husband could eat sausage everyday for every meal he would. Seriously a sausage freak and this apple sausage sounds divine plus the potatoes- like the perfect dish for my man

Heirloom Tomato + Balsamic Onion Tarts

With all these autumn-inspired recipes floating around I nabbed quite a few ideas to say the least. I have been so busy gawking over the deliciousness that is autumn that I have almost forgot to enjoy the beginning of the season. This past weekend was a much needed “lazy weekend”. We overnight’d a bushel ofMarylandblue crab (are you seeing an obsession here?) and just hung around the house. Saturday was so relaxing, the mix of my Italian music in the kitchen, the random hoot and hollers from the football game in the living room and the cool breeze from outside really made me stop and enjoy the moment.

Seeing as how football was on, and both of us were too lazy to go out to pick up something for lunch, I browsed what we had in the fridge and pantry. Luckily, I had some leftover puff pastry so I was able to whip up a little something to grub on. Let’s face it, anything could be wrapped up in puff pastry and taste delicious, but being in the Italian mood I was in, I grabbed some tomatoes and onions.

These easy-to-bake little noshes are great for those hungry boys all crowded around the TV flipping back and forth between games; or, if you are like my boyfriend with the DirectTV NFL package, you can watch all 8 games at once. Either way, when you are in the mood for some delicious autumn food and do not feel like baking beans upon cheese upon fried cheese, try this snack out. I bet it will win over the stomachs of just about any fan.

Heirloom Tomato + Balsamic Onion Tarts

1 Sheet of Puff Pastry
1 Small Onion, chopped
1 Large Heirloom Tomato, sliced
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
Balsamic Vinegar
Basil Leaves, finely chopped
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Egg White
Butter

Preheat the oven to 350۠°F.

On a flour dusted surface, roll out the pastry dough and cut into circles about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. You can use a cookie cutter if you have one but I used a large cup as my guide. Score a smaller circle about 1 inch in from the edge. Brush the pastries with a light coating of egg white and place them on a buttered pan.

In a small pan, sauté the onion in a dab of olive oil over a low flame. Once the onions have become translucent add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar followed by the sugar. Continue to sauté until the vinegar scent dissipates.

Place the caramelized onions in the middle of the pastry. Top with the sliced tomatoes and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry has risen and achieved a nice golden color.

Dust with parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of basil. Serve warm.

S H A R E - I T|T W E E T - I T|P I N - I T
October 24, 2011 - 8:39 pm

Lauren at Keep It Sweet - These tarts are gorgeous and I be they taste amazing!

September 29, 2011 - 2:23 am

Chanty @ Tiniest Kitchen - This looks amazing!! Can’t wait to try it….

September 28, 2011 - 12:20 pm

Kitchen Belleicious - I made something so similar last week ( will post next week) but honestly yours look so much better. You just have that idea for photos and you make everything look so fantastic! I wish you lived by me so you could take my pictures for me. The tart looks amazing- love tomatoes and balsamic together.

September 28, 2011 - 7:07 am

Lindsey@Lindselicious - OMG these are super cute!! I love anything with puff pastry.

September 28, 2011 - 1:24 am

Vindya Narsian - Wowie ..this sure sounds interesting. Love that it is almost no fuss
Buzzed ya !!!
~Vindya

September 27, 2011 - 8:12 pm

Liz @ Southern Charm - Oh wow! This looks amazing! How perfect for fall! And heirloom tomatoes? Music to my ears :) I will def try this out and soon! Great post.