Morel Polenta Tartlets

A lot of great things have happened over the past few months and our new little guy Xander has kept me very busy.  Now that I am better adjusted to motherhood I am back and ready to write.

To my delight, I found myself in Portland Oregon (somewhat) recently for a work dinner. I had heard so much about the farmer’s market and how beautiful it was, so it was my first priority and our first stop for grocery shopping.  Mountains of mushrooms-morels, hen of the woods, shitakes and low and behold truffles! Yes, Oregon is now growing truffles- super affordable ones too. I went straight for the morels, selecting the smallest ones for the mini polenta cakes with a morel gravy that I was serving as an hors d’oeurves course.

There were so many other highlights-the rhubarb was piled high streaked with a deep magenta, and hazelnuts-my new favorite nut. We were in hazelnut heaven it turns out. Freddie Guy is at the market and I scored some hazelnut oil as well as bags of beautiful pre-blanched crunchy hazelnuts. (You can order them online, which I will be doing in the near future)

There were other Portland highlights beyond the farmer’s market. Continue reading “Morel Polenta Tartlets”

Creamy Corn Soup with Coconut Milk

This month I’m doing cooking demos at the New York Botanical Gardens in a series sponsored by Growing Chefs. All of my recipes are seasonal, market and garden fresh. I’m keeping the dishes simple to create so that no matter what age or cooking expertise, you can enjoy the recipes. The kitchen is beautiful and well equipped at the Conservatory Kitchen and there’s a slew of other exciting culinary guests on the schedule to check out.

The first week I made Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame dressing, last week was a Basil Pesto Pasta Salad. Here is a preview for this week’s recipe, my personal favorite of the series. It’s a refreshing summer soup that I created without any dairy at all. The corn and coconut milk come together to create a creamy silky texture that you’ll never even miss cream or butter. I was only aiming to complement the sweetness of the corn with a few simple flavors. We’ve been hit with a heat wave in New york City, so the quicker the cook time the better. I skipped making a stock with the cobbs and went for any shortcuts I could find. Continue reading “Creamy Corn Soup with Coconut Milk”