The Esalen Cookbook inspired these delicious vegetarian fritters. Esalen Institute is a fantastic place on the West coast that has incredible everything- including a fantastic kitchen. One day I hope to visit there. Until then I’ll peruse the beautiful cookbook, make these amazing fritters-meditate and visualize myself soaking in the healing waters while looking up at the stars.
I was given an exciting gift at the end of testing the recipes for these chard cakes, and that was an accidental omelette!
The first recipe I tried was directly from the Esalen Cookbook, It doesn’t call for flour or buttermilk, only eggs, a little bit of water and some salt. Super simple, but a “runny” batter. Once I finished cooking the first batch I had a decent amount of egg mixture with tiny bits of chard and onion left in the bowl. I decided just to toss it into the pan and make a little egg treat for the dogs. I ended up not sharing it at all! It was delicious! An inspiration to make thin, delicious omelettes on purpose for brunch! Perhaps right along with the chard cakes.
Below is the second recipe I tested. I combed through the web and found Heather Hardcastle’s blog with her take on these famous cakes. I followed her lead on the flour and buttermilk to hold things together. I think it worked out more to my liking. Of course, if you were gluten intolerant you could use a GF flour. Try out this yummy recipe!
1/2 cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup flour (your choice)
½ medium-sized onion
½ pound Swiss chard washed and patted dry with paper towel
Sesame oil for frying
In a large bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk salt and water. Beat with a whisk or fork until light and fluffy. Add the flour to the liquids and mix well.
Cut the onion into small half-moon slices.
Cut stems from the leaves of the chard and slices the chard leaves into fine ribbons.
Add the chard and onion to the batter/binder and mix to coat.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and, with a large spoon, scoop up the egg and veggie mixture and drop into the pan.
Cook until golden brown about 3 minutes; carefully turn with a spatula and brown the other side.
Serve with Dill & Horseradish Sour Cream
Dill and Horseradish Sour Cream
½cup sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh dill
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Mix the sour cream with the milk and horseradish to a smooth sauce-like consistency. Then add the dill.
Serve over Chard Cakes.
If you make this soon, it will be ready for your holiday cookies (and gifts!) It’s so easy, and so worth the wait. I just packed this one up for a friend so it seemed appropriate to mention it to you here again. Simply add the beans to the vodka, put in in the dark and shake it every once in a while. After a few months you have something really special. Buy a gallon of vodka while you’re out, and order the vanilla beans from Amazon now. Once they arrive it will take you 5 minutes. The original post is here. Make this awesomeness happen.
Lately most of the things I venture to cook in my tiny San Antonio kitchen never get talked about here. The oven is quick to go from almost ready to almost burned. And I have yet to find a nice “go-to” spot for taking pictures of what might be interesting. But I keep trying. For instance, yesterday while making ricotta I dumped a quart of warm whey on myself, the rug, and most of the cabinets. I bumped it while putting away dishes so I could wash dishes. (One counter top. A tiny 24″ of counter space.) It was a sad wet mess. There will be laundry!
I cheered up quickly because the cheese was delicious! I couldn’t wait for it to drain overnight, so after I cleaned up the floor I had some. Still warm, the creamy cheese sat on top of the most delicious easy little bread. I toasted the super grainy bread in the oven- I was recreating an herby tomato water, red wine vinaigrette. The whole dish was inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetit. I knew I would make my own version. It was yummy! Ripe tomatoes with fresh dill and basil go a long way these summer months.
And I’ll have the house-made ricotta on fresh bread whenever possible!
P.S. You can always pop over to my Facebook page, I will often post a photo there even if it never sees the blog.
The winner of this “bread off” is: (click play)
It’s the easiest cooking liquid ever. It’s tasty and briny-earthy. It’s not pretty but considering the process it’s one of those miracles that make me love cooking. Lush and simple. It’s liquid umani- not vegetarian, but not too intense. Dried skipper-jack shavings (bonito) and seaweed (kombu) broth. It’s a new flavor profile around here so it must be eased into the menu. With so many health benefits and the easy peasy intensity adjustments (just add water) it’s worth a close look. There are vegetarian versions with seaweed and dried mushroom broth. Easy. Believe me, it’s on the list!
Yesterday, it was cold outside and the broth made it warm and soupy inside. The steamy kitchen intensified the unfamiliar smell of the ocean in the house. The process went over quite well with the canine crew. They apparently already knew about bonito! I am fascinated with these ingredients, so curious to taste them!
Here’s what you do: Wipe the dry seaweed gently with a damp cloth. Bring some filtered water in a stock pot and soak the seaweed for a few hours at room temperature. Remove scum from the surface as it forms. After a while, bring the water and sea veg to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and remove kombu. Reserve seaweed. Skim any scum. It tastes like it sounds.
Bring the skimmed seaweed broth up to a simmer and add the bonito flakes. Stir to incorporate them. When the bonito comes to a boil reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow fish to steep for 15 minutes. Remove any scum that forms on the surface. Pour broth thru a fine sieve lined with cheese cloth. Don’t squeeze the bonito. Tie the cheese cloth into a bundle. Use your bundle to make a second batch with the cheese cloth “tea bag” of bonito and the same seaweed from the first soak. The second soak is delicate and light. I can’t imagine a better go-to broth than this. It comes together quickly and is much more than the sum of its parts. Keep it in the fridge a few days. Freeze your leftovers. One day you might need magic in a hurry!
I am trying to think what I can’t do with it!!