TruePlayerFlavor TruePlayerStyle presents recipes and resources to kill it in the kitchen

12Jan/14Off

Butternut Squash and Spinach Gratin

This amazing side is based on an original recipe on epicurious and is a fantastic pair for cold weather comfort food!

3 (10-ounce) packages frozen leaf spinach, thawed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves minced or crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon freshly nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
2 large butternut squash - peeled, quartered, and seeded
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Squeeze thawed frozen spinach in small handfuls to remove excess moisture, then coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, then cook onion and garlic for 3-5 min stirring periodically. Add onion mixture to spinach along with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cream and stir to combine.

Cut squash to separate bulb section the straight neck section, then cut pieces in long strips into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Take good care as butternut squash is awkward and easy to cut yourself.

Layer squash and spinach mixture in baking dish 13 x 9, using about 1/5 of squash and 1/4 of spinach for each layer, beginning and ending with squash. Sprinkle top layer of squash evenly with cheese and add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then cover directly with wax paper. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until squash is tender and filling is bubbling. Uncover and bake gratin another 10-15 min until browned slightly.

20Mar/12Off

Butter Lettuce and Avocado Salad

1 Cup of sliced red onion (slice very thin)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Pinch of salt
1 Pinch of black pepper
3 Cups of butter lettuce
1 Avocado sliced

Mix the red onion, salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice in a bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Add Lettuce and avocado and toss gently so the dressing is evenly distributed.

Butter Lettuce and Avocado Salad

Butter Lettuce and Avocado Salad

5Feb/12Off

Ginger Stir-Fried Tofu with Kale and Carrots

We adapted this recipe from a recommendation in the NY Times, and one important point is that kale is a great choice for stir-fry because it retains its texture.

1 Bunch (about 10 oz) kale stemmed and washed
1 14 Oz package of firm tofu, sliced about 1/4 thick in the shape of dominos
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar
1/4 of chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tsp of corn starch
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp ground pepper (white if you have it)
1/4 Tsp of sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil (canola and peanut oil work as well)
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
1 Tbsp of minced ginger
1/4 Cup of carrots cut into 2 inch julienned
1 Tsp of House of Tsang Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce

Bring a medium sauce pan to a boil (lightly salted). Add the kale and blanch one minute. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set up in a bowl near your wok.

Lay the slices of tofu flat on a paper towel and cover with another layer of paper towel.

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, stir fry sauce, rice wine vinegar, stock and corn starch. Combine the salt, pepper and sugar in another small bowl. Have both bowls in arms reach of the wok.

Heat a 14-inch wok or a 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately when added. Swirl in the oil at this point, coating the lower sides of the pan and swirling the pan to coat the bottom then add the tofu. Stir-fry for one to two minutes and/or until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for no more than 10-15 seconds. Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the kale, salt pepper and sugar and then toss together. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat, and serve with noodles or rice. For this meal we went with a basic brown rice.

Another note from the original recipe is that blanched kale can keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

8Nov/11Off

Tomato Bruschetta

1 Lb tomatoes
2 Cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
6-8 Fresh basil leaves for garnish
1 Pinch red chile peppers
4 Tbsp oregano
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6-8 Slices of country bread (sliced not too thin)
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp vinegar

Cut tomatoes in 2, core and clean by removing seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes into very small pieces and transfer into a colander and sprinkle with some salt (this will help draw out excess moisture). After 20 minutes or so, transfer to a bowl and add the garlic, basil, oregano, red chili peppers, olive oil and a drop of wine vinegar. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for another 30-60 minutes. Toast the bread just before serving. Arrange the bread on individual plates, top with the tomato and garnish with a whole basil leaf and serve immediately.

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

7Jul/11Off

Mixed Berry Crumble

2/3 Cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 Cups fresh combination of mixed berries, we used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
3/4 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 Tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the crust we were bought a pre-made crust in a pan. To prepare we filled the pre-made crust with black-eyed peas on a layer of parchment backed aluminum foil to keep the shape of the crust while backing the dough.

Filling and Topping:

Whisk 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add berry combination and lemon juice; toss to coat and evenly distribute. Let filling stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until berries release their juices, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter; mix ingredients with fingertips to blend.

Pour/spoon berry filling into crust, then sprinkle topping over. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and topping is browning/golden, about 75 minutes. After about 30 minutes we checked in 15 minute increments to ensure the crust wasn't burning or the mixture bubbling over. Consider lining your oven bottom or using a cookie sheet to protect against drippings/burning.

12Aug/10Off

Toasted Orzo with Peas and Mint

This recipe is adapted from a recipe courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

We're in the spirit to celebrate Summer in hopes of inspiring the sun to appear in San Francisco and burn off the marine layer! The following recipe for Toasted Orzo with Peas and Mint jumped off the page when we flipped through America's Test Kitchen and now it is a house favorite! Really easy and really good. Give it a shot and see for yourself!

2/3 Cup Orzo
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 Cup onion, diced
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 Cup water
1/3 Cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tsp grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt and pepper

Toast the orzo in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Be sure to keep a close eye on the orzo as it toasts because it may take a moment to get going, but like anything else, once it starts browning get ready to pull the orzo off the heat before you burn the pasta!

Add the toasted orzo, broth, and water to the skillet; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring every few minutes (but not too frequently or it will turn into mush) until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender. All told it should take roughly 15 minutes.

Stir in peas, mint, lemon juice and zest and ensure the peas are heated through (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve.

9Jul/100

Puff Pastry Tart with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

1 Box of frozen puff pastry
2 Heirloom tomatoes sliced into bite sized sections or 1 basket or grape/cherry tomatoes halved (your choice)
1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped or Pressed
1/4 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Quarter Cup of Fresh Basil, Minced
1 Container of crumbled goat cheese (fresh is fine but we think it can be harder to spread)

Combine ingredients from tomatoes to basil in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Defrost puff pastry as instructed on the box. Lay out pastry and cut into even squares leaving one section to cut into 1/4 inch strips for edges. Lay 1/4 strips along the border on each side of the chart. Brush the raised edges of each puff pastry tart with egg-wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp of water). Bake tarts for 20-22 minutes and remove from oven. Use fork to gently poke holes and deflate the center of the tart.

Layer goat cheese in the center of each tart (roughly 1-2 Tbsp, or to taste). Spoon tomato mixture on top of cheese and place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and enjoy!

19May/100

Papaya-Avocado Salad with Papaya Seed Dressing

This recipe is adapted from an recipe originally seen in "Big Small Plate" by Cindy Pawlcyn with Pablo and Erasto Jacinto

1 Pound Mexican papaya
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tsp sweet paprika
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp toasted ground cumin seeds
2/3 Cup olive oil
1 Tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Cups of spinach
2 Avocados, pits removed and skin removed, sliced
2 Tbsp toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Cut the papaya in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds, reserving 2 Tbsp for dressing. Cut the papaya halves into quarters. Now, carefully, hold fruit firmly to a cutting board and run a thin knife between the fruit and skin to separate. As always, take care to NOT cut towards yourself. Now cut the fruit on the short side and create 1/2 in thick slices and refrigerate.

Place the papaya seeds, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, paprika, salt and cumin in a blender. Blend and slowly add the olive oil, until smooth.

Either using one large serving dish or individual salad plates, and lay a bed of spinach as a base on the plate or plates. Dress the greens with a few Tsp of the dressing. Build the salad by alternating slices of papaya and avocado across the greens. When complete sprinkle the salad with some toasted nuts, drizzle with some additional dressing and freshly ground black pepper. Place remaining dressing on the table for service.

30Apr/100

Tortilla Espanola

1 Medium yellow or white onion
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Lb of potatoes, preferably russet potatoes (roughly 2-3 potatoes)
1 Tsp of kosher salt
1 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tsp of smoked paprika
4 Large eggs
2 Cups of olive oil for pan frying
1 Large plate for help flipping

Peel potatoes and slice thinly making sure to be uniform to ensure potatoes cook evenly. In medium to large frying pan heat olive oil to medium-high heat. If you are unsure, try dropping a single piece of potato in the oil and see if the oil is hot enough to fry. Once the oil is hot enough, place the potato evenly in the oil making sure the oil almost covers the potatoes. Here is a brief video that shows our potatoes frying in the oil. If you are using a medium sized pan, you may have to cook the potatoes in shifts; once the potatoes become soft you can remove them and place them on a paper towel to drain and season with smoked paprika. While the potatoes are cooking you can slice up the onion in to 1/4 inch pieces and also prepare the garlic by mincing. Once the potatoes are done use the remaining oil to cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, when ready remove the onion and garlic and spread across your potatoes. It is important to let the potatoes, onion and garlic mixture to cool so that the ingredients can be mixed with the egg without cooking the egg mixture.

Next remove the excess oil from the pan, but make sure you still have a nice coat on the bottom to prevent the egg mixture from sticking. Heat the pan to a medium-high temperature to help prevent the egg mixture from sticking to the pan. In a bowl, crack the eggs and scramble adding salt and pepper. Place the potato, onion and garlic mixture in to the pan using a spatula to spread out the mixture and try to eliminate any air space between the slices, quickly pour the eggs into the pan and fry the tortilla for about 3-4 minutes lowering the heat slightly. Periodically shake the pan and/or use a spatula to make sure the tortilla is not stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan. When you are ready to flip, use the large plate you have set aside and lay it upside down over the top of your pan. Make sure everything fits and place your palm on the center of the plate and your other hand on the handle of the frying pan. Quickly invert the pan and the tortilla should come right out. Now return the pan to the heat and slide the tortilla off of the plate and back into the pan to finish cooking for another 3 - 4 minutes. If you had any potatoes come loose in the flip, just lift the tortilla and slide them underneath as the loose eggs will pull them back into form as it cooks. Remove the pan from the heat and let the tortilla rest for a few minutes before removing from the pan.

Prepare sliced baguette to accompany the tortilla presentation.

25Apr/100

Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry with Udon Noodles

1 19 Oz Package of firm tofu
1 Package of udon noodles
1 Cup snow peas
1 Cup of broccoli florets
1 Cup of bean sprouts (white)
1/2 Cup sliced zucchini
1/2 Cup sliced Italian squash
1/4 Cup white onion
1/2 Cup of stir-fry sauce, preferably Spicy Szechuan if you want to heat things up!
2 Tbsp of peanut oil

Heat peanut oil in the bottom of a medium to large wok. We usually use 3/4 of the 19 Oz package of tofu, it is really personal preference add as much as you like! Cut tofu into roughly 1/2 inch cubes and - when the oil gets hot - add tofu to the wok (take care to not splash oil). Cook tofu for about two minutes and then add vegetables, stirring all ingredients together. Continue to stir and slowly add stir fry sauce making sure to coat everything evenly. Cover wok using a wok cover or a regular pasta/soup pot cover to create some steam that will cook the vegetables, cook with cover on for about 3 minutes. Temporarily transfer the contents of the wok to a bowl and add peanut oil to the wok and prepare to heat the udon noodles by removing from the package and separating the strands as best as possible without breaking. Add noodles to the wok and cook on a medium-high temperature for 1 min; add additional stir fry sauce to noodles if desired. Once the noodles are warm, add the original ingredients back to the wok and stir everything together thoroughly. Heat all ingredients together for a few minutes and your are ready to serve.

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