Season’s Best Recipes

These recipes spotlight seasonal produce of our beautiful Garden State and work of the chefs, restaurateurs and home cooks of the region.

For a fast dinner, think chard

September 15, 2014

Blanching the chopped stems to give them a head start on cooking.

Blanching the chopped stems to give them a head start on cooking.


In the pan: Cut washed chard leaves into thin ribbons. Saute 1-2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves in olive oil until lightly golden. Add chard, salt and more olive oil if needed. When well wilted and fragrant, remove from heat and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

In the pan: Cut washed chard leaves into thin ribbons. Saute 1-2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves in olive oil until lightly golden. Add chard, salt and more olive oil if needed. When well wilted and fragrant, remove from heat and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


Ready to eat:  Two fat bunches of chard cost about $10 at McCaffrey's on Sept. 14.  A family of four can have generous portions of Swiss chard for two meals - that's about $1.25 a serving.  Chard, a relative to beets, spinach and quinoa, is a superfood - rich in antioxidants and helpful in regulating blood sugar.

Ready to eat: Two fat bunches of chard cost about $10 at McCaffrey’s on Sept. 14. A family of four can have generous portions of Swiss chard for two meals – that’s about $1.25 a serving. Chard, a relative to beets, spinach and quinoa, is a superfood – rich in antioxidants and helpful in regulating blood sugar.

JW Iron Chef Food Literacy Program (Chef Jen Carson)
Yield: about 2 dozen

Ingredients:

1 stick softened unsalted butter
½ c brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ c all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 c old-fashioned oats
½ c breakfast cereal
½ c raisins or other dried fruit
½ c unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, beat together the butter with both sugars. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat well until the mixture emulsifies. Add the combined flour, baking soda, and salt to the butter mixture. Mix until completely combined. Fold in the cereal, dried fruit, and coconut. Mix until combined.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-covered or ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool one minute on the pan, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Granola

April 30, 2014

Granola Parfait

PERFECT PARFAIT: Layer homemade granola with fresh berries and fruit and plain yogurt for a hearty and delicious brunch.

Ingredients:

10 oz oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut

½ tsp. salt
2 oz canola oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a big bowl, combine the salt, canola oil, brown sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon.

Add the oats and coconut and coat with the sweet, wet mixture. Pour mixture into parchment-covered or greased baking sheet. Toast in oven for 15 minutes. Stir, then toast another 10 minutes if needed. Granola is finished when oats and coconut are golden brown, and the Maillard reaction and caramelization has occurred.