Sour Cream and Chive Noodles

11 04 2011

Chives are easy to grow in a pot and require little maintenance

The first green item of spring has arrived: Chives!  The oniony herb is usually the first thing to appear in my herb garden each spring after a very long winter so I think it’s worth celebrating with a new recipe.

This simple pasta dish only takes minutes to put together and makes a great side dish for chicken or beef. Think of this dish as an alternative to a baked potato with sour cream and chives.

Sour Cream and Chive Noodles

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 8 oz. (227 grams) dry egg noodles (equals about 4 cups of dry noodles)
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock or milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the noodles according to package directions (usually 5 to 6 minutes for al dente noodles).  Drain the water once cooked and return the noodles to the pot.
  2. Add the butter and stir until melted.  Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock (or milk) and add the sour cream and dijon.  Add the chives and stir until the noodles are thoroughly coated.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with additional chopped chives and serve immediately.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

For more great ideas using chives, check out the Chive Archives.

Sour Cream and Chive Noodles make an easy and delicious side dish

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Tempura Chive Blossoms

26 05 2010

Chives are easy to grow and very versatile.

Chives are one of my favourite herbs and they couldn’t be easier to grow.  Stick some in a pot or garden and they will reappear each spring without any tending, spreading and becoming more robust each year.  The green chive stems can be used in a number of dishes and make a great garnish but their pretty purple blossoms are edible as well.

Chive blossoms: pretty decoration or delicious snack? They're both!

Chive blossoms can be dipped in a simple tempura batter and fried to make a delicious appetizer with a delicate oniony flavour. Tempura is a method of battering and frying seafood and vegetables that is popular in Japanese restaurants.  It sounds exotic but requires nothing more than some pantry basics.  Serve with cold beer, sake or sparkling wine.

Tempura Chive Blossoms

(VEGETARIAN)

Makes 30 to 35 blossoms

  • 30 to 35 large chive blossoms with about 1″ of chive stem still attached
  • 1 cup ice cold water (in a 2 cup measuring cup, add one cup of ice cubes and one cup of water – measure out 1 cup of water when ready to use)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt plus extra for finishing
  • Oil for frying (preferably a neutral oil such as safflower)
  • Chopped chives for garnish
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, add ice water and egg.  Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  2. Add flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt.  Whisk batter until completely smooth and combined.
  3. Carefully place chive blossoms in batter and gently stir until blossoms are coated.
  4. Heat enough oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan to measure about 1″ deep.  Heat on high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit or a small piece of bread can be fried to golden brown in about 10 seconds.
  5. Carefully place about 10 of the blossoms in the oil, wiping off any excess batter against the edge of the bowl as you lift them out. You can use the stems to handle them.
  6. Reduce the heat slightly to medium-high and fry the blossoms until golden brown, about two minutes.  Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the blossoms and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  7. Repeat with remaining blossoms, working in batches.
  8. Sprinkle cooked blossoms generously with salt and serve immediately.  Garnish with chopped chives and serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

Tempura Chive Blossoms





Cheese Toasts

31 03 2010

The first edible item of spring: chives!

A couple of days ago, I was taking some recycling out to the bin beside my house and to my astonishment, peeking out from amongst some dead leaves and sticks in my herb pot was the first edible item of spring!  I’m talking about chives, an oniony herb that is a perennial, meaning it will grow year after year. Chives are very mild so they’re usually used as an accent.  They also add a bit of colour to the plate so they make a great garnish.

This appetizer was inspired by a starter I had at Freemans restaurant in New York City when visiting with a group of friends back in February.  Be sure to use a good quality aged cheddar.  I use Balderson’s 3-Year Old White Cheddar but any decent extra old cheddar will work.

Cheese Toasts

Makes about 10 toasts

  • 1 cup (3 oz.) lightly packed grated aged white cheddar cheese – use extra old cheddar, aged at least 2 to 3 years
  • 1/4 cup dijon-style mustard*
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives, plus extra for garnish if desired
  • 10 baguette slices, cut about 3/4″ thick

*Using a mustard with horseradish such as Grey Poupon Deli Mustard or Kozlik’s Horseradish Mustard makes these toasts even more delicious.

  1. In a small bowl, combine cheese, mustard and chopped chives.  Use a spoon to stir all ingredients together until the mixture is combined and relatively smooth.
  2. Spoon about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture onto each baguette round and spread in an even layer.  Place rounds on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat the broiler of your oven and move an oven rack into the top slot.  Toast the cheese topped rounds under the broiler until bubbling and brown, about 2 minutes.  Watch very carefully – they can burn in seconds.
  4. Remove from the oven, place on a serving plate and sprinkle with a garnish of chopped chives.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

Sharp cheddar, dijon and chives make a simple but delicious appetizer

 





Radishes

18 06 2009

bundled radish isolatedRadish season is in full swing right now and the vegetable store near my house has a giant basket of them piled high.  They are inexpensive to buy and easy to grow but they’re also a bit of an acquired taste.  Their peppery bite is a bit unusual and sometimes radishes get overlooked because people don’t really know what to do with them.  Typically they get sliced up into a salad but they are also delicious on their own with sea salt or pickled with herbs.  

A few weeks ago I was at a pre-dinner reception and one of the appetizers that came around was a platter of buttered bread topped with radish slices and sea salt.  At first I thought it was a bit odd but the flavour was delicious and made me re-think radishes. It’s actually a classic way to serve radishes and it’s so easy that anyone can pull it together in seconds.  Simply slice some good white bread, top each piece with a healthy slather of butter (do NOT use margarine!), top with thinly sliced radishes and sprinkle with sea salt.  Garnish with chopped choves and fresh ground pepper if desired.

 

A simple appetizer of sliced radishes on bread with butter and sea salt is classic and delicious

A simple appetizer of sliced radishes on bread with butter and sea salt is classic and delicious

Another way to enjoy radishes is to pickle them.  Their sweet/sour/peppery bite makes them an excellent addition to sandwiches, salads or even eaten on their own. This only takes a few minutes to pull together and is a nice change from the usual cucumber based pickles.

Pickled Radishes

Yields about 1-1/2 cups

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 8 large or 16 small radishes (about 2 cups when sliced)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
  • Sea salt, to sprinkle over finished pickles
  1. Trim roots and greens from radishes.  Using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut the radishes into thin slices about 1/8″ thick.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, thyme, chives and pepper.  Cover and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat.
  3. Add radish slices and stir to ensure all slices are immersed in liquid.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, drain the liquid from the radishes, remove thyme sprigs and put into a bowl to cool further.  Once cooled, sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with chopped chives and black pepper as desired.  Use as you would regular pickles – on sandwiches, salads, etc.  Radishes will keep covered in the fridge for a few days.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

 

Pickled radishes are great on sandwiches or in salads

Pickled radishes are great on sandwiches or in salads





Chive Cream Cheese with Smoked Salmon

8 05 2009

 

Chives are perennials and will reappear each spring in your garden

Chives are perennials and will reappear each spring in your garden

Chives are one of the first fresh herbs to appear in the spring and their mild and delicate flavour works well in many dishes such as eggs, salads and potatoes.  Chives are extremely easy to grow in a garden or herb pot and require no real maintenance. 

Smoked salmon is a favourite of mine and pairs beautifully with chive cream cheese. Spread the cream cheese on a bagel and top with the salmon for a tasty breakfast. It’s an easy but elegant idea for mother’s day or special occasions.  The cream cheese can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.  

As an alternative, make appetizers by topping crackers or toast rounds with the cream cheese and salmon. Garnish with chives and serve with a dry sparkling wine or champagne.

Chive Cream Cheese with Smoked Salmon

Makes about 2/3 cup cream cheese – recipe can easily be doubled

  • 4 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese or light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives + extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-1/2 ounces smoked salmon (about 4 to 6 slices)
  • 4 bagels, split in half – optional
  1. In a mixing bowl, add cream cheese and cream.  Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat on high until the cream cheese and cream are combined and smooth, about 1 minute.  Stop periodically to clean the beaters with a rubber spatula if necessary.
  2. Add chives, shallot and salt and beat together on high for about 2 more minutes, until the mixture is creamy.
  3. Toast the bagels and let cool slightly.  Spread each bagel with cream cheese and top with the smoked salmon.  Bagels can be made ‘sandwich’ style or as open-faced halves.  Garnish with chopped or whole chives.

Variation: to make into appetizers, spread cream cheese on crackers or toast rounds and top with a small piece of smoked salmon.  Garnish with chives.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

Chive cream cheese with smoked salmon on a toasted bagel

Chive cream cheese with smoked salmon on a toasted bagel