Everyday Whole Grains; Part 2
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As Steph recounted recently, French & Farrar had a wonderful day in the kitchen with Ann Taylor Pittman, executive editor of Cooking Light Magazine a few weeks ago.  She joined us at Steph’s house on a Sunday morning to cook a few recipes from her gorgeous and enlightening new cookbook, Everyday Whole Grains.  We had a blast.  With no pressure to feed a waiting party of people, the three of us were able to just casually cook, swap stories, and enjoy ourselves. The day really resonated with me.  Steph and I had never met Ann.  We loved her cookbook and aesthetic taste, so we imagined our general sensibilities would act as a common ground and comfort to our afternoon with her.  “Hi, so nice to finally meet you.  Let’s make salmon.”  It could have been awkward and unnatural but, it wasn’t…at all.

Ready to go
Ready to go

Within a few minutes, we were fluidly chatting about everything, reaching way beyond culinary talk.  Food may have acted as the ice breaker, but we actually didn’t need it.  Before we knew it, we were laughing and gabbing our way through four of Ann’s recipes.  We started with her Buckwheat Hot Cereal around which we set up a sweet and savory topping bar.  It was so simple, satisfying, and adaptable.  Then, we made the Kamut Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Avocado.  It was too delicious to breeze through to the next recipe, so we poured some wine, sat down, and relaxed over our perfect Sunday lunch fare.

Crunchy Zucchini Chips underway
Crunchy Zucchini Chips underway

Next up, we put together Ann’s Crunchy Zucchini Chips.  Inspired by fried zucchini, but way better, way crunchier, and way healthier, they are truly an ultimate snack or bbq side dish, and beyond easy to make.  We whipped up a simple aioli, and couldn’t help ourselves from dipping and grazing on them throughout the rest of the afternoon.

Almost ready for the oven
Almost ready for the oven

Having gone from breakfast to lunch to snack-time, the Crispy Herbed Salmon was a prime “dinner” choice as our fourth recipe from Ann’s book for the day.  So flavorful and crispy, it is an ultimate dish to keep in your go-to reservoir.  The crispy bulgar that coats the salmon is insanely good.  I could probably eat it sprinkled on just about anything.  Ann’s recipes are so versatile too.  I will definitely be trying out the crispy bulgar on other fish and proteins.

Delicious and light
Delicious and light

As the three of us stood around the kitchen island nibbling on the salmon and gushing about the lovely day, I was struck by how at ease I felt.  Cooking with Steph is always a favorite time for me.  We are so seamless together, it makes it even that much more fun.  Life can obviously get in the way of days like this, but that Sunday acted as a wonderful reminder to me about the heart of French & Farrar.  We love cooking and hanging in a kitchen together, taking inspiration from others, and never taking it too seriously.  And, Ann was a fantastic addition.

Zucchini Cheers
Zucchini Cheers

Crunchy Zucchini Chips

Recipe from Ann Taylor Pittman’s Everyday Whole Grains

What you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat panko
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 Tbs. uncooked amaranth
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish.  Combine zucchini and oil in a large bowl; toss well to coat.  Dredge zucchini in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere.  Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan.  Bake at 425 for 26 minutes or until browned and crisp.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (serving size: 8-10 chips).

Crispy Herbed Salmon

Recipe from Ann Taylor Pittman’s Everyday Whole Grains

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup Crunchy Fried Bulgar (recipe below)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 3 Tbs. canola mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, tossing well.

Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl, stirring well.  Arrange fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper; spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over fish.  Carefully pat Crunchy Fried Bulgur mixture evenly over fish.  Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Serves 4.

Crunchy Fried Bulgar

Recipe from Ann Taylor Pittman’s Everyday Whole Grains

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups cooked bulgar
  • 6 cups canola oil or peanut oil

Directions:

Line a jelly-roll pan with several layers of paper towels.  Spread cooked grains out into a thin layer on paper towels.  Let stand 1 to 2 hours to dry out surface moisture, stirring grains occasionally.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven until thermometer submerged in oil registers 375.  Do not use a smaller pot (moisture in the grains will cause the oil to bubble up vigorously).  Add 1/2 cup cooked grains to oil; do not add more than this, or oil may bubble over.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until grains are browned and crisp; do not allow temperature of oil to drop below 350 degrees.  Remove fried grains from pan with a fine wire mesh ladle; drain on paper towels.  Repeat procedure with remaining grains, 1/2 cup at a time.

Makes about 3 cups.

Relax and enjoy
Relax and enjoy