+ Carrot Latkes +

Latkes: they’re not just for December anymore! Although some may equate warm latkes with Menorahs and a nip in the air, there’s not reason why these delicious fritters can’t be for all seasons. In today’s recipe, I’ve made the latkes carrot-centric with a dash of rosemary and cumin for a sweeter, more complex flavor.

Serve a warm stack of them with greek yogurt or créme fraîche for dipping and a bottle of chilled Chablis Grand Cru or Chardonnay.

Carrot Latkes // Wildly

Carrot Latkes

4 c. grated carrots
2 c. grated potato
1/3 c. AP flour
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried rosemary
Salt, pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp. olive or coconut oil

Peel 6-7 medium carrots and 3 russet potatoes. Using a box grater or food processor, shred the potatoes and carrots. Season with salt and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Using a clean, thin, dish towel or cheesecloth, vigorously wring out all the excess liquid and transfer just the veggies back to a bowl.

In your large mixing bowl, measure four cups grated carrot, and two cups grated potato. Stir in the eggs, flour, cumin and pepper until well incorporated.

Heat your cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I recommend using a splatter-guard during this next part! Working in small batches of two or three, spoon dollops of the carrot mixture into the pan and flatten gently with a fork or spatula. Fry for three minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the hot latkes on a paper towel while you work through the rest of the mixture.

Place the finished latkes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven at 300 degrees for ten minutes, or until you’re ready to serve!

* Cooked latkes will save beautifully in the freezer – just place them in layers of parchment paper and tuck in a Ziploc freezer bag *

Carrot Latkes // Wildly

 

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+ Venison Chou Farci +

Something about this dish, the amber and rust colors, the way the sauce speckles a Pyrex dish, the casserole-esque ease of it….it just tastes deliciously retro with some classic 60’s on. Maybe that’s just me.

There are myriad takes on stuffed cabbage around the world. It seems like everyone’s grandma has a beloved version whether they’re Korean, Polish, Russian or Spanish. Today’s recipe, though, is inspired by the cabbage-loving region of Alsatian (Eastern) France. You may not believe it, but in the right season, you would be hard-pressed to find a menu in France devoid of cabbage. In our home, cabbage also rules all. It’s versatile, delicious and healthy. So today, in honor of beautiful Eastern France, I give you Venison Barley Chou Farci!

Chou Farci // Wildly

I find my ground venison at the local Sprouts Farmers Market, which carries wild game from Durham Ranch. I love Durham Ranch for their transparency and heritage; they have been nothing but open to my questions and have absolutely earned my respect. In this recipe I’ve added some ground grass-fed beef and bacon for fat, as venison tends to me extremely lean. If you have any aversions to wild game, simply substitute with beef or lamb.

Venison Barley Chou Farci

2 medium green cabbage heads
1 lb. ground venison
1 /2 lb. ground grass-fed beef
1 large egg
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 c. barley, cooked
3 tbsp. herbes de provence
Salt, pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomato (preferrably Cento brand)
6-8 strips thick-cut uncured bacon
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Core both heads of cabbage. In a large pot, bring about 5″ of water to a boil. Place one head of cabbage in the pot, cored-side down. Cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until steamed soft. Caredfully remove with a slotted spoon and tongs and set aside to cool while you steam the second head.

Meanwhile, in a large glass bowl, mix together the venison, beef, egg, barley, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. of herbes de provence.

Open the can of tomato puree and sprinkle the rest of your herbes de provence directly into the can along with a crack of pepper and salt. Mix it together with a spoon. In a glass baking dish, pour about 1/3 of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread it evenly as possible, coating the whole bottom.

When the cabbage heads have cooled slightly, carefully peel off the leaves one by one and lay them flat on a clean towel. Once you have enough leaves, begin with the first leaf by setting it on your cutting board and slicing a V-shaped wedge from in the stem, removing that toughest piece. Then spoon in a generous dollop of the venison barley mixture into the top of the leaf (farthest from where the stem was). Tuck and roll the cabbage around the meat like you would a burrito. Place it in the sauced-up baking dish, seam side down. Continue this process until your baking dish is completely full of little cabbage bundles.

Pour the remainder of the tomato sauce over the top of the cabbage rolls, then place your strips of bacon over the top. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the top and bake for an additional 20 minutes, allowing the bacon to crisp and the sauce to reduce slightly.

Remove from the oven, let cool and serve! Try not to fight over the bacon.

Chou Farci // Wildly

Chou Farci // Wildly

 

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+ Dad’s Ceviche +

My dad makes the best ceviche. I attribute this, in part, to all of the time he’s spent in Mexico over the years or our father-daughter trip to Peru. The other part must be credited to a well-loved cookbook from Bobby Flay. Either way, like ceviche, the beauty is found in the sum of its parts.

Have you ever had ceviche? If not, now is the time to grab your favorite tortilla chips (or simply a large spoon) and dive into a bowl! The fish is slowly cooked in zesty lime juice and then tossed with all the fresh and colorful flavors of Central America. Impress your friends and serve it at your next fiesta or have it as a light and healthy weeknight dinner! Any time is a good time for ceviche…

 

Simple Ceviche // Wildly

 

Dad’s Ceviche

1.5 lbs. firm, white fish (Tilapia, Snapper, Halibut)
8 – 9 limes
3 medium tomatoes
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup cilantro, torn
1 cup jicama, diced
Salt, Pepper
(Optional: diced avocado)

Begin by dicing the fish into approximately 1/4″ pieces and place in a shallow baking dish. Juice all of the limes and pour it over the fish; there should be enough juice to just barely cover the fish. Place the baking dish in your refrigerator for two to three hours, stirring occasionally.

Drain the lime juice, retaining just a little for moisture. In a glass bowl, combine the now cooked fish with the rest of the ingredients. Stir and serve! *** Please note that although it can be served right away, I recommend this be made ahead at least 12 hours before serving, allowing all of the ingredients to come together and “get happy” ***

 

Simple Ceviche // Wildly

Simple Ceviche // Wildly

 

 

 

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+ Coconut Lime Banana Bread +

I found this vintage auburn Pyrex dish tucked away on a shelf in a Pennsylvania Goodwill and, as usual, I wondered why anyone would have given it away in the first place. Some things are just meant to be passed down, to be used with love and fond memories. But then I got all bummed out thinking that maybe it came from someone who didn’t have anyone to pass it down to. Pass me a tissue, quick! Obviously I’m not sure what its history is, but in the end I like to imagine a sweet old lady using it to make a killer batch of meatloaf or…banana bread.

I’ve made many banana loaves before in my cheap tin pan (may you rest in peace). Some paleo, some primal, some gluttonously gluten FULL. But for my new dish’s maiden voyage I knew it had to be one of the classics, with a twist. Input lime, input coconut…and mix it all up.

Coconut Lime Banana Bread // Wildly

 

Coconut Lime Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 ¾ cup AP Flour

1 ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1 lime, zest only

1/3 cup grass-fed butter, melted

½ brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 dash vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, salt, coconut flakes, baking powder and baking soda together. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and butter together using a large whisk or hand blender until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add in the egg and lime zest to your wet mixture and whisk again until incorporated. Now combine the flour mix to the wet mix and add in your mashed banana. Beat lightly for 30 seconds.

Pour this mixture into a buttered 4 x 8 inch loaf baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the middle of the bread.

Let it cool before inverting and removing the banana bread from the pan. (I just cover mine with a clean dish towel and serve it directly out of the dish until it’s all gone!)

 

Coconut Lime Banana Bread // Wildly

 

Coconut Lime Banana Bread // Wildly

 

 

 

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+ Cauliflower Crust Pizza +

During a recent era of cutting back on gluten and grains, I was found standing alone in the kitchen…eating an entire pizza to myself. Over the sink. Like a heathen.

But this wasn’t an ordinary pizza…

Cauliflower pizza crust has been on the receiving end of my side-eye for some time now. I couldn’t fathom how it could possibly hold up to such an integral part of one of the world’s most beloved comfort foods. But it held up alright, in more ways than one. It may not be a replacement (ever), but with half the carbs and double the fiber of a traditional pizza crust, a well-seasoned cauliflower crust has most certainly earned its way into my life. Will it become a staple in your kitchen too?

Cauliflower Crust Pizza // Wildly

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

2-3 cups Cauliflower, finely grated

1 Egg

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Dried Basil

1/2 tsp. Salt

Toppings: Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Nitrate-Free Pepperoni, Torn Basil, Parmigiano

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza // Wildly

 

Heat your oven to 450 degrees and, if you have one, place a pizza stone in the oven.

Finely grate your freshly washed cauliflower (using a box grater or food processor). Place in a microwave-proof bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Microwave the cauliflower for 3-4 minutes on high. Once it’s cooled enough, place the cauliflower in that same kitchen towel and wring it out until there’s no more liquid being released; this step is SO important to getting the best possible crust texture! Now dump the cauliflower back into the bowl and add your spices, egg and parmesan cheese. Mix to incorporate thoroughly.

Now, on a sheet of parchment paper, place the “dough” mixture in the center and begin to form a crust using your hands. You’ll want to press and pat it down firmly, keeping it together. Take care not to make it too thick or too thin. I like to make a little lip at the edges to simulate a “real” pizza. Slide the parchment carefully onto your hot pizza stone or a simple baking sheet. Now place the empty crust into the oven to par-bake for 10 minutes, or until it starts to turn just golden.

Remove the crust from the oven and load it up with your favorite sauce and toppings. Place the whole thing back in the oven and let it bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until bubbly and delicious!

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza // Wildly

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza // Wildly

 

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+ Coq Au Bordeaux +

Welcome to Wildly! I am so thrilled to be here, sharing my favorite recipes. Those of you that know me know that food is always on my mind. I’m happiest in my kitchen, cooking for the ones I love, or at the table, sharing a meal surrounded by laughter and chatter. I tend to take a lot of food-centric snapshots too (which you may have seen if you follow me on social media), but I will try not to bombard you with too many here…

So thank you, from the very bottom of my butter-clogged heart, for reading and being a part of Wildly.

It only seemed right for my first recipe here to be the ever-delicious, crowd pleasing, comforting Coq Au Bordeaux. Something about the rich, inky sauce and tender braised chicken makes this one-pot wonder an instant favorite. I was always a bit intimidated by the traditional French coq au vin, so when I decided to simplify it a bit and knock off an hour or so of prep, this no-fuss recipe was born!

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Coq Au Bordeax

4-6 organic, free range chicken pieces (thighs and legs, bone-in and skin on)

1 large onion, thickly sliced

1 shallot, thickly sliced

8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 bottle Bordeaux

8 oz. good quality bacon, sliced crosswise into strips

2 tbsp. Grass-fed butter

2 tbsp. AP flour

Salt & Pepper

 

In a large glass bowl, combine the chicken, onion, shallot, garlic, and wine. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least six hours or, preferably, overnight.

Remove chicken pieces and pat them dry. Strain the onions, shallot and garlic from the bowl; reserve the wine and set aside. Reserve half of the onion, shallot and garlic and set aside.

In a large cast-iron skillet or dutch oven, fry the bacon until just crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Now, with the pot or skillet over medium heat, place the chicken in the skillet skin-side down. Work in small batches to avoid crowding! Fry for 10-12 minutes each, once the chicken is golden remove from the pot. Add the reserved shallot, onion and garlic to the pan and simmer until translucent and golden, stirring often. Add the bacon and all of the chicken pieces back to the pot or skillet (skin side up) and pour the remaining wine over them.

Simmer for about one hour, until chicken is tender but not falling apart. Remove the chicken pieces, then add the sprinkle of flour and knob of butter and whisk in, continuing to simmer another 3-5 minutes until the sauce is thick and inky. Add the chicken back into the skillet and serve!

 

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