Friday, October 24, 2014

Swiss Chard Tart with Ham and Manchego

Crispy shaved ham and Manchego cheese add flavor and texture to a pile ol' pile of Swiss chard from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.

I am having Greens-induced Kitchen Paralysis. I've been unusually busy both weeknights and weekends, and consequently neither my brain nor my fingers are actively working to use the greens in the farm share.  And in my family--using the greens requires active work! After picking up the share this week, when I tried to stuff yet another bag of salad mix into my overloaded fridge, I realized something had to give.

Here's just the greens in my fridge this week (an accumulation of up to 3 weeks worth from our farm share). Not shown are 2 cabbages, a small mountain of kohlrabi, turnips, radishes peppers, leeks and carrots which have overflowed the crispers. The Strategic Winter Squash Reserve is happily hanging out in the basement, waiting until I can deal with it. [As is the laundry, not so much the dogs.]
Shown are up to 3 weeks of greens from the farm share: a head of lettuce, 2½ bags of salad greens, 2 big bunches of dill, a bag of spinach, a bag of tatsoi, and the bane of my existence--2 giant bags of mustard greens.
Often there is an item from the farm share that stumps me--and causes the creative juices in my brain to grind to a halt. When this happens, like a log jamming up the flow of a stream, I may or may not be able to use up the rest of the perishables while pondering what to do with the lone difficult item. Currently I'm stumped by mustard greens and kohlrabi and beets and radishes, and I am finding it exponentially harder to keep up with the other items that I can usually use without thought.

I've been a canning fool lately--making hot pepper jelly and cranberry salsa to use up the glut of hot peppers. I announce the pings on my FB page, if you'd like to follow along. [Since I had the pot out, I whipped up a batch of kohlrabi pickles with a giant kohlrabi. I'll do a taste test in 3 weeks, and if the recipes are good they will probably appear on the blog next Spring when kohlrabi season resumes.] I've been roasting and freezing tomatoes, and chopping and freezing peppers. But the vegetables keep on coming.

This recipe came about from a previous bout of Greens Paralysis. We happened to be home for lunch on a Saturday and I had no bread for sandwiches nor meat thawed and it was chilly enough I didn't want a salad.  And we'd had eggs for breakfast. Thank goodness for a roll of pie crust in the freezer--I threw everything together and hoped for the best. The kids had seconds--so yeah, this one worked.

For other recipes using Swiss Chard, please check out my Swiss Chard Recipe Collection.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tropical Curried Acorn Squash Soup

A warming winter squash soup spiced with curry, sweetened with banana, and luscious with coconut milk. This soup could be vegetarian depending on your stock choice.

On a quest to add vegetables to as many recipes as I can--to utilize the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share before it spoils--I end up cooking most every day. That often means that we have a variety of leftovers available. Sometimes, making a simple dish like this soup is a great way to dress up a dinner of leftovers.

If you've read this blog before [thank you!] you may have . . . um, not exactly heard but how 'bout heard inside your head . . . me talk about how I put up carrot peels, celery leaves, onion skins etc into Soup Packs (link to my Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting post). I've shared recipes for how I make Chicken Stock, Beef Stock, and Vegetable Stock. I've also shared how I put up pumpkin puree. Hey, guess what? Putting up acorn squash is no different!

When I have the oven on--and I am thinking on all cylinders--I will roast an extra squash and save the puree for another use. If I've got a jar of stock, a container of roasted squash puree, and a ripe banana in the freezer this soup almost makes itself. I just need to chop and sauté an onion [but I'm teaching my son to master onion chopping, so I didn't even do that step].

I know it may seem strange to use banana in a savory recipe, even though I've done it before in my Ham and Banana Pizza. I've also combined squash and banana in muffins--which will appear sometime this Fall on a coming Muffin Monday--but this is not as sweet of a soup as those muffins.  This is a savory soup with a hint of sweetness and a nice amount of spice. With an immersion blender this comes together quickly and makes a nice, warm, first course for a cold weather meal.

For other recipes using acorn squash, please check out my Acorn Squash Recipe Collection. For other recipes using ripe bananas, please check out my Banana Recipe Collection.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cranberry, Chicken, Spinach and Leek Enchiladas

Leeks and frost-kissed farm share spinach, sautéed with chicken and cranberry salsa in a creamy enchilada, topped with spicy salsa verde.

Too early to break out the cranberry salsa? It pairs so nicely with salsa verde I couldn't resist. I'm tempted to try and make some of my own this year, since our farm share--and my spouse's coworkers--have provided so many hot peppers.  I've put up salsa twice, and have just enough ripe tomatoes left to put up a third batch.  In the mean time I put up a batch of hot pepper jelly as well--then promptly gave most of it away.  Between the canning and the freezing I'm trying to keep up with the supply of vegetables that I'll feed the family during winter. [I feel like the Ant, though I really want to lie down and read my book like the Grasshopper--so I'm going to keep it short and sweet and go do just that.]

Want more enchilada recipes? Try my Clickable Collage. More recipes using spinach? Here's the Spinach Recipes Collection. More recipes using Leeks? Try this collection. More recipes using Cranberries, in various permutations? Look here.