Showing posts with label freezing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freezing. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

Green Tomato Garlic Chili in the Instant Pot® or Slow Cooker

Green tomatoes, roasted garlic, and ground beef make a colorful and flavorful chili recipe perfect for fall. You can make this in the Instant Pot®, a slow cooker, or on the stovetop. 

photo of a bowl of green tomato garlic chili that was prepared in an Instant pot®

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As someone who cooks with what's in season, this time of year means green tomatoes. I decided to update an old post from my first year, really the first few weeks of starting this website. In addition to publishing new photos and adding an easier to read recipe card, I've also cooked this recipe in my newest appliance, the Instant Pot®. My husband bought me an early birthday/Christmas present, and I unboxed it--with the dogs' help--and shared the resulting video on my FB page. I'm quite happy to ditch the old, poor quality photos for some newer, still poor quality photos (it's been raining here), but I didn't want to delete how I was inspired to make this chili. For that, please feel free to read my original text below.
I recently started volunteering at a thrift shop.  I didn't realize that it would mean I'd be shopping at the thrift shop on a regular basis, which is an unfortunate happy side effect.  I mean, I did get a pair of new-to-me jeans for $3.  And they're not 'mom jeans' either. Last time I volunteered was after I'd made the Cabin Casserole.  I was chatting with Fran about it, and how the recipe called for green tomatoes, when she told me about her Green Tomato Garlic Chili.  I immediately requested the recipe! This recipe is from The Garlic Lover's Cookbook. I've adapted Fran's recipe by cutting the fat, adjusting the spices, swapping roasted for fresh garlic, pumping up the amount of veggies, and finely chopping everything so my kids will eat it. We liked it so much that I harvested the rest of the green tomatoes on my plants, cored them (the composting pigs like green tomatoes too!) pulsed them in my lovely food processor, and froze 2 2+ lb bags of green tomatoes for winter chili nights.  Make that chilly winter nights.  Oooh!

A few Notes about this recipe.
  1. I used ground beef, but feel free to substitute fresh ground pork. I already know ground pork and green tomatoes make a great chili--check out my Chorizo & Green Tomato Chili recipe here.
  2. Use the hot peppers of your choice. I'm able to get quarts of freshly roasted Hatch chiles each August from the local grocery store, and I pop them into the freezer to use throughout the year. I think using roasted chiles adds more flavor than fresh chiles, so I do recommend using roasted green chiles.
  3. No roasted garlic? No problem! You can substitute minced garlic, probably ⅓ of a cup. Like with the chiles, I think that using roasted garlic punches up the flavor in many dishes. When I harvest my garlic crop each summer, I roast and freeze a portion for use throughout the year. Here's a post about how I put up my garlic crop.
  4. That's a lot of chopping! Yes--I like to start my day at work chopping a bunch of onions, but if chopping isn't your thing, run the onions, bell peppers, and green tomatoes in turns through a food processor until they are finely chopped. [If you don't have a food processor and chopping's not your thing . . . add that to your birthday wish list and find room in the kitchen.]
  5. I've included instructions for cooking this chili in an Instant Pot® (mine is 6 quarts, plenty of room), in a slow cooker, and on the stove top. I am sure you could figure out a way to cook this on a grill--but I'm not going to do that. I grill pizza and vegetables mostly, and I'm good with that.

Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Dehydrate Garlic in an Oven

Garlic is ripe all at once. Put up your crop by dehydrating in an oven, then use your minced garlic year round. This tutorial shows you how.

garlic and garlic scapes in a raised bed garden

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I started this blog (and most of my posts are for) people like me who eat locally and seasonally from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Every once in a while, though, I've got posts for backyard gardeners. We're an intrepid bunch, looking to grow our favorites each year as well as try new things.

Many gardeners I've known start with tomatoes, because nothing beats a homegrown summer tomato. With tomatoes as the gateway vegetable I find that peas, peppers, squash and melons aren't far behind. Growing garlic is the next level up, and I've lost count how many folks I've encouraged to give it a whirl.

finely chopped garlic ready to go on parchment paper

Where I've grown garlic--places that have some snowfall--I've found if tulip and daffodil bulbs will grow, so will garlic. [Never mind if your local varmints eat your tulip bulbs. In my experience the varmints don't have a taste for garlic.] You plant garlic in the Fall, and--this is why I'm posting now--harvest it all at once in early summer.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Whole Wheat Banana Peanut Butter Cake

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

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It is rare in my house that a bunch of bananas get consumed, one at a time, each at their peak (which, for me, is without a tinge of green or a speck of brown to mar that pretty yellow peel). Sometimes I feel like the bunch stays bright green for days, and then a matter of the few hours I'm asleep and out of the kitchen each night, they magically turn a mottled brown.

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

Don't misunderstand, I love the flavor of an actual ripe banana, and if I want to bake or smoothify when I hit the store I'll look first for marked down "ripe" [NOT OVERRIPE, THEY ARE PERFECTLY RIPE sorry to shout] bananas. But eating out of hand, public banana style, I like my bananas a pure yellow.

I am nattering on about bananas so I can tuck some photos here and there because I've got 2 different photo sessions with this cake. Last summer, at the conclusion of marching band camp, we had probably close to half a case of nicely ripe bananas left. They were too far gone for me to eat. Too far gone on a Friday afternoon to make it to the Foodbank Monday morning for subsequent distribution. Too far gone to act on when the kid needed to be hauled to the next activity. [As an aside, my son had 4 things going on last summer between sports camps and school camps and life forums and college visits, and all 4 of them happened in less than a 3 week stretch. Oy.]

Bananas and peanut butter with Reese's pieces and chocolate chips in a whole grain snack cake. This is a terrific way to use up leftover bananas for a sweet treat.

These bananas needed to be used or put up right away, so the other volunteers and I divvied them up and I took home an armful. Did you know you can freeze bananas by opening the freezer door/drawer and chucking the banana inside? Simple as that. No need to wrap or peel or dice or any of that. Nature made the perfect freezer wrap for bananas and I don't mess with nature too much. If you have an organized freezer you may wish to place the banana, but my freezer is usually so full that I open it a tad, hope nothing cascades out, chuck in the bananas and close it up quick.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Make Dill Butter When You've Got a Lot of Herbs

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Time for another Practical Support for Local Eating lesson. This one is about herbs. When we get herbs in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share it's not usually a sprig here and there. Instead it is a significant amount.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Sometimes I view the abundance of herbs as an opportunity to use them all in Pot Luck Tabbouleh. Sometimes this will coincide with another vegetable and create an opportunity to put something up [a bunch of cucumbers and dill means I'll throw a few jars of quick refrigerator kosher dills into the back of the fridge to cure]. Sometimes a large quantity of basil from the farm share coupled with my own large quantity from the garden means I can Process a Pile of Pesto. Most of the time, however, the herbs are on their own.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Making herb butter when you've got a lot of fresh herbs is one way to make the most of the farm share. This freezes nicely and makes a special addition to a holiday meal. Too early for Thanksgiving talk? Canadian Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away and I've got a beautiful bunch of dill from my farm share so I think it's quite timely.

Got a lot of dill? Quickly turn it into an herbed butter. Use this butter on potatoes, fish, or bread. It's a fast way to add a little something local & homemade to your holiday table.

Before I get to the recipe, though, I asked a few food bloggers for additional ideas on how they deal with a large amount of herbs. Brandy of Farmer's Wife Rambles shares how she dehydrates parsley. Tara of Noshing With The Nolands turns her basil abundance into Basil Ice CubesSheri Silver freezes her herbs in oil--with a clever tip for telling them all apart in the tray. Meghan of Clean Eats Fast Feets shares how she deals with her chives (and shares a recipe for Blue Cheese & Chive Drop Biscuits). Janelle of Barn2Door dries thyme, oregano for cooking, mint & blackberry/raspberry leaves/fennel seed for tea, and freezes finely chopped chives. She even has a Pinterest board of herb-y ideas.

Left to right photos from Brandy, Tara, Sheri and Meghan. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Green Tomato, Pork, and White Bean Chili in a Slow Cooker

Green Tomato, Pork, and White Bean Chili in a Slow Cooker | Farm Fresh Feasts

Hello, my name is Kirsten and I have a problem.

(Hello, Kirsten.)

I like to make chili using not-the-usual vegetable suspects.  It all started with this Green Tomato Garlic chili recipe a year ago.  I liked it so much I put up a couple of quarts of chopped green tomatoes in the freezer for winter chili.  Instead of making more green tomato chili, however, I veered off in a squash and beet direction with Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato chili.  Then I used a quart of the green tomatoes for Green Tomato Bacon Jam.

This chili has cubes of pork, Great Northern beans, and my put up salsa verde.  I wanted a thick chili, so I added some grits and wow--that did it for me.  We liked this chili with a swirl of sour cream stirred into each bowl.  I bet my corn cheddar bacon muffins would be great with it.  If you're having a chili cook off, this would be a little something different.  It's easy to fix (the slow cooker does most of the work) and the flavor is wonderful.  This is also great for a work day meal--brown the pork the night before while the kitchen is still active with dinner, chill it overnight, and dump all the ingredients into the slow cooker the next morning.

Note to self--this fall, put up more quarts of chopped green tomatoes!  In fact, I think I'll put the word out with my neighbors that if they don't want their tomatoes still on the vine when the first frost is predicted, I'll be happy to come harvest.  The cool thing about green tomatoes is that they can hang out on your counter for a few days until you can process them.  What's the worst that can happen--they start to ripen?  Oh, the horrors.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Smoked Mozzarella, Feta, Mushroom and Pickled Pepper Pesto Pizza
Pickled pepper pesto pizza. I was giggling while writing this post (writing the old fashioned way, like the oats in my soaked oat muffins) in my breakfast nook. I thought I'd have a whole weekend to write at the sled hockey tournament, but instead I was yelling encouraging the team or watching some show about moonshine preppers panning for gold in deep-earth bunkers.  It was on TV, I couldn't look away.  My daughter will be home soon to claim her breakfast nook study space, so I must download this recipe before it flies out of my brain.
And you thought I took a photo of the ingredients to show you what's in this pizza. Ha!  I mean, it's great if you find the photos useful as well.  Really.
<days later>I'm still giggling to myself typing this post up in the lobby of the rec center where my son is at wheelchair basketball practice.  People are starting to stare.  Back to the point of this post.

I was cruising past the fancy cheese counter on another milk run (who is feeding these kids?) when I saw a magical markdown sticker in the vicinity of the mozzarella balls.  This time it was smoked mozzarella, so of course I snagged it to give it a try.

Heather (of garlic oil fame, though there's so. much. more. to her) eats marvelous pizza from some place called the Magic Mushroom.  Never been there.  But when Heather described her favorite pizza pie, it sounded like I could adapt it, play with my pickled peppers and pesto, and use this smoked mozzarella.

Smoked mozzarella is different than fresh mozzarella on a pizza in one dramatic way--it doesn't color outside the lines.  When topping a pizza with fresh mozzarella, you need to be careful not to put your slices too close to the edge for fear that they will run off all over your pizza stone.
Crispy mozzarella discs pried off a hot pizza stone are totally worth the burned fingertips.
Smoked mozzarella imparts a deeper, smoky (I know, surprise, I'll never be a food writer) taste, something which pairs well with the pesto and mushrooms.  The peppers and feta really make this pizza pop.

Normally, I don't feel like I make gourmet pizzas.  I'm just cobbling together the ingredients I've got on hand, from my farm share or good deals from the grocery store.  But describing this pizza . . . well, it sounds pretty fancy and high falutin' to me.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Bag of Cranberries aka Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread

(Subtitle:  Baking a Batch of Cranberry-Apple-Pecan-Chocolate-Chip Bread) ((Sub-Subtitle:  Recipe After a Rant))

When I buy a dozen eggs from my farm share, I neither expect to use them all up in a single recipe nor get cranky when I have some left over.  Same with a package of bread.  Or cheese sticks.  Or mushrooms.  Or carrots.  Or pepperoni.  You get the idea.

But a bag of cranberries?  Something that is such a seasonal item, and comes in 1 size only?

I'm just not jiggy with recipes that call for part of a bag of cranberries.  Yes, I know I can freeze cranberries.  In fact, I've got a few bags in my fruit & veg freezer right now.  Fifty cents a bag at Aldi--couldn't pass it up.  They are sitting on top of the bags of blueberries put up during Aldi's 49 cent pint sale in the summer. But this blog is not about Aldi deals, it's about using what you've got.  All of it.

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread | Farm Fresh Feasts

Updated with a photo of a finished loaf!  [I'm still ranting about the inequality of it all, however.]

Because I was in such a hurry to get the finished 'good' loaf to the function, I never took a photo.
Just like recipes that call for 1 cup (8 ounces) of canned pumpkin (sold in 15 ounce cans), it irritates me to have dribs and drabs left over.  Sure there are plenty of things to do with dribs and drabs, but it's not the point. (Notable exception:  I'm happy to open up a can of tomato paste to use in a recipe that only needs 1 Tablespoon.  I happily freeze the remaining contents in 1 Tablespoon mounds on parchment squares, transfer them to a zip top freezer bag, and next time I need a small amount I am set.)

When I open up a bag of cranberries, I want to use the whole thing all at once.  When I make my Apple/Apricot/Beet/Cranberry sauce, I do.  You probably do when you make your own version of cranberry sauce, right?  So why does the bread recipe on the bag of Ocean Spray cranberries, the bag that contains 2+ cups of whole cranberries, call for a mere 1 1/2 cups?

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread | Farm Fresh Feasts

Today, I needed to make a loaf of quick bread for a school function.  I wanted something that would appeal to kids while using up a whole bag of cranberries in the process.  I looked in the crisper and saw some lonely apples, looked in the freezer and saw an open bag of pecan parts, grabbed the chips and got to work.  Come join me!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Processing a Pile of Pesto before the Frost comes!

A tutorial for how to put up a large quantity of basil pesto. Remember this at the end of summer!

Forty-one degrees out this morning-not expecting that!  I figured I'd better harvest all the basil and put it up before it gets OBE (overcome by events).  Here's what I did.

To me, pesto is all about ratios.  If you have a ton of leaves, you will need 1/8 ton of toasted pine nuts, 1/4 ton of shredded parmesan cheese, 1/4 ton of olive oil.  Oh, and 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Ish.
Even if this harvest is short of a ton, it's still a lot of leaves to get through.  I buy pine nuts and parmesan during the basil season just so I don't get caught short when I'm ready to make pesto.
Forgot the garlic. Again. And salt.

For other recipes using mass quantities of herbs, please see my Herb Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

All About Garlic

Garlic is one of those crops that is ready to harvest all at once.

While it is easy to store for long periods, if you're harvesting your year's supply of garlic in June, you may want to have some put by when you go to grab a clove in November and find nothing but shriveled, dry husks.

In my garden, I use one raised bed for my garlic and pesto harvests.  In the fall, I plant garlic (around the time you'd plant tulips). After harvest in early summer, I plant basil in the same space. I'll use the basil throughout the summer, then pull the plants and put up a pile of pesto (link to my tutorial) for winter. For a full explanation plus more photos, please see my guest post over at She Eats.

All About Garlic | Farm Fresh Feasts