Showing posts with label leeks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leeks. Show all posts

Friday, March 6, 2015

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Dubliner Pizza

A St. Patrick's day pizza: corned beef & cabbage smothered with creamy Irish cheese.

I will probably be all over the place in these notes, so I apologize in advance. Squirrel! At least I'll try to break them up with official-looking subheadings.

The pizza

Since we eat pizza every Friday--and some Sunday afternoons while I'm working on shooting recipes for my first-in-a-series pizza ebook--food holidays are a great way to explore new flavor combinations. We've enjoyed 'Tremendously Green' cabbage and potato pizza and Irish cheddar, chicken, leek and potato pizza already, so I thought a corned beef & cabbage pizza was the next logical step. I like how this Irish cheese melts, so that addition was a no-brainer.

The behind-the-scenes photos

After my spouse returned from Afghanistan he bought a camera. While he was deciding if it fit his hand, I'd attempt to use it for photos. Once he determined that it wasn't right for him, he'd return it and buy a different one. He repeated these actions over the course of the winter, eventually settling on one. [The camera that I am still, a year later, attempting to use for photos!] The common thread--through the camera shopping and the marriage--is that I adapt to whatever works best for him. Adaptability is an excellent trait in a military spouse.

On the day I made this pizza we happened to have 2 cameras in the house--and a hungry assistant eager to get the photos taken so she could dig in. My spouse was using the new camera to take photos of me doing my thing with the previous new camera. The distraction is probably why I left an unfolded napkin in the corner of the photo, but at least it provides a place to overlay the recipe title.
Don't ask me which cameras he went though before ending up with his final choice. It doesn't matter because it's not the camera that takes a great photo, it's the person pushing the button. Whatever fits your hand and is easy for you to understand and use is the right camera for you. The brand name, the numbers on the lens--they are secondary to how it feels to you. Just make sure that something in the photo is in focus! There's no reason to have digital photos that are blurry. It's pizza, not a gazelle bounding away causing you to snap quick before the moment is gone.

There is nothing to disclose

I realized that there are an awful lot of brand names visible in these photos. Thanks to my spouse's hard-earned money I was able to buy everything at a variety of stores, and I'm choosing to share what I bought because the items worked really well in this recipe. There are plenty of times that I'm just not that into making pizza dough in advance, nor do I have any pizza crust yeast (Amazon affiliate link) to make a fast dough. I've tried a bunch of prebaked crusts and know what we like best. Use whatever products work best for you.

For other St Patrick's Day-inspired or 'any random day' pizzas, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index. For other recipes using cabbage, please see my Cabbage Recipes Collection. For other recipes using leeks, please see my Leek Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Irish Cheddar Chicken Potato Leek Pizza

Chicken, blue potatoes, and leeks under a blanket of Irish cheddar cheese. Irish pizza? Cockaleekie pizza? Colorful pizza with chicken, leeks and potatoes? You choose the name that works.

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A community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share is not typically a source of exotic produce. Although turnips, kohlrabi and celeriac were novel and exotic to me--and Swiss chard may be new to some--these crops have been around.

When we got purple potatoes in the share last year it was a surprise and a delight. I've played with blue potatoes from Costco before, and it's also fun to make colorful food straight out of the farm share box. For this pizza I wanted to punch up the color of a chicken, leek, and potato pizza. Yes, that's practically cockaleekie pizza, but according to Google Trends no one searches for that. So you get a boring-yet-descriptive name. I've got a Corned Beef & Cabbage Pizza coming up, but to help mentally shift gears from Valentine's day/Mardi Gras/Chinese New Year to St. Patrick's Day I'd like to share this pizza now.

Why am I sharing St Patrick's Day recipes when I'm Scandinavian/Scottish, not Irish? Advertising, folks . . . it works on me. Cabbage goes on sale shortly after I've finished up the farm share veggies and had my fling with mushrooms from the store. We like corned beef and potatoes and eat them despite not being kissable due to our heritage. Shoot, we eat a bunch more seafood because it's also on sale. Speaking of ads, I'm playing around with Amazon ads in my sidebars. Please let me know if they are intrusive, thanks.

For another Irish-themed pizza, please check out my Tremendously Green Pizza (talk about a non-SEO friendly title!) that has bacon, cabbage, and potatoes. You can find other pizzas for your Friday Night Pizza Night at my Visual Pizza Recipe Index.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pork & Leek Dumplings

Asian-inspired pork and leek dumplings simmered in seasoned stock and served with rice. Leftovers were also good served in the stock as a dumpling soup.
This is not Polish pottery. This is from the Inker pottery in Croatia. I got it while I was deployed.
When I get leeks in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share they usually come in big bunches. I can't use them all up in a week, so I will chop them in half long ways, then chop into a useful dice, soak to remove grit, and spin in my salad spinner. After they are clean I spread them out on a tray to freeze before popping them into a zip top bag. During the winter I'll add leeks to whatever looks good. Like these dumplings.

This post is an example of letting go of the quest for perfection, because less than perfect-looking food still tastes good. Sure, I'm going to try and get a photo that looks as good as I can style it because you can't smell or taste through the screen, but I'm also going to show you how we really ate these dumplings--off plastic plates, without a healthy green vegetable side dish in sight.

Where to start? I suppose with the dumplings. I picked up a package of dumpling wrappers without a plan. They got shuffled around the fridge, stuck into the freezer, forgotten then rediscovered during a freezer reorganization. Finally I got the idea for dumplings. This recipe comes primarily from Mark Bittman's app How To Cook Everything. I won the app years ago in a giveaway from The Naptime Chef. I have the app on my phone, and if I'm sitting waiting for a kid and dreaming up recipe ideas I can search for inspiration to fan those flames. I had some Thai turkey stock on hand, so I figured I'd give the dumplings a Thai twist then simmer them in the turkey stock.

After mixing up the filling, my son and I spent an enjoyable afternoon assembling the dumplings. [Ok, it wasn't the entire afternoon, but it wasn't 10 minutes of work. There's a big reason I don't list preparation times on this blog--I AM SLOW IN THE KITCHEN. If I read that it takes 10 minutes to prep the ingredients for a recipe, I can guarantee that it will take me easily 30 minutes. I'm just slow, and I'm OK with that.] We chatted about life, as folks typically do when working together towards a common goal, and didn't really focus on creating the perfect photo-worthy dumplings. We weren't in a hurry, it was a Sunday, and we were just enjoying the moment. The dumplings don't look perfect, and that's OK. After all that time crimping and chatting I just wasn't into fixing a side dish, so we ate these dumplings with rice my daughter started in the rice cooker. Not every meal has to meet the perfection of whatever meal ideals are currently in vogue.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ham and Turnip Stew

Ready in about half an hour, this tasty stew has turnips and carrots simmered with a meaty ham bone.

I appreciate the readers on my Facebook page!  I couldn't decide which recipes to post this week and posted a list of options. Sandy chose this recipe, so here it is! I apologize for the poor quality photos--I expected this would make a leftover that I could photograph for lunch in natural light, but we cleaned the pot out. You're getting a quick pic that was snapped at our dinner table.  Simon thought it smelled delicious as well.
The other dogs are too short to have 4 paws on the floor and reach the table.
I've been on a mission to use what I've got in the fridge, freezer, and pantry lately. One of the issues with hating to waste food is the accumulation of items. For example, if we eat ham for dinner, we'll enjoy the leftovers in sandwiches, quesadillas, meatballs and/or pizza. There's usually still a chunk of ham left and we're hammed out, so into the freezer it goes. Ditto the ham bone. Normally I'll make {No Salt Added} Ham & Bean Soup with the bone, but I found a spare ham bone while rooting around in the freezer [I know, everyone should be so lucky].

On a whim, and why there are no 'ingredient' or 'process' photos, I grabbed some of the ubiquitous turniips from the crisper and made a quick stew. Turnips are one of the cool season crops that grow really well for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers, so we get a bunch when they are in season. The saltiness of the ham bone plays nicely with the sweet turnips and this stew was gobbled up. I'm remembering this one for Fall, since I'm always looking for ways to enjoy turnips.

For more recipes using turnips, please see my Turnip Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bacon, Beef and Beet Chili

A hearty chili of beef, beets, and tomatoes--flavored with bacon.

Chili is good for hockey season. When I have an afternoon available I'll make a pot of chili on a back burner while processing vegetables or making another dinner. The chili goes into the fridge for later in the week, then on the appointed day hangs out in the crock pot on Warm.  All day.  I just need someone {my sled hockey player} to grate the cheese and set out the fixings, and it's time to eat.

See the bowl in these photos? I got it at Hot Soups for a Cool Cause, a fundraiser for the Dayton International Peace Museum. My folks and I attend the twice-yearly events since their visits happened to coincide. With my donation I not only got an assortment of delicious soups and excellent conversation--I got to keep the bowl! I was amazed to learn that the potter lives a few blocks away--small world. I did not have this chili at the fundraiser (though I had a tasty borscht last month at the Cool Soups for a Hot Cause event). Instead, I pulled it out of my ear--doing a bit of a riff on my Acorn Squash, Beet and Sweet Potato Chili.

Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers are great at growing beets.  The family is just not that into beets, despite 8 years of exposure to this delicious vegetable. No matter. If we get beets in the farm share, we get beets in our bellies. We eat what is in the fridge. Or else!
This time, bacon was my vehicle to facilitate the beets' acceptance. A little bacon goes a long way, flavor-wise, so I am glad to incorporate some into this chili. I'm gratified that the kids like chili--it's easy to cook, reheats well, and can assimilate a bunch of vegetables.

I've updated my Visual Recipe Index--for more recipes featuring beets, check out my Beet Recipes Collection!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Colorful Roasted Butternut Squash with Potato, Pepper and Leeks

Cubes of butternut squash and potato roasted with pieces of pepper and seasoned with leeks. A colorful side dish for a holiday meal or for a simple family supper.

The other day I talked about my Appetizer recipes, tooting my own horn about my ever-growing list of vegetable (and now meat and fruit) appetizers. Today I'm focused on side dishes. I can could make meals out of side dishes. Back when we lived near a Boston Market restaurant I was happy to skip the chicken or meatloaf and instead feast on greens, squash, stuffing, potatoes, corn, beans . . . whatever looked good and could be plentiful on my plate.

The suck part of desiring a variety of colorful side dishes is having to make them all. For this recipe I decided to combine a few veggies--the most colorful ones on hand--and roast them together. One cooking session that would result in a plentiful pile of color on my plate. It not only looked good--it tasted terrific, especially alongside a roasted chicken.

Over the past few weeks I've been gathering all the ingredients for a repeat of this side dish (first made--and photos shot last winter). Fall crops from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share generally keep well over a long period. In a cool dark place you can store winter squash, potatoes, and onions for months. Peppers and leeks hang out in the crisper for a few weeks--and can be frozen to use in soups and stews as well. So even if you're getting the fresh local produce in October [and you celebrate Thanksgiving in the US in November--I won't rant this time] with proper storage your produce will be ready when you're ready to cook.

I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Swiss Chard, Chicken, and Leek Enchiladas with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

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If you've got a big pile of Swiss chard available (please note I could have written 'to use up' but opted against it because chard in this dish is something wonderful, not something to use up) read on.

Bonus if you've got some leeks.

If you prefer not to eat chicken, try Lauren at Gourmet Veggie Mama's Chard Enchilada recipe or Michael at Herbivoracious' gorgeous Chard Enchilada recipe (where I was inspired to throw cilantro and red onion on top of my finished dish).

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

This recipe turned a big bag of Swiss chard and two fat leeks from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, plus some leftover roasted chicken--hanging out like a bored teen in the summer--into a cheesy and satisfying summer supper.

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

It all started with this enchilada sauce recipe from Andrea of Recipes for Divine Living.  I figured I'd use some put-up slow-roasted tomatoes in place of canned, and I made a whole mess of sauce.  Half go it went into Confetti Turkey Enchiladas and the other half went into a quart jar in the freezer.  When Lauren mentioned her chard enchiladas the same day we got our CSA pick up my mind started considering my options.  I thawed the jar overnight in the fridge and corralled my bored teen to help chop, and we had a great dinner.

For more recipes using leeks, please see my Recipes Using Leeks collection. For more recipes using Swiss chard, please see my Swiss Chard Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

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You ever make a large quantity of a condiment, and then not know what to do with it? Yeah, that happened to me, too.  I had so many tomatoes that after putting up crushed tomatoes, seasoned and plain tomato sauce, green tomato bacon jam and salsa . . . whew . . . I decided to try making tomato jam.
I got the idea, and the recipe, from Marisa's first cookbook, Food In Jars (link to her eponymous website--hey, did I use that word correctly? Do I get points?).  Tomato jam sounded like something I ought to try, and since I'd nearly filled up my pantry with other tomato products I gave it a go.  It was easy because Marisa's directions are clear and simple to understand, she anticipates my questions and answers them before I think to say 'but, what about . . .'.  I got her book out of my local library.

In a ham sandwich, this tomato jam just sings.  The sweetness of the jam perfectly balances the saltiness of a slice of ham, and you bet I'll be blowing through a jar eating Easter ham leftovers*. But tomato jam with a chicken sandwich? It's not that terrific. Turkey? Um, no thanks. I needed to get creative.

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

After I used country ham and leeks on a pizza, with asparagus and egg, I was inspired to try that combination of country ham and leeks in a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato jam.  Bingo!  The combination of salty bits of country ham [I like to bite my sandwich neatly, and not have the entire piece of meat pull out from between the bread, so I diced it] and sweet and tangy tomato jam is excellent. Add leeks, cheddar, and a griddle and you're golden.  Serve it alongside creamy tomato soup and you'll have such a sense of accomplishment, a la The Little Red Hen (and no shortage of folks to help you eat it!)--Amazon affiliate link if you're not familiar with the book.

For more recipes using leeks, please see my Recipes Using Leeks Collection. For more recipes for what to do with a glut of tomatoes, please see my Red and Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection. Yes, there is a Green Tomato Recipes Collection. All of these collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cheesy Leeks and Orzo

Let your leeks shine in this simple and quick side dish of orzo pasta, leeks, and cottage cheese. 

Cheesy Leeks and Orzo | Farm Fresh Feasts

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After a busy AppetizerWeek last month where I really buffed up my appetizer section, I poked around on my recipe index by category (on the right side bar, not to be confused with the recipe index by ingredient up along the top) and thought that I ought to be sharing some more simple side dishes that I feed to my family, using the vegetables from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Wow--that was a run on sentence. My apologies. The unrelenting cold numbs my fingers and brain. Perhaps after a week in Florida I'll be coherent? Gotta get through this week first.

Today's recipe came about because I wanted a side dish that would appeal to the whole family and my CSA farmers had grown a stupendous crop of fat and sassy leeks.  I generally wash, slice, spin dry, and freeze my leeks for use over the winter (in soups, stews, etc) but I like to use some fresh, too.

Cheesy Leeks and Orzo | Farm Fresh Feasts

While leeks are usually supporting players in my dishes, I've seen gorgeous ways to showcase them like Kristy's Crispy Leeks.  I wanted a softer leek (my son had recently had his wisdom teeth out) and to let that nice mild flavor shine through.  We had this side with spicy salmon, but it would go equally well with chicken or pork.  Leftovers reheated well the next day.

For more recipes using leeks, please see my Leek Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for local seasonal eaters like myself who want to make the most of their farmer's efforts. I'm pinning all sorts of recipes to my Pinterest boards, follow me there. I'm sharing recipes and articles that catch my eye on my Facebook page, follow me there. For a carefully curated behind the scenes (complete with howling Basset hound) please follow my Instagram feed. Want to know How To Use This Blog?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option)

A comforting soup of simply celery and rice, flexible for multiple eating styles and cooking styles

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

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Want to add more vegetables to your daily life? Do you think celery is underutilized in your kitchen? If so, read on for an easy soup--including a slow cooker option if you'd like to use that. This can be a vegetarian or omnivore soup--I've made it with vegetable stock as well as chicken stock--and appeals to my kids in a way that ants on a log never did. [Um, that's our term for a celery stick spread with peanut butter and dotted with raisins, just in case you were thinking I'm feeding my kids ants deliberately. Accidental ants I'm not responsible for.]

I'm not a huge fan of celery, so when my regrown celery resulted in an overabundance in the garden plot [shown below with one of my garden assistants, Simon] I scrambled around looking for ways to enjoy it.  Sure, I'm happy to stretch meat by adding chopped celery (and onions, carrots, peppers, or shredded squash) into my recipes for tacos, burgers, or meatloaf.  But I wanted to try some other ideas.  After all, celery from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share--or in this case from my garden--actually has a delicious CELERY flavor that I've never really tasted with store bought celery.  Who knew? While scanning the cookbook shelves at the library I saw a recipe for celery rice soup.  I didn't have any of the ingredients, other than celery and rice, so I didn't take note of the cookbook name, I re-shelved and moved on, but the recipe idea stuck with me.

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

Later in the week we were feeling run down, and celery rice soup seemed like a comforting idea.  It was good enough that I made it again a week later.  I've tried this with both yellow onions and leeks.  I bet it would also be good with shallots, so any alliums you've got on hand--use them.  We preferred this with chicken stock and chopped cooked chicken, but I could see taking it in a different direction--soy chorizo for vegetarians?  It's fairly . . . I won't say bland, but I will say it's not crazy seasoned like Ma Po Tofu [I got a jar of Ma Po Tofu sauce in my Christmas stocking and I'm looking forward to trying it--with celery].  This soup is just nice, basic, easy, and no frills--good for warming your belly on a cold day. And good for using up an abundance of celery.  Speaking of abundance . . . here's what I was dealing with when I made it:

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

For other ways to use celery, please see my Celery Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For ways to Use This Blog, please click here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (And How To Make Vegetable Stock)

A thick vegan or vegetarian or omnivorous soup of potatoes, beets and leeks

Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (And How To Make Vegetable Stock) | Farm Fresh Feasts

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My spouse is a vegetarian, at least while he's away on his all-expense paid work trip to an exotic foreign locale.  If you think it's ironic, considering I just shared a post on 106 Recipe Ideas Using Ground Beef because I have 110 pounds of ground beef in the freezer, you're in good company.

Since the rest of the household is omnivorous, I've been experimenting with ways to create meals we can all enjoy.
I've heard homeschoolers will use the Bus Stop Method of teaching--introducing a subject, then dropping off students to work at different levels while continuing to teach that subject.  I consider recipes like this, and my Vegan/Vegetarian/Omnivorous Valentine's Pizza and my Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato Chili, to be similar to the Bus Stop Teaching.  Call it Bus Stop Cooking (though bear in mind I am cooking in my kitchen, not at a bus stop, and I have access to running water, an oven, stove, and all that).
 The base of this recipe is a vegetable stock, slowly cooked in the slow cooker (is that redundant?) all day (and in fact I kicked this batch over to Keep Warm and let it go overnight since I didn't feel like dealing with it in the evening).  I like mushrooms in my vegetable stock, so when I realize that I'm not going to finish a package I'll toss them in with the rest of the cast of vegetables into a Vegetarian Soup Pack in the freezer.

The inspiration for this soup came from Alanna's Greens 'n All Beet Soup.  I love the flavor of that soup, but my kids aren't crazy about chunks of vegetables, and lately with my obsession with sautéed beet greens there just wasn't any left for soup.  So I figured I'd adapt Alanna's recipe with the veggies I had.  Once I simmered and pureed the soup, I had a rick, thick, vegan bowl of yumminess (shown above).  That's Bus Stop #1.  Adding a dollop (love that word) of sour cream makes a nice vegetarian bowl (shown below left).  Bus Stop #2.  Adding a pound of browned and drained ground beef to the pot means that we've arrived at the final destination--a soup for omnivores [aka another way to get my kids to eat beets.  With beef.]

Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (And How To Make Vegetable Stock) | Farm Fresh Feasts

I don't know if my spouse will continue as a vegetarian when he returns.  He says he'll eat "happy meat", so I've sourced a "locally-raised on locally-grown and -ground GMO free feed" turkey for Thanksgiving.  I do know that I will continue this Bus Stop Cooking method, because it tastes good!

Friday, October 4, 2013

White Chicken Leek Pizza on Sweet Potato Crust

Chicken, leeks, and herbed cream cheese on a tender sweet potato pizza crust.

White Chicken Leek Pizza on Sweet Potato Crust | Farm Fresh Feasts

Changing it up again--recipe first, words later, because I'd like to share below how I store some crops from the garden and the CSA farm share.  One long term storage crop is sweet potatoes.  I've made pizza crusts from (links to my other recipes) shredded butternut squash, roasted or shredded beets, steamed spinach and steamed kale.  Why not sweet potato?  Just like the addition of sweet potato to biscuits results in a tender crumb, adding it to pizza crust results in a tender, flavorful crust.  I made a triple batch of dough and will share have shared my creations throughout this fall--including 2 delicious FFF-a-boli rolled pizzas, one for vegetarians and one for omnivores--created using ingredients that will be leftover after Thanksgiving. Everything is up on the Visual Pizza Recipe Index.
First up, a white chicken leek pizza (with a fresh tomato pesto & fontina option for vegetarians, photo below), since I got both sweet potatoes and leeks in last week's CSA farm share.

Fresh Tomato Pesto  on Sweet Potato Pizza Crust | Farm Fresh Feasts

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zucchini, Corn, and Leek Pizza with Pesto and Feta (Pizza Night!)

The flavors of a summer vegetarian pizza: shredded zucchini sautéed with leeks and corn then topped with feta cheese on a roasted garlic oil-brushed pizza crust. 

Pizza in the summer should be easy.  Not that pizza in the winter should be complicated or anything, but there's something about the bounty of ripe produce coupled with spending more time outdoors doing yard work that lends itself to easy meals.  With such delicious stuff coming in the the farm share box the pizzas practically make themselves (let's be honest, I'm doing the work here) the idea of what veggies to combine in a pizza practically falls into your lap.  At least that's what happened with this pizza.  Sometimes, the ingredients choose you (Meghan is so wise).
Note:  I made this pizza in January.  It's true!  I'd love to show you a photo with the pizza and the 3 inches of snow that fell in the morning, but in fact it was wicked cold and dark so I have no 'outdoor' natural light photos.

Over the winter, while rooting around in the freezer for something else, a bag of shredded zucchini, a bag of corn kernels, and a bag of chopped leeks fell into my lap.  How did I make a pizza using zucchini and corn in the midst of winter?  Easy!  When I am overwhelmed with my crazy garden volunteers, or we get more than my family can eat in the week's CSA farm share box, I put it up.  The zucchini was shredded (love the fine shred disc on my food processor, the smaller and cheaper version of this one) then bagged, and frozen.  The corn was cooked in a cooler, cut off the cobs, frozen on a tray, and bagged.  The leeks were sliced, washed a lot, spun dry, and frozen loose on a tray before bagging.  That way, we can enjoy summer flavors all year long.  And this taste of summer was delicious after shoveling snow!

When I made this pizza, I knew that I eventually wanted to try leeks with corn on a pizza as well.  When I got leeks in my farm share I even did a little happy dance.  Tonight's pizza is very summery in nearly all respects--it's loaded with ripe-in-summer produce, tossed with pesto, flavored with a hint of garlic . . . but I think I may have used an eggnogandbutternutsquash crust.  So here's today's lesson, folks!  Always Label Random Bags of Pizza Crust In Your Freezer.  The crust tasted just fine with the toppings.  In fact, it may have been just a plain butternut squash pizza crust (is that an oxymoron?).  I'll never know, because I didn't label the bag!

If this pizza looks delicious enough for you to want to make it now, not wait until January, just make sure to squeeze the shredded zucchini until it's as dry as you can get it.  If you don't have leeks, substitute onions, shallots, or even green onions--but add them to the skillet at the very end because they burn easily.  At least in my skillets.  Now that my garden is growing some of these ingredients, I'm already planning my next "summer pizza" though this time I will know what dough to use.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mexican Chicken Lentil Rice Bake (Salad?)

Most home cooks, and even the professionals down the road at Dorothy Lane Market, know the value of turning to a Kitchen Sink type recipe when faced with a fridge full of dinner building blocks.  I'm pretty sure a lot of classic Hot Dish combinations came about because a cook looked to his or her fridge/freezer/pantry for a substitution instead of trekking to the store.  Even though my local store is only a 1 mile (Map My) walk away, complete with a water dish for the waiting Simon, I'd rather use what I've got on hand.  Sometimes, the result is good enough to be written up and appear here.
I was mulling over what to call this dish while working a Hunger Study 2014 survey site.  My fellow volunteer, Bob, kept offering title ideas that were more general.  I kept coming up with very specific titles.  This was our compromise--it's got the Mexican Chicken Bake part from Bob and the Chicken Lentil Rice part from me.  You know, in case I do a Mexican Chicken Bake using garbanzo beans, Maui onions, zucchini, butternut squash, and orzo next. Or something.  Who knows?

Because I only used 2 large chicken thighs to feed 6-8 servings, I'd say this qualifies as a meat-stretching meal.  The chicken flavors the lentils, which add fiber and more protein to the dish.  Using leeks, corn, and salsa verde all put up from my seasonal CSA farm share pumps up the vegetable content, the rice binds it together, and the cheeses make it all tasty.  We ate this the first time a bit like we eat Taco Farro:  with tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, and lettuce.  Leftovers went into thermoses for school, onto salads for lunch, and scooped up as a pre-dinner snack by a tortilla-chip-weilding hungry spouse.

Keep this Kitchen Sink idea in mind if you want to create a "less meat, more fiber" flavorful meal for your family.  It appealed to all of us, and I hope it appeals to you.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tremendously Green Pizza (Bacon, Cabbage, Caramelized Onion, Leek and Potato Pizza on a Spinach Crust) Pizza Night!

Oh goodness, where to start?  If I was all about pink pizzas last month for Valentine's day, this month I'm into green pizzas.  Well, there's also a mushroom medley coming up, and a salmon/arugula one for Good Friday, but still . . .  here at Farm Fresh Feasts, March comes in like a green pizza.

You'd better get a fork and knife for this pizza.  The crust barely has a chance to stand up to the onslaught of ingredients.  I mean, I knew that potatoes, cabbage, onions and bacon worked well together.  Everything goes better with bacon.  But when I got leeks in the farm share I couldn't help myself.  It also seems very appropriate for a St Patty's Day pizza, what with the potatoes and cabbage and utter green-ness of the thing.  Went well with beer, too.

I'd planned to do a leek, potato, and bacon pizza.  Three toppings, the title of the post wouldn't be too long, no biggie.  Leek and potatoes go together like salmon and oranges, zucchini and nutella, peanut butter and jelly.  But when I was snuffling around in my little fruit and veg freezer (which also happens to be the Extra Pizza Items freezer) debating between garlic oil or  _____ for the 'sauce', I saw the packet of caramelized onions I'd carefully saved.  Why not a layer of caramelized onions as the sauce?

So far, we've got a layer of caramelized onions, topped with potato slices, and leeks, and bacon.  That sounds pretty tasty, no?  Then I opened the fridge and saw the bags of Chinese cabbage and spinach from the farm share.  They were not getting any younger.  I know I love a spinach crust, and it was time to inflict a spinach crust on the rest of the family.  So the spinach went into the crust.  The cabbage (and you could use any cabbage you got for this, I'd think, though red cabbage would necessarily change the title), why not add that just to push this pizza over the edge?  Done!

Really,  if you've put up the ingredients as they come to you ripe/in season/on sale, this sort of thing isn't as crazy as it sounds.  It's not like I went to the store specifically to get the ingredients for this pizza. Ha!  I think the only thing I go to the store specifically for these days is milk, beer, and grapes.  Everything else just kind of happens.  Like my life!