Showing posts with label onion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label onion. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2013

Panade, with Swiss Chard, Onion, and Cheddar Sausage

It's amazing when a leftover ingredient gets used up in a delicious way.  After I first tried Panzanella, I found it so marvelous that, come spring, I started freezing all my Good Bread** ends for summer salads.  But I didn't have a winter equivalent for the Good Bread leftovers until my spouse sent me a Buzzfeed article that included this link.  I was intrigued.  Not about the pumpkin, but what was inside.

Panade.  Never heard of it.  I searched around the webs and found this version.  Apparently panade took the food blog world by storm a few years ago.  I can only assume it was during another deployment and I was not Creating Grand (farm fresh) Feasts, only making stuff the kids and I would eat--with very few leftovers.  Now that I'm blogging, what will I do with this next deployment?  I need suggestions.  So far I'm thinking a Farm Fresh For Fewer series.

This is a Grand Dish.  It takes a long time to bake (but a comparatively small amount of hands-on time) so I found it perfect for a Sunday supper.  Just like with panzanella in the summertime, panade takes leftover bread and turns it into a delicious new meal.  And with my Swiss chard growing like crazy in the garden, it provides me with a great way to use a readily available green.  I switched it up a bit and added some 'we're never going to eat this for breakfast so why not toss it in?' leftover cheddar sausage links to the finished dish.  Everyone went back for seconds.  If you missed this one a while back, do try this at home.

**Good bread for me is La Brea Bakery Whole Grain Loaf.  I usually buy it in a two-pack at Costco but have seen it in my local grocery stores in both Virginia and Ohio.  Any dense chewy whole grain bread is Good Bread in my book, though. If you'd like to make your own at home, I recommend my Multigrain Sourdough Bread.
For other recipes using Swiss Chard, please see my Swiss Chard Recipe Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index.

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!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Savory Sauerkraut Sausage Stuffing Skillet Supper

I've been experimenting with adding day-old bread to all sorts of dishes lately.  I used to think all day-old bread, in the wintertime, would be destined just for bread crumbs.  In the summertime, day-old bread is destined for panzanella.

Not any more!  Now that I've found the winter comfort foods of panade and this dish, I look forward to transforming day-old bread into all sorts of savory dishes.  These bread dishes aren't exactly gorgeous, it's true, but they are warm and comforting.

While browsing the internet I stumbled across this recipe and got inspired to use the day-old brat & sausage rolls in the fridge for stuffing.  My family doesn't love stuffing like they love mashed potatoes, so I knew I needed to change it up a bit to make it into a meal.  Coincidentally, I had half a package of smoked sausage in the freezer, and coupons for sauerkraut.  And thus, the magic is born!

Or, at least, there's a plan for dinner.  Always good to have a plan. Or twelve.
This dish is cooked in one skillet (ok, and a baking sheet, and a bowl to toss the bread cubes in, but it was pretty easy to clean up anyway).  It's very savory, and was right up my alley for a Sunday supper on a winter night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Acorn Squash, Chick Pea and Chicken Faux-roccan Stew

Do you get new posts from this blog via email?**

I subscribe to a variety of food blogs and recipe aggregation sites which flood my inbox multiple times a day with ideas.

As if I wasn't constantly thinking about food anyway.  Even in the shower!

This stew was inspired by one such email, from either DailyRecipe or Better Homes & Gardens I think.  The photo in my inbox looked good enough for me to click on the link and investigate further.  I pulled the seasoning combo (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) but turned to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook for the bulk of the stew.  I'm also trying to use less meat overall--meat as a condiment not as the Main Event--so I added a can of chick peas to stretch the protein even further.  That worked well, and I've used that technique in other dishes.

The seasoning combo (cinnamon, chili powder, and cumin) is billed as Moroccan.  I've eaten tasty food prepared by a Moroccan friend, but I cannot say I've really studied Moroccan food, so in good conscience I cannot call this a Moroccan stew.  Instead, I'll call it Faux-roccan.  Sorry about the cute name.  Regardless of the name, however, I found it a tasty change of pace from my standard winter stew.  Try it!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Roasted Beet, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Pizza (Pizza Night!)

Last Friday I had a whole lot to say before I got to the pizza recipe.  Today I'm keeping it short and sweet.  Which do you prefer?

It wasn't enough to do one (or three) beet pizzas.  No, I have more beet tricks up my <hopelessly stained> sleeve.  I suspected, from this appetizer, that I'd like the combination of roasted beets and goat cheese on a pizza.  I hoped that the addition of caramelized onions would punch it up a bit.

I was not disappointed.  Neither was my spouse.  The kids . . . didn't volunteer to try this one.

This is a pretty pizza, all neon-pink beet juice bleeding onto the white goat cheese.  Could be cute for a Valentine's day pink-themed meal, if you don't want to go all beet-crusty on your loved ones.  I'll try it again when my arugula (rocket) is ready just to see how that looks/tastes.  Meantime, the garlic oil was still a nice base for the beets.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Valentine's Pizza to Show Your Love (Vegan, Vegetarian, or Omnivores: Pizza Night!)

Love.  In what I hope is the middle of my life, my thoughts on Love are broader than they used to be.  I've always told my kids there is no single person that is the one for each of them.  I mean, if you happen to take a different path one day and not meet that person, well, what then?  I think respect, courtesy, and communication are very important building blocks of love.  (Yes, desire and other things are important too.  On to food.)
Vegetarian option on the left, omnivore option on the right.

One of the ways I show my love for my family is by cooking for them.  I'm not alone in this!  I consider myself fortunate that I also like to cook and am curious about new foods/new recipes, but even if I were just making the same seven staple dinners each week I'd be putting love into each meal.  In fact, when we moved into our home <and I had a Groupon to use> I had the Penzey's Spices slogan made into a wall decal over my kitchen window.
My kids think the font I chose is a bit wonky, and run around saying "Book them tasty food!" Little darlings.
I meet more and more folks who live with, and love, people with different dietary habits.  My friend Lorin at the VeganAsana, wrote an excellent post on this topic.  If you are a vegetarian cooking meat for a carnivore--that action shows your love and respect. If you are a carnivore choosing the vegan buttery spread while doing the family grocery shopping--that action shows your love and respect.  Sitting down to a meal together, a meal that contains a variety of dishes that can work with everyone's dietary choices, sounds simple but really is an expression of love and acceptance of those you love.

Even though I feed a house of omnivores, this pizza is an expression of my love for anyone reading who lives with and cooks for those with different dietary habits.  Like with the bus stop method of home schooling, this is the bus stop method of cooking.  You can stop the pizza where it suits you or your family's dietary habits.  This pizza works for vegans, vegetarians, or beet-curious carnivores.
A mere 1/2 cup of finely shredded beets turns the dough shockingly pink.  I like it.

I freely admit that I made the beet crust purely so I could blog about it. [Having shredded beets put up in the freezer played no small part either.]  I was was thinking it would be something neat for Valentine's day.  Then I remembered the taste of the Beet and Horseradish muffins that will appear on this blog on a future Muffin Monday.  Having had those muffins, I know that my mom was right and beets pair well with horseradish.  Horseradish, in turn, pairs well with roast beef.  So it wasn't a big jump to get a Roast Beef on a Beet Crust Pizza drizzled with Horseradish Cream.  The trickier bit was the flavors in the middle, and I am grateful to the males in my household for that.
My spouse and son kept asking for another pizza with fresh mozzarella, and on the drive home from sled hockey practice one night my son and I created the layers of this pizza.  In our heads, at least.  Now that I know to keep an eye out for the upcoming sell-by dates and snap up balls of fresh mozzarella as they are marked down in the fancy cheese area of the grocery store, I am happy to oblige their desire for fresh cheese.
Thus far we have a shockingly pink beet crust with bright white discs of cheese, and I thought roasted garlic oil would be an excellent sauce in between those layers.  Conveniently, in my fruit and veg freezer, I had a lone packet of caramelized onions next to the roasted garlic so I grabbed that, too.
Here's how this shakes out.

A Valentine's day dish for the vegans you love:
Caramelized Onions and Roasted Garlic Oil on a Beet Crust Flatbread
A Valentine's day dish for the vegetarians you love:
Caramelized Onions, Fresh Mozzarella, and Roasted Garlic on a Beet Crust Pizza
A Valentine's day dish for the omnivore or beet-curious carnivore you love:
Roast Beast Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Garlic on a Beet Crust, Drizzled with Horseradish Cream
Yikes.  That sounds ambitious.  Let's start with the basis of it all--the beet crust.  I prefer making my crust a day or three before use--it stretches so nicely when it's not brand spanking new.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato Chili: One Beginning, Two Endings (Bean-Free Chili for Vegans or with Beef for Carnivores)
Could be vegan chili on the left, chili for carnivores on the right.
One of the pots of chili you see here was what I set out to make.  The other one was the surprise mid-way through.

You see, it all started when I had a bite of my spouse's chili at Tom+Chee in Newport, KY.  It was smooth, meaty, and topped with a bit of blue cheese.  Yum!  I love that restaurant.

I like my Green Tomato Garlic Chili, and I like all the chunky and bean-y chili I have had.  In fact, I don't think I've met a chili I didn't like.  But I wanted to try my hand at making a smooth, meaty chili.

No chunks (the kids tolerate smooth better than chunky anyway) and no beans (thanks to New Year's day and a vat of Ham and Bean soup I'd had beans 8 out of 9 days of 2013 and frankly I needed a break).  What does that leave?  The Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, of course.

I started by roasting a small 1 pound acorn squash and a small sweet potato.  I was making a small batch, because after the giant vat of soup I really didn't want gallons of chili leftovers.  Then I set those aside and browned a pound of ground beef in my 3 quart saucepan.  I knew I wanted a smooth chili, but I didn't want to attack my beef with the immersion blender, so at this point I drained and set the beef aside.

If I were cooking for vegans as well as carnivores, I would wash the saucepan at this point.
I was just cooking for the family, so I added onions and some of my freezer stash carrots/celery/parsley to the pan (using the remnants of grease instead of oil) and sautéed.  I was thinking about how, when making Indian food, you sauté the spices until they are fragrant before adding the simmering liquids, so I decided to add the spices next.  Annemarie of RealFoodRealDeals made a squash chili and her recipe appeared in my inbox just as I was debating for which spices to use, so I went with her spicing suggestions.  I remembered my cousin Cindy (the cousin Cindy I've friended on FB but never met) telling me she adds beets to her tomato sauce so when I was grabbing a pack of slow-roasted tomatoes from the freezer I picked up a bag of shredded beets, too.  I tossed those in to simmer with the veggies, then I added some stock.  If I were cooking for vegans, I'd use vegetable stock or Penzey's vegetable soup base.  I used chicken stock instead, added a bay leaf, and it simmered away happily for an hour.  Since (did I mention) I wanted a smooth chili, I removed the bay leaf, grabbed my immersion blender and smoothed it all up.

Then I tasted the chili.  Dang, it's pretty good right now!

If you are serving vegans, move some of the chili to a slow cooker or saucepan over low heat to simmer quietly until serving time.  Because it was just us, I added back in most of the beef and simmered the whole lot on low another hour.  Then another hour because my spouse worked late.
The result was a smooth, thick, tomato-ey meaty chili.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quadruple Roasted Vegetable Mock Florentine Mock Lasagna

I've been tweaking the blog a bit.  If you look over that way ----> you'll see a clickable Recipe Index.  Thanks to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for the code to make that work.  Moving the recipe index off the top bar gave me room for some essays (recipe-free ramblings, really) I wrote way back in the fall :) when I started this blog in case you just feel like reading a bit.
Let me know (comments or on my FB page) what you think!  On to the food.

This, probably more than anything else, illustrates how I feed my family from our CSA farm share all year 'round.

This dish contains 4 roasted veggies:  garlic, roasted after I harvested it and frozen in early summer, eggplant and bell peppers, marinated in a vinaigrette and roasted and frozen when I was overwhelmed with veggies in late summer, and sweet potato, roasted for another use and left over in the fridge.

The mock florentine refers to the liberal use of Swiss chard in lieu of spinach.  I used a bunch of fresh chard (stems in the sauce, leaves with the noodles) in addition to incorporating leftover Creamed Swiss Chard.  (If you're keeping track, the Leftover Score is now at 2).

The mock lasagna refers to the fact that, although I have a well-stocked pantry, I didn't have any lasagna noodles.  Yes,  I could go out and buy some, I'd rather use up what I already got.

Hence the crazy convoluted name.

I walked in the door after an afternoon wheelchair basketball exhibition game with the idea that I wanted "something good" for dinner but having no clue what that would be.  Seventy-five minutes later I was putting this dish in the oven.  It's not a 'quick take', but to go from cluelessly scratching my head in the middle of the kitchen to completed, ready-to-bake Quadruple Roasted Mock Palooza impresses me.  Then again, I'm easily impressed.

Having the roasted veggies and the prepared pesto put up, and a freezer full of potential pizza toppings, means that making this truly does illustrate my goal of feeding my family from our farm share--all year long.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Creamed Swiss Chard with Back Bacon--A Lovely Leftover to Have

When my first child was around 6 weeks old, my in-laws came to visit and meet their first grandkid.  They took us out to a steak place.  A Very Fancy steak place.  The kind of clubby, dark wood, tuxedo-shirted server place where you can't see much less hear other people in the restaurant.  The kind of place where the steak has its own price, and the side dishes each have their own price and the prices are . . . well let's just say my in-laws took us out for dinner. And the food was delicious and the company was convivial.

I will not tell you how, because he was our first, we were unbuckling the giant rear-facing carseat and lugging that giant monstrosity into the fancy steak place. (No, not the kind that snaps into/out from a base with a handle so that you can sling the sleeping baby, still buckled, over your arm like a basket.  The other kind of rear-facing car seat that can eventually be turned around and used as a front-facing car seat. We were dumb.  First kid.)   Let's just say that I felt exceedingly out of my element.  And the food was delicious and the company was convivial.

I had creamed spinach as my side because, even though I was ravenous all the time, I couldn't see paying that much money for a baked potato.  Baked potatoes I can do at home.  But creamed spinach . . . that was something I hadn't made before.  I always like to order things I don't try at home.

I love creamed spinach.  My mom used to make a cheater version with a box of frozen spinach and a can of cream of mushroom soup that was da bomb.  If creamed spinach could be da bomb to a kid.  Well, the taste memory of it is da bomb to me--it wasn't too rich like most creamed spinach I eat these days.

It surprises me that, as much as I grow Swiss chard and get Swiss chard from my farm share, therefore I've got piles of Swiss chard waiting to be used at any given time, I never thought about making creamed Swiss chard.

But for some reason--um, I'm blogging about how I feed the family from the farm share, that's the reason ;) --I decided to try my hand at creamed Swiss chard.  I got inspired by this recipe but veered off course a tiny bit to use what I had on hand.  As usual.

The recipe is pretty easy to make-I worked it so that I cooked everything in one saucepan, which kept the dishes down.  We ate it alongside a flank steak and rice because I remembered that fancy steak dinner.  We don't normally eat steak.  The interesting thing to me was what I did with the leftovers.  I'll blog about that in another post, but let me just say 'mock lasagna' and leave it at that. Well, I'll tease you at the end.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mindless Sweet Potato Hash (introducing the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve)

It's been several weeks since my last CSA delivery.  The spinach has been eaten mostly in pizzas, the cabbage went into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and the carrots and celery jumped into both hummus and soup (not at the same time, they divided into teams and the cool kids went to the hummus and the rest went for the soup).  The eggs are so long gone that I've had to buy eggs several times!

However, I still have some unprocessed CSA produce to cook with.  On CSA days, once I get home from pick up, I perform "vegetable triage".  What vegetables are most perishable?  They go in the fridge, right in front, so I can cook with them first.  What else is perishable?  In the crisper for a few days.  Something that I know I won't cook in the next week (like the week I got turnips with greens, kale, mustard greens, and cabbage?  We eat greens, but come on!) gets put up in the freezer for later cooking. [I chopped the turnip greens, the kale, and the mustard greens together, then blanched them, spun them dry, and packed them into quart size freezer bags.]  That leaves the longer-storing produce.
Ready to go in the oven!

All Fall, unless I was roasting it for this or that, I have been piling up the pumpkins, balancing the butternuts, stacking the sweet potatoes, and arranging the acorns in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve.  It's in a cold corner of my breakfast nook (55 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny January afternoon!) and though it's chilly to sit here and write about it, it's a pretty good spot for semi-long term storage.  Cool, definitely yes.  Dark, not so much, but there's no sunbeams slanting in either.

Once I've used all the more perishable produce from my farm share, I turn to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve for inspiration.  Another source of inspiration is from the leftovers I am blessed with.  During the holidays we had a nice time with the relatives, and I came home with leftover pork steak.  This is a new cut of meat to me, and since we rarely eat a steak, quite a treat to have some leftover delicious cooked pork steak.  I literally lay awake planning a pizza using the pork (stay tuned!) but I had a lot to work with, so I decided to try my hand at making hash.

I consulted my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook for advice, and loosely adapted their Corned Beef Hash to what you see here.  The best part was when I read the oven baking directions.  How simple is that?  A bit of cooking on the stove, then chuck the whole mess in the oven (ok, BHG said to transfer to a casserole, but I skipped that bit by starting with an oven safe cast iron skillet).

This tasted great, used up both leftover cooked meat as well as some items from the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, and was mindless to make.  If you've got leftovers (of the meat or winter squash variety) consider this dish.

Do you perform vegetable triage?
Do you like getting leftovers from relatives?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Swedish Meatballs--A Holiday Tradition

A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

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A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

Like many Americans, I seem to 'get my heritage on' over the holidays. I eat special foods that I don't normally eat the rest of the year, I make recipes handed down from my foremothers, and I decorate in ways that remind me of my heritage.  Being of Norwegian-Swedish-Scottish heritage, with ties of the heart to Denmark and Finland, my food traditions involve mostly potatoes, butter, meat, fish, and dried fruits. (A departure from the usual Farm Fresh Feast fare).

A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

Growing up, our family Christmas Eve celebration was different than everyone else I knew.  We'd invite a bunch of folks to a smorgasbord supper, followed by a table top Bobby Hull hockey tournament, then a buffet of sweets--assorted cookies, fruit soup, and lefse--and finally we'd attend the candlelight service.

A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

Besides in the comforts of her own kitchen, my mom managed to create this meal in the unlikeliest of settings.  She's done a smorgasbord in an un-winterized beach house, my apartment in Germany, and even broke my first mixer while visiting me in Illinois (they got me a new one which I still have and use!).  I have absorbed many lessons from my mom's shoulder over the years, several of which I impart via this blog.

A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

For today's recipe I've brought in some guest workers--my folks.  I had the privilege of their company recently.  I knew I wanted to do something that I could blog about, but (as usual) I wasn't really sure what.  Mom brought Red River Cereal and we made Red River Rolls (my favorite bun to eat turkey leftovers with!).  I thought about making lefse (a Norwegian potato-based flat bread) but when I hit the grocery store and saw ground pork marked down I knew what to make:  Swedish meatballs.

A family recipe for Swedish meatballs. Lightly spiced with allspice and cream, these beef and pork meatballs bake in the oven for a taste of the holidays any time of year.

Conveniently, mom came prepared for anything.  She brought an antique (can we call it that? It's from 1969) cookbook that she helped put together with Oty Rogers' recipe for Swedish meatballs.  Mrs. Rogers was my preschool teacher at the Y.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Yakisoba--Farm Fresh Feast Style (Quick Take)

Recipe for vegetables and meat tossed with noodles and sauce for a kid friendly Japanese dish.

Recipe for vegetables and meat tossed with noodles and sauce for a kid friendly Japanese dish.

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If you wander through an outdoor festival in Japan, you can see women fixing a delicious stir fried noodle dish, yakisoba, on giant flat griddles.  Because of these unwitting cooking demonstrations, yakisoba is one of the Japanese dishes I'm comfortable making.

Recipe for vegetables and meat tossed with noodles and sauce for a kid friendly Japanese dish.

I stock up on yakisoba noodle packs when I am near an Asian market.  In Hawaii I could get them fresh, but here in Ohio I get them in the frozen section of the Asian market down the street from hockey in Cincinnati.  Don't ask. I don't usually arrange my children's sports around my food shopping, it just works out that way. :)
I originally had celery in here, but decided there was enough crunch with the Bok Choy and Daikon.

I'm pretty sure my kids developed a taste for it in utero, because they have loved it from the chicken nugget age.  When I get the right mix of veggies in the farm share (some sort of cabbage, carrots, celery or pepper, and onion) it is their lunch of choice.  Yes, my kids come home from school for lunch.  At least my son is easily persuaded to join us if yakisoba is on the menu.  Oh!  Because it's Japanese, give equal emphasis to each syllable:  yah-kee-so-bah.  Easy!

Recipe for vegetables and meat tossed with noodles and sauce for a kid friendly Japanese dish.

For more recipes using bok choy, please see my Bok Choy Recipes Collection. For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes collection. For more recipes using radishes, please see my Radish Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me starting at the contents of a big box of fresh farm share vegetables and wondering how we're going to get the family to eat them. For more recipe ideas, follow me on Pinterest. For a peek at scenes of life, follow me on Instagram. For articles that caught my eye and epic failures because I have my share, follow me on Facebook. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Simple Sautéed Chinese Cabbage--Thursday Quick Take

This is a simple dish, true, but feeding the family day after day doesn't have to be elaborate.  Sometimes a simple side is just what's needed.

I love appliances.  I can be gone from the house from 4 to 6:30 pm and still sit down for dinner--including a fresh vegetable from the CSA farm share--at 6:45.
Earlier in the day I'd sautéed some chunks of chicken breast and tossed them into a crock pot along with a bottle of Thai red curry sauce.  I started a pot of brown Basmati rice in the rice cooker. Then I actually turned on the crock pot on to low and left for my chauffeuring duties.  While I was out I was pondering a side.  I could slice up some veggies with dip.  Or reheat the leftover creamed chard.  Then I remembered we'd gotten a Chinese cabbage the day before in the farm share box.  All set!  I got home, preheated the skillet while I was chopping the onions and slicing the cabbage, and we would have sat down to eat 15 minutes later.  We didn't, for another 30 minutes, because my son decided to take the dog for an extra long walk.  At least the dog didn't get loose, like that other time.

Simple Sautéed Chinese Cabbage

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 head Chinese cabbage, sliced into 1/2 inch-ish slices (separate the mostly stem from the mostly leaf)
Crazy Janes Mixed Up Salt (or salt and pepper) to taste
1 Tablespoon butter or cooking oil of your choice

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add a turn of oil.  Sauté the onion 3-5 minutes until it begins to soften.  Add the thicker stems of the cabbage, sauté and additional 5 minutes.  Add in the cabbage leaves and sauté 3-5 minutes until wilted.  Shake a bunch of Crazy Janes over top, and finish by letting a pat of butter melt over the dish.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet Potato Pizza--2 ways--Thanksgiving Leftover Remake (Pizza Night!)

Sometimes the veggies you get from the farm share aren't . . . perfect looking.  Sometimes they are knobby, misshapen, tiny, weird (carrot pants!).  And that's ok.  They still taste fine.  I'd had an idea to try sweet potato fries with our meal, but these were the remaining sweet potatoes I'd gotten from the farm share.  Not really idea for cutting into fairly uniform slices so they'd bake evenly.  Instead, I cubed them up, added oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes.  Faster than I was expecting.

Then I went to pick up my farm share and got another batch of sweet potatoes.  These were fat and sassy and perfect for the fries I wanted to make.  So I had leftover roasted sweet potato cubes, and you know what that means:  PIZZA!

This is version 1.

I was inspired by the sweet potato and feta combination I saw here, but also dithering about feta vs goat cheese, what type of sauce, additional vegetables, yada yada.  So I opted to make 2 pizzas, like I did with the fresh pear and goat cheese combo.  But the sweet potato pizzas were similar enough, and not OMG FREAKING AMAZING like the tomato pesto pizza I'd made the week before (yes, the post will come up, but tomatoes are not seasonal to me now so it just feels wrong to titillate you when you may not be able to access fresh delicious tomatoes.  You'll thank me.  Maybe?).

So I've decided to post them both, and to invite you dear readers to try this at home, with your leftover Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, and see if you can come up with something with a little more oomph than my pizzas had.  Because while these pizzas were fine, and the entire family ate them, they needed some sisu.  Some chutzpah.  A certain je ne sais quoi.  Something was missing.  My spouse says bacon.  It's his answer to everything.  Unfortunately I used the last of the bacon in a Chicken Cider Stew and he'll have to wait until I remember to thaw and bake some.

That said, on to the pizzas.  **But please check out the update at the end!  There's hope!**

Monday, November 5, 2012

French Green Lentil Soup (and How to Make Brown Stock, Frugal Farm Fresh Feast Style)

You know how I keep yammering on about saving all the unused bits and pieces of your farm share veggies in a Soup Pack?  Today I'm going to show you how I use a soup pack to make a brown (beef) stock, then use some of that stock to make soup.

This soup got started with the cow taking up residence in my freezer.  I asked for all the odds and ends of the beast, from tongue to tail and odd bits in between.  We got several packages of "soup bones" and today I got one out, along with a soup pack.  Instead of randomly throwing ingredients and insufficient salt into the pot, like I usually do, I decided to <gasp!> follow a recipe.  Well, loosely.

I consulted my handy 1950 Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook.  I was interested to read "Store covered in jars in the refrigerator.  The layer of fat on top will help preserve the stock." I usually freeze soup stock, and at this time of year freezer space is at a premium, so I gave it a go.  I heated the jars as if I was going to can the stock, then poured the strained (ooh!  used my cheesecloth! bonus!) stock into the hot jars.  I used my plastic screw top lids since they work in the fridge or freezer.  When I was ready to make soup I scooped off the fat layer (reminded me of my mom's wax on top of jam) and poured out the stock.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Enchilada Casserole

Could have called it enchilada-lasagna, or enchi-sanga, but in the end I went with a straightforward name. This dish takes all the ingredients of enchiladas, but instead of rolling each tortilla up individually, I stacked them in the dish and spread the stuffing over the whole mess.

I know, food porn, right?  This was a particularly photogenic dish, if you're into melty-cheesy goodness.  It ought to be-I made it twice before I was happy with it, so there are photos from each preparation.  My fault, not the recipe--my homemade salsa-not-quite-verde wasn't the right sauce. I repeated it with canned enchilada sauce and it was just right.

My first time trying real, homemade, enchiladas was at a baby shower of all places.  Our hostess made cheese and onion enchiladas and I was amazed how soft and flexible the corn tortilla became in the warm sauce.  Up until that point, I'd assumed that corn tortillas were good for tortilla chips and that's about it.  Not anymore!  I loved the combination of cheese and onion then, and it's still my favorite kind of enchiladas by far.

Because I eat seasonally, I've got butternut squash from my farm share.  The farmers at the weekly pick up said there'd been some insect damage to the squash, and to eat them up this week.  Normally I'd be holding off on the squash until later in the fall and focusing on the greens now, but needs must.  I decided to roast the squash because I've been roasting anything I haven't pickled lately (and pickling anything that hasn't moved). I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.
The pig is very concerned he's going to get pickled too.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Confetti Potato Salad
New photo, same salad!
I know everyone has their own version of potato salad.  I love many kinds--bright yellow with mustard, chock full of hard boiled eggs, hot with bacon and vinegar.  Still trying to make one that tastes like my memories of Octoberfest at the Tobacco Company in Richmond, VA.

This is my version.  I like the color and crunch that the veggies give, balanced with the tang of vinegar and the sharpness of the celery seed.  I prefer it freshly mixed, still warm.  My husband prefers it cold.  The kids gobble it up either way.  It works with new potatoes, old potatoes, really anything but large baking potatoes.
Sometimes I use red onions, sometimes green, sometimes white or yellow.

For other recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. While you're at it, the Carrot Recipes Collection, the Celery Recipes Collection, the Radish Recipes Collection . . . heck, you may as well just check out the entire Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've got even more ideas from around the web on my Pinterest board for Potatoes
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