Showing posts with label salsa verde. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salsa verde. Show all posts

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.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Green Pork, Corn and Zucchini Enchiladas (Can you can? Yes, you can!)

Ground pork sautéed with zucchini and corn makes the filling for these green salsa verde enchiladas. Home-canned sauces enjoyed all year long.

Do you can?  I've made jam over the years, but I really need to give a shout out to Marisa of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round because a year ago, through her wonderful blog, she gave me permission to can 'just a little bit' of something without making a Big Production out of it.

Last summer, when my local grocery store was roasting fresh Hatch chilies in the parking lot and the farm share had tomatillos every single week, I decided to try my hand at canning salsa verde.  I first tried salsa verde the previous winter when I made tongue tacos from the cow in the freezer.  My family tolerated the tongue, but we all loved the salsa verde and I resolved to learn how to make it when the farm share tomatillos overwhelmed me appeared in the box.  I followed the Ball® Blue Book recipe, subbed the roasted Hatch chilies, and this was the result--six lovely jelly jars of salsa verde.
Since I had the canning pot up from the basement and hot water anyway, I figured I'd make some peach jam from peaches that had been hanging out in the freezer, awaiting a canning day and some pectin.

But what to make with it?  We haven't finished up the first cow, and most cows only have 1 tongue [not that we were pantingly eager to experience those tacos again].  We are loving enchiladas these days, so I figured an enchilada recipe would be a neat way to take my salsa verde for a test drive.  I found some ground pork marked down at the grocery store and grabbed a bag of zucchini out of the freezer.
Freezer?  Yes, I wrote this post up during the snowy winter, dreaming of temps above the single digits while sharing how I feed my family from our garden and CSA farm share all year 'round.  If you're overrun with zucchini this summer, shred some up--I love my food processor because it has a fine shred disc which is perfect for zucchini, carrots, or cheese.  I freeze bags of shredded zucchini flat in 1 cup portions.
But I digress . . .  where was I?  Oh, right. Ground pork, zucchini, and you know what else would be good stuffed into that tortilla?  Corn.  Grabbed some of that, too.  You'll notice that this enchilada recipe serves 6, but only uses 1/2 pound of meat.  We are omnivores, but I like to serve less meat and more veggies, so this is another way to stretch a pound of meat.  And tasty, too!

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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fish Taco Enchiladas

My dining room table is a battlefield.

I don't mean the battle over homework, though that also occurs at the dining room table, the breakfast nook table, and the Lego table.  I also don't mean the battle for Europe, or orange train cars, or vending cart cards, or goats for women.
Though as an aside, if you want to add more board games to your Game Nights I highly recommend the Board Game Family's recommendations. My spouse, with that site's advice, kickstarted our twice weekly FGNs after years of trying and failing to get a FGN routine going. And these games we play?  Great for adults without kids, too--they are just plain fun, unless you're malicious like my daughter playing Spot It--she always wins.
No, in fact I mean the How To Fold A Burrito Properly battle.  There are 4 of us eating, and we each fold our burritos in a different way.  And of course each one of us thinks we're right.  (My spouse is.) You'll notice in my Mu Shu (ish) Chicken Burrito post that I completely sidestepped the folding debate.  I'm sidestepping it again here, this time by making enchiladas! (I'm sure this says something about my personality or birth order or whatnot, but perhaps it's just that in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter to me how you fold your burrito.  Your sushi rolling is a different story.) I'm sharing this now because it is a tasty recipe and helped me to add variety in the proteins that we eat.

It just makes sense that eating a variety of foods in our diet is best, you know?  My family is fortunate that eating seasonally from our CSA farm share means that the produce in our diet (and that of the composting guinea pigs) is naturally varied.
I mean, I'm not going to the grocery store on Saturday and buying a head of lettuce, a package of tomatoes, a bag of carrots, and a bunch of bananas each and every week all year 'round.  Instead I'm yearning for tomatoes amidst the greens in May and overrun with squash and eggplant in August.  Such is the life of a CSA subscriber!  And that's the way I like it--eating from my CSA farm share appeals to me in ways I never considered when we started 8 years ago. I thought it would be similar when we got part of a cow for our freezer.  And it was, in part--we tried beef tongue tacos and ox tail stew for the first time.
What I didn't realize was that we'd end up eating more beef than we usually do, just because we have it in the house.  I have to work at eating protein sources other than beef--which is why I was tickled to see frozen Swai (aka Pangasius or Basa) fillets for $1.99/pound at the store.  Swai is a white fleshed fish in the "Good Alternative" category on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website.  Protein that is a Good Alternative, that is a great price, is good for me.

But what to do with the Swai fillets?

I had some leftover shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix, cilantro, Greek yogurt, some of my home-canned salsa verde made with farm share tomatillos and roasted Hatch chiles from the grocery store down the street, and enchilada-size tortillas, so you can easily see why I went in the direction I did here.  While it is technically an enchilada, it's not covered with a ton of cheese and a rich sauce.  The cabbage still had a bit of crunch to it, the fish was firm, the whole dish just worked.  If you have Swai or any firm white-fleshed fish (tilapia, cod, perch and whitefish are all on the approved list of the website) try this twist on the traditional fish taco, avoid the burrito-folding battles, and add variety to your plate.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Salsa Verde, Pork Steak, and Oaxaca Cheese Pizza (Pizza Night!)

For other recipes using Hatch Chiles, please see my Hatch Chile Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. This is a resource for folks like me eating seasonally from the farm share, farmer's market, or garden abundance.

There really is a pizza recipe in this post. It's Friday, and you're at Farm Fresh Feasts, right?

I've always liked to play with my food and try new things, I guess my daughter gets it from me.  A while ago we got part of a cow, including the tongue and tail.  I made beef tongue tacos with the tongue and, while they were interesting, the real star of that meal was the salsa verde.
Oh salsa verde, [I lamented] where were you when I was cluelessly trying to coax something edible out of my CSA farm share tomatillos??  Ah well, at least now I knew what to do with the tomatillos!  Sorry, food bank, I'm keeping them this time--have a jar of peanut butter and a couple cans of tuna instead.
Last season I had the happy coincidence of my local grocery store roasting fresh Hatch chilies at the same time that the farm share blessed us with tomatillos (something Aubrey of Homegrown & Healthy commented on--produce that is in season at the same time generally pairs well together). I quickly canned a batch of salsa verde using the Ball canning book recipe.  I wasn't quite sure what all I would make with it--we really didn't want to experience tongue again, though I wish cattle had 4 tails each because ox tail rocks.  Try Elise's Oxtail Stew recipe, and you'll see what I mean.

When I thought about the idea of taking some leftover pork steak home from my in-laws, I lay awake dreaming up this pizza.  I figured the pork would go nicely with the salsa verde.  I just wasn't sure what type of cheese would be best.  So the pork sat in the freezer and the salsa verde sat in the pantry and both patiently waited until this week.  My family has recently become enamored of fresh mozzarella on pizza, like this or this or this.  I love to get perfectly edible food marked down, so I've added a pass by the fancy cheese area when I'm making twice daily occasional milk runs.  If there are no marked down balls of fresh mozzarella, I make a mental note when the balls on display are due to be sold by, and try and swing by the day before when they'll have the magic stickers.  Did you know you could freeze marked down fresh mozzarella, thaw and slice it, and use it on a pizza?  Now you do.

It was during one such pass that the marked down sticker on this cheese caught my eye.  It wasn't quite shaped like mozzarella, but it looked and felt similar.  I whooped(!) because I felt like I'd scored getting mozzarella marked down.  The cheese monger (a brilliant lady--she can even pronounce the name of this cheese without sounding like Ben Stiller's character trying to say Brett Favre's name in the movie There's Something About Mary or Ellen Degeneres' character reading in Finding Nemo) told me that the cheese I was whooping about was in fact not mozzarella and started to describe it's characteristics to me.  Here's what the Murray's Cheese Oaxaca label says:
"Resembles mozzarella in terms of style and make process, but flavor-wise, Oaxaca cheese deserves its own dance floor.  Of Mexican heritage but made in Waterloo, Wisconsin by our friends The Crave Brothers, it's pure white and semi-hard, with sting cheesy texture and a salty milky zing.  It's best used for the melted implementation in its country of origin:  nachos, tacos, or quesadillas, or as a substitute for queso blanco in cooking."
We agreed this pizza would go perfectly with this cheese.  If you don't have access to Oaxaca and are too shy to ask for it because you're afraid you'll mispronounce it, I think queso blanco, shredded Mexican blend, or fresh mozzarella would do fine.

The last comment I need to make before getting to the recipe is this:  next time I won't make this pizza the way I did.  I'll make it the way I wrote it up here.  I think it would be better to toss the cooked meat on at the end, like in this pizza, not in the beginning.  What can I say?  I was making 4 different pizzas, 2 to deliver to a friend, and I was way distracted.  On Friday nights I put the 'as it's happening' pizzas up on my Facebook page so you can see how crazed I sometimes frequently get in the kitchen.