Wednesday, November 4, 2020

RECIPE: GF Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese (with optional butternut)

Waiting for the election returns to be finalized, we needed comfort food, so I pulled this together with stuff I had in the fridge.  

If you love BACON, you will LOVE this!  The bacon is served on top, so it's still crisp, and the bacon fat is used to create the white sauce for the pasta.  I sauteed onions in the fat before making the roux, which added umami to the sauce.  I debated whether to stir the onions in, but decided to serve them on top, too.  A few leftover green peppers from yesterday's fried rice cut through the richness and added some color.

The cheese I used was white, not orange, so I added some sunshine kabocha to the sauce.  You can use any orange-flesh winter squash for this - pumpkin, butternut, kabocha, etc...  It will add richness, color, and nutrition without changing the flavor.

GF Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese

serves 4-6


  • 1 pound macaroni (I used Tres Omega gluten free elbows)
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1.5 cups diced onions
  • 1/4 c. minced green peppers
  • 1/3 - 1/2 c. flour (I used gluten free sweet rice flour)
  • 4 cups milk (I used whole milk) 
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of shredded cheese (I used a combination of raclette and cheddar)
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 c. winter squash puree (I used sunshine kabocha)
  • 1/4 t. cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 t. salt, or to taste 


Cook the pasta according to package directions, for 1 minute less than recommended, so it's a little underdone.  Drain and return to the warm pan.  Cover and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine the milk with the thyme and garlic.   Warm it over very low heat until small bubbles appear around the edge.  Do not let it boil.  Keep it warm while you prepare the other components.

In a medium sauce pan, cook the bacon on medium heat until it's light brown and crisp.  Remove to paper towels.  

Add the diced onions to the hot bacon fat and saute on medium until light brown on the edges.  Remove to a bowl leaving as much fat behind as possible..

Make the roux:  Depending on how much fat is left in the pan*, add enough flour to make a thin paste and, stirring constantly, saute it until it's light brown.  (*If your bacon is very fatty, you should measure out 1/3 cup of grease and reserve the rest for another use.) 

Make the sauce: Turn the heat off.  Add the warm milk to the pan 1/2 cup at a time, and stir vigorously after each addition to insure no lumps form.  If there are lumps, use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce.

Return the sauce to medium low heat and stir until it's warm, thick and creamy.  

Add the cheeses and stir until they've melted.  Add the cayenne.  If you're using it, add the winter squash puree.  Stir well.

Taste the sauce and adjust the salt.  I added 1 teaspoon because the cheese and bacon we use isn't overly salty.

Add the sauce to the reserved pasta. You may not need it all.  I added it one-cup at a time and had a LOT of sauce left over.  I suspect it's because I used GF pasta which doesn't expand as much as wheat pasta does. 

Serve immediately with the reserved bacon, onions, and green peppers sprinkled on top.

If you want to bother, you could mix everything except the bacon together, transfer it to a baking dish,   sprinkle with grated parmesan, and then bake it in a 350 oven until the top browns.  I'll do that tomorrow with the leftovers.  

If you stir the bacon in, it will lose its crispness. 

This was wonderful with Gruner Veltliner, the dry white wine we usually serve with raclette.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

RECIPE: Jule's Sauteed Greens

This is a no-recipe recipe given to me by one of our apprentices, Jule Jacobs!  Use whatever quantities you need to serve your family's tastes: If you can tolerate heat, use more pepper flakes; if you can't, leave them out.  If you love spinach but aren't sure about kale or pac choi, use more spinach.  If you love them all, use equal amounts. 


Jule's Sauteed Greens

  • ghee, butter, or EVOO
  • garlic
  • onions, chopped
  • pepper flakes
  • whatever herbs you have available (there is dill, cilantro and parsley in the farm today)
  • coconut aminos
  • spinach, washed and sliced into 1/2" ribbons
  • kale, washed and sliced into 1/2" ribbons
  • pac choi or bok choy, washed and leaves sliced into1/2" thick ribbons

Add the fat, pepper flakes and garlic to a cold saute pan and slowly bring the heat to medium.  When the fat is hot, add the onions and saute until soft.

Add greens, herbs, and coconut aminos.  Cover the pan, leaving the lid a little ajar, and saute until the greens are bright green.  If you're using kale, you'll need to cook it for an additional 2-3 minutes until soft but not soggy.  If you cook longer than 7 minutes, they'll turn brown so don't overdo it!

Season with salt and serve!

Monday, October 5, 2020

RECIPE: Creamed Spinach

There is spinach in the farm store! 

I have been making this recipe - the original one WITH the bacon - for years!  I've adapted it to avoid unhealthy ingredients (like granulated chicken base, which is full of MSG!).

Original Recipe: Berghoff's Creamed Spinach

GF Creamed Spinach

serves 6

  • 4 tablespoons bacon fat (from 6 slices bacon - reserve cooked bacon for another use)
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts, minced
  • 3 T. flour (I use sweet rice flour)
  • 2 c. whole milk, warmed*
  • 2 T. veal demiglace (or, 1 cup chicken broth reduced to 2 T.)
  • 1.5 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 10 ounces chopped cooked spinach (fresh or frozen) squeezed of as much liquid as possible (measure after squeez1ng out the liquid)

Warm the milk.  *I used 2 cups in the photo above.  If you use less, like 1 cup, you'll have a much denser and greener dish.  I made with only 1 cup for our apprentices and I think it tasted better with less sauce.  

Melt the bacon fat over medium heat and saute the leek until tender, 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk all at once, then whisk vigorously to prevent lumps.  If you get lumps, you'll need to use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce.  Doing this will also puree the onions, but that's better than having lumps in your sauce!

Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  If it doesn't thicken, raise the heat slightly.

Add the demiglace, salt and nutmeg.

Add the spinach and cook until it absorbs some of the sauce, about 5 minutes.  Don't cook it too long or it will lose its bright green color!  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.

In the photo above I served it with spicy chicken tenders.  For our apprentices, I served it with Cajun Meatloaf.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

RECIPE: Austrian Veal Goulash

This is my mother's recipe for Veal Goulash.  She was Austrian.   

When I researched the seasoning to determine whether it was unique, I discovered that it goes back hundreds of years, to the Romany.  I found recipes with similar seasoning for chicken goulash, beef goulash and vegetable goulash! 

What I didn't find were recipes for veal goulash, which is what my mother always used.   The meat:onion ratio should be no less than 1:1.  In other words, 1 pound of onions for every pound of veal.

Austrian Veal Goulash
Serves 4

  • 4 t. marjoram
  • 2 t. ground caraway seed
  • 2 t. lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup beef tallow
  • 1 pound yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 t. tomato paste
  • 4 T. paprika
  • OPT: 1/2 t. cayenne
  • 1 pound veal stew meat
  • 4 cups veal broth

Crush together the marjoram, caraway, lemon zest, and garlic.  I used a mortar and pestle for this.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add the tallow, then add the onions and the lemon-garlic-spice mixture and saute until soft and lightly browned.  Push the veggies to the side of the pan (or remove them to a bowl), add the veal and saute until it's well browned, 10-12 minutes.  Stir in the onions and season with salt.

Add the tomato paste and the paprika and saute 4-5 minutes.

Add the broth and simmer, covered, until the veal is tender, about 2 hours.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Serve with rice or noodles, and Austrian Cucumber Salad!

Friday, July 31, 2020

RECIPE: Chickpea and Fresh Herb Fatteh

This recipe is perfect for when the farm store is full of fresh herbs!

It's a lot of work, but it doesn't take long (if you exclude the time it takes to soak the chickpeas) and it's delicious!  I serve it with the pita chips on the side, and with Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders  using za'atar instead of BBQ spices. 

Original Recipe: How to turn bread into a great meal

Chickpea and Fresh Herb Fatteh 
with optional Spicy Chicken Tenders
Serves 4-6

For the Salad
  • 12oz dried chickpeas (or two 29oz cans, drained, and skip to step 3.)
  • 2.5 t. baking soda
  • 1 round pita (about 3.5oz), pocket opened, and roughly torn into 1-inch pieces (or 4 gluten free tortillas, whole).
  • 5 T. EVOO
  • 1 T. Za'atar
  • 3/4 c. packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3/4 c. packed roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 2/3 c. roughly chopped fresh chives
  • 2.5 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
  • 1 t. cumin seeds, toasted, then roughly crushed
For the Tahini Sauce
  • 1/3 c. tahini
  • 1.5 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed in a garlic press
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2c water
For the Chile Oil
  • 2.5 T. EVOO
  • 2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. sweet paprika

Himalayan pink salt and pepper

1. Place the dried chickpeas and 1.5 t. baking soda in a large bowl.  Top with enough cold water to cover by about 3cm, and let soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

2. Drain the chickpeas well and add them to a large saucepan along wit the remaining 1 t. baking soda.  Add 1.5 quarts (6 cups) water.  Brink to a simmer over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium and let cook until chickpeas are soft but retain a slight bite, 30-3 minutes.

3. Heat the oven to 375F.

4. (If you're using canned chickpeas, add them to a large saucepan with 4 cups water and bring to simmer over medium heat.) Add 1.25t. of the salt and continue cooking until the chickpeas are super tender, 5-10 minutes more.  Use a slotted spoon to set aside 1/2 c. strained cooked chickpeas.  Keep the rest warm on low heat until ready to serve.

5. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the toppings:  Spread 1 t. oil on a large baking sheet and then line it with parchment.  The oil will keep the parchment 'stuck' to the pan.  Toss the pita with 2 T. oil, za'atar, 1/4 t. salt, and a good grind of pepper, and spread out on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake until golden and crisp, tossing halfway through, about 12 minutes.  Set aside.

NOTE: If you're using gluten-free tortillas, lay 6 of them on the parchment, rub 1/4 t. oil on each one and sprinkle with za'atar, salt and pepper.  Bake for 8 minutes, rotate pan and bake an additional 2-4 minutes.  Break them over the dish when you're ready to serve it.

6. Make the tahini sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice and garlic with 1/4 - 1/2 c. water and 1/4 t. salt until smooth and pourable.  Depending on the brand of tahini you use you may need more or less water so add it 1-2 T at a time.  The tahini sauce will thicken as it sits.

7. Make the chili oil: Add the oil and red pepper flakes to a small frying pan.  Heat over medium until gently bubbling and fragrant, about 4 minutes., then add the paprika and remove from the heat.  Set aside.

8. When ready to serve, add the reserved chickpeas to a food processor along with the fresh herbs, 2.5T. lemon juice, the garlic, cumin, 1/4 t. salt, a good grind of pepper, and the remaining 3 T. EVOO.  Blitz until smooth, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

9. Drain the warm chickpeas using a sieve set over a bowl.  Add the chickpeas and 3/4 c. of their liquid to the herb mixture , mixing well to combine.  You want the chickpeas to be well coated and the whole mixture to be saucy but not overly wet. Add a couple more tablespoons of chickpea liquid if necessary, and discard the remaining.

10. Transfer to a large platter with a lip.  Drizzle lightly with some of the tahini sauce, then all of the chili oil.  Sprinkle half of the pita and serve warm, with the extra tahini and toasted pita alongside.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

RECIPE: Toby's Chocolate Maple Syrup

As you may have noticed, I don't make many desserts.  I PLAN to - I save recipes for them all the time - but I never get around to actually making them.  When we entertain, I will SOMETIMES pull something together, usually chocolate mousse which is easy and can be made ahead; but, more often than not, when our guests ask whether they can contribute something to the meal I ask them to bring dessert.  Usually, they bring ice cream, which is my husband's FAVORITE dessert.

Last month, he bought an ice cream maker.  We made one batch of vanilla to test the machine and he liked it so I guess we're keeping it.  It's the kind where you store the bowl in the freezer.  I think it's a pain, partially because it takes up a LOT of room in our already filled-to-the-brim freezer, and partially because when you decide you want to make ice cream you have to chill the mixture 1-2 hours before churning it, so you really have to plan ahead, something I'm not very good at.

ANYWAY...a few weeks ago one of the farm apprentices gave us some homemade strawberry jam made with maple syrup (isn't that a great idea?!?).  I thought it would be delicious over ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce, and so did my husband, so tonight we made that happen.

While he made the ice cream, I whipped up this quick and easy chocolate syrup.  The recipe was given to me by my friend, Toby.

Toby's Chocolate Maple Syrup
Makes about 1/2 cup

  • 2 T. cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, more or less

In a small bowl mix the cacao powder with 1-2 TEASPOONS of maple syrup until you have a lump-free paste.  I used a small spatula and pressed the lumps against the side of the bowl to break them up.

Gradually add in the remainder of the maple syrup.  TASTE as you go!  Depending on the bitterness of  your cacao and the sweetness of your maple syrup, you may need either more or less of the maple syrup.  The goal is just enough to cut the bitterness of the cacao but no so much that the chocolate flavor is obliterated.

You can eat it cold, but I prefer it warm.  Heat in a small saucepan over very low heat until just warm.

To make a sundae, fill a small bowl with ice cream, dollop fruit jam on top, and drizzle with the warm syrup.  Yum!!

If there are any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

RECIPE: German Carrot Salad with Honey and Dill

I love cooked carrots, but my husband doesn't.  He loves raw carrots, so I look for unusual ways to prepare them.  This recipe is super easy and uses the dill that was in the farm store last week.  I really like the recipe, but my husband isn't crazy about it.  Go figure.

My recipe is a combination of several I've seen online.

German Carrot Salad with Honey and Dill

Serves 2 - 4

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. fresh dill, minced
  • 1/2 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 4 cups grated carrots

I grated the carrots on a fine microplane grater, which made the pieces very small and thin.  I LOVED the texture but I suspect that's why my husband wasn't thrilled with it - it didn't have the substance a larger grate would have. 

If you grate the carrots finely, they will be 'fluffy,' and one cup will mush down to 2 cups when you add the dressing.  If you grate them coarsely, 4 cups will not mush down and will feed 4 people.

fluffy finely grated carrots!

In a medium bowl, whisk everything except the carrots.

Add the carrots and toss gently to combine.

If you grate the carrots finely, you can serve this right way, but it's better a few hours later when the flavors have had time to meld. 

RECIPE: Austrian Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream and Dill

There are a dozen versions of this recipe online, all of them similar to this one, and ALL of the comments include at least one person claiming that their grandmother salted the cucumbers before mixing them with the sour cream.  One person claimed that her mother placed the cucumbers in a colander, salted them and then covered them with ice cubes.  Once the ice cubes melted, the cucumbers were ready to use. 

Feel free to do that, if you prefer, but I never do.

Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream and Dill
(aka gurkensalat)
Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. milk or water
  • 1/2 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 2 T. fresh dill, minced
  • 3 small cucumbers or 1 English cucumber washed
  • 1/2 c. red onion, sliced paper thin

In a medium bowl, whisk together everything except the cucumbers and onions.

Slice the cucumbers about 1/16" thick.  I've read that the Austrians slice the cucumbers thicker than the German's, who slice them paper thin.  As you can see in the photo below, mine are not paper thin.

Add the sliced cucumbers and onions to the sour cream mixture, then toss gently to combine.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  The cucumbers and onions will soften and release some of their juices into the dressing, which makes the cucumbers crisp and the dressing a little looser.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

RECIPE: Creamy Balsamic Dressing

There is so much beautiful lettuce in the farm store at this time of year that I've been looking for interesting dressing to serve it with.  This one is a little better than merely mixing balsamic and olive oil.  I changed the preparation slightly.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Makes 1 1/4 cup

2 T. honey
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, grated*
1 t. himalayan pink salt
1/4 t. cayenne
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
3/4 c. olive oil

*If you don't want to grate the garlic clove, you can puree it in a mortar and pestle with the salt.

Combine the honey, mustard, garlic, salt, cayenne and vinegar in a pint jar and mix well.

Pour the olive oil into the jar and let it rest 2-3 minutes to rise to the surface. 

Insert an immersion blender to the bottom of the jar and turn it on.  Allow the blender to gradually draw the oil in until it's emulsified.  It should take about 10 seconds.  Don't over-blend or you will damage the oil.

Cover and store n the refrigerator, but know that it will solidify and you will need to give it time to come to room temperature before you use it. 

The salad shown below was delicious!  Arugula, sun dried cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced scallions, and this dressing! 

RECIPE: "Sun" Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow and Red

The farm's cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen, so now is a good time to share this recipe.

I have been unable to find sun dried tomatoes using healthy ingredients (organic EVOO and sea salt),  so I decided to make my own.  I use the cherry tomatoes our farm grows because the paste tomatoes are usually too large.  Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, don't need to be chopped before use because they're already bite size!

They can be made in an oven or a dehydrator.   

I have a friend who doesn't  like tomato seeds so I tried making these once without the pulp and they ended up being nothing but a crunchy shell.  You need the pulp to create bulk.

"Sun" Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes
Makes as much as you have tomatoes

  • Cherry tomatoes - red, yellow, or grape*
  • Salt


Cut each tomato in half and arrange on a baking sheet or dehydrator tray.  Sprinkle with salt.

If you're using an oven, roast at the lowest temperature your oven will allow, turning the pans occasionally, until the tomatoes are leathery.  If you take them beyond this point, all the way to crunchy, they will make a delicious snack (tomato chips!) but you will not be able to rehydrate them, ever.

Dehydrator trays - notice how green the orange tomatoes are

If you're using a dehydrator, they need 2-3 days at 135F to reach the leathery stage.  As above, if you take them beyond this point, all the way to crunchy, they will make a delicious snack (tomato chips!) but you will not be able to rehydrate them.

By 'leathery' I mean that the moisture has left but they are still pliable.  They will shrink a LOT!

Oven tray before and after

I have made them both ways (oven and dehydrator) and oven is definitely faster but you have to be vigilant because they go from leather to crisp very fast.  In the photo above, some of them are a bit too dark and crunchy!  I prefer the dehydrator.

At this point, they can be frozen or stored in EVOO (in your refrigerator).

When I use them, I don't rehydrate them, I just toss them into whatever I'm making.

* I pick the tomatoes when they're still a bit green inside as they survive the trip home much better.  I then let them ripen at room temperature.  For drying, I actually prefer them when they're green because I like the sour pop they provide when I add them to a dish. The fully ripe ones are sweeter, so I generally make both.

I used them in the salad shown below.  Arugula salad with sun dried cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced scallions with creamy balsamic dressing.