Sunday, July 5, 2020

RECIPE: Roasted Fennel, Lemon and Garlic Salad Dressing

I really hate raw fennel.  But ROASTED fennel is one of my favorite vegetables EVER!  I roast it, and then freeze it, so that I have it available year-round, and this is one of my favorite ways to serve it.

Roasted Fennel, Garlic, and Lemon Salad Dressing/Dip
Makes 2 cups

2 cups roasted fennel*
1 head roasted garlic**
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 t. salt
1/2 c. EVOO


Puree the roasted fennel, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor until smooth.

Add the EVOO and pulse to combine.

We use this as a dip (it's GREAT with carrots), and as a salad dressing over arugula.  In the photo above, I added some roasted fennel and thinly sliced radishes to the salad.


*To roast fennel, slice it 1/2" thick, including the core but not the stalks or fronds, drizzle with a little EVOO, and roast at 350F for 20-30 minutes.  Stir halfway through and reverse the pan to insure even cooking.

**To roast garlic, cut the top 1/2" off the head and drizzle with EVOO.  Wrap the head in parchment, and then wrap in foil (the parchment prevents the foil from touching the food), and roast at 350F until soft.  This may take 20-60 minutes depending on the size of the head.  check it periodically and when you can squeeze it and it gives easily, it's done.  Cool, then remove wrapping.


Friday, July 3, 2020

RECIPE: How to Freeze Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes keep FOREVER!  I've left them for months - MONTHS - in the fridge, and they were still good!  I've also left them in a bag in the kitchen counter for almost a month, and they were OK to use!  We have air conditioning, though, so the house never gets really hot or humid. 

Unfortunately, they take up a LOT of room, so I freeze them to use later, because I love them in pork chili, beef chili, bolognese, pasta, risotto, dressing, and mayonnaise

Here are the instructions I followed: How to Freeze Garlic Scapes

How I Freeze Garlic Scapes


Here's a photo of how our scapes look after almost a month at room temperature:



As you can see, the flower buds have dried out and some of the cut ends are also dry.  I remove the flower buds and the cut ends.  I drop the middle pieces into a bowl of warm water and run my fingers along each one to dislodge any dirt or debris.  I transfer them to another bowl with cool water.

Here's how they look after they've been cleaned:




I remove 5-6 pieces at a time and slice them. Some I cut 3/4" thick, others 1/4" thick.  


I seal them in 1-cup portions in vacuum bags, label them, and into the freezer they go for use until next spring.





Friday, June 26, 2020

RECIPE: Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb.  I rarely use rhubarb because so much sugar is required to make it palatable.  Imagine how excited I was to find a SAVORY recipe for it!  I actually found several rhubarb chutney recipes, and chose the one which had the lowest sugar-to-rhubarb ratio, and the most interesting seasoning. 

The flavor profile of the spice combination is wonderful!  The texture is good, too, because the rhubarb isn't cooked into oblivion.  I made a few changes to the spice preparation, because I wasn't happy with their texture, and I changed the procedure to eliminate the use of one pot.


Rhubarb Chutney
Makes 2.5 cups
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 c cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 t. coriander seeds
  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 3" cinnamon stick
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced crosswise (1 heaping cup)
  • 1 T. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 c. mild honey
  • 3/4 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 " pieces (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a 3-quart pot, over medium heat, toast the coriander and fennel seeds until lightly browned.  Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temp.  Grind in a mortar an pestle.

In the same pot, combine the vinegar bay leaves, ground coriander and fennel seeds, cinnamon, and 1 t. salt.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to develop.  Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pot.

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir the the honey and the reserved vinegar mixture into the shallots and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors.  Remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick. 

Add the rhubarb and raisins, and stir to combine.  Cover and cook over low heat, WITHOUT STIRRING, until the rhubarb is tender and starting to fall apart, about 10 minutes.  If you do stir it, you will break up the rhubarb and it will be mush.  DON'T OVER COOK IT! 

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Transfer to a serving dish and cool to room temperature.

Serve with bread and cheese, cheese and crackers, salami and crackers, or cheese, salami and crackers!

The chutney will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 2 weeks.  It should not be canned.  There isn't enough sugar or acid to waterbath can it, and pressure canning would completely destroy the texture.


Rhubarb Chutney and Quark Cheese on Sourdough Bread










RECIPE: Adriane's Tomato Salad with Coriander and Lime

This recipe was given to me by my daughter-in-law.  It's delicious with chili and other tex-mex style meals.


Adriane's Tomato Salad with Coriander and Lime
Serves 6

  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 large lime, juiced
  • 3 green onions, sliced 1/8" thick
  • 1 t. coriander seed, roasted and then crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes in half.  Combine with the other ingredients and serve.




Thursday, June 25, 2020

RECIPE: Green Pork Chile with Garlic Scapes and White Beans

I created this recipe in an attempt to recreate the green chili served at The Red Lion in Vail, CO.  We haven't been to Vail in years, so I don't know how close this comes, but we enjoy it as an alternative to the heavier beef chili.  This version uses green tomatoes and green peppers.

Pork Chili with Green Tomatoes and White Beans
Serves 6
Ingredients:
  • 2 T. lard
  • 3 pounds ground pork
  • 6 medium green tomatoes (or tomatillos) , cored
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 6 large cloves garlic, or 12 garlic scapes
  • 6 banana peppers or 2 green peppers, cored
  • 3-4 jalapenos, or 6 jalapenos with the seeds removed from 3 of them
  • 6 t. ground cumin
  • 4 t. Mexican oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 t. salt
  • 1 15oz can white beans

If you're using garlic scapes, remove the flower bud and cut the stalks into 1/4" pieces.  In the photo above, I used garlic scapes.

Mince one of the onions, chop the other two onions.

Melt the lard over medium-high heat and saute the minced onion, and half of the garlic scapes if you're using them, until lightly browned.

Add the pork and the spices and stir well.  Add enough water to cover and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.

Cut up the tomatoes and add them to a blender jar along with the chopped onions, the garlic (or the remaining garlic scapes), and the peppers.  Puree

Pour the puree over the pork.  Add 2 teaspoons salt, add the beans if you're using them, and cook until most of the water has evaporated. 

Adjust seasoning.  Depending on how hot the peppers are, and on your tolerance for heat, you may to add additional cayenne or jalapeno powder. 

Serve with fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, guacamole, grated cheese, and/or sour cream.

white bowl of green pork chili with guacamole, salsa, grated cheese, and sliced scallions






Saturday, June 20, 2020

RECIPE: Sag-Palak Paneer with Senposai and Haloumi

When you order this dish in an Indian restaurant, it's usually made with spinach (palak).  I've read that it can also be made with half arugula or and mustard greens (sag), but those aren't available in our farm store until later in the season. 

Senposai, which was created by crossing leafy variety of wild turnip developed from Pak Choi, with regular head cabbage, is available now.  Senposai's large leaves are easy to wash, easy to cook and have a mild flavor. (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/greens/growing-komatsuna-greens.htm)

I decided to use them instead and was pleased with the result. Senposai doesn't release much water as it cooks, and the leaves are thicker than spinach, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Our farm store has also just started selling Haloumi, which can (and should) be fried before eating, so I used that instead of the labor-intensive paneer.  Paneer is richer and softer, Haloumi is denser and - as a friend put it - squeeky!

 
Sag-Palak Paneer with Senposai and Haloumi
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1/4 pound fresh paneer cheese or haloumi cut into 1/2" cubes
1 c. coconut oil to fry the cheese

1-2 hot green chiles cut into pieces
1/2" piece of fresh ginger
1/4 c. whey or water
1.5 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. paprika
2 T. ghee
1 pound senposai or a combination of senposai and spinach, mustard greens and/or arugula
1/2 t. garam masala
1 t. salt
3 T. cream

Remove ribs from senposai.  Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until soft.  Drain in a colander.  Chop coarsely.  Set aside.

Place chilies, ginger and whey in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree.  Add coriander, turmeric, cumin and paprika and pulse to blend well.  Set aside.

Heat the ghee over medium heat.  Add spice mixture then pack in the greens.  Reduce heat slightly, cover and cook 4 minutes.  Add 1/4 c water, then cook another 4 minutes.

Using 2 forks turn the greens over so that the cooked leaves on the bottom change places with the ones on the top.  Add 1/4 c water, cover and cook another 8 minutes.

Puree the greens in a processor or blender and return them to the pan.

Add the garam masala, salt, and cream. Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir well.


While the greens are cooking, fill a very small (1 qt) sauce pan with 1 c. coconut oil and heat to medium.  Fry cheese cubes 10 at a time, stirring, until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Mound the greens on a platter, sprinkle the cheese cubes over the top, and serve!


Senposai Palak Paneer Haloumi Basmati Lamb curry on a white plate






Friday, June 12, 2020

RECIPE: Harissa, Mint, and Lemon Balm Dip for Vegetables

Sorry, I don't have a photo!  We ate this before I remembered I needed to take one. 

This dip is delicious with carrot dippers!

Apple Mint, Lemon Balm and Harissa Dip
Makes 2 cups

  • 3/4 c. yogurt
  • 3/4 c. quark
  • 1/4 c. apple mint, minced (use peppermint if you don't have apple mint)
  • 1 T. lemon balm
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1-2 T. harissa paste, depending on how much heat you like
  • 1/2 t. salt

Mix all together and chill overnight.  Adjust seasoning and serve with carrot dippers.

RECIPE: Pasta with Senposai, Feta and Olives

Our farm is now growing a new-for-us green, SENPOSAI, which was created by crossing komatsuna, a leafy variety of wild turnip developed from Pak Choi, with regular head cabbage.  Senposai's large leaves are easy to wash, easy to cook and have a mild flavor. (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/greens/growing-komatsuna-greens.htm)

I had never cooked (or even heard of!) this vegetable so I searched for a recipe and found this one which tasted as good as it sounded:

Original recipe: Penne with Senposai and Feta

There was no photograph so I followed the recipe as written.  I made a triple recipe and used 1 large onion.  The next time I make it, I'll double the amount of senposai because I prefer a higher greens-to-pasta ratio.

Pasta with Senposai, Feta, and Olives
Serves: 4-6

1 pound penne or other short chunky pasta
1.5 pounds senposai
1/4 c. EVOO, divided
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add a generous pinch of salt.  Fill a large bowl with cold water.

Wash the senposai leaves, then remove the stem and center ribs (I used my hands to 'strip' them).  Chop the leaves into 1/2" x 2" pieces.  Blanch in the boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until they're completely wilted but still bright green. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs to the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.  When the greens are cool, remove them from the cold water and using your hands squeeze as much liquid from them as possible.   (Can be prepared ahead to this point. Refrigerate cooked greens.)

Bring the water used to cook the leaves back to boil (top it off if necessary), add the pasta and cook until done.  Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 T. EVOO in a large skillet or saute pan.  Add onion and pepper flakes and saute on medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and senposai leaves, breaking up the squeezed handfuls.  Saute stirring often, until heated through, another 5 minutes.

Add drained pasta to skillet and stir to combine and reheat pasta.  Add olives, feta, parsley and remaining 2 T. EVOO.   Season to taste with black pepper or cayenne (and salt, which really shouldn't be necessary unless you didn't salt the cooking water enough.)

Serve warm or cold.







Monday, May 18, 2020

RECIPE: Tatum's Ginger Lemon Honey Tea Concentrate

This recipe was given to me by another farm member, and has become a staple in our house.  It makes a strong concentrate that can be mixed with cold or hot water to make tea, or with soda water to make ginger ale.  It's written with a range of ingredients because everyone's tolerance for ginger's spiciness is different.  I have a high tolerance for heat so I use 3 large antlers of ginger. 

Tatum's Ginger Lemon Honey Concentrate
Makes 1-2 quarts

  • 2-3 large antlers fresh organic ginger, scrubbed well
  • 1-3 quarts water
  • 2-4 T. organic honey
  • 1-2 T. fresh lemon juice
3 LARGE antlers of ginger (can opener is for size reference)!

Sharpen your knife and slice the ginger into very thin rounds.

Combine the sliced ginger with the water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat.

(Note: The saucepan I use holds 3 quarts to the brim, and I fill it as full as possible without risking a boil over; so, I typically use about 1.5 quarts of water.  With evaporation, I end up with 1 quart of concentrate.  If you use a bigger saucepan, you could use more water, but then you'll have a weaker brew.)

When it reaches a boil, immediately reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.  If you don't, it will boil over!  Cover and cook for several hours.  In the photo below, you can see the pot is packed full of ginger!



Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

I will often let it cool overnight, then simmer for another couple hours the next day, before letting it cool to room temperature again, to create a really STRONG concentrate.

Strain the liquid using a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer.  You can store it as is, and sweeten it as you use it, or you can add honey and lemon now before you store it.  The honey will dissolve more easily in room temperature concentrate than in cold-from-the-fridge concentrate.

Add honey and lemon juice to taste, keeping in mind that this is a concentrate, and will be diluted.

Discard the spent ginger and store the concentrate in the fridge.

This makes a very STRONG brew, so I mix it with soda water to create a sort-of homemade ginger ale.  Tatum mixes it with water and makes tea.  You will need to adjust the ratio of concentrate to water based on the strength of your brew and your taste preference.



To Make Soda:
1 t. honey
1/3 c. concentrate
2/3 c. seltzer
1/2 a small lemon
Opt: sprig of sage or another herb of your choice

Dissolve 1 t. honey in 1/3 cup of ginger concentrate in a highball glass.

Cut a 1/4" slice off the wide end of the lemon half.  Thread that slice on a tall skewer and squeeze a few drops of juice from the remainder of the lemon half into the glass.

Top it off with seltzer water and garnish with a sprig of sage.  Tarragon or basil would also be nice.  As you sip the drink, you will smell the herb!

The ratio of 1 t. honey to 1/3 c concentrate is perfect for me, and translates into 4 T honey per quart of concentrate.






Saturday, May 16, 2020

RECIPE: Asparagus, Green Pea, White Bean and Radish Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

I adjusted the amounts slightly, and my husband loved it!

Original Recipe: Asparagus and White Bean Salad


Asparagus, Green Pea, White Bean and Radish Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
Serves 4

  • 2 large bunches asparagus
  • 1 c. raw green peas
  • 1 15oz can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 recipe Lemon Dijon Dressing
  • 1 T. minced chives
  • OPTIONAL: 1 small radish halved and sliced paper thin

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Remove the tips and the ends of the asparagus stalks.  Discard the ends, reserve the tips, and slice the stalks into 1" pieces.  Separate the slices into 4 piles - the ends, the tips, and two piles of middles based on their size.

When the water is boiling, add the ends of the asparagus and set a timer for 1 minute.

Add the larger of the middle pieces and set timer for another minute.
Add the smaller of the middle pieces and set timer for another minute.
Add the asparagus tips and set timer for 2 minutes.
Turn the heat off and remove all the asparagus to the bowl of ice water.

Bring the water back to a boil and add the peas.  Set a timer for 2 minutes.

While the peas are cooking, remove the asparagus from the ice water.

After 2 minutes, turn the heat off and remove the peas to the bowl of ice water.

While the vegetables cool, prepare the dressing and rinse the beans.

Transfer asparagus and peas to paper towels and dry them (or, us a salad spinner).  Arrange them in a large serving bowl (I used an oval casserole dish).

Sprinkle LIGHTLY with salt.

Add the beans to the center, then sprinkle the chives overall.

If you're using the radish, scatter it over the dressing. 

Spoon the dressing over everything and serve.


I served it with scrambled eggs for an easy simple dinner.










RECIPE: Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing

This dressing is so easy, and so delicious!

Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing
Makes one half cup

  • Zest from one medium lemon, about 1 T.
  • Juice from one medium lemon,about 3 T.
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
  • 1 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 1/8 t. cayenne
  • 1/3 c. EVOO

Mix together everything EXCEPT the EVOO.  Whisk to combine well.

Slowly drizzle in the EVOO, while continuing to whisk.

NOTE:

You can zest the lemon using a microplane, but I prefer a zester which makes long thin strips that are more visible in the dressing:

Thin strips of lemon zest











Sunday, May 3, 2020

Recipe: Kale Kielbasa and White Bean Soup

My husband RAVED about this soup!  I followed the original recipe almost exactly, but added a little rosemary and cayenne.

Original recipe:  Big Ray's White Bean, Kale and Kielbasa Soup

Kale, Kielbasa, and White Bean Soup
Photo courtesy of: big-rays-white-bean-kale-and-kielbasa-soup
Serves 4

1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded (I used 1 pint home-canned kale)
8 oz kielbasa sausage, sliced thin.
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 cups chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground dried rosemary leaves
1/4 t. cayenne or to taste

Roll kale leaves into tight tubes and cut crosswise into 1/4" strips.

Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Cook kielbasa in hot oil until browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in green onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add kale and cook until kale wilts, about 3 minutes.

Pour chicken broth over, add beans and stir.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until kale is completely tender, about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.






RECIPE: Split Pea Soup with Ham

Even though it's technically 'spring', it's been cold out and I've been making  warming foods.

Original recipe: Ham and Split Pea Soup in Cooks Illustrated The Best Soups and Stews

I've made this recipe twice, and both times it was a success.  Both times I omitted the potatoes and replaced the 2.5 pounds of smoked bone-in picnic ham with a 1# ham hock. 


Split Pea Soup with Ham
Serves 6-8

  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 pound (2.5 cups) split peas, rinsed and picked through 
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 2 T. EVOO
  • 2 medium onions, chopped medium
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped medium
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped medium
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch sugar
  • Ground black pepper
  • Minced red onion (optional)
  • Balsamic vinegar

Place the ham, bay leaves, and 3 quarts of water in a large stockpot or dutch oven.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone, 2-2.5 hours.  Remove the ham meat and bone from the bop.  when the ham is cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.  Discard the rind, fat, and bone.

Add the split peas and thyme to the ham stock.  Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the peas are tender but not dissolved, about 45 minutes.

While the ham is simmering, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid evaporates and the vegetables begin to brown, 5-6 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, garlic, and sugar.  Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply browned, 30-35 minutes,

Add the sauteed vegetables and shredded ham to the pot with the split peas.  Simmer until the peas dissolve and thicken the soup to the consistency of light cream, about 20 minutes.  Season with ground black pepper to taste.

The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days. Warm the soup over low heat.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with red onions, if using, and serve, passing balsamic vinegar separately.

This soup gets thicker as it sits.  Add a bit of water if you prefer a thinner soup.






RECIPE: Chicken Roulades with Asparagus, Pimiento, and Gouda

Every now and then, I crave something 'fancy' for dinner, and came up with this recipe as a way to use up some asparagus that was languishing in the fridge.  Compared to the recipes I researched, this one is on the easy side.


Chicken Roulades with Asparagus, Pimiento, and Gouda
Serves 2-4

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 20 asparagus spears, about 4" long
  • 4 slices Gouda cheese (High Mowing is similar to Gouda)
  • 4 roasted red peppers*
  • 4 toothpicks or wooden skewers
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 T. ghee

Before I prepare any recipe with raw chicken, I put down a piece of plastic wrap on which I do all my prep work.  I then fold it up and toss it, to prevent bacteria from contaminating my cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Pound the chicken breasts to and even 1/4" thickness.  Snip the tendon every 1/4" to prevent it from contracting when it cooks.



Spread each breast with 1/4 t. Dijon mustard.

Cut the cheese into 1/2" strips.  Cut one pimiento into 1/2" strips. Lay these on the chicken breasts.

Place 5 asparagus spears in the center of each breast and then fold the ends in, overlapping them.  Secure the ends with a toothpick or skewer.



In an oven safe casserole large enough to hold all 4 roulades (I used a 3-quart oval Le Creuset), melt the ghee on medium heat.  Add the roulades, toothpick-side UP, and brown the bottoms, about 5 minutes.

Before browning.
After browning



DO NOT TURN THEM!  You'll just make a mess, the cheese will stick to the pan, and browning the other side won't add much to the end result.

While the roulades are browning, add the cream and the remaining pimientos to a 1-pint ball jar and use an immersion blender to puree the pepper.  STOP when the mixture starts to thicken or you'll end up with butter!  (In the photos below, I used 1 cup cream and it was way too much!  1/2 c is plenty.)

Pour the cream over the roulades, cover the pot, and bake them for 15 minutes.

Before baking

After baking


The sauce will separate but it will still be delicious!   Remove the skewers and serve!   I served them with arugula salad with avocado dressing (avocado, EVOO, balsamic, and red onion).









RECIPE: Moroccan Salad with Orange Cilantro Dressing and Pistachios

Original Recipe: moroccan-salad-cilantro-orange-dressing

I made merguez meatballs for dinner last night, and wanted a salad to accompany them.  When I stumbled on the above recipe that would use up the oranges DH bought last week, AND the last few roasted pistachios, I had to try it.  I was serving rice with the meatballs so I omitted the bulgur.

The salad tasted delicious, but I wasn't happy with the directions.  Processing the orange in my food processor made a HUGE mess and it never got creamy.   I also needed to double the amount of EVOO and ACV for the size of my orange.

The next day, an immersion blender did a better job on the leftover dressing than the food processor had done, and with no mess, so I will use it in the future.  I heated up a few meatballs and served them with the salad for lunch.  The meatballs are spicy and the salad was a nice light counterpoint.



Moroccan Salad with Orange Cilantro Dressing, Pistachios and Dates
Serves 4 with extra dressing

  • For the dressing:
  • 1 large orange, peeled and halved
  • 2 T. EVOO
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  • For the salad:
  • 1 c. dressing
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • orange supremes from 1/2 large orange*
  • 4 c. salad greens
  • OPT: ground sumac for garnish

Check the halved orange for pits and remove them.  Combine the first 4 dressing ingredients in a blender and puree.  Or, use an immersion blender and a 1-pint jar.  Add the chopped cilantro and pulse to blend.

If your dates are old, cover them with hot water for a few minutes to soften them.  Chop into 3/8" pieces.

*To make orange supremes: cut away the orange peel with a serrated knife, and then separate the orange segments by cutting between the white membranes.  Cut each supreme in half.  If this is too much work, peel the orange and separate the segments, then cut each one into thirds.

Salad fixings

Toss all the salad ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with dressing.  Sprinkle with sumac and serve immediately.

Extra dressing can be refrigerated for several days.


Basmati, Merguez Meatballs, Moroccan Salad, Chardonnay






Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RECIPE: Roasted Salted Nuts - Almonds, Pistachios, Peanuts, or Walnuts

Peanuts are cancer preventative for blood type A, and my husband LOVES them, but organic roasted AND SALTED peanuts are impossible to find, so I've been making them at home.

For myself, while I prefer to soak and then dehydrate the walnuts, almonds and pistachios that I eat, I have used this recipe for them, too, when I can't wait the 3+ days it takes to make them.

The recipe is for 4 cups but it can be scaled up or down.
I usually make 8 cups and season each batch differently.


Roasted Salted Nuts - Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios, or Walnuts
Thai Chili Peanuts, Rosemary Almonds, Salted Pistachios, Harissa Peanuts
Makes 4 cups

6 T. water
1 T. himalayan pink salt
4 c. raw nuts
2 t. neutral oil (I use safflower for peanuts and pistachios, and almond for almonds)
OPTIONAL: 2 T. seasoning (I've used rosemary, cayenne, harissa and Thai chili paste)

Preheat oven to 375.  I use our small toaster oven for this and make 2 cups at a time, which is exactly what the tray will hold.

In a small bowl, heat the water with the salt, and stir until the salt is melted.

Combine the salt water with the nuts and stir to insure they're all coated.

Transfer to a shallow baking dish and spread in a single layer.



Roast for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  The nuts are done when the inside is slightly brown.  If  you taste one, it will still be a little on the soft side but, don't worry, it will firm up as it cools.


After 15 minutes, start checking them every minute as they go from underdone to burnt very quickly.

Transfer the warm nuts to a bowl and stir in the oil.  Add additional salt and/or any DRY seasoning like rosemary, cayenne, or a dry spice blend.

Rosemary is very good with almonds and walnuts, cayenne and other hot peppers are good with any nut. 

Cool to room temperature and serve, or store in a clamp-top jar to preserve freshness.


Roasted and Salted Peanuts.





IF YOU WANT TO ADD A WET SEASONING like harissa or Thai curry paste:

If you add the wet seasoning before you roast the nuts, the seasoning will burn before the nuts are done.

If you add the wet seasoning with the oil, after the nuts are cooked, they will get soggy.



What I've been doing is roasting the nuts 3/4 of the way, about 12 minutes, transferring them to a bowl and adding the wet seasoning, and then roasting them for an additional 6-8 minutes.  You will need to experiment with your particular seasoning to see how it fares.

Roasted peanuts with Thai chili paste before the final roasting.



After roasting with the Thai chili paste, the raw green color disappears and the nuts are crunchy.  I store them in clamp-top jars to keep them fresh.

Thai chili peanuts


 



RECIPE: Pork Tenderloin with GF Rosemary Garlic Cream Sauce

We haven't had pork tenderloin in a long time, so I made this to illustrate the technique I use for making a gluten free cream sauce.

Pork Tenderloin with GF Rosemary Garlic Cream Sauce
Serves 3-4

  • 1 small pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, silver skin removed
  • 1 t. EVOO
  • 2 t. ground rosemary
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cayenne or to taste
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  (I make this in our convection toaster oven.)

Combine the rosemary, garlic and cayenne in a small bowl.

In a shallow roasting pan, rub the EVOO over the pork, then salt the tenderloin on all sides.  Sprinkle it with half the seasoning mix.



Roast for 16-18 minutes.  Pastured pork tenderloins are generally small, and we like our pork medium-well so I cook them for 16 minutes.  If  you prefer well done, leave it in for 18 minutes.

Remove from the oven, tent with parchment paper, and let rest for 5 minutes.



While the pork is cooking, make the sauce:

In a medium sauce pan - yes, you need such a big pan because THE CREAM WILL BUBBLE UP TO THREE TIMES ITS ORIGINAL VOLUME - combine the cream with the remaining seasoning mix. 

On medium heat, bring the cream to a boil.  THE CREAM WILL BUBBLE UP TO THREE TIMES ITS ORIGINAL VOLUME!  Stir occasionally and adjust the heat so it doesn't boil over.  In the photos below you can see it's nearly boiling over!!



Let the cream boil like this until it's reduce to 3/4 cup, about 15-20 minutes.  It should coat a spoon.

Add salt to taste, and keep warm on low heat until the pork is ready to serve.  Stir occasionally to prevent a film from forming on the top.



Slice the pork into 3/4" pieces and serve, draped with the sauce. In the photo below, I filled the small pitcher with sauce, and poured what didn't fit in the pitcher over the meat.  I served it with roasted broccoli, but the sauce would be just as good with asparagus or green beans.  

This is HALF the tenderloin! 


My husband likes to use the leftover pork in a sandwich so I only served half of it for dinner and there was one small bit left!







Sunday, April 19, 2020

RECIPE: Basmati with Cumin, Fennel ,Mustard and Turmeric

I had a craving last week for caramelized onions.  I also had a craving for basmati rice.  So...I created this recipe to satisfy both those cravings, using the spice mixture I love from this cauliflower recipe.   


Basmati with Caramelized Onions, Cumin, Fennel, Mustard Seeds and Turmeric
Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 T. ghee, divided
  • 1 T. himalayan pink salt
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 1/8 t. asafoetida (also called hing powder)
  • 12 fenugreek seeds
  • 1 t. cumin seeds
  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 t. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 t. ground turmeric (please buy one that's low in lead)

In a medium saucepan over med-high heat melt 1 T. ghee and saute the rice until it's opaque.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, put a dishtowel between the pot and the lid to absorb steam, and let sit for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, in a large saute pan over med-high heat, melt 2 T. ghee and saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until medium to dark brown.  It should take about 30 minutes.

In a small fry pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 T. ghee.  Add the asafoetida, followed quickly by the whole spices.  Cover and shake the pan until the mustard seeds stop popping.  Reduce heat to low and add the ground turmeric.  Stir for a minute or two, then remove from heat.

Add the spice mixture to the rice.  Toss to combine, top with the onions and serve.






RECIPE: COVID Chicken Broth with Leeks, Carrots, Onions, Garlic

I'm calling this "COVID-19 Broth" because I developed it to help us resist the disease.

Several of the practitioners I follow recommended collagen-rich broth, as well as alliums (onions, leeks, scallions), carrots and garlic, to boost your immune defenses.  I needed to make more broth anyway, but I was all out of chicken feet, which are rich in collagen, so I adjusted my recipe slightly:  I increased the amounts of the above mentioned vegetables, and added collagen powder.  If you have trouble sourcing feet, this is one way to overcome that.

I made a large batch, so we could have some every day.  You can scale down if necessary.



Please read the detailed directions in this post first, before proceeding with this recipe.



COVID-19 Chicken Broth with Extra Collagen

Makes 12 quarts

3 whole chickens, with feet if possible
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. himalayan pink salt
4 leeks, cleaned and chopped into 1" pieces
10 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 1" pieces
4 heads of garlic, halved
2 cups chopped onions and/or onion skins (I used the skins, I keep a bag in the freezer)
1 bulb of celeriac, scrubbed, or 4 stalks of celery, cut into 1" pieces
1 small bunch parsley
4-5 bay leaves
1 t. allspice or juniper berries
12 scoops collagen powder from pasture raised animals

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the chickens in a deep roasting pan and roast until they're nicely browned, 30-45 minutes.






Fill a large stockpot with 12 quarts water (my pot holds 16 quarts) and add the vinegar and salt.

Transfer the chickens and any juices into the stock pot filled with water (BE CAREFUL - I didn't realize their cavities were full of fat, and I made a HUGE mess on my cooktop!!).

Fat everywhere!!

Turn heat on low, and bring slowly to a gentle simmer.  Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer - small bubbles rising up through the water - DO NOT LET IT BOIL!!  If it boils, your stock will be cloudy.  Cook, with the cover on, for 24 hours.

Chicken in 12 qts water before and after 24 hours.





Add the vegetables, herbs and spices and cook for 12-24 hours.

Veggies in broth before and after 24 hours.




Strain the broth and discard the meat and veggies.  I used a large cheesemaking bag set over a colander, set over an 8-quart bowl.  I removed the solids first, using a skimmer, and discarded them.

Even without the solids, the pot was too heavy for me to tip the broth into the strainer so I used a 1-quart saucepan as a ladle! 

Removing the solids, then straining the broth.






Isn't this the most beautiful chicken broth you've ever seen?!  I couldn't believe how rich it looked and tasted!

Can you believe this is CHICKEN broth?!





My pressure canner will only hold 7 quart jars so I transferred 7 quarts of broth into an 8-quart stock pot to reduce its volume.  I set this stock pot over medium heat, to maintain a gentle boil, and let it cook with the lid off until reduced by half, about 2 hours. 






Here comes the hard part...adding the collagen powder.  

I used this recipe by Fearless Eating as a guide:  Adding collagen powder to broth

If you add the collagen powder to hot liquid it will clump.  DON'T DO IT!  When I tried it (yes, I had to see for myself) it seized up immediately and I was unable to break up the big clumps!



Fearless Eating recommends adding it to cold water, but I didn't want to dilute my beautiful broth so I transferred 6 cups of broth to a baking dish to cool.  You can see it in the 'beautiful' photo further up.

When the broth reached room temperature, I added one scoop at a time using a fine mesh strainer and whisking in-between.  It still clumped a bit towards the end, but those small clumps dissolved when I added it to the warm stock.  I used half the amount called for in the Fearless Eating recipe because I didn't want it aspic hard, just pleasantly viscous.  After adding 12 scoops I knew I couldn't add any more so I set it aside to gel.


Adding collagen to cool broth, starting to gel, solid after a few minutes!




By the time I had managed to get all the collagen into the cooled broth, the remaining broth wasn't warm enough to melt the now-solid collagen-broth so I turned my attention to the stock reducing on the cooktop.

When it had reduced by half, I stirred in half the collagen-broth.  After it melted, I transferred 3 quarts into quart jars, and put the remaining quart into two pint jars for immediate use.

I then transferred the remaining 4 quarts of stock into the same pot, heated it to just under boiling, and stirred in the remaining collagen-broth.  I transferred this into 5 quart jars which gave me 4 quarts for my pressure canner, and 1 quart for immediate use.

In the photo below are the 4 quarts of full strength stock on the left, and 1 quart of the double-strength stock on the right.  It's so rich it looks like beef stock, doesn't it!  I also couldn't tell the difference between the full strength and the double strength so I labelled them before I processed them.

Chicken broth ready for the pressure canner.

NOTE: I left 2" headspace because I didn't want to risk loosing any of this delicious nectar, which is why, if you were counting, I ended up with 4 quart jars of double strength stock and 5 quart jars of single strength which adds up to more than the original 12 quarts of liquid - each jar held less than a full quart.

 

On the left is a photo of the cooled double broth.  I add 2 T to a small mug, add a bit of Himalayan pink salt and fill it with hot water.  Imagine how stiff the broth would be if I had used double the amount of collagen!  (The cloudy stuff on the top is fat.  There would be more if I hadn't spilled it all over my cooktop!)