Nov
18
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Some recipes that work well this time of year:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CIDER BISQUE: from Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p. 160. I always feel like I’m a better cook when I make this soup. It has a hint of curry, which adds more flavor than most squash soups. It can be made in advance  and is a good way to start the

Thanksgiving meal.

ROASTED GARLIC:

Not a real dish, but I don’t think I’ve used this great tip because we didn’t get garlic until last week. Just slice off the top of a whole, unpeeled garlic bulb, exposing the tops of the cloves. Wrap the whole thing loosely in aluminum foil and place on a  pan in a 400 degree oven. Roast for about 45 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after 30 minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready by poking the tops of the cloves with a toothpick; they will become totally soft. Take the garlic out and allow to cool completely. Garlic becomes stronger and easier to use when roasted. When cool, you can separate the cloves and squirt out the garlic like toothpaste, no need to mash or mince. I sometimes spread the garlic on toast, and add a slice of chesse.

BEETS WITH HORSERADISH CREME FRAICHE

From Christian Shaffer. Los Angeles Times

About 1 pound of beets, red, gold, or Chioggia, quartered if large

1 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or balsamic)

3 tbs good-quality olive oil

1/4 teaspoon toasted ground coriander seeds

1 small shallot, minced

1/2 cup creme fraiche—see note below on how to make creme fraiche

1 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoons fresh chervil or parsley, whole leaves or rough chopped

1. Boil the beets in enough water to cover, with 1 tablespoon salt, until tender, about an hour.

2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, coriander and shallot and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine the creme fraiche, horseradish, one-quarter teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Drain the beets and, while still warm, peel them. Slice them into wedges, about 8 to 10 per beet, and cool.

4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the beets and let stand, covered, at room temperature for an hour. Spoon the horseradish cream onto a platter, covering the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, mound the beets over the cream. Garnish the beets with the chervil and serve.

CREME FRAICHE is a lot like sour cream, but better. You can buy it in cartons, but it’s pricey; it’s easy to make and I think the homemade version is better.

Instructions from Epicurious: Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.

I know—leaving the cream outside the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours sounds wrong. But it doesn’t go bad, it gets better.

KOHLRABIT OR BRUSSELS SPROUTS IN EINBRENN OR WHITE SAUCE: Recipes from America’s Small Farms, pp 78-79.

MASHED POTATOES WITH FRIZZLED LEEKS

I don’t think we need a recipe for mashed potatoes, but in case some of you don’t know—one of the best ways to achieve fluffy mashed potatoes is with a ricer; they cost about $10 and it takes just a few minutes to turn boiled potatoes into the fluffiest, softest mashed potatoes ever.

I like my mashed potatoes plain, with just a bit of butter/cream/milk. But you can also add roasted garlic, olive oil, herbs and spices, or other vegetables. I sometimes boil peeled carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash, &/or parsnips (especially parnsips) with potatoes  and then rice them all together.

The frizzled leeks make this a little fancier, and they take just five minutes to make. Slice off the hairy top of the leek and then cut thin horizontal slices—just until after the leek turns from white to pale green. Divide the leek slices into rings Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Toss the leek rings in the flour. Pour a neutral oil into your smallest pot until it comes about 2 inches up th sides. Prepare a slotted spoon and a plate lines with paper towels. Put one leek ring in the pot over medium heat; when it begins to sizzle, toss in the rest of the leek rings. In less than 30 seconds, they will brown and frizzle. Remove the frizzled leeks with the slotted spoon immediately—or they will burn—and drain on the paper towels. Serve over mashed potatoes.

I usually do this right before I serve them, but it can also be done in advance.

Chef John’s Colcannon (submitted by Lee’at)

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

4 ounces kale, trimmed and chopped

1 leek, light parts only, rinsed and chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated

2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter, for serving

1/4 cup green onions to garnish

Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons butter and lightly mash the potatoes.

Boil kale and leeks in a large pot of water until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and transfer kale and leeks to a blender. Add white parts of the green onions and 2 more tablespoons butter; blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed, 1 to 3 minutes.

Stir pureed kale mixture into the bowl of potatoes and continue to mash. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add cream and stir until desired texture. Top with 2 tablespoons butter and green parts of the green onions.

Chef’s Note: You can substitute kale with other leafy greens such as Swiss chard or cabbage.

POTATO LATKES

There are many ways to make latkes; in some families, including mine, there are some strong opinions on which way is best. I find that adding an egg to the grated eggs makes the best latke; other people omit the egg and add a pinch of baking soda instead

For about 3 pounds of potatoes, I use one egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and about 3 tbs of vegetable oil.

I usually grate the potatoes by hand, on the small holes of a box grater. I think knuckle blood is an important ingredient. But this is probably just a tradition; when I’m busy or don’t want the pain, I use the food processor and they are just fine. When the potatoes are all grated, I let them sit for about ten minutes and then pour off the water; if you leave them longer that, they turn brown. While the potatoes are sitting, I add the salt and pepper and mix well. Heat your largest frying pan for about 30 seconds, then add vegetable oil, just a solid coating on the bottom—these are not deep fried. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, drop 1- to 2-tablespoons of batter for each latke; I fit about 8 on my pan and don’t crowd them so that it will not be too hard to turn them. When the edges are brown—don’t be impatient, these are raw potatoes and need a few minutes—flip them and fry the the other side. Flip again in the first side is not crispy and brown. When both sides are nice and brown, turn them onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain and serve hot.

You can grate other vegetables  with the potatoes. Most people add a small onion for every 2-3 pounds of potatoes. Sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, winter squash, zucchini, kohlrabi, can all be mixed with the potatoes.

PATCHWORK PIE

This one-crust, bottomless pie is great after a big meal; you won’t miss the bottom crust, especially if you’re using sweet local apples. Marc Bittman used stone fuit when he published this recipe in the NYT a few years ago, but I find it makes a great apple pie. I sometimes add cranberries or raisins to the fruit.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 8 pieces, more for dish

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups sliced apples and pears,about  1/4” thick

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9-by-13-inch or similar-size baking dish; set aside. In a food processor, combine 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, the salt and 1 tablespoon sugar; pulse once or twice. Add butter and turn on machine; process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, about 15 to 20 seconds. Slowly add 1/4 cup ice water through feed tube and process until just combined. Form dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate dough for up to a couple of days, or freeze it, tightly wrapped, for up to a couple of weeks.)

NOTE: I find that this is enough for two pie crusts. I divide the dough into two discs, and if I’m not making two pies, I freeze one).

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl toss fruit with remaining flour, white and brown sugar, cinnamon. and lemon juice; place in baking dish.

3. Put dough on a floured board or countertop and sprinkle with more flour. Roll dough into a 12-inch round, adding flour and rotating and turning dough as needed. Cut dough into 3-inch-wide strips, then cut again crosswise into 4-inch-long pieces. Scatter pieces over fruit in an overlapping patchwork pattern.

4. Brush top of dough lightly with water and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Transfer to oven and bake until top is golden brown and juices bubble, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool; serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


 
Nov
11
    
Posted (Lori) in News

I was looking for new recipes and realized I haven’t used two of my very favorites this year. Bothof  these are perfectanytime, but I usually make them on Thanksgiving Day and we snack on them as we work on the big meal.

BAGNA CAUDA

The name means “hot bath” and the only challenging part of this incredibly flavorful recipe is keeping it warm. I sometimes serve it right off the stovetop; it’s a great snack for the cooks or for guests who hang around the kitchen. For later in the meal, I put a small oven-safe bowl on a tiny hotplate that’s used to keep coffee cups warm.

1 tbs butter

1/4 cup olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed

2-3 anchovy filets, mashed or more to tate

splash of cream (optional)

vegetables and/or bread for dipping

Put the butter and oil in a very small saucepan over low heat. When the butter is melted add the garlic and let it cook, stirring occasionally and watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.It should simmer, but not come to a full boil It will be very fragrant and in about 5 minutes the garlic will be soft. Add the anchovies and keep stirring until they all but disappear. If you wish, add a bit a cream and stir again to combine. Serve hot, with crudités such as asparagus, celery sticks, carrots, turnips, and cauliflower, or bread (usually, people ignore the vegetables and go for the bread).

FOCACCIA

This is one of those Eureka recipes. Simple, fast, versatile, delicious. There’s no salt in the dough, which is why it rises so quickly. It’s finished in about an hour, start to ready-to-eat with only about 15 minutes of active prep time.

It’s fine plain—but toppings turn it into a delicious full meal. Try it with ratatouille; braised greens; anchovies and cheese; olives and capers; carmelized onions. The topping should be warm or hot when spread; After spreading the topping, you can put it back into a warm oven for a few minutes.  I sometimes split the focaccia horizontally and use it for sandwiches, such as egg salad with thinly sliced radish or broiled zucchini, eggplant, pepper, and onion. Focaccia is fine cold and day-old—but not as amazing as it is straight from the oven.

I found this recipe of Allrecipes, just sitting there among all the other recipes that are not as fantastic.

1 tsp white sugar

1 pkg (.25 ounce, 2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water

2 cups flour

2 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flour; stir well to combine. Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into a sheet and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the dough with oil and sprinkle with salt.

6. Bake focaccia in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness. If you like it moist and fluffy, then you’ll have to wait just about 10 minutes. If you like it crunchier and darker in the outside, you may have to wait 20 minutes.

BRUSSELS STALKS

i forgot to add Edith Harnick’s technique for rescuing a bit of food from something that most people just throw away. i’m not recommending  it—it’s a lot of trouble for very little food—but here it is, in memory of Edith.

After you’ve snapped all the brussels sprouts off the stalk, cut the tough top and bottom off the stalk and peel the tough outer layer with a sharp peeler or knife. Throw the stalks into a pot of boiling water—cut them in half if they don’t fit—and boil them for about a half hour. then cut them vertically. There’s a soft, pulpy core inside that can be scooped out. It tastes like mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage.


 
Nov
04
    
Posted (Lori) in News

I’ve been waiting anxiously for the celeriac to arrive. I have two main uses for this ugly but delicious vegetable: I add it to chicken soup, which makes it much better every time; and I make celeriac remoulade, one of my favorite winter salads. David Lebovitz’s Celeriac Remoulade, below, includes good instructions for preparing celeriac.

I’ve included a few other celeriac recipes—in case we get enough so that I don’t use it all on celeriac remoulade.

NEXT WEEK: I’m going to gather Thanksgiving recipes. If you have any to add, please send them to me.

Celery Remoulade (Céleri Rémoulade)

About six servings

Celery root is pretty easy to prepare, but does discolor a bit once sliced open and grated. So make the dressing before slicing and grating the celery root, for best results. I like mine really mustardy, so I use a fairly large amount. If you’re unsure, start with less; you can add more, to taste, when the salad is finished.

To peel celery root, lop off the root and opposite end with a chef’s knife. Then stand the round root on a flat end then take the knife and cut downward, working around the outside, to slice off the tough skin. In the states, celery root are often smaller, and have more complicated roots, and you’ll need to cut a bit deeper to remove them.

1 cup (240 g) mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought

2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of sea salt, plus more, to taste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) celery root

1. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and a few grinds of black pepper.

2. Peel the celery root and grate it coarsely.

3. Mix the dressing with the celery root and taste, adding additional salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice, to taste.

Note: If the salad is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of whole or low-fat milk to thin it out.

Storage: The salad will keep for one to two days in the refrigerator.

SOME NOTES ON CELERIAC REMOULADE FROM NIGEL SLATER

The French can buy this classic winter salad from any corner shop, whereas we probably have to make it ourselves. It is the best use of the knobbly, ivory-coloured root yet devised.

THE RECIPE

Peel then shred a medium-sized (450g) celeriac. The shreds should not be too fine, nor should they be thicker than a matchstick. Toss them immediately in the juice of half a lemon. Mix together 4 heaped tbsp of good mayonnaise, 2 tbsp of smooth Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of double cream or crème fraîche and 2 tbsp of chopped parsley. Season with salt and black pepper, then fold into the shredded celeriac. Set aside for 30 minutes then serve with thin slices of ham.

THE TRICK

Toss the shredded roots quickly in lemon juice to stop them discolouring and to tenderise them. The dressing should be just thick enough to cling to the roots – in other words creamy without being soupy. Thin the sauce down with lemon juice if it gets too thick. Cream or crème fraîche sounds extravagant, but is essential if the salad is to be more than just roots in mayo. Don’t attempt to keep it overnight. It will become soft and claggy as the celeriac soaks up the dressing. Chop the parsley finely – this is not the time for roughly chopped.

THE TWIST

Beetroot remoulade has a more vibrant colour and a mixture of celeriac and beets is good, but should be lightly mixed so as not to turn the dressing raspberry pink. Poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds make unorthodox but welcome additions, as do chopped toasted walnuts. A lighter dressing can be made using fromage frais instead of crème fraîche.

CELERY ROOT POTATO MASH

3/4 lb russet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/4 lbs celery root, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream (use lite if you wish)
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (oruse another fresh herb)
salt & pepper

Directions:

1
Place the potatoes, celery root onion & vinegar in a saucepan, cover wi th water, bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetable are cooked and tender. (apprx.25 minutes).
2
Drain the veggies, stir in the brandy, mash the vegetables. Leave them slightly chunky.
3
Stir in the sour cream & dill. Season with salt & Pepper.

Celeriac, chicory and orange salad with toasted cashews

I love raw celeriac in a salad. Its flavour, both earthy and sweet, balances piquant, sharp or bitter ingredients beautifully. Serves four.

75g cashew nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp English mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g celeriac
1 head chicory
1 large orange

Put the nuts in a dry frying pan, toss over a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly toasted, then set aside to cool.

Combine the olive oil, mustard and vinegar with some salt and pepper, and tip into a mixing bowl. Peel the celeriac and cut it into matchsticks. Toss the julienned root immediately in the dressing to stop it from browning. Trim the chicory and separate the leaves, then add to the celeriac in the bowl. Spread the dressed celeriac and chicory on a plate.

Cut a slice off the base of the orange and stand it on a board. Use a sharp knife to cut through the peel and pith of the orange, slicing it away completely, in sections. Working over the plate of celeriac so any juice that escapes will fall on to it, cut out the individual orange segments, letting them drop on to the salad as you go. Squeeze any juice out of the remaining orange membrane over the salad. Add some more salt and pepper to taste, scatter over the cashews and serve.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Be Choosy

The best-tasting Brussels sprouts are small, firm, and bright green. The leaves should be tight and compact; otherwise, they’re past their prime. Buying them in a uniform size will help them cook more evenly.

Keep Fresh

Store Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper, where they’ll keep for at least one week, if not a little longer. Sprouts still on the stalk will stay fresh longer than those sold individually. If you don’t plan on using them right away, stick the stalk in water and put it in the fridge—as you would do with fresh herbs on the stem—then break sprouts off the stalk as needed.

Draw Out Flavors

Steaming or microwaving Brussels sprouts ensures you’ll get the most nutrients from the vegetable, but for many people, taste trumps nutrition. Brussels sprouts can be sliced or shaved thinly and eaten raw (just look at the raves for Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad), while roasting brings out a robust, sweet, almost nutty flavor. If you want to convert a Brussels sprouts hater, simply toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stick them in a 425°F oven for approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can pan-fry sliced sprouts for crunch and texture.

Cook to Perfection

Memories of overcooked Brussels sprouts—mainly boiled—are probably to blame for most people’s dislike of the vegetable, so take care when cooking them. Start by removing any discolored outer leaves. You’ll want to discard any sprouts that are soft. If you’re boiling or steaming, cut an X in the stem so the heat can reach the thicker core. The sprouts should be tender in about five to eight minutes. To roast, cut them in half (or at least the same size) to ensure even cooking.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH GINGER, RAISINS, AND PECANS

(apapted from Real Simple)

preparation 15 minutes cooking 40 minutes

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup golden raisins, plumped in 1/4 cup water and drained

kosher salt and black pepper

1. Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down.

2. Roast until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Toss with the raisins and ginger; serve hot

Roasted Brussels sprouts and apples

1/2 cup diced apple

8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

2 tablespoons apple cider

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

Brussels sprout risotto

Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi and Nopi in London.  Serves four as side dish, 2 as main.

This dish is way too complicated for my taste, but some of you mentioned that you like the Jerusalem cookbook and complicated recipes. I haven’t tested it.

1 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp picked thyme leaves
2 lemons, 1 shaved into long strips of zest and 1 finely grated
1/2 cup risotto rice
1 lb trimmed brussels sprouts, half shredded and half quartered
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
About 1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 tbs parmesan, roughly grated
2 tbs dolcelatte, broken up into roughly 1/4” chunks (or use a different blue cheese)
1/2 tsp tarragon, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice

Put the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and the butter melted, add the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly caramelised. Add the garlic, thyme and lemon strips, and cook for two minutes more. Add the rice and shredded sprouts, and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Pour over the wine and let it simmer for a minute before you start adding the stock, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and carry on adding the stock ladle by ladle, stirring often, until the rice is cooked but still retains a bite, and all the stock is used up – about 15-20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, pour the sunflower oil into a second saucepan; it should come 2cm up the sides. Place on a high heat and, once very hot, use a slotted spoon to add a handful of the quartered sprouts, making sure they are completely dry first; they will still splutter, so be careful. Fry for less than a minute, until golden and crisp, then transfer to plate lined with kitchen paper. Keep warm while you fry the remaining sprouts.

Add the parmesan, dolcelatte, tarragon and half the fried sprouts to the risotto and stir gently. Serve at once, spooning on the remaining sprouts and topping with the grated lemon zest and a dribble of juice.

Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi and Nopi in London.


 
Oct
27
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Carmelized Butternut Squash

2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

STORAGE

Winter is coming—just three more weeks of deliveries after this one. But a little preparation will allow you to enjoy your vegetables well into 2015.

WINTER SQUASH: Butternut squash does not do well in temperatures under 50 degrees; so it’s best not to keep it in the refrigerator. This works well for me—I don’t have room in my refrigerator and I like the way it looks on the counter or windowsill. As long as the room does not too warm, it can last up to two months or more. Don’t let is sit near ripening apples or pears—they emit a gas that damages winter squash. If you don’t think you’ll be using your squash for a longer time, bake it, cut it into chunks, and store in the freezer in ziplock bags. POTATOES: I find that potatoes will last for several weeks or even a few months if they are not subjected to warm places. I keep them in a plastic bag, punched with several holes, and near an open window—but not in the refrigerator. Check them every few days and if they show even the slightest softness, use them or throw them away. There are very few things that smell as awful as a potato that has gone to mush—and once one goes bad, it takes the rest of them with it.

CARROTS: Carrots last only a few weeks in the refrigerator, but they freeze well. Peel, slice or dice (or grate), boil them for a few minutes, cool, and pack into ziplock bags. When thawed, they can be used in any recipe calling for cooked carrots. Or—make a Carrot Cake from Recipes from America’s Small Farms (p. 206) and freeze slices of that.

KALE, COLLARDS, AND OTHER GREENS: Greens are among the easiest vegetables to store for winter. Wash and chop them roughly, then blanch in boiling watehr for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander until almost dry—you can leave a bit of moisture, but water will turn to ice when you freeze. Pack in ziplock bags and squeeze out all the air before you put them in the freezer. I pound the bags until they so thin that they take up very little space in the freezer.

BEETS: Fresh beets will last in the refrigerator for up to a month before they start to get moldy—sometimes longer if you’re not fussy. But you can also freeze them—roast, peel, slice and store in ziplock bags. Another way to preserve beets is by picking them. Pickled beets will last for several weeks in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar—or they can be canned by following instructions on the Ball Canning Jar or USDA websites. Here’s one recipe for pickled beets from Allrecipes.com:

5 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed

1 cup white sugar

1.5 teaspoon pickling salt

2 cups white vinegar

1/8 cup whole cloves

1. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.

2. Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.

4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

One other idea: Make a batch of beet burgers (Recipes from America’s Small Farms) p. 195. They can be frozen before or after baking.

CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI: Both of these can be frozen—cook briefly, squeeze out the water, and pack in ziplocks. Both can also be pureed before freezing—they take up less space in the freezer that way and can be used in soups.

CABBAGE: An uncut cabbage will last for months in the refrigerator. If the top leaves go brown, just peel them off. Most years, my last non-frozen or canned CSA foods is a cabbage dish that I eat sometime in February.


 
Oct
20
    
Posted (Lori) in News
FALL SALADS AND DRESSINGS; DAIKON RADISHES AND BOK CHOI
DRESSING FOR FALL

Fall salads are different from the ones we make in summer. In summer, the goal, at least for me, is to keep the oven off and the dressing light. When cooler weather comes around, I use:

–heavier, spicier greens like mustard, kale, and cabbage in addition to lettuce;

–cooked ingredients—roasted carrots, butternut squash, and beets, boiled potatoes

–raw veggies like sliced radish, cauliflower and broccoli florets

–chunks of cheese

–nuts

–avocado

–grains, such as quinoa, farro, orzo

–fall fruit: fresh and dried apples, pears, and grapes; orange and grapefruit

And the dressinngs are heavier and spicier as well, often heated. Here are two of them:

WARM CIDER VINAIGRETTE (from the Food Network(

¾ cup apple cider or apple juice

2 tbs cider vinegar

2 tbs minced shallots

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper.

MAPLE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE From Land o’ Lakes

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until completely combined.

TAHINI-SOY SAUCE (based on a recipe from Terra Brockman)

Combine ¼ cup tahini paste, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tbs chopped garlic, 1 tsp lemon juice ad hot pepper to taste.

DAIKON

I’m always happy to get daikons.

–Slice them thinly and layer into sandwiches; smoked turkey with daikon and egg salad with daikon are two possibilities.

–Make slices a bit thicker and use them as crudités; they are great with hummus ad techina

–Shred them; peel, cut into chunks and put them in food processor. Whirl for just a few seconds. Throw them into or eat as a side dish. One of my favorite salads is bok choy, watercress, shredded daikon with the tahini-soy sauce above.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Daikon with Crisp Tofu (Mark Bittman)

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

This has everything you want in a stir-fry: delicious bok choy, with its wonderfully creamy stems; sharp daikon radish; crusty pan-fried tofu; and a load of spice.

Tempeh, the nutty fermented soybean cake, also goes beautifully with bok choy. If you want to use it in place of the tofu, crumble it into the hot oil and stir until it’s crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

1 head bok choy

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 block firm tofu (about 1 pound), cut into 1?4-inch slices and patted dry

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 or 2 fresh hot chiles (like jalapeño or Thai), seeded and minced

8 ounces daikon radish, cut into 1?4-inch coins

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

Black pepper

1. Cut the leaves from the stems of the bok choy. Trim the stems as necessary, then cut them into 1-inch pieces. Cut the leaves into wide ribbons and keep them separate from the stems.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, slide in the tofu, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook until the bottoms are crisp and golden, 3 to 5 minutes; carefully  flip and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes on the other side. When the tofu slices are done, transfer them to paper towels to drain.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. When it’s hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile and cook, stirring, for just 1 minute. Add the bok choy stems and daikon and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just lose their crunch, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the bok choy leaves and about 1?2 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the stems and radish are fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes; add a little more water if necessary. Return the tofu to the pan, stir in the soy sauce, and sprinkle with black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.

CARROT & DAIKON PICKLES (SAVEUR)

MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS

½ lb. carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1½ lbs. small daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. plus ¼ cup sugar
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. white vinegar

1. In a bowl, combine the carrots, daikon, salt, and 1 tsp. sugar. Let sit until the vegetables have wilted slightly and liquid pools at the bottom of the bowl, about 30 minutes. Drain vegetables; rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl.

2. Whisk together the remaining sugar, the vinegar, and ½ cup warm water and pour mixture over the vegetables. Stir to combine. Set mixture aside to let marinate for at least 1 hour or refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 4 weeks.