June 24, 2006

Sausage N Cabbage #2

Except for the cheese, I used a recipe very similar to Kim's Sausage N Cabbage dinner also on June 20! It's from FROM ASPARAGUS TO ZUCCHINI. In addition is: 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1 onion finely chopped, tomato slices, salt, 2 carrots sliced, and 1 green pepper chopped.

Grated cabbage, carrots and pepper come after the onions, tomatoes, curry and salt have been sauteed first together in the sausage drippings for 2-3 minutes (Alvin's sausage rules!). Add 1/2 cup water with the second group of vegetables. Simmer and cover until liquid absorbed. Add back the sausage.

June 20, 2006

Sausage N Cabbage dinner

Sausage N Cabbage

1 head of cabbage, chopped
1 lb. of crumbled, browned sausage
2 c. shredded cheese

Brown Sausage, set aside. Saute chopped cabbage in sausage drippings until cooked to taste. Turn off heat, place sausage on top of cooked cabbage, and sprinkle cheese on top of all. Place lid on pot; viola, cheese melts. Delicious w/Alvin's sausage!

Italian Wedding Soup

If you haven't made it before this is a good soup that can be altered pretty liberally off the basic recipe. (You must have the carrots, the greens, the meatballs and the pasta.)

I put some stock (about 4 pints) in a large pot and start adding:
cut up carrots - about 3
finely cut kale or spinach or chard might work too - about 4 cups
little meatballs (make your own or use pre-made - cut in half or quarters if they seem too big)
leftover cut-up chicken pieces
sage
parsley
miso

Get it all boiling and when the kale and carrots are done add a cup or so of orzo or pastina (little pasta). Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. Even my "I don't like spinach and kale" guy enjoyed this one.


Turnip Soup

It is getting a little too warm for soups. But, they are easy. Turnips are finished now (although we'll see some in the fall probably). This soup has just a few ingredients. The recipe is here. I added some garlic scapes while sauteeing the turnips and a couple tablespoons of miso with the stock. It was thumbs up all around.

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June 18, 2006

Harvest Week #4 Sankanac

Wow! The harvest is exploding. Let's see whether I can remember the quantities!

1 head of cabbage (I took an extra head from the donation bin)
Asian Greens
Field Greens
6 sprigs of parsley
Kale
Swiss Chard
1 bunch of beets
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of red leaf lettuce
2 oz. ! of Broccoli (one tiny tree!)

The fruits of my research on storing veggies: I only researched freezing them, as I am not yet set up to can. I've wondered why veggies need to be blanched, as opposed to just chopped & frozen or even frozen whole.

From the 1984 edition of Putting Food By, Chapter 13, Freezing Vegetables:

"Blanching" - "Even after vegetables are picked, the enzymes in them make them lose flavor and color & sometimes make them tough, even at freezer temperatures. Therefore the enzymes must be stopped in their tracks by being heated for a few minutes (how many minutes depends on the size and texture of the vegetable) before the vegetables are cooled quickly and packed. This preheating is necessary for virtually all vegetables: Green (sweet) peppers are the notable exception."

The book continues, stating that steaming for blanching is an option.

I'm going to sample some of my frozen chard & see how tough it is. Personally, we may not notice any of the traits in the above paragraph, and it would cut down on my energy use and time if I didn't have to blanch, cool, then put into the 'fridge, then transfer to the freezer.

Unfortunately, it lists cabbage as a vegetable that doesn't freeze well because of its water content. I will plan to use it only in cooked dishes if I freeze it.

June 13, 2006

Herbs - Freeze or Dry?

The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden Cookbook recommends the following herb flavors are best retained by FREEZING:
basil
cilantro
chervil
dill
parsley
tarragon

And, the following have good flavor when dried:
basil
dill
lovage
mint
oregano
rosemary
sage
savory
thyme

And because this blog hasn't had any pictures yet. I give you "Kids and Chickens"
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June 11, 2006

Harvest week #3 Sankanac CSA

This week my 1/2 share brought me:

1 head lettuce
1 lb. kale
9 oz. field greens
2 oz dill
swiss chard
1 turnip
1 kohlrabi
2 heads of broccoli/cauliflower combination
unlimited u-pick strawberries!

Garlic-Marinated Broccoli

In Season

Garlic-Marinated Broccoli - recipes from a kitchen garden

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsps soy sauce
fresh peper to taste
1 head broccoli, cut into florets

mix together marinade ingredients. steam florets until tender-crisp. drain, chill and toss with marinade. let stand at least 1/2 hour. serve chilled or room temp. 4 servings
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June 8, 2006

Harvest week #3 Kimberton

On Tuesday we got:

2 heads lettuce
1 bunch tatsoi
1.5 pounds spinach
5 turnips
dill
chard or perpetual spinach (it was in the take what you can use catagory)
various salad greens
radish
broccoli teaser - a little more than a handful of broccoli
garlic scrapes(?)
you pick - snap peas, snow peas and strawberries, no limit on anything


Swiss Chard Italiane and Couscous

This recipe was adapted from Swiss Chard Italiane from the book Asparagus to Zucchini

Steam a bunch of chard (aka perpetual spinach) and chop it.
Saute some finely chopped onion (one small) in a few tablespoons of butter.
Throw in some pesto pre-make (basil, garlic and olive oil) or just some chopped basil. Be generous with this, especially if you like basil.
I also put some garlic things we got this week at the farm, they look like the early garlic from thining the patch.

Put the chopped chard into the saute along with about 3/4 cup (or equal amount to the chard) of chopped canned or fresh tomatoes. Get everything good and hot. Salt to taste.
Serve with couscous and slice some fresh mozzarella cheese on top. MMM. Really quite good.

June 3, 2006

Strawberry Jam

Per Nancy's request, my strawberry jam particulars.

This uses a boiling water canner. The low-sugar/no-sugar pectin can also be used to make freezer jam if you prefer to forgo the canning. It is not that hard however and it homemade anything is a quick and appreciated gift to almost anyone. Just add a label and a ribbon.

I heat up my jars by washing them in the dishwasher. If things are timed right, the jars and the jam are both hot at the same time. You should have your canner water heating when you start hulling the berries and also have a little saucepan with water on the stovetop heating with your jar lids in it.

I use Ball low-sugar/no-sugar pectin. It is the one in the pink box. Basic instructions are inside (and usually a coupon off your next box too.)

Hull 2 qts of strawberries
Crush them one layer at a time.
This should yield 5 cups of crushed strawberries.
Put these, along with 1 cup water into a large saucepan.
Heat to boiling.
Add 0 - 3 cups sugar. I add from 1/2 - 1 cup. This much enhances the flavor of the berries and brightens up the color a bit. I find that if I add more it just makes the jam taste like strawberry sugar. I want to really taste the berries.
Boil hard for one minute.
Skim off foam.

Set your jars (need 48 oz total for this recipe) on a dishtowel on the countertop.
Using a canning funnel, ladle the hot jam into the hot jars (fill to 1/2" from top). Using a canning spatula remove bubbles along the side of the jar. Wipe rim of jars with wet paper towel. Get hot lid from saucepan, place on top and put a ring band around. Place in canner. Repeat for all the jars.

When water is boiling in the canner, lower jars and process for 10 min.
Remove and place on counter. Don't fool with the lids or the ring bands.
Come back when they are cool and check that the lids are sealed. Remove ring bands, wipe off jar and place in cool dark place (or just your kitchen cabinet) and see how long you can wait before trying some!


June 2, 2006

Stir-Fry Kohlrabi and Pasta

In Season

Simple Stir-Fry Kohlrabi

from "From Asparagus to Zucchini"
for 2-4 servings

Grate 2 kohlrabi, place in colander and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, for 30 minutes to drain. Heat 4 tbsps. butter or oil over medium heat, add 1 diced medium onion and saute for a few minutes. Stir in kohlrabi, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp fresh herbs (I used chives and sage).

I served over pasta and also scrambled Alvin's pork sausage as a topping to the whole entree. Delicious!
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June 1, 2006

Harvest week #2 Kimberton

From Kimberton this week Nancy and I received:
1 tatsoi
5 turnips
2 purple kohrabi
2 heads of lettuce
1.5 pounds spinach
various salad greens
radishes
2 leeks
basil
chives
oregano
dill
strawberries (u-pick)

Pesto pre-make

I made a garlic basil olive oil pre-pesto with the large handful of basil from this week's share. I add nuts and cheese as I need that way those ingredients stay fresh.

Pull basil leaves off of stem. Wash. Put in blender with amount of garlic cloves you like. Add some olive oil and process. Adjust amount of olive oil depending on amount of basil. You want just enough to process. Pour into 8 oz canning jars and let it settle. Add just a little olive oil on the top to seal it off. Screw on a lid and store in the fridge.

We used a little along with other chopped herbs and shredded carrots and radish mixed into cream cheese for sandwiches. I'll also use it for pasta sauce and on pizza with fresh sliced tomatoes and cheese.

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Turnips and Kohlrabi with Greens and Raisins

This got rave reviews from the hubby, but each of the kids had a different complaint. One left behind the raisins, another the turnips/kohlrabi and another the greens! I thought it was good.

Cut 5 turnips and 2 kohlrabi (all peeled) into matchsticks.
Coarsley chop the greens from these vegetables along with spinach. Ratio of one green to the other depending on your tastes.

Saute the turnips and kohlrabi with a little olive oil and a few crushed garlic cloves. About 2 min. Add a handful of raisins. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice, cover and simmer for another 3 min. Add greens and saute just til wilted. Salt and pepper to taste and throw in a dash of nutmeg.

I served this with a garlic butter pastured chicken that had been cooking all day in the crockpot.