Archive for February, 2011

February 19, 2011

Veggie List February 19th

1 bag Asian greens

6 lbs onions

1 lb Portobello mushrooms

1 bunch arugula

1 kumbucha squahs

2 bunches leeks

1-2 lbs carrots

2 sweet potatoes

1 lb potatoes

 

All for $32.

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February 15, 2011

Potato-Leek Soup

5 leeks, cut into thing rounds most of the way up until the green part becomes too tough

8 smallish potatoes, cut into small pieces (we used 1 blue potato, 2 red potatoes, 1 fingerling potato, and 4 German Butterball potatoes)

A small head of garlic, minced

2 small onions, chopped fairly small

1  carrot, grated

Generous pinch of tarragon

1 teaspoon garlic powder,

Just under a teaspoon dry mustard

salt & pepper

Frozen parsley

 

  1. Put all the vegetables in a soup pot with a light coating of oil and about an inch of broth and cook until the onions start to soften.  Add salt and pepper.
  2. Add 6 cups of stock (we used partly bouillon and partly our own frozen stock-thanks to Mary at Harvest Kitchen for the idea of saving all of our cooking scraps like potato skins and carrot tops to make stock)
  3. Cook until the potatoes are soft, then season with tarragon, garlic powder, and dry mustard.
  4. Finally, turn off the heat, stir in a handful of parsley (ours we frozen raw this fall, but fresh would work as well) and eat with cheese, bread, or whatever you like on your soup.
  5. Delicious with a dollop of horseradish mustard.

 

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February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Day Treat

A fully non-local blood orange dipped in melted chocolate.

February 13, 2011

Sunday Afternoon French Toast

While two of us laid around in sloth, the third cook in this apartment produced this amazing brunch.  With a little bit of crushed corn flakes and extra flour, we had wonderfully crispy French toast with maple syrup from the Kearsarge Gore Farm where one of us worked for a summer a few years ago. We were trying to recreate the cornflake encrusted toasty goodness we’d had at a nearby cafe. These came out great, even though we had chex-shaped cereal rather than flakes. These were crunchy on the outside and springy on the inside–perfection, and the perfect end to the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(on a homemade plate)

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February 12, 2011

Veggie List February 12

This week, on a blustery day full of snow squalls and sudden windstorms, our trip to the farmers’ market was rewarded with a free loaf of olive bread from a farmer we’ve been buying from every week since September.  Every now and then farmers at the market give us little things: an extra potato or two, a butternut squash, a loaf of delicious bread.  It’s sweet, and it’s nice to know we’ve made friends at the market.

Since we still have some leeks and carrots left from last week (oh, the luxury of markets several weeks in a row) we got fewer things this week:

1 bag Asian greens

1 bunch arugula

3 onions

4 red potatoes and 3 German Butterball potatoes

5 portobello mushrooms

I love going to market, seeing people who we’ve seen either week after week (like the farmers) or every so often.  One of the women I work with came in today exclaiming about the portabello mushrooms at the market and I excitedly told her how we’d been waiting for them to come in all winter.  We only really had one market in January and it was a lean month.  But now, with markets last week, this week, and coming up again next week, we’ve been enjoying more fresh food and have been able save more of our frozen veggies for the spring when the garlic will be gone and the season’s first veggies unlikely to have come in.

February 11, 2011

Friday Night Food Extravaganza

(for us, anyway)

It is seventeen degrees out, making this a more mild evening after several very cold days, and we just watched an unexpected fireworks display out our back window.   Now, to celebrate the end of the week, we’re making a long, drawn-out, slightly complex meal, beginning with dry beans to be cooked and ending three hours later with our bellies full of beer-glazed black beans and sweet potato chips.

Particularly exciting for tonight: we have garlic given to us from our friends at Free Bird Farm.  When we first came to this part of New York, it was working at Free Bird Farm for a summer.   After a garlic harvest of thirty-thousand heads in six days we dreamed about garlic.  Literally, dreamed we were harvesting.  For months it haunted me, reminding me of how, that week, the nearly two-month drought finally broke and we worked in the pouring rain, so deep in the garlic we stopped smelling it at all.  The garlic harvest at Free Bird ultimately inspired Garlic Harvest Studio.  It is a treat now to eat some of Free Bird’s garlic with our beans.

Beer-Glazed Beans

We soaked dry beans for about five hours then cooked them for an hour to begin this recipe.  We soaked two cups dry but it turned out to be slightly more than the three cups we needed once it was cooked. So, the recipe, based off the one in our favorite How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 head garlic

1 cup beer

3 cups cooked black beans

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons tomato paste

salt and pepper

  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and add 1 chopped onion and cook until soft.
  2. Add a small head of chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Finally all the other ingredients.
  4. Bring to bubbling and then cooked uncovered until the liquid has reduced and thickened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Chips

Neutral oil, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper

1.  Wash and peel the sweet potatoes
2.  Slice the sweet potatoes into thin even discs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Fill a deep saucepan with 3 inches of oil and heat until it begins to boil.  Don’t let it gets much hotter than that because it could combust.  Also, canola or sunflower is better than olive oil since olive oil has a lower burning temperature and will smoke at this point.

4.  To test if the oil is the right temperature, toss and small piece of bread it.  If it sinks and absorbs the oil, turn up the heat a littler and try again.  If it floats to the top right away and begins to brown on the outside, you’re ready to add the chips.
5.  Add the chips carefully and cook until lightly browned then flip with a metal spatula and repeat with the other side.  It should take about 3-5 minutes, but the longer you go the faster they will cook since the pan is likely getting hotter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When a batch of chips is done take them out carefully with the metal spatula and lay them on rags, paper towels, or napkins to soak up the extra oil.

February 8, 2011

Egg Drop Soup

It is 8 degrees out and snowing.  So we are, as usual, having soup.  This one is an expansion on simple egg drop soup.   You can find the original recipe in Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express.

For this bitter cold February evening we chopped up one leek and grated up one carrot.

Picture of 3 leeks and a chef's knife on a bamboo cutting board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We boiled five cups of stock then added the leek and carrot.  For seasoning we added a dash of soy sauce and grated a little dried ginger.

Soup in pot: leeks cut into disks with shredded carrot, and wooden spoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, while stirring the soup quickly we poured in the beaten egg, stirring a lot, and cooked for a few minutes.

Spinning soup!  There's a bowl tipped over the far edge, pouring in the beaten eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To go alongside this are rice noodles (soak for half an hour before cooking, then boil for two minutes or until just slightly opaque and separate easily).

Bowl with spoon and soup and rice noodles

February 6, 2011

Portobello Mushroom Paninis

In honor of our first winter’s Portobellos:

Arugula, fresh mozzarella, raw garlic, onion, balsamic vinegar and, of course, Portobello mushrooms.

February 5, 2011

Veggie List February 5th!

Today was the day we’d been waiting for (for 2 weeks) – the return of the farmers’ market!  Despite the feet of snow and occasional sub-zero temperatures, we came away with bags of great veggies, including some surprises.  Most notably, we have arugula, Asian greens, and leeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every time we go to the farmers’ market we make up a list of the veggies we were able to get, along with how much money we spent.  Next fall, when we have a full year of lists, we’ll be able to put them all together into our own localized seasonal chart.  We’ve got all the old veggie lists in a basket on top of the fridge, a huge mass of scraps of paper and bits of cardboard torn from the recycling.  The compiled seasonal chart will guide us in planning for next winter as we freeze and can food and the amount that we spent will help us create and stick with a budget.  And best of all, our fridge always has a list of all the great (or occasionally lacking) food we have to inspire us for meals.  Well, maybe I’m just a dork about lists.

February 5, 2011

An Excellent Saturday lunch

Everyone else is out of the house today, so here’s my recipe for a quick and seasonal lunch for one.  This took me 10 minutes, tops, and looked so good I ate it without taking a picture first.

Scrambled Eggs with Mostly Raw Arugula and Mushrooms

Ingredients:
– 2 eggs, or some soft tofu (for scrambling)
– 2-4 large button mushrooms, sliced (other kinds would work, this was what we could get locally)
– A handful of arugula (cut in half if the leaves are long)
– A bit of butter or oil (to grease the pan)
– A splash of milk (if you’re cooking with eggs)
– Salt and pepper

Directions:
1.
If you’re using eggs, crack them into a bowl and whisk/fork until mixed.  Add a splash of milk and some salt and pepper.  
2. Melt the butter or put some oil in the bottom of a frying pan.  Add the eggs or crumble the tofu into the pan.
3. Cook over low heat until just scrambled.  I tend to stir them frequently and break up big curds (roughly following Mark Bittman’s advice for the best scrambled eggs), and keep the eggs moving in the pan until they’re cooked.  Our stove is hyperactive so this happens in less than 5 minutes – your mileage may vary.
4.
Turn the heat off, and push the eggs/tofu over to one side of the pan.  Add the arugula and sliced mushrooms.  I simply stirred them all together and started eating, but you could turn the heat on low and cook it for a minute or so.