Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last Night's Dinner - Local Just Picked Cabbage and Potato Soup

Because of the sheer number of vegetables I have currently in my refrigerator, making a nice fall soup keeps coming to mind when I am thinking of what to make for dinner each night. With this soup I wanted to achieve the richness, complexity and sweetness of a good french onion soup so I slowly cooked the onions and cabbage together until caramelized.

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What you need:
Serves 8
3 Large Yellow Spanish Onions Thinly Sliced into Half Moons
2 Green Cabbages cut in half and then thinly sliced
6 slices of Bacon
1 can of organic white beans (try to find beans that come in BPA free lined cans)
a little less than a Quart of small Potatoes cut into quarters with skins on
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1 bay leaf
2 Stalks of celery sliced into small pieces
4 sprigs of thyme
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups of water
Soy Sauce
Sour Cream
Minced Chives

Begin by cooking the bacon in a large sauté pan (12 inch if you have one) until it is crispy. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel and chop into small pieces and set aside.

Add onions to the bacon grease and cook on medium until lightly brown and caramelized (about 20 minutes). Then add in the garlic and the cabbage in small batches on top of the onions allowing a few minutes to cook down a bit before adding more cabbage (you might need to add a little butter or olive oil if they are beginning to stick). Cook slowly over medium heat until the cabbage has also browned and caramelized about 20 more minutes. Then add in about a cup of the broth and scrape any of the browned bits on the bottom of the sauté pan and transfer to a large stock pot and add in the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer covered for about 30 to 45 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a splash of soy sauce.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and serve with a spoonful of sour cream and top with minced chives and bacon bits.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Whole Wheat Farro Strozzapreti with Sauteed Kale and a Roasted Squash Sauce

Fall vegetables are so rich, hearty and sweet that adding a meat or protein often becomes unnecessary.

Tonight's dinner is a perfect example of a quick and easy, filling, one bowl vegetarian meal enjoyed by the whole family.

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What you need:
Serves 4
1 Winter Squash halved (I used a butternut tonight)
Whole Wheat Pasta (I used Farro Strozzapreti Pasta tonight)
2 Spanish Onions
1 Bunch of Kale
Handful of Pine nuts toasted
6 Sage Leaves Minced
1 Tablespoon of Butter
Olive Oil
a nice Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 (convection if you have it) and season squash with salt and pepper. Roast squash for 35 to 45 minutes until tender with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

While squash is cooking boil water for pasta. Saute the kale until wilted in a little bit of olive oil. Set aside. Saute onions in a little olive oil or butter until caramelized. Set aside.

Then cook pasta, drain and toss with a little bit of olive oil.

Once squash is cool enough to handle remove from the skin add to food processor with sage, caramelized onions, 1/4 a cup of grated parmesan, a heavy pour of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, and salt and pepper and blend until smooth.

Toss pasta with sauce. Stir in kale. Top with pine nuts, parmesan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Local Veggie Filled Beef Bi Bim Bop

One of the things I miss most about NYC is the ethnic food. Looking into my fridge filled with fresh vegetables and greens from the latest Quail Hill Farm harvest, thinking of what to make for dinner tonight, my favorite Korean dish Beef Bi Bim Bop came to mind.

What you need:
Serves 4
1 Grass Fed Sirloin or Strip Steak (Optional)
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Minced Ginger
1 Tablespoon of Honey
2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
Asian Red Chili Sauce
Assortment of fresh vegetables grated (tonight I used 2 carrots, 4 radishes, 1 turnip)
1/2 pound of Spinach or Boy Choy chopped
1 egg for each person
4 Cups of Rice after cooking (about 1 cup per person) I used Sushi Rice
1 Sliced Jalapeño
Juice of 1 Lime
Olive Oil
Rice Wine Vinegar
Handful of Cilantro chopped
1 Scallion thinly sliced

Season the steak with salt and pepper and then transfer to a large ziplock bag filled with soy sauce, ginger, honey, garlic minced and asian red chili sauce to taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Meanwhile start your rice.

Then grate the vegetables in the food processor, chop the spinach or bok choy and slice the jalapeño.

Sautee the spinach or choy in a bit of olive oil until wilted and remove from heat.

Make a quick vinaigrette with the lime juice, a splash of soy sauce, a few drops of asian chili paste, 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the grated vegetables cilantro and scallions in the vinaigrette and add a bit of salt then set aside.

Grill or pan sear the steak for about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and wrap in foil to keep warm so you can fry the egg.

Fry 1 egg per person.

While the egg is cooking begin to add to bowl by placing the rice in the bottom spinach or choy grated veggies, jalapeño and then steak. Top with the fried egg.

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Then break the yolk and mix everything together with a bit of asian chili paste.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Local Corn and Potato Soup

This growing season at Quail Hill Farm has been amazing - carrots, radishes, turnips, cabbage, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, edamame, ground cherries, swiss chard, kale, and bok choi among other things are all still growing in the fields.

Since QHF does not grow corn, we really don't enjoy the sweet Long Island corn as often as we should each summer. I probably only purchased local corn a few times since July and so I decided to pick up the last of this year's crop for this wonderful fall soup.

A few winters ago I participated in a 4 family "Soup Club" which was a weekly swap of soups throughout the winter. One Tuesday each month it would be my turn to make a soup for the other 3 families and the other 3 Tuesdays we received soup from them. The weekly soup delivery really us get through the long NY winter!

Tonight's soup was so rich, creamy and flavorful, it would have been a big hit with my friends from the Grand St. Soup Club.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge "My Little Sous Chef"

What you need:
Serves 6

2 Ham Hocks
6 Carrots Diced
2 White Onions Diced
2 Garlic Cloves Diced
4 Stalks of Celery Diced
2 Ears of Corn
Bay Leaf
12 Small Fingering or other Baby Potatoes
Handful of Dill
Handful of Cilantro
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 Scallion Diced
Creme Fraiche
Olive Oil

Place a large pot over medium high heat and add a tablespoon or so of oil and sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and celery until they begin to turn brown. Add in the ham hocks, bay leaf and about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour and then add potatoes until tender. Remove the ham hocks and set aside. Add in corn and simmer for a few more minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Remove from heat and add in the cilantro, dill, milk and black pepper to taste. Then take your emulsion blender (or you can transfer to a food processor) and blend to desired consistency.

Remove any meat that is remaining on the ham hocks.

Dish soup into bowls and and return to soup. Add a small spoonful of creme fraiche and top with scallions.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yesterday's Harvest

Our beautiful kale that is pretty much now a tree - it has managed to grow taller than a 4 year old!

Eating their harvest of ground cherries as they pick!

Notice the container is empty - she eats every raspberry that she picks.

Nice dirty buns Mae!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Last Night's Dinner - Indian Spiced Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin with Local Apple Chutney with Roasted Potatoes & Cauliflower and Just Picked Greens

We have successful completed our move - most of the boxes are now unpacked - except of course for the large box of potatoes that I found a nice place for in our new garage. Tired and sore from lifting, unpacking, and organizing, I once again turned to a local food blog (Sag Harbor Days) for inspiration for last night's dinner. Her Roasted Potatoes with Indian Spices recipe made my mouth water. The spice mixture for the potatoes also became the dry rub for the grass fed beef tenderloin I picked up earlier in the day.

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Begin by making the potato recipe found here on Sag harbor Days (but double the amount of spices used and put aside on a large plate to use as the rub for the tenderloin).

Local Apple Chutney
Serves 4
What you need:
2 Apples Diced and Skins Removed
1 Red Onion Diced
1 Tablespoon of Minced Ginger
1/8 Cup Red Wine VInegar
1/4 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon of Allspice

Combine the above in a small sauce pan and heat over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and stir. Cover and simmer for 30 or so minutes. Stir and remove from heat.

Indian Spiced Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin
What you need:
Beef Tenderloin
Spice mixture from Potato Dish

Season the tenderloin with salt and then roll in the dry rub mixture and set aside.

Heat grill or grill pan to a high heat and begin to cook the tenderloin turning about 3 times after cooking for about 6 minutes each side. If you are using a grill pan, sear on all sides and then transfer to the oven set at 400 degrees and cook until desired doneness (about 13 minutes). Allow to rest and then slice and top with Apple Chutney.

Serve with roasted cauliflower and a green salad.