Farm to Table Friday: Potatoes, Apples,

Pork and GnocchiSince the Labor Day weekend commemorates the ceremonial end of summer, it seemed fitting to whip up a meal with richer flavors to herald the coming cooler weather! Luckily, our CSA box contained the perfect ingredients to do so: potatoes and apples! On the menu this week:

Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Thyme & Lemon Sauce
Apple-Stuffed, Cider-Braised Pork Loin

While the  pork loin screamed “Fall,” the crispness of the citrus in gnocchi sauce made the meal still feel appropriate for late summer.

From Bailey
Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Thyme & Lemon Sauce

This recipe comes from Cooking Light Magazine. It was easy to do and I really liked it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (10-ounce) baking Potatoes
  • 2.5 ounces all-purpose Flour (about 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt, divided
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4 teaspoons Butter
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated Lemon Rind
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

When I made the recipe, I doubled it in order to have enough to feed five people. I also used smaller potatoes, so I just weighed my potatoes with my food scale to make sure the ounces were correct.

To start, bake the potatoes at 400 degrees until they are soft when pierced with a fork. While they are baking, mix the flour and salt and set aside in a large bowl. When the potatoes are done baking and cool enough to handle, remove the peels and put them through a potato ricer. Problem: I don’t have a potato ricer!! Instead I used the small side on my box grater and it worked just fine; the potatoes should be pretty soft and should break apart easily. When you have riced the potatoes, mix them with the flour and salt to form a dough.

Roll the dough into a long rope on a lightly floured surface. I broke my dough into multiple pieces since I had to much of it. After you roll it out to a thickness of about 1 inch, cut them rope into 1 inch pieces. Big Advice: Don’t fret if you feel like your pieces are too small. I did this and made them bigger. When I cooked the gnocchi they got HUGE. Trust me, smaller is better in this.

Next, indent each piece with a fork to create grooves in them. I don’t think I’ll always do this step. While it makes them prettier, it was really more of a pain to me.

gnocchi dough  cutting gnocchi
indenting gnocchi
  ready gnocchi

Next bring a large pot of water to a boil and lightly salt it. When it’s boiling add the gnocchi in batches. They are done when they float. Set them aside on paper towels to dry. 

sauce ingredients

Next heat a large saute pan and melt the butter and olive oil in the pan. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until they are tender. Next add the rind, juice, dash of salt and thyme. Put the sauce, the gnocchi, and the cheese in a large bowl and toss gently to coat. I found that the gnocchi were very delicate and got sort of mushed when I tossed them. I think they’d be better if they were drizzled with the sauce and the cheese was sprinkled on top, to preserve the integrity of the pasta. Despite their delicacy, they came out tasting quite delicious and paired wonderfully with the stuffed pork tenderloin!

From Megan
Apple-Stuffed, Cider-Braised Pork Loin

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cooking Apples (red or tart)
  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • Dried Currants (optional)
  • 1 Large Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cups Apple Cider
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (real stuff, no Aunt Jemima)
  • 3 tbsp Honey Dijon Mustard
  • 3 lb. boneless Pork Loin
  • 3 tbsp fresh Rosemary, milled or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

Step One: Pre-heat the oven to 365. Wisk together the apple cider, maple syrup, and mustard, then set aside. Finely chop two apples, and combine with the shallots and currants.

stuffing

Step Two: Slice the pork loin longways, ¾ of the way through (so it opens like a book). Spoon the apple/shallot mixture onto the opened pork, then refold and secure tightly with cooking twine.

Stuffed Pork

Step Three: Combine the rosemary, salt, and pepper, and use the mixture to cover the outside of the pork loin. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat, and brown the pork on all sides, turning regularly (8-10 minutes).

Browning Pork

Step Four: While the pork is browning, dice the onion and remaining two apples. Once browned, transfer the pork to a baking dish, and arrange the diced apples and onions around it. Heat the cider mixture in the skillet for 2 minutes, then pour cider mixture over the pork, apples, and onions.

Pork in Baking Dish

Step Five: Put a lid on the baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes, or until internal temperature of the pork reaches 150 degrees.

Baked Pork

Step Six: Remove pork from baking dish, place on a cutting board, and cover with foil. Use a slotted spoon to remove the apples and onions from the dish, and place in a serving platter. Pour the remaining liquid back into a skillet, and heat on high, stirring regularly until the sauce thickens.

Braising Liquid

 Step Seven: Slice the pork into medallions (watch out for the cooking twine!), and transfer to the serving platter with the apples and onions. Pour the reduced braising liquid over everything and serve immediately.

Stuffed Pork Loin with Gnocchi

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Thai Peanut Soup

This weekend my husband was craving the peanut sauce served with many Thai dishes. He suggested we make spring rolls with peanut sauce for dinner, but I wasn’t in a spring roll kinda mood (poor guy, he tries!). Instead of making something with peanut sauce, I decided to try my hand at Thai Peanut Soup! I used this recipe as inspiration, and was quite pleased with the results!

Thai Peanut Soup IngredientsIngredients

  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, pressed
  • 2 Gypsy Peppers, diced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 3 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Fresh Cilantro (chopped for garnish)
  • Unsalted, dry roasted Peanuts (chopped for garnish)

Step One: In a large pot, cook the onions, peppers and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

Onions Peppers Garlic

Step Two: Add all other ingredients (except cilantro and chopped peanuts), and stir to combine. Simmer until cooked through, stirring regularly (5 – 8 minutes).

Thai Peanut Soup Cooking

Step Three: Remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with the cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Thai Peanut Soup

This recipe makes about 6 servings, but don’t count on any leftovers! The creamy consistency and intricate flavor of this soup made it impossible to have just one bowl! With a relatively simple ingredient list – and only about 12 minutes of cook time – this recipe is sure to become a staple in our house… I especially can’t wait to make this again on a chilly Fall evening!

Happy Cooking!
~ Megan

 

Farm to Table Friday: Eggplant, Tomato, Zucchini, Potato

From Bailey
Chicken Eggplant Sorrentino

For many years I worked at an Italian restaurant, and one of my favorite dishes was Chicken Sorrentino, This delicious dish comes to mind anytime I have an eggplant in the house. It’s very easy to make and very tasty!

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Ingredients
These amounts are for four chicken breasts, feel free to increase or decrease as needed

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce (I like to use homemade, but pre-made works in  a bind)
  • 1 cup fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups Panko or other Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning

Start by slicing the eggplant longways into long slices. You’ll want them less then 1/2 inch thick, you’ll need one slice for each of the chicken breasts.  Put the eggs in a bowl and whip them up, put the breadcrumbs with a couple of dashes of the salt, pepper and Italian spices on a plate and mix it up. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg then coat generously with the breadcrumbs. Put each breaded eggplant slice on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven. Bake them about 10 minutes, then flip and bake about 10 minutes more. The breadcrumbs should brown.

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While the eggplant is baking dice up 1/2 green pepper and a small onion as well as about 5 cloves of garlic. Coat the bottom of a large deep pan with olive oil and heat it up, add the garlic then the peppers and onions and saute. Add most of the sauce and get it all simmering. Then add the chicken breasts and put a lid on the pan to cook the chicken through. After the tops of the chicken breasts appear white, flip them and let them cook to 165 degrees internal temperature.

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When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven. When the chicken is done put two pieces of prosciutto on top of each breast. Then layer a slice of eggplant on top of that. Then put some of the mozzarella cheese on top and finally cover it with a bit of the sauce. Put the lid back on the pan and cook until the cheese melts. When the cheese melts they are ready to serve and enjoy!

From Megan
Cheesy Veggie Bake

We got quite a few different kinds of veggies this week, so I was looking for a good way to incorporate as many as I could. Then I remembered that I had seen this recipe on Pinterest, and decided I had to try it! It was super easy to make, and very yummy!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 medium Zucchini $0.71
  • 1 medium Yellow Squash $0.85
  • 1 medium Potato $0.91
  • 1 medium Tomato $1.65
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan)

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice the onion and set aside. Thinly slice the other veggies.

Sliced Veggies

Step Two: Sauté the onion and minced garlic in olive oil until softened (about five minutes).

Step Three: Spray the inside of an 8×8 square baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and oregano.

Veggies in Pan Stacked Veggies

Step Three: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.

Veggies with Cheese Cheesey Veggie Bake

Grilled Peaches

Anyone who cooks can likely share stories of recipes that just didn’t quite turn out right, or could have benefited from some tweaking. Today you get to hear one of mine! Several months ago, I spotted this recipe from The Framed Table on Pinterest and knew I had to try it!

This weekend, Bailey and I headed over to Strite’s Orchard to pick a bunch of yummy fresh peaches (stay tuned – more peachy recipes to come!), so it seemed like the perfect time to finally try my hand at grilling peaches. So here’s how to make ’em!IMG_1952

Grilled Peaches with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar

  • Peaches
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Canola oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Step One: Pre-heat your grill to medium high. Cut each peach in half and remove pits.  Brush the cut surfaces lightly with canola oil.

Step Two: Place peach halves with their cut sides facing down and grill for 5 minutes.  Flip peaches over and grill for another 5 minutes, then remove from grill.

Step Three: Drizzle peaches with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary.

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Sounds easy enough, right? The peaches came out looking and smelling pretty good – and even had a good flavor to them – but there are a few things I would definitely do differently next time:

  • The peaches were SUPER juicy, which is great for flavor, but made them a little challenging to eat. The excess of juice in the hole where the pit used to be also sucked up a lot of the balsamic, make that flavor less pronounced. Next time, I would grill the peaches cut side UP first, then flip the cut side down. This would allow some of that excess juice to run off.
  • Balsamic vinegar, by it’s nature, is a relatively thin, runny liquid.  Next time around, I would cook the balsamic down to make a reduction. A thicker reduction would cling to the peach better, and give the flavor a higher impact.
  • Lastly, we weren’t sure the best way to tackle eating these, so we scooped them out with a spoon. This was harder than I thought it would be, and we missed a lot of the flesh this way. If you decide to grill peaches at home, I’d recommend using a knife and fork to really get the most out of it!

I hope you enjoy these suggestions! Remember that every cooking hiccup is an opportunity to make something fantastic the next time around!

Happy Cooking!
~ Megan

Farm to Table Friday: Tomatoes, Corn, Peppers

Tacos and CornAs soon as we saw corn, tomatoes, and green peppers on our CSA list, we were inspired to head south of the border for this week’s Farm to Table dinner! This meal ended up being perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. On the menu this week:

Carnitas Tacos
Fire Roasted Salsa
Sauteed Corn & Pepper Salad

From Bailey
Carnitas Tacos & Fire Roasted Salsa

To start we made Carnitas Tacos. This slow cooked pork is one my favorite items to order at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of going slow and making this on a smoker, I have a great recipe to make carnitas in a crock-pot.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder

This is very easy to assemble. Combine all the dried spices, pat them all over the pork shoulder. Put the shoulder in your crock pot, cover it with the chicken broth and drop in the bay leaves. I usually do this at night, then stick it in the fridge. Before I leave for work the next morning I pop it onto low and when I get home in the evening the meat is ready to go. I take it out of the crock pot and shred the meat with tongs or a fork.

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Fire Roasted Salsa

  • About 2 lbs. assorted Tomatoes (preferably small or medium)
  • About 1 lb. assorted Peppers (I use the small sweet peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced or minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Special Materials: A food processor or blender

Step One: Clean the peppers and tomatoes, then put them on a preheated grill. Turn them every few minutes to get a good char on each side.

Tomatoes and Peppers Veggies on the Grill Roasted Veggies

Step Two:  When the peppers and tomatoes are roasted, put them in a food processor bowl, You will easily be able to pull apart the peppers to remove the stems and seeds. Add the chopped onion, juice of the lime, the cilantro, garlic, and as much jalapeno as you want to control the spice level. Fire up the food processor and work the ingredients until you get a salsa consistency.

Salsa on the Stove

Step Three:  Move the salsa from the food processor to a pot and heat it on the stove to meld the flavors, serve warm.

**If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or just chop everything by hand. You will end up with a chunkier salsa, but it will still taste delicious!

We used gluten free, corn soft-shell  tacos for the Carnitas Tacos, and topped out tacos with the Fire Roasted Salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime juice. Delicious!!

From Megan
Sautéed Corn and Pepper Salad

Since we had already made corn on the cob, I wanted to try something new that could also incorporate the green pepper. I came up with this Mexican-inspired sautéed corn and pepper salad. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor. I liked it so much, I ended up making it again to bring to a cookout later in the week!

Corn IngredientsSautéed Corn & Pepper Salad

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One: Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. I found it easiest to hold the ear of corn in a large bowl while I cut it, so the kernels did not fly everywhere.

Step Two: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the corn, green pepper, and red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, stir once, and remove from heat.

Saute Corn

Step Three: Pour the corn, pepper, and onion into a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Mixing Corn

Farm to Table Friday: Potatoes, Onions, Zuchinni

IMG_1790This week we went for some satisfying comfort food… without getting too heavy for summer. On the menu this week:

Grilled Sausage & Bratwursts
Homemade Pierogies
Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

We were very excited to get bratwurst and raspberry maple sausage (yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds) from Groff’s Meats, a local meat supplier. The raspberry sausage helped made the meal feel light, even though we were indulging in some richer dishes.

From Bailey
Homemade Pierogies

This week I made something brand new to me, and the recipe turned out amazing! The fun part, like most of what I make, is that I think it is all about personalizing and creativity. We went pretty traditional, and we were very happy with the results.

To make the dough: 

I used my standing mixer with the dough hook, I added all the ingredients, let the mixer go for five minutes and it was all done. You can also do this by hand, but the mixer is much easier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream, plus extra to serve with the pirogi
  • 1/4 cup Butter, softened and cut into small pieces

Start by combining and mixing the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix. It’s just that easy. When the dough forms a ball, put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, I recommend making the dough the day before you actually need it.

Dough Balls    Dough Ball

Fillings: 

For our pierogie filling I used mashed potatoes, sauteed onions, and shredded cheese.

To make the mashed potatoes, peel and boil the potatoes. They are done when they can be easily pierced through with a fork. Add butter, milk, salt, and pepper and mash either with a masher or a mixer.

To sautee the onions, dice up two onions and put them in a pan with butter and a generous amount of paprika.

Potatoes Diced Onions

Assembling the Final Product!

Put some flour on the counter, pull of a hunk of the dough. Roll it out, then cut into a circle with a cookie cutter or the top of a glass. Take about a teaspoon of potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of onions and a sprinkling of cheese into the circle, then fold it over and close the edges tightly.

Rolled out dough Completed Pierogie

After assembling the pierogies, melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Put the pierogies in the pan, let them crisp up on one side, then flip. After cooking both sides I keep them warm in an oven at 250 degrees.

All Pierogies  Cooked Side Up

When they are all done, serve with sour cream and enjoy!

From Megan
Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

I really poured my blood sweat and tears into this week’s recipe… ok, not really, but I *did* nearly cut my finger off int he process of making this, so be careful with those zucchini. They are slippery buggers. I didn’t want to just make traditional grilled zucchini this week, so I was really excited when I saw this recipe, which combined some flavors I wouldn’t have thought to use together!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Romano Cheese
  • Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Fresh Mint Leaves, torn

Step One: Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, salt, pepper, and parsley in a small bowl. Then, whisk in the olive oil until emulsified to create a dressing

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Step Two: Using a mandolin, carefully slice the zucchini into long, thin strips. Brush the strips with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for 3-4 minutes, flipping once. Baste the grilled zucchini with the vinaigrette and let it marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.

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Step Three: Toss the zucchini strips with the torn mint, remaining parsley, and pine nuts. Top with freshly grated Romano cheese.

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IMG_1792The freshness of the zucchini and mint kept the meal light, and the pierogies and sausage were perfect comfort food! Even Pumpkin wanted in on the action! How do you keep comfort food from feeling too heavy for summer? Happy Cooking!

Farm to Table Friday: Sweet Corn and Green Beans

Ribs, Green Beans, Corn

Welcome to the late edition of Farm to Table Friday (aka: Megan is slacker and forgot to post this last week – my bad, guys!). On the upside? You get TWO Farm to Table posts this week! We only ended up using three kinds of produce from our box this week, but we still put together a great meal!

On the menu this week:

BBQ Ribs
Sweet Corn with Cotija Cheese & Chili
Green Beans with Fennel & Feta

From Bailey
BBQ Ribs

We started with BBQ ribs which came out delicious! To make them I started by rubbing them down with BBQ dry rub (recipe coming soon!) and letting them sit refrigerated overnight. The next day I baked them at 250 for 2 hours, then moved them to the grill, slathered on some BBQ and they were ready to go!

Sweet Corn with Cotija Cheese and Chili

For the corn I mixed a traditional Mexican preparation. It’s amazing because the cheese, chili, and butter all complement the sweetness of the corn for an mouth-watering combination. Cotija cheese is a hard Mexican cheese that you crumble, much like Parmesan. It’s more pungent, like a sheep cheese, but not overpowering.

To make the corn I first boiled it quickly to get it cooked, then I put it on the grill to get some smoky flavor.

Next I took each piece, rolled it in some melted butter, then rolled it in the grated cotija. I topped it with some chili powder and it was ready to go! I served lime wedges on the side for squeezing. This is a great way to mix it up and serve corn in a non-traditional way.

Corn on the Grill Corn With Cotija

From Megan
Green Beans with Fennel and Feta

I’m a big fan of fennel, so I was super excited when I found out we’d be getting a fennel bulb in our CSA box. Fennel has a very distinctive licorice-life flavor, and a texture similar to celery. The sweet undertones of the fennel were a perfect match for the fresh green beans we got, and some crumbled feta pulled it all together for this yummy side!IMG_1775

  • 1 lb. FRESH Green Beans
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 tbsp  fresh chopped Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

 

Step One: Wash green beans and trim the ends. Remove the leafy fronds from the fennel bulb, and cut the bulb into this slices.

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Step Two: Fill a saucepan half full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and fennel slices. Cook until crisp tender (3-5 mintues). Pour into a colander to drain and run under cold water.

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Step Three: Heat Olive Oil in a pan, then add the cooked green beans and fennel. Season with the chopped basil, salt, and pepper. Cook until coated and warmed. Transfer to a serving dish and toss with feta cheese. Enjoy!

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Bailey’s Cantina Salsa and Guacamole Recipe

Salsa in JarsThis salsa reminds me of restaurant salsa, which is great! This is a basic recipe that could easily be changed or doctored. I’m already considering adding corn or black beans next time. This recipe makes a ton, almost 4 pints, so be ready to share!

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 10 oz cans of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
  • 1 whole Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • about 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • a pinch of Salt
  • a teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin

Start my simply mixing all of the ingredients in a large bowl. I throw the peeled garlic cloves in whole. When I cut the jalapeno I cut off the ends, then slice the sides off leaving the middle with the seeds to throw away. Try to avoid putting the seeds in the salsa unless you want it very hot. Feel free to try other peppers to make it hotter.

With the lime, just juice the whole thing. If you don’t have a lime squeezer, buy one! It’s the best tool ever! To get the most juice cut the ends of the lime, then quarter it, squeezing one quarter at a time. After you combine everything put the mixture into a food processor or blender. I only have a 2 quart food processor, so I have to do it in batches. If you have a larger food processor just put all the ingredients directly into the food processor bowl. Process the ingredients together and then serve! It’s so easy!!

Tomatoes Unmixed Salsa  Salsa in Food Processor Finished Salsa

To make this into guacamole, follow the instructions below. Add these ingredients for each avocado that you use:

For one avocado:

  • 1/4 cup Salsa (use recipe above)
  • 1/2 Lime (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup diced Cilantro
  • a pinch of Salt

This makes AMAZING guacamole. Enjoy!

Unmixed Guacamole Guacamole

Farm to Table: Chives, Red Potatoes, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Snow Peas

Happy Farm to Table Friday! This week’s dinner was hearty and delicious, with the mashed potatoes anchoring the meal (so good!). The potatoes also allowed us to add in some other veggies, making good use of all of our produce. We paired our dishes this week with chicken breasts that were brined and grilled. The brine kept the chicken very moist while grilling. Here’s what was on the menu this week:

Complete mealMashed Potatoes with Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bacon

Sour Cream with Chives

Snow Peas in Orange Ginger Butter

Grilled Chicken Breasts

From Bailey:
Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bacon
Sour Cream with Chives

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Bacon
  • About 3 lbs of Red Potatoes
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 bunch Chives
  • Sour Cream
  • 1 stick Butter
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Start by cooking the bacon in a pan until it’s crispy, let it cool then crumble it. You can do this right before you cook the rest or earlier in the day.

 Taters and broccoli

I started using two burners. On one start a large pot of boiling water for the potatoes. Chop them into quarters and, when the water is boiling, put in the potatoes. When they are soft when prodded with a fork they are done. You can peel the potatoes if you want to, either way will work.

Steamed cauliflower

On the other burner I started a steamer. First I cleaned and chopped up the head of cauliflower, then steamed the cauliflower until it was soft to a fork poke. Put the cauliflower in a large plastic bowl, then do the same thing with the head of broccoli. You don’t need to change the water in the steamer, just throw it in.

 Mashed cauliflower with masher

Take a potato masher ( I know, so old-fashioned, but I usually use an electric mixer and this time I used the old fashioned hand potato masher and loved the results! I’m a convert to manual) and mash up the steamed cauliflower really well.

Added broccoli

Next add the steamed broccoli and mash it up. Then add the cooked potatoes and mash them into the broccoli/cauliflower mix. After the potatoes are mostly broken up, add a stick of butter and mix it in. Your mixture should have a pretty smooth consistency.

Adding bacon

Next, add about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and the bacon crumbles. You can add salt and pepper as well.

 Ready to serve mashers

On the side dice up some chives and just mix them into some sour cream. I did about 1/4 cup of chives into about 3/4 cup of light sour cream. I served them on the side, so dollop away!

Chopped chives Chived sour cream

From Megan:
Snow Peas in Orange Ginger Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of Fresh Snow Peas (or Sugar Snap Peas)
  • 1 small Ginger Root, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Orange Marmalade
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Black Pepper to taste

Trim the ends of the peas. Cook the peas in a small amount of salted, boiling water for about 3 minutes, then drain well. Your peas should still be crisp, don’t overcook them or they will get soggy (blech!)

 Trimmed Peas Cooked Peas

While your peas are cooking, melt the butter in a pan, then add the grated ginger and cook for about a minute.

Peeling Ginger Grated Ginger

Next add a few spoonfuls of the orange marmalade, a splash of cider vinegar, and some pepper to taste. Stir the sauce until the marmalade has completed melted.

 Adding Marmalade Orange Ginger Butter

Pour the Orange Ginger Butter over the drained peas, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.Farm to Table Dinner

Farm to Table Friday: Kohlrabi, Peas, and Garlic Scapes

Welcome to our first farm to table dinner post! This year, the lovely ladies of Common Plate (that’s us!) decided to split a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) share from  Strites Orchard in Harrisburg, PA. We plan to use items from the CSA each week to make an original Farm to Table dinner.  Below are the recipes we used to create our first installment of our new weekly series: Farm to Table Friday!

Farm to Table DinnerPenne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas
Sauteed Kohlrabi
Grilled London Broil*

*The London Broil has nothing to do with the CSA, but we marinated it and grilled it to medium rare. It was delicious!

From Bailey:
Penne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas

Our CSA box included some interesting items this week. We got got fresh shelled peas and garlic scapes. I had never even heard of a garlic scape, but through my research about it I learned that it’s best used to make pesto or hummus. I decided to go with pesto.

Pesto StuffPesto Ingredients
Please note that all amounts are estimated.  You may need to adjust as you go

  • About 6 garlic scapes
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmiaggiano reggiano cheese
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

When I made this pesto I first tried to do it in the blender which did not work. I currently only own a 2 cup food processor, so I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it all fit, but I found it was better to work in the processor in small batches than the blender blunder.

Peas in ShellThe first thing we did was shell all the peas, then steam them until they were done. Then we put them to the side.

To make the pesto don’t use a blender like I started out, just go right to the food processor.

Start with the almonds and get them well ground, add in the salt, pepper and basil. Chop a few times, then add in the garlic scapes. To use the scapes chop them up into smaller pieces before adding them in.

Garlic Scapes     Diced Scapes

Next, after grinding the scapes a few times, add in the olive oil, then finally the Parmesan cheese. It’s okay if the mixture is kind of thick, because when the pesto is heated it will cover the pasta well.

Pesto in Food Processor 1 Pesto in Processor 2

To make the final pasta, start with the pasta of your choice, long or short. I chose Trader Joe’s  Gluten Free Corn Pasta. Boil the pasta according to the directions, drain, then set aside. Start by putting some olive oil or butter in a large saute pan. Add the peas, then add the pasta and the pesto. Turn gently until all pasta is covered, and voila! There you go, a delicious side dish! Cover it with grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp for a great entree.

Peas in a Pan IMG_1195 Pesto Pasta

From Megan:
Sautéed Kohlrabi

Raw KohlrabiI had never seen, eaten, or prepared kohlrabi before… heck, I’m not even sure if I had ever even heard of it before it showed up on our CSA preview list! But part of the fun of belonging to a CSA is getting to try new things, so I determined to make a kohlrabi side dish. How hard could it be, right?

Once it arrived, however, I realized that I REALLY had no idea what I was doing. The thing looked like an alien. Several Google searches and helpful Youtube videos later, I decided to tackle sautéed kohlrabi. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare once you realize that it is not, in fact, an alien life form.

Cutting KohlrabiStep One: Remove any leaves from the bulb (ours came pre-removed). From what I’ve learned, the leaves can also be prepared, but the bulb seems to be the most popular part.

Step Two: Use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the tough, pale green skin on the bulb. Then cut the bulb into thin, matchstick-like spears.

Step Three: Boil the kohlrabi in salted water until softened (about 5-10 minutes), then drain, pat dry, and set aside.

Step Four: Melt enough butter to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Add some minced shallots, and heat until fragrant.

Saute KohlrabiStep Five: Add the kohlrabi to the frying pan, and sauté until it begins to turn golden. Sprinkle a pinch nutmeg on top, and toss to combine.

Kohlrabi has a texture similar to a potato, and the taste is what you might expect if a broccoli and a parsnip had a (very tasty) lovechild. The mildness of the kohlrabi plays well with the butter, and the nutmeg gives it just enough of a kick to pull out some the earthiness of the flavor. New favorite vegetable? I think so!

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We hope you enjoyed the first installment of Farm to Table Friday!
Happy Cooking!