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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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

Crabby Potato Salad Recipe

One of my favorite summer salads is Crab Potato salad.  I like any excuse to eat crab, and combining it with these amazing fresh summer ingredients makes the best summer side dish.  Don’t feel committed to any of the portions in this salad, feel free to add more of anything or less. You could add onions, cabbage,  mash the potatoes, or do many other tweaks to make this recipe your own. This is my version:

Crabby Potato Salad:

  • 2 lbs Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked Corn-on-the-Cob
  • 1/2 cup diced Celery
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise ( I always make my own. see: The Truth about Mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup crabmeat (Canned works fine, I usually buy some fin and some lump just to mix up the textures)

First boil, cool, then cube the potatoes.

Boiling Potatoes   Boiled Potatos

Next, dice the celery and cut the corn off the cob. Make sure to cook the corn first and let it cool completely.

Chopped CeleryCutting Corn Cut Corn

Add together the potatoes, corn, celery, crab, and lemon juice and toss around.

Crab Potato Salad

Mix the Old Bay seasoning into the mayo, then add to the potatoes. This way you avoid clumps of seasoning getting stuck to the veggies!

Old Bay Mayo

Combine all the ingredients and keep chilled until service. Since I use homemade mayo, I try to always keep this inside if possible; if not, keep a lid on it lightly and put it in a bowl of ice to keep chilled.

Crabby Potato Salad

This makes a delicious side dish for any summer picnic – Enjoy!
~ Bailey