Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Rolls - Oct 29, 2010

Pumpkin Rolls

I finally got around to making a batch of these just in time to post for a little Halloween treat. The recipe is courtesy of the Kitchn and it's a good one. One thing I question, however, is how do people get cinnamon rolls done in time for breakfast? I started these the night before and they still didn't get out of the oven until slightly after noon. Not that I have a problem eating these at any time of day. Happy Friday to everyone and have a fun Halloween.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quinoa Squash Gratin - Oct 26, 2010

Quinoa Squash Gratin

Nick found a recipe for a squash gratin online somewhere which I used for inspiration, but didn't really follow at all. I ended up roasting my squash in the oven until it became soft. Next, I scooped out the squash flesh and mixed it in with about 2 cups of cooked quinoa, some crumbled feta cheese, salt, pepper and smoked Spanish paprika. I eyeballed all of this, people, so I have no exact measurements to report. Once this was mixed to my liking, I spread it out in a 8 x 8 inch pan, sprinkled a mixture of toasted bread crumbs, pepitas, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on top, and broiled for a couple of minutes. It was a little bit of an experiment, but the flavors worked well together and it filled our bellies, so no complaints here.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Warm Farro Salad with Sherry Mushrooms - Oct 25, 2010

Warm Farro and Spinach Salad with Sherry Mushrooms

Okay Dinner Clubbers, I did do some cooking over the past few days so I have some things to update here on the old blog. First up is this little autumn salad. I combined a couple favorite recipes together to come up with this dinner. The sherry mushrooms are a favorite around here and usually served over toast with a poached egg. This time, I prepared the mushrooms as usual, by sauteing in butter and oloroso sherry. Next up I cooked the farro. Once that was cooked, I stirred in the mushrooms, some toasted walnuts, and a handful or two of fresh spinach leaves. I mixed everything together over low heat, just to get everything combined and to wilt the spinach slightly. This I seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. I like the idea of warm, grainy autumn salads that incorporate some fresh greens, or other cooked fruits and veggies. This might be a recurring theme in the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Veggies - Oct 21, 2010

CSA Delivery

I just picked the box up and found these lovely treats inside. Identification is as follows: Escarole? This looks like lettuce, but the newsletter states it is a broad leaf endive; red radishes; yukina savoy; onions; broccoli Romanesco; sweet potatoes; kale; and delicata squash. Veggies not pictured include carrots; salad mix; arugula; and broccoli.

I must admit I've been in quite a rut lately, hence the lack of posts recently. I spend the past two weeks painting our kitchen, which meant it was the last room in which I felt like spending any more time. I am hoping that these new veggies, along with our latest issues of Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and Cooks' Illustrated, all of which arrived in the past week and a half, will help motivate and inspire me to get cooking.

As always, a wholehearted thank you goes out to everyone at Harmony Valley Farm for providing us with such delicious vegetables.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Cardoon Gratin - Oct 18, 2010

Cardoon Gratin

Another (delicious) use for the cardoon from Harmony Valley. I quite enjoyed this vegetable baked in cheese. As usual, I boiled the cardoon first, which is supposed to remove the bitterness. Despite it's reputation, I must say I did not experience any bitterness with this veggie...maybe because I boiled it. Anyway, after boiling I tossed the cardoon pieces into a baking dish with a little salt, pepper, smoked Spanish paprika, pine nuts and olive oil. Next I layered on the cheeses: fresh mozzarella, smoked provolone, and grated Pecorino-Romano. I baked this in a 400 deg oven until the cheese was melted and starting to brown, about 25 minutes. The result was very tasty with the nutty flavor of the cardoon accented by the pine nuts and complimented by the cheese.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Cardoon Fritters - Oct 11, 2010

Breaded Cardoon Fritters

The adventure continues, Dinner Clubbers. Over the weekend we fried up some bits of our new found veggie. This cooking technique almost always turns out well, and it gave us a chance to pull out the Fry Daddy (or in our case, GranPappy). Again I was impressed by the mild and nutty flavor of the cardoons. They also have the perfect texture: soft, but with just the right amount of resistance upon biting into them. The recipe we used had us boil the cardoons first, then dredge in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. I added a bit of salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs and would do a little bit more seasoning in the future. These might also be good with some freshly grated parmesan mixed into the batter prior to frying. Ultimately, the mildness of this vegetable makes it an excellent foil for mixing with stronger flavors, which we have plans to do...
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Friday, October 08, 2010

Chicken and Cardoon Stuffed Squash - Oct 8, 2010

Squash Stuffed with Chicken, Cardoon, Rice and Smoked Provolone

After receiving my cardoon and the helpful instructions from HVF, I promptly included some with last night's dinner. While the squash was roasting, I cleaned, chopped and boiled the cardoon. Once this was finished I mixed it with roast chicken, leftover brown basmati rice and grated smoked provolone cheese. I also added a little oregano, salt and pepper to this mix. It went into the roasted squash and cooked all together for another five minutes or so. It was quite tasty. The flavor of the cardoon was soft and nutty, reminiscent of sunchokes. It was not bitter at all and added a nice texture to the stuffing. I am so far enjoying my experimentation with this new-to-me veggie. Stay tuned for more to come.
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Recent Delivery - Oct 7, 2010

Fresh Veggies

I have been having trouble staying up to date with my blogging of late and I apologize. So, without further ado, here are this weeks veggies. We got a lovely assortment including lemongrass; carrots; *cardoon*; broccoli; radishes; squash; peppers; and chard. Let me confess that I raced to my pick-up site yesterday and was the first one there just so I could get my hands on that cardoon, which was a very limited choice item. Apparently it is related to the artichoke, but it looks like celery on steroids. The Farm is growing it as a test batch this year. It is something completely new to me and I am so excited to get a chance to try it. All of the other veggies look amazing as well.

Veggies not pictured include spinach; salad mix; and baby beets. Thank you to Harmony Valley for what is sure to be a grand kitchen adventure!
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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Chili - Oct 5, 2010

Three Bean Chili with Pork

I was craving chili over the weekend due to a combination of the cool weather, watching football, and seeing chili on a restaurant menu that I didn't end up ordering. So, on Sunday afternoon I threw a motley crew of pantry items into the crock pot and let that marvelous appliance work it's magic. Into the pot went black, pinto and red kidney beans; a bunch of chopped red peppers from our farm share; the remainder of the ripe tomatoes; a tiny bit of ground pork dug up from the nether regions of the freezer; chopped onions; water; and various and sundry spices. This concoction happily bubbled away all afternoon and made the kitchen smell amazing (much better than the fresh paint smell from a recent coat of ceiling paint). We supped on big bowls topped with freshly grated smoked provolone cheese. It was so good it almost made up for both of my teams loosing close games over the weekend. Almost.
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Monday, October 04, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Breakfast - Oct 4, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Syrup and Walnuts

We are embracing October here in Minneapolis. This weekend I made a batch of pumpkin waffles for a fun breakfast. I used Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix and followed the directions on the box, except I used milk instead of water as my liquid. These were quite yummy, especially with some grade B maple syrup and toasted walnuts on top. And, just to make things extra pumpkin-y, when I poured half and half into my coffee that morning, it created a little pumpkin design in the foam.

Coffee with Pumpkin Art

This occurred completely by accident, and will hence forth be known as the Great Pumpkin Miracle of 2010.
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Friday, October 01, 2010

Grape Soda - Oct 1, 2010

Concord Grape Soda

Some of you may recall that Nick and I picked grapes at an orchard the last time we visited Madison. Serendipitously, a friend of mine who knows I like to make my own sodas, emailed me a recipe she had found for a Concord grape fizz. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the concept. Upon our return home from Portland, I whipped up a batch of the grape syrup, using Concords plus all of the other varieties we had picked. It is delicious and I have been rationing myself to one grape soda per day for the last week or so. I can't think of a better way to transition between my late summer obsession with limeade and fall's crisp apple cider. If you have your own Concord grape source, I would highly recommend you give this a try. If you don't have access to said grapes, I think this would also be good made with Concord grape juice.

Another shot to highlight the rich color.
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