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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Chicken Chili

A couple weeks ago at the farmers market, I bought a couple pounds of fresh navy beans.  Something that I discovered being a member of a CSA, was that fresh "dried" beans are so much better than beans from the grocery store!!!!  You don't even have to soak them.  I even talked mom into buying some.  Since I went to Sam's Club the other day, I had purchased a rotisserie chicken ($4.99 for a very large bird!).  So, this morning, I decided to make white chicken chili.  Of course, it helps if you check to make sure you have all the ingredients!  But when I looked in my cupboard, I didn't have green chiles.  So, I looked in my pantry and found a jar of medium hot Hungarian peppers (also from my CSA).  I've actually had them set aside because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them.  I figured they would be a good substitute.  Well, it only took an hour of simmering for the beans to cook and the peppers were better than green chiles!

White Chicken Chili
  • 1 lb fresh "dried" navy beans*
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion*
  • 4 medium hot Hungarian peppers**
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
 Rinse the beans and sort.  Place in a large Dutch oven and add chicken stock.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook.  While beans are cooking, chop onions and peppers.  Heat olive oil in large skillet; add onions and saute until they become translucent.  Add the peppers, garlic and chickens and heat through.  Add these to the soup.  Add seasonings.  Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are cooked.  Add water as necessary.

*Farmers market ingredients
**CSA ingredients 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Stuffed Eggplant

I had puchased a couple small eggplant at the farmers market last week and needed to use them. In light of the fact that I had also made ragu last week, I thought this would be a good time to try my hand at stuffed eggplant. After hollow in out the eggplant halves, I combined the ragu and eggplant flesh with panko and cheese and stuffed the mixture into the shells. After baking, I ended up with something quite yummy!  I think next time I would include some sweet peppers. But this was quite tasty.

Stuffed peppers
Preheat oven to 350F. Hollow out eggplants and chop removed flesh. Microwave the eggplant with 1/4 Cup water for 5 minutes on HIGH.  Heat ragu, add cooked eggplant, panko and cheese; mix well. Spoon mixture into the eggplant shells. Cover with provolone slices. Bake 45 -50 minute, or until eggplant is cooked and cheese is melted and golden brown.

*farmers market ingredients

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Home Canned Tomatoes

So, last week, I canned tomatoes for the first time in probably 2 decades.  I tried to can 6 quarts.  Five worked beautifully and one failed spectacularly.  So, this week, I needed to use that quart.  I decided that since I have a really nice looking spaghetti squash, I would make a ragu.  This one with sausage and cannellini beans.  I started it in a skillet and then transferred it to my crockpot to cook while I was out shopping with John.  Love having things like this cooking in the crockpot because it makes the house smell heavenly!

Sausage, White Bean and Tomato Ragu
  • 12 oz sweet Italian sausage**
  • 1 large onion*, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chianti
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 quart tomatoes*, undrained
  • 2 (15-oz) cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sausage and cook, breaking up, for about 3 minutes.  Remove sausage from skillet and set aside.  Add olive oil to pan and then saute onions about 3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and garlic; cook for about 1 minute.  Add wine to pan to deglaze; make sure to scrape the brown bits from the pan.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Pour all into a crockpot and cook, covered, on LOW for 4-5 hours.  Then open lid and allow to cook for 2 more hours to thicken.  Serve over pasta, rice or spaghetti squash.

*Farmers market ingredients
**CSA ingredients

Monday, September 21, 2015

Brussels Gratin

I hate when the farmers market starts reminding me that summer is almost over (in reality).  While at the farmers market this weekend, I found some brussels sprouts, but they are starting to get bigger than I prefer.  I chose a pint that had smaller heads, but there were a few that were quite a bit bigger than I usually settle for.  But today, I decided I had better cook them because they are older and probably won't keep as long.  As I usually do, I got on Pinterest to get some ideas and saw recipes for Brussels sprouts gratin.  After reading a few of them, I decide to try my hand at coming up with a recipe since I had about 1/3 the amount of sprouts that any of the recipes called for.  I figured if I could make a proper sauce, it would be okay because I also had some small baking dishes that I could split them into.  But you can use a bigger baking pan and it will work just as well.  Here's what I did:

Brussels Sprouts Gratin
  • 2/3 pound fresh Brussels sprouts*
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 350F.

Wash Brussels sprouts; dry.  Cut bases of sprouts and remove the loose outer leaves.  Cut in half or in quarters (depending on size).  Place in a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water.  Cook on HIGH for 7 minutes, or until sprouts are just beginning to cook.  Drain and set aside.

In a skillet, melt butter.  Add flour and whisk, cooking for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add milk, whisking the whole time to prevent lumps.  Cook until thickened, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Place sprouts into a prepared baking dish.  Spoon sauce over the sprouts.  Then sprinkle with remaining cheese and Panko bread crumbs.  Dot with butter.  Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, until sauce begins to bubble.  Remove cover, change oven to broiler, broil for about 5 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

*Farmers market ingredients

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Decided I needed to use up some of the okra I got last weekend at the farmers market.  So, as I was digging through recipes (I only wanted to use a bit of them because I still plan to make okra and tomatoes), I ran across an idea for mini crustless frittatas.  Well, I made them this morning and they were actually quite nice!  Might have to think about changing my quiches into mini quiches for grab-and-go ease.

Mini Okra Frittatas
Adapted from:
  • 1 cup sliced okra*
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, diced
  • 6 large eggs**
  • 1/2 cup 1/2% milk
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare 2 mini-muffin pans.  

Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add okra and saute for about 5 minutes until browned and crispy.  Add minced garlic and continue cooking until fragrant.  Remove from heat. 

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with milk, panko and seasonings until smooth.  Add the okra, bacon and cheese.  Fill muffin cups to top and bake, about 12 minutes, until the frittatas are puffed and cooked through.

*farmers market ingredients
**CSA ingredients

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Caramelized Onions

The interesting part of this time of year is the availability of sweet onions at every farmers market, not to mention Vidalia onions at the grocery store. Now, in general, I am not an onion person. I cannot eat raw onions at all. I try, but it just makes me sick. But if you take a sweet onion and cook it long and slow over low heat, it becomes food candy. I adore caramelized onions and am especially fond of balsamic caramelized onions.

Yedterday, I woke up at 4:30 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I needed to make some breakfast for the week so I could get back on track after our vacation. I knew I didn't have a lot in my kitchen to work with, but I did remember I had a large sweet onion. While I didn't have bacon, I did have ham, so I decided to make a modified quiche lorainne.

Ham Quiche with Balsamic Onions

1 large candy onion*
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 thin slices smoked ham
6 large eggs**
1 1/2 cups milk
2 oz asiago/fontina cheese blend
Salt and pepper, go taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thinly and evenly slice the onion. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions ND cook, stirring until the onions become translucent. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occassionally, until onions begin to turn golden brown. Cook, stirring frequently, until desired the last couple minutes, add balsamic vinegar and finish cooking. This step deglazes the pan.

Chop the ham to small pieces (about 1/4 - inch dice). Add ham to the onions an cook until heated. Take this mixture ND place in the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until smooth. Continue beating as you slowly add the milk. The result should be a very smooth pale yellow. Season with salt and pepper. Pour eggs mixture over onion mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Note, when using strong cheeses, you need less, otherwise, they will overwhelm the other flavors.

Bake at 350 about 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Note: I am in the habit of making crust less quiches. But I always regret not putting quiches like this in a crust. The savory crust is a nice contrast to the sweet onions. Consider using a crust for this recipe.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Zucchini

After I thought I had processed all of my zucchini and squash this weekend, I found a few more in my shopping bag from last week's farmers market run.  So, I was looking for something different to do with them.  I ran across a recipe for zucchini cornbread.  Figured it was worth trying.  While it turned out tasty, I think I would like to find another recipe as this one was a little greasy because of the brown butter.  But it was good and if you are a brown butter type of person, I am sure you'd like it!

Zucchini Cornbread
Adapted from:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten**
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I made a substitute: 1/2 tsp lemon juice in milk to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large yellow zucchini* (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup medium-grind cornmeal

  1. Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3" loaf pan.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter solids at bottom of pan turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Scrape butter into a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk.
  3. Trim zucchini ends. Thinly slice five 1/8" rounds from 1 end of zucchini and reserve for garnish. Coarsely grate remaining zucchini. Add to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.
  4. Sift both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal. Add zucchini mixture; fold just to blend (mixture will be very thick). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Place reserved zucchini slices atop batter down center in a single layer.
  5. Bake bread until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
 *farmers market ingredients
**CSA ingredients