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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Pie

I received a large spaghetti squash from the CSA a couple weeks ago and have been trying to decide what to make with it.  Well, looking through my refrigerator, I realized that I had everything to make spaghetti pie, a favorite from our childhood.  But since I don't eat pasta anymore (it fills me up too fast), I figured I would try substituting the spaghetti squash for the spaghetti.  Since this was a large squash, it will yield about twice as much squash as I need for a regular sized pie, so I am doubling everything and making it in a 13" X 9" pan.  Since I have roasted vegetables left over, I put them in the sauce along with some cooked ground round. 

Spaghetti Squash Pie
Roast spaghetti squash: Preheat oven to 375F.  Poke several holes into spaghetti squash with a sharp knife.  Roast for 1 hour.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.  Cut squash in half.  Scoop out seeds and membranes.  Then pull strands of squash with a fork.  Place in a large bowl.  Reduce oven heat to 350F.

Prepare crust: Mix  squash, butter, eggs and parmesan until well blended.  Pour into a prepared 13" X 9" pan. 

Assemble pie: Spread cottage cheese over crust.  Mix the tomato sauce, roasted vegetables and ground round.  Spread mixture over cottage cheese, leaving 1/2" edge all around.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is set.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.


*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers Market Ingredients

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stuffed Poblanos

I have spent several days trying to figure out what to stuff my poblano peppers with this week.  This experience is brand new all around for me this week.  I have never roasted whole peppers before and thus, have never stuffed them before.  I went back and forth on the method of roasting.  I knew that fire was out because I have an electric range.  When I asked for tips on using the broiler, it was suggested to me that I should use an iron skillet and I considered it for about 20 minutes.  Then I remembered that I have 4 very loud and sensitive fire alarms in this house and decided against it.  Once they start going off, it takes me about a half hour to get them all turned off again.  So, not my idea of fun this time.  That left me back with using the broiler.  I researched it and saw an equal number of recipes which used oil to those which did not.  So, I decided to try it without.

Then there was the task of deciding what to fill them with.  Yes, I know, chiles rellenos traditionally are filled simply with monterey jack cheese.  However, I had such a supply of meat in my refrigerator, I decided I should choose from one of them.  The choices were chicken taco meat with corn and black beans, pulled pork or ground beef.  I really needed to use the ground beef (or at least cook it up), so I did that while I continued to decide what to fill the peppers with.  Then I figured, what the heck, let's take that meat, add corn and Rotel and fill the peppers with that.  So, here is what I did:

Beef and Corn Stuffed Poblanos
  • 5 poblano peppers*
  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh sweet corn*
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can Rotel tomatoes with peppers
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chile pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, divided
  • 1 cup Monterey jack, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade heirloom tomato sauce
Turn on broiler.  Wash and dry the poblano peppers.  Place peppers onto a foil-lined baking sheet and place about 6" from broiler.  Broil about 5 minutes per side (three sides), turning each 5 minutes, until the skin is blackened and bubbly.  Place cooked peppers into a Ziploc bag and seal; let stand for 15 minutes.  Open bag and let peppers cool until you can handle them.  Once cooled, pinch the skin and pull, the skin should easily pull away from the flesh.  Set peppers aside.

Meanwhile, cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat until no pink remains.  Add the corn, tomatoes, cumin and chile pepper and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and cool for 30 minutes.  If peppers are ready, add bread crumbs and half of the cheeses; mix well.

To assemble, hold one pepper in your hand and stuff with the meat mixture.  Make sure you push down into tip of pepper and stuff as full as you can.  Place the peppers in crock of your slow-cooker.  There will be filling remaining.  Mix heirloom tomato sauce into the remaining filling and then spoon over the stuffed peppers.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Then turn heat to HIGH, sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover and cook until cheese is melted.


Picture of finished recipe is coming!
*CSA ingredients

Monday, September 1, 2014

Roasted Veggies

I had half a refrigerator full of zucchini, eggplant, and peppers, plus a few heirloom tomatoes and a large onion left.  I just ran out of ideas for things to make, so I decided to roast everything.  Then I'd have time to figure out what to do with them (or, I could just eat them as a side).  This time, I roasted the peppers whole and then chopped up everything else and roasted them separate.  In the end, I decided to take my rainbow of peppers and dice them to add to the rest of the vegetables, but they sure were pretty after roasting them whole.

Roasted Sweet Peppers
  • 4 large bell peppers*, mixed colors
Wash peppers and cut any blemishes.  Place on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Heat oven to broil.  Place peppers under broiler and broil about 4 minutes each side until the skins are bubbled and black.  Place peppers into a Ziploc bag and allow to sit for 20 minutes sealed.  Then open the bag and allow peppers cool to handling temperature.  Cut away the stem and core, remove any ribs and remaining seeds.  Peel the skin by pinching and then pulling away.





*CSA ingredients


Roasted Vegetables

  •  2 medium zucchini*
  • 3 small summer squash*
  • 2 small eggplant*
  • 1 large onion*
  • 1 ancho chili*
  • 4 orange heirloom tomatoes**
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash all vegetables.  Dice into large dice and split between 2 Ziploc bags.  Drizzle with about 1 Tbsp olive oil per bag.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Seal each bag and shake to coat the vegetables.  Transfer each bag to a 13" X 9" pan.  Roast vegetables for 40 minutes, stirring twice. 






*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers market ingredients

BBQ Sauce

Okay, I'll admit it, I was lazy on that last post.  I didn't link the bbq sauce recipe for the pulled pork.  Probably because I knew it was part of another post from a couple years ago.  But my mom mentioned it this morning when I dropped off some of the pulled pork for her and Dad to enjoy.  So, here is the BBQ sauce recipe all by itself.  I created it when I received a bottle of sorgham from the CSA in Cleveland (FreshForkMarket.com) and it has become my favorite bbq sauce for pork (I've used it for both ribs and pulled pork).  You could easily adapt it for a light molasses and I think it would taste very similar.  Not sure where you could get sorghum around here.

Sorghum Honey BBQ Sauce
  • 3 C ketchup
  • 1 C sorghum*
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C honey (this is the raw honey from Bob's hive)
  • 6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme

Wash the thyme and then gently pull the leaves from the stems; discard stems.  Place all ingredients in small saucepan.  Heat until boiling; reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.  Adjust flavors as needed (I did add a bit more honey because this seemed a bit tart).

I prefer this sauce on pulled pork and believe it would be good on beef brisket, but not sure how it would be on chicken. 


 *CSA ingredients

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pork, Heirloom Tomatoes and Apples

I am going to combine recipes on this post because I have been making all of these things at the same time.  My cousin, Chris Douglas and her husband, Don, were in town this weekend and asked if I was going to the farmer's market this morning.  Of course I will go to the farmer's market for the chance to catch up with them!  While I was there, I found (well, she found) my favorite heirloom tomatoes.  This is the solid orange ones.  The seller said they were valencia, but when you look them up online, they come up amana.  Either way, I have discovered that I really like these for making slow-roasted tomato sauce.  So, I bought two quarts (at least, that's the size container they put them in). 

On Thursday, after mom and I went to pick up the CSA, she wanted to go get some meats at Jack's Market.  While there, I decided to get a pork shoulder.  I ended up with twice what I intended to get, but today was the day to braise it and make pulled pork. 

And finally, at the farmer's market near school, I picked up some Paula Red apples.  They are a bit tart, so I stopped at Bayne's Apple Farm and picked up some Gingergold (I think), which are a bit sweeter.  Today, I am making applesauce out of them in my crockpot.  So, without further ado, here are my recipes:

Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomato Sauce
  • 10 medium valencia (or amana) heirloom tomatoes**
  • Garlic cloves (I used 4)*
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt, as needed
Preheat oven to 250F.  Wash and dry the tomatoes.  Cut them in half and remove stem end.  Place cut side up on cookie sheet covered with foil.  Peel garlic cloves and intersperse them between the tomato halves.  Sprinkle all with Italian seasoning.  Roast in slow oven for 3 hours or until tomatoes are cooked through.  Remove from oven and transfer everything to blender bowl.  Puree until smooth.  Taste sauce and season, as needed, with salt.



*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers market ingredients


Braised Pork Shoulder
Adapted from: http://csafoodie.blogspot.com/2011/04/pork-shoulder.html
  • 1 9-lb pork shoulder roast
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 ancho chile, sliced*
  • 1 med candy onion, thinly sliced*
  • water
Season the roast with sea salt, pepper and cayenne.  Place in a large Dutch oven.  Add thyme, ancho pepper and onion slices.  Fill the Dutch oven halfway with water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4-5 hours or until thermometer inserted into the center reads 160-180F.  Remove roast to plate; cover and allow roast to sit at room tempurature for 10 minutes.  Drain onions and peppers and place in a large bowl. Skim fat off cooking liquid and save to use as pork stock.  Pull the pork, mix in the peppers and onions and then mix with BBQ sauce (I used my homemade sorgham bbq sauce).


 *CSA Ingredients


Slow-cooker Applesauce
  • 4 Gingergold Apples
  • 6 Paula Red Apples**
  • 2 Tbs water
  • Sugar (optional)
 Wash and dry the apples.  Peel the apples, remove the cores and then slice.  Place all apple slices into crockpot.  Sprinkle with water and mix until apples are all coated.  Cook covered, on LOW, for 4 hours, stirring periodically.  If needed, break up apples with potato masher.  If you prefer sweet applesauce, add sugar or sweetener.

   
 **Farmers market ingredients

Tomato strata

The interesting thing about strata is that to do it right, you have to have 2 days.  Unfortunately, when I thought I had two days to make this one, I really had to take 3 days.  I forgot when I started making this strata that I had a morning appointment and then ended up having a very busy day.  So, this morning, I got up early to finally get around to baking the strata.  We got all kinds of wonderful vegetables this week from the CSA: squash (summer and winter), tomatoes, eggplant, onions, peppers (green, anaheim, and poblano!), corn, etc.  Following picking up our vegetables, we then stopped at Jack's and I ended up with bacon and a pork shoulder.  So, obviously, this is going to be a cooking weekend!  The tomato was a bit on the ripe side, so I decided to use it right away.  I combined it with the bacon and a loaf of cheddar onion bread to make a wonderful strata.  This loaf of bread, as well as the asiago bread that I get from Family Faire are addicting!  I have never had loaves of cheese bread that have such a great cheesy flavor and I was sure it was perfect for this use.

Bacon Tomato Strata
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 4 cups cubed cheddar onion bread
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 large tomato*, diced
  • 5 farm-fresh eggs*
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Butter a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, let cool and chop. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease to saute the onion and garlic until tender. Toss onion and garlic with chopped bacon and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk and seasonings and whisk to combine.
  4. Place 4 cups of the bread cubes in the 9 x 13 pan and pour half of the egg mixture over top. Top with 1 cup cheese, ½ of the onion mixture and half of the tomatoes. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Remove foil and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and return to oven until the cheese melts and the center is set. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- See more at: http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/cheese-bacon-and-tomato-strata/#sthash.VgJ3QFcy.dpuf
Instructions
  1. Butter a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, let cool and chop. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease to saute the onion and garlic until tender. Toss onion and garlic with chopped bacon and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk and seasonings and whisk to combine.
  4. Place 4 cups of the bread cubes in the 9 x 13 pan and pour half of the egg mixture over top. Top with 1 cup cheese, ½ of the onion mixture and half of the tomatoes. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Remove foil and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and return to oven until the cheese melts and the center is set. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- See more at: http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/cheese-bacon-and-tomato-strata/#sthash.VgJ3QFcy.dpuf
 Spray a 9" X 13" pan with cooking spray.  Cube the bread and layer it in the pan.  Cook the bacon in the microwave between paper towels for 3 minutes on HIGH or until bacon is crisp.  Cool bacon until it can be handled, then cut into bite-sized pieces.  Dice tomato and mix with bacon.  Top the bread with the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with cheddar.  Beat eggs, milk and seasonings until very smooth.  Carefully pour over fillings.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove the strata from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about 40 minutes).  In the meantime, preheat oven to 325F.  Remove foil and bake strata for 1 hour.  Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.






*CSA ingredients

Instructions
  1. Butter a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, let cool and chop. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease to saute the onion and garlic until tender. Toss onion and garlic with chopped bacon and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk and seasonings and whisk to combine.
  4. Place 4 cups of the bread cubes in the 9 x 13 pan and pour half of the egg mixture over top. Top with 1 cup cheese, ½ of the onion mixture and half of the tomatoes. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Remove foil and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and return to oven until the cheese melts and the center is set. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- See more at: http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/cheese-bacon-and-tomato-strata/#sthash.VgJ3QFcy.dpuf

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Okra Eggplant Stew

The journey to enjoying my favorite southern foods continues, although I did do something a little different than you may expect.  At the farmers market today, one of the vendors had beautiful small okras.  I also had an eggplant that I needed to use and about 5 tomatoes to use up from my last CSA pickup (two weeks ago!).  So, I decided on stewed okra with eggplant.  Simple, quick and delicious!

Stewed Okra and Eggplant
Adapted from: http://eatingappalachia.com/2010/10/07/stewed-eggplant-okra/
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium candy onion*, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic*, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 pint small okra**, washed and tops removed
  • 5 small tomatoes*, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
 In a deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for 4-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and saute another minute until fragrent.  Add smoked paprika and cook another 30 seconds, then deglaze with a splash of water (you could use white wine or chicken stock here for added flavor).

Add the eggplant, okra and tomatoes.  Stir to mix well and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until eggplant and okra are soft.  Check frequently and add more water (or wine or stock) if necessary.  Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.






*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers market ingredients