October 24, 2014

fall session: quiche

I love a flaky quiche, homemade crust with oozing cheesy insides and tasty fillings.  I have a recipe I adapted from the smitten kitchen blog, which she in turn adapted from Julia Child and Marth Stewart.  The dough is all made in the food processor so that really cuts down on the time and mess.
The fillings can be so varied, they can use leftovers, they can be mixed and matched.  Some of my favorites are: sauteed leeks with fontina cheese, crispy bacon and caramelized onions with gruyere cheese, blanched broccoli with cheddar, roasted mushrooms with tarragon and chevre, oven roasted cauliflower with smoked gouda...you can really put your cooking creativity to work.

The two lovely Y.O.U. cooks, Amanda and Ellen, showing off their knife skills:

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October 17, 2014

fall session: pot roast with honey roasted root vegetables

A rutabaga:

A cross between a turnip and cabbage.  The farmer's market is brimming with them and I found a recipe for making farm fresh rutabagas and multi-colored carrots meld into a pot roast with chuck roast.  Cook in the crock pot for 5-6 hours on high, perfuming the whole house.

Serve with a wheatberry salad and you have dinner.

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October 10, 2014

fall session: coq au vin

Coq au Vin is not as complicated as people anticipate. I think it is just the fancy name that throws them: "Coq au Vin". No one says "old chicken in wine", who really would want to eat old chicken in wine? Yet the name "Coq au Vin" evokes parisian bistros, waiters with long aprons, beaujolais nouveau and chocolate mousse (or it does to me).

Coq au Vin is perfect served for a fall dinner with buttered egg noodles, a simple green salad and crusty bread to lap up the sauces.  And, like all braises, make extra as it even tastier the day after.  Bon appetit.

The Green City Farmer's market was the perfect place to buy the lovely cippolini onions, the multi-colored carrots, the fresh grown celery and garlic and all the lovely wild and button mushrooms.

This was slab bacon from Fresh Farms in Morton Grove.  It was fantastic.  It added a smoky flavor and was so tender.

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September 19, 2014

in the garden: corn

Summer corn, is there anything better? My family loves it best cut off the cob, then lightly sauteed in some butter with salt and chives. Delicious.

In the season, when it is plentiful and it is 6 for $1 at the farmer's market, you can only eat it sauteed so many times. I found this soup recipe, a great way to enjoy corn and very easy to freeze for those January days when you dream of farmer's markets and corn.

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June 11, 2014

in the garden: radish redux

We planted two types of radishes this year: cherry belle and pink beauty.  They were both delicious, the cherry belle a bit spicier.  I pickled them, just as good as the recipe from last year.  But as I was researching radishes and recipes,  I came across a recipe for roasting them that sounded intriguing.  So last week, with some ladies from Women out Walking, we roasted them, and sauteed them with their greens and lemon juice.  OUTSTANDING.  I do not think I have been as excited for a recipe in a long time.  Please try it before radishes are no longer at their peak....

Roasted Radishes and their Greens Follow Me on Pinterest

in the garden: mustard greens

Mustard Greens have exploded at the YWCA Urban Garden.  They are the easiest thing to grow: very prolific, very fast.  The classic way to cook them is a long slow cook with onion, garlic, ham hocks or smoked turkey wings.  In more modern methods (where you don't cook things to death and omit meat when possible) they are great sauteed in a pan with olive oil and some diced onion or shallot.  They are great then thrown into a white bean salad, into a veggie soup or put on top of a flatbread. They can be added to a green smoothie and are also great mixed with lettuce in a salad.

Mustard Greens are the third healthiest green after kale and collards.  They lower cholesterol and are very high in vitamins K and A, great for an anti-inflammatory diet. 

Here are some recipes I have been experimenting with.  The first two are delicious and I hope to try the third one before my greens start to bolt! Enjoy.

Mustard Greens with Chorizo and White Beans

Vinegar Braised Chicken with Greens 

Spicy Mustard Greens with Asian Noodles

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May 19, 2014

in the garden: spinach

The spinach came up in droves this year.  The beds were covered with cold frames and underneath the mountains of snow was spinach, hibernating, readying itself for a great spring arrival.  One of the coldest winters in the Chicagoland area, it was a huge surprise to see such beautiful plants emmerging.

We have a mixture of spinaches: bordeaux, a red veined type; a flat leaf spinach; and bloomsbury, a ruffled variety.  All of them taste great as a salad or sauteed simply and quickly in olive oil with salt and pepper (sauteed shallots or onions and fresh lemon juice can also add a lot).  The spinach is magic as the more you pick, the more it grows.

I have been cooking it weekly at Mary Lou's place.  Some tasty recipes are linked below.

Lemon Couscous Salad with Spinach and Dill:

Spinach Quiche

Wilted Spinach Salad with a Burst Tomato Vinaigrette

Asparagus, Tofu and Spinach Stirfry
I add many other vegetables to this, delicious, my go to healthy dinner recipe.  A crowd pleaser
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/asparagus-stirfry-recipe.html Follow Me on Pinterest

March 28, 2014

split pea soup with ham

Split peas.  So simple, so inexpensive, so good for you.  A member of the legume family, split peas are a really great source of fiber: which helps lower cholesterol and maintains even blood sugar balance.  They are also a good source of protein and have potassium and B vitamins. 

This recipe has some smoked ham in it, which does add a rich smoky flavor.  But feel free to sub in onions and fennel instead for increased vegetable flavor.

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