Sausage, peppers and onions… Yes please! This is one of my favorite quick meals to whip up, especially when I have some good quality ground andouille on hand. If you’re local to the area, check out Heritage Meats here in Rochester, WA. It’s well worth the trip and their sausage and meat selection is phenomenal (plus it pastured and humanly raised which is a bonus for me and my family). Paired with some local produce and voilà! You have a pretty epic farm to table meal.
The Cajun spice I use in this recipe is homemade, but you can use store bought if you prefer. Just be mindful of the salt content when adding additional salt or using it with a broth that’s already seasoned. Sometimes you end up with something very spicy AND salty if you’re not careful. Cajun spice is fairly easy to prepare, please check out this recipe – it’s pretty similar to what I use but I do prefer to omit the salt and add more cayenne. As far as the salt, I prefer to add to each dish depending on what I’m cooking and the broth that is used. As for the pasta, I find that anything works – I prefer a good quality spaghetti noodle, linguini or rotini. Happy cooking!
Cook Pasta according to the directions on the package (Al DENTE please!) - Drain, toss with a little olive oil and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your ground sausage. Cook until well browned.
Add onions and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Towards the end, toss in your garlic and cook for about 1 minute (be sure to not burn the garlic). Remove from heat and place mixture in a bowl and set aside. This keeps the onions and peppers from becoming too mushy while you reduce the sauce in the next steps below.
Return the pan to medium head and add white wine and chicken broth. Cook for about 20 minutes until sauce has reduced by half.
Add cream, butter, cajun seasoning, chopped tomatoes, pepper and salt to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes allowing the sauce to thicken.
Toss in your pasta, sausage and pepper mixture and parsley. Toss well to combine and remove from heat.
Serve and enjoy!
All of the onions from this weeks farm share made me wonder what I could make with a ton of onions. I myself (or my husband for that matter) are members of the onion appreciation committee. BUT my mother-in-law is an onion fanatic. Fanatic in a sense that she will sneak onions from the cutting board and steal cooking onions from the pot on the stove. So, I figured what else can I do with 3 pounds of onion? French onion soup! This version uses vegetable broth instead of the traditional beef stock – making it suitable for the veggie crowd. If you’re looking to make a vegan version, swap the butter with olive oil and use a vegan cheese.
This dish, as simple as it is does take some time to prepare but is well worth the wait! Enjoy!
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES: Soup crocks! If you do not have soup crocks on hand, you CAN use a casorole dish and layer your bread and cheese on top of it.
In a stock pot of dutch oven over medium-low heat, add butter and sliced yellow onions. Stir until they are well coated with the melted butter.
Cover and allow to cook for about 25 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high to begin caramelizing. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and stir frequently until the onions become golden brown. If they look like they are cooking too rapidly, reduce your heat! Be careful not to burn.
Once your onions have caramelized, Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of white wine. Stir stir stir until you scrap up all of the fond from the pot.
Once the wine has cooked off, deglaze again with the cognac stirring and scraping the pan.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add your flour, stirring frequently to form a thick paste for about 2-3 minut. If this doesn't happen, add another tablespoon of butter.
Add the vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaves to the pot and stir well. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
While your soup is simmers, now is a great time to make your "croutes" - aka toasted bread.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drizzle each side of the bread slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Cook the bread for 15 minutes on each side until they are toasty and hard. Remove from oven and set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 350.
Back to the soup... Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and discard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour your soup into several soup crocks and add a few thinly sliced raw shallots on top.
Layer a couple pieces of croutes on top. Then add a thick layer of shredded Swiss cheese on top, making sure you cover the bread well to prevent it from burning.
Place soup crocks on a baking dish (trust me, the cheese will melt and make a huge mess if you don't do this). Place in the oven for 30 minutes until cheese has browned.
Depending on your oven, you may have to turn it to broil for a couple minutes to achieve the browned cheesy goodness.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
After debating on what to cook the Italian Parsley in, I went with most decadent and classic option… Carbonara. Easy right? Eggs, noodles, guanciale (or a similar substitute such as pancetta or bacon) and cheese topped with some parsley. Carbonara is one of those things that rely on quality ingredients. First things first. The meat. Most traditional recipes call for something called guanciale, which is a cured meat taken from pork jowls or cheeks (yikes). This ingredient can be a bit tricky to find and if you can’t seem to get your hands on some, you can also use pancetta or a quality cut of bacon. I wasn’t able to get ahold of any guanciale or pancetta so I used bacon in my dish below. Luckily, we have our own chickens so the eggs were taken care of. Going with a nice pastured egg will give you a nice creamy and rich sauce. As for the cheese, find a quality Parmigiano-Reggiano and IF you can get your hands on any Pecorino (A hard Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk) it will make your carbonara taste like a million bucks. I also stick with a dry spaghetti noodle.
Now onto the topic of technique. If done wrong, you can wind up with scrambled eggs and noodles which isn’t exactly a good thing. I do suggest getting your eggs to room temperature before adding them to you dish. I always crack mine into a bowl and let them while I prepare everything else. When you’re at the stage of adding your egg mixture, always always always add to a pan that has been removed from the heat. Otherwise you’ll be eating scrambled eggs for dinner. Now, onto the recipe.
Bring a large pot of salted water bring to a boil.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Pecorino and Parmesan. Set Aside.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until a bit firmer than al dente. Strain in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside. *** RESERVE 1 cup of the pasta water ***
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add your bacon (or guanciale or pancetta) and cook until the fat has rendered and the meat is crispy. Add half of the reserved pasta water to the pan.
Toss in the spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for about one minute.
REMOVE the pan from the heat and add the egg and cheese mixture. Stir quickly until your eggs thicken. The residual heat will cook the eggs. Continue to stir quickly to keep your eggs from scrambling. If your sauce seems a little too thick, add some more of the reserved pasta water.
Toss with minced parsley and season with fresh ground black pepper. Add salt if needed (the cured meat should be salty enough on it's own to season the dish).
Serve and top with a little grated Pecorino. Enjoy!
When I saw the yellow chard in my CSA box this week, I immediately thought of soup. Everyone in my house has been sick except for me (knock on wood) so making a quick soup sounded like a good idea. This soup can be made spicy or mild but I do implore the use of some quality spicy Italian sausage. If you’re a local here in western Washington, I suggest using some sausage from Heritage Meat here in Rochester or at your local Co-Op. I absolutely LOVE their seasoning and it works great in this soup (and my Mother-in-law’s famous meatballs)
The soup is reminiscent of a soup that shall remain nameless from Olive Garden but with a few more ingredients and some home cooked lovin’. The zucchini from this week’s box made a nice final addition to the recipe! Enjoy!
In a large stockpot, brown your sausage and onions over medium heat.
Once your sausage is brown and your onions have cooked, add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scape up any little bits that are stuck to the pan.
Add chicken broth, the minced and roasted red bell pepper, potatoes, thyme, red pepper flakes and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes or until your potatoes are FIRM but cooked.
Once your potatoes are firm (but cooked) add your heavy cream, swiss chard and zucchini. Now, cook the soup for another minute or two. I prefer my zucchini pretty firm so I like to add them at the very end with the chard and cream. If you like them softer, add them a little sooner!
Add salt to taste (if needed). I generally do not need salt, it all depends on the broth you used in the soup!
As I sit here playing catch-up with the last few weeks of recipes, I’ve been scrambling around trying to find something to cook and post for you. My seven month old baby is getting over his first cold, and to top things off, he is getting his lower and upper teeth at the same time. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and I’m a little sleep deprived. With that said, better late than never.
This recipe features caramelized leeks, wilted kale and seasoned, roasted potatoes. I used the Rose Finn Potatoes from the box but you can easily substitute them for a crescent or red potato. I threw in some of the wonderful purple carrots from the recent farm share which gave the salad a wonderful color and paired nicely with the kale. This dish is both healthy and hearty! Enjoy!
Start by making your dressing. Combine mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in oil. Set aside.
Clean and scrub your potatoes. Keep the skin on and remove any bad spots. Cut into bite size pieces.
Clean and scrub your carrots. Keep the skin on to retain the wonderful purple color. Slice into 1/4" pieces.
Remove the stems from your kale and roughly chop. Clean your leeks and slice thinly. Set aside.
In a large baking dish, add your potatoes and carrots. Toss with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon. Cook for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice to brown evenly. Potatoes are done when browned and crispy.
While your potatoes are in the oven start cooking your leeks. In a medium sized skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bring to a low/medium heat.
Caramelize leeks by cooking with 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for about 20 minutes or until they’re browned. Try not to cook them too quickly or they will burn.
Once your leeks are caramelized, add your chopped kale and crushed garlic.
Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes until your kale is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
At this point, your potatoes should be close to being done. Once they are browned and crispy, remove from the oven and toss with your kale and leeks in the baking dish. Drizzle the dressing on your potatoes that you made earlier. Stir until it's well coated. Serve immediately.
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, basil, cheese, and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Allow mixture to marinate together for about 15 minutes to allow all of the flavors to mingle.
Slice your baguette into 1/4 slices and arrange on a cookie sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and place in oven until lightly toasted. Depending on your oven, this should only take about 5 minutes.
What a perfectly good way to turn a healthy food into something fried and delicious. (Lets try not to think about the unhealthy part) In the recipe below, I used some of the broccoli that was included in the recent farm share. Personally, I’m not a member of the broccoli appreciation committee but my husband is a huge fan, especially anything cooked in beer batter. I’ve used the same recipe for mushrooms (my personal fave), zucchini, cauliflower, onion rings and of course… a nice hunk of fish. For the beer, I would suggest going with something light like a pilsner or lager. I prefer to use ales (on the malty side and not too bitter). If you prefer to not use beer, you can always use sparkling water as a substitute.
If you’re without a proper thermometer to check the oil temperature, I suggest throwing in a brave piece of battered goods into your oil to ensure that your oil isn’t too hot or too cool. Here’s some tips on how to fry without a thermometer. My thermometer inconveniently broke, hence the photo below of the lone broccoli… testing the oil like a champ. I also prefer to use avocado oil over canola for health reasons but you can use either. You may need to use more or less oil depending on the size of your pan. You should at least cover what you’re frying by half for best results.
Whisk together your flour, salt, pepper, paprika and red pepper flakes.
In a separate bowl, whisk your egg yolks and vegetable oil until creamy. Drizzle the egg mixture over the flour.
Mix together with a fork until your dough is a little shaggy.
Slowly pour in your beer while whisking, until a smooth batter forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 4 hours) before frying.
In a separate small bowl, add flour for dredging. Place florets into the flower and lightly coat.
Drop the florets into the batter, making sure each one is well coated.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until it reaches 375 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, check out the link I provided in the description above OR do like I do and throw in a tester. Using tongs, gently add them to the oil and fry until golden brown, turning if necessary (appx. 3-4 minutes). Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or as my husband prefers, Sriracha ranch dressing.
Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf. We’ve all had our remarkably awful memories of a family members dry and dreadful meatloaf. Admittedly, it took some time for me to hop on the meatloaf wagon due to severe childhood scarring. Meatloaf can really be delicious… if prepared properly. I decided to make an alternative recipe with the overabundance of leeks that I’ve had in my possession as of late. Secondly, I’ve discovered that large amounts of garlic intake and feeding a newborn baby does not go well together and results in a very gassy baby. What does that mean? I’ve had to find a way to replace my love for garlic in MANY of my recipes (sigh). The answer was LEEKS! One day I’ll be able to reintroduce garlic back into my diet but leeks will do for now. You can always add garlic to the recipe below and feel sorry for me later.
The key to keeping your meatloaf from tasting like the Sahara is to COOK your vegetables before adding them to your meat mixture and allowing them to cool. The addition of a little milk to your breadcrumbs will result in a very juicy, memorable (in a good way) meatloaf. I topped this one off with some homemade curry ketchup (you can find a great recipe here) or use some of your favorite bottled kind from the European market.
Clean and thinly slice your leek. Finely mince the onion, celery, bell peppers, celery and shred your carrots.
In a saute pan over low-medium heat, add your olive oil, the chopped and shredded veggies and red wine. Add fresh thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir frequently. Set aside and allow to COOL.
In a small bowl, add your bread crumbs and milk. Allow to soak for a few minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk your egg until frothy. Add your meat, cooked veggie mixture, soaked breadcrumbs and fresh chopped parsley. With clean hands, mix all of the ingredients together.
In a large baking pan, lightly oil the bottom and add the meat mix forming it into (you guessed it) a loaf!
Mix the honey and curry ketchup in a small dish and coat the top of your loaf with appx 1/4 cup.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for appx 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add another 1/4 cup of ketchup to the top of it. Place your loaf back into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
Slice and serve with the remaining sauce along with some mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies! (We chose beets)
As you can tell, I have a surplus of leeks! Not that I’m complaining, I mean… I LOVE LEEKS. This recipe included the spinach from your recent CSA box as well as those leeks (of course). In order to make the quiche, we needed cheese. The fresh rosemary garlic sheep cheese from Black Sheep Creamery was a perfect match for this little dish. Who says real men don’t eat quiche?
Place pie crust on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Set crust aside and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
In a small pan, heat butter and chopped leaks over low/medium heat for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and cooked leeks.
Spread spinach in bottom of crust and dot with sheep cheese. (we used Black Sheep's Rosemary Garlic Cheese but you can substitute goat cheese) Pour egg mixture on top and bake until poofed in the center and lightly browned. This should take 40 to 50 minutes.
Set aside to cool until warm or serve at room temperature.