Here’s another great way to use those beautiful and nutritious beet greens. Serve with a side of beets. I tend to shy away from precise cooking times on this dish. Times can vary depending on the brand of rice and type of broth you’re using. If you’re new to making risotto, please visit this helpful site to make sure you cook the perfect dish http://lifehacker.com/5890864/use-the-smear-test-for-perfectly-cooked-risotto
Chef’s tip: Homemade broth is best but if you do not have access to a quality, flavorful broth you can add fresh oregano and/or basil to help kick the dish up a notch.
Prepare all of the following risotto ingredients. Grate 1 cup of cheese. Finely mince your shallot and set aside. Smash and chop your garlic cloves and set aside. Chop up your beet greens and set aside.
For your vegetable broth, place in a separate stock pot and heat to a medium temperature. This is a key step and remember to always keep your broth at the same temperature that you cook your rice.
In a large saute pan (preferably something with a thick bottom so you don’t burn the rice) heat your butter and olive oil on medium/low heat. Using a really good quality butter will make a huge difference in how your risotto tastes (in my personal opinion) so stick with a good pasture butter like Kerrygold, Organic Valley or some nice homemade butter from your local farm.
Add your rice and minced shallots and cook (stirring frequently) until the rice is transparent and very lightly toasted. This should take around 3-4 minutes.
Now we add the wine and chopped garlic and red peppers. Gently stir the rice, wine and garlic until the wine is well absorbed by the rice.
At this point, we begin adding the broth. TWO ladles at a time. Add two ladles of broth and STIR your risotto constantly until the broth has been absorbed. Once that happens, you can add two more ladles of broth and repeat. Risotto is made by adding broth slowly over a period of time. Adding too much liquid at one time can make your risotto turn out runny and that's something Gordon Ramsey yells at people for. Yikes!
Now here’s the tricky part. Just because we have 8 cups of broth in that separate pan does not mean you’ll always use up the entire pot of broth. It’s always good to have a little too much broth leftover than not enough broth when you’re cooking this dish. Good judgement comes into play at this stage. As you’re stirring (you didn’t forget the part about stirring constantly right?) give your risotto a little taste. How close is it to being al dente? What the heck does al dente mean? This is where we use the smear test. (visit the lifehacker link provided above)
When your rice is CLOSE to al dente, add your chopped beet greens and continue to stir. It should take a few more minutes until you're close to being done.
Once your rice is AL DENTE, remove from the heat and add your cheese. Stirring well until all of the cheese has melted and is incorporated into the dish. Add salt and pepper to taste The final product should look creamy and firm but not runny. Enjoy!
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!
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!