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!
A great alternative to potato gratin (and all of the carbs that goes along with it). I usually make my gratin with potatoes but having a diabetic father-in-law requires a little tweeking of some of my recipes. This recipe is a great lower carb alternative and is still quite decadent! I topped it off with a little bit of the Black Sheep Creamery cheese that was included in the most recent farm share but can be swapped out with an aged manchego or romano cheese. The caramelizing of the leeks and shallots add a wonderful depth of flavor to the dish. 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!
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)
With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, we’ve whipped up a little Irish dinner with some of the goodies we included in this week’s CSA share. I tend to shy away from the American beer with green food colouring and routy “Irish” themed parties. Instead, I try to honor my great-grandparents by cooking some traditional peasant food and having a nice Irish stout. Boring isn’t it?
Included in this recipe are a few items from your box. Potatoes (of course) are used along with the rutabagas, carrots and yellow onions. Traditionally, the stew would be served with lamb but due to some objections in our household we swapped it out with some local Washington pasture beef. Another spin on my usual recipe is the choice of beer. I decided to keep things local by using Iron Horse Brewery’s Irish Death. It’s a little sweeter than Guinness which pairs perfectly with the dish in my personal opinion. All of which came from the wonderfully wet state of Washington.
Our cat Jones INSISTED on being in the photo but I assure you, no kitties were harmed in the preparation of this dish. The cow on the other-hand I cannot vouch for. Prepare your mise en place (no clue how to say that in Gaelic) By cutting up your onions in large pieces. Smash and finely chop your garlic. Peel and cut your carrots and rutabagas into about 3/4 inch chunks. Scrub and remove eyes from your potatoes and large 1 inch chunks. Set aside.
Season your stew meat with 1 tbsp of salt and and 1 tsp of pepper. Once seasoned, take a few paper towels and DRY the meat really well on all sides. This will help with the searing of the meat.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add your meat a little at a time in batches without overcrowding the pot. Sear on each side for about 4 minutes. Add your finished meat to a separate bowl and set aside as you sear each batch.
Remove all of your meat from the stock pot and set aside. Deglaze the pot with 3/4 cup of dry red wine and lower your heat. Whisk for about 4 minutes and get all of the stuck on meat goodies stirred up.
At this point, add your onions and garlic and allow to cook until translucent and your wine has reduced and coated your onions.
Return your meat chunks back to the pot and pour in 2 1/2 cups of stout beer and 32 oz. of beef broth along with your chopped carrots, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and let simmer on low for 90 minutes.
After your meat and carrots have been simmering, add your potatoes, rutabagas and pearl barley. Cover and simmer on low heat for another hour. This would be a great time to start cooking your Irish Soda Bread *hint hint* (recipe link located above)
After it's been cooking, remove the lid and stir the pot. Make sure to get all of the barley that may be on the bottom. Continue to simmer UNCOVERED for another 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and your potatoes and barley have cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley. Stir and remove from heat and serve with Irish Soda Bread. Enjoy!