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!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your vinaigrette (recipe above) and set aside.
Wash the beets thoroughly and leave the skins on. Remove the beet tops (greens) and rinse well.
Place the unpeeled beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and bake fore 45-60 minutes until beets are fork tender. Once done, rinse under cold water and peel. Cut beets into quarters and set aside.
For the greens, remove any large chunky stems (I usually chop about 2-3 inches from the base and discard) Cut remaining greens into two inch slices.
In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil, shallots and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute then add your greens and cook until wilted. Add your chopped beets and stir - drizzle 1 Tbsp of vinaigrette over the top (or more if you're feeling saucy) serve immediately and enjoy!
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
In a small bowl whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. While whisking, slowly add your olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
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!
Chimichurri sauce is a wonderful green garlicky and zesty sauce originating from Argentina. The origins of the name and the sauce is unclear but there is a theory that the name of the sauce comes from the Basque term tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order”. The sauce is best served with grilled meat. In light of the recent wet Washington weather, I was forced to whip this dish up indoors. It’s still quite delicious either way but if you have the option to grill, go for it. The sauce works as a marinade, topping and dipping sauce! Enjoy!
Place all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until chopped. Set aside.
Using a sharp chef's or filet knife, slice each chicken breast horizontally into two even pieces.
Place your chicken in a large sealable dish (for marinating). Evenly coat the chicken in salt and paprika. Add the lemon juice and vinegar (this will help tenderize the meat) and cover in 1/2 cup of your chimichurri sauce. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours.
Remove chicken from dish and discard remaining marinade. Allow the chicken to reach room temperature before cooking.
Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; coat pan evenly. Add chicken to pan; Cook for 5-6 minutes. Turn chicken over; reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until done. The chicken should be golden brown and the juices should run clear.
Remove from pan and top with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!
This is one of those simple soups to make. All it really takes is throwing a few root veggies in a pot, cooking them down and tossing it all into blender and hitting puree. It’s yuumy, comforting, creamy and healthy! Blended soups are one of my favorites since they don’t require too much work, just a trusty blender. This recipe can be kept vegan by omitting the heavy cream and I find it to be just as delicious without it. Another variation to the truffle oil is adding a few drops of chili oil instead. I didn’t have any truffle oil on hand when I made this (which I normally use as a finishing touch) but the use of a little spicy chili oil made for a great alternative.
In a large pot, add olive oil and melt your butter.
Add your chopped leeks to the pot and cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes. When your leeks begin to soften up, add your garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Add your vegetable stock, celery root, apples and potato. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes until all of the veggies are soft.
Add fresh thyme, nutmeg and white pepper. Remove from heat and puree using a hand mixer or you can use a blender (puree in small batches) until creamy and smooth.
Add your heavy cream (optional) or if you want to keep this vegan, you can not add it all or or use almond or coconut milk as a substitute. If your soup is too thick, it can be thinned out with a little additional water.
Return to low heat to bring the soup back up to temperature. Add salt to taste.
Serve with minced celery leaves and a few drops of chili oil.
Boeuf Bourguignon, or as I like to call it; Fancy French peasant food. The cold days of the Pacific Northwest have arrived with the recent frosts, a time for good rib-sticking meals. Stews were a great way for peasants to cook tough, unwanted cuts of meat in order to make them more palatable and frankly, they are freaking delicious. Boeuf Bourguignon is one of my favorites, slow cooked in rich Burgundy wine while channeling your inner Julia Child. You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Depending on the cut of meat you’re using, you may want to add some addition fat. I tend to use a round roast or brisket. Some recipes call for the addition of a little bacon (if you’d like). For leaner cuts of meat, I will add a tablespoon or two of reserved bacon fat which I’ve included below versus adding chunks of bacon. I also use cheap Burgundy wine for the cooking portion. Save the expensive stuff for the drinking portion.
Season your stew meat with 1 tbsp of salt and and 1 tsp of fresh ground 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 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. 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 4-5 minutes. Add your finished meat to a separate bowl and set aside as you sear each batch.
Now add the shallots to the pot and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Lower the heat to medium high until the shallots are golden brown (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle flour over them. Continue to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add you Burgundy wine.
With a wooden spoon, scrape up all of the goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring your wine to a boil.
Return your meat back to the pot. Add the garlic, bouquet garni and beef stock. You want the liquid to cover the meat by 1/3 so if it's not quite covering everything, go ahead a add a little more stock to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook covered for 1 hour. Be sure to give it a good stir every 15 minutes so you don't scorch the sauce.
After cooking for 1 hour, add your carrots and pearl onions. (I like to add them at this stage so the carrots and onion are not mushy. If you like your carrots soft, add them at the previous step) Continue to cook covered for anther 45 minutes. Your meat should be getting close to being fork tender at this stage.
Next, remove your lid and check the consistency of your stew. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes uncovered - allowing the stew to thicken up. You want it to be a similar consistency to gravy and not too runny. Once your stew has thickened, remove the bouquet garni and discard. Add 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley. If needed, add salt to taste.
Serve along side roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or some mashed cauliflower.
For as much mexican food that I cook, I do not write down enough recipes as I should. This one is a family favorite and is quite addictive! You can adjust the heat level by omitting a jalepeno or two. Depending on how much heat your peppers pack, the recipe below is what I would consider a 7/10 for spiciness. Removing the seeds can also bring down the heat if you prefer. You do need quite a few carrots for this recipe but you can adjust it to one jar versus four. One bunch of carrots should generally be enough to fill a small pint jar! If you’re not familiar with canning or pickling, check out the following links for a little crash course in proper sanitation. I strongly suggest visiting the National Center for Home Food Preservationon how to prepare your jars, ensure proper sanitation, acidity levels and cook time. The following topics you should check out before starting are:
I this recipe we are only PICKLING which requires a simple water bath. No pressure canner needed! YAY! For this recipe you will need the following:
4 pint canning jars (Ball brand is best)
4 rings and new lids
A canning pot with a rack or a large pot & heatproof rack that fits into the bottom of the pot
Lid wand or thongs to lift the lids from the hot water
Clean rag to clean the rims of the jars
Before starting, be sure to prepare your equipment and jars. Follow all of the proper sanitization steps! Visit the GUIDE TO WATERBATH CANNING link provided above.
Toast your cumin seeds in a dry skillet on medium heat till just fragrant. Remove them to a plate or bowl so they don't overcook. Set aside.
Combine vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add your sliced carrots, onions and jalapeños to the pot. Return to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
While your carrots are marinating, remove your sterilized jars from the water and place them on a clean towel.
In EACH jar: Add 1/2 tsp of mexican oregano, 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds, 3 peppercorns, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds and 1 clove of garlic.
Fill each of the jars with the carrot, onion, jalepeno and vinegar mixture to within 1/2" of the rim. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth. Using a lid wand or thongs, remove the lids from the hot water and place on the jar. Tighten rings until just finger tight. Do not over-tighten.
To process the jars: Using a jar lifter, return jars to the pot of warm water on your stove. Place them on the rack without touching each-other or the sides of the pot. Add more water IF the water does not cover your jars by 1 or 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil.
Once your pot reaches BOIL, set your timer and boil for 10 minutes. Then, remove from heat and allow to sit for another 5 minutes. Use a jar lifter to remove the jars and place on a clean towel. Allow to sit for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove the rings and check the seals by pressing on the center of the lid. There should be a concave indention signifying that everything worked! If you have one or two that did not seal, you can store them in your refrigerator. Sealed, processed jars should keep for up to a year when stored at room temperature.
A simple, spicy and flavorful dish that pairs quite well with almost any meal. And by almost, I mean it that it probably won’t go too well with your morning cup of coffee and bowl of cereal. If you’re looking for something a little less spicy, just cut down the jalapeno to one (or less if your peppers are spicy). My peppers from the garden weren’t too overly spicy this year so I went with two… and I like it spicy. Removing the seeds in your peppers will also tone down the spiciness. I added honey at the end to balance out the lime and the spice but you can also use a little bit of sugar if you would like to keep the recipe vegan. Enjoy!
Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 3 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water to stop from cooking. Set aside.
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
Add jalapeño, poblano, garlic coriander, salt and green beans. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until beans are tender but still bright green.
Remove from heat; add tomatoes, mexican oregano, lime juice and honey. Stir well and 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.