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.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
Season your chops with salt and pepper. Add your chops to the pan when the oil is close to smoking. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and melt you butter in the same pan and add fennel and shallots. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then, add you hard cider, apple cider vinegar & sugar. Cook until sauce has reduced by 1/2 for about 10 minutes.
Add you apples and sage and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then, add your pork chops back to the back and cook for another 5 minutes (or until cooked throughly) until warm and fragrant.
Place your pork chops on a plate and pour fennel, sage and apple mix on top and drizzle remaining sauce over them. Serve immediately.
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!
A traditional Irish recipe! Traditionally served with Kale or Cabbage. Our version uses kale and caramelized leeks instead of scallions. Did you know there is also a song about this dish?
Did you ever eat colcannon, Made with lovely pickled cream With the greens & scallions mingled Like a picture in a dream Did you ever make a hole on top To hold the melting flake Or the creamy flavored butter That your mother used to make
Put the potatoes and rutabaga in a medium stock pot and cover with cold water by at least a couple inches. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and chopped leeks. Stir frequently and continue to cook until your leeks become golden. (10-15 minutes)
Once your leeks are golden, reduce heat to low. Add chopped kale and 1/2 cup of butter. Cook until kale has wilted.
Return the cooked potatoes and rutabaga to the stove over medium heat in your stock pot. Mash with a potato masher and add 1/2 cup of butter. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and stir until well incorporated.
Fold in your kale, leek and butter mixture into the potatoes. If your potatoes seem a little too think, add a little whole milk to thin them out to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
A wonderful holiday side dish made with some local honey from the Woogie Bee! Glazed carrots are one of my fave dishes during the holidays (or anytime) – I Frenched this up a little by using Herbes de Provence, which is typically a blend of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender and other herbs. The blend can be made at home or you can pick some up at your local market!
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.
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!