Friday, October 30, 2009

Butternut Risotto Recipe

Yeah, yeah, I know. Everybody is making butternut risotto right now. But why not? It's so delicious. And there is no flavor combination like butternut, sage and garlic! So here is my take on everyone's favorite fall risotto.

Butternut Squash Risotto

One Butternut Squash - I forgot to weigh mine, it was pretty small: yielded about 2 1/2 cups cooked squash
5-6 Fresh Sage Leaves
1 Garlic Clove
1Tbsp (more or less) Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1/2 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Arborio Rice
Chicken or Veggie Broth, up to 5 cups (I used about 4 this time)
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/2 Cup (Or more) Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 375

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Chop the sage leaves and garlic. Mix the sage, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub over all cut sides of the sqash. Put the squah in a baking pan with a lid or cover with foil and cook until nearly done, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle scoop out of the shell. Cut into about 1/2 inch dice. Some may be to soft to dice, just add this to the rice with the cubes.

Meantime, dice and saute the onions in olive oil until very soft. Add the crushed or minced garlic, then the rice. Cook until the rice is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir, once the wine has evaporated, add about 1/2 cup of broth. Let simmer until the broth has nearly evaporated, and keep adding broth in this fashion until the rice is tender. This can take anywhere from 25-35 minutes. When the rice is cooked, stir in the cheese to melt, then add in the butternut sqash. Add black pepper to taste, and pass more cheese at the table if desired.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chili Rojo Recipe

So I had a pork tenderloin in the fridge. And today I got tomatoes, sweet red peppers and hot padron peppers in the CSA share. Now normally I make chili verde with tomatillos and a variety of green chilis/peppers, but since I had red today, I decided to try "Chili Rojo". And it was the yum!

Chili Rojo

3 Medium Red Bell Peppers
3 Medium Tomatoes
1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
One Pork Tenderloin (14-16 oz.)
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
Pinch each of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder
2 tsp Canola Oil
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Mexican Oregano
1 cup Broth (Chicken or Veggie)

Optional garnishes

shredded cheese
sour cream

Roast the Peppers and Tomatoes under a broiler until blackened all around. My peppers took about 20 minutes with turning every 5 minutes or so. The tomatoes took about 30 minutes. Put the peppers in a paper or plastic bag and let sit until cool enough to handle, then remove the skin and seeds, keeping in mind it is okay to leave some skin on the peppers. No need to seed or skin the tomatoes. Puree the peppers and tomatoes in a food processor.

Trim and dice the tenderloin in 1/2 inch dice. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Heat the canola oil in a pot over medium heat. Dredge the pork in the flour mixture and add to the heated oil (in batches if needed) and brown on all sides. Remove from the pot. Add more oil, as needed, and the onions. Cook the onions until beginning to brown and 'reduced', about 12 minutes. Add the minced or crushed garlic cloves, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir for 1-2 minutes.

Return the pork to the pan, along with the pureed vegetables and 1 cup of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency. The pork shouldn't take too long to cook (maybe 15 minutes?) but the chili will really improve with increased cooking time. I simmered mine a good hour and fifteen minutes.

Garnish with grated cheese and sour cream and serve with homemade tortillas ( or corn bread )

!Buen probecho!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This week's bounty

What inspires me?

This week's CSA share. The green stuff in the back is kale, swiss chard, arugula, parsley, and beet greens (attached to the yellow beets in front). We also have red kabocha squash, apples, red onions, broccoli, carrots, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. Oh my! And a tiny head of lettuce that didn't make it into the photo.

What I usually do is look at the mound of veggies on the counter and hope I get inspired to think of ideas to use them all up. ; ) I am a bit surprised by the sweet peppers this week. I thought last week was the last of them, so I made a spicy roasted pepper and tomato soup. This week I am thinking either chili (Not so) verde or maybe Thai curry. Stuffed kabocha squash, apple galette, some sort of greens soup, roasted beets with their greens....hrm. I will be posting more recipes in the days to come!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

This is an adaptation of a recipe I got from Live Earth Farm CSA.

Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash
2 Apples
1 Stalk Celery
1/2 Small Onion
2 tsp Butter
2 Tbsp Raisins
Olive Oil for rubbing on squash

Preheat oven to 350

Cut the sqash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub the cut sides with olive oil and place in a baking dish cut side down. I like to add a little water to the dish to sort of steam the squash, but that is optional. Bake the squash for 25 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, chop your onion and celery into a fine dice. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until pretty soft, but not brown, about 5-7 minutes. Core and chop the apples (about 1/2 inch dice) and add to the onions and celery in the pan. Cook until starting to soften, 5 minutes, then add the raisins. Continue cooking a few minutes to let the raising begin to soften and plump up.

Remove the squash from the oven and turn it cut side up. Fill with the apple mixture and return to the oven. Continue cooking until the squash is completely soft and the top is a bit browned, 20-30 minutes more.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Potatoes, cheese sauce...what's not to like? We had these with the glazed carrots and a grilled steak, but they go great with just about anything. Roast chicken comes to mind (I feel especially clever when I can cook more than one dish in the oven, or a whole meal even). These can be made in an 8 inch square baking dish or individual ramekins.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 3/4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Milk (I used 2% milk, but go as rich as your conscience will allow, I think cream would be too rich)
1 Cup (4 oz.) Shredded Cheese. I used a combination of cheddar and mozzarella, but any good melting cheese will work. Fontina comes to
1 lb. Potatoes
2 Tbsp Minced Shallots or Onions

Preheat the oven to 375.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broth so there are no lumps. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add in the milk and stir to combine. Slowly add the cheese and stir until melted. This can sit on the stove over low heat while you slice your potatoes.

Butter your baking dish (or dishes).

Thinly slice your potatoes. You can peel them if you feel the need, but I never do. Layer about two layers of potatoes in the baking dish, then sprinkle with some shallots (or onions). Pour on enough sauce to completely cover the potatoes. Continue layering until all the sauce and potatoes are gone, or you run out of room. (Leftover cheese sauce can be used to make macaroni and cheese, or over steamed broccoli). Put your baking dish(es) on a cookie sheet or some foil to catch any spillovers in the oven, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 40-60 minutes depending on the size of your dish and your oven. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Glazed Carrots Recipe

Here is a simple and extremely adaptable side dish recipe that is great with so many things. I will list suggested amounts here, but please feel free to adapt according to your own tastes.

Glazed Carrots

3 large carrots halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup water, or broth
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (I used about 1 1/2 here)
1-2 Tbsp butter or margarine ( ditto the butter)
2 Tsp Cointreau, triple sec, or orange juice (I used Cointreau here)
Pinch salt
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Bring the above to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium low and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the Cointreau and salt and cook a few minutes more. Remove from heat and add the parsley just before serving.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Banana Bread Recipe

This is a great recipe for a cool weekend morning. This recipe makes 2 small (about 5 1/2 x 3 inch) loaves of banana bread, but can easily be doubled for one regular sized loaf.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 4 over-ripe bananas (you'll want 1 to 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas)

grease your pan(s) and set aside
preheat oven to 350

Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder

In a separate bowl (or your handy-dandy mixer) cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the egg, vanilla, then the mashed banana until well combined. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything comes together, then pour it into your prepared pan(s).

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-45 minutes depending on your oven.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apple Crisp

Between our two apple trees and the CSA share, we are still swimming in apples. This is a pretty quick and (relatively) healthy dessert. Leftovers can also stand in as a quick breakfast in a pinch!

Apple Crisp

4 large or 6 small apples (any variety-I like to use a combination)
1/4 cup Calvados (you could also use apple juice or even water)
1/2 cup brown sugar-divided
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 chopped nuts (I used walnuts this time, I also like it with almonds)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350

Core and dice the apples. No need to peel. Cook the apples over medium low heat with the Calvados, 1/4 cup brown sugar and pinch red pepper flakes until the apples are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Transfer the apple mixture into a baking dish or individual ramekins.

Mix together the oats, nuts, 1/4 cup brown sugar, flour and melted butter or margarine. Spread this mixture over the apples and bake until hot and brown, about 15-20 minutes.

A little note to get started

Just for kicks I have been posting photos of soups I make on Facebook. I have gotten so many requests for the recipes, that I decided to start this blog to post some of them.

I am a stay at home mom who loves to cook. I try to use local, organic ingredients whenever possible. I am a member of a CSA, so a lot of my recipes are veggie-rich as I try to use up my share every week!