february 8 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, kale, leeks, micro greens, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, squash

What’s for Dinner?

A week with not one, but two holidays!  OK, I use the term “holidays” a bit loosely, but sure makes dinnertime more amusing.  My table is teetering with Hood River Organic winter bounty, perfect to play center stage in this week’s menus.  This beautiful kale will shine in (next to?) an everybody-loves red beans and rice dish at our mini Mardi Gras celebration.   And the freshly foraged mushrooms are still coming – they’ll star in a red, rich and luscious Valentine’s Day pasta sauce.  As for the rest, take a look, join in where your palate is tempted; celebrate all that our amazing Northwest winter offers us.

Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza!

roasted golden beet and leek pizza (Cooking Light)

Saturday – break out the barby

balsamic roasted carrots (Gourmet)
micro greens, blue cheese & balsamic  (Colin Cowie, Effortless Elegance)
grilled steak – your style!

Sunday – parsnip pancakes?!?

parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
roast chicken

Monday – the frittata is your friend

potato leek frittata (Martha Stewart)

Tuesday – king cake & kale

red beans and rice (+ kale) (Rosso & Lukins, The New Basics)
cajun chicken sausage links

Wednesday – nutty, chewy, sweet weeknight risotto

butternut barley risotto (Ivy Manning, The Oregonian)
baguette

Thursday – a very veggie love-fest

mushroom and herb spaghetti (A Food Centric Life)
garlic bread (Gourmet)
heart-shaped carrot cake (Cook’s Illustrated The New Best Recipe)

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Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

roasted golden beet and leek pizza (Cooking Light)

Super fun, super interactive, super delicious way to use those veggies –Pizza Night!  Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making.  This week, be brave – try beets on your pizza!  I originally picked up this recipe at the Portland Farmers Market.  Dubious at first, after one trial I was sold – the sprinkle of salt and drizzle of honey on the finished pizza creates an extra special touch.  Double this recipe for two pizzas.  I’ll stick with the feta recommendation, and add caramelized leeks instead of shallots.  With the beets pre-roasted, the rest of pizza night is a snap to put together, especially with a kitchen full of helpers!  And try this:  put any leftover beets, (after using some thinly sliced on the pizzas) cut into large chunks, onto a platter with your favorite dip.  Guaranteed they’ll disappear before your eyes.

Saturday – break out the barby

balsamic roasted carrots (Gourmet)
micro greens, blue cheese & balsamic (Colin Cowie, Effortless Elegance)
grilled steak – your style!

The addition of a good balsamic vinegar over these roasted carrots make them extra yummy and perfect for a steak accompaniment.  I’m also going to use my succulent and delicate micro greens as the base for a salad in which the blue cheese was just meant for steak night!  My son says the greens eaten this way are a little too much like eating grass; if you concur, mix them with your favorite salad green  – romaine, spinach, butter lettuce, whatever.  Country Natural top sirloin is featured at New Seasons this week.  Hope for no rain, and throw them on the barby!

Sunday – parsnip pancakes?!?

parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
roast chicken

I found it!  The recipe that has inspired me to break out the new mammoth Magimix food processor my husband gave me for Christmas.  Truth be told, I’ve been afraid of it.  Attachments and parts and pieces that you wouldn’t believe, not to mention how to actually maneuver this 30 pound behemoth out of the cupboard! But the moment has come, and I know this machine will become my new best friend.  And maybe live on the countertop.  These latkes look amazing, and reading through the recipe, I don’t think very difficult at all.  A family-friendly weekend event, I’m going to call it!  Add a New Seasons roast chicken, or whatever made-by-someone else side sounds good with these fancied up potato pancakes.

Monday – the frittata is your friend

potato leek frittata (Martha Stewart)

If you belong to a CSA, the frittata is probably already your friend.  It is so versatile – breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and is delicious with pretty much any veggie you can imagine.  This simple one here will be perfect for our northwest potatoes, and I’ve modified it to include the season’s abundant leeks.  I think you could skip the potato pre-cooking (and thus another dirty dish!), if you thinly slice and just cook them longer (and give them a flip)  in the frittata pan.  I’ll make it for dinner, and I’m sure it will be very hearty.  But if you’re inclined, add a little bacon, prosciutto, or sausage.  With some luck, any leftover will be ready for the breakfast table in the morning!

Tuesday – king cake & kale

red beans and rice (+ kale) (Rosso & Lukins, The New Basics)
cajun chicken sausage links

Yes, I know, I bastardize everything with my veggies!  I can’t help it – this red beans and rice dish is a favorite, and I just know the kale addition will be a delicious way to get a little taste of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. (If you’re a purist, just make a quick side of sauteed kale – works the same as the chard in this Bon Appetit recipe.)  I prepare it a little differently than the recipe suggests. king_cake_beads_and_babyI would sauté the onion (I’ll use leeks), garlic and bacon together in a little olive oil first, then add a head of chopped kale just until it softens a bit.  Proceed with the rest of the recipe, adding the liquids, bringing to a boil, and baking.  The quick version would be to use canned beans (2 cans) and just simmer on the stovetop until the flavors meld and it is the consistency you want.  Add a side of browned cajun chicken sausage links (on special at New Seasons this week) and famous New Orleans Abita beer, break out the beads, and we’ve got a Mardi Gras party!  For an extra special ending, pick up a King Cake at any local bakery.

Wednesday – nutty, chewy, sweet weeknight risotto

butternut barley risotto (Ivy Manning, The Oregonian)
baguette

Risotto becomes a healthy weeknight meal with two little tweaks.  One:  use pearl barley, that is not only nutritionally packed but also delicious.  Two:  like beets, roast the squash ahead of time – any time you might just be hanging around doing something else for an hour (not even!).  And, of course, I’ll use whatever winter squash I have.  I always cut the squash in half, seed it, and stick it in the oven face side down until I think it’s tender enough to cut into big slices, peel with a knife, and chop into chunks.  Then continue roasting or cooking as the recipe suggests.  In this particular dish, you could have the squash completely ready ahead of time to throw in the pot near the end. If you do this, just saute the garlic and sage with the onion.  An amazingly rich and fabulous anytime dinner, made extra special with the addition of an HRO warm baguette.

Thursday – a very veggie love-fest

mushroom and herb spaghetti (A Food Centric Life)
garlic bread (Gourmet)
heart-shaped carrot cake (Cook’s Illustrated The New Best Recipe)

Valentine’s Day is a family affair in my house.  We’ve all eaten 100 conversation hearts (and other unmentionables) by dinner time, but still look forward to celebrating the day about love, hearts, sweets, and all things red and pink!  I have a simple formula:  anything red followed by anything heart-shaped!  With those beautiful crimini mushrooms, I’ll make what seems to be a pretty traditional red pasta sauce.  Because I STILL have celeriac, I’ll use this in place of the celery, and probably cut back on the parsley to about a half a cup.  I’ll fancy up my HRO baguette by making this garlic bread.  And follow it all up with the most delicious carrot cake ever, shaped like a heart!  (A heart pan is just one of those things one must own.)  Any extra batter can be thrown into a muffin pan – call it breakfast!  Because this cake is chock-full of carrots, I say we’ve redeemed ourselves from any chocolate overload that just may have occurred…

“What the Kale?!?”

Don’t panic and get out the compost bin if all of the sudden you have a giant veggie delivery coming your way, and you still have a fridge full.  Here are a few suggestions for preserving the bounty!  (Soups and stews freeze wonderfully in those gallon zip lock freezer bags.

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One response to “february 8 weekly menu | winter table”

  1. Sandy says :

    Can you cook the squash ahead of time and then freeze it?

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