february 15 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, celeriac, kale, leeks, micro greens, mustard greens, mushrooms, potatoes

What’s for Dinner?

Winter bounty, with a new color of green!  Look at those vibrant, nearly chartreuse mustard greens…a wonderfully peppery leafy green, related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens.  Often used in Asian dishes, this unexpected February sunshine pushed me in a fresh salad direction instead.  And the old winter root veggie stand-bys are still coming.  There’s nothing boring about that!  I’m not having any trouble finding fresh and exciting ways to use them – these aren’t your grandma’s root vegetable dishes.  So, whether you have a table like mine, with toppling veggies from a CSA delivery (thank you Hood River Organic!), or you’re looking for a reason to go check out the amazing winter Portland Farmers Marketsee what piques your interest below, and have fun dishing up the local bounty!  

Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza (Annie’s Eats)

Saturday – birthday boy baby back ribs

kale  salad with pine nuts & parmesan (Bon Appetit)
classic macaroni and cheese (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
take-out BBQ ribs
chocolate sheet cake (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)

Sunday – post-skiing slow cooker soup

slow cooked (cheesey) carrot potato soup (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
baguette

Monday –  a presidential favorite

turkey chili with kale (theKitchn)
jalapeno cheddar cornbread (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa at Home)

Tuesday –  ugly, hairy, knobby?  not this puree

potato and celery root puree (Bon Appetit)
mixed baby greens with basic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, The NYT)
grilled new york steak

Wednesday – mid-week market salad

farmers market salad with aged gouda and roasted portabellas (Gourmet)
toasted cheesey bread

Thursday – beets & blood oranges

beet and blood orange salad with mint (Food & Wine)
chicken kebabs with red onion and mint (Bon Appetit)
baguette

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Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza (Annie’s Eats)

Super fun, super interactive, super delicious way to use those veggies –Pizza Night!  IMG_1084Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making.  We have some kale to spare this week, so I’ll build the pizza toppings around that. Since we always make two (or even three!) pizzas, I’ll double the topping requirements here.   This recipe calls for roasted tomatoes, which I’m sure are incredible, but given that it’s February in Portland, I’ll use some good sun dried ones instead.  (Nothing will taste better than when I try this combination again in August, using tomatoes from my own backyard!)  This is a “no sauce” pizza; the garlic and red pepper infused oil (simple!) provides the base instead.  I think it sounds amazing!  If you have kids that just might not buy into the idea of kale on pizza, throw some pepperoni and olives on the assembly line also – see what happens.  Just maybe they’ll find the pizza prettier with some green.

Saturday – birthday boy baby back ribs 

kale  salad with pine nuts & parmesan (Bon Appetit)
macaroni & cheese (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
take-out BBQ ribs
chocolate sheet cake (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)

My little boy is turning 10!  As he’s informed me, the “double-digit birthday” is a BIG one.  His dinner choice this year is ribs – the juicy, saucy, fatty decadent ones that every ten year old should enjoy to their heart’s content!  I’ll start with the only heart-healthy thing on the menu – the kale salad.  This looks like a good, simple one.  The biggest pointers I can provide related to kale salad are: 1)slice the kale very thinly – it’s chewy anyway, you don’t need the extra effort, and 2)dress the salad a good half hour (or as long as you want, really) before serving to make it more tender.  I’ll skip the soaked currants, and add any dried fruit I have – cranberries or apricots work well.  And I’ll use red balsamic vinegar, not white, as it’s what I’ve got.  I’m consulting Mix Magazine for a guide to the best Portland barbecue take-out – we’re sure to find fantastic ribs at one of these places.  This homemade macaroni & cheese has graced many a kids’ birthday dinner table at our house.  And despite the fact that it’s from Cook’s Illustrated, it really is not the 10-pan, 30-step undertaking that many of their recipes seem to be.  Really, it’s easy!  His final request was a homemade “not dark” chocolate cake.  He likes the cheap, ultra-bad-for-you kind of chocolate.  OK by me.  This cake is out of this world!  The combination of semi-sweet in the cake, and milk in the frosting is just what a home baked sheet cake should taste like.  People have literally chased me down as I’ve tried to depart gatherings with just a few remaining pieces in the dish.  Ten birthday candles instead of one this time, and I’m pretty sure he’ll use a fork.  But you never know.  

Sunday – post skiing slow cooker soup

slow cooked (cheesey) carrot potato soup (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
baguette

I’m going to bet many of you are going to hit the slopes this weekend.  We are!  And what better way to arrive home than with a warm soup already prepared.    This recipe is literally six items (three from my farm!) thrown into a slow cooker in the morning, and like magic, dinner is ready when you walk in the door.  Depending on the size of your gathering, you may consider doubling this recipe.  I’m going to use a few leeks instead of the onion (think creamy potato leek soup + carrots+CHEESE!).  Immersion blend it right in the crock pot, add the cheese, and you’re done.  Except for an essential toppings bar to suit your crowd – crispy bacon pieces, sliced green onions, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, garlic croutons, whatever sounds good!  I’ll warm my HRO baguette for a perfect soft, chewy dipper!  To keep the baguettes from drying out, I cut them in half, wrap in foil, put into a zip loc, and freeze until needed.  Then throw the foil-wrapped bread in a hot oven until it’s soft and warmed through – doesn’t take long.

Monday – a presidential favorite

turkey chili with kale (theKitchn)
jalapeno cheddar cornbread (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa at Home)

On this day that we honor our American presidents, I thought it fitting to read a little about what some of Barack Obama’s favorite foods are.  I learned that he loves take-out from Italian Fiesta Pizzeria in Chicago, he doesn’t like sweets so much (!?!), and one of his favorite meals is chili.  Also, his plate is always packed with local, seasonal, organic veggies, most straight from the White House garden (thanks to Michelle!).  In addition to loving to eat chili, this is also his go-to meal to prepare for others.  Given that winter has not yet left us, chili still fits the bill in my house for a go-to warm and comforting meal.  This turkey chili with kale looks simple enough, and is packed with good stuff!  I’ll throw a leek or two in instead of the onion, and try everything else as is.  And I’m sorry I KEEP posting this cornbread recipe…it really is just the perfect accompaniment for chili, and it’s that good.  Of course, from the package works too.  Now this is a meal I’m just sure the President would approve of!

Tuesday – ugly, hairy, knobby?  not this puree

potato and celery root puree (Bon Appetit)
mixed baby greens with basic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, The NYT)
grilled new york steak

Celeriac gets a bad rap.  It is really unattractive, not to mention an awfully “blah” color.  But when mixed with potatoes in a classic mashed version, it makes the dish extra special.  It’s super easy to deal with – don’t be afraid!  Just trim off the ends, set it on one end, then with a paring knife, peel the skin off in slices.  Chunk up and boil with the potatoes.  I’ll use milk instead of whipping cream, and I’m sure it will still be rich and creamy.  This is perfect to go with a delicious new york steak (featured at New Seasons this week), that you’ll grill your way, either on a the stovetop in a grill pan or outside on the BBQ.  All of my other COLORFUL veggies are accounted for, so if I don’t have a good side veggie leftover option (maybe they’ll be some kale salad left…), I’ll go the bagged organic mixed baby green route.

Wednesday – mid-week market salad

farmers market salad with aged gouda and roasted portabellas (Gourmet)
toasted cheesey bread

Even when it’s not the perfect salad-for-dinner season, I jump at the chance when I see one that looks rich and hearty.  With the spicy mustard greens, meaty portabellas, and caramel-ly gouda, it’s a perfect winter salad.  Maybe add a little thyme on the portabellas while they roast?  I’m going to include a good amount of nuts in this (walnuts, hazelnuts, your choice), and call it a full-meal-deal.  With a side of nutty, dense whole grain cheese toasts, what could be better?  Just slice your favorite hearty whole grain bakery bread (New Seasons has SO many choices, as do bakeries such as Ken’s and Pearl Bakery…), spray each side with olive oil, broil one side until lightly toasted, flip, add cheese, and broil the final side until golden.  A little sprinkling of grated gouda?  Or another favorite cheese?  YUM!  And, a bit of redemption from our baby backs and ny steak.  For those who might miss the meat, add a made-by-someone else roast chicken.

Thursday – beets & blood oranges

beet and blood orange salad with mint (Food & Wine)
chicken kebabs with red onion and mint (Bon Appetit)
baguette

This Middle Eastern inspired beet and blood orange salad sounds incredible.  It jumped out at me after I just sampled and bought many blood oranges from New Seasons the other day.  They are so delicious and beautiful with their deep orange-red color.  This recipe says it serves ten – I’ll probably halve it, and also mix in my HRO micro greens.  Not only will they be a wonderful taste addition, but their texture is so fun too!  (Any micro greens I don’t use here will go straight to lunch time sandwiches.)  And don’t worry if you can’t find sumac – it’ll be great without it.  The accompanying chicken kebabs couldn’t be easier.  Have the butcher cut your chicken into kebab-sized chunks – for a smile, they’re glad to do this.  Throw the chicken in the easy marinade in the morning, then thread the chicken and onions just before cooking (I just chop the mint and scatter on top).  The broiler works just as well as the BBQ.  And how many baguettes can we eat in one week, you say?  Wait until you try one delivered from HRO, freshly baked…many!

“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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2 responses to “february 15 weekly menu | winter table”

  1. Dad Simpson says :

    Nobody eats ribs with a fork, Mom. Hope Michael had a wonderful 10th birthday.

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