march 15 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots,  collard greens, kale, leeks, micro greens, mushrooms, potatoes

What’s for Dinner?

Not one but two luck-‘o-the-Irish inspired meals!  St. Paddy’s Day is just too fun to limit us – green beer, shamrock cookies, potatoes every which way…I love it all.  Our local, picked-at-their-peak veggies from  Hood River Organic inspire us to put it all together.  And, finally, we’ll welcome the first day of spring on Wednesday March 20th – yeah!!!  Check out the Portland Farmers Market Blog for all of the fun and festivities that will mark the occasion at Saturday’s first market of the season.  Go early, get a steaming cup of coffee, sample some delicious fresh-baked pastries and other hearty breakfast options, chat with our local farmers and see their gorgeous goods, enjoy the music, meet the mayor…soon enough, it’ll be time for lunch. Options abound!

Friday – shitake pizza, TV trays, movie

shitake mushroom pizza (Martha Stewart)

Saturday – rich & creamy collards

barley risotto with beans & greens (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
baguette

Sunday –  stout 2 ways + corned beef & cabbage 

corned beef & cabbage (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
Irish soda bread
Guiness stout
chocolate stout cake (Bon Appetit)

Monday –  super simple stew

canellini stew with sausage and kale (Cooking Light)
cheese toasts

Tuesday –  chop sticks & shitakes 

fried rice with shitakes (Wilson Eng, The New York Cabbie Cookbook)
egg rolls

Wednesday – spring cleansing (minus the crazy)

raw beet & sprout salad (Debra Meadow, PFM Blog)
bacon & parmesan frittata (Food and Wine)

Thursday – because it was so fun…

twice-baked Irish potatoes with stout onions & kale (Ivy Manning, The Farm to Table Cookbook)
Guiness stout

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Friday – shitake pizza, TV trays, movie

shitake mushroom pizza (Martha Stewart)

IMG_1084

Super fun, interactive, and delicious way to use those veggies –Pizza Night!  Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making. Friday is the perfect night for this, not only as an end-of-the-week celebration, but because I can literally pick and choose veggies off my table to top the pizzas!  There are just endless combinations, even in the depth of winter.  This week we’ll have this sauceless shitake pizza – the combination of ricotta, mozzarella and thyme will provide the perfect base (and olive oil is just fine, rather than grapeseed.)  As my friday night usually includes two or three pizzas, let the non-mushroom-lovers go crazy on the other(s).

Other recent winter pizza creations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
potato and rosemary 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
kale, sundried tomato, & feta
caramelized leek, mushroom and Italian sausage pizza 
portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper pizza

Saturday –  rich & creamy collards

barley risotto with beans & greens (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
baguette

Risotto gets a bad rap as being super labor-intensive.  With your minimal ingredients chopped and ready to roll, it’s really no longer than any other dinner.  You just need to be around for the add broth, stir, add broth, stir repetitions – generally for around a half an hour – well worth it!  Forget the home-cooked beans – I’ll use canned white.  I saw that one commenter used collard greens instead of the called for escarole, so of course, that’s what I’ll try.  She had a brilliant suggestion of putting the chopped collards in with the simmering broth, and then adding them to the risotto at the end.  That gives them a good chance to cook and lose a touch of their bitterness, making them a perfect complement to the earthy barley, thyme, and leeks (which I’ll use instead of onions).  Add a warm, buttered HRO baguette, what could be better?

Sunday – stout 2 ways + corned beef & cabbage 

corned beef & cabbage (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
Irish soda bread
Guinness stout
chocolate stout cake (Bon Appetit)

Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day pass you by without the delicious satisfaction of making your own corned beef & cabbage.  An easy one pot Irish wonder!  And the traditional “boiled dinner” really need not ho hum and mushy.  I like this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated  – you choose veggies you like best and throw them in the pot based on their cooking time.  And I really simplify it – I skip the self-brining process, and just buy a ready-to-roll corned beef brisket from New Seasons.  That’s it – the beef brisket, and whatever veggies strike your fancy.  I’ll use all of my potatoes, carrots, and leeks from HRO, and splurge on a purchased head of cabbage because it sticks together in those nice, perfect wedges.  My leeks will replace onions – I’ll slice them lengthwise in half, and add them with the cabbage so they cook so they’re just tender, but not mushy.  One essential tip:  cover the meat with 24 oz of stout beer (and water if needed) – it brings a wonderfully Irish flavor.  If you’re going to be out and about, I’ve also done this in the oven, basically covered, low and slow.  A 325 oven, starting to add the veggies at around 3 hours.  Serve with grainy mustard, horseradish, or this delicious horseradish cream sauce.  Add some traditional Irish soda bread from the New Seasons bakery, and pass the Guinness! (Don’t forget the amazingly simple possibility of reuben sandwiches the rest of the week too!)  For me, the day is also a perfect opportunity to try this chocolate stout cake recipe – I’ll bake it in a bundt cake pan and skip the frosting.  A treat that will serve the lunch boxes well throughout the week!  If you have a sweet tooth but want to skip the cooking, the Irish Coffee Mousse featured at New Seasons this week looks decadent!  I think might have to pre-func with that and a cup of deep dark coffee on Saturday.

Monday – super simple stew

canellini stew with sausage and kale (Cooking Light)
cheese toasts

This is a super simple weeknight stew recipe.  I always use an entire head of chopped kale (or whatever green I have – could use the collards this week) and add a can of chopped tomatoes.  If you’re using sausage, have fun exploring the many gourmet flavors of chicken or turkey sausages.  Don’t be shy in doubling the oil, garlic and other seasonings – I think all of the bulk in this stew justifies it.  Just add broth (I skip the water) until it looks to be a good stewy consistency.  Use whatever cheese strikes your fancy for the cheese toasts – these are the key to making the entire meal a success at my house!  Tillamook extra sharp cheddar seems to go with everything!

Tuesday – chop sticks & shitakes

fried rice with shitakes (Wilson Eng, The New York Cabbie Cookbook)
egg rolls

In case you missed pizza night, here’s some Asian inspiration for those shitakes.  Fried rice is a great way to use up that rice that seems to just sit in those cute little take-out box containers forever. Or, make the rice, but make it ahead of time so it can chill, as fried rice just doesn’t work with warm rice.   I love my giant rice cooker – rice, water, press the button, that’s it.  You could use a little chopped leeks instead of scallions.  I’ll skip the meat and add the wonderfully rich shitake mushrooms instead.  Add some made-by-someone else egg rolls, and we’re in business for a knock-out weeknight Chinese dinner!

Wednesday –  spring cleansing (minus the crazy)

raw beet & sprout salad (Debra Meadow, PFM Blog)
bacon & parmesan frittata (Food and Wine)

Welcome, Spring!  I’m going to celebrate by bringing out the Magimix, again!  Let your food processor do all of the beet work for you this week – looks like you just shred them, peel and all, for this raw, cleansing salad.  I’ll double the recipe (using a combination of whatever beets I get), all of my micro greens, and adding a crumbling of chevre or blue cheese.  To go with this, a very simple frittata – they are a true weeknight wonder.  Healthy, delicious, and versatile.  A little oil or butter, eggs, and whatever combination of meats, veggies and cheeses you can dream up.  Since we have (more than) our fair share of veggies in the raw salad, I’ll modify this Food and Wine recipe to be simply bacon and cheese (you can bet I’ll be back to it when I get that first delivery of cauliflower…).

Thursday – because it was so fun…

twice-baked Irish potatoes with stout onions & kale (Ivy Manning, The Farm to Table Cookbook)
Guiness stout

I hate to leave St. Patrick’s Day for another entire year.  Because there’s Irish-style stout in the house, I think I’d better use it in these very intriguing sounding stuffed potatoes.  If I have leeks left, I’ll use those instead of onions, or do a combo. Browning these in stout?!?  YUM, and so worth the time it will take (um, just have a stout while you stir occasionally.)  Either pre-bake the russets another time, or put them in the oven while you brown onions & leeks.  All that’s left is the mashing of the potatoes, combining it all, and doing the “twice baked” part until the cheese (Irish cheddar?) is melty and delicious.  I can’t imagine anyone not loving this!

“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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