December 12 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

beets, cabbage, carrots, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, turnips

What’s for Dinner?

Oh, I loved hearing that doorbell on Friday, just knowing it was not a person I’d be greeting, but rather a box. My Hood River Organic box, filled to the brim with veggies from the Hood River area, as well as bunches of the cutest little apples and pears you’ve ever seen. No matter that the anticipated collard greens, kale, romanesco, & delicatas were MIA, due to the recent cold snap. It was more than made up for with other goodies. Goodies that’ll be put to great use in banh mis, galettes, & gratins. That’s just fancy speak for sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles – come join the fun!

Friday – TV trays, christmas movie, & pizza (kind of)

butternut squash and caramelized onion galette (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Saturday – next-best-thing-to-santa fest

chicory salad with persimmons & pomegranates (Fancy Food Fancy)
potato gratin (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables)
grilled rib-eyes (Oprah)

cornflake wreaths (Food.com)
candy cane cookies (Betty Crocker)
fantasy fudge (Kraft)

ruby jewel holiday special

Sunday  – fougasse…say what?

fougasse (Tabor Bread)
beef barley soup (Martha Stewart)

Monday – jump start the week

spicy cabbage and chorizo soup (Saveur)
hearty country bread

Tuesday – the 10 minute meal

crispy black bean tacos with feta & cabbage slaw (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Wednesday –  beets & citrus, a winter classic

beet and avocado salad (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse)
roasted chicken
baguette

Thursday – sammie night

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
pickled turnips & carrots (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 6 2012)


__________________________________________________

Friday –  TV trays, christmas movie, & pizza

butternut squash and caramelized onion galette (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

IMG_1084

I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this galette for some time. And here it is. Christmas movie night, week two, and a lone freshly delivered butternut squash. I need to give this pastry dough a shot, but by all means, just pick up a pre-made version at your local market. Just about anything can grace the insides – sweet, savory, & everything in between. And the crust is so darned forgiving. None of this fancy fluting or lattice work. You basically just spread your chosen filling on the inside, then fold over (in any quick, messy way) the dough edges. We’ve got caramelized onions (could use leeks) and the squash itself for the sweet, a pinch of spicy with the cayenne, and some amazing savory with the fontina cheese and sage leaves. Maybe the food will take my mind off the horrific Gremlins movie that my son swears is “Christmassy”.

Other pizza combinations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper
shitake mushroom
leek, sundried tomato, and goat cheese
caramelized leek, mushroom and Italian sausage pizza
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 
pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and rosemary
dandelion greens, Italian sausage, and fontina cheese pizza
spinach and chive pizza
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
shaved asparagus & parmesan pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
fresh ricotta and red onion pizza
sweet onion pizza
pizza with grilled fennel and parmesan
eggplant & tomato pizza
caramelized onion, kale, & corn flatbread
classic margherita pizza
caramelized fennel, onion, and sweet pepper pizza 
pizza with red and yellow peppers
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
ricotta and gremolata pizza
parsley pesto & potato pizza 
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta
roasted acorn squash & gorgonzola pizza 
winter squash pizza 

Saturday – next-best-thing-to-santa fest

chicory salad with persimmons & pomegranates (Fancy Food Fancy)
potato gratin (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables)
grilled rib-eyes (Oprah)

cornflake wreaths (Food.com)
candy cane cookies (Betty Crocker)
fantasy fudge (Kraft)

ruby jewel holiday special

As has been the case for the last many, many years, Grandma is in town for our pre-Christmas celebration. Lucky for me, this visit also includes Grandma putting on her elf hat for several of these frenzied holiday days. She does what elves do…help decorate the house, shop for last minute gifts, wrap packages, assemble cards, bake cookies. (This is a special kind of personal elf who also does laundry, dishes, childcare, and kitty cuddling – everyone should be so lucky!) Saturday is our annual gift exchange and dinner – we really kind of pretend it’s Christmas. She brings stockings for all, and gifts way beyond the one-gift-per-person limit. I make a holiday-ish dinner. Tonight, instead of a more traditional prime rib roast or the like, in the spirit of keeping everything just a bit simpler and saner, I’m going to let my veggies shine, and add grilled steaks. That seems pretty special, considering the outdoor BBQ seems to have all but disappeared in these months of wintry weather. With the freezing of the greens I was supposed to get, I’m sure glad I had an extra head of chicory hanging out! I love to make a festive, wintery salad with these holiday meals. With the addition of sliced persimmons and pomegranate seeds, a sprinkling of blue cheese, and a citrusy dressing, this fits the bill. And talk about a dish that makes any meal a special occasion…potato gratin. Alice Waters boils it down to the essentials – potatoes & seasonings, plus milk & cheese to render it all creamy and decadent. She even lightens it up just a tad, by using half chicken broth as the liquid. And choosing grilled rib-eyes allows me to whip up a sort of wet rub that comes together in less than five minutes, slather the steaks in it, and not give the “main course” another thought until I delegate the grilling to someone more qualified than me. For dessert, a return to some retro favorites, that also (embarrassingly?) happen to hold a special place in our holiday baking line-up. Marshmallow creme (Jet-Puffed!), giant marshmallows, food coloring…can you imagine a more un-natural and un-foodie-PC list of essential ingredients?!? Be that as it may, Christmas just isn’t the same without these goodies; plenty of motivation to balance it all out at some point with some fancy smoked salt, dried apricot, and almond chocolate bark or roasted OR hazelnut toffee. Tonight we’ll also showcase a couple of Ruby Jewel seasonal ice cream specials…quince creme brulee, chocolate orange marzipan, ice gingerbread cookie, cranberry ginger? Whatever we choose, all that these ice creams offer in terms of artisan, local, sustainable, organic, etc. is sure to at least (very) partially redeem my homage to the classics.

Sunday – fougasse…say what?

fougasse (Tabor Bread)
beef barley soup (Martha Stewart)

How lucky I am to have friends all over the city, always sharing little foodie tidbits with me. Not only did I learn the name of a friend’s beloved neighborhood bakery, I also got a step-by-step to create a perfectly warming and delicious winter meal. Tabor Bread on SE Hawthorne is currently making fougasse, a sort of French flatbread. In their rendition, it is baked with leeks and feta, in a flattened leaf shape. It is served with olive oil and pickled seasonal veggies, which they include even when you get it to go. I’m headed out there to try it for myself, and undoubtedly bring some home for dinner. Served alongside (and as a dipper for) homemade beef barley soup, this combo looks to be a sure-fire crowd pleaser. I selected a soup recipe that included lots of additional veggies – carrots, parsnips, winter squash, and onions (I’ll use leeks). Plus some freshly foraged local mushrooms! This sunday supper is highly qualified  – could be the perfect dinner for one, two, or the whole family. Add a sparkling drink of sorts, plus a holiday dessert, and it’s a special occasion meal fit for even the most discerning company.

Monday –  jump start the week

spicy cabbage and chorizo soup (Saveur)
hearty country bread

This is what happens when you belong to a CSA. You, along with the farmer, ride the ups and downs of the weather. I had a nice little farm forecast telling me I’d be getting kale. With the cold weather we’ve been having, I was getting excited to make caldo verde, a traditional Portugese “green broth” soup; the green is usually kale. Well, it ends up that it was cold enough to crave the caldo verde, but too cold for the kale! So, we improvise –  caldo verde with cabbage it is. A one-pot dish, using a head of my cute little mini cabbages, some of my potatoes, and to kick things up a notch, some chorizo and red pepper flakes. Add some hearty bread for soaking up the delicious broth, and I’d say we’ve jump-started the week.

Tuesday – the 10 minute meal

crispy black bean tacos with feta & cabbage slaw (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Who doesn’t look twice when you see a photo of a fabulous looking Mexican-inspired meal, along with a 10 minute preparation claim? And when one of the key ingredients is one from my box…sign me up! You can even afford to take a few extra minutes to spiff up the recipe in a way I’m sure would be worth it. For me, I’ll saute some garlic and onion along with the cumin, before adding the can of beans to meld flavors and mash. This step alone I believe will take it beyond the kids’ lunch quesadilla to a more grown up & tasty rendition. And I do think all that’s needed to take it to even another level is the addition of a farm fresh cabbage slaw (instead of from the bag). Even with just the called for EVOO, lime juice, green onions, & cilantro, the ultra crunchy and flavorful cabbage will be the magic that’ll make the meal. Add fresh guacamole, a salsa sampling, and you’re surely still within that weeknight 30-minute limit we all love.

Wednesday – beets & citrus, a winter classic

beet and avocado salad (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse)
roasted chicken
baguette

Critical weeknight beet tip:  roast them ahead of time. Any time. But don’t wait until the often frenetic dinner hour – you’ll very likely skip ’em. Believe me, I speak from some experience of beets straight to the compost bin! BUT, if you take an hour to roast the beets while you’re home doing something else (addressing holiday cards!), you’re set for whatever you might want to do with them. (Quickly peel and slice after they’ve cooled.)  I don’t put anything on the beets while roasting – just wrap tightly in foil, and cook. This Alice Waters beet and avocado salad is a cinch, with the beets ready to roll. Simplify the dressing as much as you want – often my beet salads are just dressed with olive oil and vinegar (any kind). But citrus with beets is amazing, and a winter classic, so I’ll probably take the extra minute for the zest. I’ll use all of my beets, and just one avocado. Put this one in the back pocket for Christmas Eve or Christmas – the look is perfect! Tonight though, it’ll be a made-by-someone-else roasted chicken and a baguette that’ll put the finishing touches on this mid-week meal.

Thursday – sammie night

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
pickled turnips & carrots (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 6 2012)

If you’re unfamiliar with banh mi, it’s a specific type of vietnamese sandwich made on a baguette. This strange sounding combination developed when the French colonized Vietnam, thus introducing the baguette. Now they’re a mainstay, available at restaurants and street vendors everywhere. Ingredients vary, but typically include some type of meat, chili peppers, pickled veggies, and a sauce or spread ranging from mild to spicy. This recipe shows pickling of carrot & radish matchsticks. I think I’ll do my own “pickling” (don’t be afraid – it’s basically soaking sliced veggies in salt/sugar/ vinegar water) using the SIO recipe, if only because it allows for more volume. I’ve got several turnips and lots of carrots – I’ll just slice them thinly (forget the labor intensive matchsticks!) and toss in a large bowl to soak in the pickling solution until I’m ready to serve them. To assemble the sandwiches, it’s just sliced, toasted baguettes, roasted chicken (leftover from last night), the sriracha (chili garlic sauce) mayo spread, and your pickled veggies. I’ll skip the cucumbers, but not the must-have cilantro – makes Vietnamese and Thai dishes out of this world.

“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.)

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Urban Farm Table

using your local bounty every day

Epicurious.com: New Recipes

using your local bounty every day

101 Cookbooks

using your local bounty every day

Cook With What You Have

Classes and resources for healthy, delicious, and quick meals

Sauvie Island Organics Farm Blog

using your local bounty every day

using your local bounty every day

Simply Recipes

using your local bounty every day

America's Test Kitchen

using your local bounty every day

smitten kitchen

Fearless cooking from a tiny NYC kitchen.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: