february 21 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, kale, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, squash

What’s for Dinner?

Well, three kinds of mushrooms, for a start! I’ve got criminis, shitakes, and portobellos. No better time like the present to load up on the mushrooms so plentiful in the northwest this time of year. My dinner table will feature criminis on homemade pizza, portebellos as the base of a Wildwood Restaurant inspired entrée, and a choose-as-you-please mixture in a creamy Hungarian mushroom soup. Throw in two Mexican meals (hooray for National Margarita Day!), a final Russian feast, and a very-veggie “wrap up” at week’s end.

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto pizza (Martha Stewart)

Saturday – national margarita day!

fish tacos with chipotle cream (Ellie Krieger, Food Network)
blood orange margaritas (Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen)

Sunday  – farewell to Sochi

vinegret salad (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, Anya Von Bremzen)
kotleti (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, Anya Von Bremzen)
rye bread

apple charlotte (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, Anya Von Bremzen)

Monday – cream of mushroom soup

hungarian mushroom soup (Mollie Katzen, The Moosewood Cookbook)
baguette

Tuesday – hats off to wildwood

roasted portobellos with polenta & greens (Wildwood, Cory Schreiber)
apple crisp (Michelle Vernier, Wildwood)

Wednesday – mexican, take 2

squash with chili lime vinaigrette (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)
crispy, cheesy quesadillas (theKitchn)

Thursday – it’s a wrap

shelly’s wrap (Elephant’s Deli)
potato chips


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Friday – 

leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto pizza (Martha Stewart)

Post-Olympics opening ceremony, post-Valentine’s Day, back to good-old-fashioned Friday Pizza Night! It’s a delicious way to use those veggies in a fun, interactive, end-of-the-week kind of way! Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza makIMG_1084ing in your own kitchen. The Martha recipe is included only as a guide for the leek and mushroom preparation. I’ll double the quantities, knowing that I’m making at least two pizzas. I make my own dough, only because it is so darned easy and inexpensive! But by all means, pick up some pre-made at your local market or pizza joint. Experiment with the cheeses – mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, chevre – they all sound amazing. You can have all of the toppings ready in an assembly line for do-it-youself fun!

Saturday – national margarita day!

fish tacos with chipotle cream (Ellie Krieger, Food Network)
blood orange margaritas (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

Everyone loves taco night, and it’s extra special when it’s fish taco night! Tilapia has a mild, sweet flavor that is a smart, sustainable substitute for snapper. (And is featured this week at New Seasons.) After a simple lime marinade, I’ll cook the fish in my grill pan on the stovetop. Then the fun part…the toppings bar! The chipotle cream will just be chopped chipotles, a little lime juice & salt, and either sour cream or plain yogurt (forget the straining step!). Get the family involved by having them shout out their favorite toppings. Around here, it will be a couple types of salsa, some chopped leeks, and black olives (not the fancy kind – seems the retro, wear-on-your-fingers version makes an appearance at nearly all of our topping bars!). I’ll skip the corn and cabbage and use what I’ve got – some wonderfully deep green kale, roughly chopped and sauteed simply in some olive oil, garlic, and salt. And I couldn’t resist this margarita recipe, considering blood oranges are still in winter abundance. How lucky this year, that national margarita day falls on a weekend!

Sunday – farewell to Sochi

vinegret salad (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, Anya Von Bremzen)
kotleti (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, Anya Von Bremzen)
rye bread

apple charlotte (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, Anya Von Bremzen)

I stumbled upon this chef and cookbook author on a Good Food podcast – everyone’s squeezing in the last bit of Russian anything before the Olympics come to another close. Anyone confident enough to name their book Mastering the Art of any cooking, other than French, I needed to explore. It must indeed be the bible of soviet cuisine. During these Sochi Olympics, I did indeed read and hear lots about this “vinegret” Russian salad. It seems part American chop-chop style (chop everything but the kitchen sink in very small bits, toss it in a salad) and part kind of traditional potato salad, plus beets, carrots and canned peas! Sign me up, as I’ve got all of these veggies, minus the canned peas. No matter how tempted you might be to use frozen, don’t – the canned variety are apparently the secret ingredient. After exploring what else her book offered, I was struck by these kotleti – kind of a Russian hamburger patty, it seems. Seems they’re the peasant food of the past, with Anya offering up her mother’s version. But they’ve sure got staying power – lots of more modernized, upscale variations out there, even using ground turkey, chicken, or fish. The only variation I’ll make on her recipe is to use a finely chopped leek, instead of the grated onion. I won’t miss this opportunity to have a dense and dark rye bread at the table, with some tasty mustard nearby too! Given that we started the Olympics with The Smitten Kitchen’s apple sharlotka for dessert, it’s fitting that we’ll end with a dessert taste test of the same basic apple cake. Actually, part cake, part pie, part pancake. Call it what you want – it was fabulous! This batter closely resembles my weekend “dutch baby” recipe – those pancakes that puff up wildly in the oven. Anya creates a layering of batter, apples and berries (I’ve got plenty of frozen on hand!), resulting in a rustic, homey dessert anyone would be delighted to share in. I love that she officially named it “Guest at the Doorstep Apple Berry Charlotte”…drop-ins welcome!

Monday –  cream of mushroom soup

hungarian mushroom soup (Mollie Katzen, The Moosewood Cookbook)
baguette

I’m sure many of you may have eaten this soup at the New Seasons deli – it’s one of their very popular standards. It’s a far cry from the molded-into-a-can-shape soup that I remember “cooking” as a child. This modern version is wonderful way to put our mushrooms to use this week. I’ll use a mixture of crimini, shitake, and portabellos – use any type of mushrooms you love. If you’ve got leeks left, use these instead of the onion. As for the paprika, this is considered the national spice of Hungary. Hungarian paprika is made from peppers that are harvested and then sorted, toasted, and blended to create different varieties. All Hungarian paprikas have some degree of rich, sweet red pepper flavor, but they range in pungency and heat. Let your taste buds be your guide. Here are the modifications that New Seasons makes to this Mollie Katzen recipe, if you want it exactly how they prepare it:  double the broth, butter, and mushrooms; add 2 T dill; skip the parsley, soy sauce, and lemon juice. With a warm and soft baguette, the perfect beginning to the work week.

Tuesday – hats off to wildwood

roasted portobellos with polenta & greens (Wildwood, Cory Schreiber)
apple crisp (Oregon Live, Wildwood)

When we moved to Oregon nearly twelve years ago, the very first welcome gift we received was Cory Schreiber’s gorgeous cookbook. Little did we know, at that time, of the vast influence of Schreiber and his beloved Wildwood Restaurant. He was a James Beard Award recipient for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest; the restaurant he created thrived for twenty
9781580081429_p0_v1_s260x420years. Sadly, it will close next week. Schreiber recognized early on what it meant to be in the heart of such a vast network of natural culinary resources. His cookbook, and his restaurant, evoke such a powerful sense of place. We took every visitor there, as a perfect spot to show off our local food scene. It also became a trusted neighborhood go-to: casual dining, at the chef’s counter, watching the intricate kitchen action; in a beautiful and formal dining room booth, perfect for special occasions and celebrations; or in the friendly bar area, enjoying pizza, pasta, & burgers with the family. The signature Oven-Roasted Mussels (or clams) with Saffron, Tomato, Garlic, & Grilled Bread will live on in our kitchen for years. For dinner this week, though, I knew I could flip through his book, and make something from my box come alive. Oven roasted portobellos, on a soft bed of polenta topped with sautéd greens? A winner, for sure. And although I could not find the “recipe” online, per se, I did find this post by 101 Cookbooks. Her walk-through is really enough to give you the essentials. I’m skipping the time consuming mushroom stock. For no other reason than to make it a weekday, “one pot” meal, I’ll saute my greens first. The recipe calls for spinach; I’ll use chopped kale, cooking it in just a small amount of butter and salt and pepper. Set the cooked greens aside, and cook polenta  in this same pan according to any package directions – a richer, creamier version results if you use half water and half milk for the liquid. I’ll use a cup of polenta to serve four. The mushrooms are a breeze in the oven, simply brushed with an olive oil & balsamic mixture, sprinkled with salt & pepper. Assemble it all together in a wide bowl, sprinkling with cheese at the end. Because we’re celebrating all that Wildwood brought us, we’ll end with a quintessential northwest inspired dessert –  classic apple crisp, recipe compliments of the restaurant’s sensational pastry chef, and apples straight from the orchards of the Hood River Valley.

Wednesday – mexican, take 2

squash with chili lime vinaigrette (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)
crispy, cheesy quesadillas (theKitchn)

Mexican, take two this week. Honestly, I’ll have something like half a bundle of cilantro in my fridge, and plan a meal around it. The challenge is figuring out what veggies might fit in where. Squash maybe doesn’t come immediately to mind, but this is a wonderfully simple and tasty way to incorporate it into a Mexican meal. Wedges of winter squash (any kind) are roasted and drizzled with a zesty cilantro-lime vinaigrette. While the squash is roasting, whip up some crispy quesadillas, stuffed with your favorite cheese, canned beans, and any other tasty fillings that come to mind.

Thursday – it’s a wrap

shelly’s wrap (Elephant’s Deli)
potato chips

Watch out…this veggie wrap from Elephant’s Deli is addictive! I’ve lost all inspiration to try anything new at Elephant’s. Shelly’s wrap is a less of a recipe, and more of an inspiration to fill a big tortilla with chopped veggies, fruits, and nuts of your choice. I think it’s an ideal Thursday night option, at least in my house, when dinners are often a hodge-podge of veggies, desperately trying to clear out the fridge before the Friday CSA delivery. These wraps lend themselves perfectly to that frenzy. I think chopped kale, hazelnuts, apples, and grapes are key ingredients, with the fruit pieces adding just the right sweetness. Instead of Elephant’s formula of broccoli, carrots, sugar peas and cabbage, I’ll do bits and pieces of whatever I’ve got left. Likely candidates are pre-roasted beets and squash (snatched aside just after cooking for one of the above meals), with an outside possibility of some chopped mushrooms. Any of my week’s contenders would add fabulous flavor and texture. Whatever veggies you choose, buy some of those giant spinach tortillas, watch a YouTube instructional on how to wrap the perfect wrap, and go for it! Make sure that all of your veggies & fruit are chopped very small. You could even create a fillings bar with all of the various veggies, letting each person make their own perfect combination. With a friendly phone call, you can order the yummy Stackhouse dressing that Elephant’s uses (any leftover is a welcome sandwich spread for the coming week). Or make your own version… ingredients are mustard, tamari, agave, tahini, cider vinegar and oil. With all of that healthy veggie goodness, what better side than a bag of Kettle Chips!

“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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