january 9 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, cabbage, celeriac, kale, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips

What’s for Dinner?

Plenty, that’s for sure. Yes, indeed, I received (more than!) plenty of veggies in my box this week. Not to mention gorgeous gorge-grown fruit. After pulling Plenty (the renowned 9781452101248_p0_v1_s260x420Yotam Ottolenghi cookbookoff my shelf for some holiday cooking inspiration, I just can’t quit perusing. Talk about a new year of cooking inspiration! Ottolenghi’s Israili roots and cross-cultural influences create this masterpiece of bold and exciting flavors. The photos are vibrant and gorgeous, showing fresh, varied, seasonal veggies elevated to superstar status. I’m kicking off the week, Plenty-style, with a mushroom dish I just couldn’t resist. I’ve also planned a Golden Globes celebration (veggies and bubbly do work well together), a football fest, and several weeknight, veggie-centric meals that can be made in a flash.

Friday – polenta “pizza”, tv trays, & movie

mushroom & herb polenta (Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi)

Saturday – wildwood memories

kale & raw veggie salad with goat cheese dressing (Vitaly Paley, Imperial)
mussels with saffron and tomato (Corey Schreiber, Wildwood)
toasted salty bread

Sunday – golden globes, surf & turf, champagne

champagne

pnw salmon & filet mignon
waldorf salad (Fox News)
sautéed kale (New York Times)

parsnip spice cake (Bon Appetit)

Monday – it’s a ducky day

chips and warm leek & goat cheese dip (Food and Wine)

sloppy joe sliders (Cooking Light)
celery root fries (The Spunky Coconut)

Tuesday – extra healthy weeknight

steamed cod with leeks (Mark Bittman)
red cabbage salad with blue cheese & walnuts (Slate.com)

Wednesday – pasta aplenty

pasta with beets, greens, & pine nuts (Bon Appetit)
roasted chicken

Thursday – sammie night

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
quick-pickled turnips (Andrew Cohen, High Ground Organics)

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Friday – polenta “pizza”, tv trays, & movie

mushroom & herb polenta (Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi)

A break from the tried-and-true traditional pizza. The photo sold me…a big pizza board, nearly covered with an abstract shape of set polenta, smattered with golden sautéed mushrooms and melty teleggio cheese. YUM! I’ll use instant polenta, which cooks in a flash, doubling the recipe to make two “pizzas.”  A quick conversion of his European measurements from the recipe: 4 cups mushrooms, 2.25 cups stock, 1/2 cup polenta, 3 oz. parmesan, 2.5 T butter, and 4 oz. teleggio. I’ll use portabella and shitake mushrooms from my CSA, but use whatever mix of mushrooms you love – ’tis the season! If I don’t have truffle oil, I’ll skip it (although it would be fabulous!), and I’ll add whatever fresh herbs I either have on hand or out my back door. Spread the cooked polenta (before topping) on a pizza stone or cookie sheet, maybe with a sheet of parchment paper underneath just to be safe. Time to get going on all those Golden Globe contenders!

Saturday – wildwood memories

kale & raw veggie salad with goat cheese dressing (Vitaly Paley, Imperial)
mussels with saffron and tomato (Corey Schreiber, Wildwood)
toasted salty bread

This is what happens when you are browsing at New Seasons, and see local mussels on sale this week. We live in this world of absolute abundance from the sea, and yet sometimes it just takes that little reminder. I quickly bought up a few pounds (a pound per person should be more than enough for dinner) and set out to find the old Wildwood recipe for the signature dish all of Portland seemingly knew about and craved. It came as a shared appetizer, and Schreiber roasted it in their gargantuan brick wood-burning oven. I was relieved to read it can be replicated at home, on the stovetop. I’ll use a can of drained, chopped tomatoes instead of fresh. Be sure not to skip the lightly oiled and salted toasty bread for dipping up all those amazing juices! I’ll add this memorable raw kale salad from the Imperial menu in Portland. I use nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo, and instead of using carrot and zucchini, ribbons, I’ll grate a bit of raw beets, celery root, and parsnips. Crunchy, wintery, and wonderful! The salad is brilliant – with kale as the base, it can so easily be seasonally modified to include many farm fresh favorites. Vitaly Paley is not a James Beard outstanding chef semifinalist for nothing!

Sunday – golden globes, surf & turf, champagne

champagne

pnw salmon & filet mignon (Food and WineFood Network)
waldorf salad (Fox News)
sautéed kale (New York Times)

parsnip spice cake (Bon Appetit)

As a movie junkie, the season’s award nights suck me in. No matter if you haven’t seen the movies…who doesn’t want to spend a couple of hours listening to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do what they do best? And the Golden Globes, well, those include dinner! I’m always trying to sneak a peak at their plates, wanting to know just what the Beverly Hilton’s fancy chefs will be dishing up on this on this night of pomp and glam. I’ve located the official menu…not everything from their So. Cal. seasonality matched what I might be able to drum up from my box, but some for sure! Their main dish will be baked arctic char and filet mignon. I’ll use a similar type fish, salmon, from our our nearby waters, as well as some special occasion, locally raised filet mignon. I’ll go super simple with both of these, searing them just in a bit of olive oil butter on the stovetop. They’re starting with a “modern waldorf salad” – I’ve made such a thing before, straight from the menu of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. It’s a natural for me this week, using matchsticks of celery root and apples. Plating it in the fancy way they suggest is certainly unnecessary, but fun! It becomes a “tower” topped with grape halves and candied nuts (mine will be straight from the store). Tossing it all together in a bowl will accomplish the same flavors. Additional Beverly Hills menu items include tomatoes and kale. I’ll go with what my farm delivered to me, doing a simple sauté of kale. Stick the salmon and the filets in a barely warm oven while you do this, using their cast iron pan. Less dishes, more tv time! The Golden Globe attendees will be partaking in some fancy-pants desserts, that do look delectable. I’m going to use this as an opportunity to make this spice cake I’ve been eyeing, ever since the parsnip pile-up started in my fridge! It’s made in a rectangular baking dish, and topped with a gingery, cream cheese frosting. Skip the frosting if you want, and enjoy the cake during the week ahead…a wintery spice cake with your coffee at breakfast, or tucked in the brown bag for a lunch time treat.

Monday – it’s a ducky day

chips and warm leek & goat cheese dip (Food and Wine)

sloppy joe sliders (Cooking Light)
celery root fries (The Spunky Coconut)

We’ll join the masses and root for our local Oregon Ducks in Monday’s National Championship game. This is a bit difficult for a Husky Family to do, in truth! Whatever the result, we’ll make it weeknight festive, with a finger-friendly menu that uses lots of gems from the box. These sloppy joe sliders are perfect game food. Given my filet mignon indulgence on Sunday, I’ll likely use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef. I’ll substitute leek for the onion, and grate in some parsnip and celery root instead of the carrot. I’ll also finely chop some mushrooms. Just increase the tomato sauce and other liquids a bit, if you think it’s getting a bit thick. Instead of traditional french fries, I’ll try these celery root fries. Again, good finger food, and straight from the CSA box. Just cut your celery root into thin fry-shaped pieces, drizzle with olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt, and bake until lightly golden brown. For those that aren’t fooled, I’ll have a good smattering of Oregon favorite Kettle Chips with this creamy, yummy leek dip.

Tuesday – extra healthy weeknight

steamed cod with leeks (Mark Bittman)
red cabbage salad with blue cheese & walnuts (Slate.com)

OK, no more filet mignon, no more parsnip cake, and no more chips & dip! Can’t get much healthier than a good local white fish accompanied by a chopped cabbage salad. The low-calorie, high protein fish is laid on a bed of steamed nutrient-rich leeks to cook. The salad will be made with our head of red cabbage. No wonder cabbage is called a “power food” – good for your skin, your immune system, your brain, your pretty-much-everything! This salad, with it’s very straightforward ingredients, ends up as a complex, crunchy, and flavor-packed side. I’ll use dried cranberries instead of raisins. Use any nut you want – they’re all a boon to your system as well.

Wednesday – pasta aplenty

pasta with beets, greens, & pine nuts (Bon Appetit)
roasted chicken

Since I always pre-roast my beets right when I get them, pasta dishes like this, especially accompanied by a roasted-by-someone-else chicken, come together in a flash. All the beet roasting takes is a hot oven, beets wrapped in foil, and about an hour of cooking time. Peel when cool, and you’ll be one happy camper later in the week. Since my beets came without greens attached, I’ll use kale for the greens, and substitute leeks for onions. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for added flavor. Sounds like a terrific combination, and with fun-shaped pasta and lots of parmesan, one that everyone will dig into. Pick up a chicken from your favorite market, saving any leftover for the sammie night to come.

Thursday – sammie night

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
quick-pickled turnips (Andrew Cohen, High Ground Organics)

Tonight’s sammie night was inspired by the jar of pickled turnips I have left from last week’s quick-pickling event. It’s basically soaking sliced veggies in salt/sugar/vinegar water – no effort at all. 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. 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.)

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