Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Risotto with bacon and collard greens

Brown the bacon with just a tiny bit of olive oil and butter. When the bacon is rendered, add the rice. Heat the the rice through until it turns translucent. Then add warm or hot broth (or wine) in small amounts, stirring until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. When it is done, add blanched, chopped collard greens and heat until the collards are warmed through. Other spices or flavorings you could add include garlic or ginger. It's fast and easy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flowering collard greens, stinging nettles and mache

Flowering collard greens, stinging nettles " (You’d have to eat a sink full of kale to get the protein in one serving of nettles.)
A handful of nettles provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, as well as a plethora of minerals that nettles absorb, spongelike, from the soil" and mache- at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market.
All three are super vegetables packed with nutritional value --and they taste good too.

It's easy to take the sting out of the nettles -a couple seconds in boiling water and the sting is gone. I used them in some eggs on the suggestion of the vendor Triple S ranch of Santa Rosa and they were mighty tasty --a mild sort of creamy taste. Then a put some in waffle batter --suprisingly good.

I used the mache in a salad with bacon. Mache is at the end of its current run in the market. The flowering collard greens are a milder and more tender taste then mature collards.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Adolescent Collard Greens

I braised them with a pork roast -- pulled pork Stanley Marcus style -chili sauce and coca cola (and I added apple cider vinegar) although he used that combo for beef brisket. I am a porkatarian.

With it a traditional cole slaw and chocolate chip cookies and my neighbors' kumquat mousse for dessert. Starters - smoked albacore with meyer lemon, jalapeno, garlic salsa and the next evolution of the peanut butter spread -this time with chipotle and bacon.

Wines: Simi Sonoma County Chardonnay, Kendall Jackson Savignon Black (Jackson Estates) and Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc. The Rodney Strong wine caused the biggest stir because it came with a screw caps. I was surprised how much people did not like the idea of screw caps. This is a good article on screw caps and it seems more of what isn't known about the impact on long term aging - since cork permit some breathing of the wine.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Carrots --super vegetable

Take an interactive tour of the Carrot Museum and learn about Carrots the super vegetable. I got a beautiful bunch from Orchard Farms Stand at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market.

I made carrot risotto. Ingredients: olive oil, rice, one carrot ground in a food processor with lemon juice,1/2 a large jalapeno pepper and 1 clove garlic, one carrot peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler, 1 cup stock (vegetarian, chicken or beef) of your chocie. Heat the olive oil, add rice and ground carrot mixture and cook until the rice is translucent (usually between 5-7 minutes) add stock stirring and cooking until rice is completely cooked, add carrot strips and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Serve with or without a sprinkling of cheese.

Carrots are easier to digest when cooked(except for juiced carrots.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My first tomato of 2009

A friend mentioned he had been buying tomatoes at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market from Parson's Hothouse tomatoes. He swore they tasted like summer tomatoes. I had to give them a shot. They are good. At $3.00 a pound they are also a good price.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Parsnips and Scarlet Cauliflower

Parsnips look, smell and taste a bit like a carrot crossed with parsley. I was until today a parsnips virgin cooking wise. I found this recipe on Epicurious but it had too much butter and milk and I didn't have any Brussel sprouts. I did have scarlet cauliflower, roasted garlic and roasted garlic oil. I boiled chunks of parsnips (I scraped off the skin rather then peeling.) Then I mashed the parsnips with the oil and garlic. I pulled the bit of scarlet cauliflower into pieces and sauteed it in butter and then mixed the two together. Pretty and good for you.

The parsnips and cauliflower came from Orchard Farms at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market

Drinking Meyer lemon drops made lemons from a neighbors tree.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Broccoli Pizza

I saw a recipe using meyer lemons in a pizza recipe and adapted it for broccoli.

Steam the broccoli until bright green, saute the lemon slices in a bit of olive oil until soft and the basic topping is done. I use wholewheat dough. Preheat oven to 450 and top with cheese of your choice -- I use a sprinkle of parmesan and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Broccoli sandwich

The flavor of the purple sprouting broccoli is so good, it is easy to feature it -here it is as a sandwich filling. I steamed a couple of stalks until they were bright green. Spread the bread with some humus (or hummus) and added the broccoli. My bread is garlic-wholewheat from Wild flour Bread in Occidental. Eating locally is easy peasy in Western Sonoma County.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Ken from Orchard Farms recommended it for the intense flavor and short season.
I tried a taste of it raw to gauge the flavor -always a good way to start with something new. There is very little waste, the slender stems and tender leaves are all edible.
For my first dish- I sauteed a bit with butter, lemon and anchovy paste. Mighty fine! Clearn by snipping off the very tip of the end of the stalk and chop the rest into 1/2 inch pieces. Using a saute pan, heat over low heat about 1 tablespoon of butter (or live oil) add the chopped broccoli. When the broccoli turns bright green add the juice of 1/2 a meyer lemon and 1/2 a teaspoon of anchovy sauce. Mix together until the broccoli is well coated.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Santa Rosa Farmer's Market March 4

The Wednesday Santa Rosa Market was fun. I asked Ken what was new and different and he pointed to the sprouting purple broccoli. Ken the owner of Orchard Farms, Sebastopol said it's the best flavor of the broccoli. It takes a year to come to harvest and the season is short, about six weeks. It is a lovely color.

The Wednesday Market is filled with friendly vendors and staff. I got a picture of the Samosa lady visiting with the volunteer handing out coupons for seniors. If you are over 60, the Santa Rosa Farmers Market gives you $2.00 in market dollars on Wednesdays only.

The hummus guy
is a Wednesday market regular with lots of samples and discounts if you are buying more than one item. He had a wide variety of flavored hummus, olives, marinated tofu, and whole wheat and white bread pitas.
707 855 5372 Hummus Guy

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday - Early Bird Special

In honor of the birthdays of two friends (both turning 65) I had a dinner party. It was fun to plan the menu around the Santa Rosa Farmers Market vendors. Of course there were the dietary restriction --no(or low) carbs, heart healthy, and no tomatoes (heartburn), and on and on. The NYTIMES had a great recipe for cauliflower I made a few changes. I used beluga lentils instead of beans and couscous and instead of tomato paste -a sauce of meyer lemon juice, cilantro,garlic and fresh jalapenos. I bought fresh, locally caught halibut and just grilled it. It was expensive at $18+ per pound but well worth it. I started the evening with four dips (not a reference to any guests>) chipotle humus, black olives mixed with oranges(and orange juice) and roasted garlic, blue cheese, ham and cream cheese and hot peanut butter. The big hits the hot peanut butter and the blue cheese.(duh!)
Desserts a lemon meringue pie from Mom's and Indian pudding. I've been making Indian pudding for my friend's birthday for about 35 years. The first time I made it I tinkered with the recipe because I thought honey would taste better than molasses. Everyone thought so except the birthday boy. Ever since I have adhered strictly to the Joy of Cooking version.

What we were drinking: Taft Street Sonoma Coast pinot noir and Menage a Trois from Folie a Duex

And there were also lemon drops made with meyer lemons from my neighbor's tree