Braised Turnips & Apples

Ok, so this doesn’t sound like the most exciting dish in the world. It’s pretty good, though, and a great way to use up a ton of greens at once if you, like me, are drowning in CSA greens. It’s also a good excuse to whip out not one, but two, meats in a single dish.

Really, me? Why do I insist on writing every damn thing on 1 teeny tiny scrap of paper?

Braised Turnips & Apples

1 bunch baby turnips (or regular turnips)

1 bunch turnip greens

1 bunch Ethiopian kale (or any other green, really)

2 Fuji or other semi-sweet apples

1 onion

2 hot Italian sausages

4 oz. bacon (I used home made bacon flavored with garlic, black pepper and bay)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. white wine

1 c. chicken stock

2 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. hot paprika

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Put the largest pan you have a lid for over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil. While you are waiting for the oil to come up to temperature, slice the onion into thin half rounds and the bacon into 3/4 inch chunks.

Add the onions and bacon to the heated pan. Let the onions soften while you attend to the greens. Wash all greens, remove any tough stems, and slice into ribbons. Add to the pan.

Add the white wine, wait a minute or so, and add the chicken stock. Bring up to a vigorous simmer, cover, and cook on a low simmer 20 minutes.

While your greens are braising, prepare your next additions. Chop the turnips into roughly 3/4 inch pieces. Slice the sausage into bite-sized pieces.

Add the turnips and sausage. Re-cover and cook an additional 10 mins.

While that is working, de-seed the apples and chop into 3/4 inch chunks.

Add the apples and cook an additional 10 minutes. Gather your seasonings.

Add the honey, paprika, salt and cider vinegar. Stir well to combine. Put the lid on and let the mixture cook 5 minutes more.

Serve with mashed potatoes for a hearty stick-to-your-ribs German style meal or with buttered bread for a lighter take.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch

Pork and Celery Stir-Fry

This makes a nice, satisfying weeknight meal. The punch from cutting celery gives great flavor, but if you can’t find it, regular celery will be just fine. I usually add fish sauce to this mixture, but it skipped my mind this time, and it was fine without. If you happen to have some and happen to think about, a good squirt or three would be great here. Carrot greens are not mandatory. I happened to have a ton of them slowly dying in the fridge and decided to give it a go. They were nice, but not in the least necessary.

Pork and Celery Stir Fry

1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 red onion
1 carrot
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
4 Tbsp. soy sauce (swap coconut aminos if you’re going strict paleo)
1 Tbsp. ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce – swap for a bit of honey or maple syrup if going strict paleo)
3 tsp. lemon juice
1 bunch cutting celery
2 tsp. rice vinegar
Handful carrot greens

Bring sesame oil up to temperature in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the pork and break apart. Keep working and breaking the pork up until it starts to brown.

While you’re working periodically on the pork, thinly slice the red onion. Add to the pan, stir.

While the onion is working, chop 1 carrot and mince 4 cloves garlic. Add to pan. Stir periodically to avoid burning, 3 mins.

While that is working, chop the cutting celery.

Add grated ginger, soy sauce, ketjap manis, lemon juice and rice vinegar. Add the cutting celery, stir fry a few minutes until starting to wilt.

Meanwhile, chop the carrot greens.

Taste and add a bit more lemon or vinegar if needed. Top with carrot greens and serve over brown rice.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch.

Candy Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette



Candied Pecans & Bacon, what’s more Thanksgiving than that?

Candy Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine’s Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Dressing and Maple-Glazed Pecans

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 c. pecan halves
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. whole grain Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed and bottos trimmed
4 oz. home made bacon, sliced into 1/8 in. batons
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. Wrap a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Add the pecans. In a small bowl whisk maple syrup, big pinch salt and a pinch of pepper. Pour over nuts, toss to coat. Spread over pan in a single layer. Bake 5 minutes. Stir. Bake an additional 6 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and the sugar is bubbling. Transfer the foil off of the pan & separate nuts. Set aside until cooled.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar. Add the oil & whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the bacon batons to a large pan over medium heat. Cook until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Using a food processor fitted with a shredding blade, shred the Brussels sprouts.

Add Brussels sprouts to pan with bacon fat and raise the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until sprouts just begin to soften. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add bacon and toss with enough dressing to coat. Let stand 30 mins to an hour to let the favors marry. Top with pecans and serve.

Roasty Toasty Winter Bisque

Creamy Liquid Nutrition

Roasty Toasty Winter Bisque

Did you know that you can peel pumpkin, butternut squash or any other thin-skinned winter squash with a speed peeler? Well, I didn’t until I saw one of the pumpkin pros on Food Network’s Halloween Wars do it, and man, does it make a difference. You see, I used to use a Chinese-style meat cleaver to break into my squash, and rather than dirty up a perfectly good knife to use as a peeler, I would use said cleaver to peel my squash. Now, over the years I’ve gotten pretty dexterous with that cleaver, but using a speed peel wastes way less of the tender flesh, and may even be a bit easier. Maybe. It freaks onlookers out less, too, which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon your proclivities.

You know what’s great about winter soups? They’re healthy as shit. You’re basically eating liquid vegetables here, and the dairy? I can totally handle 2/3 c. + a little fat spread out among 4 servings if it comes with an entire day’s worth of vegetables. 4 4 3 2, bitchez! (yes I’m aware there’s now some plate thingie instead of 4 4 3 2, but lessons with songs die hard)

If you don’t want to spring for a whole container of creme fraiche, Greek yogurt might make a good substitute here. Or cream cheese. Anything creamy in the dairy family would do, even sour cream. You’re going for a little zing, a little cream, a little thick. Go on, play with your food. You know you want to.

Roasty Toasty Winter Bisque

Adapted from Roasted Pumpkin Bisque from Whole Foods

5 lb. winter squash – I used a sugar pie pumpkin and butternut squash
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c. white wine (whatever you have on hand that’s drinkable)
1 tsp. ground cardamom
Juice of half a lemon
Roasted squash seeds (see recipe below)
2/3 c. creme fraiche (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Toss the squash, onions, thyme & oil and spread onto baking sheets in a single layer. Salt & pepper to season, and roast 30 mins. or until tender and just starting to brown around the edges (you may want to stir once or twice to prevent burning and feel useful – if that’s you, knock yourself out. I didn’t and mine was just fine). Once the squash is done to your liking, remove from the oven.

This would be a great time to add those squash seeds to the (now vacant) oven.

Transfer squash + friends to a large pot. Add the broth, wine & cardamom and simmer 10 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender** (or however you blend soup – in batches in a blender, whatever) until smooth. Add the lemon, stir and taste. Does it need salt or pepper? Add it now. Bring your soup back up to a simmer and kill the heat. Remove from the burner and whisk in the creme fraiche. Serve with crusty bread or a nice peppery arugula salad.

Serves 4 for dinner, or 2 for dinner with 2 big lunch portions.

Roasted Squash Seeds

Take the seeds from your peeled squash from the above recipe. Clean and place in a small bowl.

Add 1 tsp. each cumin, chipotle powder, cinnamon and brown sugar. Toss with a splash of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.

Spread out on a baking sheet and bake ~5 mins. or until browned but not burnt. Be careful here. Ideally, the oven would be at 350 to bake squash seeds, but I like to live on the edge. Just babysit your seeds and they will be fine. A little blackened on the edges is tasty, too, just make sure they’re done enough (read: dry and browned) or the texture will be off.

**A note on immersion blenders: If you make soup more than once a year and/or enjoy the occasional smoothie, buy one already. You can get them on sale for under $25 almost any month of the year if you look, and they are worth it. They hardly take up any space, and if you will use it more than once a year, it is a great investment. This is a tool I broke down and finally bought this year. I thought for years that they were a: too expensive, b: too much of a unitasker and c: something I could totally live without – people lived without them for thousands of years, after all. *Horn Sound* Wrong (except for the thousands of years bit).

For the kitchen accident prone like me, this method of soup blending has become invaluable. There is zero chance of spilling mass amounts of hot liquid on yourself or for dinner to come crashing to the ground because you lack the arm strength to pour soup from a huge pot safely. Also, splatters with the immersion blender are waaaaayyy smaller than splatters with a bar blender. Just sayin’. Having one of those puppies blow up in your face because you put the soup in while it was too hot and the steam got over zealous isn’t the most fun you can have on a weeknight. Nor is leaking soup out of the bottom of your food processor.

Isn’t $25 worth peace of mind? For me it has become so. I love my stick blender. And as an added bonus, it feels “chef-y” too. So there’s that.

Slow Dance, With Tomatoes

Tomato Jam, waiting for the crush

This is the kind of recipe that is not a recipe. More of a guideline. Serve slow-cooked tomatoes: crushed as a jam slathered on a burger or crostini; as-is as a finger food (my favorite!); chopped in a salad; tossed in with grains; or with a shot of good-quality olive oil as a pasta dressing.

Slow-Cooked Tomato Jam

Roma Tomatoes (as many as you have – I only happened to have 3 on this day)
3-5 cloves thick-sliced garlic
a sprinkling of ground cinnamon
a sprinkling of caraway seeds
Big pinch salt
Big pinch fresh cracked black pepper
Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise and arrange cut sides up in a single layer on a foil-wrapped baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon, caraway, salt & pepper (or other herbs and/or spices if you are so inclined).

Roast for 2 hours until tomatoes collapse a little and are browning in spots. Flip over (skin side up) and roast an additional hour and a half until the skins are puckered and the tomatoes are falling apart.

If any should make it to a bowl, mash with a fork or potato masher to make jam or slice for salads and pasta.

If you’re like me, they may not make it that far.

Variations: You can make this jam with any tomato you have on hand–I have made with slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, etc., though my favorite is the Roma tomato for this particular application. You can also add brown sugar to the mix, swap the cinnamon for nutmeg, etc. This can really be dressed a thousand different ways depending on what you happen to have on hand when you notice your tomatoes are almost past their shelf life.

Slow Dance, With Tomatoes on Punk Domestics

Greens with Eggs

Ignore the pork

When James Oseland names a dish his favorite over the past year, I tend to sit up and take notice. I don’t know about being my favorite, but this dish was a pleaser. Ignore the ham in the photo above. This shot was taken with the leftovers, which I foolishly added home-cured Canadian Bacon to. I shouldn’t have. This dish was absolutely great without it, and the smokiness ruined it the second time around. The original version also didn’t call for heirloom tomatoes, but I had a bunch on hand with no plans so I threw them in. I happen to love tomatoes cooked like this, so I liked them. If you do not, or if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to omit.

Greens with Eggs
Adapted from Wild Greens with Fried Eggs (Horta me Avga Tiganita) from Saveur

Extra virgin olive oil
5 scallions, minced
8 oz. cut n clean seasonal cooking greens
1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 c. mint leaves, chopped
1/4 c. fennel fronds, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs per person
Double handful heirloom cherry tomatoes
Crusty bread, sliced on a bias and toasted (optional)

Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and cook for 4 minutes, until soft. add the greens, parsley, mint, fennel, garlic, tomatoes and 1/2 c. water; salt & pepper to taste. Cook, stirring as needed, until the greens are tender and tomatoes have softened and split, 10-15 mins.

In a medium pan, heat a turn and a half around the pan of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Crack your eggs (1 person’s at a time) into the skillet and fry by constantly spooning hot oil over the yolks until the yolks are just set, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to de-grease and then onto your greens to serve. Serve with crusty bread.

My first batch of eggs I cooked a little longer than the second, and I actually enjoyed that more. The eggs were still a little runny, and the whites were nice and fried. Cook as you like.

Serves 2