Archive | November, 2011

Caramelized Onion, Potato, and Kale Stovetop Frittata

19 Nov

When thinking about what to make for dinner, I decided I wanted to make use of at least two CSA ingredients.  I figured a frittata was an easy way to throw a few things together, and settled on using caramelized onion, potato, and red Russian kale, all from the CSA.  The eggs were also from the CSA.

This was one of the better frittatas I’ve had.  The potatoes created a bit of structure – something like a bottom crust, while the sweet caramelized onion and slightly bitter kale balanced against each other wonderfully.  The hint of heat from the paprika rounded the whole thing out.  Zak seemed a little dubious when I told him my dinner plans, but he ended up going back for seconds.  This was equally delicious as cold leftovers, so even if you’re cooking for one, I recommend making a large batch.

Caramelized Onion, Potato, and Kale Stovetop Frittata

1/2 tbs. butter

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, sliced 1/8″ thick

2 small boiling potatoes, sliced 1/8″ thick

3 1/2 cups red Russian kale, sliced into ribbons

3 whole eggs plus 1 egg white

Pinch baking soda

Large pinch paprika

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a 10″ cast iron skillet, heat butter and 1 tbs. of olive oil over medium-low heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes or until caramelized.

Meanwhile, beat together eggs with baking soda, half and half, and paprika.

Add potatoes and raise heat to medium.  If necessary, add more olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stirring frequently, cook 5-6 minutes until potatoes are transparent and tender.  Spread into an even layer.

Add kale and cover.  Add remaining tbs. olive oil and cook, covered, 4-5 minutes until wilted.

Add egg, swirling pan so the eggs are in an even layer.  Cook until top is just set, covering if necessary, about 8-10 minutes.

Sopa de Lima (Mexican Lime Soup)

18 Nov

I’ve been intending to make a variation on this soup for quite some time now.  I thought Zak might enjoy it because it bears a passing resemblance to pho and I’m a sucker for any variety of chicken soup.  I had some leftover roast chicken from my spicy roast chicken and thought this might be an easy way to use it up.  In order to extract the maximum flavors from the spices in the broth, I threw the broth ingredients in my crock pot before leaving for class in the morning and had Zak add the onions and chicken when he came home from work.  Consequently, this broth was rich and flavorful with a great deal of spice extracted from the crushed red pepper flakes and clove and cinnamon flavor from the other spices.  The roasted garlic mellowed everything out while the lime perked up the palate and made this soup something special.

If you don’t feel like doing the broth in the slow cooker, you could easily boil the spices for about thirty minutes to an hour before straining and go from there.  It made it easier for me to eat as soon as I got home from school and I think the slow cooking improved the flavors significantly, however.  This would be extra delicious with some cilantro and jalapeños, but I had neither on hand and it worked out just fine.

Sopa de Lima (Mexican Lime Soup)

Adapted from The Homesick Texan


5 cups homemade chicken stock

1 small yellow onion, quartered

4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

1 tsp. whole black peppercorns

2 whole cloves

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1 cinnamon stick

Kosher salt, to taste

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook about 8-10 hours on low setting.  Strain broth and return to the slow-cooker.


1 cup leftover spicy chicken, shredded

1 medium yellow onion, sliced very thin with mandolin

5 cloves roasted garlic

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

1 tsp. lime zest

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup Mexican-blend shredded cheese, for serving

1 lime, quartered, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°.  Cut the top 1/4″ inch off a head of garlic.  Drizzle with olive oil and place in a tinfoil packet.  Roast roughly 40 minutes.

Add chicken, 5-6 cloves roasted garlic, and thinly sliced onion to the strained broth.

Add cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and lime zest.  Raise heat to high and cook, uncovered, 25 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and stir in lime juice immediately prior to serving.

Serve with Mexican cheese and a quartered lime.

Geauga Family Farms Winter CSA – Week Three

17 Nov

Geauga Family Farms Winter CSA – Week Three

On the way over to the CSA today, Zak and I saw two young pit bull puppies running around together.  It was dark and snowing they had absolutely no street sense – darting across the road willy-nilly, including when cars were coming and going.  We were on side streets, so we pulled over.  We both got out and called to the puppies but they continued to scamper away.  We followed them as long as we could before they went into some backyards and we lost sight of them, when I called police department.  The very nice lady who answered the phone stated they would send out a unit and call animal control.  It didn’t look like the poor things had collars on.  I hate seeing stray dogs – particularly stray pits, because of the terrible prejudice against the breed.  It makes me angry and sad that someone might have simply let them go on the streets.  These dogs were fairly young – maybe five or six months – and it’s so cold out tonight.  I wish I could have coaxed them into the car.

I apologize for my dog-related tangent.  But I hope this serves as a reminder that when you see stray or lost dogs, you should call someone.  It might not always be the wisest move to approach them.  Use your best judgment.  But at the least, note their location and call information for local animal control.

Anyway … this week’s basket included seven golden beets, a head of cauliflower, bok choy, a pie pumpkin, two heads of lettuce (one red and one green), half a dozen potatoes, and a pumpkin roll.  I’m very excited about the beets, which always get used due to their excellent freeze-ability, the cauliflower, because we haven’t seen any since last year’s winter share to my recollection, and the pumpkin, because, well, ’tis the season.

Leftovers from last week include loads of lettuce, some butternut squash, a bit of the red Russian kale, and the daikon radish (which I am planning on pickling for a crudites platter for Thanksgiving).

For this week, I plan to roast some of the cauliflower in one form or another and pickle some of the rest of it.  I’m not sure what to do with the beets, but I’m thinking about roasting them and then making some sort of beet vinaigrette as a salad dressing – especially since I so desperately in need of using up lettuce.  The pumpkin roll is going into the freezer to bring to a Thanksgiving celebration.  Other than that, I’m not sure!

Spicy Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables

17 Nov

I am well aware that I have a bit of a problem with roast chicken.  I love it.  I love the smell of it, the taste of it, the texture of it, the copious leftovers, and the bones to throw in a large pot with some vegetables for beautiful, flavorful, gelatinous, stock.  This is a particularly satisfying version, with a really pronounced but pleasant spice.  The array of root vegetables picked up a hint of the spice while slowly being basted in the juices of the chicken.  Yum!

Spicy Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables

Spicy Brine:

1 4 lb. whole fryer

2-3 cups water per lb. of chicken

1/2 cup kosher salt per lb. of chicken

1/2 cup white sugar per lb. of chicken

1 small red onion halved

1 tangerine, quartered

1 apple, quartered

4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2 tbs. whole black pepper corns

1 tbs. chili powder

1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbs. Old Bay seasoning

1 tbs. garlic hot sauce

2 tsp. paprika

2 bay leaves

Spicy Rub:

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

Freshly cracked black pepper

To begin, in a medium or large saucepan heat water.  A little at a time, add kosher salt and sugar while whisking until dissolved.  It may be necessary to add more water to the saucepan in order to dissolve all of the salt and sugar.  Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, transfer the water to a container large enough to hold the brining solution and chicken.  This can be done in a large ziplock bag, though I prefer to use a large stock pot.

Add all other brine ingredients and allow brining solution to cool to room temperature, placing solution in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or adding more water or ice if necessary.  Once the solution is room temperature or cool to the touch, add the chicken to the solution.  Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let soak in brining solution about one hour per pound (round up to the nearest hour).

Remove chicken from brining solution by straining through a colander.  Make sure you save all brining ingredients.  Dress the chicken with as much onion, apple, and tangerine as possible.

Mix together ingredients for the spicy rub.  Rub all over the chicken, including underneath the skin and inside the cavity.

Allow the chicken to rest overnight, at least 18 hours.  This allows most of the moisture to evaporate from the skin of the chicken, which will result in a crispier skin (my favorite part!).

Spicy Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables:

Brined and dry-rubbed spicy chicken, from above

3-4 small potatoes, halved

5-6 small turnips, ends trimmed and peeled

1 large radish, ends trimmed, halved

2 small onions, halved and peeled

Preheat oven to 475°.

In a deep roasting pan with fitted lid, place potatoes, onion, tomato, and zucchini.  Toss with 1 tbs. of the olive oil.  Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and place top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.  Rub remaining tbs. olive oil over the chicken and season with garlic powder, dried parsley, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Feel free to season the vegetables with some of the seasonings as well.

Place chicken in preheated oven on center rack.  Roast at 475° for 15 minutes or until skin is light golden brown.  After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°.  Roast chicken roughly 20 minutes per pound (rounding up to nearest pound), or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh reads 165º.   Baste both the chicken and vegetables occasionally.  For last 30 minutes of cooking, place lid on the roasting pan.

When fully cooked, remove chicken from oven keep covered.  Rest 15-20 minutes, which will allow juices to redistribute and result in a tender, juicy bird.

Bok Choy and Barley with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce

14 Nov

This is one of those meals that comes from pathetically staring alternately into the refrigerator and pantry, hoping desperately that a flash of inspiration strikes you from on high and you will have the best idea ever for dinner.  And, while this may not be the best idea ever, I was struck with at least a pretty darn good idea.  Certainly a healthy and a tasty one.  The salty umami of the anchovy works really well with the cabbage-like flavor of the bok choy and brightness of the lemon and olive oil.  Toothsome, filling, and wholesome, barley serves as a perfect backdrop of the lovely flavors of this filling and delicious meal.

Bok Choy and Barley with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce


1 cup barley

3 1/2 cups water

Bring water to a rolling boil.  Add barley.

Reduce heat to maintain a vigorous simmer.  Cook 30 minutes until tender.  Drain and set aside.

Steamed Bok Choy:

2 baby bok choy

1 cup water

1/2 cup white wine

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 lemon, quartered

2 bay leaves

Combine water, white wine, peppercorns, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon, and bay leaves in a medium stock pot.

Bring to a boil.

Add a steaming basket and whole bok choy. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and steam bok choy for 10-12 minutes until tender.

Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Trim off end and then cut into thin strips, width-wise.

Bok Choy and Barley with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tbs. butter

4 fillets anchovy, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Barley, see above

Steamed Bok Choy, see above

1 lemon, juiced

Parmesan cheese, shredded

Crushed red pepper flakes

In a large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter is melted.  Add anchovy fillets and whisk until mostly incorporated into the olive oil and butter mixture.

Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add barley and bok choy and toss to combine.  Cook 3-5 minutes, tossing frequently, until heated through.  Add lemon juice and toss again to combine.

Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes to taste and serve immediately.

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