Saturday, February 27, 2016

Kimchi Beef Stew with Kale

With kimchi and leftover cooked pot roast in the fridge, this was so easy, and it was SO GOOD. (Not that my kids touched it, but my  husband and I were in heaven.) Asian Style Pot Roast would be ideal here, but any leftover shredded beef would work as long as the seasonings aren't too strong in another direction.

1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chopped kale leaves
3 cups cooked shredded beef
1 cup kimchi
2-3 cups beef stock
1 Tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
Salt and pepper if desired

Heat the sesame oil in a Dutch oven. Add the garlic and kale and saute for 3-5 minutes, until the kale is fairly tender. Add the beef, kimchi, beef stock, and soy sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serves 3-4.

Sweet Potato Taco Bowls

If you liked the Sweet Potato Fajita Bowls, try these - it's a variation on a similar theme. They go together quickly, too, especially if you use a food processor to shred the sweet potatoes. I used leftover Slow Cooker Southwestern Beans in this, which was great, but you can also use plain black beans. And for this or any other purpose, if you happen to spot Sidehill Farm sour cream, buy some!! It is the best sour cream I've ever tasted.

Olive oil
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 lb ground beef
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3-4 cups cooked black beans, plain or seasoned with cumin and chili powder

Toppings (use what you like):
Shredded lettuce or other greens
Sour cream
Pickled red onions
Pickled chili peppers
Hot sauce
Shredded cheddar

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shredded sweet potatoes and saute over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until tender. Set aside.

Cook the beef in a medium skillet. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the black beans. Reheat the sweet potatoes if needed.

To serve, place sweet potatoes in the bottom of each diner's bowl, then add spoonfuls of beef, beans, and toppings.

Serves about 4.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Quick Pickled Red Onions

I had a hankering for some pickled onions to go with tacos. Yum! Super easy, too.

2 medium red onions, peeled and sliced thin
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved (optional)
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Place the onions and garlic in a quart jar. Press them down if needed to make them fit.

Combine the cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Carefully pour over the onions in the jar until they are covered. You may have some extra liquid, depending on the size of your onions and how tightly packed they are.

Cover the jar and let sit on the counter for an hour or two, then refrigerate. You can eat these immediately, but they'll be best after they've had some time to soak. They should keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Makes 1 quart jar of onions.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spaghetti Squash "Noodles" with Peanut Sauce

Spaghetti squash is fun. Unlike other winter squashes, when you cook it you get noodle like strands of flesh. They retain a bit of crunch even when well roasted, and they don't shed a ton of liquid like zucchini or summer squash noodles. I served this as a side with grilled steak, but you could also grill or roast vegetables to add to it (peppers would be nice), or chicken.

1 medium spaghetti squash
Peanut Sauce or Spinach Peanut Sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the spaghetti squash open the long way and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with olive or canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about an hour, until the flesh is tender and separates easily into strands with a fork.

Let the squash cool enough to handle, then use a fork to scrape out the flesh and separate it into its noodle-y strands.

Toss with enough Peanut Sauce or Spinach Peanut sauce to coat generously, and serve warm. You'll probably have leftover sauce to use for something else.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, Jean. It's simple and delicious. I especially like it on New England Spinach Salad.

Combine in equal parts:

Maple syrup
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Shake or stir vigorously to combine.

This will keep for a good long while in the pantry.

Mushroom Goat Cheese Quiche Muffins

If you can't find local mushrooms this time of year, re-hydrating dried ones is also an option. Eggs and cheese, of course, are great year-round locavore staples, as are storage crops like shallots and other alliums.

I bought some silicone reusable muffin cups, and they work like a dream for these quiche muffins - no sticking at all, super easy cleanup.

8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 lb shiitakes or other mushrooms, diced
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk and crumbled goat cheese and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat a little olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the shallots and mushrooms and saute until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between 16 standard muffin cups. Stir the egg mixture, then ladle into the cups over the mushrooms, making sure to get some goat cheese in each one.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the quiche muffins are cooked through. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.

Makes 16 egg muffins. Serves 4-6.