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Monday, December 12, 2011

Honey Teriyaki Stir Fry

I've had some kohlrabi in my fridge for about 3 weeks and have been trying to think of a fun way to cook them up. I also found some leeks from Goranson farms at the Bath Natural Market, and had some dried porcini mushrooms from my summer CSA. I put it all together and came up with a stir fry - one of my favorite hodge podge meals. I also had some egg roll wrappers that I quickly filled with some cabbage and carrots....A power-veggie packed dinner.

Honey Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 C soy sauce
1/4 C honey
2 T ketchup

Mix all ingredients until blended. Set aside.

Stir Fry
1 C porcini mushrooms (or any mushroom of choice)
2 small kohlrabi, peeled & sliced into matchsticks
1 leek, white part only, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C kale, chopped
2 T oil
1 T butter
1/2 block of tofu, cubed
2 T tumeric
1/4 C flour
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, tumeric and pepper together until well blended. Toss tofu into flour  mixture until thoroughly coated. Lightly oil a baking pan and add tofu. Bake 10 minutes, turn, and bake 5 more minutes. Set aside.

In a large pan heat 1 T oil over medium heat and saute kale until bright green, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Melt butter in pan and add mushrooms, stirring for 3 minutes. Add leeks, garlic and kohlrabi and saute for 5 minutes. Add in kale, tofu and teriyaki sauce and turn heat to medium low. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Egg Rolls
6 egg roll wrappers
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 T olive oil
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil over medium heat and add cabbage and leeks. Saute 5 minutes until soft, then toss in carrot, soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir and saute 2 minutes, then add pepper. Put about 2 T of mixture into each roll and fold corners and roll tightly. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place egg rolls seam side down. Bake 7 minutes, flip and Bake another 3-5 minutes, until crispy. Serve with dipping sauce - either sweet and sour or soy sauce.

Pumpkin Risotto

After looking back on all my risotto recipes, I have decided that the first cookbook I try to write will be dedicated to this delicious meal. Risotto, year round, with seasonal and local foods. Sounds like a winner to me. If there was a risotto cookbook out there, I would buy it....but then again, I'm obsessed with those plump, moist, creamy grains of rice.

I had some left-over pumpkin from something else I made, and couldn't resist combining the two. Pumpkin is creamy. Risotto is creamy. It seemed perfect. Even my kids, who are adamant that they hate squash even though the eat it all the time (in my sneaky chef ways), devoured this meal. They even exclaimed that I make the best food ever. And this was not one of those times I cooked an ingredient into a meal without telling them. My 5 year old helped me stir the risotto (the most important job), and he saw me poor the pumpkin in. It was just that good....even knowing it had pumpkin in it, they licked their plates clean. This will be in my winter rotational menu to use up all those delicious squash I'll be getting from my winter CSA at Little Ridge Farm in Lisbon.

Pumpkin Risotto Serves 4
1/2 small pumpkin, baked or steamed, then mashed
1 C arborio rice
1 C white wine
4-5 C stock
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1/4 C parmesan cheese (fresh is best - if you don't have any, use another type, avoid powdered parm)
salt & pepper

In a large pan heat oil over medium-low heat. Add in onions and garlic, stir to coat with oil, and saute for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, heat stock to a boil then lower to a simmer. Add rice to onions and garlic and stir. Saute for 2 minutes, just until a golden color emerges from rice. Add wine and start stirring. Slowly add about 1 cup of stock when liquid in pan is absorbed. Stir constantly. The rice should be al dente when done, taste it throughout the cooking. When adding the final cup of stock, add the pumpkin. Stir thoroughly until done. Add butter and cheese, salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.*

We had ours on a bed of sauteed kale, which was divine. The risotto can also be a stand alone meal, served alongside some meat, or a salad and bread. Whichever way you have it, enjoy the creamy goodness of the pumpkin.

*It is important to not let risotto sit or it will become rubbery and gooey.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods. It's a Peruvian grain that can be used in anything - from soups, to casseroles, even ground up as flour. The Incas refer to it as chisaya mama - the mother of all grains. It has a nice pop to it and is incredibly filling. If I want my kids to eat something, adding Quinoa is a sure way to do it.

I also love squash. Which is good because this time of year my house is full of it. I get a fall and winter CSA that load my counters with butternut, acorn, and delicata squash. Their bright orange and yellow flesh insure you're getting loads of vitamin C during the drab winter months when your body needs it most. My kids aren't huge squash fans, but that's where the quinoa came in....

I baked up a nice juicy butternut squash that was so fresh my knife slipped through it with the greatest of ease. After scooping out the seeds to roast of later, I popped it in the oven and waited for my house to fill with that familiar scent of roasting squash. While it was cooking, I got to work on the filling. I quickly looked around my counters and fridge and settled on apples as the main ingredient. What's more fall than an apple. I have been lucky enough to still have some local apples so I thought I would dice them up and make a perfectly quaint fall meal.

Apple, Brie & Quinoa Stuffed Squash (serves 4-6)
1 medium butternut squash
1 C quinoa
1 1/2 C vegetable stock/water
2 small apples, peeled and diced
1/2 C brie
4 T balsamic vinegar
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
salt & pepper

Heat oven to 375. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place cut-side up in a baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until flesh is soft. Remove from the oven and scoop out flesh, leaving a thick layer inside the shell still. Meanwhile, add quinoa to stock/water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 12-15 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. While that is cooking, heat olive oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and spread out evenly. Once they start to turn light golden, turn heat down to medium low and cook, stirring often, until they are a caramel color. Set aside. When quinoa is done, fluff and toss in squash that was removed from skin, apples, brie and 2 T balsamic vinegar. Fill the squash halves with quinoa mixture, pressing down gently. If there is any left over, pack it around the squash in the baking dish. Sprinkle squash halves with caramelized onions. Drizzle remaining balsamic vinegar over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to oven and cook 5 minutes, just until everything is warmed through. Serve with some crusty bread and a salad.

Bon Appetit!