Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
This is it - the last recipes (and box goodies) for a month! There's no magic that will make them stretch to last that long, but here are some ideas to help you try. - DebbieLet's start with the Napa or Chinese cabbage. One recipe is from a cookbook of mine, and this first one, a recipe sent in by member Michelle MacKenzie, who says, "Here's a fantastic recipe for using Napa Cabbage and radishes - light, fast to make."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shredded Napa Cabbage Salad with Radishes, Golden Raisins, and Dijon Dressing
1/4 C white-wine vinegar
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 small head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded (about 6 cups)
4 or 5 radishes, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks [if you have any watermelon radishes left, this would be a great place to use them!]
1/2 C golden raisins
1 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives [hmmm... got any in your garden?]
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk together vinegar, mustard and sugar. Toss together cabbage, radishes, golden raisins and chives. Drizzle dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper.Spicy Sweet and Sour Chinese Cabbage
from Madame Wong's Long Life Chinese Cookbook
(as found in "From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce")
serves 4 to 6
1 lb. Chinese [Napa] cabbage
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. thinly shredded ginger
1 tbsp. cooking oil
3 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. pepper oil*
Cut cabbage into 2-inch pieces. Place in bowl and sprinkle with salt; let stand 4 hours. Squeeze liquid from cabbage. Distribute ginger over cabbage. Heat cooking oil in wok to 350 degrees. Add vinegar, sugar and pepper oil (keep your face away from the steam). Turn off heat as soon as sugar is dissolved. Toss sauce with cabbage. Marinate in covered container overnight. Serve cold.
*to make pepper oil, heat 1 C oil in wok to 325 degrees. Add 1/4 C coarsely ground red chili peppers. Cook 3-5 minutes. Cool. Store indefinitely in refrigerator.Here's a recipe for the other kind of cabbage - or for the green cabbage you and I have in our refrigerators from recent weeks. One you can use with your mushrooms!Farmer's Cabbage and Mushroom Pie
from Farmer John's Cookbook - the Real Dirt on Vegetables
serves 6 to 8
"This is a farmer's pie -- rustic, a little rude, and downright delicious. Traditionally, the pie was set in the middle of the table and everyone, fork in hand, had at it. But you can serve it in slices to avoid fights over the last bits. Try crumbling a few slices of crispy bacon into the pie for even more flavor" - Angelic Organics Kitchen
2 unbaked 9-inch pie crusts [i.e. a top and a bottom]
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 C chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 1/2 C chopped mushrooms
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 C chopped cabbage (about 1/2 head)
4 oz. farmers cheese or cream cheese, softened
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
Place one of the pie crusts into the bottom of a pie pan, making sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of the dough hanging over the edge. Refrigerate both top and bottom crust until you are ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, thyme, and lemon juice. Add the cabbage; cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
Layer half the cabbage mixture in the pie crust. Add a layer of sliced eggs. Top with remaining cabbage mixture.
Moisten the overhanging edge of pie crust with water. Cover the pie with the top crust, sealing the edges with your fingers. Bake until crust is browned on top, 30 to 40 minutes.This next recipe was sent to me by member Christie Boone, and is for broccoli rabe; we're getting mustard rapini, which is very similar - it is the budding stalks of wild mustard - and could be easily substituted in this recipe:Broccoli Rabe with Cannelini and Pasta
[click here if you want to read the entire recipe link
serves 4 as a side, two as a main course
1 bunch broccoli rabe, about 1 lb. [1 bunch of mustard rapini]
2 to 3 thin slices of prosciutto, sliced into smallish pieces (about 1/2 to 3/4 C)
4 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste-see Kitchen Notes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 15-oz. can Canellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. small pasta (see Kitchen Notes)
Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile rinse the broccoli rabe thoroughly under cold running water. Trim off the bottom inch or so of the stems, plus lower leaves, which may be tough [use your judgment with the mustard rapini; it may not require this 'trimming'] . Slice the stems and leaves into 1-1/2 to 2-inch sections. When the water comes to a boil, add the chopped broccoli rabe and stir to make sure it all comes in contact with the water. After 1 minute, drain broccoli rabe in a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Set aside in colander to continue draining.
Meanwhile in a separate pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Add 4 tbsp. olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, Add prosciutto and saute until just crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant-about 45 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and toss to coat with oil. Add Cannellini beans and cooked pasta. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately.Kitchen NotesHeat things up a little.
The crushed red pepper is a key ingredient in many Italian recipes. Adding 1/2 tsp. gave the dish a nice, lively touch. Use slightly less if you're particularly sensitive to spicy foods; on the other hand, feel free to add more if you like serious heat.Choosing your pasta.
If you can find it, I'm a big fan of Ditalini (little thimbles), the small, short tubes you see in the photo. If not, small shells will work, as will orechiette (little ears-pasta has such cute translations, doesn't it?). But keep the scale - and the amount - in proportion with the dish and its ingredients.Making it vegetarian.
You could just eliminate the prosciutto and be done with it. But I think the savory edge it adds is key. To replace it, grate some good quality parmesan cheese over the finished dish before serving.In this next idea, the picture mostly speaks for itself -- I came up with this just tonight when making dinner! It's based on the concept that adding variety of color to your meals really does perk things up; the visual senses impact your overall pleasure in the food you eat. So anyway, you know how salad recipes often have 'red bell pepper' or 'tomato' in them, to provide contrast? Well, I know that neither is fresh or local in February, but this is: red chard! I just sliced up some red chard stems like celery, and scattered it into my salad. When you're tired of the contrast always being carrot orange, give this a try. Added a little crunch and a lot of visual punch. Fun, huh?Red Chard Stem "Celery" in Salads
Here's a wonderful recipe from Pie Ranch I can't wait to try:Bread Soup with Beans and Kale
from Jim Denevan's Oustanding in the Field
1 C dried navy beans
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 dried red chile, chopped or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. tomato paste
large bunch of dinosaur kale
4 qts. chicken stock
1 loaf of stale country bread
freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, for serving
Cook beans. [Soak in filtered water overnight; drain and bring to a boil in fresh water to cover by an inch. Boil 10 minutes to destroy lectins, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. This could be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how old/dry the beans are. Check periodically to see if they're cooked through. - Debbie] After removing from heat, stir 1 1/2 tsp. salt and some black pepper into the [beans and their] cooking liquid. As the beans cool, they will absorb the seasoning from the water. Set aside to cool.
In a large pot, heat 3 tbsp. olive oil over low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, chile, and rosemary to the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables soften and become fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook until the tomato paste begins to caramelize and become sweet, about 3 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the kale, strip leaves off the stems and chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces. Add to the vegetables and season to taste. When the greens have wilted a bit, add enough of the chicken stock to cover.
Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Strain the beans and add them to the pot along with the remaining stock. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard the rosemary spring.
Remove and discard the crust from the bread and tear the bread into 2-inch pieces. Add the bread to the soup a few pieces at a time, stirring after each addition so all the bread is completely moistened. The soup should begin to thicken once the bread absorbs the liquid; when all the bread is added, the soup will be very thick.
Ladle into bowls, grate some cheese on top, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.Okay, this last one's not for the kiddie set (although you could make them a virgin version by leaving out the vodka), but just for fun, how about a Bloody Mary recipe for using that wonderful spicy tomato juice made by Happy Girl Kitchen from Live Earth Farm's dry-farmed tomatoes? A little something for with Sunday brunch, perhaps...Spicy Tomato Juice and Meyer Lemon Bloody Mary
1 1/2 oz (1 jigger) vodka
1/2 C spicy tomato juice
juice from half a meyer lemon
1 C ice cubes
1 celery stick (or sprig of parsley) and additional lemon wedge, for garnish
Combine the vodka, tomato and lemon juices and ice cubes in a shaker and shake well. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with the celery stick (or parsley) and lemon wedge.