Greetings to all; the Autumn weather is inspiring me to use more of the Indian spices I am so fond of. I hope I am not overwhelming you with my use of them in some of the recipes. They are thermogenic, which means they help to speed up the metabolism and consequently are warming to the system. With these cooler mornings I find myself naturally gravitating to them... like Chai tea in the early morning with some coconut milk in it... hmmm time for a cup right now. The bounty from the farm is just spectacular! Bless you in your adventures with cooking and health! Joyous week to you, Rebecca
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AFRICAN-STYLE QUINOA STEW
Peanuts are a common ingredient in African cooking and are actually a legume. Quinoa, although not a common ingredient in African cooking, is high in protein. Combined, the peanuts and quinoa make a complete protein with all the essential amino acids. Although vegetables aren't very high in protein, collards have a higher protein content than most.
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large leek, sliced into half moons
4 cloves garlic, minced
2- 3 summer squash, diced
3 potatoes, diced
a handful of green beans, sliced on the diagonal, about 2 inches long
1 small Padron or Hungarian hot pepper, or more, to taste
2 medium celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4 whole tomatoes, pulsed into a chunky puree in the food processor
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
6 C vegetable stock
1/2 C quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 C organic peanut butter
2 tbsp. tomato paste, more if needed to thicken
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil and then the onion, leek, garlic, peppers, celery, carrots. Saute for a few minutes until the vegetables are softened. Stir in your chunky tomato puree and the spices and season with some salt and pepper.
2. Add the stock, potatoes, green beans and quinoa. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover. Simmer until quinoa is cooked and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the squash.
3. Add the collard greens and the peanut butter. Stir to blend in completely. Add the tomato paste and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary, adding lemon juice for brightness or more tomato paste. Serve.BROCCOLI with SPANISH-STYLE SPICED BLANCHED ALMONDS
The spiced almonds add a nice flavor to this nutritious broccoli dish.
1 C almonds, blanched and peeled
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. olive oil, plus more if needed
2 tbsp. vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch broccoli (or more)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Prepare the almonds (blanch and peel). [Or I'm sure you can also purchase almonds that are already blanched and peeled.] Make sure the almonds are completely dry and place them on a baking sheet. Set aside.
2. In a mortar and pestle, grind the salt and paprika until it becomes finely ground.
3. Place the baking sheet with the almonds in the oven and toast for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and slice the almonds into slivers and put in a medium bowl.
4. Toss the almonds with the olive oil. Start with about 1 tsp. and add more if necessary, until all the almonds are lightly coated. Add the salt and paprika mixture to coat. Set aside.
5. Cut the broccoli into florets and julienne the stem. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a bowl with ice water and set aside. Add the broccoli florets and stems to the water and blanch for a few minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pot and immediately plunge into ice water. Once cooled, drain well and set aside in a bowl.
6. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the stock, garlic and broccoli. Stir mixture frequently until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. While the broccoli is cooking, roughly chop up the sliced, spiced almonds (this is optional; you can leave them sliced if you like. It's a texture thing). The last minute of cooking, toss in the chopped spiced almonds. Season with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve. APPLE PEAR CHUTNEY
Makes about 2 cups
By the time this chutney is done, the vinegar is so mild that you can serve this with either savory or sweet dishes - from roasted root vegetables to nutmeg pie or a slice of manchego cheese. Note that this can be made with all apples, all pears, or half-and-half, as described here.
1 C light-colored honey
1/2 C apple cider vinegar, preferably unfiltered
3/4 C balsamic vinegar
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
several slices ginger, optional
1. Core and thinly slice the fruits. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil to form a syrup.
2. Simmer the fruits in the syrup until transparent, about 15 minutes, then remove to a bowl or clean glass jar.
3. When done, pour the syrup - spices and all - over the cooked fruit; cover and refrigerate. The chutney will keep in the refrigerator for several months.CORN INFO
Today's corn is bred so that the sugars are slow to turn starchy, which means that corn even a few days old should be tender. Nevertheless corn that is super-fresh will always be best. Like all sweet sweet vegetables, corn goes well with all kind of seasonings, from sweet herbs to spices to chiles. An average ear of corn typically yields about a half to a quarter cup of kernels. If the corn is really good, plan to serve 2-3 ears per person! Do not shuck corn until you're ready to use it; if not being cooked right away, corn ears should be refrigerated whole, in their husks. If corn is still warm from the sun, wait until it cools down to room temperature before refrigerating. Versatile corn can be used in soups and stews, pancakes, breads, and puddings. It's delicious sauteed or creamed as well as grilled. Roasted corn kernels add a smoky flavor and texture to corn salads, salsas, and soups. Sweet nuggets of boiled, roasted, and grilled corn have great potential in the kitchen. Slice the kernels from the cob and add them to soups, chowders, vegetable ragouts, salads, salsas, muffins, and pancakes. You can slip a few into spoon bread or polenta too.
[Note from Debbie: Tom says the corn we are getting in our shares is not 'typical' yellow "sweet corn", but rather a reddish Mexican variety; a bit more starchy but with lots of flavor. Among other things, one of the reasons for growing this variety is because it is much more resistant to the corn earworm. I for one am quite excited about trying it -- we so rarely get fresh corn in our CSA shares!]CORN on the COB
Whole ears of corn
sea salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of unsalted
water to a boil (don't salt the water-it only toughens the corn). While it is heating, shuck the corn (pull off husks and rub off the silk) and cut off any blemished tips. When the water comes to a boil, drop the corn in and cook for about 2 minutes. [I think you can go even less than that - barely a minute! - Debbie] Pull out the ears with tongs, set them on a towel to drain briefly, then pile on the platter. Pass the salt, pepper mill, plenty of sweet butter, and lots of napkins! You can also try butter seasoned with chili powder, salsas, limes, and other condiments.OVEN-ROASTED CORN
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Place the ears of corn, with the husks on (or if you like you can husk and wrap in parchment paper then aluminum foil), directly on the rack. Bake for 15-20 minutes. When done remove the husks. The silk should come off the kernels easily.GRILLED CORN
Keep the stem attached to the ears, pull back the husks, and rub off the silk. Soak for about 20 minutes in cold water, ten pull husks back over the ears, twisting them at the tip so they will stay closed. Grill for 15-20 minutes, depending on the heat of the fire, turning every few minutes. As the corn steams, the kernels will turn bright and glossy. Pull back the husks and place back on the grill during the last few minutes of cooking so the corn caramelizes just enough to intensify the flavor. Serve with butter, sea salt and pepper, Sichuan pepper-salt mix, Indian salt, mixed spices, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.FRESH CORN SAUTE
Allow 1 1/2 to 2 ears per person. Slice off the kernels, then press out the scrapings from the cob. Melt a little butter or oil in a skillet, add a few diced shallots or a few sliced scallions, the corn and its scrapings, and 1 tbsp. water. Saute until the corn tastes cooked, about 4 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper. (For creamed corn, add 1/2 C cream at the end and simmer until it has thickened a bit.)HEARY GREENS in CASHEW CURRY SAUCE
Nuts and butters can be used to make creamy non-dairy sauces that are paired well with earthy greens. Warming Indian spices make a comforting and nutritious dish. This uses a lot of spices, but is worth the time and effort to make it...delicious!Curry Paste
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. cumin seed
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seed
1/4 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tbsp. minced garlicOther ingredients
1 bunch kale, stemmed
1 bunch collards, stemmed
1/2 C cashew butter
2 tbsp. curry (from above recipe)
sea salt to taste
1/4 C water, up to 1 cupTo make curry paste
1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and saute until very soft. While the onions are cooking, grind the cumin, fenugreek, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, allspice, and cardamom to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
2. Mix the freshly-ground spices with the whole mustard seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne. Set aside.
3. Add the ginger to the onions and cook for a few minutes, then add the spice blend to the onions and ginger and cook 5 more minutes. Set aside.To make the greens and sauce
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the greens. Return to a boil and cook about 2 minutes. Prepare an ice water bowl. Remove the greens from the pot with tongs and put directly in the ice water. Drain and squeeze out any excess water. Chop into bite sized pieces and add to a bowl.
2. Combine the cashew butter, curry paste and 1/4 C of the water to a blender and blend until creamy. Add additional water in increments until a thick yogurt-like consistency is achieved. Taste and add salt if needed.
3. Toss the sauce with the greens, using just enough water to coat the greens. If the greens need to be re-heated, add them to a pot on low heat and stir in the sauce. Transfer to a platter and serve.
[An easier way to do this might be to make the sauce (step 2) first and have it standing by, then when the greens are cooked, simply drain, squeeze and chop -- no need to ice -- and combine with the sauce. Just my thoughts! ;-) Debbie]PAPAS BRAVAS
Loosely translated, papas bravas means "spicy potatoes". In this dish the potatoes are like baked French fries, and the smoky, sweet, hot, garlicky sauce that comes with them is the brave part. Papas bravas are a popular dish in tapas bars all over Spain. If you end up with any leftover sauce, it's great on just about anything from eggs to chicken to scallops.sauce ingredients
2 tbsp. mild or sweet chili powder
1-2 tbsp. smoky paprika
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
pinch of ground cumin
1 C very ripe chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. sea salt
1/3 C olive oilother ingredients
12-18 small potatoes
oil for frying or baking
additional sea salt
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Reserve until needed (the sauce can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time). Refrigerate it, but bring it back to room temperature before serving.
2. You can peel or not peel the potatoes, as you wish. Either way, steam them or boil them in salted water until just fork tender; 15 minutes will do it for small potatoes. Drain them well and cut in half lengthwise.
3. If frying, pour the oil to the depth of about 1/2 inch into a heavy saucepan large enough to hold all the potatoes comfortably. If necessary, get another pan going at the same time, as you want to fry all the potatoes at the same time. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F and fry the potatoes until crisp on the bottom; then flip them over and repeat. Don't stir them around a lot. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl, sprinkling with salt as you go. If you don't want to fry the potatoes, heat the oven to 425 degrees F and oil a cookie sheet. Place the potatoes cut side down on the sheet and bake until golden on the bottom, about 10-15 minutes - you need to check that they are done: turn them over and brown the other side. The second side won't take as long, so watch them carefully. When done, put them in a bowl sprinkling them with sea salt as you go.
4. When all the potatoes are ready, scoop them onto plates, smother liberally with the sauce, and serve immediately.
WILTED GREENS on BRUSCHETTA
If you don't care for capers in this dish you can substitute Parmesan or an aged goat cheese or even Monterey Jack as the topping instead. Another great way to serve the greens is to toss them with pasta or spoon over polenta or risotto. Mascapone would be a wonderful addition to the polenta version.
3 to 4 half-inch thick slices of rustic country bread
butter or olive oil for coating
1 bunch mustard greens
8 ounces other greens of choice
2-4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 leek, white and green parts, sliced into thin circles and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 C red wine of your choice, or stock
1/4 C stock
sea salt and pepper
1 tsp. crushed dried red pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint OR thyme
1 tbsp. capers (if using)
To make the bruschetta
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the bread slices in half. Coat both sides with the butter or olive oil, place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until just starting to turn golden. You want the bread to be crispy on the outside, but still tender and chewy inside. Grilling the toasts would be extra good if you have a grill.
2. Wash the greens thoroughly. Working with the mustard greens , tear the leaves into large pieces, and sea them aside. If you have any stems, finely julienne them and set them aside from the leaves. Tear up the other greens into large pieces and add them to the mustard greens.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and leek. Cover and let cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring a couple times. Add the julienned stems, if any, and garlic and cook several minutes longer, until tender. Remove the lid and reduce the liquids. When the ingredients begin to caramelize, add the wine and cook until dry. Add the leafy mustard greens and the other greens, add the stock; cook, covered, another minute.
4. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring all the greens until they are wilted and tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated.
5. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, chopped mint or thyme, and capers. Place a spoonful of greens on top of each prepared bruschetta slice and serve. SWEET CORN CUSTARD
3 ears of corn
2 C heavy cream
4 large eggs
1 C loosely packed grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
1. Using a coarse grater or corn cutter, cut the kernels off the cobs into a bowl. Transfer the corn to a medium size saucepan, add the cream, and heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until the corn is tender.
2. Allow the mixture to cool, then puree it in a blender. Strain the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing well to extract all the liquids and the flavors.
3. Put the eggs, cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, but don't beat any air in it, as this will cause a foamy ridge to form around the edges of the custard. Stir in the corn mixture.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and butter ten 2-ounce ramekins or 5 4-ounce ones. Pour some custard into each of the ramekins. You will want to stop at least an inch from the rims to allow for rising.
5. Place the ramekins in a large shallow pan and carefully fill the pan with enough hot water to come 2/3rds of the way up the ramekins. Cover with aluminum foil; prick a few small holes in the foil.
6. Bake in the water bath for 35-40 minutes, until the custards are set.
7. You can serve them by turning them out onto individual plates and garnishing each with chives.
8. To reheat, put the ramekins in a water bath: 6-8 minutes for the small ones, 8-10 for the large.