Canning: Hot Cherry Peppers
Monday, August 30, 2010
It’s no secret that I love hot pepper. And pickles. Pickled hot peppers? Yes, please. I bought some lovely hot cherry peppers on the side of the road in New Jersey, and then got a big bag in my CSA last week, so I decided to give them all the pickling treatment so that I can enjoy them with cheese, and all kinds of other things, later this winter. I’ve been using this recipe from Martha Stewart, and I have to say, it’s just about perfect.
Canning: Pickled Carrots
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Carrots are just fine, but sometimes they feel a little boring to me. Pickled carrots to the rescue! They’ve got more kick than fresh, are easy to make (especially when you have a bag of baby carrots hanging around) and a delicious snack with hummus. You can make these pickles over night in the refrigerator, or can them, like I did above. I love them at picnics! I started with this recipe originally published in Gourmet magazine. I cut the sugar a bit, and used dried hot thai peppers for extra kick. Adjust the garlic, dill and hot peppers to your liking!
Kohlrabi - a delicious recipe
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
One of my favorite things about my Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA is the weekly email newsletter I receive. It lets me know exactly what I’m going to get in my share, usually includes an interview with one of the farmers who contributes to my CSA and photos of the farm, and recipes for some of the more unfamiliar vegetables. This week, I got a beautiful bunch of kohlrabi - a cross in flavor between turnips and cabbage. This recipe, included in the newsletter (originally taken from the blog Sustainable Pantry) was incredibly delicious. If you don’t have chard, blanch and add your kohlrabi greens! And make sure to peel the kohlrabi very well - it has a pretty hard outer “shell.”
2 kohlrabi, peeled, quartered and sliced
1/2 onion, choppedcimg3633
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T fresh chopped ginger
3-4 chilis (optional, I like things spicy so I used the Vietnamese chilis pictured)
Garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chard, washed and chopped
1 can coconut milk
2 T red (or green) curry paste
2-3 T peanut butter (I prefer chunky for this, but smooth is fine)
Scallions (for garnish)
1. In a medium sized pot, Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chilis in a neutral oil (canola, safflower) over medium high heat until browned
2. Add the kolhrabi, scapes and chard and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the chard wilts and the kohlrabi softens up a little; season with salt
3. Add the curry paste and coconut milk, then fill the coconut milk can about 1/2 way with water, swish it around to get any remaining coconut milk, and add to the pot. Stir until the curry paste is dissolved. After the mixture boils, lower heat to a simmer and stir in the peanut butter until dissolved.
4. Cook for about 10 minutes. Taste and season as necessary with salt. Garnish with sliced scallions and serve over rice.
What to do with Garlic Scapes?
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Perhaps garlic scapes have popped up in your CSA share, or you’ve seen them recently at a farmer’s market and thought “what do I do with these?
You’re not alone. Before I signed up for my first CSA last spring, I’d never seen a scape or even heard of them. A garlic scape is the greens that garlic bulbs shoot up out of the ground while they are growing (much like onion greens). Farmers remove the scapes so that the garlic bulb devotes more of its energy to making itself big and fat. While farmers used to throw scapes into the compost or feed them to animals, they’ve become a popular market produce and herald of the new Spring season.
So what do you do with them? Basically, anything that you would already do with garlic. Scapes taste like garlic, but with a milder, greener flavor. You can chop them (all the way through the flower) and add them to stir-fries, soups, salads, casseroles, burritos, and really, anything else. Many scape lovers find them especially delightful ground into pesto. I like to fry the scapes before using them (like garlic). Because they are milder, you can use many more scapes than you would white garlic cloves. A good estimate is about one full scape per garlic clove (if you are substituting) and you will still have milder flavor. And if for some reason you just can’t stand garlic, they also look beautiful in a vase!
Sprout your own Beans
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Not only to sprouted bean pack a great crunch, they are also higher in enzymes, fiber B-vitamins and protein than cooked or canned beans, an easy protein-pick if you’re eating raw, and easy to make yourself. Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) work especially well and make a wonderful hummus, as do green lentils. Mung beans, adzuki beans are other popular choices.*
1. Place 1 cup of dried beans in a large jar. Fill with water and soak overnight.
2. Drain the beans, leaving them in the jar.
3. Every day, rinse the beans and drain again.
4. When the beans have sprouted long white tales, they are ready to eat and should be kept in the refrigerator.
The beans will “grow” as they sprout, so make sure to leave extra jar room. I like punch holes in a few jar lids with a hammer and nails so I have a permanent straining solution! Enjoy on salad, in curries, as spreads, in pasta - however you usually eat beans!
* Do NOT eat raw sprouted black beans, kidney beans or soya beans as they produce a poison before they are cooked and will likely make you sick. You CAN sprout black beans and then cook them.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
All this sun and rain and sun again left me with a bumper crop of dandelions. Before I covered the lot next door with raised beds and obliterated their yellow-bloomed bliss, I decided to use this bright “weed” for something useful. Crouched in the yard on a 70 degree Saturday, my basket of dandelion blooms garnered a lot of attention. Folks walking by stopped to ask what I was doing. A mini-van of curious neighbors pulled over to discuss my harvest, and turned out to be State Representative and her husband. My elderly neighbor got so excited he dug up a giant ceramic crock from his basement and donated it to my wine making effort. But what exactly is dandelion wine, and how do you make it? I’ve done some internet and word-of-mouth research and this is what I’ve discovered:
1. You only use the buds of newly opened, non-sprayed dandelions. If you want less bitter wine, use only the yellow petals.
2. Many old recipes call for the addition of orange juice and zest, cloves, even ginger to enhance the flavor.
3. Dandelion wine needs a LOT of sugar. Depending on how little you use, you can brew with traditional yeast, but a larger sugar addition needs champagne yeast (available at brewers stores) and will produce a drier, more alcoholic wine.
4. The wine needs to ferment anywhere from three weeks to one year.
I’ve started my first batch, but who knows if it will be a success. Have you ever tried dandelion wine? Ever made your own? Post your tips here and we’ll all benefit from this old recipe for “liquid sunshine” that makes good use of a lovely, if bothersome “weed.”
Make your own granola!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Granola can be filled with healthy grains, protiens and dried fruits. But it can also be filled with a lot of saturated fat, oil, and sugar. Make a visit to your local co-op or natural food store (or Reading Terminal Market) and pick up some healthy bulk grains and nuts and make your own! It really only takes about 20 minutes, and you’ll be able to control the amount of fat and sugar. I change-up my granola mix all the time - the latest involves sliced almonds, dried cranberries and goji berries for extra antioxidents. I also always add ground flax for the good omegas and wheat bran and rolled (not quick) oats for fiber. You can make a variation of my recipe here, or search online or in your own cookbook collection. I find in general that fat and sugar can easily be reduced!
Hello! My name is Erica and I’m excited to join the Farm to Philly team! I’m a community garden organizer and local food lover from West Philadelphia, check out my bio for more info on the gardens I tend in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ.
For my first post I decided to go with a tried-and-true recipe that I am constantly making in my kitchen; sauerkraut. Cabbage is a great winter staple, I get mine at Mariposa Food Co-op where they’ve recently been selling small cabbages that are perfect for a mini batch of kraut.
The first step is to assemble your equipment: a ceramic crock or (food-grade) plastic bucket and a dish that fits snugly into it. I found my crock at a second-hand store, but you can sometimes buy them at housewares stores. You’ll also need a cutting board, a glass mason jar with lid, a knife, a dish cloth and a large bowl.
Your ingredients are one small cabbage, sea salt, and water. The amounts depend on the size of your crock, but I use one small head of cabbage, ½ cup of water, and 3 or 4 Tbs of salt in my ½ gallon crock.
Thinly shred the cabbage. I find that the best way to do this is to cut it in half and slice thinly from the cut side. When you’ve cut off a handful of cabbage, put it in the bowl and sprinkle it with salt. Keep doing this until you’ve shredded the entire cabbage, layering the cabbage and salt as you go. Put the cabbage in the crock and mash it down with your fist to get it tightly packed. Mix together one teaspoon of salt in a cup of water and pour it over the cabbage until the cabbage is submerged. Put the dish into the crock and put it down so the cabbage is under the salt water. Fill the mason jar with water and use it to weigh the plate down. Cover the entire thing with a dish cloth to keep away flies and dust, and place it in a dark corner of your kitchen.
Taste the sauerkraut daily to observe the fermentation process. When it has reached the perfect amount of “sourness,” take it out of the crock and place it in a mason jar in the fridge. For me, it takes between 1.5 and 2.5 weeks in the winter to reach the perfect point (less time in the summer). To see the original recipe I used and more fermented food recipes, check out wildfermentation.com. Enjoy!
New March GRID - seasonal recipes and more!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Hey friends! The March GRID is hitting the stands. Full of season-friendly recipes (including mine for a winter vegan shepard’s pie), and resources for using salvaged materials in your home. Go pick your up now! If you’re outside of Philadelphia, you can still enjoy GRID by reading it online HERE.
Roots and Squash to soup
Sunday, January 31, 2010
By this time of year, I think that we are all starting to get a little tired of winter vegetables. I’m already dreaming of fresh tomatoes and basil. But there are plenty of ways to spice up the vegetables that are in season. Just chop them up, cook them down in some broth, and puree them - or not. Add beans or grains and have a hearty meal. . Add a fried onion and some garlic, and I like to add a kick - fresh ginger, curry, or hot peppers.
sweet potatoes and butternut squash
potatoes and parsnips or celeriac
carrots and ginger
kale and potato
potato leek and onion
spinach, greens, and potato
turnip, carrot and cream
Tangerine Cranberry Relish
Monday, December 21, 2009
Aren’t these gorgeous? I almost want to wear them. But instead, I made my favorite winter snack, tangerine cranberry relish. I was out of town for Thanksgiving and so missed the opportunity to make this, but really, I just eat it with a spoon - no turkey/whatever required.
This is very simple: 1 pint of local cranberries (mine from the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market—they have both red and white!), 1 tangerine (ok, not local, but organic and also from the FFFarmstand), about 1/2c sugar (to start). Scrub the tangerine well b/c what makes this is grinding the whole fruit—peel and all. I sectioned it to remove the seeds. Wash the berries. Pulse in a food processor until minced but not mush. Add sugar to taste. That’s it! (Also nice, for obvious reasons, with an orange.)
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I love acorn squash. It’s so cute and hardy and can be cooked in so many ways! Growing up, my parents used to make stuffed squash at least twice a month. While many people stuff squash with sausage, you’ll be happy to know that you can stuff squash with just about anything! You just need to decide if you’re looking for a savory or a sweet dish.
1. A grain. Think brown rice, couscous, bulgar, barley, quinoa, even a firm polenta.
2. A crunch. Nuts or seeds, to taste!
3. Herbs and spices. For savory, think thyme, sage, oregano, hot pepper.
4. Vegetables. For savory, think peppers, garlic, tomatoes (or sauce) hot peppers, etc.
1. A grain. See above.
2. A crunch. A crunch. Nuts or seeds, or both!
3. Herbs and spices. For sweet, think cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, ginger, cardomom,, brown sugar, honey.
4. Fruit. For sweet, think dried fruits and berries (cranberries, apricots, raisin etc.) and fresh chopped apples, celery etc.
For a recipe for the stuffed squash pictured above, go HERE.
Tasty Ending to Collard Growing Failure
Sunday, November 08, 2009
In September I was all excited to plant cool weather vegetables in my garden for the first time. Then a flock of caterpillars and goodness knows what it was bug settled in on the collards and avoided all my efforts to dislodge them (sharp sprays of water, Safer’s, plucking them off). I waved the white flag today and harvested what remained of my lacy green leaf patch. Combined with beautiful leeks and potatoes from the farmers market at Greensgrow, parsley and chives from the garden, and Wisconsin bratwurst (ok, local only to where I used to live), I made a pretty darn good gratin.
Being from the upper midwest, I’m aware that I should be making casseroles, not gratins. But having “freelanced” a few dreadful corningware dishes of mushy veg, way too al dente grains, and unappetizing combinations, I switched to making “gratins” and have experienced much greater success. I do not know why. Similar stuff + some cheeses (bits of leftover cheese are perfect) + broth or milk. I should stop questioning it and just hope that my grandmas are ok with the high-falutin name.
CSA Report: Blooming Glen Farm
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
(Click photo to read notes at flick’r regarding names/quantities of share.)
Well look at that—a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Those farmers at Blooming Glen Farm seem to always have a surprise for us! I have no idea what te future has in store for that pumpkin, but it’ll have to wait, as my kitchen is chock-full of wonderful, vitamin-rich, hearty and delicious root vegetables right now. Here’s my go-to recipe for celeriac, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, etc.:
Root Stew with Barley
3 tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pearled barley
4 cups vegetable stock
4 - 6 cups of scrubbed, but unpeeled* diced root veggies
1/2 - 1 cup of chopped fresh herbs (dill works well, but any one or two will work)
*Except the celeriac. Go ahead and peel those gnarly, dirty bad boys. Most of the nutrients in root vegetables live close to the surface; by peeling them you’ll inadvertently loose the good stuff.
Heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened (about five minutes). Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Stir in barley and vegetable stock. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low, skim off any froth, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add root veggies. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes more, or until barley and vegetables are tender. Just before serving, stir in herbs. Salt and pepper to taste
So delicious and easy!
fall fruits + summer stuff in the freezer
Monday, September 28, 2009
This is a sour cherry cobbler from my new favorite cookbook, Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More, by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.
It tastes as good as it looks. I had a few cups of sour cherries that I spent a night in June pitting—this made it worth the effort. There are many, many recipes to make (and riff from) in this book, so I thought I’d share with all of you. And, it’s organized by season. Sure, some of the recipes call for berries available only in the Northwest where the authors are from, but we are all champions at substituting, I think! I have apples from Rittenhouse Farmers Market in the fridge ready for apple pandowdy this weekend.