Sunday, June 12, 2011

Note's from Nikki-Radish and Kale Chips, Burger with a Lettuce Bun

I am so thankful for Nikki's amazing recipes. Last week's heat was fairly overwhelming. When I would come insdie to get a break from the hot sun, I have to say I was feeling less than inspired to do any blogging. I apologize for not even posting the share outline.

This week however, the weather is looking much better. I am so glad we are finally getting a little rain (and not in the form of violent storms). I will update the blog soon with the coming week's share. In the meantime, enjoy these great recipe ideas from Nikki. One note, if you are interested in making an order with Red Haven farm go to my website to download an order form.

Red Haven Farm Burgers with Lettuce Buns

I am so excited that we can now order Red Haven Farm's delicious grass-fed beef to pick-up at Inverbrook along with our CSA share. How convenient! We have been big fans of Red Haven Farm's meats for quite some time now. Nothing compares to grass-fed beef, in my opinion. The flavor is superb, not to mention the health benefits; and the fact that it's local makes it all the better.
Like you probably do, we have lettuce coming out of our ears right now. The head lettuce that Claire has been growing is outstanding this year. So sweet and refreshing, my kids are even eating it plain.
Last night, as I stared into the fridge and pondered what to make for dinner, I glanced at both the ground beef from Red Haven, and the gobs of lettuce from Inverbrook, and thought, "Burgers with lettuce buns, of course!" Perfect for a hot, summer night (I know, it's not officially summer yet, but it sure feels like it at 97 degrees).
I served the burgers up with kale and radish chips (see "Kale Chips" and "Radish Chips" for the recipes), and a plethora of fixings (cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc).

Ground grass-fed beef (We used 3 pounds to make 9 good-sized burgers. We like leftovers. :-))
Garlic powder to taste
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Lettuce "buns" (We used the iceberg-type lettuce from our Inverbrook farm share, which is nothing like the iceberg lettuce sold in most grocery stores. It is chock-full of flavor and color, and the crisp succulence that it yields makes for the perfect "bun".)
Burger fixings of your choice (cheese, pickles, sliced tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc)

1. Fire up your grill, or preheat a grill pan on the stove to medium/medium high heat.
2. Combine the ground beef, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper in a bowl, and form into patties (we make ours about 1/4-1/3 pound).
3. Cook the patties, flipping once, until cooked to your liking. (We like our burgers cooked "medium", so it takes about 3-5 minutes per side).
4. If you are using cheese, throw that on for the last minute or so of cooking time to melt.
5. Situate the burgers in the lettuce "buns", add whatever fixings you wish, and serve.

Kale Chips
When we picked up our farm share this past Monday, my kids were ecstatic to see that kale was part of the bounty. They all shouted, "Kale chips!" This is their favorite way to eat Kale, and the chips made the perfect accompaniment to the burgers with lettuce "buns" we made from the ground beef we ordered from Red Haven Farm (see "Red Haven Farm Burgers with Lettuce Buns" for the recipe), along with and the radish chips (see "Radish Chips" recipe). Normally, I just toss the torn kale with some olive oil and sea salt, but this time I decided to add a bit more flavor to the mix. I hope you enjoy this version as much as we did.

2 bags or bunches of kale, washed, torn, and spun dry (tough stems removed)
3 Tbsp good quality, extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt (You don't need much. I have learned this lesson the hard way. ;-) Go easy, you can always add more later.)
A couple pinches of raw sugar
A couple dashes of paprika
A couple dashes garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Toss the kale with the olive oil, sea salt, sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. I like to lightly massage the oil and spices into the leaves a bit.
3. Spread the leaves onto baking sheets in roughly one layer. (You don't have to be too picky. A little overlap is okay.)
4. Roast until the kale starts to brown and crisp up, approximately 10-15 minutes. Start checking at 7 minutes and keep checking every couple of minutes until they are done. Kale chips go from perfect to burnt very quickly. I have also learned this lesson the hard way. ;-)
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve. (These are best eaten fresh out of the oven.)


Serves 6-8

Radish Chips
I am thrilled to share this recipe, mostly because I have finally discovered a way to get my family to eat radishes. I should say, my son, Emre, and I both love radishes, but we are the only ones in this household who will touch them. As you can imagine, we get mighty tired of them by the end of the season as we're the only ones eating them. Turns out, radishes can be made into "chips". Roasting them gets rid of most of their bite, and, let's be honest, everything tastes better coated in olive oil and salt. ;-) The following recipe is super easy, and delicious. There are many variations on the internet. Just google "radish chips". There seem to be many opinions about the best oven temp for roasting, as well as how thick to slice the radishes. I encourage you to experiment. I don't think you can go wrong, really. Below you'll find what worked for me. Enjoy!

Thinly sliced radishes (I sliced mine about 1/16-1/8")
Good quality, extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 375.
2. Toss the sliced radishes with olive oil (I used approximately 2 Tbsp for about 3 dozen small radishes), and spread out onto a baking sheet (non-stick preferable) in one single layer.
3. Sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Keep checking on them. Once they start to brown up a bit and shrink, pull one out and test to see if it's done. They will continue to crisp up after you remove them from the oven and as they cool on the baking sheet.
5. Toss onto a serving plate, and enjoy.

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