Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Notes From Nikki-Three Great Fall Recipes

Good Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
My son, Kiah, has been begging me to make beef stew (his favorite) ever since the leaves started turning. This dreary day turned out to be the perfect day to hang in the kitchen, and the Inverbrook potatoes and parsley I had on hand sealed the deal. Although it's a cinch to whip together, you need time for this recipe. The meat needs to simmer at least an hour to get to the point where it just falls apart in your mouth. Any less than an hour and your jaws will be begging for mercy as they attempt to chew through all those tough little wads of beef. I started this stew late in the morning, finished it just after noon, and let it sit covered on the stove until dinner time. Perfect. All I had to do was reheat it a touch. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bit-sized chunks
1 large yellow onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 T worcestershire sauce
3-4 T ketchup (or tomato paste)
3-4 bay leaves
6 medium-large russet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
6 medium carrots, sliced/chopped into bite-sized chunks
Generous handful of chopped parsley leaves
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

1. Saute the beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat in a large soup pot until the meat is browned on the outside.
2. Season the beef mixture generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and stir in the worcestershire and ketchup.
3. Add 8 C of water, along with the bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender (about 45 minutes-1 hour).
5. Add in the potatoes along with more sea salt and pepper, and continue simmering until the potatoes are starting to get tender, but are still pretty firm.
6. Add in the carrots, and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are firm tender, and the meat is super tender.
7. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.
8. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
9. Serve and enjoy!
Serves 6-8

Kabocha Squash Bowls with Local Drunken Cranberry Turkey Sausage and Greens
If you haven't tried the sausage from the good folks at Maiale, do yourself a favor and indulge the next time you're out at the Kennett Farmers Market on a Friday. It's to die for. Really. I have a slight sausage addiction thanks to these guys. They have vegetarian options as well. The following recipe showcases their "turkey sausage with drunken cranberries". I was told that the "drunken cranberries" are soaked in white wine. Feel free to substitute other turkey based sausage here, or just leave it out. The squash will still be tasty with just the greens. I would throw a bit of fresh minced garlic into the saute pan along with the greens to give it more depth if you decide to leave the sausage out.

1 package of Maiale Drunken Cranberry Turkey Sausage (or approximately 1/2 lb of turkey sausage of your choice)
2 bunches of cooking greens, stemmed and roughly chopped (I used the perpetual spinach from our Inverbrook share)
2 kabocha squash, halved and seeded
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2- 3/4 C freshly shredded parmigiano reggiano

1. Rub the the squash halves with a bit of olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
2. Roast uncovered in a 400 degree oven until the squash is tender when pierced and slightly browned (about 20-30 minutes).
3. While the squash is roasting, remove the sausage from its casing, and saute over medium heat in a large skillet until cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks.
4. Add in the greens and saute until just wilted.
5. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
6. Once the squash is finished roasting, remove it from the oven and fill each half with 1/4 of the sausage mixture.
7. Sprinkle the top of each squash bowl with parmigiano reggiano, and return to the oven briefly to melt and brown the cheese slightly.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Serves 4

Sweet Potato Apple Cake
This recipe from Whole Foods Market showed up in my inbox today: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2658?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2011_10_19_Recipe

The sweet potatoes from this week's share are perfect for this. I changed things ever so slightly, using real maple syrup instead of brown sugar, coconut oil instead of cooking spray, etc. My version is below.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

1 C whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
Generous pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 C real maple syrup (1/2 C makes for a sweet cake, use less if you're looking for something a bit more mild)
1 large or 2 small eggs
2 small-medium sweet potatoes (about 3/4 lb.), peeled and grated
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled, cored, and grated (I used honey crisp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut oil for greasing the pan (extra virgin olive oil will work too)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
3. Combine the apple, sweet potato, eggs, maple, and vanilla in another bowl.
4. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together, stirring until just combined.
5. Grease an 8" cake pan with coconut oil, and spread the cake batter evenly into it.
6. Bake until cooked through (about 40 minutes).
7. Allow to cool, slice, and serve.

1 comment:

Humble Mom said...

Nikki, that beef stew looks delicious. I think I will make some.