Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Vegetable Cobbler

A couple of weeks ago I made a potpie from a recipe in the Harmony Valley Farms newsletter. I added chicken to the vegetables. It was very good, but definitely labor intensive. This recipe is quite easy and I think equally delicious. You could add chicken or other meat if you wish.

Winter Vegetable Cobbler
(adapted from Recipe Link)

1 turnip, peeled and cut into bite-size wedges (I used 1/2 of a gold turnip)
1 potato, peeled and diced (I used 2 potatoes)
1 celery root, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups) or 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 onion, coarsely chopped (I used a handful of the little red cipollini onions from HVF)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon of any preferred herb or herb blend

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Put the turnip, potato, celery root, onion, carrots, and parsley in a 2 inch deep, 3 quart ovenproof baking dish (I used a 13x9x2-inch pan). You should have about 6-8 cups of vegetables.
In a small mixing bowl, blend the chicken broth with the cornstarch. Pour over the vegetables and mix well. Add the salt and pepper and mix to blend. Dot the top of the vegetables with the butter.

Cobbler Dough
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
3/4-1 cup heavy cream

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor (or bowl).  Add the butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Dumb into a bowl and using a fork, slowly stir in the cream, until roughly mixed. Gather the dough into a shaggy mass and knead 5 or 6 times. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board until it is the size of the top of the baking dish. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Its kind of a cross between pie crust and a biscuit dough, but quite easy to work with. Place the dough on top of the vegetables. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and the crust is browned. Test vegetables for doneness with a knife tip or skewer. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Note: Any combination of winter root type vegetables would work fine in this dish. A good place to use up whatever you have available. Next time I would add additional herbs besides the parsley to give some added interest to the vegetables.  I didn't have any celery root the last time I made this and used 3 stalks chopped celery which worked out fine. 

If you want to speed up the baking time a bit, you could start precooking vegetables on top of the stove with the broth while you make the dough topping.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Cabbage

We have quite a lot of cabbage from our farm share so I'm trying a number of different recipes with cabbage.

This is a recipe that I converted from a British website. The author comments: "This is a lovely, robust winter dish, perfect for when you come in chilled from outside and need something a bit stodgy and warming."

Pasta with Savoy Cabbage, Dolcelatte and Roasted Walnuts

I researched and found that Dolcelatte was similar to blue cheese, so that is what I used.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded (I used about 4 cups)
1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
5 oz rotini (or any available pasta--I used penne)
2 oz roasted walnut pieces
4 oz Dolcelatte cheese, roughly cubed (I substituted blue cheese and would suggest using about 2 ounces, you can always add more if you want to)
2-3 tablespoons cream
fresh Parmesan, grated

Heat the butter and oil in a large pan, add the cabbage and garlic, a little salt, the lemon juice and the fennel seeds, stir and cover. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is tender but still has some bite. This will take anything from 15–25 minutes. You shouldn't need to add extra water, but if it seems to be sticking, just add a tiny amount of water.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water, timing it to be ready with the cabbage. When both are cooked, drain the pasta and put it in the pan with the cabbage. Keep the heat on low. Add the walnuts, blue cheese, cream and a little grated Parmesan. Season with plenty of black pepper and extra salt if you think it needs it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another Tasty Soup Recipe

I'm still working on using up our winter storage vegetables. We only get one more shipment from our CSA farm and then I'll have to resort to the grocery store. Ugh! I can get a few vegetables at the winter farmers' market. The farmers' market runs year 'round here in Madison Wisconsin on Saturday mornings. I actually love the winter market. Its quite small but they serve a breakfast and I always run into someone I know. If you live in the Madison area I suggest signing up for the e-mail update. It is sent out toward the end of the week and includes the vendors who will be at the market, a menu for the breakfast, a recipe or two and lovely food porn.

Savoy Cabbage and Corn Chowder
(adapted from Recipe Source)

4 cups Savoy cabbage -- shredded (plain cabbage would be OK)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced red onion (or whatever you have) I'm lucky enough to have beautiful little cippolini onions from HFV (Harmony Valley Farm)
1/2 cup diced carrot (1 good sized carrot)
5 cups diced potatoes (no need to peel)
1/4 cup canned chopped green chilies
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon powdered coriander
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
couple of stems of fresh rosemary (dry is OK)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk (I used 2%)
1-2 cups chicken broth (as much as needed for the consistency you prefer)
10 oz. frozen corn (1 package)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Fresh thyme if available (I skipped this)

Heat oil in a large pan and saute cabbage and onion until softened. Add carrots, potatoes and canned chilies. Combine herbs, crush and add to the soup. Add salt and pepper. Add milk and enough chicken broth to cover potatoes. Cover and cook gently to be sure not to scorch the milk. Stir occasionally. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Partially puree the soup with an immersion blender so that it remains fairly chunky. Add the corn and cook another 10 to 12 minutes. If it is too thick add a bit more broth. Top with cilantro and serve.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Squash or Pumpkin Recipes

Most recipes calling for winter squash or pumpkin are pretty much interchangeable. Use whatever variety of squash you have available.

Spicy Coconut Pumpkin
(adapted from Farmer John's cookbook)

My daughter gave me a little sugar pumpkin from her CSA farm but if you don't have one a winter squash would work equally as well.

I served the dish with brown basmati rice and some chutney.

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion (about 2 cups) thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped (I removed the seeds for a bit less heat)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 pounds pie or sugar pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can coconut milk, either regular or lite
1 tablespoon raisins
2 teaspoons maple syrup or brown sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large frying pan with a cover. Add the onion; saute until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Add the ginger, cook for another minute or two. Stir in the curry powder, jalapeno and cardamom. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the pumpkin chunks, coconut milk, raisins and maple syrup. Cover; cook over low heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover, and if the sauce is too thin, let it cook down until it is as thick as you prefer. Season with salt and pepper.

Val's Baked Butternut Squash with Apples
This dish is very easy to make and is an excellent side dish.
1 1/2# butternut squash
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon flour
3-4 apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mace

Peel squash and cut in 1/2 inch slices. Peel and core apples and slice as for pie. Arrange squash in a 9 inch square pan (or other 2 quart size dish). No need to grease the pan. Top with apples. Mix together the brown sugar, flour and mace and sprinkle on top of the apples. Add melted butter. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

A note on vegetable peelers. I have a swivel vegetable peeler recommended by America's Test Kitchen. However, I think a Y shaped vegetable peeler is essential for peeling hard squash. I have an Oxo Good Grips version.

Here's a picture so you can see the type that I mean.

Great Soup Recipe

I haven't posted any recipes recently, but I made this soup over the holidays and want to share it. Its a Carrot and Sunchoke Soup recipe that I found on another blog called The author has the following comments on the recipe:

"In this soup, the sweetness of carrots and the nuttiness of sunchokes predominate, accented by cardamom, nutmeg, fresh ginger, and the bright taste of a pink lady organic apple. Finished with a drizzle of deep green pumpkin oil and toasted pumpkin seeds, it provides a feast for the eyes as well as the soul."

I did use an organic apple from Future Fruit Farm, but I don't remember what variety. I don't think it matters.
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 C chopped onion
2 large stalks celery, chopped
2 T finely chopped ginger root
2 tsp crushed cardamom
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp sea salt
4 C chopped organic carrots
2 C chopped sunchokes
1 juicy, flavorful apple, cored and chopped
4 C water
To finish:1 can coconut milk
freshly ground pepper to taste
Garnish: pumpkin seed oil
toasted pumpkin seeds
In a heavy soup kettle (I used a 4-quart one), heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, ginger root, cardamom and nutmeg, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After the celery and onion are well softened, add the carrots, sunchokes and salt. Turn heat to medium low and pan roast all the vegetables, stirring frequently. The idea is to intensify the flavor of the vegetables, not to brown them. This process can go on for as long as 30 minutes. Less is fine too.
When the vegetables are glistening and softened, add water and the apple. Bring to a simmer and keep partially covered over medium low heat until carrots are soft, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Using an immersion blender (or food processor), puree the soup, leaving small bits for texture. Add coconut milk and adjust seasonings. Allow to sit, covered, until serving time. An even richer flavor occurs if the soup stands for a while.
Try to add the garnishes if possible. The pumpkin seed oil (which in Madison Wisconsin is available at Vom Fass and pumpkin seeds really add a lot to make this soup special.