Monday, May 31, 2010

Chicken & Swiss Chard Enchilada Casserole

I don't typically think of using my greens in Mexican style dishes. I tried this out last week; naturally with my own adaptations. We like Swiss chard, but I think it might be a dish that even people who were not overly fond of the green might be OK with.

1 pound Swiss chard, rinsed well and drained (less is OK--I used 2 bunches)
2 garlic cloves, or to taste, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large whole chicken breast, about 1 1/2 pounds, cooked, boned and shredded, about 1 1/4 cups meat
12-7 inch corn tortillas
3 cups Mexican style tomato sauce
1-1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack, about 6 ounces (I used Calico cheese from Fair Oaks Farms that I found at the Westside Farmers Market in Madison--its mild and melts very well)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cut the stems from the Swiss chard leaves and chop them and the leaves separately. In a large skillet cook the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until it is fragrant, stir in the Swiss chard stems and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Chop the leaves. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor. Just pulse a few times until they are chopped the way you want them. Add the leaves and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leaves are tender. Toss the Swiss chard with the shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste.
I had a cut-up chicken from Jenehr that I cooked in a crock pot and then used in several different dishes. This being one of them. I used more than 1 1/4 cups of chicken. Plus it does not need to be strictly chicken breast.
Saute the tortillas in a pan that you have sprayed with pan spray, about 3 at a time.
I made the Mexican sauce out of tomato puree from Jenehr and just added some chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. You could also use purchased enchilada sauce. Spoon about 1/3 cup of it into the bottom of a greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish and arrange 4 of the tortillas in one layer over it. Spread the tortillas with half the chicken mixture and half the cheese, spoon about 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce over the mixture and cover it with 4 of the remaining tortillas in one layer. Spread the tortillas with the remaining chicken mixture and the remaining cheese, top the mixture with 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce and cover it with the remaining 4 tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the tortillas and sprinkle it with the Parmesan. Bake the enchiladas, covered with foil, in the middle of a preheated 350F oven for 15 -20 minutes, remove the foil, bake the enchiladas, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the cheese is bubbling.

This dish also reheats well if you happen to have leftovers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Polenta with Sausage & Greens

We had this for supper last night and used our frilly yellow mustard greens and another bunch of mustard greens that we got in our spring share box. I don't think the cornmeal I used to make the polenta was local but just about everything else was. Its a very easy dish to make, but quite tasty and a good way to use a lot of "greens."

3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 cup polenta
8 ounces sausage--I used 2 links of Cajun sausage from Jordandal Farms (you could also substitute turkey sausage)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or 2 green garlic
1/4 teaspoon hot chili flakes (optional)
1 lb mustard greens, rinsed, stems trimmed, and chopped into 1 inch pieces (I used 2 bunches)
1/2-3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese--I got Parmesan cheese from Farmer John's at the Hilldale farmers market.
salt and pepper

In a 3-4 quart pan over high heat, combine broth, milk, and cornmeal, stirring until mixture reaches a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth, about 12-15 minutes. I usually make my polenta in the microwave so I don't have to worry about it sticking or burning.
Meanwhile brown the sausage slices. Add garlic and chili flakes (if desired). Add mustard greens and stir-fry until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add a little water if they seem to stick to the pan.
Spoon polenta into wide, shallow bowls. Top with sausage and greens mixture. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan over top and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Adapted from Recipezaar.com

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

My husband loves, I mean really loves bread pudding. I wanted to make him a treat for his birthday and this is what I made. Freeze leftover slices of bread, and when you get enough, make a bread pudding. We had rhubarb from our CSA spring share so this seemed like a good recipe to try.


7 slices bread, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
5 eggs
1 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place bread cubes into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan, and heat just to the boiling point. Pour over the bread cubes, and let stand for 15 minutes or until the bread is soggy. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir in rhubarb. Pour over the soaked bread, and stir gently until evenly blended. Sprinkle walnuts over the top. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until nicely browned on the top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

This is good with a dollop of fresh whipped cream if you have it available. If you don't, it is still a yummy dessert.

If you don't have quite enough rhubarb, you can add a few frozen strawberries.

Adapted from All Recipes.com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Komatsuna Greens in Ginger Miso Sauce

Yes, another greens recipe. We're getting lots of greens in the spring share from our CSA farm. Anyone who has ever done a spring share will be able to relate. Fortunately we really like all kinds of greens, but I'm always looking for new ideas of how to prepare them.

We both liked this greens & tofu dish served with a combination of cooked whole grain (I'm not sure what it was since I had it in unmarked canister) and whole wheat couscous. Obviously brown rice would be another excellent choice.

1 bunch Komatsuna Greens, stems and leaves separated
1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Brown the tofu. My method is to slice the tofu and drain on paper towel. Press gently to remove as much liquid as possible. Sprinkle both sides with flour. Spry an iron frying pan with pan spray (preferably the high heat variety) and get the pan very hot. Brown the tofu until it is crisped the way you prefer it. Do not overcrowd the pan or it won't brown. Set the tofu aside on a plate to add to the stir-fry later.

Chop the komatsuna stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Julienne the leaves. Heat up a wok or saute pan (without oil) and add the almonds. Stir-fry quickly until fragrant and toasted, about 45 seconds. Remove.
Then in the wok, heat up 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil on medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 6-7 minutes or until the onion turns clear and soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute. Add the komatsuna stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cook until just wilted. While the komatsuna is cooking, combine the soy sauce, miso, and vinegar until smooth and set it aside.
When the greens are tender, add the tofu and then drizzle with miso sauce and sprinkle with almonds.

Adapted from the blog Cupcake Punk

Wintry Greens Pasta

That is the official name of the recipe that came from The Seasonal Palette. I think the title Spring Greens Pasta would work equally well.

1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced or you could substitute some green garlic if you have it available
3 cups sliced mixed mushrooms (shitake, oyster, portobello)--I used chopped portobellos
12 oz. penne pasta--try to use one of the whole grain varieties for better nutrition
10 cups chopped mixed greens (mustard, turnips, or whatever you have available)
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 pound Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente or whatever degree of "doneness" you prefer. Saute garlic in olive oil for 1 minute, add mushrooms and cook until wilted. Add greens to pan with mushrooms & garlic and cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain pasta, add to pan with vegetables. Season with salt & pepper. You could also add some fresh or dried herbs at this point if you would like to. Sprinkle cheese over the pasta and mix gently.

Note: You could also add sliced precooked chicken spinach feta sausages that are available at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods to add a little more protein to the dish.

Note: The amount of greens is not important. Just be sure they are chopped well enough so they aren't stringy which is a real turn off for my husband.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Greens, greens, greens!!

We picked up our second spring share from our new farm today. Tons of lovely greens. We got spinach, pizzo, frilly mustard greens, Toyko bekana, komatsuna, salad mix, micro greens, little white turnips, asparagus, leeks, green onions, green garlic, rhubarb and frozen strawberries. I am not familiar with some of these greens, but other then deciding whether they should be cooked or not, a lot of them are interchangeable. Both the pizzo and frilly mustard greens are spicy and can be used raw or cooked.

I used the pizzo in a recipe that called for mustard greens.

Potato Salad with Greens and Hard Boiled Eggs

5 or 6 Medium Potatoes, cut into chunks. If they are organic, there is no need to peel them.
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 Bunch Mizuna or other Mustard Green
2 Eggs, Hard boiled
1 Jalapeno Pepper (optional), seeds removed and finely chopped
Sea Salt
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Prepared Mustard
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes and drain. While the potatoes are cooking chop the greens. I used my food processor so that the greens are finely chopped and there is no danger they will be stringy. Dump the hot potatoes on top of the greens and mix. Let the mixture cool somewhat. Add the onions and pepper. Combine the mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar. Pour over the vegetables and combine gently. Serve either at room temperature or chilled.

Adapted from recipes from Henry's Farm CSA

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lovely Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday was a totally beautiful day in southern Wisconsin. Our friends called us bright and early Sunday morning to invite us to come and see the last of the apple blossoms in their orchard. Ellen and Bob have a a wonderful orchard in Ridgeway Wisconsin where they grow certified organic apples, pears and plums. They have a fruit CSA as well as selling at the farmers' markets: http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M7074.

After touring the orchard, Ellen and Bob prepared a wonderful meal, including asparagus and morel mushrooms from their land. I contributed dessert. Some of the ingredients such as the rhubarb were local--the mangoes unfortunately were not.

Rhubarb-Mango Crumble

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 mangoes, preferable Champagne mangoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes--this is picture of the Champagne mango. They are very sweet, have smaller pits and are less fibrous then regular mangoes. I usually find them at Whole Foods.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pecan pieces

Preheat the oven to 400°. Generously butter or spray a 9 x 13" baking pan. Add the rhubarb and mango, then add 3/4 cup of the sugar and toss gently to combine.
In a food processor, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the flour, cornmeal, ginger and salt; pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and process just until the mixture begins to clump. Add the pecan pieces and combine, but do not chop any further. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top. Test with a fork to make sure the rhubarb is tender--if not bake a little longer.

Serve at room temperature with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. Ice cream would be good too.
Adapted from Food & Wine.com

Herby Lentil Soup

I love lentil soup but I especially enjoyed this recipe which I believe came from the book, The Best Life Recipes. I found the recipe tucked away in my recipe files and decided to make it. Of course it got altered along the way.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 - 1 cup chopped carrot
1 pepper, red or green
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2-3 slices bacon, cooked and then crumbled
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
5 cups chicken broth
1# can crushed or chopped tomatoes
1 dried hot pepper (optional)
3 sage leaves, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage if the fresh isn't available (which it wasn't for me)
2 large fresh thyme springs, finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves (I used dry)
2 large rosemary springs, you could also substitute dry rosemary--maybe about 1/2 teaspoon. I used fresh
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons or more chopped fresh cilantro

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove most of the drippings, add the olive oil and saute onions, carrots and peppers until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the lentils. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until the lentils are almost tender. Add the herbs, salt and pepper, except for cilantro. Cook until the lentils are completely tender. Transfer 4 cups of the soup to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and return to the pot.

Check the soup's consistency. Add more chicken broth if it is too thick. Top the soup with the crumbled bacon and cilantro and serve.

A serving of the soup is supposed to have 18 grams of fiber which goes a long way towards meeting the daily recommendation.