JUDI’S RECIPES – WEEK 14 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2018

September 4, 2018

September is here. I hear a lot of moaning and groaning about the end of summer, but that’s three weeks away, people! Cheer up! September also means the fall harvest is beginning and lots of hearty and delicious vegetables are coming our way.

I don’t know about you, but I have a few onions sitting around. Some people shy away from them because they’re sharp and might cause stomach repercussions.  Here’s what I do:  I make caramelized onions! They are mild and delicious, and there are things we can add to make them super interesting and even more delicious. So today’s recipe is one for caramelized onions.

 

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

2 large yellow onions, peeled

2 TBS unsalted butter

Kosher salt
Low-sodium chicken broth or water (for pan; optional)

1. Halve both onions through the root end (vertically). Using the tip of your knife, cut a V-shaped notch around the root on each half to remove it.  This will help the onion slices separate when you slice the onion.

2. Lay each onion half on your cutting board, flat side down, with the root end  facing you, then thinly slice the onion lengthwise. You want slices that are 1/8 to 1/4 inch  thick. You’re going to wind up with a big pile of thinly sliced onion. Don’t worry – it cooks down quite a bit.

3. Heat 2 TBS of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until it sizzles.  Using a pan that has a wide base gives water room to evaporate, allowing the onions to caramelize rather than steam.

4. Putting all of the onions in at once would crowd the onions, making it hard to stir, which would in turn make the onions on the bottom cook faster than the ones at the top. So, begin with a handful or two of onions.  Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and starting to turn translucent (1–2 minutes). Stir in a few more handfuls of onions and continue cooking and stirring  until you’ve added all the onions. Season with a pinch of salt.

5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the onions, stirring every few minutes to prevent them from sticking and browning unevenly, until blonde-colored, 15–20 minutes. At this point, the onions are just done enough  for French onion soup. If you feel like onions are getting too brown around the edges or they’re sticking, reduce your heat a bit.

6. If you want onions that are both softer and more caramelized (for something like onion dip), keep cooking and stirring until the onions are really golden brown, another 15–20 minutes. Because most of the water will have cooked off at this point, there might be some bits stuck to the pan. If this happens, stir in a splash of broth or water. The liquid will dissolve the cooked-on bits, which the onions will re-absorb. For extra-dark onions, the kind that are  great on a burger, cook until they start to almost blacken around the edges and go slightly crisp, another 10–15 minutes. This requires constant attention so they don’t burn.  Caramelized onions are not fast food, but they are so worth the effort!

7. Let the onions cool in the saucepan, then either use them right away or put them in an airtight container and chill. They will keep up to 1 week.

HELPFUL HINT: There are lots of things you can add to these onions to enhance or complement their flavor: red wine, balsamic vinegar, more chicken stock, diced mushrooms – let your imagination run wild!

ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT: I saw this one on the late lamented The Chew: It’s still corn season. To quickly and neatly cut the kernels off a corn cob, use a bundt pan. Rest the tip of the corn cob on the little indentation in the center of the pan (the part that sticks up). Then use your knife to quickly slice off the corn kernels. A bonus: they all land in the bundt pan!

I will be away for the next two weeks, so Anastasia will be gathering recipes for you from the Internet. Enjoy the bounteous season!

And have a delicious week!

Best,

Judi

 

 

JUDI’S RECIPES -WEEK 13 – AUGUST 28, 2018

August 28, 2018

Greetings All,

Another heat wave! My, my. This is the Baked Apple!

Despite adversity in the form of unrelenting torrential rains, Stoneledge Farm has continued to send us beautiful vegetables. How lucky are we!

This week’s recipe will turn your leeks and potatoes into something delicious that is not potato leek soup. It’s not that I don’t love potato leek soup. It’s just that we need a little variety, right? So here is a recipe for a casserole of potatoes and leeks, a super side dish that goes with pretty much anything.

 

CASSEROLE OF POTATOES AND LEEKS

Ingredients:

2 lbs potatoes

¾ cups warm milk (can be whole, 2% or skim)

2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

1 TBS butter

2 leeks

3 slices crisp bacon, diced

2 TBS olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Crunchy Topping:

¼ cup Panko bread crumbs

1 TBS melted butter

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice and clean the leeks.
  3. Lightly spray a 1.5-2 quart baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil spray.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks. Cook until the leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes, then set aside.
  5. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Drain.
  6. Add the first tablespoon of butter and mash the potatoes until smooth.
  7. Add the milk in small amounts, until the potatoes are creamy, yet hold their body. You might not need to use all the milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Mix the Panko crumbs with the melted butter.
  9. Fold the cooked leeks, parmesan cheese and bacon into the potatoes. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and top with the buttered Panko crumbs.
  10. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it is heated through and the crumbs are golden brown.

HELPFUL HINT: To clean leeks, cut the dark green part off. Slice the remaining part into thin slices and put them into a bowl of cold water. The leeks will float on the surface of the water and the sand will drop down to the bottom. Use a strainer to scoop out the leeks, leaving the sand behind. If you are not using chopped leeks, don’t slice the leeks. Slit them lengthwise, spread them apart and rinse under cold running water.

 

That’s it. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

Have a delicious week!

Best,

Judi

JUDI’S RECIPES – WEEK 12 – AUGUST 21, 2018

AUGUST 21, 2018

Hi All,

We’re at the midpoint of our season, and what a summer it’s been. Rain, rain and more rain! Fortunately for us, our farmer has endured, under great duress, and the farm has produced lots of wonderful vegetables.

We’re getting more bell peppers this week. They are great for stuffing, and today’s recipe is easy and delicious.

BELL PEPPERS STUFFED WITH CHICKEN

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray the inside of the  bell pepper halves with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the peppers in the preheated oven until slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir 3 green onions, and add garlic.
  5. When the garlic is fragrant,  add the chicken, ground black pepper, and cumin. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and its juices run clear, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add the orzo and chicken broth and simmer until the orzo is cooked through but firm and the broth is absorbed, about 10 – 11 minutes.
  7. Spoon the chicken mixture into the bell peppers and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted, about 7 minutes.
  9. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of butter in a skillet; Cook and stir the portobella mushrooms and the remaining green onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture onto each stuffed bell pepper.

HELPFUL HINT: Never salt or pepper mushrooms until the end of cooking them. They will dry out and taste awful. Add the salt and pepper when they’re cooked.

ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT: You can use any kind of cheese in this dish: mozzarella, brie, American – anything you like. They’re all good.

I hope you enjoy this dish. The leftovers freeze well and keep in the refrigerator for at least five days.

Have a delicious week!

Best,

Judi

JUDI’S RECIPES – WEEK 11 – AUGUST 14, 2018

August 13, 2018

Greetings All,

How about this weather? – ugh! But, one advantage of being stuck inside is that it’s a great opportunity to cook and “put food by” – stock the refrigerator and freezer with ready meals – so you can enjoy the sunny days. Our wonderful farmer has informed us that the tomatoes must be used quickly, as all the rain has rendered them very fragile. So, today’s recipe will help you utilize and enjoy all those fabulous tomatoes.

TOMATO GALETTE

Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper (or really you can use any kind of pepper)
  • 4 -6 TBS cold water
  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes, cored (about 2 pounds – you can use any tomatoes at all that add up to about 2 lbs.)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 TBS dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 -6 ounces semi-soft goat cheese (chevre) or feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS water
  • Fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. In a large bowl cut butter into flour with a pastry blender (or two forks) until pieces are pea-size. This can be done in a food processor (see Helpful Hint, below). Stir in Parmesan and cracked pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water over part of the mixture; toss with a fork. Push the moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all of the dough is moistened.
  2. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle (up to 24 hours).
  3. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a wire rack over a baking pan, sink or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let the tomatoes drain for 30 minutes. This will keep your crust from becoming soggy from the tomato juice.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 13-inch circle. (Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly round.) Fold the dough in half to make it easier to transfer it to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Unfold the dough on the parchment.
  5. Evenly spread the bread crumbs on the pastry, leaving about a 2-inch border (this will also help prevent the crust from getting soggy. Layer the tomatoes, shallot, thyme and goat cheese on the bread crumbs. Fold the edges of the crust over the filling, pleating as necessary and leaving some filling exposed in the center. Combine the egg and 1 tablespoon of water and brush it onto the  pastry.
  6. Bake the galette for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is browned and crisp. Cool at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with fresh basil (snipped if the leaves are large) and cut into wedges.

HELPFUL HINT: The first step can be done in the food processor. Place the steel blade in the food processor bowl. Add the flour and butter. Cover and pulse until the pieces are pea-size. Add Parmesan and pepper and pulse just until combined. Transfer to bowl and continue with the recipe.

I promise you, it will be an afternoon well spent, if you make this tart.  You will love it! And, you’ll be using up the short-lived tomatoes!

Have a delicious week!

Best,

Judi

 

JUDI’S RECIPES – WEEK 10 – AUGUST 7, 2018

August 7, 2018

Greetings All,

Oh swell. Another heatwave. We must do everything we can to keep cool. I know how! This week’s recipe is a cool tomato-on-toast dish. No cooking involved and, since tomatoes are at the peak of their season right now, it will be so delicious, you’ll forget about the heat for a few moments.

 

TOMATO TOASTS

Ingredients

  • or 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 5 large slices hearty sourdough bread, about 1/2-inch thick(really, any crusty bread will do)
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Basil leaves, for garnish.
    1. Cut 2 tomatoes in half crosswise. Stand a box grater in a bowl and grate the tomato using the cut sides, through the large holes. You should have 1 cup or so of coarse tomato purée* Set aside. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. **
    2. Toast the bread until brown and crisp.
    3. With your fingers, rub the top of each toast with a garlic clove. You will see the cloves get smaller as the garlic is  pushed into the bread. (For a less garlicky toast, press lightly when rubbing.)***
    4. Place toasts on plates. Spoon and spread a heaping tablespoon of tomato purée over each toast. Then arrange tomato slices and cherry tomatoes randomly on top.
    5. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil per toast. Garnish with whole or torn basil leaves.

    Tips

  • *If you don’t want to bother with grating tomatoes, rub the toasted bread first with garlic, then with 1 or 2 halved tomatoes, until top surface is quite juicy, then continue with the recipe (step 5).
  • **To halve cherry tomatoes, put them between the covers of two takeout containers. Hold your hand on top of the top cover and run a knife between the two covers. Voila – halved cherry tomatoes!
  • ***To get that garlic smell off your fingers, touch press them to anything made of stainless steel – a knife, a pot, anything.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It really is a lifesaver on a hot, humid day.

Have a delicious week!

Best,

Judi

JUDI’S RECIPES -WEEK 9 – JULY 31, 2018

JULY 31, 2018

Greetings All,

We’re still here! Haven’t drowned or melted yet!

It’s tomato time! This week we are getting three different kinds of tomatoes. And tomatillos, those poor misunderstood green tomato lookalikes! Many people see them and say, “What am I supposed to do with these?”  Fear not. I have a delicious recipe that uses tomatillos with chicken  and jalapenos, to make a super soup. And it’s low calorie! Here it is:

Chicken-Tomatillo Soup

Ingredients

hin

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1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat the oil over high heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Saute the chicken in the oil until both sides are browned, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken, and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the saucepan, and saute until golden. Stir in the tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, and broth. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Puree the vegetables in batches in a blender or food processor. Return them to pot, and reheat. At this point, taste the soup. If it is not piquant enough, add cayenne pepper or pepper sauce. Or leave it as is- your choice.
  5. Slice the chicken  and then shred it. Stir the chicken into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. When you are ready to serve, stir in the minced cilantro and ladle the soup into bowls. Put a dollop of sour cream on top of each portion, and let it melt a bit. Top each dollop with a single cilantro leaf, and serve immediately.

You’re gonna love it!

HELPFUL HINT: Your knives will last longer and stay sharper if you wash each one after each use and dry it instead of letting it lie there in the sink.

Can’t believe summer is half over! Enjoy it while you can.

Have a delicious week!

Best,

Judi

JUDI’S RECIPES – WEEK 8 – JULY 24, 2018

July 24, 2018

Greetings All,

We’re gearing up for a stormy week. Think of the poor farmer and his workers, having to be out in the fields – all so you and I can enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of their labor.

This week’s recipe utilizes all those summer squash we’ve been getting – a respite from the grill.

 

ZUCCHINI AND SQUASH PASTA

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 or 6 medium zucchini and/or summer squash, rinsed, trimmed and cut into ribbons or coins
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 or 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tomatoes, in wedges or roughly chopped, with their juice
  • ½ lb short pasta, such as ziti or penne
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or freshly chopped parsley for garnish.

     

    Directions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    3. Add the zucchini, squash, onion and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally.
    4. Add salt and pepper and adjust the heat so onion and zucchini release their liquid without browning. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until very tender.
    5. Add the tomatoes and their liquid to the zucchini and raise the heat a little so the mixture bubbles.
    6. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Add a little pasta cooking water to the eggplant mixture.
    7. Drain the pasta and finish cooking it in the eggplant sauce.
    8. Serve, garnished with parsley or Parmesan.

    This is quick and easy to make and tastes great. Enjoy!

    Have a delicious week!

    Best,

    Judi

    HELPFUL HINT: We are getting cherry tomatoes this week. The way to cut them for use in a salad is this: You’ll need to Chinese food container lids. Place one on your counter so it forms a little tray. Put the tomatoes in the lid in one layer. Place the other lid upside down on top of the tomatoes . Resting the palm of your hand on the top lid, run a knife between the lids. Your tomatoes will all be cut in half at once..

JUDI’S RECIPES – WEEK 7. July 17, 2018

July 17, 2018

Greetings All,

Just when I thought I’d have to shop for lettuce, more is showing up this week! Enjoy it, because we’re probably done with lettuce, a cool weather vegetable, for now.

But, we’re also getting lots of other great veggies. Like spinach. What a delightful green! This week’s recipe is for a soup that includes some of your favorite vegetables – and spinach!

GREEN MINESTRONE WITH SPINACH

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ditalini pasta or any small tubular pasta
5 TBS. olive oil
12 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups finely diced zucchini
1 cup finely diced kohlrabi
1 cup finely chopped leek
34 cup finely diced fennel
4 cups vegetable stock
14 cup thawed frozen peas
6 large green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup plain cashews
5 oz.  spinach, cleaned
2 cups packed basil leaves
5 TBS. pine nuts
Toasted country bread, for serving

Instructions

1. In a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta, stirring, until it is al dente, about 4 minutes.
2. Drain the pasta and keep warm. Return the empty pan to medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the zucchini, kohlrabi, leek, and fennel. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 6 minutes.
4. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. 5. Stir in the reserved pasta along with the peas and olives and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes more.
6. Make the cashew cream: Soak cashews with 34 cup boiling water in a blender until the water cools to room temperature, and then purée until silky smooth.
7. Make the pesto: In a blender, combine the spinach with the basil, pine nuts, and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Purée into a smooth pesto and then scrape the pesto into the soup and stir until evenly combined.
8. Ladle the minestrone into bowls and serve with toasted bread and cashew cream on the side.
It sounds complicated, but it isn’t. Just cut up everything at once, and then do the heating and assembly. I hope you’ll love this soup.
HELPFUL HINT: This soup is very tasty served cold, too. Perfect for a steamy night.
Have a delicious week!
Best,
Judi

JUDI’S RECIPES – Week 6 July 9, 2018

July 9, 2018

Greetings All,

Welcome to Cucumberland! There will be three cucumbers for each of us in this week’s half share, and full share members will get six. Such a cool, crisp, wet vegetable. It’s perfect for summertime.

Because it is such a wet vegetable, the cucumber lends itself to cold dishes, as cooking it will draw out all the moisture, and our poor cukes will just disappear!

So, this week’s recipe is a cool no-cook cucumber salsa.

CUCUMBER SALSA

Ingredients

       2 TBS lime juice
      1 tsp minced parsley
      2 tsp minced cilantro
      1/2 tsp dried dill weed
     1/2 tsp salt
     1 pkg tortilla chips
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumbers, tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, lime juice, parsley, cilantro, dill, and salt.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips.
That’s all there is to it – no sweat!
HELPFUL HINT: If you take the ribs and the seeds out of the jalapeno, it will be milder. You could also substitute a milder chili pepper, such as Anaheim.
I hope this dish will help you beat the heat. Enjoy!
Have a delicious week.
Best,
Judi

Zucchini Sauce

From The Seasoned Jewish Kitchen by Amelia Saltsman.

Pasta with Zucchini Sauce

(Makes 6 to 8 servings.)

Zucchini is such an everyday food that it’s easy to forget how delicious a starring ingredient it can be. Simply sautéed in good olive oil with onion and garlic, summer squash melts into a luscious sauce that coats each noodle in creamy goodness. Because there are so few ingredients in this dish, the quality of squash, pasta, and olive oil make all the difference. Use tender, medium-sized green zucchini . This is a delightful vegan dish as is, or you can stir in a handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

1 onion

2 large cloves garlic

2 pounds medium zucchini 

4 to 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black or white pepper

1 pound small or regular penne, farfalle, or other pleasant shape short pasta

Finely chop onion and mince garlic. Cut squash into ½-inch pieces for faster cooking. Here’s how to make quick work of this: Cut the zucchini into quarters lengthwise. Gather up the “zucchini sticks” and cut crosswise through as many sticks as you can easily manage at once.

Put a large pot of water on to boil. In another wide pot large enough to accommodate all ingredients, sauté the onion over medium with a little salt in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil until onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 to 60 seconds. Add zucchini and 2 tablespoons oil. Add about ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook uncovered until color of skins deepens and mixture starts to get shiny, about 3 minutes.

Cover the pot, lower the heat, and cook until zucchini are extremely tender, even melting in places, and have released their liquid to make a sauce, 15 to 20 minutes. Check the pot from time to time just in case you need to add a little water (I’ve never found this necessary when I have fresh young zucchini). Uncover pot, raise heat to medium and cook about a minute to thicken the sauce slightly.

Meanwhile, generously salt boiling water and add pasta. When pasta is almost done, remove about a half cup of the cooking water and reserve. Loosely drain pasta and stir into the zucchini-onion mixture. Turn heat to medium, stir in 1 to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and about ¼ cup pasta water, salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until pasta is nicely coated with sauce, about 2 minutes.

© 2012, Amelia Saltsman.