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Posts Tagged ‘butter’

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Bitter Greens!

Who else has been stumped with what to do with the BITTER GREENS in our CSA box? I admit, I had “to google it” and read this: “Bitter Greens: mixed green leaves of a variety of salad vegetables with a bitter taste, such as kale, mustard, collard, endive, chicory, or spinach.”

I was happy to get a HEADS UP email from Farmer Ray with a recipe recommendation from a fellow CSA customer.  Amy said it is a delicious dish, so I had to check it out for myelf.

 WHAT YOU NEED:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings

1 teaspoon sugar

4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade) or water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound fettuccine

1 bunch bitter greens

 WHAT YOU DO:

Prep bitter greens: I washed, removed any brown, wilted leaves, and drained while I was cooking the onions.

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Two bags of greens washed and ready!

Prep onions: peel and thinly slice four onions (I used yellow.) You can slice with knife; I used my Pampered Chef Easy Slicer. I love the handle that protects my fingers!

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slicing onions

Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sugar and cook, stirring once or twice, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Turn heat to low; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes.

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caramelized onions!

While onions are caramelizing, cook pasta in boiling salted water until a little underdone, and drain. I wanted to use up some pasta in my pantry, so I boiled a combination of rotini and bowtie.

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Pasta!

When onions are caramelized and fully cooked, remove half the onions and set aside. Add broth or water to the pan and bring to a boil. I used chicken broth.

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onions boiling in broth

Cook over high heat, scraping bottom of pan, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add cooked pasta to broth; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add greens; cook, covered, until wilted, about 1 minute.

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wilting the greens

I used two packages of bitter greens, and they cooked down to almost nothing, so don’t be afraid to push them down into the pasta and broth.

The recipe calls for an additional tablespoon of butter, if desired. Amy suggested cream, so that’s what I did.

Divide among 4 shallow bowls, garnish with reserved onions.

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Bitter Greens with pasta and caramelized onions

This is a surprisingly tasty dish! The sweetness of the caramelized onions balances out the “bitterness” of the greens, and the cream adds a nice richness to the broth.

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If there’s a butternut squash in our CSA box, can autumn be far behind?

This winter squash is known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin, with yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. This hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.

When I saw that butternut squash, I instantly thought of a recipe I got several years ago at a Weight Watchers meeting. I’ve made it many, many times since then. The tender squash, sweet apples and crunchy nuts all come together in a delightful way! I think you’ll like it, too.

Since I only had one squash in the box, I halved the recipe.

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The cast!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 medium sized butternut squash

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cubed

¼ cup butter, melted

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup pecans, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350*.

Prep the squash: Wash and cut in half lengthways; be careful with that sharp knife and a wobbly butternut squash! Remove seeds.

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Halve and de-seed.

Place squash halves face down in a glass dish, add a few tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes.

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Just minutes in a microwave!

This smallish squash was tender in 6 minutes. Allow to cool before removing peel and chopping into chunks.

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Chunks of tender butternut squash!

You could also prep in the same manner but cook uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, using about ¾ inch of water in the bottom of the pan.

Core, peel and chop apple. I used a Gala apple since that’s what I had on hand. I placed the apple pieces in a bowl of lemon water to prevent browning while I prepped the other ingredients.

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Core, peel, and chop apple.

I chopped the pecans rather finely since there aren’t very many of them and I wanted them to be evenly divided within the squash mixture. I also toasted them in the microwave on high at 30 second bursts. I did this twice, allowing them to cool between sessions.

Combine apple pieces, toasted pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl. I poured the melted butter over the apples first so the other ingredients would stick to the apples.

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Here’s the flavor!

Add to the dish of chopped squash and toss lightly to coat squash pieces. Spread evenly in dish.

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Apple nut mixture joins the squash!

Bake for 30 minutes or until casserole is warm and bubbly.

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Oh my!

VARIATIONS: use coconut oil rather than butter; honey rather than brown sugar; add ½ tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg. I chose to add the cinnamon which I’ve never done before. I’m pretty sure I’ll love this addition! I’m also thinking this dish will make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year!

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‘sauce-y Turnips!

 

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Turnips!

I never ate turnips growing up, so I’ve been on a learning curve to learn how to use these round, white veggies. Last year I chopped, blanched, and froze them to throw into pots of soup. They looked just like potatoes and absorbed the flavor of the soup broth. I had thought to do that with these until I remembered a recipe I saw pairing turnips with applesauce.  My pantry is full of applesauce I canned in the fall, so I decided to whip up some ‘sauce-y turnips!

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Ready to meet some turnips!

WHAT YOU NEED:

Turnip

Boiling water

Butter

Salt

1 c. hot applesauce

WHAT YOU DO:

This recipe is rather vague in its instructions and measurements. Notice it just lists “turnip” as an ingredient. I used four that I received in the CSA box this morning. It yielded right under 3 cups of cubed raw turnip.

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chopped turnips

Bring a pot of water to a boil while you prep the turnips.

Wash and peel the turnips. The recipe says to remove all of the thick peeling, leaving no sign of green since the bitterness is between the peeling and the vegetable. I actually could have just scrubbed them really well for the skin was very thin and tender.

Chop into uniform pieces. I used my vegetable chopper.

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Cut into uniform pieces.

Add the chopped turnips to the pot of boiling water, cover and boil quickly for 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe says to cover the pot; another turnip recipe states that to avoid that “turnip”  taste, leave the cover off the pot a bit when boiling. This allows gases to escape that would otherwise get trapped in the water and make the taste stronger. This same principle works for cabbage, a cousin of the turnip!

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Into the hot tub!

Since my turnip pieces were rather small, I checked for tenderness at 12 minutes, and they were done! Since overcooking always produces that unpleasant strong flavor, I wanted to cook just until tender. Drain well.

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Drain well.

Add “a good sized piece” of butter (I used 2 Tbl.) and mash until creamy.

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Butter adds richness!

I used an immersion blender, but even a fork would have done the job since the turnips were so tender!

Next, stir in the applesauce. The recipe calls for “hot” applesauce. I’m thinking that is to maintain the temperature, so I warmed a cup of my homemade applesauce in the microwave and stirred it into the mashed turnips.

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Hot applesauce is added to hot mashed turnips.

Since I used no sugar when I made the applesauce, it did not make these turnips very sweet at all. It just added an unexpected flavor that really paired well with the turnips. Even Hubby, who tends to avoid mixing “sweet” with “savory,” said it was not sweet at all.

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‘sauce-y turnips!

This dish of “‘sauce-y Turnips” was a nice addition to our supper of Crock Pot Brown Rice and Sausage, collard greens, and lima beans. I think I’ll be whipping these up again!

 

 

 

 

 

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I am having the best time with a new cookbook given to me by a friend. I have marked several recipes and have already tried quite a few.

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Lots of great recipes in this cookbook!

I was very happy to see this recipe for Summer Vegetable Casserole as it uses every vegetable I am currently getting in the CSA box!

WHAT YOU NEED:

Squash

Onions

Bell pepper

Tomatoes

uncooked rice

Slices of butter

Salt and pepper or seasoning blend of choice

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Fresh ingredients are plentiful in our CSA boxes!

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash and slice veggies; the tomatoes should be sliced fairly thickly.

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Thinly slice veggies, but slice tomatoes thicker.

In a greased casserole dish (or crock pot), layer vegetables with a layer of raw rice between each layer. The moisture in the veggies will cook the rice.

Season the veggie layers as you go. The recipe calls for just salt and pepper. I used an Italian spice blend. Start with squash, then 1/4 cup of raw rice, onion, 1/4 cup raw rice, bell pepper, 1/4 cup raw rice, and then tomatoes. Pats of butter go on top of the tomatoes.

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Layers of sliced vegetables and rice are topped with butter.

Repeat the layers if you have room. I was surprised at how much mine cooked down. I could have definitely put in more layers. Next time…..

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Veggies really cooked down, so pack ’em in there!

The recipe states to cook at 325 degrees for 1 ½ hours. I wanted to use a crock pot, so I could put it on Sunday morning and serve it for lunch after church. My research suggested 4-6 hours on HIGH. I put it on about 7 a.m. and we ate about 11:30. It was tender and yummy!

I will definitely be making this again!

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