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Posts Tagged ‘chicken broth’

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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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Any recipe using kale always catches my eye! I adapted this magazine recipe to use this week’s kale. I’m glad I did; it provided a yummy lunch for us.

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 cups uncooked pasta

8 oz. uncooked sausage

4 cups uncooked kale, roughly chopped

1 cup chicken broth

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. slat

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

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The stars!

WHAT YOU DO:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain. I used whole grain rotini. The original recipe calls for rigatoni.

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Whole grain rotini adds extra nutrients and fiber!

Cook sausage:  The original recipe calls for sweet Italian turkey sausage; I used a pound of Rose Creek Farms pork sausage which made this dish quite meaty (and filling!) IMG_3324

Remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Once it’s cooked, I elevate the skillet and use a paper towel to absorb the fat.

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Elevate to drain off fat.

Prep kale: wash, de-stem and roughly chop.

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chopped kale

Add kale to sausage, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Kale joins sausage!

Add chicken broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. I used homemade broth from a chicken I had cooked in the crock pot. I refrigerated the broth which solidifies the fat on top. It is easy to remove and discard, leaving the flavorful broth!

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Homemade chicken broth!

Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni; heat through.

Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. (I actually stirred the 1/2 cup of cheese into the hot just-drained pasta, tossing to coat as the cheese melts. I learned this trick from Rachel Ray!)

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Pasta, sausage, kale, and cheese!

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

I had some leftover salad in the refrigerator, so I used it as a base for this dish. It was delicious!

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Salad and pasta!

The magazine recipe includes these suggestions: Make this dish vegetarian by swapping cannellini beans for the sausage and vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Try broccoli rabe when kale is not available.

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This Cajun dish is a good fall-back for me when I’ve exhausted all of my eggplant recipes. It freezes well and is enjoyed by everyone in the family. It makes a filling meal when paired with some peas (purple hull, crowder, or limas) and some fresh fruit.

WHAT YOU NEED: DSC00109

1/2 stick margarine

2 large purple eggplants (peeled and cubed)

1 lb. good ground chuck

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup water

1 tsp. each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme

2 cups cooked hot white rice (I used brown; recipe below)

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9 by 11 inch pyrex dish with a non stick spray.

Prep eggplant. I used Fairy Tale Eggplant from the CSA box.

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Chopped Fairy Tale eggplant

Saute’ onion and bell pepper in melted margarine. I used about half of the amount called for; you could also use olive oil.

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When onion and bell pepper are softened, add garlic and stir to prevent burning.

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Garlic joins the mix!

Add meat and brown slightly; then, add seasonings, eggplant, and water.

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Cover and simmer for 20 minutes on medium low heat.

Add rice* and pour into the pyrex dish.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup bread crumbs and bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

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Eggplant dressing with beef!

* The original recipe calls for white rice, but it works just as well with brown rice. Since the oven is hot already, I like to bake up two recipes of Alton Brown’s Baked Brown Rice. After reading reviews, I cut back on the rice to 1 cup and use chicken broth rather than water for deeper flavor. I omit the salt because of the chicken broth.

BAKED BROWN RICE: 1 cup brown rice mixed with 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth mixed in small baking dish. (I spray dish with non-stick spray.) Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375* for one hour. Fluff with fork and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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Boiling chicken broth gets brown rice to cooking!

I used one pan in the recipe; the other pan got divided into 1/2 cup portions, bagged, and frozen for future meals. It’s a snap to zap a bag in the microwave for a quick addition to supper!

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Double the recipe and freeze one for later!

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CHORIZO & KALE SOUP

I have a growing list of recipes using kale, so when I read Farmer Ray’s email about chorizo being available now, I knew I wanted to try this recipe in my file. I grew up (in South Texas) eating chorizo for breakfast, so I was curious about tasting a Tennessee version of this classic. The original recipe calls for chourico which is the Portuguese version of this spicy sausage.

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Chorizo from Rose Creek Farms!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium onions, chopped

4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound kale, coarsely chopped

Coarse salt and pepper

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzos (chick peas) drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes

1 pound diced chorizo, casing removed

1 quart chicken broth

WHAT YOU DO:

The original recipe calls for adding raw chorizo to the soup. My childhood memory of chorizo is the pool of orange grease on my plate of scrambled eggs, so I wanted to eliminate that fat in my soup. I sliced open the casing, removed the meat, and cooked over a low heat while I prepped the other ingredients.

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The casing slips right off.

Once the chorizo was cooked, I set it to draining and then wiped out the pot so I could sauté the onion and garlic.

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Draining off that orange fat!

Another title for this blog post could be: “FREEZER HANDY COOKING!” I reached into the freezer for frozen chopped onion, blanched potatoes, and homemade chicken stock. I love having these items prepped and ready to go!

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Blanched, diced potatoes!

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Homemade chicken stock!

I added olive oil to the pot and sautéed the green onions from this morning’s CSA box and  more onion from the freezer. Once they were tender, I added the garlic. I do believe garlic is the best flavor enhancer you can use! I use a lot!

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Peeled and ready to be chopped!

While the onion/garlic are sautéing, prep the kale by washing, de-stemming and chopping. Set aside.

Add potatoes to the onion mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper, but go easy on the salt if your chicken broth is salted. Add kale, stir, and cover pot to wilt greens, about  2 minutes.

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Allow kale to wilt down before adding remaining ingredients.

Add beans, tomatoes, chorizo, and broth to the pot and bring soup to a full boil.

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These go in last.

Reduce heat back to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. The original recipe suggests serving soup with hunks of crusty bread and butter. This soup is similar to the Zuppa Toscana version using Italian sausage, but the addition of diced tomatoes of this Portuguese version puts a spin on it. I plan to freeze this soup in one serving portions for a quick lunch sometime in the future! (Have I mentioned how much I love having a freezer stocked and “ready-to-go”?) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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