I promised Fiddleheads member Leslie Hammond that I would post this recipe, which I invented as a way to incorporate more vegetarian entrees into my diet, as well as bring a little pizazz to what can be rather unexciting on it's own. When the tempeh is done regardless of what method you use, the sauce should form a somewhat thin, sweet-spicy “paste” coating the
slightly crunchy surface of the tempeh, while the inside should be tender. Serve with a whole grain such as quinoa, a garden salad, and steamed or grilled vegetables.
Find the printable pdf file of this recipe here.
FYI : the grilling instructions are for a wood or charcoal grill. Please consult your instruction booklet (and/or your common sense) if you own a gas-fired grill.
BBQ Tempeh (For Grill Or Stovetop)
*1 - 8oz cake organic tempeh
*Organic olive or light vegetable oil
*Salt, pepper, and garam masala (available in the bulk section of
Fiddleheads Co-op, orcombine cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper, & coriander
& cardamon to taste)
*Homemade or store-bought bbq sauce (see recipe ideas below)
For the Grill
If using a wood or charcoal grill, build the fire and oil your grate or perforated grilling pan.
While waiting on coals, slice tempeh width-wise into wide slices (about 6), place in the top section of a steamer pan, and steam until just fork-tender. Remove from steamer and put in glass container or bowl, coat on all sides with the oil, and and season to your liking.
After the flames have died down, put the oiled grate over the coals just until hot, then lay the tempeh slices over it. Grill on all sides until golden brown; turn carefully to avoid breaking the surface crust. Once browned on all sides, brush or spoon the prepared sauce over the slices, allowing sauce to drip down sides. Close or partially close cover, grill another 1-2 minutes, turn, then repeat. Remove from grill onto serving plates.
For the Stovetop or Electric Skillet
If using your stovetop, lightly oil your skillet (cast iron works fine) and set aside.
Slice, steam and season tempeh as described above. Turn on burner or adjust electric skillet and bring to medium heat, until skillet is just hot but oil doesnʼt smoke. Add tempeh slices to the pan and brown on all sides until the surface is golden; turn carefully to avoid breaking the surface crust. When all sides are browned, turn heat down slightly, then brush or spoon the prepared sauce over the slices, allowing the sauce to drip down
the sides. Cook another 1-2 minutes, covered or uncovered, turn, then repeat, Remove from skillet onto serving plates.
Serves 2 people (4 ounces per person)
Easy Curry BBQ Sauce: Mix1 part bottled bbq sauce, such as Organicville Original Style, with 1 part organic red or yellow thai curry sauce, and stir thoroughly; adjust to taste.
Basic BBQ Sauce: Combine organic ketchup, mustard, a couple of tablespoons dark or blackstrap molasses; crushed garlic, salt or soy sauce, pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Add ground rosemary if desired; combine thoroughly and adjust to taste.
Fiddleheads employee and holistic health coach Amelia Lord shared this recipe for an easy kale salad that she made for a recent workshop at the co-op. This is a great way to enjoy curly green kale if, like me, you're not exactly in love with the stuff (chard is the leafy love of my life) otherwise; one taste of it had me practically licking the bowl. It's a perfect spring or summer recipe.
I used a red onion rather than the white onion the original recipe called for; the slightly sweet bite went well with the mild avocado and tart lemon flavors. Amelia's recipe didn't suggest emulsifying the lemon juice and olive oil before adding to the kale but I found it easier to deal with the liquids by combining them first. The recipe is intended to make 2-4 entree servings, or is the perfect size for a party/potluck, etc. If you intend it as a side-dish, especially for 1-2 people, I suggest halving the recipe or adjusting as needed.
You can contact Amelia for more recipes, and holistic nutritional information and health coaching services at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her website.
RAW GREEN KALE SALAD WITH APPLES & AVOCADOS
1 bunch organic curly green kale
1 large organic apple, chopped
1/2 medium white or red onion, finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or kelp/sea salt blend
1/4 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts
Strip kale leaves from stems; discard stems and tear kale into bite-size pieces. In a large mixing bowl sprinkle kale with salt and massage well with hands (as you would when making kale chips). Add chopped apple, avocado and onion to kale.
Emulsify or blend lemon juice and olive oil, then pour over kale, massage all ingredients again with hands. (This gets messy but is a lot of fun.) Mush and squish around until well-combined and much of the avocado is incorporated as part of the dressing.
Top with almonds or walnuts and serve immediately, and/or store in the fridge in an airtight container; it's great the next day.
ETA: Try substituting fresh sliced strawberries for the apples, as FH customer Pat Flynn Brune did.
Time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 2-4 entree-sized servings
(This recipe previously appeared on my personal food blog Catch A Falling Anise Star. It's still dedicated to Kristina, Fiddleheads member/volunteer - and Piper's mama - who kick-started me back into posting recipes on the co-op FB page a year ago.)
Years ago my then-ladylove introduced me to tofu (and tempeh - but that's another story); and for a few years we were very nearly vegetarian...until the day I decided I had had it with the both of them. To be honest, I can't even recall why it happened. Fast forward to the present, and both protein sources have taken up a place in my cooking and my refrigerator once again. Once more, I can't even recall why. It just happened. I think of it as "trying to make friends" with them, and the relationship seems to be growing apace - encouragingly if not always fabulously. It helps that I don't try to make vegetable proteins become "fake meat"; rather, I try to approach tofu and tempeh for what they are, for their own unique qualities. (Apparently I am doing something right; I barely managed to photograph the portion above before my dinner companions gobbled it up.)
While the recipe below is done in a skillet, I have used this sauce successfully both atop the grill and under the broiler, with meat and poultry as well as tofu, or over portabello mushrooms. FYI, the term "bbq-style" refers to the sauce, a somewhat richer version of the bottled bbq sauces we used when I was growing up in Michigan. I am not trying to imitate North Carolina bbq (pulled pork) or any other regional specialty. (Pulled tempeh, anyone?)
3/4 lb organic tofu
minced yellow onion (optional)
olive oil or other light vegetable oil for pan
For the BBQ Sauce (about 1 cup):
1/3 cup organic ketchup
3-4 tablespoons organic dark or blackstrap molasses
1 large (3 small) garlic cloves, crushed/minced
1-2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons olive olive
2 teaspoons (or to taste) prepared stone-ground mustard
1 “krimson spice” or other small fresh hot pepper, about 1", seeded and chopped
(or substitute cayenne or pepper flakes to taste)
1/4-1/2 cup water
Cube tofu, then brown on all sides in cast iron skillet or other heavy pan on medium-high heat. Add the minced onion if desired. Make sure the pan is hot (not smoking) before adding tofu, so skin is "seared"; if too cold, the skin sticks to the surface of the pan.
Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients, adding water last to bring the total to 1 full cup; emulsify after each addition until sauce is opaque and thoroughly blended. Adjust seasonings to taste.
When tofu is golden brown on all sides (and onion translucent), pour 1/2 cup of the sauce over the tofu. Store remainder in the refrigerator for use another time. Turn heat down slightly to medium (or just below); toss with spatula to coat thoroughly. Turn as necessary. When most of sauce has been absorbed and thickened (tofu may be somewhat blackened at the edges), turn down very low and cover for a few minutes to let tofu continue absorbing flavors, or serve immediately.
Serves two very hungry women (with veggies and sides) two servings each.
Note: The sauce can be made while browning the tofu or made beforehand and stored in the refrigerator. If made ahead of time, bring it to room temperature before using and stir to recombine if ingredients have separated.
Deborah Hinchey sent me one of her favorite recipes from the Avoca Cafe Cookbook 1 by Hugo Arnold (with Leylie Hayes) for the chain of Avoca shops in Ireland. Department stores that have their own cafe has become a rather "quaint" idea, at least in this country (or at any rate in Michigan where I grew up), although Lord and Taylor's in NYC has a charming cafe (hint for travelers making their first trip to the city: L&T also has restrooms); and Ikea is trying to revive the practice. (If you're willing to set foot in those monstrous, chaotic spaces to begin with. Especially in New Haven, where dining options are so plentiful.) Most department stores in this country needn't bother with their own cafes, of course, when the mall itself has a "food court" to serve that need, even if those spaces are rather dismal and serve up standard fast-food fare.
I also remember some lovely lunches in a very elegant old-world setting with my mother in the 1980's at Hudson's Department Store in Detroit, Hudson's was the 100+ year old department store that was to Detroit what Macy's is to New York; the company even hosted the big Christmas parade in downtown Detroit that was telecast every Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Hudson's was bought out, merged with another company and then eliminated altogether and the original downtown store torn down. Gone was the store and gone was the parade; another link to the city's own history, and another bright spot in the year, were eliminated when we perhaps needed them most.
But, I digress....we're here to talk about stew.
The recipe Deb shared, (which is also up on our archive page "Here's Linkin' at You, Kid") is different from most beef and Guinness recipes I've come across in that you do not dredge the meat in flour before you brown it; instead, you use flour to create something of a simple roux or gravy, and that suits me fine. I've never had a positive experience coating beef in flour, when the meat itself browns so beautifully; the flour only seems to create an odd texture and mouthfeel, and if the pan isn't hot enough the flour won't form a proper crust. Four Mile River Farm sells pre-cut stew beef in 1lb packages at Fiddleheads; or try a lean but flavorful cut such as top round, eye of round, sirloin tip; or experiment with FMRF soup shanks or beef ribs.
Across the pond Guinness is not just a beverage but a food (especially in the centuries when both food and water quality were questionable at best), and if you've ever enjoyed a draught you'll understand that it is a meal in itself. If you can’t get a Guinness - or would rather drink it than cook with it - Fiddleheads has regionally-produced porters and stouts, such as Wolaver’s Stovepipe Porter. Deb has only used Guinness in this, but if you give another brew a try, won't you let us know how it came out?
BEEF AND GUINNESS STEW
(From the Avoca Cafe Cookbook written by Hugo Arnold with Leylie Hayes.)
3 lb beef brisket, cut into 2 inch cubes; or pre-cut stew beef (see note)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
1 pint Guinness
3 carrots peeled and sliced
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 garlic cloved, peeled and crushed
In a heavy skillet, stewpot, dutch oven or casserole dish (Deb’s note: I use my cast iron stewpot), brown the meat in the oil on the stovetop in batches, transferring it to a plate as it is done. Add the onions to the pot and saute for 10 minutes, until they are just coloured. Lower the heat and return the meat to the pot. Add flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes, then stir in the Guinness along with the carrots, thyme, bayleaf and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and bring to simmering point. Cover the casserole and transfer to an oven preheated to 275 degree F. Cook for
1-1/2 hours, until meat is very tender.
Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? Lindsey Goodwin suggests 31 ways to celebrate the month and expand your beverage repertoire. (And of course, you can get everything she mentions - black, green and white teas, herbal tisanes, etc - at Fiddleheads.)
Grow and Behold, a kosher meat website on our links page, has an intriguing recipe on their blog for beef flanken with...blueberries. The recipe calls for fresh or frozen berries, both available at the co-op right now. FYI - "flanken" refers to the first five short ribs of the beef rib cage, cut across rather than parallel to the bones. I'd try this recipe with regular short ribs and I suspect it would be awesome with pork ribs or chops. (Thanks for this find to Allen Longendyke, our fresh foods buyer, a.k.a. "the man who brings us turkey at Thanksgiving, hams at Christmas; and wonderful cheeses and soymilk, etc, all the year round.")
On our Facebook page, Ellen Anthony shared a link to a myriad of egg recipes on The Incredible Edible Egg.org. (Anyone else remember those commercials?) The global climate change we're experiencing means the hen's bodily rhythms are confused* and they are laying when they normally wouldn't. Ergo, we have eggs at co-op. Now's the time to try those recipes for chocolate souffle, snow eggs with pistachio custard or poached eggs with tomato-cilantro sauce that you've been meaning to get around to.
Cathy Elton's onion tart with greens and cashew cream is perfect for those of you who 1) are looking for new ways to use the chard or kale you bought from the co-op; 2) are wanting a simple gluten-free crust recipe (this one uses chickpea flour); 3) want to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor, or 4) don't give a flying fig about any of the above, you only know that tart looks crazy-delicious.
Dry skin? Try this salve you can make at home with melted beeswax and coconut oil from Cara at Health, Home & Beauty. The beeswax keeps the coconut oil from solidifying, as it does at room temperature. Thanks to member Loretta McElwee for the find!
Sheila Herbert signed this petition to support the authentic fair trade movement, and kindly brought it to our attention on Facebook. 243 people have signed it thus far from across the US and Costa Rica, as well as Canada, Italy and the UK. Fair trade - paying farmers a living wage for their labor and their products - is one of the central tenants of our philosophy at Fiddleheads, and to the co-operative movement in general. (I've just added my name to the petition. Will your's be next?)
And in economic news: Hostess (maker of Twinkie and Ho-Ho's) is filing for Chapter 11 protection. I know that the employees (blue and white collar) never end up the winners in this sort of thing, so I feel for anyone who is going to lose a job, no matter where they are on the corporate ladder. On the other hand, I think back to all those yellow sugar-and-lard filled sponge tubes that our moms put in our lunch boxes back in the day, with the noblest intentions to give their kids a healthy lunch with a treat - because they knew we were just going to pitch the apples they gave us anyway. And I can't help but think "They had it coming. People eat differently nowadays than 40 years ago; did they not see the writing on the wall?" (Full disclosure: it's not that I was an ultra health-conscious kid who rejected Twinkies in favor of the apples and such. It's just that I wanted the sugar-and-lard filled chocolate cupcakes instead.)
*Of course the poor hens are confused. I can't even figure out from day to day if I can lower my storm windows or if I need to wear a turtleneck when I go out.
Last week Elisa Giommi, owner of Mangetout Cafe, suggested that I try a different preparation for the samples of Four Mile River Farm meats I serve up at Fiddleheads every Saturday. "Slice the beef in thin strips and grill it immediately for each customer; like for fajitas..."
I bristled automatically at the word 'fajitas'. I'm indifferent to "Mexican cuisine" in general, thanks to the sloppy offerings of a certain Big-Chain-Purveyor-of-Fake-Mexican-Cuisine during my formative years.
"...or Korean..." she continued, and that seed landed in very fertile soil. *
A bit of googling (is that a verb?) brought me to a recipe for bulgogi on My Korean Kitchen . All of the ingredients I used were from Fiddleheads, including a ripe bosc pear. I made a few small adjustments to the recipe: I substituted freshly-grated organic ginger for the powdered ginger; rapadura sugar and honey stood in for the brown sugar. Most significantly, I used about 2 pounds of FMRF top round rather than the sirloin the recipe calls for. The leanest cut that FMRF sells at the co-op, and therefore one of the cheapest cuts, top round is, in my opinion, a very underrated cut. It has a very silky texture when you cut it into thin strips and can be more flavorful than some of the more expensive cuts. Using top round also allows you to economize without seeming to do so; you can serve this recipe to your guests and no apologies. (Besides, you really do want to save that sirloin for the grill, preferably over hardwood or coals. Trust me.)
But would the recipe work on a practical sense in the busy "theater" of the co-op? For that's really what the FMRF booth at the co-op is, and indeed any kitchen - a theater. I've read a lot and even written about cooking being an act of sharing and an act of love, but it's also a drama being played out. In this case, though, the cook (me) and the customers/eaters on the other side of the table take on the roles of performer and spectator interchangeably. I flung the strips into the hot pan with a flourish, a good bit of fun, then listened to the gratifying and repeated exclamation and moans: "Oh my god! What is the recipe?" And then the freezer was emptied of top round - and sirloin tip, or any cut that would fit the bill.
So yes, it worked very nicely indeed.
Bulgogi (Marinated Korean Beef)
(adapted from My Korean Kitchen)
2 pounds good-quality and VERY fresh top round beefsteak
5 T soy sauce (I used gluten-free)
3-1/2 T rapadura (or other raw) sugar
1-2 tea honey
1-1/2 T rice vinegar (I used white)
2 T grated onion
4 T coarsely grated pear (1/2 average-sized bosc from FH = 4 T)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 T freshly grated gingeroot, or to taste
black pepper to taste
dash of cayenne powder
handful of raw white sesame seeds
2 T - 1/4 cup sesame oil (to add at last moment)
canola or other light oil (for pan)
Rinse thawed beef, pat dry, then slice into thin slices across the grain, about 1/4" thick, give or take (no, don't pull out your ruler, just go by feel). Mix together all ingredients for marinade (don't include the oils); tasting and adjusting as you go to your liking. (More soy sauce? More ginger? etc) Add the beef strips, stir to coat thoroughly, and leave at room temperature for at least 1 hour (or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator).
Heat your wok or non-stick skillet (if you're using an electric skillet and have a temperature adjustment dial on it, turn it to 325-350 degrees F.) Add a little bit of canola, just enough to coat pan surface; while heating add some sesame oil to the beef and marinade and stir again to coat. When the pan is just hot, fling the strips of beef in with a flourish and a smile. (Presentation is most important here; it's all in the wrist.) Sear (browned, not burned), for perhaps 30 seconds or so on the one side; flip and sear on the other for just a few seconds more, until none of the meat looks visibly "raw".
Take out of the pan and serve immediately; it's at it's best when hot. You can wrap it in softened rice paper, or wrap in lettuce leaves for less fuss and bother, with matchsticks of sauteed daikon radish, and/or cucumber or other crisp raw vegetables. You can also serve over rice or noodles, if you like.
The original recipe calls for a dipping sauce. You don't need it and you won't miss it.
*I freely admit never having experience the genuine article when it comes to Mexican cuisine. On the other hand, repeated exposure to cans of fake "chinese" food from the big-box retailers, or bad meals at questionable "oriental" restaurants, has only increased my appreciation for lovingly-prepared shrimp pad thai, it's mound of soft rice noodles topped with crunchy peanuts; vegetables spring rolls in soft wrappers and served with a gingered dipping sauce; hearty beef pho with fresh basil; and I would mainline tom kha gai (Thai coconut soup) straight into my vein except for the pleasures my mouth would be missing out on. No, I don't understand it either; some things in life are simply not to be questioned.
A few years back (the '90's, perhaps?) I recall reading a newspaper or magazine article about the rise of "comfort food" amongst folks of every income level, and at fancy restaurants of the day. Suddenly everyone, it seemed, wanted the "simple comfort foods" of their childhoods, the food of the working class, from that magical, golden time and place called "yesterday" that I suspect exists only in fantasy and memory. The article specifically made mention of meatloaf as a popular offering; I laughed at that and said "They're welcome to it."
When my brothers and I were teenagers we were "latchkey kids", though we never thought of ourselves as such or used the term in conversation. The fact was, however, that we came home and made dinner for ourselves and tried to help raise our younger sister (who, no thanks to our sloppy efforts, turned out just fine: a loving wife and mother of two kids, with all of her street-smarts and no-nonsense sass fully intact.) I took turns being the primary cook with my brother Ed; the rotations were based something along the lines of "Nobody appreciates all the work I do! I'm sick of this, you do it!" As a matter of fact I did enjoy cooking and baking (sometimes), and I allowed myself a certain creativity with it (sometimes), within the bounds of our mom's modest budget.
There were other items, however, that I slogged through joylessly but made them nonetheless because they were cheap and filling. Meatloaf, and it's demon spawn, salisbury "steak", were such items that struck me with dread and loathing. The meatloaf recipe probably came from our copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, which was covered in grease stains on the inside and, eventually, black electrical tape on the outside to hold it together, and was already missing several pages. (The only recipe from that book I wanted to copy down when I left home to go to college, the spiced sour-cream raisin pie with meringue topping my mom made so superbly was, of course, on one of those missing pages.) I recall the meatloaf being a large dark hunk that I referred to as "a bowling ball". It was slathered with bottled barbeque sauce because that was the only part of it I liked, then shoved in the oven until it was overdone on the inside yet floating in a pool of hamburger grease on the bottom, plus crusty, sticky and red-black on the outside from the semi-burnt sauce.
You might not be surprised to learn that I never made it again after I left home and went off to college. In fact, I made a silent vow to myself: "I am NEVER making meatloaf again - ever!" Which is not quite as dramatic as, say, Scarlett O'Hara's vow - but I doubt that even she would be so hungry as to stoop to making that ground beef bowling ball. I spent many a tight and hungry year through college and beyond and consumed bowls of oatmeal and rice in preference to ever breaking my vow.
But last year, older and, if not wiser, then a bit more open-minded with a "what the heck" attitude towards life and the kitchen, I actually succumbed to the unsuspected charms of my lifelong nemesis, brussels sprouts. (See previous recipe posts.) So I suppose anything is possible.
"Anything", at the moment, happens to be the recipe reader Martine Flory sent me the other day: her version of meatloaf using some of the usual ingredients - an egg, carrot, ketchup, onion etc - but held together with ground turkey, which Ms. Crocker never dreamed of back in the day. (Or if she did, she never mentioned it.) Turkey is of course a leaner option than ground beef but is rather dry; here, a modest amount of ground pork is added as a supporting player for moistness. I personally might add a bit of stone-ground mustard to the ketchup glaze; ketchup and mustard can go all sorts of places together and not just on a hot dog. Another idea for this would be to try a more "Asian"-inspired glaze, perhaps a teriyaki sauce with a bit of ginger or lemongrass. (There are several excellent ready-made choices at the co-op.) If you happen to shop at Fiddleheads and can't find plain ground pork, substitute a pre-seasoned ground pork sausage, and adjust the rest of your flavorings accordingly as needed. (Four Mile River Farm's pork breakfast or sweet italian sausages would both go quite nicely in this, I think.)
Martine Flory's Turkey and Pork Meatloaf
(adapted from JENNIE-O recipe)
2 T olive or canola oil
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 lb ground pork
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 large egg
3/4 cup ketchup, divided
2 tea. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tea. salt
1/2 tea. ground pepper
Pre-heat oven 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a standard-sized loaf pan.
Heat oil over med-high heat in small frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for another 5 minutes.
Add turkey, pork, bread crumbs, carrots, egg, 1/4 cup of the ketchup,
Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to the bowl with the turkey and mix well, until thoroughly combined. Pack into the loaf pan and spread remaining 1/2 cup ketchup on top.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink in center, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Serves about 5.
More Variations on a Theme: Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Pork Breakfast Sausage, Spinach and Feta from Linda Phillips
(Photograph by Laura Phillips and used with permission.)
Linda Phillips was inspired by my portabello stack recipe from 12/26 to come up with her own version, this one incorporating Four Mile River Farm's pork breakfast sausage, pre-seasoned with red pepper and sage. with wilted spinach leaves and feta cheese. Use portabellos if you want to make this a main dish, or crimini mushrooms ("baby bellas", the "junior" versions of portabello) to serve this as an appetizer.
If you are a Fiddleheads customer and the FMRF pork breakfast sausage unavailable at the co-op, try their pork sweet italian sausage, which has subtle flavor notes of black pepper and fennel; or use their plain ground pork and add your own seasonings. Of course if you are far beyond the Fiddleheads universe, then use whatever pork sausage is available to you, preferably locally-sourced, hormone and steroid-free, preservative-free, and so forth.
Whatever you use, give it a whiff before you cook it; fresh (or newly-thawed) meat should have little if any odor, or should smell mild and sweet. If it smells "like meat", it is starting to turn rancid. (The same applies to fish; ask to smell it at the fish counter and if it smells "fishy", don't buy it.)
Laura Phillip's Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Pork Breakfast Sausage, Spinach and Feta Cheese
small to medium-size portabello mushroom caps, OR large crimini (baby bellas), cleaned and de-stemmed
pork breakfast sausage, crumbled (Laura used Four Mile River Farm's)
fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange prepared mushroom caps, gills-side up, on lightly oiled nonstick baking tray or dish.
Cook sausage in skillet over medium heat until browned; remove from pan with slotted spoon onto plate or bowl lined with paper towels to drain.
Reduce heat to low and stir spinach into the sausage drippings, stirring occasionally; cook 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Turn off heat, and add feta to pan. Mix spinach and feta with the pork sausage, then spoon evenly into prepared mushroom caps. Bake 12-18 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender but not mushy in the centers.
(Photo courtesy of Loretta McElwee and used by permission.)
When my friend and fellow co-op member Loretta McElwee passed along her friend Nat Hale's recipe to me a couple of weeks ago, I admit I wasn't particularly open-minded about it:
"Cheese, butter and rum with chard? Delicate, perfect-just-as-it-is-the-way-the-Universe-intended-it chard? Sacrilege, that's what it is."
Then she then made it herself and sent me the photos, such as the one above, and I decided that perhaps I could be seduced, after all. (Apparently I am easy, if not necessarily cheap. Or am I cheap but not easy? Just ask my friend Miss B.)
Loretta wrote in her email to me: "I made this twice - once with goat cheese, which I didn't care for, and once with Havarti which I loved!" Nat's recipe simply calls for "soft cheese" and he suggests a few options; so follow Loretta's lead in choosing one that you prefer. When I asked her about the butter, she thought that it could be omitted and olive oil used by itself without affecting the recipe. (I had no problem with the cheese and rum, but freaked over the butter? No, I don't understand it, either.)
Nat Hale's Swiss Chard with Soft Cheese, Balsamic and Rum
1 bunch swiss chard, any variety
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. spiced rum
2 tbsp. of soft cheese, such as goat cheese, or havarti
Wash the chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Tear the leaves into bit sized pieces and cut up the stems. In a deep skillet, heat the butter and olive oil. When butter melts, add garlic. Add wine and chard stems. Cover and cook on medium until stems are soft.
Add chard leaves. Cover and cook until the leaves have reduced in size and most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir occasionally; reduce the heat if you plan to leave unattended.
Add balsamic vinegar, spiced rum, and cheese. Cover until cheese melts. Serve.
A) What is the correct pronunciation of the word "Quinoa"?
3) "All I know is that when I tried to say it at the Christmas party,
everyone laughed at me. Since then I prefer to keep to myself."
4) "I have no idea what you're talking about. Is that some Native
American rock band?"
B) Well, what exactly IS quinoa?
1) "A seed of a plant that is a member of the goosefoot family, native
to South America. Humans have cultivated it as a food source for
over 3000 years. Did you know it's a great source of vegetable
protein and that the Aztecs....."
2) "Some sort of fluffy stuff my health-crazy spouse/significant other
keeps foisting on me. *sigh* The things I do for love."
3) "Enya's latest album?"
4) "If it's not a Native American rock band then I still have no idea
what the heck you're talking about."
If you're looking for the answers, go to the bottom of this article - or try Hari Krishna. (Yes, that was a shameless theft.)
Most of the references to quinoa I've seen refer to it as a grain. But according to this article(and if it's on Wikipedia you know it's got to be true, right?), quinoa is "a species of goosefoot...grown for it's edible grain-like seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family." *end horticulture lesson*
I'd never heard of it myself until just a few years ago; now it seems nearly everyone has heard of it, and for good reason. It's a source of vegetable protein (just how much, exactly, is under debate), gluten-free and easily digestible, making it a boon to the veganarian menu, and to anyone suffering celiac's disease (or related allergies). It's also quick and easy to make, ready in about 10-15 minutes on the stovetop compared to 30-45 minutes needed for brown rice or wheatberries. Even though it's not a "true grain" it can take the place of rice, etc at any meal. And it's extremely versatile: it's soft texture and bland flavor let the stronger ingredients shine in any dish. (I've had it for breakfast in place of oatmeal, which is carb-heavy and makes me a bit sleepy by lunchtime.)
If you're new to it and trying to find out how to make the most of it, the recipes available online are literally, countless; the problem is not finding a recipe, but choosing one. A few ideas to get you started:
Lemon Quinoa with Asparagus and Feta from the Cookthink website caught my eye almost immediately because of it's "sunny" quality and balance of flavors. Substitute 1/2 tea. dried in place of the 1 tea. fresh herb called for. Substituting fresh cilantro, flatleaf parsley or basil would give it a different character, I should think, but might be worth a try anyway.
Cooking Quinoa, as you might imagine from the name, has so many recipes I didn't know where to begin - until this recipe for Quinoa Chocolate Bars stopped me dead in my tracks. Yes, chocolate - real chocolate - plus coconut butter, almonds, a bit of salt. Some of the dried cherries or blueberries from our Bulk section would be amazing in these. A very informative website, hundreds of recipes, but lots of images and can be slow to load. (It seems to work better with Safari than Foxfire.)
What Would Cathy Eat? is one of my favorite go-to websites for recipes that are veganarian AND heart-healthy, which are not always the same things, as well as plain delicious. A few that are perfect for what it's in season and available at the co-op right now: Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower and Stuffed Kabocha Squash with Quinoa and Chickpeas. I've seen a lot of recipes online that use quinoa as a stuffing for all varieties of hard squash, so you can really give your imagination free play here.
Quinoa can also be sprouted as a microgreen; here's some instructions from yet another quinoa-dedicated website called (what else?) Quinoa Health Tips. (At this point, quinoa just might be more famous than the Beatles.)
Hopefully that will get you off and running if you're new to quinoa; if you were ahead of the curve and it's already a part of your menu, what are your favorite ways to use it? Share in the comments section here or drop me an email.
Answers To "The Quinoa Quiz":
A) #1. If you answered #2-4, do come to the Bulk Section of Fiddleheads where we will answer all your questions, and then some. And hopefully save you from embarrassment at your next party - just don't attempt to say "tumeric".
B) Also #1. If you said #3 or 4, then see answer to A (above) and get thyself down to the co-op. If you said #2 - we admire your dedication to your partner and your willingness to try new things. (That said, you probably deserve a little payback. Five words: Last Thanksgiving. Your Uncle Jack. 'nuff said.)
/recipe-archive.htmlPrintable pdf files of the recipes on this blog can be found on our Recipe Archive Page.
Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.