Archive | November, 2008

More Thanksgiving Fun & Don’t Forget the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at the Triangle

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One of our readers, Frank, posted this sweet potato recipe and it looks delicious.  I am particularly grateful for this because I love sweet potatoes, but can’t stand sweet potatoes with marshmallow goop all over them. 

Thanks Frank!  I can’t wait to try it.
Also, don’t forget about the Wednesday Farmers Market at the Triangle tonight from 3-7.  Trust me, you’d rather pick up those last minute ingredients at the farmers market than at Central Market…
Gingered Sweet Potatoes
Serve 8


* 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
* 2 green onions, chopped (white only)
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 tbsp. fresh ground ginger
* 1/4 cup light corn syrup
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped raisins
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

* Preheat oven to 325°F.

* Cover sweet potatoes with water in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook about 25 minutes or till tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set aside.

* In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine onions, cream, and ginger. Reduce heat; simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in corn syrup, brown sugar, raisins, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Heat thoroughly, until thickened.

* In a 2-quart casserole, arrange sliced potatoes. Pour sauce over potatoes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.
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Giving Thanks

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Happy Holiday everyone!  Among the many things I am grateful for, I am thankful you read the blog.  Thanks for keeping me company on this adventure. 

This week, everyone I know is busy pulling together their Thanksgiving recipes and I felt compelled to post some of the sharing that has been going around.  These recipes are not particularly farmers market friendly, although I’m sure you could get a number of ingredients from the market.

The first is a recipe from my family.  A friend was looking for a dressing recipe so I sent her my dad’s.  Dad was THE Thanksgiving day chef – if we got lucky, we could help chop or stir, but Dad ruled the kitchen on turkey day.  This recipe isn’t fancy, but it is delicious and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

The second recipe, Killer Cranberry Sauce, is from my friend Wendy Morgan (not sure where she got it from).  She says it is delicious and thinks she is going to have to make it again before Thanksgiving.     You can buy the pecans and the orange at the farmers market.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, please e-mail it to me and I’ll do my best to post it.  Not sure of my wi-fi access in Wichita Falls, but I’ll do my best to get it up before Thanksgiving.  

From Bob Willis
8 Servings

Ginger and I give Dad credit for this, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s from his mom –our
grandmother. A holiday dinner would not taste the same to me without it.

2 packages of cornbread cooked, cooled and crumbled
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 egg, beaten
1 can chicken broth
Poultry seasoning – you could fresh herbs if you prefer, sage and thyme are the key
Celery salt
Turkey broth, if you don’t have turkey broth, just use more chicken broth

Cook the cornbread, let it cool and crumble it. This can be done well in advance and the
crumbled cornbread kept in plastic ware.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Sauté the onion and the celery. Dad sautéed his in butter, but you could be healthier and use
olive oil or something else if you want. The butter tastes really good though.

Combine the cornbread, onion, celery, egg and broth (chicken and turkey). Add the poultry
seasoning and celery salt to taste. When you combine everything, it should be really, really moist
–almost, but not quite soupy.

Cook for an hour at 325. Check it to make sure it doesn’t get too dried out, but about an hour. If
it looks too moist to you, let it cook longer, but you do not want dried out stuffing.

from Wendy Morgan

This is the best cranberry sauce I have ever had…

1-1/2 C sugar
1 navel orange
1/2 t grated ginger
4 C cranberries
1/2 C (2 oz.) toasted pecans

Grate the orange peel and add to a pot with the sugar and ginger.

Add the juice from the orange into the pot and simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Add cranberries and cook until they pop – about 5 minutes.

Add pecans and cool sauce.

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A Fabulous Fall Frittata

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Despite the overcast weather, the market was busy on Saturday as everyone was loading up on produce for the upcoming holiday.  I decided it was the perfect time to make a recipe I had picked up a couple of weeks before from Chef Quincy Adams Erickson, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Frittata.

If you aren’t familiar with Quincy’s work around time, she is a true gift in our community.  She is the executive chef of the catering company Fete Accompli and one of the founding members of the Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an organization which gives female chefs a forum for sharing ideas and supporting each other.    I wasn’t sure about butternut squash in a frittata, but I knew that if the recipe was from Quincy it would be great.   It was a great way to kick off a lazy Sunday.
On an unrelated note, I had dinner with a friend at Asti last night.  I hadn’t been in a while and I had forgotten how wonderful it is.  I had the special which featured lamb and lamb sausage from Countryside Family Farms with a mint risotto.  It was delicious and I appreciated it even more because I knew it supported a local farm.  If you love our farm community, don’t just support them at the market, but also support local restaurants who buy from them.  It’s a win-win for everyone.
Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Frittata
from Chef Quincy Adams Erickson
2 cups butternut squash, 1/2 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons butter divided
3 bunches spring onions
12 whole eggs
1/2 cups cream
2 cups goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano
2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste
For the squash: Set oven temperature to 500 degrees.  Peel butternut squash, remove seeds and cut into 1/2 inch dice.  Finely chop garlic.  Melt 3 tablespoons butter in saute pan and toss in garlic.  Toss butternut squash with butter garlic mixture.  Place in 8×8 inch pan and roast in oven for 6-8 minutes until golden.
Slice spring onions very thinly with some of the green included.  Saute in remaining butter until just soft.  Set aside.
Whisk all of the eggs together and add the cream and whisk again.
Fold in the cheeses, squash and onions and stir again.  Add salt and pepper and stir.
Poor into an 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Serve a with a seasonal greens or arugula salad.
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Fun with Fall Crops, Greenling to the Rescue & a Blue Avocado

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If you haven’t been to the farmers market recently, you are really missing out.  There is so much variety right now, it’s hard to pick.  There are tons of greens (spinach, kale, broccoli), winter squash, beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and kohlrabi.  Plus we still have some late summer crops like zucchini, tomatoes and okra.  I wanted to buy one of everything.
This last weekend, I was particularly excited to see the beautiful Red Leaf Lettuce they had at Harvest Time Farm Stand.  I’m always a sucker for Purple Hull Peas so I bought a bag from Engel Farms.  It was an added bonus that they were already shucked (yea Engel Farms!).  And, Blackland Praire has Spinach again.  I love spinach!   It was a fun day to shop.
Of course, there are those weekends when you just can’t get to the market.  So what do you do? You can buy some local produce at Central Market, but it’s not easy.  Luckily, we’re blessed in Austin to have Greenling who will deliver local and organic food to your door.  If you haven’t checked in to Greenling lately, they have seriously expanded their service area from from Georgetown all the way down to San Antonio.  This means you don’t have to live next to one of the big HEBs or Central Market to get fresh, local, organic produce.    Woo hoo!
I haven’t personally used them yet but have friends who have and they attest to it being a very helpful service.  It does make me very happy to know I have a back up option for the weeks I can’t make it to the farmers market. Yea Greenling!
On a final miscellaneous note, I am always looking for a great shopping bag, particularly now that I am trying to avoid the plastic bags at the grocery line.  Recently, some friends of mine launched Blue Avocado – fabulous reusable grocery bags AND they are cute!  They would make great holiday gifts.  This is a great Austin-based company and the owners are good people.  
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