Archive | January, 2009

Austin Farm to Table in the Austin American-Statesman

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Many thanks to Addie Broyles from the Austin American-Statesman for submitting one of my recent posts for her column.  I’m humbled by her support and that of everyone else who follows the blog.  Thanks for reading!

You can click on the link to her column to see the article or read it below.

FOOD & DRINK

Veggies from farmers’ markets keep blogger busy


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kristi Willis loves shopping at farmers’ markets, but sometimes she gets a little too excited and buys too much. Willis, a productivity coach in Austin, says she has taken a few cooking classes, but it’s through trial and error that she has compiled enough recipes to make cookbooks for friends and family for the holidays every year. About a year ago, she started Austin Farm to Table (www.austinfarmtotable.com) to keep her on track for the yearly cookbook. “I thought if I blogged all year long, I would do a better job of staying active with my cooking even though I travel a lot for work,” she says.

She created this Indian Vegetable Soup recipe after looking in her fridge one day and realizing she’d bought too much chard, cauliflower and broccoli and left them too long in the drawer.

“Making soup is one of the few remedies I know for wilting veggies,” she wrote in the blog post. Soup is also a good way to use the not-your-average fruits and vegetables, such as Romanesco and purple cauliflowers she used in this soup, for sale at the many farmers’ markets in Central Texas.

If you write a blog about food, e-mail

abroyles@statesman.com and tell me about it. Maybe your recipe will make it into print.

Indian Vegetable Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 large turnip, peeled and chopped

1/2 head of broccoli, chopped

1/2 head of cauliflower, cored and chopped (I used purple because that is what I had, but you can use anything.)

1 bunch Swiss chard

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

salt and pepper to taste

11/2 tsp. hot curry powder

1 quart broth (chicken or veggie)

Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add turnip and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard and beans, and stir well. Add the seasoning, combining with the vegetables. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, cover and cook for about an hour.

— Kristi Willis, Austin Farm to Table

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Warm You from the Inside Out Beef Vegetable Soup

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I’ve been in London for the last week for work, and the weather has been surprisingly nice.  The sun has come out every day, apparently a rare occurrence for January in London, and it hasn’t been too unbearably cold.  Today, that all ended.  

It rained all day and, even with an umbrella and a London Fog trench coat, I just couldn’t seem to stay dry.  After reading all my friends’ FaceBook posts over a spot of tea (I’m picking up the lingo), I realized it was cold back in Austin, too.  Clearly, we are all in need of some warm, comforting soup.
I would have loved to cook my own soup today, but didn’t have the facilities in my hotel room. Instead I opted for a bowl of delicious carrot soup in the dining room at the National Gallery.  As I ate my soup and drank yet another pot of tea, I thought about the last soup I made.
After my last trip to the farmers market, I made this Beef Vegetable soup with some of my favorites.  I hope it warms you up and makes you not mind the cold quite so much.
Warm You from the Inside Out Beef Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spring onions, rinsed, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 lb stew meat
1 cup turnips, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup cauliflower, chopped (I used Romanesco, but you could use any type of cauliflower)
1 cup broccoli
1 cup spinach (you could use any green – I had spinach – kale or chard or cabbage would work)
1 quart broth (I used chicken because it is what I had, you could use veggie or beef if you prefer)
a few springs of fresh thyme and sage
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot and add olive oil.  Saute the garlic and onion for about a minute and then add the stew meat.  Brown the meat.  
Add all of the veggies except the spinach and sweat them (let them heat through, stirring them so they don’t burn or stick.)  Add the broth and the spices and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and let cook until vegetables are almost tender.  While simmering, if the broth forms a film (from the beef fat), skim off the filmy layer.  
Once the vegetables are almost cooked through, stir in the spinach.  Adjust the spices as necessary.
Serve with warm brown bread or corn bread.  
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More Pizzalicious Game Night

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This first full week of the new year has been a whirlwind!  I was fortunate enough to kick it off by watching the Horns defeat the sweater vests’ of Ohio State. Go Horns!

My friend Claire has season tickets to the home games, so she had missed the first Pizzalicious Game Night and asked me to reprise the menu for the Fiesta Bowl.  I agreed to repeat two of the pizzas – National Championship Pizza (for obvious reasons) and the OctoberFest Pizza – if I could try two new ones.
I decided to play it safe with one (Spinach, Garlic & Feta), but to try something crazy with the other.  My colleague Kim gave me the idea of spinach, garlic and feta as one of her favorites, so now I just had to pick the “experimental” pizza.  I read several beet pizza recipes this fall and  decided it was time to put yet another beet recipe to the test.  I know, I know – I just won’t give up on the beets.  I decided that I would try the same ingredients I had in a good beet salad recently – arugula, roasted beets and feta.
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My friends thought I’d lost it, but they’ve thought that before, so they tried it anyway.  It was definitely different – the beets were a little sweet with some spice from the arugula, but we all decided it was good and polished off the whole thing.  We needed our energy for cheering on the Horns.
Beet, Arugula & Feta Pizza
1 bunch of beets, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of arugula, rinsed
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
3-4 oz of feta
olive oil
1 pizza crust  (I got mine from HEB – I like their ready made crust and had too much going on to make my own)
Heat oven to 400 degrees.   Place beets in a dish.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast pizzas for 20-30 minutes – until they are tender.
Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place pizza crust on a preheated stone or a cookie sheet.  Brush olive oil over the crust and sprinkle garlic over it.  Next, layer the arugula on the crust and top it with a layer of beets.  Sprinkle the feta on top.  Drizzle olive oil on top of the pizza (this keeps the arugula from getting too dried out.)  Cook the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes.

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Spinach, Garlic and Feta Pizza

1 bunch of spinach, rinsed
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
3-4 oz of feta
tomato sauce of your choice (I used the pizza sauce that came with the HEB crust)
1 pizza crust  (I got mine from HEB – I like their ready made crust and had too much going on to make my own)
olive oil
Preheat oven to 450.  Place crust on preheated pizza stone or cookie sheet.  Spoon sauce over crust.  Layer garlic around the pizza, followed by the spinach.  Sprinkle feta on top.  Drizzle olive oil on the spinach to keep it from getting dried out.  Cook pizza for about 10 minutes.
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My Vegetables are Wilting Indian Vegetable Soup

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I often get a little over excited at the farmers market and buy too much.   I can’t help it – everything looks so good.  But I always overestimate how many times I’m going to get to cook rather than meeting friends for dinner or reheating leftovers.  Particularly this week with New Year’s eve and an open house on New Year’s day, I didn’t cook as much as I thought I would.

Yesterday, I had the uncommon good sense to check the state of the veggie drawer before I went to the market and realized I had over bought the week before and had chard, cauliflower and broccoli wilting in the drawer.  The cauliflower and broccoli were leftover from making a veggie tray for a friend’s party, but the chard was just neglected.  Ugh.  I hate to waste food.

Making soup is one of the few remedies I know for wilting veggies.   Luckily, it cooled down today
 so a big pot of veggie soup was exactly what I wanted.  I had a hodge podge of left over veggies from the week – the aforementioned wilting chard and broccoli, 1/2 a head of purple cauliflower and a big turnip.  Perfect.
For some unknown reason, I have been craving Indian flavors (maybe it was the episode of No Reservations set in India that I watched yesterday), so I decided to spice it with curry powder. If you don’t like curry, then use something else for your flavoring or you could just use salt and pepper and it’s going to taste great.
On a completely unrelated note, my friends and I hosted an open house in honor of some friends who are getting married in a few weeks.  I made a few dishes including a veggie tray.  I know what you’re thinking – big deal, it’s a veggie tray.  Well, you’re right, but using the very fresh variety of veggies from the farmers market, I made a veggie tray that people actually talked about.  When’s the last time you pulled that off?
purple cauliflowerromanesco cauliflower
Rather than using plain white cauliflower, I used a head of Romanesco cauliflower and  a  head of purple cauliflower.  Everything else was predictable, but the “funny” cauliflower was the center of the conversation.   Serve it with Grandma’s Hummus from the Mediterranean Chef and you have a  show stealer.
Indian Vegetable Soup

indian vegetable soup

 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
1/2 head of broccoli, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, cored and chopped (I used purple because that is what I had, but you can use anything)
1 bunch swiss chard
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tsps hot curry powder
1 qt broth (chicken or veggie)
Heat olive oil in a pot and saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes.  Add turnip and saute another 2-3 minutes.  Add broccoli, cauliflower, swiss chard, and beans and stir well.  Add the seasoning, combining with the vegetables.  Add the stock and bring to a simmer.   Lower heat, cover and cook for about an hour.
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