Friday, April 12, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - April 10, 2013




    Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN/TAN BAG
 
This week your bag will contain:
Mixed Greens; Yukon Gold Potatoes; Carrots; Celeriac; Red OR Green Cabbage; Shallots
 
and OUT of the Bag
Frozen Zucchini
Frozen Peppers
 
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mtn Foagies
VT BeanCrafters Organic Bean Burgers
Lazy Lady Oh My Heart Cheese
 
 
 
 
Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
 
Mixed Greens; Yukon Gold Potatoes; Carrots; Red Cabbage; Shallots
 
and OUT of the Bag
Frozen Zucchini
 
 
Seedlings & Spring Bin Repair
Pete's Musings
 
Pete's Greens is knows as a place where pickup trucks go to die. Many a time we've bought a perfectly good truck for $1800 and by the end of the summer it's a basketcase. The causes are a little mysterious but seem to be related to lots of different drivers of varying skill level, plentiful mud, and ... lots of different drivers of varying skill levels. I never cease to be amazed at the ability of males growing up in America who have absolutely no idea how to drive anything. We had a young man a couple years ago who bent the frame of a beautiful truck because he hit a pothole going too fast. Last summer one of our hotshots dented our new grey van twice (new to us, it's actually 20 years old but it's really nice) and my personal pickup before we had to cut him off cold. Many a time I've heard a terrible high pitched whining sound from 1/2 a mile away and instantly I know that someone is stuck. I always know who they are and what vehicle it is just by the sound. It's a race to get there before they have buried the rig up to the axles.  We've given up on the idea that anyone should be able to drive a standard and now buy only automatic pickups.
 
But this spring all the old junkers are getting shipped out. You can see the nice load that Kev had fun constructing on Saturday. We're gradually assembling a fleet of used automatic and 4wd trucks and putting flatbeds and tarp shelters on them for harvesting into. There will also be a water tank for misting produce as it is harvested. And we're initiating a drivers training course that has to be passed before you are allowed to drive. It's a new day at Pete's Greens! Now we are a place where trucks come to die more slowly! ~ Pete
 
Mel's World
 
 
 
Strolling around in spring, evidence of Melissa is everywhere.  Mel singlehandedly plants ... 80% 90%?  More??? of all the crops we have to transplant.  Walk out into the headhouse and gaze at the 400 or more seed trays out there holding peppers, tomatoes, beans, vine crops, aliums, herbs and Melissa probably planted them.   Oh wait there's more... Then stroll over to the cooler climate of the hardening off house and it's full too, hundreds more.  And still more flats linger outside the hardening house bearing the brunt of the suns rays and real temps for the first time.  And then within the log house can be found hundreds of beautiful baby plants that have already been transplanted, and all will have been nurtured by Mel.  Each week, accompanied by Iris (who is learning fast!) she strives to keep pace with the farm's crop plan, seeds in, trays hardened off, crops potted up, transplants in ground.  And so it will continue until the last crops find their bed in June.
 
 
 
Food Swaps
 
Have you heard of the newest craze sweeping the foodie world?  A food swap is a gathering of home cooks, gardeners, foragers, food preservationists, and bakers who come to swap their homemade food or drink products and garden bounty.  It’s very similar to a cookie swap, but not limited to cookies – food swap options are endless! 
               
Food swaps are not a new concept.  Like so many ancient traditions, they largely died out as our food system was industrialized.  As later generations re-discovered the benefits of self-reliance and home grown foods; swapping excess produce and specialty products made a logical re-emergence.   Many people are wary about a food swap and say things like “I didn’t can anything” or “I didn’t grow much in my garden this year” but the amazing thing about a food swap is this – it’s not just limited to canned goods or your backyard bounty!
 
Today’s food swaps are as much about sharing ideas and building community as they are about trading foods.  You’ll likely encounter unfamiliar produce and products that will work their way into your garden and kitchen.  You may also discover a new use for a familiar product – like running excess summer squash though a food processor and making a curried summer squash relish that you’ll find uses for year round.  It’s also a great place to show off your skills in the kitchen or garden - there isn’t a better feeling than when everyone at the swap wants your item and recipe. 
               
The swap itself is simple: bring an item that you’d like to swap, check out the goods others brought, and make a trade.  Once everyone is set up, there is a half hour browsing time to view/sample the goods.  When you find something you’d like to swap for, leave your name and product on the swap card that goes with that item.  When the browsing is complete, there will be a few minutes to review your offers before the swapping begins.  Some food swaps often offer an educational intermission between the sampling and swapping with guest speakers on topics of interest.  Food swaps typically conclude with participants sharing recipes and ideas before departing.
 
If you're interested in attending a food swap, VT Food Swap is hosting one on Sunday, April 14th, at 3pm at the Waterbury Congregational Church.  For more information and to sign up go here
 
This is a tradition that deserves revival!
 
 
Storage and Use Tips
 
 
 
 
This week's Greens  are a mixture of Claytonia, Sunflower and Radish Shoots, and Arugula. 
 
 
More variety is on it's way in your greens - arugula, lettuce, and mustard greens are growing quickly in the greenhouses as you can see!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yukon Gold Potatoes are very versatile and can be used well in a number of recipes.  They're starchy enough to bake and firm enough to boil, making it as close to the everything potato if it existed.  A good potato can be incredibly delicious sautéed in a little garlicky olive oil, simmered in stock, boiled and drizzled with the tiniest amount of butter and a sprinkle of mint or mashed with greens.
 
Celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery, is a variety of celery cultivated for it's edible roots.  It is edible raw or cooked and tastes faintly like celery.  It is excellent peeled and sliced or cubed and added to soups or stews, roasted or boiled.  My favorite use for celeriac is to boil the cubes with peeled and cubed potatoes to make mashed potatoes.  The addition of the celeriac really lends an excellent flavor!
 
Red or Green Cabbage- small share members will get red cabbage and large share members will get either a red or green cabbage.  Cabbage can be used in a variety of ways- shredded and added to coleslaw or on top of a salad, sauteed, roasted, or grilled. 
 
Shallots are related to onions and garlic having a head composed of multiple cloves, each covered with a pink, papery, onion-like skin. They have a mild taste that combines the flavor of a sweet onion with a touch of garlic. They are more delicate than onions, having a faster cooking time and can be used in many of the same dishes where garlic and onions are used (and do not cause stinky breath!). You can sautee or caramelize and then combined with wine, butter or cream in sauces. They are also quite good in dressings. You can chop fresh into salads and on sandwiches or it is also very easy to roast shallots while leaving the skins on and then peel and mash them before using.  Store in a cool, dry place for up to a month. Enjoy!
 
One of this week's frozen items is Frozen Green or Red Peppers.  Our frozen veggies are grown on our farm, come in from the field and go straight into the freezer. Our peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest. Frozen peppers won't be crisp like fresh peppers but retain all the flavor and yummy summer goodness. To use them, simply remove package from the freezer, slice open bag, and then either thaw and add to your dish, or chop just what you need frozen and toss directly into your skillet frozen. If you use the latter method, you can toss unused frozen back into the freezer for later use. (This is how I use all the frozen veggies).  They are wonderful added to burritos, chili recipes, pastas, eggs, soups or stews.  My kids like them as a frozen treat.
 
We also have Frozen Zucchini for everyone this week!  It will lose a lot of water once you thaw it out which makes it perfect to add to your baking recipes or many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.  Soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, even meatloaf will benefit from this zucchini. 
 
 
Veggie Storage and Use Tips are our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section. I am sure you will find it useful.
 
Localvore Lore
 
This week you have all the makings for a burger night!  And if you have any of the sweet onion relish left, that will be a great addition too!
 
The bread is Elmore Mountain Foagies.  This is their version of rolls made from focaccia dough.  Grill it like a panini, make an egg breakfast sandwich, or stack it with cold cuts.  This would be excellent paired with this week's cheese and bean burger.
 
Black bean burgers come to you from VT BeanCrafters Organic Bean Burgers.  These burgers are loaded with protein, iron, and Vitamin A and are organically made with VT sourced ingredients. 
 
Cooking Instructions - The burgers come baked, so you only need to get them hot. They do best pan-fried in cast iron with a bit ofoil, but also cook well on grills and in toaster ovens.
To bake - brush lightly w//oil. Bake on a greased pan for 8-12 mins at 400F.
To pan fry - set burner to med/hi. Once hot, add a bit of oil and spread in pan, toss in burgers straight from freezer. Cook first side til burgers slides freeely on the pan with light shaking. Then flip and cook other side for a minute or two. Try them crumbled into a tortilla with a fried egg and salsa. Mmmmm.
 
Lastly there's some cheese for you to spread on your Foagies.  Lazy Lady Farm  made Oh my Heart Cheese - it's a brie style cow cheese with a bloomy rind.  This rich cheese would be great spread on crackers or bread.  Laini Fondillar makes small batches of some pretty fantastic cheese at her Lazy Lady Farm in Westfield. The farm is named after her pampered herd of goats, not Laini. Laini herself is a force to be reckoned with as she works her off-the-grid farm and cares for the goats and other animals, and makes all sorts of cheeses.  I was impressed by the pictures of the animals and the farm on the website so you should check it out - it's truly an off the grid, organic operation with a very small carbon footprint.
 
 
 
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change.  You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
 
Recipes
 
 
Potato & Celeriac Soup
A great way to use your potatoes and celeriac this week.

¼ cup oil, olive preferably
1 # yellow onions, small diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 # potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
2 # celeriac, peeled and rough cubed
2 quarts stock, chicken or vegetable
4 sprigs thyme, stripped
1-cup heavy cream (optional if you want a lighter soup)

Heat oil in soup pot. Add onions and sauté until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for one minute longer. Add potatoes and celeriac for one minute. Add stock and simmer until potatoes and celeriac are soft. Remove from heat. Using a blend stick or blender, process until smooth in small batches. If using a blender, initially pulse it so that it doesn’t splash upward. Transfer puree to a container. Continue until all is pureed. Add fresh thyme and heavy cream (if desired). Season with salt and pepper.


 
Zucchini-Cheddar Biscuits
These biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to soup or just to snack on.   Recipe from 'The Classic Zucchini Cookbook'.
 
2 cups grated zucchini, thawed
1 tsp salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tst freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
 
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Grease a baking sheet.
 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the cheese, egg, buttermilk, and zucchini.  Toss with a fork to mix well.
 
Drop the batter by the spoonful onto the baking sheet to make 24 biscuits.  Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.  Serve the biscuits hot out of the oven.
 
 
Annie's Celeriac Coleslaw
Annie experimented and made coleslaw with celeriac instead of cabbage.  She used the coleslaw in tacos and said it was awesome.  Give it a try!
 
Shredded carrots
Shredded celeriac
Small amount of lime juice
Small amount of cilantro
Salt and pepper
 
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!


Pickled Cabbage
Here's a quick and easy way to make "pickled" cabbage.  This would be great on top of a burger, or just eaten as a side dish.
 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shredded cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, coarsely crushed in resealable plastic bag with mallet
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
 
Heat vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, sliced onion, crushed coriander seeds, and celery seeds; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until wilted and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in white wine vinegar and sugar. Sauté until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds.
 
 
Simple Braised Potatoes
Mark Bittman recently wrote an article for the NY Times all about Yukon Golds.  This recipe for braised potatoes is very easy yet delicious.  See the article and other recipes here.
 
2 pounds potatoes
3 tbsp Butter
1 Onion, ciced
1 tsp Garlic, minced
A sprig of thyme or rosemary
2 cups Stock - chicken or veggie
 
Cut spuds into chunks.  Heat butter in a deep skillet or broad pot over medium high heat; add potatoes, onion, garlic and the thyme or rosemary.  Cook, stirring, until potatoes begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Add stock to barely cover the potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and liquid is reduced, about 30 minutes.  Garnish with thyme or rosemary.
 
 
Caramelized Onion and Shallot Dip
Caramelizing the onions brings out the wonderful sweet flavor of the shallots.  Recipe from Bon Appetit, October 2012.
 
2 pounds large yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces total)
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons onion powder

 
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix onions, shallots, thyme sprigs, and oil in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper.
 
Roast onion mixture, stirring and scraping down sides of pan every 10 minutes, until mixture starts to break down and turn golden brown, 45–55 minutes.
 
Discard thyme sprigs. Add wine and vinegar; stir to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Return onion mixture to oven. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and completely caramelized, about 15 minutes longer. Spread onion mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
 
Transfer onion mixture to a work surface and mince. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in sour cream, chives, yogurt, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dip can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.

Good Eats Newsletter - April 3, 2013




Meat share members - it's a meat week!
    Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN/TAN BAG
 
This week your bag will contain:
Mixed Greens; Baby Potatoes; Carrots; Mixed Beets; Savoy Cabbage; Yellow & Red Onions
 
and OUT of the Bag
Frozen Corn
Tomato Puree
 
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Butterworks Farm Organic Kidney Beans
Pa Pa Doodles Eggs
Pete's Hot Sauce
 
 
 
 
Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
 
Mixed Greens; Baby Potatoes; Carrots; Savoy Cabbage; Yellow Onions
 
and OUT of the Bag
Tomato Puree
 
 
Despite this cold snap and snow, spring really is coming!

Yesterday I walked into the greenhouse and was instantly transported to another world as it was bright and sunny and smelled so good.  The smell was a mixture of soil and seedlings, but more importantly, spring.

It was a happy reminder that spring is nearly here and before long our plates will be brimming with beautiful spring and summer vegetables.  ~Sara
Around the Farm
 
 
Socorro & Alejandra planting basil today in the greenhouse today.
 
Todd, Andrew, Cori and Dan with a load of compost
that was coming in to take shelter from the cold in preparation for planting days ahead.
 
Storage and Use Tips
 
This week's Greens  are a mixture of Claytonia, Sunflower and Radish Shoots, Spinach, Cress and  Chickweed.  
 
The Baby Potatoes are a mixture of Nicolas, Purple Vikings, and All Blues.  They are all baby size, very cute, and great for roasting whole.  There's no need to peel any of these baby taters; just cover in some oil, salt and pepper, and roast in an oven pre-heated to 425 F for about 30-40 minutes. 
 
This week's Beets are red round beets and red cylindra (forono) beets.  Nice large good-looking beets.  This is the last time members will get large beets until we have fresh ones beets this spring.  Members will probably get a share of baby beets in a few weeks, but the large ones aren't storing well enough to save them for another share.  So, use the beet recipes now if you have em.
 
Not all cabbages are created equal.  Our Green Savoy Cabbage has loosely wrapped, savoyed or crumpled leaves.  These cabbages have a thick wrapper leaf which enables them to store well but are not as well suited to stir fry or egg rolls as Chinese types of cabbages with their thin skins and sweet flavor.  They are also not so high in dry matter like your slaw or kraut cabbages which are perfect for retaining structure during processing and fermenting.  The savoy cabbage is perfect for cooking however, especially in soups that can tenderize its thick kale-like leaves.  I also prefer savoy cabbages to stuff with rice, tomato sauce and sausages.  Saute with a little butter and a splash of milk or cream to quickly soften the leaves and bring out its sweet flavors on the stove top.  Store cabbage in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for a few weeks.
 
Onions are a mix of yellow and red large share and all yellow for the small share.  Our red onions aren't supposed to store well (according to seed catalog info, they shouldn't have lasted past early Feb), and they've stored beautifully this year.  Pretty cool that we still have them and can share them with you.
 
Everyone gets a jar of our Tomato Puree this week - pure tomatoes cooked down and then canned. Store in your kitchen cabinet for up to one year or until you are ready to use.  The puree works well in tomato sauce, soups, or stews.
 
Veggie Storage and Use Tips are our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section. I am sure you will find it useful.
 
Localvore Lore
 
Butterworks Farm Light Red Kidney Beans are a gourmet bean loved for their delicate texture and rich flavor. Often used interchangeably with Dark Red Kidney beans they are a different variety all together having excellent culinary qualities for soups, chili and casseroles and other slow cooked dishes due to its thin skin and rich flavor. Dark Red Kidneys are traditionally used for red beans and rice and dishes where it is not desirable for the bean to break or add to the texture of a sauce or soup. Dry beans are an excellent source of protein and iron. 1 pound dried beans = 2 cups dried = 4-5 cups cooked beans.
 
Get ready to add some heat to your cooking with Pete's Roasted Hot Pepper Relish. Made right here in our kitchen it's a great addition to the chili recipe below, folded into scrambled eggs, added into your burger, or added to caramelized onions to top your burger.  A little bit goes a long way! This is not a salsa.  It's great for adding to chili or burritos.  Keeps in the fridge a long time too.  I'm a total wimp when it comes to spicy things so I don't have many great ideas for it's uses.  However when I googled some ideas one interesting thing I read about was adding hot sauce to your birdseed to keep the squirrels away.
 
This week you will also receive a dozen eggs from Pa Pa Doodles.
 
 
 
Meat Share
 
Pete's Pastured Chickens are grazed on our greens fields all summer moved from field to field. They fertilize and aerate the fields while growing into beautiful vitamin packed table birds.  These are large birds- they're perfect for roasting whole for dinner and you'll have plenty of leftovers.  We also recommend using the carcass and neck to make broth afterwards.  One of my favorite things to do with a whole chicken is to throw it into the crockpot, cover with water, and add plenty of cut up veggies and spices.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Once it's cooked through strain the broth into a bowl, discard the veggies, and shred the chicken.  I freeze the broth for later use and keep the shredded chicken in the fridge to use throughout the week on a salad or burritos.  This is the last of our chickens for now; new chicks will be arriving at the farm later this month.
 
This week's Salmon is coming to you from Anthony at Starbird Fish.  Anthony spends a portion of his year commercial fishing in Alaska then ships the fish to VT.  These are packages of salmon burger trim ready to make into salmon burgers or chowder.  See below for a great burger recipe.
 
McKnight Farm Organic Burger - The burger this week comes from McKnight Farm in East Montpelier.  This organic grass-fed burger is loaded with healthy fats such as Omega 3's and CLA's (conjugated linoleic acid - a very potent defense against cancer), Vitamin E, and is lower in fat than store bought meat.  This lean beef can actually have the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast, elk, or wild deer.  Lean beef can also lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.  This would be great made into burgers, included in the tomato sauce recipe below, or thrown into chili.
 
 
Pork Chops - these pork chops come from the whey-fed pigs at Jasper Hill.  You've previously enjoyed sausages and bacon from these pigs.  I love that these pigs are fed the by products of Jasper Hill's cheese making so nothing goes to waste!
 
 
 
 
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change.  You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
 
Recipes
 
Curried Potatoes
Here's a recipe for some spicy potatoes.  If you like a little more heat add some hot sauce!

Baby Potatoes
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth


Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large pan, sauté the cumin seeds in the sunflower oil for 2 minutes, or until golden.
Add the minced garlic and onion and cook until soft.
Add the potatoes, chicken broth, and the spices and cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
Continue to cook, adding small amounts of water from time to time to keep the potatoes from sticking, until potatoes are tender. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until the outsides of the potatoes are slightly crispy and golden brown.
 
 
 
Quick Pickled Beets
These pickled beets are ready in a snap after you have cooked the beets.  I tend to cook a lot of beets at once and eat some with my meal and then pickle some. These will keep in the fridge for a week.

2# beets, cooked, peeled, and cut into wedges
1/4 c minced scallions
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat gently. Toss with the warm beets and the scallions. Chill before serving. Even better the next day.
 
 
 
Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions

A very simple, rich, delicious sauce adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking. Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti.


1 quart tomato puree

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved

Salt to taste


Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.


Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese.
 
 
 
Ginger Garlic Savoy Cabbage
I love cooking up savoy cabbages as a side dish and pairing it with pork chops.  You could add some red pepper flakes and onions, or even some hot pepper relish to spice it up!
 
1 head savoy cabbage
2 tbs light olive oil or sesame oil
1 tbs minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 1/4 tbs ginger, minced
Juice of 1 lime
 
Heat wok or large skilled to medium high heat, wait until the oil is hot.  Add cabbage and stir fry until cabbage just starts to wilt.  Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.  Add ginger and cook 1 minute.  Drizzle with lime juice and serve.
 
 
 
Chili
The recipe below calls for beef but if you prefer a vegetarian chili simply omit the beef. You can also substitute a number of meats such as stew beef, ground pork, turkey or veal. Chili is also one of those dishes you can add other veggies and ingredients to very easily. I like to add diced carrots (cook like potatoes), frozen corn (add at end) and pickled jalapenos (add to taste) to mine at home. A good friend of mine swears by adding chocolate to her chili to give it a rich flavor. Have some fun!
 
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 Tbs chili powder (paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder)
28 oz diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato puree
1 package frozen sweet peppers, thawed and chopped
1 1/2 lb (6 c cooked) light red kidney beans, cooked with broth
3 c (3-4 med sized) potatoes, diced
 
 
Heat the oil in a soup pot set over medium heat. Add the ground beef, garlic, and onion. Cook, stirring to crumble the ground beef, until beef is no longer pink. Drain off any excess grease. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and chili powder. Add the tomatoes, puree, peppers, cooked light red kidney beans and broth and uncooked potatoes. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season as desired.
 
 
Penne Alla Vodka
Another tasty and easy way to use your tomato puree.
 
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or more as desired
1 jar tomato puree
1 pound penne or other tubular cut pasta
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
 
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  When it's hot, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the crushed red pepper and tomatoes, adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
 
When the water comes to a boil, salt it generously and add the pasta.  Add the vodka to the tomato mixture, and continue cooking until thick and saucy, another 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir the cream and butter into the tomato sauce, and turn off the heat.
 
When the pasta is al dente scoop about a cup of it's cooking liquid out of the pot, and then drain the pasta.  Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding the reserved cooking liquid as needed to thin out the sauce.  Add the parmesan, toss again, and serve hot garnished with more parmesan.
 
 
 
Salmon Burgers
If you finely grind part of the salmon, it will bind the rest, which can be coarsely chopped to retain its moisture during cooking. The two-step grinding process means that those flavorings that you want minced fine, like garlic or ginger, can go in with the first batch of salmon; those that should be left coarse, like onion or fresh herbs, can go in with the rest.  This recipe comes from the New York Times.
 
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless salmon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs
1 tablespoon capers, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Lemon wedges
Tabasco sauce
 
Cut the salmon into large chunks, and put about a quarter of it into the container of a food processor, along with the mustard. Turn the machine on, and let it run -- stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary -- until the mixture becomes pasty.
 
Add the shallots and the remaining salmon, and pulse the machine on and off until the fish is chopped and well combined with the puree. No piece should be larger than a quarter inch or so; be careful not make the mixture too fine.
 
Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and by hand, stir in the bread crumbs, capers and some salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers. (You can cover and refrigerate the burgers for a few hours at this point.)
 
Place the butter or oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter foam subsides or the oil is hot, cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Alternatively, you can grill them: let them firm up on the first side, grilling about 4 minutes, before turning over and finishing for just another minute or two. To check for doneness, make a small cut and peek inside. Be careful not to overcook. Serve on a bed of greens or on buns or by themselves, with lemon wedges and Tabasco or any dressing you like.
 
 
Pork Chops with Curried Apple-Onion Sauce
I love pork chops with apples.  This sauce is divine!
 
4 8-ounce pork chops (each 1 inch thick)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon olive oil
 
1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
 
Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer pork to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve drippings in skillet.
 
Add apple, onion and garlic to drippings in skillet and sauté over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, wine, cream, mustard, curry powder and remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon marjoram. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Divide pork among plates. Pour sauce over and serve.