Lemon Rainbow Chard

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This summer we have opted to join a crop share to see what all the fuss is about.  You know, supporting local farmers, eating fresh, choosing organic, and my favorite part which is eating what is in season.  We are proud to have chosen Genesis Growers Farms (www.genesis-growers.com) with our pickup at the Saturday morning Green City Market.  Along with the medium size box of farmer’s choice fruit, produce, and herbs we have also elected to get 1 dozen eggs.  So far I have to say the eggs are my favorite thing.  The taste of fresh eggs over store bought is almost criminal.  Especially for me who would put an egg on anything.  In our first box we got some Rainbow Chard that was just beautiful.  Interestingly enough I have never bought chard before, so I needed to do a little research before making a dish.

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Chard is in the same family as beats and is similar to kale and spinach in flavor/cooking options.  Typically chard is cooked to soften some of the bitter flavor of the greens, but can be eaten raw.  I found the greens to be more flavorful than spinach when cooked and softer than kale.  Chard is a nutritious little green to add to your life, rich in vitamins A, K, and C as well as a minerals, dietary fiber, and protein (according to Wikipedia).

A lot of the recipes I looked at sauteed the chard with lemon or garlic, and quite a few used fresh ginger.   This got me thinking, as I have a robust amount of lemon thyme already growing in my “garden” I went the lemon and garlic route.

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Ingredients:

– 1 large bunch of Rainbow Chard (stems and greens separated and diced)
– 1-2 cloves of Garlic, minced
– 1 Tbsp of fresh Lemon Thyme with center stem removed, use regular time if you don’t have lemon thyme
-1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
– 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil, or sauteing oil of choice
– 1/4 to 1/2 Lemon, juice

Directions:

1. Cut the chard stems into 1/2 to 1/4 inch pieces, separated from the greens.

2. In a heavy skillet on medium heat, saute the chard stems in olive oil with the garlic, half of the lemon thyme, and red pepper flakes.

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3. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until stems are soft and fragrant.

4. Add the diced chard greens to the pan and stir in.  Cover and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring as needed.

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5. Spritz with fresh Lemon, garnish with remaining lemon thyme, and serve hot.

Enjoy and Eat Local!

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Garlic Herb Ribs

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We make pork ribs as a year round dinner option.  There is something so great about knowing your dinner will turn out moist and delicious with minimal effort every time.  Usually I make them as the previously posted “Easy Oven Ribs” with a rib rub and spicy barbecue sauce.  Tonight I wanted to mix it up a little bit, making up a rub of my own that doesn’t have the traditional spicy barbecue flavoring.  With the drippings in the pan I made a gravy, but didn’t need it, so I will save it for some mashed potatoes or biscuits in the future.  The rub is pretty versatile, if you like it I would suggest making a large portion to use on chicken, pork, or even burgers storing in an airtight container at room temperature for quick use.

For a side I made a red cabbage and shaved brussel sprout coleslaw, using the same dressing directions previously posted for the “Summer BBQ Coleslaw”.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp salt, just shy of full
1 Tbsp ground pepper, heaping
2 tsp onion powder, heaping
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme, heaping
1/2 tsp celery powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp sugar

1-2 racks of meaty pork ribs
1 bottle of beer per pan

Directions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients, stir well.

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2. Arrange ribs on a shallow cooking sheet.  Season with rub, patting into surface of meat on both sides of the rack.  This rub is pretty potent and salty, so you don’t need to season too heavily.  Arrange meaty side up on the cooking sheet.

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3. Pour beer into the pan to completely cover the bottom and seal tightly with foil.  I used Stella, as I wanted a lighter beer flavor to pair nicely with the garlic herb rub.  You can use anything you want, I’d recommend a pilsner or other light lager.

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4. Bake in oven at 225º F for 4 hours; to speed up the cooking time without sacrificing moisture you can up the temperature to 285º F for 3 hours.

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To make the gravy with the drippings in the pan was so simple, and it seems such a waste to dump all that juicy goodness.  I poured the drippings into a small sauce pan and added 1/2 cup of water (adjust based on taste and amount of liquid reserved) to cut some of the saltiness, then thickened with corn starch as directed.  When I got the consistency I was looking for I added a small handful of diced shallots and almost a tablespoon of brown sugar.  Whisking together and simmering on low for about 5 minutes.  Really delicious, but like I said the ribs were so moist they didn’t need the gravy, so I’ll use it for another meal in the next day or two.  Biscuits and gravy for brunch?

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Enjoy!

Glazed Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

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This dish sounds only half as good as it actually tasted.  I really enjoy lean proteins for a main course with lots of fruits/veggies on the side, but sometimes the meat will quickly dry out no matter how much care you take to avoid overcooking.  Lately I have been on a serious bacon kick, even using the grease to cook vegetables…I know, perhaps I will cut back in the new year.  Using the bacon to keep lean meats from drying out is a great way assure a crowd pleasing moist cut of meat.  With the garlic and herb rub it’s unbeatable.  I combined recipes I found online from Fabio Viviani and Giada De Laurentiis to come up with this dish.

The glazed bacon was so fantastic and crispy with the flavorful layer of garlic herbs hiding underneath.  I served this with a simple salad of shaved brussel sprouts, kale, and fennel tossed with a dressing made with fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil, and shaved parmesan topped with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  So good with a nice flavor that didn’t get lost next to the bacon and pork.

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Ingredients:

1 2-4 pound boneless Pork Loin (not tenderloin)
5 large cloves of Roasted Garlic
1 Tbsp fresh minced Thyme (center stalk removed)
1 Tbsp fresh minced Rosemary
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 pound of thick cut Bacon
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

1. Rinse and dry the pork loin, place fatty side up on a broiler pan.  I scored the shiny tendon/fat of the loin, careful not to cut into the meat.

2. Mash together the roasted garlic with the dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) to make a rub.

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3. Rub the garlic herb mixture over the exposed surface of the pork loin.

4. Lay the bacon slices over the loin, overlapping slightly.  Tuck the ends under the loin to hold in place.  If the bacon slices aren’t long enough they will curl up while cooking, so you may want to tie them down with kitchen twine.

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5. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

6. Mix together the vinegar and brown sugar (adjust amounts as needed to make a thin glaze).

7. After the initial 1 hour of cooking, brush the glaze over the bacon.  Return to oven to finish cooking until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (about 30 minutes depending on the size of your loin).  If you have to add a considerable amount of time to fully cook, you may want to lay foil over the bacon and/or re-glaze to avoid burning.

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8. Remove and let rest for about 20 minutes.  Internal temperature should rise another 15 degrees to reach 160 before serving.  You will need to check the internal temperature of the pork with a thermometer unless you are really confident in your ability to judge cooked pork.

This dish is truly amazing and very easy to make.

Enjoy!

One Pot Curry Chicken and Rice

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This is an easy and very flavorful one pot wonder that is great for a last minute dinner party.  I have substituted various vegetables into the mix, so you can use whatever you on hand.  I used boneless and skinless chicken breasts, but you can use any cut of chicken you have on hand.  I imagine this being good and even cheaper using chicken thighs.

Ingredients: 

1 cup of Rice (not instant)
3 tsp oil (canola, olive, or coconut)
4-6 skinless chicken thighs (or breasts), trimmed
2 cups finely chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1/2 tsp ginger powder)
2 Tbsp curry powder (red or yellow)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 cups chicken broth
1-15oz can of chickpeas, rinsed
1-14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped zucchini (as shown) or frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in dutch oven over medium heat, add chicken and cook until browned on all sides ~8 minutes.  Remove and put on plate.

2013-11-07 18.29.543. Reduce heat to low and add more oil, cook onions until golden brown ~15 minutes.  Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, coriander and ground red pepper.  Cood until fragrant ~2minutes.

4. Increase heat to medium high, stir in broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini and rice.  Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer.  Nestle chicken into the rice, cover, and cook in oven 20-25 minutes.

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5. Serve with a small wedge of lime if desired.

Enjoy!

Coconut and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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After Thanksgiving you are likely looking for something to eat that is healthy but perhaps with flavors that are out of the comfort food category.  This dish is full of vegetables and has a spicy flavor that is perfect for this time of year.  Serving on a bed of spaghetti squash cuts back on calories and sneaks in some extra fiber.  I made this dish with coconut milk to keep it dairy free and change the flavor profile even further out of the comfort food zone.  I used chicken, but this would be good with pork or even shrimp.

Ingredients: 

1 Onion, diced
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sriracha (or red pepper paste)
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
3 red peppers, roasted with skins removed
1 jalapeno, roasted
1 15oz can of coconut milk
1 tsp truvia or sugar

Directions:

1. Slice red peppers and jalapeno into flat pieces, spray with olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees.

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2. While the peppers are roasting heat grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or olive oil in large dutch oven, saute onions over medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add coriander and cayenne, simmer for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Stir in garlic and ginger, continue to heat for 5 minutes.

4. Add can of diced tomatoes including juices and mix well.

5. When the peppers are blackened, remove from oven and place in bowl covered with saran wrap.  Allow to sit in bowl for at least 5-10 minutes before removing skins (sitting in steam will allow skins to slide off easily).

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6. Roughly chop peppers and add to pan.  Add sriracha and truvia or sugar and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

7. While your sauce is simmering start to brown chicken (seasoned lightly with salt and pepper) in heavy skillet for 5 minutes on each side.

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8. Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing.  I used an immersion blender, but if you don’t have one you will have to transfer to a regular blender to puree in batches.

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9. Nestle browned chicken into sauce and simmer on low for 15 minutes to finish cooking.

10. Serve over rice or spaghetti squash as pictured above.

Enjoy!

Spicy Pork

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I recently saw a recipe with a sriracha sauce drizzled on top of salmon, and it got my wheels turning.  Tonight for dinner I made some quick marinated boneless pork chops and topped it with a sriracha drizzle to spice it up.  AMAZING!  I imagine this would be good with chicken, beef, shrimp, or even salmon.  I served this with a side of garlic broccoli, but it would also be good over a bed of rice as well.  I will definitely make this again, I think it would be great as an appetizer with the meat skewered and sauce on the side to dip.

Sriracha drizzle Ingredients:

3 Tbsp of mayo
1 Tbsp sriracha (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 tsp of agave

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Marinade:

1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder

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Directions:

1. 30-60 minutes before you want to cook dinner, get your marinade ready.  Combine marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake to combine, add 2-4 boneless pork chops to bag and allow to marinate for at least 30-60 minutes.  You can marinate the meat longer, but I was short on time and it ended up being the perfect match for the sriracha drizzle after just 30 minutes.

2. Make your sriracha drizzle by combining sriracha, mayo, and agave.

3. In a medium-hot skillet heat a generous amount of olive oil.  Cook marinated pork chops ~4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

4. Remove from heat and top with sriracha drizzle.

Enjoy!

Teriyaki Marinated Pork Tenderloin

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Making your own marinade is a great way to know exactly what you are eating.  This is an easy recipe that brings a sweet teriyaki flavor to a nice cut of meat.  I am sure there are different proportions that can be used and other ingredients that make a more teriyaki worthy marinade, but this combination tasted wonderful and cooked well.  Add a vegetable side or two and you have a full meal.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of pork tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced onions
2 ” slice of ginger, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon, juice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sugar or agave nectar
3 tbsp oil (sesame oil if you have it)

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Directions:

1.  Mix together all ingredients for marinade into a large ziplock bag.  Add pork tenderloin and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 6-12 hours.  If you are able, shake the bag to re-mix several times while marinating.

2. After the pork has had the opportunity to marinade, remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.

3.  Arrange in small baking pan 2-3 inches deep with a small amount of marinade.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees.  Allow to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

2013-10-27 19.54.16Enjoy!