Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still Growing.

Though my garden has been put to bed for the last month, I've got one thing growing on our windowsill. The little rosemary plant in the above photo was a few inches taller before it was trimmed down and used in my roasted chicken & root vegetables.

The little rosemary plant that could!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Sometime it's the simple foods that make your day. A few days ago I brought a great sandwich to lunch. Homemade cranberry walnut chicken salad with bacon and tomatoes on homemade honey wheat bread!
The cranberry walnut chicken salad came out of the leftovers of last week's roasted chicken. Very simple: Chicken, mayonnaise, dried cranberries, walnuts, celery or pickles, a dash of white wine vinegar, and a little bit of diced tarragon.
Add homemade bread, crisp bacon, and two slices of tomato.
Maybe it's the delicious bacon that brings it all together, but this was happiness in sandwich form.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brownies

This weekend, my baking adventures came out of a need to thank a co-worker for going above and beyond, as well as a desire for something sweet and decadent, so I set out to make brownies. I used the recipe for from Joanne Chang's Flour cookbook.
I was incredibly pleased with the results. The brownies were incredibly fudgie and delicious:
My co-worker thought she was getting a single brownie as a thank you, but I gave her most of the batch, reserving a few choice morsels for Gail and I.
We'll have limited access to our kitchen for the next 3 weeks due to some minor renovations so cooking, baking, and preparing meals for the Dark Days Challenge will be fairly limited and relatively simple.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dary Days Recap #1!

The recap period covering weeks 1 & 2 of the Dark Days Challenge is now over and recaps for all the groups have been posted to (not so) Urban Hennery.
Readers of this blog can reread my own posts here: Update #1, Update #2, & Update #3.
The full recap for my group, Group 5 can be found HERE!

Here are links for the other groups recaps:
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 6
I am really impressed with the incredible variety of meals people prepared across the 6 groups. , Breakfast for dinner, colcannon, soups & stews, a variety of roasts, some latkes, lots of root vegetables, meatloaf, salads, and pizzas are just some of the great meals that people made. Take a look at all of the recaps to see all the great local foods people from all over the place cooked up!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dark Days Update #4: Delicata Squash & Bean Gratin

For Sunday evening's Dark Days Challenge meal I wanted to use 2 of the delicata squash I had on hand, but wasn't sure to stuff them with. I picked up some cherry tomatoes that were grown in a greenhouse at a local farm (a nice treat this time of year) as well as some local cranberry beans. I roasted the squash and made a simple and flavorful cranberry bean gratin to stuff it with:
Roasted Delicata Squash & Cranberry Bean Gratin
for the squash:
1 or 2 Delicata Squash
--Preheat oven to 400 F
--Cut squash in half and remove seeds and guts.
--Roast Squash, cut side down on a cookie sheet for 45-50 minutes

Cranberry Bean Gratin
Inspired by Alice Waters "The Art of Simple Food"
1 1/4 cups dried cranberry beans
coarse salt
1 shallot finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled & finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 sage leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
--Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups water; let soak overnight.
--Drain beans and transfer to a medium saucepan; cover with 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and skim foam from surface. Simmer beans until they are tender; 30 to 45 minutes, adding more water as necessary. Season beans with salt and set aside to cook in their own liquid.
--Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium head. Add shallot and carrot, cooking until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sage, and season with salt, cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat
--Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Transfer beans to skillet with vegetables; stir to combine. Pour bean/vegetable mixture into a medium baking dish. Add enough bean cooking liquid to almost cover. Drizzle with olive oil and top with toasted breadcrumbs.
--Transfer baking dish to oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the dish has not dried out. If it does start to try out spoon a little bean liquid into the dish.
Just before the beans were finished, I placed the squash back into the oven to let them warm a little bit. I spooned the gratin into the squash and let the dish cook a few minutes before serving.
The meal was simple and hearty. Perfect for a chilly night!

Local ingredients in the Roasted Delicata Squash & Bean Gratin: Squash & Carrot's (Stillman's Farm), Vermont Cranberry Beans (Moraine Farm - Baer's Best**), Shallot & Garlic (Allandale Farm) , Cherry Tomatoes (Schartner Farms), Sage (My Garden), Breadcrumbs (leftover from my brioche)
**For a great article about Charlie Baer and Baer's Best Beans head over to Edible Boston!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dark Days Update #3: Oven Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables & Buttermilk Rolls

Sunday night I was tasked with cooking me and Gail's most recent meal for the Dark Days Challenge. Though a meal of buttermilk rolls, oven roasted chicken and root vegetables seems pretty straightforward it was challenging because until Sunday night I had NEVER roasted a whole chicken, or even attempted it. Another interesting aspect of this meal is that, as previously mentioned Gail is vegetarian. A while back she mentioned to me she would be willing to try chicken again if I was willing to cook it. With this in mind the pressure was really on to find an appropriate dish that would appeal to both of us, without being overpowering to her chickenless existence. I decided if Gail were going to try chicken again it would have to be good, but it would also have to be relatively simple so I choose a classic dish: Roasted whole chicken with root vegetables. Traditional, simple, and delicious (I hoped).
Below is a photo of the results, which I am extremely pleased with as well as the recipes used:
First off, is the rolls which were very easy to make and extremely good. This recipe is taken straight from Susy over at Chiot's Run. I urge everyone to head over there and check out the recipe as well as the great modifications and suggestions contained within. I've reproduced the recipe strictly for the basic rolls without any adjustment.

Basic Roll Dough
makes approximately 2 dozen rolls
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
4 1/4 - 4 3/4 cups of flour
1 packet of yeast
--In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour and yeast. In a medium saucepan, heat buttermilk, sugar, butter and salt just till butter starts to melt (120-130 degrees F). Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Mix until flour is incorporated, then beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
--Mix in as much remaining flour as possible, but you want the dough to be fairly soft. Knead for 4-5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in oiled bowl. Let rise in warm place till double, about 1 hour.
--Turn dough out onto counter and divide into the size of dough balls needed for whatever final bread you're making. Shape dough into desired rolls and place on baking sheets or pans. Cover and let rise in warm place till nearly double in size, about 45 minutes to one hour.
--Bake in 375F(pre-heated)oven until golden on top, will be about 12-15 minutes for rolls.
My notes: I mixed the whole thing by hand, so a mixer is not required. I ended up using 4 1/4 cups flour, at which point I felt the dough was sufficiently soft.

Oven Roasted Whole Chicken with Root Vegetables
For the Root Vegetables:
Wash, clean, and peel (if neccessary) your choice of root vegetables and set aside. I used:
2 handfuls of fingerling potatoes
1 large bunch of carrots
2 parsnips
1 yellow onion
1 turnip
2 cloves of garlic squashed and minced
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
large pinch kosher salt.
olive oil
--Quarter and chop all the vegetables and place them in a bowl along with 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix everything thoroughly until all the vegetables are coated in oil. Add herbs and mix well.
--Set aside until Chicken is ready for the oven.

For the Chicken:
1 3-5 lb Chicken
lemon or apple for the cavity
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
5-6 cloves of garlic squashed and minced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch kosher salt
1/8 of cup olive oil
--Bring chicken to room temperature. I purchased a frozen chicken on Saturday morning that weighed just under 4 lbs. I let it sit in the refrigerator until Sunday afternoon and pulled it out about 2 1/2 hours before I cooked it.
-- heat the oven to 425 F
--Pat chicken dry with paper towel
--Season the cavity with salt, black pepper, some of the rosemary, and 4 cloves of the squashed garlic. Add 1/2 a lemon or apple to the cavity. (optional: Add small head of garlic to rest in the cavity with the lemon or apple)
--Gently pinch the skin back on either side of the breast, rub the herb and garlic mixture just under the skin, without removing it.
--Rub 1/8 of a cup of oil around outside of the bird. Rub any remaining herb mixture on the outside of the bird.
Place the root vegetables into a roasting pan, with the chicken in the center
--Roast at 425F for 25 minutes.
--After 25 minutes turn down oven to 375F and roast for an additional 60 minutes or until internal temperature at the thigh reads 165F.
--Remove chicken from the roasting pan and rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point check if the vegetables are done. If not give them a few more minutes.
--Carve chicken. Enjoy!

What was really nice about this meal as a whole was that as the chicken was finishing up I could use the oven space to make the rolls so everything was warm and fresh from the oven when we sat down to eat!
I was very pleased with my first experience roasting a whole chicken. The bird, from Stillman's at The Turkey Farm was moist and flavorful. The simple mixture of herbs and garlic carried well between the chicken and vegetables. Everything was cooked to perfection. I can't wait to do this again.
Gail did not eat a lot of the chicken, as I expected. She had a few small pieces, which she said tasted good, but 'different'. She wouldn't rush out to have it again, but if I made more at some point she would try a little more.

The promise of chicken soup to come from the leftovers is a big draw for her!

Local ingredients in the Rolls: Buttermilk (Garelick Farms), Butter (Kate's Homemade), Eggs (Baffoni's Poultry Farm), Flour (King Arthur Flour)
Local ingredients in the Chicken with Root Vegetables:
Chicken, Potato, Carrot, Parsnips (Stillman's Farm) Apple, Garlic, Yellow Onion (Allandale Farm) Turnip (Schartner Farms), Rosemary and Sage (My Garden)
I would also be remiss if I did not point out all the MassGrown cider I've been enjoying. I get a gallon each week from City Feed & Supply, which is also where I find Baffoni's Eggs and random other goodies!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brioche

In my continued pursuit of better baking skills I have been trying new recipes and techniques to improve my arsenal. On Thursday and Friday I tried my hand at Brioche! Using acclaimed food writer Michael Ruhlman's recipe as my guide I was astounded with how great the results were on my first attempt:
The crust was dark and flaky and the crumb was soft and rich. It may not be the prettiest Brioche attempt but Gail and I were both extremely satisfied with the outcome.
Head over to Ruhlman.com where you will find the extremely satisfying recipe.
In the spirit of the Dark Days Challenge I kept the ingredients as local as possible using eggs, butter, and milk from local producers as well as bread flour from the fine folks at Four Star Farms who are committed to sustainable farming.

I'm not sure what is next in this ongoing baking experiment, maybe something on the sweet and decadent side.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dark Days Update #2: Potato/Leek Soup & Savory Muffins!

This Dark Days Challenge update is courtesy of our freezer! I made and froze the soup back in late October While the savory muffins were baked and frozen in mid-November. I left both soup and muffins to thaw as I headed off to work. By the time I came home the 2 portions of soup were ready to cook. I added just a little water and let them warm up. For the muffins I lightly toasted them for 10 minutes after they had thawed. Simple, Easy, and Delicious!
Below the picture you will find recipes for both the Potato & Leek Soup and the Cheddar & Leek Muffins.

Potato & Leek Soup (with Stillman's Sausage, Local Cheddar, and Sage from the garden)

Makes 6 servings

1 lb of leeks, cleaned and darker parts removed. Between 4 - 6 leeks

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heavy Pinch of kosher salt

1-1.5 lbs potatoes, diced small (peeling them is up to you).

3-4 cloves of garlic, diced.

1 quart vegetable broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pepper (black or white is a matter of preference)
1 tablespoon chives/rosemary/sage depending on preference
--Chop the leeks into small pieces.

--In a 6-quart pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and salt and let simmer for 5 minutes.
--Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are soft and tender, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
--Add the potatoes, minced garlic and broth, raise the head to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling reducing the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the potatoes are nice and soft 40-45 minutes.--Turn off the heat and puree with immersion blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk and pepper until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.

As Gail is a vegetarian she enjoyed hers as listed above. I broiled and sliced a Stillman's Farm sweet Italian pork sausage into my portion. Once the soup was spooned into bowls I topped it with a few slices of cheddar cheese, sage from our garden, and an additional sprinkling of pepper.


Local ingredients in the Potato & Leek Soup: Leeks (my garden & Stillman's Farm), Potatoes & Garlic (Atlas Farm), Heavy Cream & Buttermilk (Garelick Farms), Herbs (my garden), Optional: Sweet Italian Sausage (Stillman's Farm), Cheddar (Grafton Village Cheese)


Cheddar and Leek Muffins(recipe from the kitchn)

Makes 12 muffins

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup corn flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, divided
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

--Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking papers or 5-inch squares of parchment.

--Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.

--In a small bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, 5 tablespoons of the melted butter, and honey.

--Make a well in the dry ingredients and incorporate the wet ingredients. Stir until smooth. Stir in the cheese and 1 cup leeks.

--Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups, filling each about three quarters full.

--Top each muffin with a few of the remaining leek rings and a spoonful of the remaining melted butter.

--Bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops just begin to brown.


Local ingredients in the Cheddar and Leek Muffins: All-Purpose Flour (King Arthur Flour), Eggs (Stillman's Farm), Buttermilk (Garelick Farms), Butter & Cheddar (Cabot Cheese), Honey (Keown Orchards), and Leeks (my Garden & Stillman's Farm)


This weekend we were able to eat locally with the help of:

Stillman's Farm, Atlas Farm, Keown Orchards, King Arthur Flour, Garelick Farms, Cabot Cheese, Grafton Village Cheese, and My Garden.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cranberry-Orange Scones

I've been working to improve my baking skills/repertoire recently. I feel the best way to do is practice! I did not make any bread this weekend because I was tied up making the Sufganiyot that I wrote about on Monday.
I did want some additional baking practice this weekend, but was looking for something that wouldn't be too time or resource consuming, so I made a batch of Cranberry-Orange Scones!

Cranberry-Orange Scones
makes 6-8 scones depending on how big or small you like your scones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup buttermilk (plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more if necessary)
--Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest.
--With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in dried cranberries.
--Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add buttermilk, and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Use a little more buttermilk if dough is too dry to work with.
--Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; shape into an 8-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet. Cut circle into 8 wedges; space them 1/2 inch apart (to prevent sticking, dust knife with flour). Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

The scones were chewy with a little crunch on the bottom. The next time I make them I will cut the butter into slightly smaller pieces, but overall the results were extremely satisfying. Gail and I have been enjoying them for breakfast this week they go great with a nice warm cup of coffee or tea!
I will definitely make these again .

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

more about Dark Days Challenge

I've gotten a few emails with good questions so here are some more details about the Dark Days Challenge:


The 88 participants hail from 30 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Australia. The participants have been randomly divided into 6 groups. Over the next 4.5 months there will be 9 recap periods, each covering 2 meals or approximately 1 meal per week. Participants (yours truly) submit their Dark Days Challenge posts to each groups recapper who will then recap their groups activity and pass them on where the summaries for all the groups can be posted together over at (not so) Urban Hennery.



Grown Away is part of group 5. The other participants in my group are:
Eat Local Challenge (San Francisco, CA) (our group reccaper)
a.growing.girl (Washington)
A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
Aagaard Farms/The Vine (Canada)
Three and a Third Homestead (Illinois)
Our Life In The Country (California)
deliajude (California)
estate gardener (Maine)
Fessenden Farmstead (Washington, DC)
FROM SCRATCH club (New York)
Hippie In Geeks Clothing (Michigan)
Nordic Walking Queen (Minnesota)
Snohomish Farmers Market Blog (Washington)
Sustainable Eats (Washington)

I am looking forward to seeing what those in Group 5 as well as the rest of the Dark Days Challenge participants are cooking and eating using local ingredients throughout the winter!



Here at Grown Away I don't have a set schedule to chronicle our attempt to eat more local meals throughout the winter but am hoping to post an entry at least once a week. If we're able to eat more then 1 meal per week focusing on SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients I will be summarizing them here as I see fit/have time. Obviously some weeks will feature more then 1 local meal while others will only feature the minimum (1 meal).

I will do my best to share as many recipes as well as the origin of the foods which make it into my dark days entries. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for entries tagged Dark Days to keep track of how I fare throughout the challenge!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dark Days Update #1: The Dark Days of Hanukkah

As I've already mentioned the start of the Dark Days Challenge coincided with the first night of Hanukkah. So this first update shares some of the local and festive Hanukkah eating we've been enjoying. Below you will find recipes for traditional latkes as well as butternut squash latkes, wine and maple glazed parsnips & carrots, apple butter, challah, green beans with roasted squash seeds, and finally sufganiyot (jelly donuts!).

(Potato Latkes with Apple Butter & Red Wine and Maple Glazed Carrots & Parsnips)
Potato Latkes (via Martha Stewart)
serves 4 to 6
4 large potatoes, peeled
1 small onion, finely grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Beer
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Ground Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil, for frying
--Shred potatoes into large bowl of ice water.
--With a slotted spoon transfer shredded potatoes to a second bowl, lined with a kitchen tile and squeeze the moisture out of the potatoes. Leave the original bowl of ice water for 10 minutes allowing the starch to settle on the bottom.
--Pour the water out of the bowl leaving the settled starch. Transfer the shredded potatoes to the bowl with the remaining starch.
--Add the onion to the bowl. Stir in the eggs, beer, flour, salt and pepper.
--In a heavy nonstick skillet heat 1/4-inch of oil. Transfer approximately a 1/2 cup of the mixture per pancake into the skillet. Cook the mixture in batches frying both sides 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.
--Transfer the finished latkes to a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet and allow the latkes to drain of excess oil.
--Serve with your choice of toppings. The traditional toppings are sour cream or applesauce.
We topped them with a thin layer of Gail's delicious homemade Apple butter. The original recipe also suggests warming the oven to 200 F and placing finished latkes on a cookie sheet into the oven to keep them warm as you make more.
Rather then go out and find a local beer I used a beer we had on hand. A delicious
Fat Tire from the good folks at New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, CO.

Apple Butter
makes 3-4 medium jars
2lbs apples, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups of water
Juice from 1 orange
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
--Put apples and water in heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer the apples for about 10 minutes, until soft.
--Sieve the fruit in batches and collect the juice and puree in a clean bowl. Put this mixture back into the pan and add the orange juice, spices, and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring until the sugar has all dissolved.
--Bring the mixture back up to a boil and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or longer if needed until the mixture has sufficiently thickened, stirring occasionally to prevent mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The butter is ready when it is thick enough to rest on the back of a spoon without running off.
--Ladle into warm sterilized mason jars leaving about 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 5-10 minutes. Allow processed jars to cool down. Check that jars have sealed. IF they have store them in a cupboard for up to 6 months, if not store in refrigerator.
--Refrigerate after opening.

Red Wine and Maple Glazed Carrots & Parsnips
(adapted from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet Today)
serves 6
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 lb carrots cut diagonally into 3-inch pieces
1 lb parsnips cut diagonally into 3-inch pieces
1 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped dill
--Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides
--Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened about 4 minutes
--Add chili powder, salt, and pepper and cook about 1 minute
--Add carrots, wine, and maple syrup, bring to a simmer.
--Add parsnips and bring to a simmer.
--Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots & parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes.
--Add vinegar and boil, uncovered, until liquid has reduced down to a glaze, 3 to 5 minutes.
--Remove from heat and stir in dill

Local ingredients in the Latkes with Apple Butter & Glazed Carrots and Parsnips:
Latkes: Potatoes (Stillmans Farm), Onions (Allandale Farm), Flour (King Arthur Flour), Eggs (Baffoni's Poultry Farm)
Apple Butter: Apples (Kimball Farm)
Glazed Carrots & Parsnips: Carrots & Parsnips (Stillmans Farm), Shallots (Allandale Farm)

Next up is a delicious loaf of Challah I enjoyed with Gail's family. Her sister raises chickens in the backyard of their suburban home. The eggs in this delicious braided loaf were laid within 50 feet of the table where the bread was enjoyed.
(Challah & Red Wine)
Challah
(thanks to Jane Murphy)
makes 2 loaves
one packet active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoons salt
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs + 1 egg for glaze
6 cups all-purpose flour
--Dissolve the yeast in the water for about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, honey, oil and eggs. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Kneed about 8 minutes on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover until double in size, about an hour.
--Divide into six equal sections, roll into ropes, and braid two challahs. Cover each with a towel and let rise about another 1/2 hour. Brush well with beaten egg.
--Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes, rotating once in the oven for even browning. Challah is done when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Enjoy!
Local ingredients in the Challah: Eggs (Backyard Chickens) Possibly the Honey & Flour came from local sources but I can't guarantee it.

(Butternut Squash Latkes with Cheddar & Green Beans with toasted Squash Seeds)
Butternut Squash Latkes
3 cups Grated Butternut Squash, See Instructions Below
½ cups Grated Onion, Yellow Or Sweet
2 whole Eggs
3 Tablespoons Flour, All Purpose Or Whole Wheat
¾ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Rubbed Sage Or Poultry Seasoning
½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
--Cut squash in half and de-seed like a pumpkin. With a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. You can also reverse these steps but I find it easier to peel once halved. Grate squash either using a grater with large holes. Put in a medium bowl. Grate onion and add to the bowl; try not to include lots of liquid. Add in the eggs, flour, salt, and sage and stir.
--Put olive oil in a heavy skillet or griddle on high. Heat for 30 seconds. Place a heaping tablespoonful of mixture in the pan and spread it into a 2-3 inch diameter circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cook for 1 minute, until it starts to brown, and then flip. These guys cook fast so keep a close eye on them!
--Top with applesauce, sour cream, cheddar or whatever you prefer.

Green Beans with Roasted Squash Seeds
  • 1 pound slender green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup squash or pumpkin seeds
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • --Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain beans and cool in colander. Cut beans into 1-inch pieces.

    --Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Squash/Pumpkin seeds. Toss until starting to pop and brown, about 8 minutes; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Transfer to plate.

    --Let stand at room temperature

    --Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add rosemary and garlic; stir 15 seconds. Add beans and squash seeds. Toss until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.


    Local ingredients in the Butternut Squash Latkes & Green beans with Squash Seeds

    Latkes: Butternut Squash & Onion (Stillman's Farm), Eggs (Jane Murphy's Backyard Chickens), Flour (King Arthur Flour), Cheddar (Grafton Village Cheese)

    Green Beans: Green Beans (Kimball Farm & My Garden), Squash Seeds (Stillman's Farm), Rosemary (my windowsill), Garlic (Allandale Farm).


    (Sufganiyot)
    Hanukkah Sufganiyot (Jelly Donut)
    makes 20 donuts
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups vegetable oil, plus more for bowl
  • 1 cup your choice of jam
  • --In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • --Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add eggs, yeast mixture, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, nutmeg, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a sticky dough forms. On a well-floured work surface, knead until dough is smooth, soft, and bounces back when poked with a finger, about 8 minutes (add more flour if necessary). Place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • --On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch-round cutter or drinking glass, cut 20 rounds. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise 15 minutes
  • --In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, carefully slip 4 rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn doughnuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Roll in sugar while warm. Fry all dough, and roll in sugar.
  • --Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip with jam. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, make a hole in the side of each doughnut. Fit the pastry tip into a hole, pipe about 2 teaspoons jam into doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

  • Local ingredients in the Sufganiyot: Flour (King Arthur Flour), Eggs (Baffoni's Poultry Farm), Butter (Cabot Creamery), Jam ( homemade Strawberry & Tripleberry Jam from our pantry)

  • I'll be enjoying leftover latkes & green beans for lunch during the upcoming few days as well. In the first week of the Dark Days Challenge I was able to eat locally thanks to:
  • Stillmans Farm,

  • Allandale Farm, Kimball Farm, King Arthur Flour, Grafton Village Cheese, Cabot Creamery, Baffoni's Poultry Farm, Jane Murphy's Backyard Chickens, My Garden, and the rosemary plant living on my windowsill.

  • Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Mobile Root Cellar (an experiment)

    As I mentioned on Tuesday's post storage is at a premium here in the Grown Away kitchen. As a way to increase our supply of produce I acquired a 2 ft x 3ft x 2 ft plastic storage bin for the trunk of my car.
    With nighttime temperatures falling as low as the upper 20s and daytime temperatures generally topping out no higher then the mid 40s the Mobile Root Cellar (MRC) should be kept at an appropriate temperature to prevent the spoilage of any of the storage crops I'll be attempting to keep. Below is a photo of the contents of the MRC as of Monday afternoon:
    Contents of the MRC:
    1 butternut squash
    1.25 lb carrots
    4 oz parsnips
    6.5 oz radishes
    5 lbs assorted potatoes
    2 onions
    2 shallots.

    If the experiment is a success then I will be replenishing/depleting the storage bin on an as needed basis. With a local farm offering fresh produce until the week before Christmas I will definitely be adding more storage crops to the bin in the coming weeks.
    Keep an eye on this space for updates regarding the Mobile Root Cellar experiment.