Category Archives: Recipes

The Abundance of Summer

2011_6_2-Mystery-boxHere is a great article about cooking, preserving and enjoying local summer crops.  The onslaught of squash is heading our way now!  The Kitchn has a whole series of tips-I have to have this book titled – The City Cook, Big City, Small Kitchen, Limitless Ingredients, No Time.  Sound familiar?!2011_6_2-The-City-Cook-cover

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Edible Weeds-

The “weed” pictured above is known as Lamb’s Quarter or Goosefoot.  We have TONS of weeds at the farm…in the rows, around the fence and in the raised beds.  I read somewhere, that the weeds in your garden can tell you a lot about the soil.  What it has going for it and what it is lacking.

So it seems that the Lamb’s Quarter is common in gardens with very rich soil.  Specifically in yards with animals doing the fertilizing.  So while our chickens and ducks pastured in the garden this fall, they were tilling, fertilizing and weeding…they also set the stage for a bumper crop of this tasty green.  It is used like spinach greens, and I already know the chickens love it.

A Central Park forager has an extensive list of wild edibles and recipes, Wild Man Steve Brill.  Maybe I will look him up next week on our visit!

Basic Crepes

I was going to post a quick recipe and say that I am a new fan of crepes..and stumbled on to a really interesting story!  The author of one of my fave little cook books, Dorian Leigh Parker, was the first real super model and the party girl that Holly Golightly is based on.  Funny!

You can see from the photo she was stunning.  In addition, she was a Cordon Bleu trained chef…and her (2) cookbooks were very well reviewed.  I was just going to post a link of the isbn and got all that information in three clicks.  She had a famous little sister too.  Intriguing family!

It looks like the book is available used, but it is out of print.  I highly recommend you pick up your own copy if you love crepes, flapjacks and pancakes!  I have been making the Sour Cream Pancakes for years…(the book just opens up to that page)…but with Kiely’s request for crepes the other day…we dove in to the other chapters.

I am please to report, that I have been making crepes for three days now!!  The first batch was devoured on Sunday.  A second batch was put in the fridge for Monday breakfast…and the remnants were finished up today with equally fantastic results!!  As a matter of fact, the boy brought home a 5# apple pie from his field trip to Riley’s Farm yesterday…and we robbed some of the pie filling for our crepes this morning…5 minute school day crepes.  Love.

Basic Crepes Recipe-
She states this recipe is from an old cookbook called La Cuisine Messine, meaning the cooking of Metz, a city of Alsace-Lorraine, France.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons AP flour
6 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
3 tablespoons cognac or rum
6 tablespoons melted butter

Sift flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs 2 at a time. Then the milk 1/3 at a time. Strain (whatever!-I didn’t do this). Whisk in the rum and let the batter rest in the fridge for an hour.

When ready to make the crepes, whisk in 1/2 of the butter. Heat pan over moderate heat until a water drop sizzles. Brush lightly with butter (or drop some on and swirl around with the spoon). I use a large ladle and pour one full measure on the pan….if you add batter it doesn’t stay nice and round. Cook about 1 minute until set and you can easily flip. Let brown for a couple of seconds and then remove to plate…it’s so fast and SO yummy!! Crowd pleaser.

We used a strawberry compote, heated berries in butter and orange liqueur. Or peanut butter, banana and honey. The finally today, day 3 of pre-made batter, we filled with warmed up apple pie filling. Kiely always has two or three!!

Tang and Flavor-Not too Spicy Starter

Inspired by leeks in the ground right now-needed a nice side dish for a casual
New Years Eve buffet featuring chili

Leek & Goat Cheese Pasilla Rellenos with Butternut Squash

10 pasillas
Roasted on open flame or under broiler
place in bowl with covered with towel to steam and make easier to peel
when cool enough to handle, peel skin off without running under water. You can dip your fingers in water to help control the charred skins. Running peppers under water washes off the flavor. Make a slit in pepper pull out seeds leaving the top and stem intact.
2 bunches leeks
Clean, Saute in butter, deglaze with a splash of white wine
6 ounces goat cheese, 3 ounces good quality feta

Crumble in to warm leeks, add salt and pepper
Stuff Peppers and served on a bed of butternut squash puree.

What’s Pho dinner?

Over here at the Spring Street Farm Project, we are just launching our weekly Vegetable Box program.  We start with the basics in the boxes…you know, the standard stock items- onion, celery, carrot (green bells during summer and the mire poix becomes the trinity).  Add some lettuces and seasonal pantry musts like tomato, zucchini, cucumber, asparagus, artichokes, peas, beans and you have a good foundation for whatever strikes your fancy.  Now for the fun part – ethnic add-ons!  Feeling like pho for dinner?  We will toss in all the ingredients you need for several bowls of aromatic comfort in a bowl.  A typical Asian add on would include:  sprouts, asian greens including something from the choi family, ginger, mint, cilantro, thai basil, onion and limes….you get the idea.
If you would like a box this week, stop on by the stand on Elm today between 10a-5p or tomorrow at Green Lab.  Message me to order an add-on or leave a note here in the comments.  Thanks!!

Borage

One of my favorite, favorite gardening books is the herb bible-
75 exceptional herbs for your garden by Jack Staub.  The illustration above is from the book and by Ellen Buchert.  The book is a blueprint for an herbalist’s eden.  Borage has been recognized for it’s medicinal benefits since 77AD…by many.

Here is a great link to a page all about herbs and uses, with recipes.  Here are two that stand out:

Borage Wine Cup
Makes about 2 litres
125ml brandy
30ml castor sugar
750ml bottle dry white wine
125ml orange juice
250ml crushed ice
750ml bottle pink champagne
250ml lemonade
250ml ginger ale
45ml chopped fresh borage leaves

  1. Blend brandy, sugar, wine, juice and ice until combined.
  2. Combine champagne, lemonade, ginger ale, borage and wine mixture in large bowl just before serving.
  3. Decorate with borage flowers.

Borage Jelly
A great spread with cream cheese and crackers.
6 cups of borage leaves and flowers parts soaked in a 4 cups of cold water overnight
drain
4 cups of borage infused water
4 ½ cups of sugar
1 tablespoon lemon
1 pack commercial pectin
a pinch of salt and red pepper

Rainy Day Lunch in the Garden

Last week I started thinking about the table arrangement for an upcoming lunch in the garden. After two weeks of 80˚ weather, my mind immediately focused on the sun, where was it exactly during that 90 minutes.  I always want the buffet in a nice shady spot and the a la minute cooking would require that it be close to the power, and so on.

The lunch was planned for Wednesday February 16.  A quick weather check and it turned out the forecast was now rain, and rain for 4 days! Weather is obviously the main concern with an outdoor venue, hot or cold.   Having faced this worthy opponent for many years in my catering days, I came to realize that superstition and a good rain plan (knock on wood) are the only two things you really have in your arsenal. Well, that and conviction, and I was determined to dine al fresco, darn it!  I popped up a tent and arranged a cozy seating plan, 10 guests under a 10 x 10 = perfect!

So, my rain plan was the tent, the seating arrangement and boxed lunches instead of cooking table side and buffet. That way the whole thing could be moved in to the boardroom if there as a deluge. It rained a lot the night before, it rained a little while I was setting the table, then all of the sudden a little bit of blue sky!

The menu was based on what was in the garden, or in season and would also work in a boxed lunch.  We had a curried egg salad while the chickens antics entertained and we were treated to a cacophony of egg laying announcements.  The peice de resistance was Shortnin’ Bread’s lemon meringue tartlettes and pink lady apple tartlettes.  Elbows may have been thrown if there hadn’t been one of each for each!

The rainy day lunch in the garden was the perfect setting to thank our local partners for their on-going support and discuss future projects.  I think we all walked away wondering what meetings we have coming up that could be held outside between the chickens and the broccoli.

Seared Salmon with braised fennel and onion, Orange-Shallot Jus
place salmon on a bed of fennel fronds, pepper and olive oil
top with more fennel and refrigerate overnight
sear salmon in large heavy skillet in a little oil, skin side down until very crispy
place on sheet pan with fennel fronds, drizzle with white wine and stock
finish cooking salmon in the oven
sweat the sliced fennel and onion, remove and set aside
saute shallots, add white wine, reduce
in separate pan reduce orange juice by half
add orange juice to shallots adjust seasoning
place salmon on the fennel mixture and drizzle with Jus
served salmon with crispy skin hot from the oven
if serving cold, remove skin