Monday, July 15, 2013

Swiss Chard with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Sense of Home Kitchen

Swiss Chard with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
~From the Sense of Home Kitchen, inspired by a recipe from Gourmet, February 2005  ~

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds Swiss Chard
1/2 cup pine nuts (2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup of water
Approximately 10 sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnish:
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Tear chard leaves from stems, then coarsely chop stems and leaves separately.

Toast nuts in olive oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Sauté onion in oil remaining in pot, stirring occasionally, 1 minute, add chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.  Add chard leaves and 1 cup water and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until leaves are tender, about 3 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese (if using) and serve.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Kitchen Garden in July

Both kitchen gardens are doing very well and we have been enjoying many salads made entirely with produce from our gardens.

The carrots are still small, but they have been enjoyed in salads.

Cucumbers are producing well, we have picked several so far.

Spinach has gone to seed, but I am leaving it in the hope that some seed will replant itself, providing fall salads, and that the flowers and seeds will attract beneficial insects.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Welcome to the Kitchen Garden in June

2013 was a very cool and cloudy spring, it is only the last two weeks that have been warm and sunny, so the garden got off to a very slow start.  I am finally seeing some significant growth this week and we harvested our first salad from the garden, lettuce, spinach, radishes, and chives.  There are a lot of blossoms on the strawberries and the raspberries are full, so soon there will be berries at our table.

The peas look good for the first time in three years so I am hopeful that I will be able to freeze some for winter use.  I planted lots of carrots, but they have been especially slow so they are only three or four inches high, hopefully we will see enough produce to fill the bins in our refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Perhaps you noticed, I took a long, unscheduled break from the website.  Future posts may be sporadic, I am focusing my time where it is more important, however this vinegar is so good, and chives are blooming (up north anyway) so I thought I would share some chive blossom vinegar today.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Costa Rica

This is a ridiculous amount of photos, but there is just so much to love about Costa Rica, we had an absolutely marvelous time.  The flowers were gorgeous, not sure what this flower is, but we saw a lot of them.  Some of the trees were blooming with bright orange flowers and there were azaleas blooming everywhere.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jicama-Ginger Slaw

Sense of Home Kitchen

Jicama-Ginger Slaw
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2000~

6 Servings

2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled jicama (about 8 ounces)
2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled carrots (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup matchstick-size strips green bell peppers, seeded
1/2 cup matchstick-size strips peeled (or organic, unpeeled) cucumber
1/4 cup matchstick-size strips peeled fresh ginger (from about one 2-ounce piece)
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel

Toss jicama, carrots, green bell pepper, cucumber, fresh ginger, and fresh cilantro in a large bowl to combine.  Add rice vinegar to the slaw mixture.  Add sugar and lemon peel and stir to blend.  Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.  Let stand at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours, tossing occasionally.  Drain well before serving.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Salads

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Turnovers

Sense of Home Kitchen

Chicken and Vegetable Turnovers
~by Sense of Home Kitchen~

Any variation of chicken, turkey, beef, or pork along with vegetables of your choice in the following proportions will work in this recipe.  These "hot pockets" are perfect for taking to work for lunch if you have a microwave or toaster oven to heat them up.  The toaster oven will work best as it will keep the crust crisp, but a microwave will get them warm and they are still delicious.

 Makes 12 to 15

1/2 cup onion (about 1/2 of a large onion), diced
1 cup celery (about 2 stalks), diced
1 cup carrots (about 2 large), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried and rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar
2 cups sour cream

In a large skillet sauté onion, celery and carrot in butter until tender, add garlic and dried herbs and sauté for one minute more, stirring occasionally.  Blend in flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add chicken and parsley, stir, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt, cut in butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Stir in cheese.  Add sour cream, mixing until dough forms a ball.  Divide dough in half.  Roll out dough into a rectangle approximately 18-inches by 12-inches.  Cut, evenly, into 6 squares, approximately 6-inches each.  Place 1/3 cup of chicken filling on each square.  Fold to form a triangle, trimming as needed; seal edges by pressing down with a fork tines.  Cut slits in the top of the turnovers and place on a cookie sheet.  Repeat with 2nd half of dough.  Save any trimmed edges and roll out a couple extra squares.  Bake at 450° for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 400° and bake 5 to 8 minutes more or until golden brown.

May be baked, frozen, and reheated at 300°F. for 15 minutes, or microwaved if an oven is not available.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mexican Meatball Soup

Sense of Home Kitchen

Mexican Meatball Soup
~by Sense of Home Kitchen~

6 - 8 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped onion, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small bay leaves
2 cups mustard greens, chopped
3 quarts homemade chicken stock or 6 14 1/2-ounce cans purchased chicken broth
1 quart home canned whole tomatoes or 1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup home canned tomato salsa or purchased chunky tomato salsa (medium-hot)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup half and half cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup long-grain white or brown rice

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add 2 1/2 cups onions and sauté until translucent.  Add minced garlic cloves, bay leaves, and chopped mustard greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens have wilted.  Add chicken stock or broth, tomatoes, salsa, and fresh cilantro.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the broth simmers, combine ground beef, turkey, 1/2 cup of chopped onions, cornmeal, cream, egg, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  Mix well.  Shape meat mixture by generous tablespoonfuls into 1- to 1 1/4-inch balls.  Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and sauté meatballs, in batches, until browned, turning once.  Add the browned meatballs to the broth as they finish cooking.

Add white or brown rice to the broth and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, if using white rice or approximately 40 - 50 minutes, if using brown rice.  Cook until the rice is tender.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Orange-Rhubarb Muffins

Sense of Home Kitchen

Orange-Rhubarb Muffins
~by Sense of Home Kitchen~

I used rhubarb that I froze last summer and I liked the results that gave me.  I drained it very well, even squeezing out the juice so that it would not add moisture to the batter.  I found that squeezing the moisture out made the rhubarb like raisins in the muffin, a little chewy and slightly tart, I liked that surprise of something different.  If you are making these in the spring or summer and only have fresh rhubarb the rhubarb will be moist and yummy, a little different, but still very good.

Makes 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb, or 1 cup chopped, frozen and thawed rhubarb, drained and squeezed
2 teaspoons grated orange peel

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F.  

Line twelve regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners.  Combine first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.  Whisk orange juice, melted butter, eggs, and orange extract in large bowl to blend.  Add dry ingredients gradually stirring to combine.  Fold in rhubarb and orange peel.  Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups  Bake until golden and tester inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Transfer muffins from tin to rack and cool.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Soy-Braised Short Ribs with Shiitakes

Sense of Home Kitchen

Soy-Braised Short Ribs with Shiitakes
~by Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted slightly from Bon Appétit~

Flanken-style short ribs used for Korean barbecue are cut across the bones instead of between the bones as shown in the photos above.  These ribs have amazing flavor and are good eaten right away or reheated and served the next day.

Serves 6

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 pounds cross-cut beef short ribs (flanken style), about about 1 1/2-inch thick, cut into 2-bone pieces
salt and fresh ground pepper
3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems chopped, caps sliced, divided
1 bunch scallions, whites chopped, greens thinly sliced, divided
1 1-inch piece peeled ginger, thinly sliced
2 cups (or more) low-sodium beef or chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
8 ounces wide rice noodles, cooked according to package directions

Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°F.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Season short ribs lightly with salt (do not use too much as the sauce reduces the flavors will concentrate) and pepper.  Working in batches, cook short ribs, reducing heat as needed to avoid over-browning until brown on all sides, 10 - 12 minutes per batch.  Transfer short ribs to a plate; drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings from pot.

Add shiitake stems, scallion whites, and ginger to pot.  (Cover and chill remaining mushrooms and scallions.)  Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add 2 cups broth, soy sauce, white wine, brown sugar, star anise, and cinnamon; bring to a simmer.

Return short ribs to pot, nestling the bone side up in liquid in a single layer.  Cover pot, transfer to oven, and braise until ribs are fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Using tongs transfer ribs to a shallow baking dish bone side down and cover with foil to keep warm.  Strain liquid from pot through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup; discard solids.  Skim fat from cooking liquid.  Add broth as needed so liquid measures 3/4 cup.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook shiitake caps until brown and tender, about 3 minutes.  Add reserved braising liquid and all but 1 tablespoon scallion greens and season with salt, if needed.

Place cooked noodles on a large, deep platter.  Arrange short ribs on top of noodles; drizzle sauce from dish over. Spoon mushrooms and sauce over.  Sprinkle with remaining scallion greens.