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Archive for March, 2010

We’ve gotten a lot of green onion lately, so I was glad to come across this recipe, which uses an entire bunch (if you use both the green and white parts) and helped me make a big dent in my stash. Green onions are often used as an accent, but here, they’re the star.

I’ve made a few small adjustments for readability and to lighten it a bit (like using low-fat buttermilk instead of full-fat buttermilk). You can easily sub green garlic or baby leeks if you want. These guys were light as air, which I suspect is a result of the combination of self-rising flour and cake flour. Self-rising flour has added salt and baking powder, and recipes that use it don’t usually call for baking powder, but this one does — probably another contributing factor to the biscuits’ airy texture.

Green Onion and Cheddar Biscuits (from Food Network)

  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, bench flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Sift together the self-rising flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, squish the butter pieces into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, cheese, and green onions and stir just until the buttermilk and flour come together to form a dough, being careful not to overmix. You’ll know you are there when there’s no more loose flour in your bowl.

Lightly flour a work surface with the all-purpose flour (I just line my counter with wax paper, parchment paper, or foil). Turn out the dough onto the surface and press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick and 8 inches in diameter. The dough will be very sticky, so flour your hands as necessary. Using a 3-inch round cutter dusted in flour, cut into rounds. (Be sure to press straight and downward when cutting the dough — a twisting motion will prevent the dough from rising.) I dust my cutter by simply dipping it into my flour container. Do this each time you cut a biscuit.

Reform the scraps in order to make nine biscuits*. Place on a baking sheet greased with cooking spray (or on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner like Silpat) and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

*The original recipe made seven biscuits, but I must be more efficient than Emeril because I got nine out of the dough.

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It was an absolutely gorgeous day here today. High 70s and not a cloud in the sky — perfect for spending hours outdoors. This is our backyard peach tree in bloom. Isn’t it lovely? When the peach tree blooms, I take it as a cue to start prepping my spring/summer vegetable garden. I’m practicing square foot gardening this year, but more on the specifics of that later. This is a food blog, right? So on with the food!

I had it in my mind to make a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich today, but spotted a few other enticing ingredients and ended up making a fancy grilled cheese (which still came together almost as quickly as a pbj would have) and a salad. Observe:

It’s plain old shredded mozzarella and a bit of blue cheese on sourdough. The ingredient that made it over-the-top good was a smear of this amazing strawberry-chipotle jam from Blanco Valley Farms. If you’ve never tried pairing a strongly flavored cheese with a fruit jam, give it a shot — the flavors blend surprisingly well. I had my sandwich with this salad:

Just spinach and leaf lettuce tossed with this tomato coriander dressing I found at HEB last week. All in all, a simple, delicious lunch — perfect for when you just want to throw something together so you can go back to playing outside.

Here’s to spring and all the warm weather to come.

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I love coconut. I mean, really love it. It’s hard for me to keep bags of the sweetened, flaked kind in my pantry because I just want to eat it all in one sitting with a spoon. I even tried putting coconut milk in my coffee once, which was a bad idea and is, to this date, the only coconut experiment I’ve conducted that was really disgusting.

Anyway, I saw that 101 Cookbooks had posted this recipe last week. All I had to read was the title and I was in. Then I saw that it involved lentils and a few other ingredients I had in the fridge from my Greenling box (cilantro, green onions, and a carrot) and I knew I’d found a recipe to make over and over again.

It lived up to its promise. This soup is thick and rich, but still has a hint of brightness from the coconut milk, cilantro, and golden raisins. I used light coconut milk to make it a little healthier, but other than that this is the rare recipe I didn’t really fiddle with. You can skip the curry-toasting step to save time, and cook the lentils and split peas (both found in the bulk bins at Whole Foods) the night before for a meal you can just toss together and simmer. In the original recipe, serving the soup over brown rice is optional, but I highly recommend it because it adds a nice texture.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup (from 101 Cookbooks)

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
8 green onions (or green garlic, which showed up in last week’s box), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons salt
one handful cilantro, chopped
cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)

Rinse split peas and lentils well. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on it, because the powder can burn quickly. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up. Serve over brown rice, sprinkled with cilantro and the remaining green onions.

Serves 6.

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I figured I’d go ahead and post my local box meal plans here in addition to the Greenling blog. The recipes are still great even if you don’t get a local box. 🙂

Lots of tasty greens coming in this week. We are getting:

  • Bok choy from Naegelin
  • Swiss chard from Acadian
  • Red lettuce from Acadian
  • Green onions from Acadian
  • Rosemary or sorrel from Pure Luck
  • Grapefruit and limes from G&S
  • Beets from My Father’s Farm
  • Russian kale from TX Natural
  • Endive from Acadian
  • Spinach from My Father’s Farm
  • Leeks

So I am making:

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Here. For some reason I am nervous about this. But excited, too!

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I usually do one of two things when I’m trying to use up a bunch of produce at once: add it to marinara sauce and serve over pasta, or make a stir-fry. I served this one over good old brown rice, but it would be yummy over quinoa, barley, or whatever grain you’re in the mood for. And as for the veggies, use what you have! That’s the beauty of stir-fry. Just make sure all of your veggies are cut to similar sizes and thicknesses (so they cook evenly) and that you have everything cut and ready to go before you start cooking, because this comes together really quickly.

For proteins, mine had baked tofu (cooked last night) and Mason’s had pork from Richardson Farms. I’ve pretty much stopped using tofu right out of the pack. The baked or broiled stuff has a firmer texture and doesn’t break up when you stir it around. I varied the veggies a little in each of our versions based on our preferences, but again, do what you want. Just about any vegetable combo works here.

See those two ramekins of purple carrots (purple on the outside, anyway)? Pretty, and tasty too!

Baked tofu even looks nicer than straight-out-of-the-package tofu. (Oh, and that pink stuff on the cutting board is where some beets stained it a while back. Don’t want you to think I’m a dirty cook.)

Pork mixture cooking in my cast-iron skillet. The nonstick one had my tofu version in it. The cast iron worked fine, but you may need to add extra oil if the food starts to stick.

Tofu Stir-Fry

1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp. minced ginger
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
1/2 cup green onions, sliced into 1-in. pieces
1 cup thinly sliced carrots (we got purple ones this week!)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used a combo of shiitake and white mushrooms)
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
1 lb extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and baked (see link above)
2 tsp. cornstarch
Chopped cilantro (optional, but I love it)

Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Swirl oil around when it gets hot, to coat the pan. Add shallots, green onions, and carrots. Stir fry about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and green beans and cook another 3-4 minutes, until mushrooms soften. Add tofu and oyster sauce mixture. Whisk cornstarch with a little water until the mixture is smooth, and add that to the pot. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 1-2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and serve over rice or other grain.

Pork Stir-Fry

1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 lb lean pork, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1/2 cup green onions, sliced into 1-in. pieces
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
2 tsp. cornstarch
Chopped cilantro (optional, but I love it)

Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Swirl oil around when it gets hot, to coat the pan. Add pork and cook 3-4 minutes, until browned and almost cooked through. Add shallots, green onions, and carrots. Stir fry about 1 minute. Add bell pepper and green beans and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the peppers start to soften. Add oyster sauce mixture. Whisk cornstarch with a little water until the mixture is smooth, and add that to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 1-2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and serve over rice or other grain.

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You all know I’ve been a fan of Greenling for a while. Well, they recently approached me about maintaining their Eating Out of the Local Box blog, and I gladly accepted their offer! Starting in the next week or two, look for my posts over there. They’ll feature recipes that use the contents of each week’s Local Box, a bin of tasty, fresh, in-season local produce. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll be receiving a free Local Box each week (which I am so, so excited about, btw).

I’ll still be blogging here, of course. Because I occasionally make food with non-Greenling items. And because sometimes I may want to write random stuff that has little or nothing to do with food.

Anyway, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to write for Greenling. Here’s to the next great adventure!

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