Hey, folks! I was in my good friends' Michelle and David's wedding over the weekend.
Check out my guest blog over at A Huckleberry Over My Persimmon! Yay!
Monday, April 27, 2009
That's right, folks. The venison is back! Y'all know we couldn't be happier. This particular meat was given to me by a friend and coworker. The meat came from a deer that was killed in Madison County--about 2o miles away from Athens.
I got a new Mexican cook book last weekend and we've been dying to try some things. This recipe, dubbed "albondigas", really stood out to me because it wasn't the standard Mexican fare that you usually find in cook books. This was really simple to make, but the sauce tastes like it's been cooked all day. We improvised here and there and we added cilantro (luckily, we both have the 'love cilantro' gene), which really sealed the deal for this one. The original recipe was for pork and beef meatballs, so use whatever you have--just try to know where it came from!
For the Meatballs
1 lb ground venison
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying (we just used a little olive oil)
Mix ingredients well until combined. Form into balls. Fry in a shallow pan, turning often.
For the sauce
1 chipotle chile, seeded
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup stock (we used chicken stock, but the recipe called for beef)
14 ounce can tomato sauce
7 tablespoons passata (tomato puree)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Soak the dried chile in hot water for fifteen minutes and then seed and chop it. Heat the oil and then add the garlic and onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the chile to the pan and fry for another minute. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and passata. Bring to a boil and then simmer.
Serve the meatballs over rice and cover with the chipotle sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Parsley, parsley EVERYWHERE! Seriously, like I told my good friend LA last night, if you live in Athens and you need some parsley for a recipe, please just drive over to our house and get it. You don't even need to call first--just come and get it. We have both flat and curly leaf varieties. It's more than we know what to do with...
BUT, we did come up with something that uses quite a bit and we've featured it here before. PESTO! No, you don't have to use basil. You can use mint or oregano or arugula! I love this variation in particular. We made two big batches--one that we used for this meal and then another to keep in the fridge to use for sandwiches.
Of course, keepin' it as local as possible, we used pecans from what seems like a never-ending cache we collected at the end of last year.
As this was a weeknight meal, we used store-bought gnocchi, but I'm dying to make it myself soon. Hopefully that'll be coming soon.
1 box gnocchi
3 portobello mushrooms, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 large zucchini, sliced
Once you have the pesto made, this is a cinch. Just saute the mushrooms and zucchini, boil the gnocchi until it floats, and mix it all together with the fresh tomato. Any veggies could be substituted. In particular, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach would all be great.
Also, we recently purchased an artichoke to snack on and I wanted to share an easy dip that I made for it that you can use in place of the butter dip that most people serve with artichokes.
Steam the artichoke until tender, about 25 minutes depending on the size.
For the dip, just mix half a cup of mayo (we use Safflower mayo) or vegenaise with a tablespoon of yellow curry powder and the juice of half a lemon. Refrigerate to set. I also used this on a sandwich the next day and it was delightful!
Monday, April 20, 2009
I was in such a hurry to make--and eat--this that I forgot to document it all the way through. I didn't even get a shot of this plated (gasp!). This soup alone deserves it's own post, but you'll have to make due with what little I have to offer in terms of photos today.
On rainy, cold, or gloomy days I daydream of soup. Soup, itself, has so many qualities that I admire. It's patient; the best soups take time--they can't be hurried. It's forgiving; nothing is final with soup. If it doesn't taste exactly right, you just need to add a little something here and there until it suits you. It's versatile; you can make soup out of just about anything. In my kitchen, a lot of really good soups start out with whatever I happen to have in the cabinet/refrigerator that day. Most of all I love soup because of its "soul-warming" nature. If you're sick, it's soup that makes you feel better. If you're cold, it warms you right up. This one was no exception. Pair it with rosemary & garlic scones right out of the oven and then cuddle up stay in for the night.
Not-Your-Mama's Vegetable Soup
1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces
2-3 yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 large yellow crook-neck squash, sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 large carton "no chicken" broth
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 14.5 oz. can Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 crushed red pepper flakes
salt & black pepper to taste
Cover the diced potatoes and the kale with water and boil until potatoes are almost fork tender. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Rosemary & Garlic Scones (these are basically biscuits, y'all)
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 egg beaten, to glaze
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Sift flour, salt, garlic powder, and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the rosemary, and then rub in the butter. Add the milk and mix to form a soft dough. You can knead this dough and then roll it out, but I just made them in a buttered muffin pan. I don't love kneading bread, but if that's your thing, go right ahead. It's totally unnecessary with these. Brush them with the beaten egg and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until they've risen and are golden brown.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Yup, grits AND greens. How southern can you get?
This was so simple and so delicious. All three ingredients can easily stand on their own, but they also compliment each other incredibly well. I knew this would be good, but I was pleasantly surprised at just HOW GOOD!
I'm happy to say that these were wild-caught Georgia shrimp. The collards were local too, and Mill's Farm 'Red Mule' grits are from right here in Athens. They're our favorite.
For the greens:
1 bunch collard greens, cut
1 large yellow onion
1 carton organic 'no chicken' broth
water to cover, if needed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
(a little texas pete, if you're into that kind of thing)
Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 8 hours.
For the grits:
You should know how to make grits! Start with less water than it says and then add more, if needed, as it cooks. Add some shredded white cheddar.
For the shrimp:
1/2 pound large shrimp
2 small shallots, sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Old Bay (or any other Creole seasoning)
Peel'em! Get a frying pan good and hot and then add some olive oil and a dab of butter. Toss in the shrimp, along with the shallots, garlic, and lots of Old Bay. Cook for just a minute or two and then hit'em with the lemon juice.
To serve, plate the greens first (be sure to drain them well), and then add the grits on top, and finally the shrimp. Eat up!