Monday, November 23, 2009
Sounds strange, huh? Yeah, I don't know if this had ever even been done before. We bought a bunch of beets at the local co-op (eat in season!) and after making a delicious roasted beet salad with them, I was inspired to make some kind of pasta dish next. This is how my brain works (how can I pair this with a carbohydrate?) most of the time.
Red beets are something that up until about 2 years ago I thought I didn't like. An actual quote from me: "they taste like dirt". That was until I had them on a veggie plate at The National. I even like the canned ones now! We recently even made a white bean & beet hummus! Local Okra has gone beet crazy.
Red Beet Cream Sauce
2 medium red beets, roasted and diced (I roasted mine whole, wrapped in foil the night before)
1 yellow or white onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
salt & black pepper, to taste
Add the first three ingredients, along with a little olive oil to a deep frying pan and cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes or until the beets start to soften.
Pour in the cream slowly and stir. Once the sauce is hot, remove about half a cup of the cream and add it to a bowl with the flour. Whisk until it forms a paste. Slowly stir the paste back into the sauce pan and bring sauce to a boil. Turn heat to low to let it thicken.
Serve over whole wheat spaghetti and garnish with blue cheese, pine nuts, and basil.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Jambalaya is surprisingly easy to make. I thought it would be nice to do something besides grill our venison sausage (even though it's so good that way!) and I've always wanted to make jambalaya. A recipe that would make use of our ever-growing okra and tomato crop was also something I had in mind. We were also able to use jalapenos from our garden in place of bell peppers, which are typically used in almost all Cajun recipes. Bell peppers, onions, and celery are used together in Cajun cooking much like mirepoix in French cooking. Alas, we did not grow any bells this year, so we opted for a spicier improvisation.
4-5 garlic cloves
1 whole onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 jalapeno peppers
1 cup of okra, cut into half inch rounds
8-10 tomatoes, diced
1 large sausage link (something like andouille works best)
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled
2 cups of rice
4-5 cups of broth or stock (I used veggie broth)
paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 bunch chopped green onion, for garnish
First you'll want to take your sausage and cut it up. You can slice it or dice it, whatever your preference. Fry the sausage in your pot with a tiny bit of olive oil for a few minutes to render the fat. Remove that from the pot and add the garlic, onions, celery, and pepper. Cook until the onions start to sweat.
Then add the okra and tomatoes. After a few minutes, pour in the stock and bring to a boil and then add the rice. Season with spices, add the bay leaf and then cover and simmer to cook the rice.
When almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, put the sausage back in and add the shrimp. Wait until they curl up and turn pink and then serve.
Garnish with green onion.