Menu Swap of the Week: Sides and Salads

Hosting this week’s menu swap is Wendy of Celiac in the House and she has picked favorite sides and salads as this week’s theme. I think we can work many of those in this week.  As I was typing this earlier, I hit save draft and went to go look up something.  When I came back to the page two minutes later, Word Press was asking for my password and hadn’t saved my post, even though I can see it saving it below every 2 minutes as I type.  I am sure this has happened to all of us, but it sorta takes the wind out of your blogging sails doesn’t it.  Trying to recreate the genius you had already typed below is impossible.  Easy to call it genius as it is gone now! So, lesson learned.  Always log into the dashboard, even if it doesn’t ask me to.  Enough griping and back to food.

Make sure you swing over to Wendy’s blog to see what all the other great GF cooks around the country are planning this week!

Sunday:  Steak and brats (steak for me, brats for Eby), grilled asparagus and some killer potato skins with bacon, cheese and chive sour cream.

Monday: Stuffed poblano peppers, inside out.  Instead of stuffing them, I roast them and chop them up and mix them with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, ground beef with Mexican seasoning, rice and cheese and then bake yourself into comfort food. A rice casserole with loads of my favorite veggies.

Tuesday:  Fish and chips and slaw!  Fish will be coated with an herby bread crumb mix and baked, fries will be cut with our new industrial strength french fry cutter that should arrive tomorrow and the slaw will have a lime and olive oil dressing with cilantro and green onions.  I really dislike mayo based sweet slaws, but love crunchy cabbage lightly dressed with tartness.

Wednesday: Caesar salad with a grilled chicken breast.  One of our favorite salads and if it weren’t for this week’s theme, we probably wouldn’t have thought of it.  This is the best way to enjoy romaine lettuce, I am convinced of it!

Thursday: I am having a hard time deciding what to cook on Thursday, so for now we are going with pasta carbonara with bacon and asparagus and a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.  Maybe we will just do the spinach salad.  I am leaving myself some leg room on this one.

Friday:  Turkish Doner Kabobs (made with pork) with sides of tatziki, lightly marinated cabbage, pickled red onions and maybe I will make some flatbread or pita to go with it.  Of course we need a feta cucumber salad with this too and who knows, maybe some homemade baba ganoush if I find the time. Sumac is the key to great Turkish seasoning, and oregano.

Baked good:  Lemon bars, I have to have them around Easter now, so time to bake some!

May spring be on it’s way to you!

i’m out

February 16th: Comfort Food, a menu and a plan

flank steak

It’s Mid-February.  Is there a better time for comfort foods?  Probably not.  The winter doldrums have not been as dark this month.  The earth must have tilted or perhaps it is global warming, but we have had far more sunlight than any winter I have spent in Lansing.  It really lifts the snow spirits.  But it’s not sunny everywhere and even if it is, comfort foods will always be something we turn to.  Comfort foods can be so many things and below I have listed what they are this week for us.  Wendy of Celiacs in the House is the gf menu swap host this week and comfort foods are the theme.  This week I am drawing from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, The Breath of a Wok, Fish Without a Doubt, imagination and memory.  Libraries are terrific resources for cook books!

On a side note I feel very guilty for not actually posting anything but my menus lately.  So look forward to a couple of recipes this week, I promise.  I am hoping to revamp this blog and actually have a link for recipes eventually.  Currently they are not easy to find on here when I do post them.  My IT guy is in charge of the blog lift.  As usual, any pork, tomatoes, dry beans, garlic or potatoes featured in the menu below are local.  I am anxiously awaiting my own greens and veggies from the garden, but until then, we are breaking our rules and splurging a bit on asparagus.  Don’t hate me.  At least it is from California, not Peru.

Sunday:  Enchiladas Verdes with chicken and cheese, Frijoles de Olla, guacamole with red onion and cilantro, locally made corn tortilla chips, salsa

Monday: Grilled flank steak with a salsa verde and wilted escarole bread salad, grilled asparagus.

Tuesday:  Georgian Pork stew with cornmeal pudding and roasted brussel sprouts (comfort food for Georgians I’m told)

Wednesday:  Poached Salmon with scallop mousse, sauteed broccoli rabe and purple potatoes roasted with duck fat and rosemary.

Thursday:  Sichuan YuXiang Pork with wood ears mushrooms, water chestnuts and bamboo,  rice and maybe some shrimp toast.  Shrimp toast is definitely comfort food.  I am not sure who invented it, but I would like to thank them. Any thing spicy is comfort food to me come to think of it.

Friday: Italian sausage sauteed with broccoli rabe tossed with penne and shaved Parmesan, then drizzled with a tomato vodka sauce.  The store had broccoli rabe this week, so we stocked up on it as I love it!

Lunches this week: Beans and greens with escarole, hopefully a Rueben sandwich or two with Karina’s rye bread and out for Thai food or sushi one day.  I love weeks when I don’t have to be on the road most days!

Happy eating!

i’m out

Menu of the Week Feb 2: Pineapple

Pineapple cart by the ocean

Cheryl is the host again this week for the GF menu swap and has chosen pineapple for this week’s ingredient.  Make sure you hop over to see all the creative pineapple uses.  I am going to use pineapple in a savory dish and a cocktail.  This pineapple cart is a photo I took on my last trip to Mexico. Ah, Mexico!

I just realized that I have some version of pork in almost every dish this week.  All that pork is from our piggies, including the bacon.  We need to restock our grass fed beef.  Still good on organic free range chickens and organic garlic from the farm. Getting low on canned tomatoes, potatoes.  I am looking forward to garden season.  We have had more snow than usual in Lansing this year.  It is more like being up in Leelanau, except it is sunnier there.  Oh and Lake Michigan is there.  Only the cold and amount of snow in common after thinking it over.  They actually use snowplows there to plow the roads, here, they just let the snow pile up until it freezes and everyone gets stuck.  Don’t move to Lansing.

Sunday:  Out to eat: Old Chinese restaurant w/new owners and an authentic Chinese menu that rocks!  Brought my own gf tamari for them to use – amazing food, will duplicate and will return often.  Ok, this is one good reason to be in Lansing.

Monday: Ultimate mac and cheese with bacon and chives using our bacon and indoor garden chives.  I like Smitten Kitchen’s version which is the NYTimes version from 06.  Creamy and heart stopping.  The below pic is the above recipe, but this time, bacon and chives will be added.  If I had fresh tomatoes I would slice them and garnish the top with them too.  But I don’t.  Some folks are mac and cheese only folks and some are rev it up with other stuff folks.  I am both.  UPDATE:  That was not the same recipe I used before.  Or if I did, I had completely different results.  This mac was grainy and I didn’t even want to finish it!  The bacon added a bit too much salt with the cheese.  Will perfect!

the ultimate need no more recipes mac and cheese

Tuesday:  Tacos al pastor with pineapple on the rotisserie and pina colodas.  Will use two recipes as guidelines to create the taco I crave this week.  Will use some of my garden canned tomatoes to make a “fresh” winter salsa.

Wednesday:  Sichuan Ma Pu Tofu with some stir fried sugar snap peas and rice.  I am all about Sichuan/ Szechuan style these days as it wakes my senses and brings me garlic and heat.

Thursday: Pork pot roast with garlic smashed (purple) potatoes and some sort of green veggie.  On the road all day and coming home to pot roast just sounds good this week.  Using pork, because 1.  I love pork and 2. We have 1.5 pigs worth of it in the freezer and 3.  I am out of grass fed beef except for burger. Pork and potatoes are local.  We are down to our garden’s purple potatoes for a while until we can restock from the farm.

Friday: Moroccan chicken with green olives, apricots and preserved lemons with rice.  Maybe a little hummus app to go with that, it is after all, a Friday. Will use my bro’s organic chicken for this.

i’m out

Shepard’s Pie

It’s wintery outside and very, very cold.  Why not embrace the cold with some quick, warm Shepard’s Pie?

shepards pie

Shepard’s Pie

For the filling
1 lb Ground beef ( I used grass fed beef) cooked and drained of excess fat
1 med/large onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 jar diced tomatoes (14-16 oz) I used home made canned. Drain and set tomato juice aside.
Green ends of a leek or a couple of green onions (was cleaning out the fridge)
potato starch
2 tsp beef broth concentrate (or cook beef broth down to concentrate) Trader Joe broth packets work great
2 bay leaves or ground bay
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
garlic – as much as you like, at least 2 cloves
salt and fresh cracked pepper

For the topping
4 medium potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream or milk as needed
chives or finely chopped leek tips – add enough to give both color and flavor
1/4 or more parmesan
s and fresh cracked p

Boil potatoes until cooked, drain and save the potato starch water. Set water aside. Make mashed potatoes with the topping ingredients.
Brown beef, onion and carrot together in an oven proof 2 quart pan.  If you don’t have one, use any frying pan and later pour the filling into an 2 quart oven proof dish or a large pie plate. Drain off any excess fat. Make a slurry with the drained tomato juice and potato starch. Add herbs, garlic and beef concentrate to slurry. Add slurry to the beef mixture and bring to a boil. Add potato water as needed to thicken and make a thick sauce. Top with mashed potatoes. Broil the potatoes until golden brown. Enjoy.

 

shepards pie meat mix with tomatoes

mashed potatoes for shepards pie

 

shepards pie

We used local beef, tomatoes from the garden, potatoes from the farm and local leeks for this dish.
i’m out

Menu Swap October 6th: pears and localvore meals

It’s the end of the gardening season here in Michigan.  So I greet you with a parting shot of sunniness in the rain – the last sunflower of the season.  Ah such a bittersweet ending to the summer.  However cool crisp autumnal smells are in the air and if it were not for the loss of gardening, fall would be the best time of the year.  Oh who am I kidding, it is the best time of the year!!

July 08 food and garden 461

This week’s menu swap is hosted by Cheryl over at Gluten Free Goodness and the ingredient is pears.  I love sliced fresh pears on a platter with mixed cheeses and crackers.   I love a nice pear and almond tart.  My brother always whips one up when he visits in the fall.  We have a great pear tree on the farm, Bosc.  I really like the rusty textured skin of a Bosc pear.  Smooth green skinned pears have nothing on a dark green rust spattered fruit.  Russeted, what a great word for it.

Unfortunately, the pears are waiting for me up at the farm and not here in lovely Lansing where Iive.  I have a hard time running out and purchasing fruit, unless desperate, as I am from a fruit farm and most of the fruit that I eat comes from the farm.  With the exception of tropical fruit splurges (including limes, which I can’t live without, for many reasons), I am completely a fruit localvore and specifically a family farm localvore.  We are going up next weekend though and I will bring some back, along with honey crisp apples.

This week on our menu we will be eating:

Russian banana fingerling potatoes purple potatoes in the garden

Zoe in the fennel

Pork porchetta style, with rosemary, garlic, sage and fennel, slow roasted over fennel fronds and leeks with chive, roasted garlic smashed potatoes.  Everything in this dish is local (even the butter in the potatoes) except the salt and pepper and pork – but we will soon have a new piggie in the freezer.

Poblano en arroz con carne y queso – one of my favorite comfort foods – inside out Mexican stuffed poblano peppers.  We will be using some local grass feed beef in this dish as well as the poblanos that I harvested from the garden before the freeze last weekend.  You can probably tell from the name of this one (that I made up) that I could use another Spanish lesson!

Chicken alla Diavola with grilled potatoes in Chianti vinegar from Mario Batali’s book (libraries are great!).

Hoisin scallion fried rice with tofu based on a recipe from Lynn Rosetto Casper’s book How to Eat.

Scandinavian spiced meatballs with buttered leeks with tarragon. Once again, the beef, leeks, butter and tarragon are all local. This became Swedish meatballs(with nutmeg and allspice) with creme fraiche and green onion dill  Reibekuchen with green beans. Thanks to the spice trade 400 years ago, what was only available in Indonesia, is now available to spice my dinner.  I draw the line at only using local herbs and spices.  We do have a local Penzeys (does that count) an hour away.

It is a shorter menu this week as on Friday we are heading up to Leelanau for the weekend and will be bringing our year’s supply of free range, organic chicken back with us.  Well, it is probably a 6 month supply. My brother put our order in the last batch of chickens raised this summer and we have been waiting a long time for some local chicken.

Oh yeah and we are buying our own steer along with my brother and sister in law, so for the next year, we are learning (from a distance) how to raise Scottish Highlander cattle.  And then we will eat them.  But not until they are all grown up on grass, which takes longer than feeding them on corn, which their systems can’t handle.  Four years ago if you would have asked me if I would ever raise animals outside of pets, I would have said no way.  We have plans to put in a chicken coop for 6 egg layers or so this fall/winter and fill it with chickens in the spring.   Urban farming in the backyard.

Ok, time to go cook dinner!

i’m out