What’s on the menu this week?

Last week our CSA started.  We are splitting one share three ways.  I wanted to try a CSA out to see what it is like and get a little more variety of vegetables than I typically grow.  We have a huge garden, but most of that is produce that I can or freeze for winter, tomatoes, hot peppers, broccoli, leeks.  The broccoli rabe bolted in a day and is not coming back.  I need a warmer climate variety that can take 30 degree swings in a day more easily.

Our CSA kindly sends out an email on Sunday letting us know what we might expect on Tuesday.   It looks like this week we will have lettuce, spinach, bok choy, pea greens, greens greens and garlic scapes.  At least those are the items I am choosing.  I am passing on kohlrabi as I just can’t seem to love it.

Our new chicken coop arrives sometime this week!  Will post pics once it arrives and is in place.

Esther of the Lilac Kitchen is hosting this week’s menu swap and the ingredient this week is black currants, which are not yet in season here, but hard to find, but if I do, I will use them somehow.

What we are eating this week:

Sunday:  grilled ribs from our pig, grilled asparagus, brussel sprouts with lemon and parm and tomato cucumber salad

Monday:  On the road but back in time for a late quickie supper: pierogies  – Contes GF brand for me to try and a locally made brand for Eby to try.  Maybe a grilled sausage on the side.  Will be trying this recipe for the pierogie sauce as I love tomatoes and dill.

Tuesday: From Robert Landolphi’s new book Gluten Free Everyday: Hazelnut Encrusted Salmon with cilantro lime creme and a spinach salad with pea greens.  I am really interested in his dusting and encrusting techniques and will be blogging about my findings.  Will be making a batch of his Parmesan Popover bites too as we have plenty of eggs right now.

Wednesday:  Family and a friend in town staying at Hotel EbyHagen.  New guest policy: strip the sheets when you leave unless you are back in a week.  Not sure if folks are in town for dinner or arriving after dinner, so I am leaving this eve un-obligated.   If no one is here for dinner, we will do burgers on the grill, salad greens from the CSA.

Thursday: Thai Pad Thai with tofu and pork and a bok choy stir fry with garlic scapes.

Friday:  Heading to Bellaire for a wedding on the edge of Torch Lake.  Staying at a friend’s cottage.  We will pack for cooking up there and for pontooning.

i’m out

Hot Tangy Spinach Artichoke Dip

the ultimate spinach artichoke dip

Everyone once in a while a party comes around and I get to make something decadent that you wouldn’t eat at home everyday.  I always try to bring something substantial as you never can be certain of gluten free snackies, although my friends are pretty good about it. One of my goto apps is this hot tangy spinach artichoke dip.  I am on the quest for the best recipe ever and think I may have created it this time. This one is tangy with plenty of mustard. I think it helps offset the richness. If you are not a fan of dijon (yellow mustard cannot be substituted) or any mustard, just leave it out. I like the mustard seeds for a little puff of surprise, but again, those could be optional. If you leave it out, just call it spinach artichoke dip, leave the tangy out. In a minute you will read out loud and say roasted garlic? Who has 2 tablespoons of roasted garlic sitting around? Well, I do. I roast a bunch in the oven every once in a while, make it into a paste and then plop it on some saran wrap and roll it up like a tube, twist the ends shut and stick it in a zip bag and into the freezer. When I need roasted garlic, I slice off an inch or two and stick it back in the freezer. If that is not your option, they have some in a jar in the stores or just chop some fresh garlic and very lightly saute it to take the edge off.

Don’t be scared of the list of ingredients (well the half and half), this is an appetizer and you are not eating the whole dish by yourself, right?

1.5 cups of half and half (don’t use milk)
8 oz of grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 oz of cream cheese – I use light usually

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tbs of roasted garlic
4 tbs dijon mustard or white wine mustard
1.5 tsp mustard seed
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and pressed dry
2 14 oz cans of artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
as much fresh ground pepper as you like (i like a lot)
taste to see if you need salt

In a 2 quart pot, simmer the cream and once it is at a simmer, add everything but the spinach and artichokes. Stir stir stir. Once melted and well blended, stir in your veggies and when every thing is nice and hot, it is ready to serve. How easy is that? You can bake this dish too if you like that baked flavor, if you do, add a bit more heavy cream and top it off with more Monterey Jack and back at 375 until bubbly and light brown. I serve it with strong tortilla chips. Weak ones are well, weak and won’t stand up to this dip.

the ultimate spinach artichoke dip

Enjoy!

i’m out

Menu Swap Monday October 20th: Squash

Squash.  It has such a great sounding name and it can make a nice squish when you eat it.  Food that sounds like it is.  Kim of Gluten Free is Life is hosting this week’s swap.  I do have two pumpkins that I will attempt to carve this week in honor of squash and their lovely seeds.  It is really all about the seeds for me.  I do like butternut squash soup and some nicely roasted acorn squash.  I am squashless at the moment, with the exception of our pumpkins, so those will have to do.  I forgot to check the ingredient before we went grocery shopping yesterday. We have a heavily Italian country oriented menu this week due to Eby picking out some dishes and making his way through some more Italian cook books.  They all sounded good to me too.

Sunday: Hunters stew with rabbit and smashed potatoes.  It took me a while to get over the concept of rabbit, even though most of the world eats them if they have rabbits running around.  It was tasty.  Eby made it, but I had to cut it up for him.  If it hadn’t been for recent work events that gross me out worse, I might not have made it through.

Monday: Pork cutlets with prosciutto, parmeasan and Marsala wine with a pesto risotto

Tuesday: Rice and Cabbage soup with pancetta – the recipe looks better than the title, trust me.

Wednesday: Turkey tenderloins stuffed with spinach or stuffed porchetta style and roasted.

Thursday: On the road and back late: Ragu Bolonese with noodles.  I did a crock pot full of grass fed beef short ribs recently and froze the meat to use in a ragu.  It was already slow cooked so shouldn’t take much time to throw together along with a spinach salad.

Friday:  Chicken ala Diavola with potatoes chianti – this didn’t happen a couple of weeks ago and now we have chicken again from my brother.  Lots of smoked paprika and lemon zest in this dish!

Saturday: Grass fed burgers on the grill, tator tots with salad

Sunday:  Down to Eby’s parents for dinner.  Their first time cooking a gluten free meal and Eby has been coaching them 🙂

i’m out

Menu Swap of the week: Cabbage!

I happen to have a savoy and a purple cabbage in my fridge right now. Handy. I had no idea cabbage was going to be the “secret” ingredient.

Natalie is back hosting the menu swap at Gluten Free Mommy so skip on over and check out her site and all the delish sounding menus on the other sites.

Monday: Mediterranean spring

Seared scallops and lemon asparagus risotto (based on Jamie Oliver’s risotto recipe). Asparagus season is in full swing finally in MI. Garden green salad with vinaigrette.

Tuesday: Frenchie bistro

Chicken almondine revisited: Garden herbs, garden baby spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts in an almond crust with a brown butter lemon sauce. Sides: Stewed tomatoes provencale (from last year’s garden)and roasted potatoes with rosemary and cracked pepper.

Wednesday: Where in the world?

Unstuffed cabbage rolls – I made some traditional stuffed ones last fall – never again! This will be more like a casserole with cabbage in between the fillings (ground pork? tomato? rice? fish? mango? potatoes?chiles?). Ethnicity of the meal – to be determined. Most cultures use cabbage in one form or another so this should be a fun experiment. Please weigh in with your ideas! Perhaps it will end up like the insides of a delicious pork cabbage spring roll with mung noodles and dried mushrooms…

Thursday: Taiwan

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken I found this recipe linked in a blog over a year ago, bookmarked and am finally getting back to it. Unfortunately I don’t yet have enough Thai basil growing in the garden to supply 2 cups, so hopefully I find some at the farmer’s market on Wed. This will be served with a side of Kai Yang Bai Cai or otherwise known as sauteed cabbage with ginger.

Friday: West African

Mafe : West African meat in peanut sauce using our grass fed beef and stewed collard greens from the garden.

Garden update:  Everything is planted except the cucumbers.  We are harvesting the lettuce for the first time this eve and have been eating our fresh garden herbs all year long (I brought most in for the winter and put them out again as soon as it warmed up), but the chives are back with a vigor now!  The asparagus and rhubarb I planted last year are giving us an occasional tasty treat, but they need to grow another year before either is bountiful.

i’m out

Menu of the week, hopefully and beer is brewing!

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Rosemary

This week’s menu swap is hosted by Ginger Lemon Girl!

Once again I am attempting to get organized.

1. It makes it a lot easier to plan ahead and not spend a lot of time every afternoon thinking about what to cook that eve.

2. It saves on trips to the grocery store.

3. I have a freezer full of grass fed, organic beef and pork and that implies it is frozen. So, when thinking of what to make, if something is not thawed and it never is until I think of what I want to make, that idea gets shoved aside for something un frozen.

So, getting a menu together means I can take stuff out to thaw in an appropriate time frame.

Monday (today and since it is 5:30, I had better get cooking)

Indian: Pork vindaloo, saag aloo, paneer paratha and of course some rice and raita with that.

paratha with paneer making paratha making paratha

Tuesday

Greek: Homemade pitas and homemade gyro meat (with fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme and garlic) cooked on a rotisserie with shredded cabbage, sliced onions, tatziki and dolmades (dolmades made by WholeFoods)

red cabbage and red onion and sumac for turkish style gyros gyro lamb on the grill gyros slightly fuzzy gyros spelt pita

Wednesday:

Grilled salmon with a mustard dill glaze, sauteed kale and grilled polenta

Thursday:

On the road will be stopping by Whole Foods for some GF sushi (it is great road food! ) and I keep a bottle of GF tamari in the car.

Friday:

Chicken, style yet undetermined. We have three organic free range chickens in our freezer and must grill them at some point. Maybe it will get the Mexi rub, or roasted with chestnuts or blackened seasoning, herbs (Rosemary), garlic and lemon? Send your votes in and come and join us for dinner as I don’t like leftover chicken. We ended up with Coq au Vin and rosemary roasted potatoes and it was perfect for a very cold wintery night. This pic does not do it justice, but here goes (yes, please ignore the oven that really needs cleaning):

coq au vin roasted potatoes

ok, time to get working on my paneer paratha (1st attempt ever!)

One more thing, we brewed some spelt beer (all grain of course) this weekend and it smells so great! I named it Tolerant IPA after gluten intolerance and MLK day (different kind of tolerance). It is fermenting away in the dining room and things seem so quiet around here without the squirrels.

i’m out