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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Apple Bars with Lemon Glaze

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12

These bars are a tasty way to use apples and show off fall flavors.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • scant 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10.5″ x 15.5″ jelly roll pan (or use both an 8×8 and a 9×9) very well.

In a stand mixer or by hand, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the grated pear and mix to combine. Then add milk and remaining flour mixture. Stir to combine completely.

Spread mixture in jelly roll pan. It should just fill it up (you may want to put a tray underneath just in case there’s any overflowing in the oven). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the bars spring back when poked.

To make the icing, whisk confectioners sugar into lemon juice. Add just enough to reach your desired drizzling thickness. Drizzle over bars, then cut and serve.

Makes 24 bars.

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Peppers and Potatoes with Pesto

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12

This simple dish shows off the flavors of summer.

In a large pot, cover chopped potatoes with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil, then add peppers with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are beginning to get browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cooked potatoes, cooked peppers, and pesto. Toss to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 6.

All the ingredients in bold are things you can grow in your own garden.

Pork and White Bean Chili
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12
Community meeting training dinner, 3/20/13

This simple meal is hearty and filling. As a bonus, it tastes even better as leftovers.

  • 1 tablespoon canola, vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock, or liquid from cooking beans, or water
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped OR 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked white beans (from 1 cup dry beans) OR 2 cans white beans

In a large pot, heat oil. Add ground pork and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove cooked pork to a plate or bowl. To the now-empty pot, add onion, carrots, and jalapeno. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook one minute, stirring.

Add stock/bean liquid/water, tomatoes, and beans. Return cooked pork to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve.

Serves 8.

All the ingredients in bold are things you can grow in your own garden.

Baba Ghanoush

Garden training picnic, 9/19/12

This Middle Eastern eggplant dip is smooth, creamy, tasty, and a perfect introduction to eggplant for people who can be put off by its unusual texture.

  • 2 medium eggplants*
  • 4 cloves garlic*, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parsley* leaves, chopped

Cook the eggplants directly on a burner (high heat) or on a hot grill. Continue to cook until the skin is completely blackened and the inside is completely soft, about 20-30 minutes. (Alternatively, you can cut the eggplant in half, place it cut side down on a baking sheet, and bake at 450 until completely tender – less mess, although you miss out on smokiness.) Once eggplant is cooked, place in a tightly covered dish to steam for 15-20 minutes. Then, uncover and allow to cool. Peel cooked eggplant using your hands.

Into a food processor, add cooked eggplant flesh, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Blend thoroughly. Then, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. The baba ghanoush should become lighter in color and creamy. Add chopped parsley and pulse briefly to combine. Add additional salt to taste if needed.

Serve with crackers or pita.

*These items can be grown right in your garden.

Peperonata

This simple dish of stewed peppers and onions with herbs shows off summer farmers market produce at its best.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions*, thinly sliced
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano* or marjoram* (divided between beginning and end of cooking)
  • 3 large sweet bell peppers* (red, yellow, or orange), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to heat, then add onions, 1 tablespoon chopped herbs, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and another pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are tender, 20-30 minutes.

Add remaining chopped herbs, vinegar. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

*These ingredients can be grown in your garden.

Canning Recipe: Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers
adapted from Simply Recipes

This recipe makes your roasted peppers even more delicious and preserves them to eat all year round. If you don’t want to can, you can stop before the processing step and store your peppers in the fridge to eat within 3 weeks.

  • 1 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 pounds bell peppers, roasted (see instructions here)
  • 3 pint-sized canning jars

Heat a large pot of water for canning (water should cover the pint jars by at least an inch). While it heats, prepare marinade: in a large saucepan, combine lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Dip jars and lids in boiling water to sanitize. Distribute the roasted peppers evenly between the sanitized jars. Pour the hot marinade over, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims clean, then place on lids and rings (do not tighten rings too tight).

Place jars in the boiling water for canning. Boil for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool in pot for a few minutes, then remove to cool completely. Jars lids should pop down, showing the can is sealed. Sealed cans can be stored at room temperature for a year. If any jars fail to seal, place in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks.

Makes 3 pints.

Roasted or Grilled Eggplant and Variations

Roasting and grilling eggplant are two of the simplest, most delicious ways to cook it. Once you’ve cooked your eggplant, you can use it for so many different things – check out the variations below.

  • 1 large eggplant*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or use a neutral oil)
  • 2 pinches salt

Preheat oven to 400 or prepare grill.

Cut eggplant into slices or chunks (see variations below to help choose). Drizzle oil over and toss to coat as evenly as possible. It’s okay if some spots suck in more oil than others. Add salt and toss to distribute.

Arrange eggplant pieces on baking sheet or on grill. Bake or grill until eggplant is tender inside, about 20-30 minutes (although that will depend on the size and shape of your pieces, so check them).

Roasted Eggplant with Herb Sauce: Cut eggplant in slices or chunks to roast. Once out of the oven, lay eggplant on a plate and top with pesto or salsa verde (see herb recipes for details).

Roasted Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Basil Rolls: For this elegant appetizer, cut eggplant into long, flat, 1/3″ thick slices. Once roasted, place a chunk of mozzarella cheese and a large basil leaf on the slice. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.

*Eggplant can be grown in your garden.