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Tag Archives: 1/26/12

Potato Salad with Green Beans

Community meeting training/cooking demonstration, 2/27/12 – made as written here

Committee meeting working lunch 1/26/12 – made with homegrown kale stems in place of green beans, local hydroponic tomatoes and chopped parsley added

This potato salad is dressed with a vinaigrette (oil and vinegar dressing) instead of a heavier mayonnaise-based dressing. The taste of the dressing will vary based on whether you use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice in the dressing, so experiment to find which you like best. Feel free to add any vegetables that you have on hand instead of or in addition to the green beans.

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Lots-of-Apples Cake (Apple Sharlotka)

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/26/12

Slightly adapted from this recipe at SmittenKitchen.com

This cake is so delicious that it’s hard to stop at one piece. But since it’s mostly apples, making it healthier and lighter than many cakes, that’s not such a bad thing.

  • Butter or cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 6 large, tart apples (Granny Smiths are ideal)*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, almond extract, whiskey, brandy, rum, or other flavoring
  • 1 cup flour
  • Cinnamon for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” springform pan. (Note: you can also make this cake in a 7” x 11” sheet pan, although it is a little harder to get pieces out to eat.)

Peel the apples, then cut into bite-sized chunks. Pile the apples into the greased pan.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat until very thick. The batter should fall off the whisk in thick ribbons. Beat in vanilla or other flavoring. Gently stir in flour with a spoon or spatula until just combined.

Pour the batter over the apples in the pan. Smooth the batter and apples so that they are level.

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes, until apples are soft and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Dust with cinnamon before serving warm or at room temperature.

*While fruit trees can be finicky in Nebraska, local apples are available and can be stored well.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/26/12 – served with mushroom barley soup

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

This recipe can be customized to use the ingredients you have on hand.

  • 1 to 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water, milk, or whey (use 1 cup in a warm, humid climate; 1 ¼ cup in a cold, dry climate)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (one packet) instant or active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted and cooled butter
  • ¼ cup liquid sweetener – honey, molasses, sorghum syrup, maple syrup, or corn syrup
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • if using water as liquid: ¼ cup nonfat dried milk (optional)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, milk, or whey with the yeast, vegetable oil or butter, and liquid sweetener. Add the flour, dried milk (if using), and salt all at once and stir until all the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly greased surface and knead 6-8 minutes. (You can also knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook or in a bread machine.) The kneading is done when the dough feels smooth and comes back to shape when poked. If you take a small amount and stretch it, it should make a thin “windowpane” of dough without tearing.

Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise until puffy and almost doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.

On a lightly greased surface, flatten the dough out into an 8” x 8” square. Roll the dough into a log, then place in a greased 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise another 1-2 hours. The dough should rise above the sides of the pan. When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. The loaf is finished when the inside temperature is 190 degrees. Take the loaf out of the pan and tap the bottom – the finished loaf should sound hollow. Allow to cool before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf

Mushroom Barley Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/26/12 – served with whole wheat sandwich bread

This soup is hearty and filling. Regarding leftovers, the barley will continue to absorb liquid as it sits, so if you leave leftover soup in the fridge, there will not be nearly as much liquid when you come back to eat it. Add more stock/broth or water, or enjoy the leftovers as a less soupy meal.

  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (optional)*
  • 1 cup boiling water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced*
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 6 cups beef or chicken stock or broth, or water in a pinch
  • salt
  • pepper

In a small, heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over dried mushrooms, if using. Allow to steep for 45 minutes. Remove and roughly chop mushrooms. Strain liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel to remove any dirt and reserve the liquid.

In a large pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat. When hot, add sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released all their water and are browned. Remove mushrooms to a bowl and reserve.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pot. Add onions and carrots. Cook, stirring, until onions are translucent and carrots are tender. Add barley and cook 2-3 minutes more, until barley is slightly browned and smells toasted. Do not allow to burn.

Add stock, broth, or water. Add cooked mushrooms, soaked mushrooms, and soaking liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings

*Mushrooms can be a lucrative and marketable crop, and they can be grown indoors in Nebraska.