Friday, August 22, 2014

Savory Green Beans

I love green beans. Just give be a bowl with some butter salt and pepper and I am good to go. But I am trying to get away from the fat and calories so I am playing with some different ways to enhance flavor.
To get a rich beef stock or broth many recipes will tell you to use twice as much beef bouillon cubes or crystals to water or to reduce canned stock. I think this methods gets too salty. I like to use Penzey's Beef Soup Base (1 tsp. to 1/2 cup). It creates a very rich flavorful broth without all the salt.

Savory Green Beans
1/2 cup rich beef broth or stock
2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped shallot
1 tsp.dill seed

1/2 tsp. dill weed
Steamed green beans

Combine all ingredients except the green beans in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the favors meld. Add the beans. Cover and simmer until heated through.

Ginger BBQ Sauce

This year as part of the farm share we are getting a half gallon of organic apple juice from Oyler's Farm. As Thursday approaches we try to use up the end of last week's juice. This BBQ sauce was very tasty. I do not like sweet and sticky sauces. This has just a hint of sweetness and the spicy tang that I like. We cooked country style boneless ribs on the grill and glazed with the sauce just before they were done.

Ginger BBQ Sauce
adapted from Food Network Magazine June 2012
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in the oil until soft. Add the ketchup, apple juice, oyster sauce, vinegar, mustard powder and dash of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Puree in a blender until smooth.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shawarma Spiced Chicken with Green Beans and Yellow Squash Roll Ups

According to Wikipedia Shawarma " is a Levantine[1][2] meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Although it can be served in shavings on a plate (generally with accompaniments), shawarma also refers to a sandwich or wrap made with shawarma meat. Shawarma is usually eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber."
This recipe uses similar spices along with my farm share bounty of summer squash and green beans

Chicken Shawarma with Green Beans and Summer Squash
1/2 lb. yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 pound green beans
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 garlic scapes, minced
1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
Flour tortillas
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, toss the yellow squash and green beans with 1 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper; spread on a baking sheet. In the same bowl, combine the allspice, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, cumin and coriander with the remaining olive oil. Rub the spice paste all over the chicken. Arrange the chicken on another baking sheet.
Roast the chicken on the lower rack and the vegetables on the upper rack of the oven for 15 minutes. The vegetables will be tender and the chicken nearly cooked through. Remove the vegetables. Turn on the broiler and broil the chicken on the upper rack, turning once, until crisp and browned, 10 minutes; cut into strips.
While the chicken cooks heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic scapes and cook  until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt and lemon juice; season with salt.
Brush each tortilla with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the yogurt sauce. Add the chicken, roasted vegetables and red onion then roll into tight cylinders.
Heat a griddle over moderately high heat. Cook the rolls seam side down until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn and toast the other side. Cut each in half and serve with the remaining yogurt sauce.

Herbed Shrimp on a Bed of Grilled Scallions

Basil, parsley and scallions were all in the farm share. In an effort to eat healthier I am cooking more fish and seafood and avoiding carbs. The white part of the onions were a bit overpowering with the shrimp but the greens were very tasty. I had also grilled some yellow squash with which the scallion whites tasted great.

Herbed Shrimp
adapted from Barefoot Contessa
1 lb extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp.minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh basil
1/2 tsp.dry mustard
1 tsp.Dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp.freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp.olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced 


Spicy Scallions
adapted from Food Network Magazine June 2012
1 bunch of scallions
Cayenne pepper
Cooking spray
For the shrimp:
Combine all the ingredients and marinate in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Grill the shrimp on a grill topper to prevent them from falling through into the flames or skewer prior to cooking. Alternatively, they can be cooking using a grill pan on a stovetop. They cook very quickly only 1-2 minutes per side depending on the size.
For the scallions
On a sheet of foil, spray the scallions lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne.  
Form a packet. Grill over medium-high heat, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, cook in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

To serve, remove the scallions from the foil and top with shrimp.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Potato & Garlic Soup

Home today for the last few days of Nick's summer vacation. He is off playing video games with buddies so I made myself some soup for lunch. Potatoes, garlic and chives were all in the farm share that I picked up last week. Yum.......  Serves 1 for adjust accordingly.

Potato & Garlic Soup
adapted from Gourmet, November 1993
1 large garlic clove
1/4 lb. unpeeled red potatoes, diced
Cooking Spray
2 cups vegetable stock

2 Tbsp. low fat milk
Chopped fresh chives

Cook the garlic and the potatoes in a small saucepan coated with cooking spray, until they are very lightly browned. Add the stock and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
Puree the soup in a small food processor or blender with milk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Garnish with chives.

Mussels with Zucchini Basil Broth

I got a lot of zucchini and summer squash in the farm share. I am trying to find a way to get some into my 12 year old. Resorted to hiding it in a sauce. Did it work?......... Absolutely not.... but once I gave him some drawn butter for dipping he was good to go.
I do have to admit the broth was a scary color of green but it did taste good.

Mussels with Zucchini-Basil Broth
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, August 2008

1/2 lb zucchini, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2shallot, coarsely chopped
1 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cups water
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. vegetable broth
2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and beards removed


Purée zucchini, basil, shallot, garlic, water, salt, pepper, and broth in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Transfer zucchini purée to a heavy pot and add mussels. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, over moderately high heat, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels open. Discard any mussels that do not open after 5 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread or rolls to soak up the extra broth.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Salsa Fresca

Lots of yummy vegetables in the farm share from Sproutwood Farm. Here is a recipe for a simple and light salsa that we have used on everything from tortilla chips, tacos to fish. I like using both green and red tomatoes. The green gives the salsa a little more texture but I have certainly used all red or combinations of colors depending on what came in the farm share that week. The total weight of the tomatoes should be a little over a pound.


Salsa Fresca
adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray June-July 2008
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped
1 large green tomato
1 large red tomato
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 tsp. Cholula Chili Lime Hot Sauce (optional)

Pulse the cilantro and garlic in a mini food process or until finely minced. Scrape down the sides before adding the onion and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer contents to a bowl.
Working in 2 or 3 batches, finely chop the tomatoes in the food processor. Add each batch to the cilantro mixture. Stir in the lime juice and season with the salt and pepper.
Depending on the potency of the jalapeno, I have added as much as a whole pepper. We tend to like our salsa on the medium - hot side. The hot sauce is an easy way of increasing the heat while not detracting from the subtle lime flavor.