Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hey all, it's fall!

Hey everyone!

Our fall season is upon us, and along with the changing blog background (hello speckled hound squash!) and the new fall produce additions, I wanted to announce a new recipe blog addition.

Raven, an LFFC fan from the San Francisco Bay area, has her own recipe blog, the link can be found on the rightside of the page. I'm also posting it below for all to enjoy.

As always, thanks to everyone who contributes time, ideas, and love to our recipe group and CSA. We're changing the world, one organic meal at a time!



LFFC CSA Manager

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

Chris, LFFC's CSA Operational Coordinator, shares this fall favorite with us. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
3 firm pears, plus 2 to 3 more
3 cups vegetable stock
½ cup cream
nutmeg, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until softened but not brown.
2. Add the sweet potatoes and pears and cook, stirring, for 10-12 minutes with the lid on.
3. Add the stock to the pan - just enough to cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes and pears are soft.
4. Remove half the liquid with a ladle - keep to add back in after blending.
5. Blend the mixture until smooth with an immersion blender. Stir in cream and reserved liquid.
6. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve hot.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Peanut Soup

The following is adapted from an Emeril recipe, courtesy of, and it's perfect for a chilly fall evening! A few of us are still getting Roma tomatoes in our shares, but if you don't have them on hand you always can substitute with canned tomatoes.

Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
Serves 4 to 6

1½ pounds sweet potatoes
5 tablespoons peanut oil
8 each Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup onions, julienned
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
½ to cup smooth peanut butter (depending on preference)
1 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
1 quart vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped, roasted peanuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and roast in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are fully roasted and fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the potatoes and discard the skins. Reserve the sweet potato flesh until ready to use.
3. Place the tomatoes in a small mixing bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast the tomatoes until the skins are caramelized and wilted, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, discard the skins, and set the tomatoes aside until ready to use. (Disregard this step if you are using canned tomatoes.)
4. Set a 4 quart stockpot over a medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the curry powder to the pot and toast for about 30 to 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
5. Add the roasted sweet potatoes and tomatoes to the pot. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, and vegetable stock to the pot and stir to blend. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Blend in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve hot.

Low fat, Full flavor Broccoli Mushroom Soup

This soup is great way to incorporate all the items we willing receiving this week and leftovers from last week! I am not a fan of cream soups so this recipe was created inan effort to get a creamy texture without the heaviness of a cream and its fat.I also had leftover mashed potatoes at the time and they became the creamyelement in the soup. Broccoli andmushrooms are a great combo and sautéing the mushrooms in Marsala or Sherry cookingwine and some evo before incorporating them into the soup, in the end gives thesoup a rich full bodied flavor. Anotheradded richness is the roasted garlic. When I get a sleeve of garlic, I roast half the heads so I always havesome on hand in the frig. It is soft andcreamy, like butter and the flavor is incredible! Kick it up with some truffle oil when bakingand it’s really awesome. Another addedgarnish that I am going to use this time is some oven roasted potato chips tonestle in the bowl when serving to resurface the creamy potato base of thesoup. This is one of my husband’s favsbecause he really enjoys creamy soups and this is one that he doesn’t miss thecream!

Low fat, Full Flavor Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup
8-10 servings
3lb organic broccoli heads
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2T Extra virgin olive oil
Splash of white balsamic vinegar
2 T of basil pesto (prepared or homemade)
1 heaping cups of mashed potatoes
32 oz. container + 1 cup of organic chicken broth

1 cup thinly sliced portabella or cremini mushrooms
Marsala or Sherry cooking wine
2T Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fat-free half and half or 2% milk (optional)

1. Lightly steam the broccoliheads to retain bright green color, roughly chop. Reserve 1 cup of the broccoli for finishing.

2. Heat 2T of oil inyour soup pot. Add the onions and celeryand sauté until soft. Add the splash ofbalsamic vinegar while tossing over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlicbreaks down into the onion and celery mix. Add the broccoli (reserve 1 cup) and potatoes; stir to combine over lowheat. Add the broth slowly, gently foldingeverything together. Let the soup simmeron low heat for about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat 2T of evo in medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, cook until they start torelease their liquid and add at least a ¼ cup of cooking wine to pan. Keep sautéing on the higher heat, until thewine is absorbed into the mushrooms. Sautéthe mushrooms until they are almost golden and somewhat caramelized. You could add a 1/2T of butter while sautéingthis if you feel you need it.
4. When all the soup ingredients arebroken down, turn off heat and use a hand blender to puree it. If you feel the soup is too thick at thispoint, add a little water or you could add fat free half & half, 2% milk, thin it out to your liking. Stir inthe reserved chopped broccoli and the mushrooms. Give the soup about two quick hits with theblender if you want to incorporate them a little more. You could also serve them on the side to beplaced in individual servings, as well as a cheddar cheese or oven baked potatochips.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Pancakes

Fritters, latkes, pancakes, call them what you will, they have endless potential and make a unique alternative for an appetizer, side dish, snack, lunch, or just about any time!  I was on a real kick with zucchini fritters a few years ago when my son absolutely loved them (now won’t touch them).  A recent recipe I used was Mario Batali’s Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters.  He uses fresh sheep-milk ricotta but I used my own homemade cows-milk ricotta and they were fantastic!  But now that zucchini season is past, I charge into fall looking for new frontiers in fritters!  We have been getting spaghetti squash in our farm share and while I like it, I seem to always treat it like pasta or make fritatas with it, and I’m bored with that.  I took a look at a recipe for Gingered Carrot Latkes from Epicurious and came up with Spaghetti Squash pancakes.  I call them pancakes because the consistency of the batter because of the difference in texture of a carrot versus roasted spaghetti squash is quite different.  The squash releases a little bit more moisture and the batter is like wet pancake batter.  With the addition of potato starch, these get a nice lift and are light and airy, with a slightly buttery taste.  They also have a little kick to them, so serving them with a Greek yogurt sauce or sour cream is advised.  These really taste good!  I have many times just looked at a recipe and switched out the ingredients to utilize what ingredients that I have to work with, try it, it’s fun and they are so easy to make!  They freeze well too!
Spaghetti Squash Pancakes
adapted from Gingered Carrot Latkes, Gourmet, December 2004
Makes about 18
1 medium sized spaghetti squash , cut length-wise in half, inside cleaned
1 chile pepper in adobo sauce (finely chopped)
1 t garlic chili sauce
1 t fresh thyme
½ cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1T stone ground mustard
6 T all-purpose flour
3 t potato starch
1 1/2t salt
¾ t baking powder
½ t ground black pepper
2t garam masala
1t paprika
3 t finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3 t finely grated peeled fresh turmeric (optional)
2 eggs, beaten to blend

1.   Preheat oven to 350.  Place the squash halves ,cut side down, in a baking dish with a water bath just covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.   Cool slightly and scoop out the inside flesh into a large bowl.  Press the squash with paper towels to absorb any moisture. 
2.  In another large bowl, whisk flour through paprika to blend.  Mix in squash, chile pepper, chili sauce, thyme, and cheese, then eggs.

3.  Lightly butter or oil a griddle or heavy large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Working batches and adding more oil/butter as needed, drop the squash mixture by scant ¼ cupfuls into the skillet or griddle.  Fry until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Check after a few minutes and adjust heat accordingly.  You may adjust amount of batter used to accommodate desired size.  Transfer pancakes to rimmed baking sheet.  (Can be made 6 hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature.  Rewarm in 350 degree oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.)  These do freeze well, just make sure to place wax or parchment paper between them.
Serve pancakes with sour cream and fresh thyme or the relish and salsa in the Epicurious recipe would also work well if you have the time to prepare them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meat Stuffed Collard Cakes

 In this month’s issue of Food and Wine Magazine, I found a recipe for “Meat Stuffed Cabbage Cakes”.  I made some adaptations to the recipe, mainly using my collards instead of cabbage and replacing the ground veal in the filling with ground turkey.  This dish is delicious, packed with nutrients, and one cake with the broth is very filling and satisfying.  Perfect for a fall night!
I personally think that the collard leaves were much easier to roll and prepare than cabbage in this recipe.  They wilt in a matter of seconds and do not require the hassle of peeling apart a head.  My addition of fresh turmeric added another flavor level to the broth that the cakes bath in as well as jacking up the health benefits of the dish. 
This definitely made a lot of filling so I placed the rest in a loaf pan and froze it as a meatloaf main for another meal, bonus!

Meat-Stuffed Collard Cakes
Adapted from F&W magazine, October 2011 issue
1.5 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound (2 link)  sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups cooked Arborio rice (I sautéed it with onion and a little diced peppers)
1 medium shallot, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 black garlic cloves, minced
½ cup green peas
3T Dijon mustard
½ cup grated parm cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ t paprika
At least 14-16 large, flat collard leaves, rinsed with ribs cut out
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
¾ cup chopped celery
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 t fresh minced turmeric
3 cloves chopped white garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine or Marsala cooking wine
2 cups chicken stock
1. In a bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, rice, shallots, garlic, green peas, cheese, mustard, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the paprika. 
2. In a large pan of boiling water, submerge the collard leaves, a few at a time. Simmer until the leaves are softened, about 30 seconds. Using tongs transfer the leaves to paper towels and pat dry. 3. Line a small bowl with an 8-by-10-inch piece of plastic wrap. Drape a leave in the bowl.  Spoon 1/2 cup of the stuffing in the center of the leaf and fold the leaf over to enclose the stuffing. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and twist to form a compact, round cake. Unwrap the cake. Repeat with the remaining collard leaves and stuffing.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, garlic, turmeric, and carrot and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Add the collard cakes, seam sides down.5. Cover and bake for about 35 minutes, until the filling is cooked through.  * I had to add a little water to my broth because the veggies had absorbed it. Transfer the cakes to shallow bowls and ladle in the broth. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro and serve.  * A little freshly grated cheese was nice with this too.