All about those Rutabaga Fries

  

This early spring meal was a must to share. I was inspired by all the luscious root vegetables at the Roslindale Winter Market. Golden rutabaga fries are my new favorite food.

Ponzu Glazed Baked Salmon, Roasted Rutabaga Fries, Water Melon radish salsa and avocado. 

  • Peal rutabaga and slice into fry shapes. Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper, coating evenly. Roast at 425 for about 45 minutes until the edges are getting some char.
  • Water Melon radishes peal and julienne into little sticks. Finely dice half a sweet onion. Toss in rice vinegar, evoo and salt and pepper.

Easy Fermentation!

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 I attended a workshop on fermentation of winter storage crops last weekend and I’m diving in with both feet. What a fantastic and simple way to preserve the root vegetables, cabbage and winter greens you might be tired of eating right about now. I’m already a convert to the health benefits of eating and drinking (Kombucha) fermented foods with all their healthy probiotics.  I recommend reading about it more if you are new to the idea. Kimchi is of course the most famous fermented vegetable condiment and you can also just be making these for the taste.

I’ve got sliced water melon radish and carrot, parsnip, black radish “Kim Chi” going right now. 
The Basics:
-Sliced chucks of vegetables need to go in a brine, grated and finely shredded vegetables are massaged with sea salt and release their own juices to then make the liquid needed for fermentation. 
– Brine = 1 tablespoon of sea salt to quart of water and 1 tablespoon of yogurt whey. Plus anything you want to add for flavor.
– IMPORTANT – Tap water used to make brine must be left out 24 hours so that the chlorine will off gas. Otherwise the chlorine will kill of the probiotics you wants to form.
-The liquid whey from your organic plain yogurt helps as an additive when making a brine to get the healthy bacteria going.
-1 Quart Jar = 2lb shredded veg  = 1 Tablespoon sea salt
This is a somewhat low salt approach and even lower salt content can be used with the addition of a Tablespoon of the yogurt whey.
-Yogurt whey also helps with high sugar content vegetables like beets and carrots, that can tend to go to fast into alcoholic fermentation.
– Pack very tightly with fist into jar so that all air bubbles are pushed out – no oxygen is the key to growing the healthy bacteria only. Put the lid on jar somewhat loosely. Use a glass weight or a small glass jar to help keep vegetables pressed under the liquid, although not nessesary. I’ve just been checking my liquid level every couple of days.
-Put away in a corner where it’s 60-70 degrees, on a tray to catch liquid that will bubble out. Most vegetables are done in 7-10 days . Taste daily to see if it’s “done” for your tastes. 
-Always make sure everything is submerged under liquid, mold will form on anything that is allowed to touch oxygen. That mold can just be scraped away and you can keep going.
– A tip for keeping chunks of vegetables crisp in this process is adding a grape or oak leaf.
For “Kim Chi” Style condiment I grated two pounds of mixed carrots parsnips and black radish, added 2 diced jalapenos, a big thumb of diced ginger, 5 cloves of garlic, 4 shakes of fish sauce and 1 healthy tablespoon of Applewood smoked sea salt.
Massage the veg, minus the hot peppers until lots of liquid has releases, about 5 minutes. Add in the hot peppers and pack into your jar. 
A clean jar is necessary but no stealization is needed as in canning. A great use for reusing jars.
A recommended book on the topic is Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
 
 

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Kid Friendly Chili

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Three Bean KaIe and Turnip Beef Chili.
I know you all probably don’t need another chili recipe, but this all day simmered stew was very popular with the girls. The turnips and kale blend in and are inoffensive after all that simmering. They are the two CSA vegetables that tend to languish in the drawer the longest, I needed to use them up. Really the secret I wanted to share was instead of using a chili powder I used ground cumin and unsweetened cocoa, then a touch of liquid smoke. My kids won’t eat anything remotely spicy and I’m quite the opposite. This mole-like spice combo gives it that chili depth of flavor. Grown ups can add hot sauce to taste. I served it over organic barley for a change of pace.

Fall Fennel Slaw

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There are not many things left I haven’t tried making into a slaw. This one dressed with a Sherry Vinaigrette. This combo would be great accompanying Thanksgiving leftovers. Even for the event itself for some fresh raw crunch. I could imagine adding some roasted chestnuts for a hardier dish.
2 Fennel bulbs
1 small organic cabbage
2 Asian Pears (round lite brown)
– Slice the fennel and cabbage on a mandolin or very finely with a knife.
– peal and grate the pears.
Mix up Sherry Vinaigrette in a separate bowl with a whisk until emulsified and then stir all together. Make as much dressing as you like, my amounts are in descending order.
– Sherry Vinegar
– Olive oil
– Honey
– Salt and Pepper
– Diced Shallot
– Diced fresh garlic

Pumpkin Chowder

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I was trying to think of something different to do with the sugar pumpkin that came in my Enterprise Farm CSA. This chowder worked out really well! I made it vegan but stock would give it some extra depth.
-Roast the seeded pumpkin in half at 400* until soft. Skin side up. Don’t discard the juices that come out during baking. Do this the day before if you want.
– A couple of diced onions and a whole head of chopped garlic caramelized in olive oil in the soup pot- then about a cup of Madeira to deglaze.
– Add pealed pumpkin and about 3 cups water.
– Purée with stick blender, add Cumin, Curry, Sweet paprika and cinnamon. To taste but my amounts are in descending order. Then 1 cup Unbleached sugar, salt and Pepper and juice of one lemon.
– Dice about 2-3 cups of potato and simmer in soup until tender. Lastly add a bag of organic frozen sweet corn. Adjust water and salt so it’s not too thick.
Finishing with some butter and a touch of cream would be delicious, I opted to stay lite and just garnish with some whole milk yogurt before serving.
I’m all about the vegetables these days, I have some great sides I’ll write up soon. Thinking of the Thanking.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers Or Best CSA box ever

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Having received the best ever box of vegetables from Enterprise Farm, I was inspired to actually publish a new post.
Flame roast those peppers directly on your gas flame if you have one. About 30 seconds a side or until you get a nice char. Ummmm- be careful too, open flame and all.
Peel and slice in quarters some white yams, toss them in olive oil, S&P and roast in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes.
Chop about 8 tomatillo and 1/2 a red onion, toss with a dash of olive oil and cider vinegar, and S&P .

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Stuff the peppers with any number of delightful things. I used shredded cheddar, ground beef ( browned with onion, garlic, cumin and cayenne ) and black beans. Put the stuffed peppers in the oven for the last 10 minutes of the yams roasting. I served it with plain yogurt to counter the heat of the spice and acid of the salsa.
We also had the most delicious romaine and fennel salad with this. I really love when my weekly box of veggies come, and therein lies a complete meal.