Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup

Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup

Cabbage. So much cabbage. I have gotten 4 or 5 heads of green cabbage in my CSA boxes this season. I’ve been struggling to come up with new ways of using it. I have fallen back on old favorites like stir fries, Fried Cabbage, vegetable soups, Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad, Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup, and Coleslaw. I also made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (which I will blog later). And, I made this soup.

I was really happy with how the soup turned out. It was delicious! It reminded me of my Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup. That is a good thing.

I sprinkled a little shredded cheddar cheese over my first bowl of soup. It’s a wonderful compliment to the flavors of the cabbage and potatoes. The soup is also wonderful without cheese.

Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup with Cheese

Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup

3 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 large potatoes (or 6 smallish), peeled and diced
7 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 cup half & half or cream
salt and pepper, to taste

cheese (cheddar, Swiss, Edam, etc…), shredded (optional)

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cabbage and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the diced carrot, diced potatoes, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the half & half and season with salt and pepper. Serve. Sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice, if you desire.


Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole 2

Squash Casserole is a Southern staple. This is the best one I have ever made. Ever. I went all out with the addition of mayonnaise, sour cream, and lots of cheese, foregoing previous attempts at trying to make squash casserole healthier. It tasted so good. It really needs those ingredients to make it rich and creamy. The extra calories are worth it!

I love the addition of corn. It’s sweetness compliments the squash so well. I used pattypan squash from my CSA share for this particular casserole. You could use yellow squash and/or zucchini instead (or in combination).

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

6 – 8 summer squash (yellow or pattypan), sliced and cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup breadcrumbs + 1/4 cup for topping
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the sliced squash in salted boiling water until tender, but not mushy, about 5 – 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander. I press the squash down with a spoon to remove as much moisture as possible.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown. Add the minced garlic and cook a few more minutes. Turn off heat.

In a large bowl combine the drained squash, browned onions and garlic, corn, mayonnaise, sour cream, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake in the 350 oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Collard Greens Slaw (2 Ways)

Collard Greens Slaw 2 Ways

Last week when I posted the Pickled Collard Greens recipe on my Facebook page, a friend of mine commented that she liked Collard Greens Slaw. I thought the idea of making slaw with collards was interesting, but didn’t get any details from her.

Today, I decided to try making slaw with collards. I had a couple of bunches of collard greens from my CSA in the fridge that I need to use. For the sake of experimentation,  I made two different dressings, my basic coleslaw dressing and the dressing that I used on my Broccoli Salad. I mixed up a bowl of collards, red cabbage, carrot, and green onions. The combination of the green, purple, and orange colors is so beautiful! I divided the mixed veggies and dressed 1/2 with one dressing and half with the other dressing. Honestly, both resulting slaws were good. My husband preferred the vinegar-based slaw and I slightly favored the mayo-based slaw. I thought the slaws were best eaten the day they were made.

Collard Greens Slaw (2 Ways)

1/2 bunch collard greens, washed, dried, center rib removed, thinly sliced
1/4 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced
dressing of your choice, recipes below

Combine the collards, red cabbage, carrot, and green onions in a large bowl. Add the dressing, tossing well to coat the veggies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Creamy Collard Greens Slaw

Mayonnaise-Based Dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

Vinegar Based Collard Greens Slaw

Vinegar-Based Dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.


Pickled Collard Greens

Pickled Collard Greens

I get the most amazing collard greens from my CSA. Sometimes I get an overwhelming amount of amazing collard greens from my CSA. It’s a challenge I gladly accept. I’m always trying to think of interesting ways to prepare them. This morning I put a Boston Butt pork roast in the crockpot with dinner plans for pulled pork sandwiches on homemade Focaccia bread. I was staring into the fridge and the idea of pickling the collards popped into my head. I have pickled mustard greens before and enjoyed using them as a condiment. Why not collards? Y’all, they turned out so good. They were excellent on the pulled pork sandwiches. I kind of wish I had made a double batch.

These sweet and sour collard greens would also make an excellent side dish. Just cook the collards until tender (about 20 minutes longer than stated in the recipe) and serve warm. I could easily drink the pickling/cooking liquid. : )

Pickled Collard Greens

1 large bunch of collard greens
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Wash and chop the collard greens. I usually remove the center ribs from the leaves before chopping.

In a pot over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped collards and cook for 5 (for crunchy collards – these are actually better after a few days in the fridge) to 20 (for use right away as a condiment or side dish) minutes. Let the collards and pickling liquid cool and then transfer to a large Mason jar. Refrigerate at least several hours (a couple of days is even better) before use.


Wilted Bok Choy and Tatsoi

Wilted Bok Choy and Tatsoi

I got my first CSA box of the season on Wednesday. Yay! I love being a CSA member! Historic flooding in South Carolina devastated the farm in October, but they are rebounding and expect a plentiful spring season. They are off to a strong start. This week’s box included bok choy, tatsoi, spring lettuce mix, strawberries, spring onions, and mustard greens. I love the challenge of coming up with new ways to cook the produce from the CSA box.

This morning I threw this recipe together to go with my over-easy eggs. It’s a great side dish. I can imagine it would be an excellent side for Teriyaki (or Sweet Bourbon) Salmon.

If you are not lucky enough to get fresh bok choy and tatsoi from your CSA, this produce can usually be found in Asian Markets.

The recipe is written for one. Double, triple, quadruple, etc… it as needed. If you like your greens with a little acid, add a dash of rice vinegar along with the soy sauce.

Wilted Bok Choy and Tatsoi

Per person:
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head of bok choy, stalk end trimmed, roughly chopped
2 cups of tatsoi, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
salt and pepper
sesame seeds

Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped bok choy and sauté another minute before adding the tatsoi. Season with the soy sauce and black pepper. Cook until wilted, just a few minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Earth Fare has organic broccoli on sale for 99¢ per pound right now. I won’t lie, I’m a little more excited about it than I should be. Broccoli wasn’t a favorite as a kid, but I just love it now. So far, I have made a couple of different soups and a stir-fry featuring broccoli. I also made this salad.

Recipes for Broccoli Salad often feature lots of mayonnaise. It’s no secret that I am not a mayo fan. The slightly sweet vegan dressing in this recipe is a perfect replacement for a mayonnaise-based dressing. Not only is it lower in calories, it also doesn’t mask the flavors of the fresh ingredients. This salad is not drowning in dressing. You could double the dressing recipe if you would like a bigger dressing to salad ratio.

Broccoli Salad

1 large bunch of broccoli (about 2 big stalks), washed, and cut into bite-size florets (save the stalk for something else)
1 large apple (I prefer Fuji or Honeycrisp), cored and chopped
1/4 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (or pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds)

Dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil

Combine the broccoli florets, chopped apples, Craisins, and sliced almonds in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. Alternatively, shake the dressing ingredients together in a sealed Mason jar.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This salad keeps up to 3 days in the fridge.

 


Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

We almost never get Chinese food from a restaurant, mainly because most in our area do not deliver. In the past Chinese delivery was what I could fall back on when I was too tired to cook. Now, if I’m too tired to cook, I’m also too tired to drive somewhere to pick up something and hence, no Chinese food. I do get cravings from time to time. I have learned to cook some dishes commonly found in American Chinese restaurants. Beef and Broccoli is one of those dishes. It’s actually not terribly hard to make at home.

The key to being able to cook Chinese-style dishes at home is to have a well-stocked pantry and fridge. I adore a variety of Asian foods, so I have a pretty good collection of Asian ingredients. Soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine (rice wine) are essentials that I keep on hand at all times. I usually also have hoisin and/or oyster sauce too. I don’t always have fresh ginger (and it can be left out of this recipe). When I do buy ginger, I try to clean and mince the whole piece and freeze what I don’t immediately use for use in future recipes. This works well for me.

Serve Beef and Broccoli with hot rice. It’s great with cooked rice noodles too. You can also substitute the beef with chicken. It tastes great in this recipe too.

Beef & Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

1 pound beef (sirloin, round, flank, London broil, etc…), trimmed of fat and gristle and thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick) and slice cut into 1-inch pieces

Marinade:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 pound (approximately) broccoli, separated into bite-size florets
1 onion, slivered
1 bell pepper, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into “coins”

Sauce:
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Place the sliced beef in a bowl. Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the beef.  Let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature (or for longer in the refrigerator).

Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat a wok (or large skillet), add 2 tablespoons oil, and add beef.  Stir-fry over high heat until just cooked through.  Remove from the wok and set aside.  Clean out the wok.

Reheat the cleaned wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the minced garlic and ginger.  Stir-fry for about 15 seconds and then add the broccoli, onion, bell pepper, and carrot.  Stir-fry about 3 minutes.  Add the cooked beef and the sauce.  Cook, mixing constantly, until beef is heated through and the sauce begins to thicken.  Serve immediately.


Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Don’t you just love hand pies? They are fun. And tasty. And portable. Stuffed with a savory filling, they are great for the lunch box or for breakfast on the go.

Get creative with the filling. Different greens (like kale) and cheeses lend way to a wide range of possibilities. I considered adding drained black-eyed peas to the filling. It is something I will definitely try in the future.

Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Collards and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup fat (use butter or shortening or a combination of both)
ice water

1 large bunch collard greens, washed, ribs removed, and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt
pepper
crushed red pepper
goat cheese

1 egg, beaten

Make the crust first. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and black pepper. Cut the butter and/or shortening into the dry mixture with a fork or pastry blender. Add the ice cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough comes together (5 tablespoons seems to be just about right most of the time). Divide the dough into two halves and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer while you prepare the collards.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring, until they start to brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the chopped collards and 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook until the collards are wilted and somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Let the mixture cool slightly.

Remove the dough from the freezer. Divide it into 10 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape it into a ball and then roll out into an approximately 6-inch circle on a floured surface. They don’t have to be perfect, you can trim them later. Place 1/10 of the collards mixture on the bottom half of the circle. Crumble a tablespoon or so of goat cheese on top of the collards filling.

Filling hand pies

Fold down the top portion of the dough over the filling and crimp with a fork. Trim the edges with a knife. Place the hand pie on the baking sheet. Cut a couple of small slits on the top of the hand pie (or pierce a couple of times with a fork). Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

unbaked

Brush  each hand pie with the beaten egg. Bake at 375º for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baked

 

 


Creamed Collards

Creamed Collards

This simple, yet rich side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving.

By using half and half instead of heavy cream, you can save over 500 calories from going into this recipe. The end result is still creamy and indulgent. You will not miss all those extra calories and fat.

Creamed Collards

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large bunch collards, washed, ribs removed, and chopped
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they start to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped collards and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half and reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and pepper and then simmer, stirring often, until the collards are tender and the liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes.


Fire Noodles with Shrimp

Fire Noodles with Shrimp

Did you know you can cook cucumbers? You can! They are especially great in stir-fries. In this particular spicy noodle dish, the addition of shredded cucumber helps cool the heat from the Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing.

The Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing is the key to this recipe. It’s essential. Make it first.

Prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. This dish comes together very quickly.

Fire Noodles with Shrimp

Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing (recipe follows)
4 ounces rice vermicelli
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded (or use 4 – 5 pickling cucumbers)
3 carrots, peeled
handful of black fungus (found in Asian markets)

Soak the rice vermicelli in a large bowl with enough hot water to cover for about 15 minutes or until they soften. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Soak the black fungus in a bowl with enough hot water to cover for about 15 minutes or until they are soft. Drain and slice very thinly. Set aside.

Shred the cucumbers. The food processor fitted with the shredding attachment is the quickest way to do it. Squeeze the liquid out of the shredded cucumbers. I place the shredded cucumbers in a clean dishtowel, gather all the edges, and squeeze out the liquid.

Shred the carrots.

Heat 1/4 cup of the Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing in a wok over high heat. Add the drained rice vermicelli noodles and stir-fry until softened, about 3 minutes. Move the noodles to the side of the wok. Add 2 more tablespoons of the Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing and add the shrimp. Stir-fry the shrimp until no longer pink, 2 – 3 minutes, and then mix into the noodles. Add the cucumbers, carrots, and black fungus and stir-fry until well-combined and heated through.

Serve the noodles with extra Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing for drizzling.

Red-Hot Chile Oil Dressing

I got this recipe from Nina Simonds’ Asian Noodles: Delicious Simple Dishes to Twirl, Slurp, and Savor (Hearst Books, 1997), one of my all time favorite cookbook. This dressing is hot and downright addicting! I like to use it in stir fries and to dress Asian-style noodle dishes.

I get the super-hot crushed red pepper from Penzey’s. I like it hot.

1/4 cup safflower or corn oil (I use canola)
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 4 to 6 small dried hot chile peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch rings
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
7 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Combine both oils in a heavy saucepan and heat over high heat until almost smoking hot. Add the red pepper, cover, and remove from the heat. Let sit until cool, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerated, in a covered container, the dressing will keep for a week. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.