Cornish Game Hen and Butternut Squash Risotto

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I’m a sucker for a good risotto, but don’t have much experience making them. I saw a bunch of bloggers making this recipe a few weeks ago, and the final dish looked so delicious that I just knew I had to try it using some of the squash I grew in our garden this year.

I love working with butternut squash – I think it has the best flavor of the conventional winter squashes, and to me is the easiest to cut through and work with. What makes this recipe extra special, though – is the amount of saffron in it – 1 whole teaspoon! Talk about an expensive risotto! I’ve found that I can cut the amount of saffron in half and still get a nice color and flavor.

I served with Cornish game hen ($2.29 each at Aldi – woot!) halves brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Canadian Chicken Seasoning (I got it at GFS). Perfection on a plate – I’ve made some sort of variation of this three times in the last week alone. I’m submitting this recipe to be part of the Grow Your Own event over at Andrea’s Recipes.

Cornish Game Hen and Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto
recipe courtesy Ina Garten

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

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I find myself drawn more and more to recipes with boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts – I think it’s because even without skin, the additional fat in the chicken meat does wonders for mouth feel. And with this particular recipe, the glaze created by the honey mixture almost recreates skin – you don’t miss it a bit! This recipe comes highly recommended for any low-fat diet – Cooking Light suggests pairing it with garlic roasted potato wedges and a salad, but I think it would go well with just about any side dish. Personally, I went with rice pilaf. I’m submitting this to be part of the Diet Foods Event hosted by Dil Se. My apologies in advance for the horrible lighting.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (I used 1/4 tsp.)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Preheat broiler. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done (ours took about 4-5 more minutes – check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure). Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)

Nutrition: 321 cal (31% from fat), 11g fat (3g sat, 4.1g mono, 2.5g poly), 28g pro, 27.9g carb, 0.6g fiber, 99mg chol, 2.1mg iron, 676mg sod, 21mg calc.

Chinese Garlic Chicken

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I’ve really been running on empty lately – trying to get by on 4 or 5 hours a sleep a night, and it’s finally caught up with me. I ended up sleeping right through all of the farmers markets today! Seriously! I was up working on the blog around 5 or 6am. Went to go sit down for a few minutes to watch TV, and next thing I know, it’s 1 in the afternoon! :::sigh::: It’s a shame, too – since it was the last Worthington day and because AJ at Sassafras had a bourbon pumpkin tart and a buttermilk pecan pie with my name on them. :(

Anyway – I ended up making dinner late because I had a bunch of errands to run yesterday. So knowing that I’d have to make a recipe from My Kitchen Treasures for this round of Taste & Create (hosted this month by Min at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen), I whipped up a batch of her Chinese Garlic Chicken, which I served with some homemade Bacon Fried Brown Rice.

Chinese Garlic Chicken

The flavor was pretty incredible, and I couldn’t believe it was something I made here at home. Paul says its as good as any garlic chicken he’s had locally. I didn’t use extra chilis, but I did add a touch of chili oil and sesame oil at the end, although not as much as the recipe called for (I was trying to keep it on the healthy side). It paired perfectly with that fried rice, too – and this will be one recipe that enters our rotation because it was so easy and quick to make.

Pork and Sauerkraut

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When I first met my husband, over a dozen years ago – I couldn’t stand sauerkraut. What kind of German was I? I mean, if he rinsed it a lot, stuck some apples and sweet stuff in there, I could tolerate it. But I didn’t like it. But he loved it so much, that he made it all the time. Over the years, he weaned me onto the stronger stuff. Now? I can’t get enough sauerkraut. I’ve had it in one form or another almost every day this week. Full strength. And I’m loving every second of it. But when I think of my husband, and the love we have for each other, pork and sauerkraut is the tie that binds. :) It’s the one dish that we’ve continued to make throughout our relationship. And now? It’s a tradition. I’m submitting this to be part of the Cooking with Love blogging event.

Pork and Sauerkraut

Pork and Sauerkraut

Whole pork loin (about 7 lbs)
6 lbs. sauerkraut

Preheat oven to 250F. In a huge Dutch oven (or covered roasting pan), place one whole pork loin (about 7 lbs – cut into smaller roasts if necessary to fit) and cover with 6 lbs. of sauerkraut. Cook for 10-12 hours (don’t peek!). Break apart roast into smaller chunks and serve with sauerkraut.

Sauteed Pork Chop with Sage-Cider Cream Sauce

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One flavor that I like to use in fall cooking is apple cider. There’s just something about it – in some dishes (like desserts), the rich apple flavor is in your face, in other savory dishes it tends to just add a nice subtle sweetness. When I saw this recipe that used a lot of ingredients I normally have on hand, I decided on a whim to whip it up for dinner.

Since we tripled the recipe (and the sauce along with it), our sauce was being really cranky about thickening up, so I ended up sprinkling just a touch of Wondra to speed the process along – it worked very well, and got it to the right consistency in seconds without tasting floury. I served it with a box of Basmati & Wild Rice from Trader Joe’s, which paired beautifully. I’ll be adding this recipe to part of the Nourishing Fall Recipes carnival on The Nourishing Gourmet food blog.

Sauteed Pork Chop with Sage-Cider Cream Sauce

Sauteed Pork Chop with Sage-Cider Cream Sauce
recipe courtesy Epicurious

1 (1-inch-thick) rib pork chop
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer

Pat chop dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chop, turning over once, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet and reduce heat to moderate, then cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add vinegar and boil until liquid is evaporated, about 3 seconds.

Return chop to skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then add water, cream, and sage and simmer, covered, without turning, until thermometer inserted horizontally into center of chop (avoid bone) registers 150°F, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer chop to a clean plate, then simmer sauce, uncovered, stirring, until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chop.

Apples & Thyme: Apple Dapple Pudding

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You know, in the grand scheme of things my knowledge of family recipes is rather limited. My grandmother and great-grandmother passed away quite a while ago, before cooking and traditions and family heritage were important to me, and I had pretty much already spoken about all the recipes I remember. So I asked my mom about dishes she remembers. This is one that her mother made once a month or so, and one that she remembers fondly. I’m submitting it to be a part of this month’s Apples & Thyme event, which asks us to celebrate the recipes of our mothers and grandmothers.

Apple Dapple Pudding

My grandmother Edith was a German war bride – she met my grandfather Jack when he was serving over in Germany during World War 2, and she moved to the US to be with him – they were married in 1947, and my mom came along in 1952. She’s here in this picture from 1954 – my great-grandmother Mathilde on the left, my grandmother Edith on the right, and my mother is the baby in the front. She passed away when I was very young (about the same age my mother was in this picture), so my memories of her are vague. My great-grandmother kept her alive for me through sharing her own memories.

Oma, Edith Mama and Mom

Apple Dapple Pudding
recipe adapted slightly from “Pillsbury’s Best 1000 Recipes”

1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice
1/3 c. water
1 slightly beaten egg
1 tbsp. lemon juice (reserve grated rind)
1 tsp. almond extract
4 cups (4 medium) sliced apples
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/2 c. raisins or currants

Dapple Topping:
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon rind
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon or apple pie spice, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine water, egg, lemon juice and almond extract. Set aside. Place apples, almonds, and raisins in a large bowl, and add wet ingredients and toss. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Turn into well-greased 10x6x2 (I used 8×8) or two quart baking dish; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make dapple topping by mixing together all ingredients except butter into small bowl, and then cutting in butter until particles are fine.

Remove foil and sprinkle dapple topping over apples. Raise temperature to 375F, and bake 30 or 40 minutes additional until apples are tender. Best served warm.

Indian Cashew Chicken

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Any previous attempts at making Indian or Indian inspired food on my part have failed miserably for one reason or another – too much garam masala, wrong spice balance, etc – the final result ended up just not being very good. This Indian-inspired Cooking Light recipe is an exception – it’s very subtle, but it’s *good*. You honestly can’t tell this is a light dish. I served it with some jasmine rice and roti paratha. I’m submitting this recipe to this week’s Bookmarked Recipes event.

Indian Cashew Chicken

Indian Cashew Chicken
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

2/3 cup cashews, toasted
2/3 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 14 ounces)
2 (8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cooking spray
2 3/4 cups finely chopped onion (2 large)
2 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup organic tomato puree (such as Muir Glen Organic)
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons half-and-half
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Combine nut mixture and chicken in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, cardamom, and cinnamon stick to pan; cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is golden, stirring often.

3. Add chicken mixture to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in broth, tomato puree, paprika, and salt, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 hour or until thick. Stir in half-and-half; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

CALORIES 340 (36% from fat); FAT 13.6g (sat 3.4g,mono 5.8g,poly 2.6g); IRON 3.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 91mg; CALCIUM 83mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18.7g; SODIUM 435mg; PROTEIN 36.7g; FIBER 3.8g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2008

Quick Sauerbraten and Spaetzle

I absolutely love sauerbraten, but definitely don’t love the 5 days total that my usual recipe takes to make. I was looking for a recipe that could be made overnight (or same day) since we had a German theme to one of our recent Sunday family dinners. This one fit the bill quite nicely. Other than subtle nuances (and I mean really subtle) in regards to the texture and flavor of the meat, it tasted nearly identical. This one is definitely easier, and equally as satisfying so I may be replacing my usual recipe with this one. Joe made a batch of spaetzle that paired perfectly. I’m submitting this recipe to Joelen’s Wine and Dine: Oktoberfest blogging event.

Quick Sauerbraten and Spaetzle

Sauerbraten
recipe adapted from A Taste of Ohio History: A Guide to Historic Eateries and Their Recipes (Taste of History) by Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott

3 to 4 lb. chuck roast
1 large coarsely chopped onion
3/4 c. chunked celery
3/4 c. chunked carrots
1/2 c. vinegar
1 c. red wine
1 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. crushed gingersnaps
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. allspice
1 bay leaf
1/2 to 1 c. sour cream, as desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chuck roast in a Dutch oven. Put all remaining ingredients except sour cream in roaster with the roast. Cook 2 to 3 hours until roast is tender. Remove from the oven. Take roast and vegetables out of broth. Stir sour cream into broth. If mixture is too thin, stir in additional crushed gingersnaps to thicken to a gravy consistency. Slice roast. Serve on a large platter with vegetables. Drizzle gravy over top; serve remaining gravy in a gravy boat. Serves 8 to 10.

Joe’s Spaetzle
recipe courtesy Joe Hyduk

3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 c. hot water
3 tbsp. beef base (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, chopped

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in stainless steel bowl. Scramble eggs and add to mixture. Mix beef base with water and pour into bowl. Mix until you have a firm but loose dough. Add water or flour to make mixture right.

Boil 4 quarts of salted water (rapid boil). Add dough by the scant teaspoon into water. Once it floats wait 3 minutes more and then remove from water. Cool.

In a skillet melt butter, add onions and spaetzles; brown to a delicate crunch. Serve warm.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 10/18/08

Can you believe that the markets are winding down for the season? Only 1 more week in the regular season for Worthington, and 2 weeks for Clintonville. Of course there will be special markets (at Thanksgiving time for Clintonville, the Winter Market for Worthington), but there’s only a couple more weeks left for getting up at the crack of dawn to do my weekly marketing. I understand that there are some farmers that are at the North Market until December or so, but it’s nothing official or organized.

Having said that, I left a little later than usual today, since it was still pitch dark out when I would have normally left around 7:15ish or so. So I got out of here around 7:45 instead. No point in going to the market if no one is set up or I don’t have enough light to take pictures. I went to the North Market first, and happily, everyone was already set up, although the market wasn’t busy yet.

I vasty misjudged the weather this morning, because although I was wearing jeans and a short sleeved sweater, I froze my nipsies off. Maybe it’s a result of losing some weight, because this time last year, when I was about 100 lbs. heavier, I could go out in sub-freezing temps and be OK. Now? If it’s in the 40′s, I’m looking for a jacket and gloves. I just expected that it would be in the 50′s to 60′s at 7am, and I was dead wrong. Things did improve as the morning warmed up, though.

It was business as usual at the North Market (squash, potatoes, mushrooms, root veggies, apples, etc) at the North Market. Lots of places had swiss chard today, with these bunches from Toad Hill Organics being especially colorful:

Rainbow Chard from Toad Hill Organics

And someone there had wheat. Not ground up into flour or anything. Just wheat. I guess so people can mill their own flour?

Wheat

Bridgman Farms was back with their 13 Lettuce Mix (different varieties from what they had earlier in the season), and I got a bag that I’m really looking forward to making a salad with.

13 Lettuce Mix from Bridgman Farms

Another thing that I was happy to see is this cauliflower at Wish Well Farms. It will make a lovely gratin later this week. :)

Cauliflower from Wish Well Farms

Next, it was off to Worthington, and I got there around 8:15-8:20 or so. My first stop was to Pop & Judy’s Patch, where I was glad to see that they brought the dried beans that they promised to last week. I picked up a pound each of Cranberry, Anasazi, Black Turtle, Brown Dutch, Steuben, Calypso, and Peregion. And while I was there, I also picked up a few of their yams. I’m so, so happy that we have a local source for beans.

Cranberry Beans from Pop & Judy's Patch

And can you believe? Strawberries! Really, really pretty strawberries from Crum’s. I got a quart for eating out of hand and with some yogurt and granola later.

Strawberries from Crum's

Another surprise at today’s market was celeriac. It’s something I’ve been wanting to cook with, but haven’t been able to find. I’m hoping to do something interesting with it for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging.

Celeriac

The guy who decorates the pumpkins and gourds did something a little different this week – buckeye decorated pumpkins. What will they think of next? ;)

Buckeye Decorated Pumpkins

You know, I’m really going to miss the markets when they’re gone, although I won’t miss getting up so early. And there’s a month and a half between the end of the Worthington Market and the beginning of the Winter Market. Whatever will I do with myself on Saturday mornings? I guess I’ll need my cart next week so I can stock up on staple items.

So where did you go this morning and what did you get this week? What do you have planned for meals?

Roasted Chioggia Beets with Feta

I’m one of those people who really don’t like beets. And to be honest, I still don’t like beets all that much. But this recipe is an exception. This is a recipe even beet-haters will love. The combination of flavors is absolutely amazing, and this is a recipe that I definitely will be making again. It was a hit with our dinner guests, with the entire platter disappearing almost immediately. I’m submitting this recipe to be part of Joelen’s Martini Mixer Adventure.

Roasted Chioggia Beets with Feta

Roasted Chioggia Beets with Feta
recipe courtesy Food & Wine magazine

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 medium shallot, minced
Kosher salt
Coarsely cracked black pepper
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
8 small beets (about 2 1/2 pounds), washed and trimmed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small bits
4 ounces feta cheese, thinly sliced (see Note)
Handful of spicy baby greens, such as mizuna, for garnish

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the raspberry vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the honey, the shallot, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Whisk in the grapeseed oil until emulsified.

Arrange the beets so they fit snugly in a single layer in a deep baking dish. Add enough water to barely cover the beets, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey and the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool slightly.

Drain and peel the beets and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Add them to the honey dressing and let cool for up to 4 hours.

To serve, arrange half of the beet slices on 8 small plates and cover with the feta. Top with the remaining beet slices and drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Garnish with the greens and serve.