Posts tagged ‘SSFC’

September 10, 2012

Sweet and Tasty SSFC Meal: Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

Hamburger and sweet potatoes. That is what I had in my need-to-prep local food stash. Hamburgers and sweet potato fries would have been easy, but I didn’t have any buns. And, besides, it seemed kinda boring – which is one of the biggest challenges with cooking, at least for me.

So I pulled up my Epicurious app, put hamburger and sweet potato in the search list, and picked Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie. A one-dish meal that allowed me to pull from ingredients in my pantry, and my back yard. We modified a bit as a function of what was in the house…something I never used to do, but now find that I do regularly!

With no further ado, here is my featured SSFC meal for the week:

1. Dice one medium onion (from our CSA, Potomac Vegetable Farms) and one small green pepper (from our garden). Sautee in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 10 minutes or until soft.

2. Add 2 cloves garlic (from our CSA) and one chopped green jalapeno (from our garden).  Cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Then add 1 pound ground beef. Ours came from South Mountain Creamery. Brown for 5 minutes.

4. Then the recipe says that you should add tomato paste, chili power, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and simmer. We just added some barbeque rub, and let it simmer. Then, the recipe says to add tomatoes, black beans, and corn. We added some diced fresh tomatoes and a can of Wolfgang Puck tortilla soup. I know that sounds odd, but I didn’t have any prepped black beans. So, I added in this can of soup that needed to be used.  And 4 tablespoons of cilantro from PVF. And it simmered away.

5. Meanwhile, I had peeled, chopped, and steamed the sweet potatoes (6 medium sized ones). They were nice and soft at this point, so I massed them, and mixed them up with 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. Both from South Mountain.

6. Then I put the meat filling into a baking dish, covered it with sweet potatoes, and baked it for about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Next to it in the oven, a pan of corn bread was baking.

And, then, it was dinner time. Served with cilantro on top and sour cream.

The verdict: 3 thumbs up (me and the boys), 1 okay (it was a bit too sweet – from the Man of the House), and 1 there is no way I am trying that (guess who?!).

Next time – more beans and corn to balance the sweet, I think, but it will reappear!

August 6, 2012

SSFC Week : Considering Corn Chowder

Now you may think that August is not soup weather. And generally you would be right. But when the Family Foodie moves into August, we moving into the time for our almost annual trip to the beach. And the beach means Ocracoke Clam Chowder.

This week, as I was considering the bountiful produce in my kitchen, I had a brainstorm — let’s make a chowder with the corn and the potatoes and the tomatoes. It won’t be Ocracoke Clam Chowder, but it will surely get our taste buds ready for the real thing.

So, for our SSFC meal this week, Corn Chowder was made. Following the ever useful Mark Bittman*, here’s what we did.

1. Remove the kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn. Keep ’em in a bowl until Step 3.

2. Place the corn cobs and 2 cups of water in a pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently, cover and cook, for a half hour or so. Leave the cobs in the water until you’re ready to make the soup. Then remove then and save the broth.

This step is totally worth having made the recipe. I would not have thought to do this, but what a great way to make some wonderful flavorful broth to add to the soup. And for the clam chowder, adding this delicately flavored broth will nicely cut the sometimes strong flavor of the clam broth…

3. Then you make the roux. Well, he doesn’t call it a roux, but that’s what it seems like to me. Put 4 tablespoons of butter or oil in a soup pot. When the butter is melted, add 1/2 cup chopped scallions (we actually used little leeks) and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. When the scallion is soft, turn the heat down a bit and stir in 1/4 cup of flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns golden.

You’ll have a nice roux at this point.

4. Now, add 1 quart of milk or half-n-half (we used half-n-half) and the reserved corn cob broth to the pot, and raise the heat to medium-high.  Stir or whisk constantly until the flour is dissolved and the soup starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

It’s starting to smell quite delicious.

5. Stir in 1 peeled large potato, cut into small dices, and the reserved corn kernels into the soup. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat. Stir occasionally until the potatoes are cooked.

6. Add diced fresh tomatoes to the broth when the potatoes are beginning to soften.

7. Taste and season.

Because I was thinking about clam chowder, I added some Phillip’s seafood seasoning for some additional flavor.

Accompanied by a cucumber-pepper salad with a soy sauce-rice vinegar vinegrette, all was good!

*Bittman’s recipe can be found in his book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

June 4, 2012

Purple Power

As any of my children will tell you, I have a problem with purple.  My glasses are purple, and so is my purse. My clothes tend toward the purple spectrum. So when Penn Farm had purple cauliflower it had to be purchased. And I thought we should feature it in our first Southern Sole Food Challenge meal!

But after we got it, we needed to know what to do with it.  After browsing, I decided to follow the cauliflower steak angle that I had enjoyed when the Man of the House and I went to The Open Kitchen. I found a recipe on Epicurious for Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Puree.  I loved it immediately because the ingredients were:

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