Monday, December 20, 2010

Glazed Carrots

Just in time for the holidays, we have glazed carrots! I don't know why, but this dish always seemed a little festive to me. It's sweet and has cinnamon, so maybe that's why it reminds me of Fall and Winter. Whatever the reason, it's simple and quick to make and sure to delight your guests! (It's good for when you're just cooking for yourself, too! :-)


4 or 5 carrots
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Cut the carrots into thick slices. I like to cut them on the bias to make long slices for a nicer presentation, but however you cut them, it'll end up tasting the same. I don't bother to peel them, but if there are any blemishes, you should trim them off.

Put the carrots into a large skillet over high heat, and add the water and salt. Move the carrots around occasionally to make sure they cook evenly. Once the water is gone, add the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved into the butter.

Keep cooking the carrots until the sauce has become glossy and is coating the carrots well. If the sauce looks too thin and runny, that means there is too much water and/or juices from the carrots and the glaze won't stick, so you'll need to keep the carrots on the heat to cook off some of it. Make sure to keep stirring to prevent burning. If they brown a little bit, that's okay. Your pan will need to be very hot throughout this entire process for this to work.

Depending on your cookware and your stove, you may need to get the empty skillet very hot, hot enough to sizzle when you sprinkle a few drops of water on it, before you start the entire cooking process. If your pan is too cool, the carrots may be very over-cooked by the time the glaze thickens, but if you like your carrots that way, then you may want to start with a cool pan intentionally.

I like cinnamon in this, but any sweet spice or combination of spices will work, such as nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc. Just make sure not to overdo it, moderation is key.

Bon Apetit!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Braised Cabbage with Cream Sauce

I stole this recipe from Katie, who I think got it from Lucas. Anyway, this is probably the most elegant presentation for cabbage that I've ever seen, and pretty tasty to boot.


1 or 2 small heads of cabbage
1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, salt and nutmeg. Let the sauce reduce by half, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent burning. This will take 20-30 minutes.

While the sauce is reducing, prepare the cabbage. Peel off any damaged outside leaves. Leaving the core in to hold the leaves together, cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Cut the cabbage into wedges, making sure that each section has a bit of the core to hold it together. The cabbages I had were very small, so I cut it into eighths, but you may need to cut more wedges if your cabbage is larger.

In a large skillet over high heat, arrange the wedges in a single layer and add a half inch of water. Do not over crowd the pan; you may need to do this in batches. When half of the water is gone, flip the wedges over to cook the other side. When the water is mostly gone, add a small pat of butter to help brown the cabbage. You won't need very much. Move the wedges around to coat the bottoms with butter, then flip them over. When the cabbage has browned slightly, flip them over to brown the other side. Remove the cabbage wedges to a plate immediately after they are done and cook any remaining cabbage wedges.

To serve, arrange the cabbage wedges and then drizzle a tablespoon of the cream sauce over each one.

Bon Apetit!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Okay, now we're getting down to business! I had to make a dish to bring to a pot luck, so I knew I had an opportunity to use up lots and lots of veggies!

Here we have (starting at the top and going clockwise) lettuce, leeks, strawberry daikon radish, sweet potato, garlic, onion, carrots and lemons. In the center, the large lumpy thing is a celery root, and next to it are some potatoes. The onions and carrots were not from the veggie box, but we have gotten them in the veggie boxes before. The garlic is from the store and the lemons are from my parents' backyard, admittedly not local as they live over 350 miles away, but I was coming from there anyway ;-)

This of course can be scaled smaller to feed less people, and you certainly don't need this kind of variety. But I must say, the end result with all of these veggies was absolutely delicious!

Here's what you'll need to feed about 10 people:


5 lbs root vegetables
2 tsps salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium sized heads of lettuce (not iceberg!)


1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 bulb roasted garlic

Leeks are notoriously dirty vegetables. To clean them, you need to cut them in half lengthwise, leaving the root on to keep the leaves together. Depending on what your leeks look like, you may have to cut up to half of the top off, most of the dark green part. Carefully rinse them under running water.

Make sure to clean between all of the leaves. There usually won't be much dirt closer to the root or the inner layers, but it's better to be safe than sorry. There's nothing like grit to ruin your eating experience. Put the cleaned leeks on a large cookie sheet or broiling pan.

Cut up the remaining root vegetables. I halved the carrots and quartered most of the others. The celery root was pretty big, so I cut it into eighths. I left the skin on most of the vegetables, less waste that way, but sweet potato skins can be weird sometimes, so I peeled it. Not having a lot of experience with celery root, I peeled it pretty aggressively 'cuz it looked like it might be a bit woody. Leave the root end on the onion to keep it together.

Clockwise from the top left: celery root, sweet potato, strawberry daikon radish, carrots, potato and onion.

Cut the top off of the half-bulb of garlic.

Pool a bit of olive oil on the bottom of the pan and put the garlic bulb cut-side down on it.

Toss the vegetables with the olive oil, salt and pepper. It's a bit messy, but it's best to do this with your hands. Make sure to rub down the leeks with oil as well.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove the aluminum foil and the garlic and continue roasting at 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and put them in the bottom of a large serving dish.

Using a butter knife or a small steak knife, pop out the roasted garlic cloves.

Smash the garlic cloves well with a fork or with a mortar and pestle. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. The prepared mustard helps to keep the lemon juice and olive oil from separating.

Once the vegetables are cool enough to touch, cut them into bite size pieces.

Cut the carrots on the bias to make long slices.

Slice the radishes and the celery root. (celery root not pictured)

Cut the potatoes and the sweet potato into chunks.

Holding the root end of the onion pieces, cut up the onion. Be very careful as the onions will be extremely slippery! If you want, you can simply cut off the root end, and leave the onion layers whole.

Cut up the leeks in a similar manner.

Arrange the roasted vegetables on top of the lettuce.

You can mix them all together like I did in the picture, or you can keep them separated to form larger sections of color. Arranging the vegetables that way can be quite pretty, as well as help people chose which vegetables they want if you anticipate picky eaters. I had to arrange the salad in this container because I was transporting it to the pot luck. If it was going to serve this at home, I would have chosen something more presentable, but it still came out looking pretty good!

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

I love how the variety in the veggie boxes forces me to experiment with new foods and recipes. Although I should be studying Greek today for the final tomorrow, I've been itching to do something with the sweet dumpling squashes we've been getting. (I was now up to three, plus a mini-pumpkin I had bought for halloween.) Besides, I was kind of getting overrun with squash, so it was time to do something about it.

At first I was going to do a savory dish, but since the last veggie box also came with apples and sweet potatoes, I decided to try to use up as much "veggie box stuff" as possible in one go.

Here's what you'll need:

4 sweet dumpling squash and/or mini-pumpkins

1 small apple
1 small sweet potato
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp brown sugar*
1/4 tsp each salt, nutmeg and cinnamon

Crumble topping:
1 tbsp each butter, flour, rolled oats and brown sugar

*This is entirely dependent on the size of your squash, apple & sweet potato. Mine were very small and you will likely need to add more brown sugar if you purchase your produce from the grocery store.

Using a paring knife, cut around the stem of each squash. You want a decent sized hole; I had to go back and widen the first one.

(took this picture with my chin!)

With a sturdy teaspoon, scoop out the seeds. Don't be overly aggressive while doing this; I actually pierced the bottom of one of the squashes with the teaspoon. Oops!

Place the squash shells in an baking dish.

Peel the apple and the sweet potato. This sweet potato I got was perfect cuz it was so small.

The apple and sweet potato naked.

Remove the core from the apple, then finely dice it and the sweet potato. (I ended up with about a half cup of each.)

The apple and sweet potato have been punished for their indecent exposure.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add the cream, apple, sweet potato, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar, then combine.

Evenly distribute the filling among the squash and carefully add about a half inch of water to the baking dish. Don't get any water inside of the squash.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble topping: butter, brown sugar, flour, rolled oats. Rub the mixture together with your fingers until the butter has been fully incorporated. Evenly distribute the crumble mixture on top of the filling.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Aren't they cute!!! The skins of the sweet dumpling squash are very tender; you can eat the whole thing except for the little woody bit at the bottom. The pumpkin skins are a little tough, so you're better off going at it with a spoon and scooping the good stuff out.

Bon Apetit!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Salad and roasted veggies

(Made in cooperation with Abby!)
we made enough for 10 people, so I'll try to estimate lower proportions:
CARROTS 4 or 5 big ones
BEETS - one red, one gold
grate all of the above. Notice their lovely colors at this point, because once they get mixed, everything turns beetcolor.
PARSLEY - about 1/4 cup, (must be fresh, this is the salady part of the salad) broken or chopped into small pieces
GOAT CHEESE - an ounce or so, crumbled
dressing: equal parts oil and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste

Random soup:
2 onions (saute in butter until translucent)
1 cabbage
Veggie broth - enough to cover this and more. For broth we've been buying "better than bullion" and mixing it with water - tastes great! Cook all of this until the cabbage is soft
Broccoli (4 heads, chopped) - add a few minutes before serving, and only cook enough to make it tender.
Cream - mix in right before serving. Be careful not to overcook it or it will curdle. I used about 1/2 cup for a major pot of soup.

RUTABAGAS! i found them in the T-house fridge labeled "hairy roots." They are so much better than that. Do not fear. Scrape off the hairy parts with a veggie peeler, cut into little wedges, and cook 45 min - 1 hour in a little butter in a 350 oven. Then dress with:
1 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 TBSP lemon juice (our lemon tree is nearly ripe, hurray!)

Enjoy y'all