Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Broccoli Brings It! January 8, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,dessert,easy,leftovers,muffins,thrift,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:33 pm

muffins askew

The kindergartner’s show-n-tell/snack day at school done snuck up on us.  On game day to boot!  Local broccoli stems saved me again, investing mini-muffins with the good nutrition necessary for all that learnin’ the kids are up to.  Although I had none left over to enrich the (orange!) carrot cake (see Broccoli Bonus) I made for Longhorn viewing, a cake full of local carrots tastes just as sweet.

These muffins might not fool the herbiphobic adult or teenager, but kids won’t notice the jolly green goodness in these tasty treats.  The students wolfed ’em down!

(SWEET) BROCCOLI BITES makes about 3 dozen mini muffins

  • 227 grams (2 cups packed) finely shredded well-peeled local broccoli stems.  You can substitute half or more shredded local carrots for especially finicky palates.
  • zest of one local an/or organic lemon.  Ask your neighbors!
  • 2 local eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 163 grams (¾ cup, firmly packed) organic light brown sugar.  Central Market’s organic brand sells for $2.99 for a 1½ pound bag.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170 grams (about a scant 1½ cups) organic all purpose flour or King Arthur cake flour blend (unbleached!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted Texas pecans, optional.  I omit these for the classroom.
  • 107 grams (½ cup) organic coconut oil or other oil suitable for baking sweets.  Whole Foods 365 brand virgin coconut oil is a good value.  Coconut oil will solidify when it’s chilly, so warm it up if necessary.

Get your oven going to 350º and grease up 3 one dozen cavity mini muffin tins, or whatever configuration you have.  I find Spectrum baking spray to be the easiest greasing  option, but I’ll leave that choice up to you.

Whisk together the shredded broccoli and the next five ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the next four ingredients.  Whisk the oil into the broccoli mixture, blending it in very well, then top with the flour and the pecans, if using.  Stir it all up quickly to blend completely.https://savortheearth.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=3782&message=1

Fill the prepared tins (I like to use a spring-loaded scoop) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the muffins test done.  Let cool in the pans on a rack for a couple minutes before gently releasing the muffins from their wells (I use a bamboo skewer, the same one I test them with) and letting the muffins cool obliquely in their cups.

Frost with organic cream cheese frosting if desired.  Whip together ½ stick organic butter, ½ block organic cream cheese (CM organics brand is the best buy at only $1.99 per ½ pound), 100 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar (CM organics again), 1 teaspoon local honey (I like Good Flow—we have many honeys to choose from around here) and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Deconstructing Broccoli Ditto—Dilly Dumplings December 7, 2009

Filed under: easy,leftovers,meat — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:38 am

What's the dill?

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the latest issue of edible AUSTIN magazine (No. 11 Winter 2009).  What a wonderful way for the baby-bound and nearly housebound to start out “Eat Local Week” ( December 5-12, right here in your own town.)  Of the wealth of inspiring and well-written articles (including Jardine Libaire’s thoughtful piece on my favorite charcuterie source in “Marketplace” Dai Due Butcher Shop),  I found my kitchen self particularly compelled by Boggy Creek Farm matriarch Carole Ann Sayles’ “Seasonal Muse” column, Deconstructing Broccoli. Versatile, delicious, easy to prepare and of course, a vetted superfood, broccoli effortlessly negotiates the meal from soup to dessert (see my Broccoli Surprise Carrot Cake recipe).

My cornucopic dill bouquet from Finca Pura Vida (now at the budding HOPE market on Sundays) dared me to dumpling with the spoils of Thanksgiving, plus leftover broccoli stems.  The stew component is flexible.  Use whatever suitable vegetables you have.  And if your palate bears the unfortunate scars of a dried dill upbringing, remember you can always substitute plenty of parsley, or even celery leaves or fennel fronds.

Quickly mixed with Richardson Farms locally-grown, freshly-ground whole wheat flour and organic heavy cream, these delicate dumplings are the lightest, most tender I’ve ever tried.

TURKEY AND DILLY DUMPLINGS makes about 8 servings

  • a couple Tablespoons good fat.  Roasted poultry fat, bacon grease or butter are good choices.
  • local or organic onions, chopped kinda fine
  • local or organic carrots, diced (approximately) smallish
  • 2 bay leaves.  You can buy bay leaf plants at our local farmers markets and nurseries.  Bays are quite hardy and easy to take care of.
  • local broccoli stems, well peeled and diced or other local and/or organic veggies, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • organic garlic, a clove or so, minced
  • fresh herbs—I like lots of fresh thyme and a little fresh rosemary.  Grow ’em!
  • 1/3 cup organic flour—I sometimes use whole grain flours for thickening, but all-purpose flour lends a cleaner look.  Whole Foods 365 brand is usually the best buy.
  • ¾ cup dry sherry.  I recommend a brand that you can drink, as opposed to “cooking sherry.”  It doesn’t have to be top of the line.  I buy Osborne because I can get it at work.
  • 5 cups good broth, preferably homemade (see Stock Tips).  Our middens made for two large batches.
  • 1/3 cup organic or local (such as Promised Land) heavy cream.  I usually use Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • 2 teaspoon or so kosher salt.  I use Diamond Crystal.
  • 3 cups cooked shredded turkey or chicken dark meat.  I freeze leftover cooked turkey meat in broth.
  • 242 grams (about 2 scant cups) whole wheat flour—either Richardson Farms or organic
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder, sieved.  I like Rumford non-GMO and aluminum-free.
  • generous ½ teaspoon salt.  I recommend Real Salt.
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • local and/or organic lemon zest
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill.  Don’t forget to stash the stems for the stockpot.
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste.  Local Meyers are easy to find—and grow!

In a Dutch oven or other suitable stewing pot, saute your aromatics and veggies in the fat until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the flour and cook and stir for a minute.  Pour in the sherry and stir, scraping the pan bottom to release any fond.  Pour in the broth and cream and add the salt.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the veggies are cooked.  If you’re using broccoli or another potentially odiferous cruciferous, add it later to avoid overcooking.  Carrots will take about 20 minutes, so add broccoli after about 15 minutes.  Taste for salt and add the meat.

Whisk the flour together with the next five ingredients, then stir in the cream with a fork.  The dough will be firm.  Using a spring-loaded scoop (my preference) or a couple of spoons, scoop out small golf ball sized dough blobs and drop them into the simmering stew as you go.  You should wind up with around 18 dumplings.  Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the dumpling have about doubled in size and are cooked through.  Squeeze some lemon juice around the perimeter and sneak your wooden spoon in from the sides to incorporate it into the stew.

Serve hot!


 

Take these Waffles and Stuff ’em! (in your stuffing hole) November 29, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,easy,leftovers,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:32 pm

two small waffles for mankind

We eat stuffing all year round.  It’s a delicious and thrifty way to use up stale bread, which we accumulate in the freezer. When the “old bread for stuffing” bag is full, I bake up a batch.  No tellin’ what’ll end up in the pan:  assorted vegetables, nuts, cooked grains and meats (bacon!).  Mix ‘n’ match bread types for hybrid vigor.

What are you gonna do with that leftover Thanksgiving stuffing?  Today’s Sunday, so make waffles!

STUFFING WAFFLES yield varies

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) organic butter, melted and cooled a bit.  You know I love Organic Valley.  Use a Whole Foods Whole Deal coupon for $1 OFF or click for a coupon to use at another store.
  • 2 cups yogurt (homemade is great), buttermilk or a 50/50 combo of yogurt and milk (stir it up and let it sit while the butter melts).  I buy local goat milk from either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm.
  • 2 local eggs
  • about ½ teaspoon salt, to taste.  I use Real Salt.  I get this in bulk at Whole Foods.  You can bring in your own jar.
  • sweetener to taste.  For a cornbread dressing version (baked with unsweetened cornbread) I use 2 Tablespoons local honey (Good Flow).  For a (regular) bread stuffing version, I’ll use maybe 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar.
  • 41 grams (1/3 cup) organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 brand in the 5# bag is usually the best buy.
  • 41  grams (about 1/3 cup) whole wheat flour.  I use either organic or Richardson Farms locally-grown.
  • 40 grams (about 1/3 cup plus 1½ Tablespoons) organic whole wheat pastry flour.
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder, sieved.  I like Rumford, aluminum-free and non-GMO.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sieved.
  • freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • 2 cup leftover stuffing, chopped.

Whisk together the yogurt, eggs, salt and sweetener, then whisk in the melted butter.  In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients, through the black pepper, and whisk until mixed.  Whisk the stuffing into the yogurt mixture, then whisk in the flour.  Let the batter rest, covered,  in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Bake in a greased, preheated waffle iron.  Timing and batter amounts will vary depending on the size and design of your iron.  I prefer a deep-pocketed Belgian-style waffle iron for most of my waffle recipes and I recommend that style for this one as well.

Organic maple syrup tastes great on these savory waffles.  Or, pour gravy on em!  We already ran out.  Leftovers only stretch so long.

 

Quinoa is the New Black November 19, 2009

I recently brought home a box of Alter Eco‘s organic black quinoa to play around with (work perk!).  The folks at AE work with small scale farmers and producers to maintain artisanal methods and ecological balance.  Alter Eco’s Mission Statement proclaims:

We believe that Fair Trade is a viable and successful alternative to conventional commerce. This business model will gradually close the gap between rich and poor, so-called developing countries and industrialized countries.

Sounds good and green.

My family eats quinoa regularly and I usually keep a cooked pot of this “super grain” in the fridge for quick nourishment (see Queen Quinoa).  Reheated with cheese (or not), and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper (or not—as for the minors), quinoa makes a fast, tasty and nutritious light meal.  The black variety, with its exotic color, piqued my palate so I gave it a whirl.  Plus the Quechuas of Bolivia believe black quinoa supports kidney health.

I found that this quinoa cooked up more quickly—a fast 15 minutes—and absorbed less water (less than 2 cups as opposed to a little more than 2 cups) than my usual brands of regular quinoa.  The family wasn’t pleased with the texture, however.  The black bran seems much thicker and heartier than the pale seed coat of standard quinoa.  Too chewy!  Fanciers of substantial grains, however, might like a simple breakfast pilaf of black quinoa with quality butter, good maple syrup and perhaps a splash of cream.

At my house, the black quinoa was relegated to more of a supporting role in which it could show off its striking color against contrasting backgrounds, lighter in taste as well as color.  We enjoyed this quinoa’s black speckles in both an easy, light bread machine bread and an otherwise standard pot o’ jasmine rice.

P B J & Q

Dalmatian Bread (Black Quinoa Bread)

  • ½ cup local milk plus enough water to equal 1 generous cup.  I use either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm goat milk.
  • 1 local  egg
  • 130 grams (1 cup) cooked organic black quinoa
  • ¾ teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt
  • 1 teaspoon local honey.  I buy Good Flow in bulk at Central Market.  Bring your own container and ask an employee to tare the weight for you.
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter.  Organic Valley‘s my choice here.  Look for the $1 OFF coupon in Whole Foods Whole Deal newsletter, available at their stores.  Or click here.
  • 200 grams organic all-purpose flour.  WF’s 365 brand 5# bag is usually the best buy.
  • 163 grams organic white whole wheat flour.  WF generally has the lowest price per pound on King Arthur’s 5# bag.
  • 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast (rapid rise or instant)

Place the ingredients into your bread machine in the order indicated by your instruction manual.  In my machine, that would be the order listed.  Program the machine on the regular cycle (not whole wheat).  If you’re not heading out to work on bread day, you can use just your machine’s dough cycle, then form a loaf (use a 9″ X 5″ pan), give it a second rise and bake it off at 350º in your oven.  The weather’s perfect for crankin’ it up!

Speckled!

Appaloosa Rice (Black Quinoa Rice)

  • 1 cup minus 1 Tablespoon Lowell Farms organic jasmine rice
  • 1 Tablespoon organic black quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt–Real Salt.  See above.
  • dab of butter. Organic Valley, see above.
  • 1 fresh bay leaf if you’re growin’ or knowin’ somebody who is.

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, place a lid on it and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to LOW and continue to cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

Bratwurst Supper Redux October 20, 2009

Filed under: Dai Due,easy,fast,leftovers,meat — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 12:36 pm

With about a third of the previous night’s Sausage Skillet Supper remaining, I gave the leftovers a makeover.  Easy and good.  And with plenty of Dai Due‘s Wurtenberg bratwurst still in the pan, nobody complained.

SAUSAGE SKILLET SUPPER REBOUND serves several

  • about a Tablespoon yummy fat.  Roasted poultry fat (save it in the freezer) or good quality lard are the best options here.
  • 2 bunches of radishes, with leaves.  Hairston Creek Farm has begun harvesting their peppery pink orbs.
  • one  good sized tart apple, peeled and cored and medium to coarsely shredded or diced.  Love Creek Orchards helps our family get their fruit quota deliciously.
  • one big sprig of fresh thyme
  • one medium to smallish bay leaf
  • some broth or stock, if you have any, or just water
  • leftover sausage skillet supper
  • up to 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar, or local honey, optional
  • fresh lemon, optional

Cut the radish leaves off and chop them up.  Give ’em a quick cold bath and drain them.  Quarter, halve, or sixth up the radishes, depending on their size.  Heat up your fat of choice in a large (12″) hot skillet.  Toss in the radishes and saute til browned.  If you’ve never browned brassicas before, prepare to smell the irresistible magic of the Maillard reaction.  Once your radishes are well-colored, toss in the leaves and continue to stir and cook.  The leaves will brown a bit, too.  Add the apple and herbs, give the mixture a few stirs, then add salt and a little liquid.  Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook until the radishes are tender.  Stir in the leftovers and sweetener if desired, and heat through.  Correct the seasoning (salt & pepper) and sparkle it with a little lemon juice.  If you forget about the lemon (did I do that?), it’ll be fine.

Serve with rice (there’s always a pot of cooked Lowell Farms organic jasmine rice in our fridge) or buttered noodles, or throw in a diced potato with the radishes.  Get to eatin’!