Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Part 2 | #FoodRevontheFarm & The Kitchen Notebook

6.24 | Part II - Food Revolution Wednesday

.A Garden Vegetable Soup
.Pea shoot and Tomato filled Crespelle with Bechamel
.Kale Ribbon Salad with Marinated Fennel
.Yogurt "Hangop" with Simple Strawberries

"This recipe for garlic-onion broth is one of many quick vegetable broths in my kitchen notebook. It is based upon the Italian principles and kitchen inventiveness because it is made from scraps. The broth can be used as the basis for a tomato sauce, or for a garden vegetable soup. You can even cook your pasta or rice in it. Funny thing is, the necessity for broth cubes suddenly disappears. You can cook it down into a stock as well."
- Terri Salminen


Dear Terri,

Lunch was on time and it was glorious! Our time in the kitchen last Wednesday went very fast and my brain only hiccuped a few times. My multi-tasking and teaching abilities are being stretched to the max and this is a very.good.thing. Your menu of soup, stuffed pancakes, salad and dessert was rock solid and well loved! We discussed how a menu can be "fancy" sounding or "simple" sounding depending on the inclusion of words we do not understand. "Mise en place", "bechamel", "crespelle" and "soffritto" can be so intimidating! But not anymore...

No longer just a "garbage bowl" of vege scraps! Who knew carrot peels and onions tops were for making a quick vegetable broth

Rolling and ribbon cutting kale. 

Cooking = art.

Notice anything wrong with this pot? As soon as I finished taking these pictures my face went white and I thought, wait, OMG the recipe calls for a soffritto! AHHHHHH TERRRRIIIIIII! I cannot even count how many times I have made a soffritto as the base for soups and sauces. In that moment, I flashed back to my freshman year at NU, losing my head as I ran the bases, mindless of how many outs there were or who was on second base as I was thinking of running as fast as I could.. My coaches would stare me down as I jogged back into the dugout and ask, "Lindsey, what were you thinking out there?"   

Who's on first?!

Thank you for saving the soffritto Mr. Colander. I figured out how to fix it lickity split. 

Sorted vegetables.

And the kitchen dropped perfection just.like.that.

Mistakes turn into magic.

Much much better.

The oregano, mint, lemon and red pepper made for a wonderful spicy herb garnish for the soup. We have some spicy palates here Terri! They want hot sauce on everything! I love it!

I think my favorite part of the day was teaching Eric and Eddie how to make a simple bechamel. Now they know how to make a base for any cream sauce... including homemade mac and cheese!

The guys were pretty darn good at flipping pancakes. We almost got one airborn!

Here is our yogurt "hangop" after "hanging out" in the fridge for an hour. It's amazing how much thicker the yogurt became! 

Lemon zesting for our simple strawberries to go alongside the yogurt "hangop". I just love your strawberries with lemon and lavender that you wrote about too! I have some lavender in my front garden and I have never used it in anything yet.

We take breaks, read your "Food for Thought" and reflect on how the dishes might fit into our home kitchens.

The crespelle is ready!! 

The buckwheat gave the pancakes a much darker color than any of us were used to seeing. They were slower to move off the pan at first, but as soon as everyone tasted them, seconds and thirds commenced until they were all gone

"Hangop" = mega success.  

After lunch, Shannon (one of our crew leaders) reviewed the work done on the farm. 

Then, Eric and Leslie took a thumbs up/thumbs down feedback tally of the lunch menu. I love this so much. It reminds me of what we do at my family table!

Lastly, we had just enough time to fit in Jamie Oliver's TedX speech. Only a few of the crew had ever heard of him before this Summer. It was wonderful to watch him speak about food education in the little blue farm house, to hear his voice, to feel his passion and the Food Revolution's purpose seeped deeper into all of us.


Tomorrow we begin again, cooking farm to table - Part III.

L & the #pfc



Friday, June 26, 2015

Week 25 | #52triespics

Hop on over to read my week 25 #52tries diary post HERE.

Find Sarah Britton's My New Roots cookbook HERE and watch her make homemade almond milk HERE.

I found Jamie's delicious Chicken in Milk recipe to help me figure out how to cook mine in almond milk. I just layered onions and turnips on the bottom of pot.

Leftover Langoustine Chowder

2 c leftover chicken in milk sauce and vege (sans the chicken)
3 c leftover tomato sauce
1 lb frozen langoustine tails
1/2 c vege broth (Optional. Eyeball amount to thin soup)
pinch of nutmeg

Combine leftover sauces and heat through. Add some vege stock if a thinner soup is desired. Not a chunky soup fan? Puree soup with a handheld immersion blender first before adding langoustine.

Happy weekend nutbags!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Part I | The Kitchen Notebook with Prairie Farm Corps

6.17 | Part I -  Food Revolution Wednesday

.Homemade hummus + Roasted green asparagus
.Brown rice with raisins, pepitas and fresh sautéed chard
.Green garlic frittata
.Sweet polenta orange-rhubarb cake
.Savory asparagus + basil tea

"Recipes are building blocks in the kitchen - the simple frittata with garlic scapes - the cake with cornmeal and rhubarb - are the result of following the seasons naturally using cooking methods as a blueprint."  -Terri Salminen


Dear Terri,

This is our wonderful Prairie Farm Corps crew (sans an absent few). We just finished Facetime-ing with you for the first time and I thought you would like this picture of all of us. It was so much fun watching everyone hold the phone in their hands, introduce themselves and tell you what their favorite food is. You really lit them up! Oh what fun it was to bring you into the room with us for the first time across continents!

I will write to you every Tuesday so that you can see and read just what went on in the kitchen with your beautiful food. I hope you enjoy this first cooking roundup from the little blue farm house. Just think, in three weeks your hands will be in these pics too...

The beginnings of sage salt. We'll be making these pantry staples as an entire team from here on out after lunch.

Before we got started, we studied your recipes and notes together. I explained how how easy it is to convert everything online from metric grams to cups. Leslie ordered a kitchen scale last week. I cannot wait to show them how easy it is to weigh ingredients... it's funny, after all these years of cooking your recipes and using my scale, I think I prefer grams to cups! Either way, I am comfortable now with both and hope that by the end of the Summer, our crew will never be intimidated by a european recipe! 

Everyone marveled at the new technique of peeling asparagus before roasting. None of us had ever done this before and not one spear was left on the serving plate!

The makings of our first savory herbal tea. Thanks to you, kitchen waste has another place other than the compost or chicken feed buckets!

Look at this freshly chopped rhubarb from the farm! Short on lemons, I just knew limes would work lovely too.

Freshly squeezed citrus swirls. 

We took the liberty to layer fresh strawberries under the baked rhubarb.  

This sweet polenta and oven baked rhubarb cake was simply gorgeous. Your "no-fault-always-works-cake-recipe-with-fruit" (it's amazing that all we did was swap in corn meal for flour and rhubarb for raspberries! WHAT!?) is a blueprint to use forever in our kitchens after making this deliciousness.

My only goof - filling the oven too full + too late. Thank you so much for the reminder that cooking times increase when you stuff an oven with a cake AND two frittatas. Leslie even warned me... Eric and Meg adjusted for my delay and they met with the crew before lunch instead of afterwards. Whew! 

Our frittata was by and large the most talked about and enjoyed dish. It was soooo simple and we all talked about our favorite add-ins. What a flexible, gorgeous and SIMPLE recipe

The entire kitchen had never before made hummus from dried chickpeas. Soaking them overnight and then cooking them in water was a new experience for all and well worth the extra prep time. I wish you could see all of our eyes widen as we tasted it for the first time... serving hummus warm is so much better than from the can at room temperature! Will we ever go back!? 

So far so good cooking your lovely recipes together at the little blue farm house. "The Kitchen Notebook" is surely sparking a Prairie Farm Corps food revolution in all of us. 

Tomorrow we begin again cooking farm to table - Part II

L & the #pfcorps


Farm mud is the best mud, don't you think!?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

#52triespics | Week 24

Hop on over to read this week's #52tries diary post HERE.

Mushroom and Beef Tacos

1 onion
1 lb grass fed beef (organic if I can find it)
2 cartons of mushrooms wiped clean and finely minced or food processed
chili powder (about 2 T)
curry powder
sea salt + pepper
fresh cilantro

Sautee onion low and slow until soft and just about to caramelize. Add in ground beef and cook half way. Add in mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until cooked through. I challenge you dear reader to add the seasonings to your liking. I put more chili powder in than anything else. Shake in seasonings and taste frequently until you get it just how you like it. I love adding in honey or coconut sugar... just a touch of sweetness with your taco spice!

Pork Scallopini

I breaded my pork cutlets by heart, inspired by the way The Pollan Family Table makes Chicken Parmesan. Here's what I did.

5 high welfare pork scallopini cutlets

1.5 c homemade gf bread crumbs (I save a bunch of bread butts, lay them out on a pan to get stale, and wiz them up fine in my food processor)
1/2 c parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast if you're cutting out dairy)
21 spice blend (Trader Joe's or Costco seasoning staple)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix it all up in a shallow bowl.

3 eggs
splash of milk (diary, almond or rice)
1 T gf flour
Mix up in another shallow bowl.

Dredge your cutlets in the egg mixture, then cover them with the breadcrumb mixture. Fry them up in oil of choice (I try to use oils with a higher flashpoints. Read about why HERE). I love my cast iron pans!

Cauliflower Tacos

To be continued... I'm still 52tries-ing on this one:)