09 Jun

Chicken and Kale in Parmesan Cream Sauce

“Chicken and kale in a creamy and cheesy sauce makes a great topping for pasta.”

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (3 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Combine kale, water, red wine vinegar, and sea salt in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until the kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving the liquid. Set the kale aside.
2. Combine the reserved liquid and the chicken in the saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir the kale, cream, butter, and black pepper through the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture; cook and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

 

14 Oct

Garden News – October 14, 2015

The gardens are really slowing down now, with the cooler nights and shorter days.  The leaves are falling and some of the trees are already bare while others are slow to let go of their fall clothes!  As I walk around the yard there is a crunch where there once was soft grass.  I guess it is time for one last mowing and then the raking that will go on for several more weeks.

That wind last Sunday did some damage here.  Three sections of my cedar fence went down.  The  4X4 cedar posts snapped off at the ground.  John Pugrud, my savior, will be coming to fix everything this week.  I don’t know what I would  do without him.  Thank you, John!  Some of the wire fence for the tomatoes also blew down.   The tomatoes are so heavy right now, but I am not going to worry, as I will be harvesting them all soon, depending on whether it freezes of not.

My friends Steven and Robin Earles are also bringing me lots of leaves and grass clippings that I will be spreading over my gardens getting them ready for bed.  Thank you Robin and Steve!  The garden and I love you!  I am also bringing in manure.  A light tilling will then be done and the garden will be ready for winter sleep.  Rest and rejuvenation are important….for me too!

This is the final pick up for the following subscribers.  Virginia Bryan, John Pugrud, Charis Cravens, Sonya Whiteley, Lindsey James, Paula Larsen, Vanessa McNeill, Merita Murdock, Kat Pakora, Alicia Pettys, Kerry Sandelin, Sue Tanner, Carol Wardell, Jordan Westerholm, Nancy Wilkin,  Mike Williams.

These remaining subscribers will pick up their last share on October 22nd.  Susan Baak, Jessie Browning, Annika Charter Williams, Steve Charter, David Duke, Pamela Gustafson, James Haney, Halcyon LaPoint, Paula & Tom Larsen, Vanessa McNeill, Nanette Kuhl.

I am not quite sure what the selection will be in your share this week, but for sure there will be  winter squash, eggplant, bell peppers, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, dry onions, broccoli side shoots, red cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers.  With a possible frost and even a freeze looming just around the corner, I will be trying to time the harvest getting the more tender veggies out of the garden first. It is really dry out there and things are still growing, so I had to water with city water this week  as the water in the canal is too low to pump anymore.  The county empties the canal on the 15th of October.

With the crisp fall temperatures, its time to start thinking about those meals that feed the body and spirit….I like to call them “Soul Foods”.

Creamy Winter Greens Gratin

Serves four as a side dish.

You can make this gratin with your choice of spinach, Swiss chard, kale, or broccoli raab. You’ll need to boil the greens first, following the instructions below. You can also substitute any hard cheese for the Parmigiano.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2-1/2 oz. bacon (about 3 strips) or 1-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
2 cups cooked winter greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, or broccoli raab)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or a combination of Parmigiano and another hard cheese like Gruyère, Emmental, or aged Gouda

Prep and cook the greens:

To get the 2 cups of cooked greens you need for the gratin, be sure to start out with the amount of raw greens specified below.

Cut off and discard the tough stems (use a small, sharp paring knife and trim around the stem). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, submerge all the greens, and cook just until tender (see cooking times below). Drain well and then spread on a towel to absorb excess moisture. If the greens still seem very wet, squeeze them gently to remove excess liquid.

Spinach
Start with 1 lb. mature spinach, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped to yield about 7 cups tightly packed (or 12 oz.); cook for 30 seconds, just until wilted.

Broccoli raab
Start with a 1-lb. bunch broccoli raab, tough lower stems removed (almost half the bunch), as well as any discolored leaves, and the rest very roughly chopped to yield about 6 heaping cups; cook for 2 min.

Swiss chard
Start with 1-3/4 lb. chard, stems cut away and reserved for another use (slice, freeze, and add to your next vegetable soup) and leaves roughly chopped to yield about 9-1/2 cups (or 12 oz.); cook for 1 min.

Kale
Start with 1-1/4 pounds kale, tough stems trimmed away, leaves roughly chopped to yield 6 cups tightly packed; cook for 8 min.
Assemble and bake the gratin:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Have ready a shallow 4-cup ceramic gratin dish or casserole dish (any shape is fine as long as it’s shallow). Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter and toss it in a small bowl with the breadcrumbs and a pinch of kosher salt and a little ground pepper; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and garlic to a boil over medium-high heat (watch that it doesn’t boil over), immediately lower the heat, and simmer vigorously until the cream reduces to about 3/4 cup, 4 to 8 min. (Don’t over-reduce.) Take the pan off the heat and remove and discard the garlic cloves. Let the cream cool slightly, stirring occasionally to keep a skin from forming. Season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon or pancetta over medium heat until crisped and browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels, and carefully pour off most of the excess fat in the skillet (but don’t wipe it clean). Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter to the skillet and let it melt. Add the cooked greens, season with 1/4 tsp. salt if using bacon (omit the salt if using pancetta), and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min. Transfer the greens to the gratin dish and spread them evenly.

Crumble the bacon or pancetta over the greens. Sprinkle on the cheese. Pour the seasoned cream over all, and top with the buttered breadcrumbs. Bake until the gratin is brown and bubbly, about 25 min. Let rest for 10 to 15 min. before serving.

For a change, serve these gratins individually. Just divide ingredients among four small gratin dishes and bake as directed above.

Emeril’s Favorite Cabbage

8 to 10 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head green or white cabbage (about 3 1/2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
Directions

Cook the bacon in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until browned and slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, salt, cayenne, black pepper, sugar, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir to mix well. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage just begins to wilt or soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the beer. Stir to mix.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves. Remove from the heat and serve warm.

Thai Squash Soup

Refreshing and earthy, this recipe puts a Thai twist on winter squash soup.

Serves: 4
Ingredients

  • 6 shallots, unpeeled
  • 1 can (13 1/2 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro + 1 tablespoon chopped, for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, green parts only
  • ground black pepper

Directions
1. Preheat the broiler. Spray a sheet of heavy foil with organic cooking spray and place the shallots on top. When the broiler is ready, broil the shallots, turning occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened and blackened. Remove from the broiler, let cool, then peel and halve them lengthwise.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the shallots, coconut milk, broth, squash, and the 1/w cup of cilantro. Cook just until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat, add the salt, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Stir in the fish sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
3. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of the minced scallion greens and the chopped cilantro and season with pepper to taste.
Recipe Tips
To make an edible soup bowl, cut a thin slice from the bottom of a small pumpkin or squash. Cut off the top and scoop out the insides, leaving at least 1/2″ of shell intact. The bowl may be cooked or served raw if it’s cooked, you can eat it when you’ve finished the soup!

***This is important!  Be sure and let me know if you are coming to pick up your share.  I know  it might be confusing with this last pick up because of the half shares.  It is confusing to me, too!  Just give me a call, or send an email to confirm that you are  coming, or if you have questions.

01 Aug

Overnight Kale Salad

Overnight Kale Salad

Serves: 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp champagne or other white wine vinegar
2 tbsp finely minced shallot
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 bunches dinosaur or curly kale (about 1 lb), center ribs and stems  removed, leaves sliced into thin   ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Directions

1. Whisk together vinegar, shallot, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2. Toss kale in dressing to coat evenly. (The dressing will seem light, but the kale will wilt down to half its volume.)

3. Transfer kale to a lidded container and refrigerate overnight. To serve, divide kale among plates and top with pomegranate seeds, grated cheese, and pine nuts.

18 May

It’s cold out there!

The greenhouse is bursting with seedlings wanting to go out!  I know we need the rain, but the garden is going to take off slow this year unless it starts to heat up real soon.

It seems I always end up talking about the weather, I know!  But it plays such a huge part in what I am trying to do here at Kate’s Garden.  I can put on a few extra layers of clothing and my mud boots  in order to stay warm and dry when I go out side, but the transplants that I just planted these last couple of weeks  do not have that option.   We do need the rain though as we have had such a dry winter.  I lost quite a few trees this year…even some that have been in the ground three or more years.   The fact that we experienced such high winds and did not have allot of snow really hurt.  I am sure you have noticed all  of the yellow,  burned evergreen trees and shrubs around town.

Today is a soup kind of day, as the weather is a bit chilly.  This recipe should warm you up.  If you took the time to freeze any of the kale or chard that you saved from the garden harvest last year, this is a great way to use it up.

Zuppa Toscana

 

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

1 lb Italian sausage ( I like mild sausage)
2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
Brown sausage in your soup pot.
Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
Add bacon.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Turn to low heat.
Add kale and cream.
Heat through and serve.

 

 

14 Apr

Spring Greens: Asparagus, Mustard Greens and Kale Stir-Fry Recipe

You can use curly kale or ornamental kale, though Tuscan kale works especially well. This kale stir-fry can be served as a side dish, or toss in grilled chicken strips and serve with a salad and oven-fresh bread on the side for a quick and easy main-dish meal.
SERVES 4

Ingredients

8 ounces multigrain penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 carrots, cut into thin matchstick strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thick matchstick strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
1 large bunch kale (about 1 pound), leaves cut into 1/2-inch slices; stems into 1/4-inch lengths
8 ounces mustard greens or dandelion greens, chopped
1 pound asparagus; washed, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound Roma or other paste-type tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated or shaved Pecorino Romano cheese or Asiago cheese
Pepper and additional salt (if needed), to taste.

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well, transfer to a large serving bowl or platter, and then toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, red pepper, garlic, sugar and chile flakes; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in kale, mustard greens, asparagus and vinegar; sauté for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil and salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Spoon greens mixture over cooked pasta; toss well to combine. Transfer Kale Stir-Fry to a large serving dish or bowl. Top with shredded or shaved cheese and season with salt and pepper.