Main Dish

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) Vegetarian Version

Not only did we pick berries in the Catskills, we also picked eggplants (yes, pick-you-own eggplants!). What a happy thing!

So we are “eggplanting” it out this week.  My vegetarian daughter is home so, I created this version of khoresh bademjun for her. Needless to say, she was thrilled.

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) Vegetarian Version

1 large eggplant, 2 medium eggplants, or the equivalent amount of small eggplants

3 Tbsp canola oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 oz soy granules

1 onion chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 can diced tomatoes or the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, about 2 large (the tomatoes were from my garden)

1 to 1 1/2 cups hot water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.

Peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise, about 1/2” thick.  Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven.

In a large skillet, heat the other 1 Tbsp oil. Add the soy granules and onions and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add a layer of tomatoes. Add the water then cover with a layer of eggplants, covering the tomatoes and soy mixture as completely as possible.

Cover and cook over very low heat for about 2 hours, check after 1 hour to see if more water is needed.

Serve with rice and pickled vegetables.   Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Cincinnati Chili – Turkey Version

I have written before about how I love Cincinnati Chili.  I really do love it, the flavor just makes me very happy.

I previously shared a beef version made a little healthier by pairing it with spaghetti squash.

Tonight’s version used ground turkey. We didn’t miss the beef at all.

Cincinnati Chili – Turkey Version

From Taste of Home

2 pounds extra-lean ground turkey2 medium onions, finely chopped4 garlic cloves, minced

15 ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce

14-1/2 ounces reduced-sodium beef broth

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3Tbsp chili powder

1 bay leaf

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 pound spaghetti

TOPPINGS:

16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 medium onion, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook turkey, onions and garlic until turkey is no longer pink. Transfer to a slow cooker.
In a large bowl, combine tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, chocolate and seasonings.
Pour over turkey mixture. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Remove bay leaf from chili. For each serving, place 3/4 cup spaghetti in a bowl. Top with about 2/3 cup chili, 3 tablespoons kidney beans, 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped onion. 

Serves 8

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe | Leave a comment

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

One last dinner before our trip and we needed to use up the rest of the zucchini (until I picked more the next day, that is)

This was a surprise treat. Although my family likened it more to a lasagna than a pizza, but whatever you call it, it went over really well.

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I had planned on having leftovers to freeze for when we came home, but no, any leftovers were claimed for lunch the next day before we left.

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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini (from the garden)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 pound ground beef (locally raised)

1/2 cup chopped onion

15 ounce can Italian tomato sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. Place zucchini in colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture.

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Combine zucchini with eggs, Parmesan and half of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into a greased 13″x9″baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes.

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Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce and cook about 5 minutes.

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Spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 8

Freeze option: Cool baked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap casserole; reheat on a lower oven rack until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Zucchini | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tuscan Tuna with Beans & Kale

What came out of my garden today?

Sage

and Kale.

What came out previously?  Sun-dried tomatoes.

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Add cannellini beans, tuna, grape tomatoes, celery and olives and you have a bright, colorful and healthy dinner…

There was some discussion in the family about the need for the celery – or lack of need.  My daughter thought the celery was out of place, my husband was ok with it, but didn’t think it added, I found the celery added crunch – textural variety to what would have otherwise been a totally soft mono-texture dish.  So, you could substitute in something different for crunch if you would like, perhaps toasted almonds or pine nuts.

Tuscan Tuna with Beans & Kale

slightly adapted from Food Network Kitchens Tuscan Beans with Tuna

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

16 fresh sage leaves (8 chopped, 8 whole) (from the garden)

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans

3/4 pound kale, stems and ribs discarded, large leaves torn in half (from the garden)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup grape tomatoes, thinly sliced

3 inner stalks celery, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup chopped Sun-dried tomatoes 

1 12-ounce can solid white albacore tuna in water, drained

Directions

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped sage and cook until the garlic just starts to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add the beans (including the liquid from the cans) and 1 cup water. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender and the liquid looks creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, celery, olives and roasted peppers in a medium bowl.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, then fry the sage leaves until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes; drain on paper towels. Reserve the oil.

Break the tuna into large chunks and divide among shallow bowls. Spoon the bean mixture around the tuna and top with the olive salad and fried sage. Drizzle with the reserved sage oil and season with salt. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes | Leave a comment

Wheat Berries with Asparagus, Kale, Peas, Feta and Fried Egg.

Yes, it’s that time again… Kale bouquets!

If you are new to my blog, let me explain… I harvest my kale in the morning when it is cool and stick the leaves in a vase or glass of water to keep the kale fresh and crisp. And, it is fun to look at in my kitchen all day.

The other stars of this dish are the asparagus, the wheat berries (I love wheat berries) and, of course, Farmer Kim’s eggs. Each gets cooked on its own and then are brought together to make a delicious light and fresh dinner.

Oh, of course, I shouldn’t forget the feta.  We all agreed that our favorite part was when we would get a burst of feta flavor – it brightened everything!

Wheat Berries with Asparagus, Kale, Peas, Feta and Fried Egg.

Inspired by Yasmin Fahr’s Warm Farro Salad with Asparagus, Peas, and Feta

8 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (from Fifer Orchards)

Pinch dried red chili flakes, or more as desired

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup wheat berries

1 quart vegetable stock

1 cup frozen peas (or fresh if you can get them)

1 bunch kale, center stalks removed and cut into 2-inch ribbons (from the garden)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup slivered almonds (or chopped, blanched almonds)

4 scallions thinly sliced, white and light green parts only

1/2 cup crumbled feta

4 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven until shimmering. Add 2 cups of asparagus and chili flakes, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, add the wheat berries and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until wheat berries are tender, about 20-30 minutes (check them after 20 minutes, you don’t want to overcook them and end up with mushy wheat berries).  Drain the wheat berries and transfer to a large bowl.

While the wheat berries are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons olive oil along with the lemon juice and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the peas and kale in the pot with about a teaspoon of olive oil and cook over medium-high heat tossing, until the kale is wilted and peas are tender.

Fold vinaigrette into wheat berries, add the kale, peas, asparagus, almonds, scallions, and feta. Let stand while you cook the eggs.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the last 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Fry the eggs until the yolks are just cooked.  To help the yolks cook a bit faster, you can spoon some of the hot oil from the skillet onto the yolks. Serve the wheat berry salad topped with an egg and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Asparagus, Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe | 2 Comments

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh

We became very well acquainted with our slow cooker during my campaign. A love-hate relationship developed. When a dish worked, it was wonderful. But there were many days when I threw in a whole lot of string spices only to end up with flavorless meat. I was so confused and disturbed. But, we studied the dishes that went well and those that went awry and we learned a lot.

Key #1 (and the focus of why this dish worked well) – ratio of spices to liquid. More spice & herbs, less liquid.

This dish filled both our house with wonderful smells and our mouths with great flavors.

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh

by KCOOPER78 on Allrecipes.com

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced 

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (from the garden)

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley (from the garden)

1 teaspoon salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Directions

Place the onion, garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, and chicken breast pieces into a slow cooker.

In a bowl, mix the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, parsley, and salt, and sprinkle over the chicken and vegetables.

Pour in the tomatoes, and stir to combine.

Cover the cooker, set to High, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened, 4 to 5 hours. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes | Tags: | 1 Comment

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes and Eggs with Pomegranate Molasses

Can you believe I STILL have sweet potatoes from my garden?! Whether it really was a good harvest or just the fact that I took 8 weeks off from cooking during my campaign, I am not sure.  But here is what part of the harvest looked like.

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We got some nice brussels sprouts this week, so I decided to make a roasted veggie and egg dish inspired by Ree Drummand’s Beautiful Brussels Sprouts.

Roasted vegetables with olive oil fried eggs is probably the favorite comfort food in our house. Adding the pomegranate molasses and chili powder added some new and interesting flavors. I ended up liking it more and more with each bite. Don’t go too heavy on the pomegranate molasses, all it needs is a drizzling. And then….happiness in our mouths and bellies!

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes and Eggs with Pomegranate Molasses 

inspired by Ree Drummand’s Beautiful Brussels Sprouts

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (from the garden)

2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved

4- 6 Tbsp olive oil, separated

Chili powder

pinch Kosher salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Pomegranate molasses

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Divide the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts between 2 baking sheets.

Drizzle 2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil on the vegetables, sprinkle with chili powder (heavier if you want more kick, lighter if you want just a touch of heat), salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Place in the oven a roast for 15 minutes.  Stir the vegetables and roast for another 15 – 20 minutes.

In the last few minutes that the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Fry the eggs, spooning oil over the yolk for a few minutes til cooked to your preference. You will likely need to fry the eggs in batches.

Divide the vegetables among 4 plates and top each with 2 eggs. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Quajado

Our Spanish Passover continues…

Lauren is home, so we needed a vegetarian dinner option and opted for a Quajado, an egg, cheese and vegetable dish. For tonight, we used zucchini, feta and cheddar. The combination was simply delicious. Salty, rich and slightly sweet.

To complete the dinner we added a Spanish spinach dish with pine nuts and raisins. The combination was served on my grandmother’s beautiful depression glass plates.

Quajado

from Chabad

1 medium onion, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

6 cups zucchini, grated and left to drain in a colander

1 cup creamy feta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft.

Squeeze any excess moisture out of the grated zucchini.

Combine zucchini, onions, eggs, parsley and cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feta cheese is extremely salty so it may not need any salt at all.

Spoon into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, until set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Leave a comment

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

It feels so good to be cooking again. Making dinners and baking breads really does serve to center me. Especially when I get to use foods I grew. Even though I am planning and preparing my garden for this season, I still have lots of sweet potatoes that I harvested in the fall.

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This stew was fabulous. It was very reminiscent of Qormeh Sabzi, yet different. And it was and easy. And best of all, unusual for Persian dishes, it is ready an hour after you start chopping the onion.

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It is a flexible dish; as we were eating it, we though of various other possible additions: green beans, kidney beans, other greens, etc. It is only limited by your creativity.IMG_5841

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime

1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
1 1/2 lbs sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks (from the garden)
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole anaheim chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
Salt
5 medium tomatoes, quartered – or 6 canned tomatoes, crushed
5 oz spinach leaves

Directions

Heat the oven to 350F. Put a large dutch oven on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes.

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Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

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To the pot, add the fenugreek, dill, potatoes, squash, limes, chili, tomatoes, a teaspoon and a half of salt and 4 cups of water.

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Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked.

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Stir in the spinach, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.

Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft.

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Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, remove the limes, serve with rice and enjoy!

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Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Slow-cooker Beef Ragu

During my Levy Court campaign, pretty much the only type of cooking I did was in the crock pot – slow cooking.  The only free time I had was at the very beginning of the day, and that only for about 15 minutes. So, that meant it needed to be recipes with very little preparation before going into the crock pot.

This beef ragu was a great meal that, served with pasta, provided us with hearty meals for several days.

I was able to pick up some locally raised beef (flank steaks) at the butcher. Yes, we are lucky to have a butcher near our home.

And look at the colors (and flavors) that went into the sauce. The herbs all came from my garden.

Slow-cooker Beef Ragu

from PinchofYum.com

1 teaspoon olive oil

6 garlic cloves, smashed slightly

1½ pounds flank steak, cut against the grain into 4 pieces (locally raised)

salt and pepper

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup reduced sodium beef broth

1 carrot, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme (from the garden)

16 ounces pappardelle pasta

Parmesan and parsley for topping

Directions

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Season the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Pour the tomatoes and broth over the beef and add the garlic from step one, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Discard the herbs and shred the beef in the pot using 2 forks.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and add the sauce from the slow cooker. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the pasta and sauce are combined, about 1 minute.

Divide among 8 bowls and top each with Parmesan, ricotta, and parsley. Serve hot!…Yum!

Serves 8.

Categories: Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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