Rutabagas. I received two in the CSA this week. I had no idea what to do with them, but I was determined not to let them go to waste. I turned to the internet to figure out what people do with them. I discovered a Finnish dish called Lanttulaatiko. I have no idea what it translates into, but it is seems to be essentially a rutabaga casserole. Here is my take on it:
- Two medium rutabagas
- Two carrots
- One egg
- 1/2 cup of bread or cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- salt and pepper
- One TBSP of butter
Peel and chop the rutabagas and carrots. Put them in a large pot. Fill the pot with water until it covers the vegetables by an inch or so. Generously salt the water. Bring pot to a boil and continue to boil the veggies until soft, around 25 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, in another bowl beat an egg with the milk. Add the bread or cracker crumbs, and allow them to soak up the milk/egg mixture. (I had wanted to use bread crumbs, but I had used the last of them on the meatloaf I was making at the same time. I found some buttery crackers still sealed in their tube in the pantry. I think they were from the last time we had company at the house. I crunched them up and threw them in the egg.)
Once the rutabagas are soft drain and return to pot. Then mash them until they look like lumpy mashed potatoes. Pour in the milk, egg, and crumbs and mix together. Salt and Pepper to taste. Then pour the entire thing into a greased baking dish.
Dot the top with several pats of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. My cinnamon kind of exploded out of the jar on the first shake. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
Once out of the oven allow it to cool slightly, and then dish it up. We enjoyed this quite a bit. It may end up on our Thanksgiving table. It could be served as a main course or a side dish.
This food experiment starts with our “As Seen on TV” Goodwill find. A couple weeks ago we purchased a nearly new pasta machine with all the attachments. It was a whole $2.50. After a few trial runs we finally figured out how to create our own pasta.
Anyway… here’s the recipe:
1. cut an acorn squash in half, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 until tender. Around 45 minutes.
While the squash is roasting make your pasta- or cook up your ready made pasta.
When the Squash is done scoop the insides out and puree with a little milk.
Now its on to the sauce. We used two very different cheeses, both from Appleton Creamery. One is an aged raw sheep cheese, and the other a soft cow’s cheese. Shred the sheep cheese which will make about two cups, or three handfuls.
Dice a medium shallot. In a medium sauce pan melt 4 TBSP of butter. Toss in the shallot and cook in the butter for a few minutes. Add about 4 TBSP of flour. Whisk the flour, butter, and shallot. Add the squash puree. Add 3-4 cups of milk, continue whisking. Add the soft cheese and two handfuls of the shredded cheese.
When the cheese has melted mix the cooked or fresh pasta in the cheese, and pour into a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle remaining handful of cheese on the top and bake for 20 minutes at 400.
B has been wanting to experiment with cheese making. He has been doing a lot of research on the internet, reading Mother Earth News and the Lehman’s catalog.
Today we went to the State of Maine Cheese Company in Rockport in hopes of finding rennet and other cheese making supplies. Unfortunately, they had sold out of some of their supplies, and we went home empty handed.
B then found several recipes for Ricotta that didn’t require rennet. He got everything he needed at the Common Market just up the road. Normally, Ricotta is made from the whey of mozzarella, but the recipes B found were not.
Ingredients for Ricotta cheese are a half gallon of milk, a splash of cream, three tablespoons of lemon or three tablespoons of vinegar, and a teaspoon of salt.
Start by juicing the lemon. It has to be real lemon juice, not something from concentrate. Set aside.
Then pour half gallon of whole milk into a large pot. Add a splash of cream if you want. Heat the milk to 200 degrees or until it comes to a simmer.
Then add salt and lemon juice.
Continue to stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes after the curds start forming. Then pour mixture into a colander lined with cheese clothe which is set into a large bowl.
Let the whey drain out. You may need to do a lot of gentle squeezing once its cool enough to touch. The whey has several uses. Use it as a base for soup, feed your animals, etc.
Our CSA this week featured an interesting character called ground or husk cherries. B and I were excited to try it. So excited that before we even tasted it I traded a bunch of kale for an extra bag of these little paper lanterns. I’m not sure if they are a fruit or a vegetable.
My internet research has told me that they are related to tomatillos and originate in South America. In the north they are grown as annuals and reseed themselves, which has led me to contemplate saving one to throw in a pot this spring. They are called Ground Cherries because you have to wait for them to fall off the plant in order to harvest them. To eat them just pop them out of their paper and pop them in your mouth. I heard that when left in their husk they will keep on your counter for several weeks.
Now the important part- how do they taste? Well, they are almost indescribable. They are citrus-y, creamy, pineapple-y, tomato-y all at the same time. The first bite I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. As I chewed I started tasting one after the other each of the above flavors. Surprised I didn’t turn into a large blueberry at the end like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I ate a few more. Each one is slightly different than the last. One is more like pineapple, while another more creamy. They are truly interesting for such tiny piece of food. B thinks they taste like a sweet pineapple dreamsicle.
I used a hand full of these in a salad. I tossed them with a salad mix, garlic and herb goat cheese, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. They offset the bitter greens and the goat cheese very nicely.
Even though I’ve eaten this meal on and off all week, I still never got a photo of this recipe. It is THAT good. Although it can’t totally be considered vegetarian the way we made it, it could easily be changed into a totally vegan recipe.
- 2 zucchini,chopped
- 1 can of chickpeas, liquid included
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion,chopped
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 cup of water or 1 can of broth
- a little fat from a roasted chicken (optional)
- salt and pepper
combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Eat this with crusty bread or over rice. We added curry to the left overs and ate it with the tadzhiki sauce. As we ate it we actually added more veggies (two more carrots and a freshly picked zucchini from the garden) to stretch it further.
This is how my mom made green beans when I was a kid. I think fresh green beans taste like candy when made this way.
- 1 quart fresh green beans, ends cut off and cut into bite sized pieces
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 tbsp of honey
- pat of butter
- salt to taste
Cook beans in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain. Pour into a medium bowl. Add lemon, honey, butter, and salt to taste. Toss together, and serve hot.
I’m trying to find an ingredient to substitute the lemon. Sumac may work, as it has a citrus taste, but that is a whole other blog entry. It is actually almost time for me to harvest some, so you’ll hear more about that another time.
This is an adaptation of my family’s recipe for sausage stuffing.
6 TBSP of butter
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 bunch(about ten) of rainbow chard stems, chopped (you can throw in some leaves if you want.)
8 ounces of bulk sausage
6 TBSP of dried parsley
10 slices of bread or medium loaf of french or italian bread (We used a multgrain sandwich bread)
1 cup of chicken stock
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a pan, add the chard and saute until they begin to get tender. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Crumble the bulk sausage in and cook breaking up large pieces. Throw in the parsley, salt and pepper to taste and mix. As the sausage cooks, cut up or tear bread into bit size pieces. Transfer cooked sausage mixture and torn bread into a large bowl and toss. Add chicken stock and toss until all the bread is moist. Pour into a 9×13 dish. Bake at 350 until the top is crispy and brown, about 20 minutes.