Hakurei Turnips with Greens

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Vegetables from Wayne County, Pennsylvania local farms seem to be outrageously expensive!  It might be because the market prices are driven by the demand from high end, city restaurants and boutique grocers.

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Still, it’s nice when good quality, local vegetables are available even if they are a lot more expensive than vegetables found in European farmer’s markets.  Anyway, it sets my teeth on edge when I find that most of the supermarket fruit and vegetable supplies come from South and Central America.  Above:  hakurei turnips, kohlrabi, chioggia beets and fresh garlic.

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This simple and easy recipe of turnips with their greens doesn’t require bacon, you vegetarians, although bacon is always good. However, a dish of the greens, turnips, garlic, onion and balsamic vinegar doesn’t really require any further gilding.  I won’t lie, I wished for lardons:)

Hakurei Turnips with Greens

4 medium size hakurei turnips with their greens

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup of coarsely chopped onion or 2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 large clove of fresh garlic (see picture above), slivered

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp water

1/4 cup diced, cooked bacon (optional)

Cut the greens from the turnips, remove large tough stems, steam for 2 minutes, then drain, chop and set aside.

Peel the turnips, cut into chunks and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet, add the onion and garlic, then saute for about a minute.  Add the turnip chunks and continue to saute until the turnips are a nice, tan brown.  Add the chopped greens, vinegar and water, cover and steam for about 3-4 minutes.

Sprinkle with bacon if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Recipes, side dish, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ethiopian Sega Alicha with Gomen

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Our family lived in Ethiopia for almost 6 years and although Ethiopia is a monetarily poor country, it’s culture is both ancient and rich; dance, music, cuisine, art and couture, they’ve got it all.  Of course it’s the food and our friends we miss the most!

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Ethiopian cuisine is as complex and varied as French or other European cuisines. While Ethiopians are the most carnivorous people in the world, their strictly vegetarian fasting foods are an epicurean’s dream.  We looked forward to fasting season/Lent for the huge, round tray of over a dozen different vegetable wots accompanied by a large, whole, fried river fish.  It’s practically the only time you see vegetables.  Normally it’s meat, meat, meat. When I first arrived in Ethiopia, noticing the lack of vegetables on one restaurant’s enormous menu, I asked the waiter if they ever served any vegetables.  He looked at me oddly and came back with a very small plate of salad greens.  Okay.  Of course Ethiopians do eat vegetables but usually as a penance or maybe when all that meat is blocked up in their systems😀

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I mean guys, for all special occasions; weddings, baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, they order up and hang a whole side of beef or two from the top of a tent.  Standing next to the mercifully headless carcass is a master butcher in a pristine white coat, holding a large, sharp knife.  The guest queue up with their plates and the butcher slices beautifully marbled portions of the raw meat onto each plate.  I queued up once, thinking that the fired up grills/hibachis would be found just beyond the raw meat tent.  Wrong.  Everyone just went back to their tables, picked up the knife provided at each place and just ate the meat, fat and all, “au naturel.”  I wished for a ziplock bag to take my portion home for a little fire treatment but no luck.  My husband ate his and mine.  He was hungry and in general will eat anything.  Actually that’s a good thing in case of a nuclear catastrophe. He’ll be a survivor and I’ll be dead😀

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Anyway.  Seeing that “pining for France” look in my eye, neighbor Caroline invited me to accompany her to another neighbor’s home for Ethiopian food.  No they’re not Ethiopian. In fact I think a group of Ethiopians scouted NorthEast Pennsylvania ages ago and decided against any future communities in the area.  Obviously they put the word out, so there are no Ethiopians around here and therefore no restaurants.  Although it gets cold enough in Ethiopia for fireplaces, I think the Pennsylvania winters may have discouraged immigration and, liking the high life of dancing, singing and partying found in urban areas, they might also have been discouraged by the “city” of Scranton which is just a gap or cleared space in the woods, farmlands and between the hills.  No disrespect intended to Vice President Biden:)

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So.  I chose an Alicha dish to make and share because I don’t have any berbere nor mitmita that the spicier Ethiopian wots require and of course I don’t have any of the Ethiopia bread, injera but did have a Mexican tortilla which is not the same but whatever.

For the meat I used about 1 1/4 lbs of beef strips and 4 flanken ribs, cut into individual ribs,  because that’s what was in the freezer.  2 1/2 lbs of beef cubes would be fine.  I also used ghee because I didn’t want to make a batch of Ethiopian spiced butter, which is ghee with added spices; I just doubled down on the aromatics.  The flavor of the finished dish was very close to Ethiopian and delicious but if you have a good, family owned Ethiopian restaurant in your area and have never tried Ethiopian food before, give it a try.  You’re welcome:)

Ethiopian Sega Alicha with Gomen

4 tbsp ghee

3 large onions, sliced

1 tbsp turmeric

6 really large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 inches fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 1/2 lbs of beef cubes

1 1/2 tsp salt

10 oz baby spinach, vaguely chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced large

Melt 3 tbsps of the ghee in a large skillet, add the onions and saute until they wilt.  Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown.  Stir in the turmeric and saute for about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger, saute for about 2 minutes, cover the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the beef cubes to the skillet and saute for about 3 minutes, add the salt, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the spinach, cover and cook until wilted.  Stir in the last tbsp of ghee, the pepper, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.

Serve with injera or whatever you have.

 

 

 

Posted in African, African, Cooking, Ethiopian, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Romanesco and Sweet Potato Au Gratin

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Caroline my neighbor invited a number of us over for a potluck, late lunch yesterday.  Great idea and we hope to keep it going.  Because most of the guests were vegetarian or as good as (not me), I wanted to make one of my favorite vegetable casseroles; romanesco, sweet potatoes with a butter rich béchamel and cheese sauce.

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I also make this casserole with either cauliflower or broccoli, but I was “gobsmacked” when I saw some suspicious looking cut florets labeled cauliflower/broccoli at the Weiss supermarket!  It doesn’t matter what they called it, I was just pleased that it was available and will keep an eye out because it is grown locally  :)

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I love the colors of the lime green romanesco with the yams.  Tastes good too!  See link at the top for the recipe.

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Composed

 

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I was in the Super Duper the other day and I saw a man who looked like he might be the butcher.  My husband told me that Super Duper had a butcher and that he was available on certain days, but I forgot the days and just happened to see him on this particular day. He looked like he just might be from Texas and so, emboldened, I strolled over and asked him if he ever cut beef flanken ribs.

He:  Well sure!

Me:  Are you from Texas😀

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Well he wasn’t, but close enough and his ribs were a whole lot cheaper than the ones at the German butcher😉

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I imagine that in the paleolithic age salads weren’t exactly “composed”.  Or maybe, in a way, they were; the gatherers going out with their baskets, adding edible fruits and vegetables, then communally sharing the basic contents around the fire.  In the good seasons I imagine these baskets were colorful and attractive, sort of like my market baskets after shopping.  Although I wouldn’t feel comfortable just plunking it in the middle of the table and saying “Let’s Eat!” without slicing, cubing, peeling, leafing, etc.  I don’t know why this popped into my head.  Instead of “sliding down”, I must be plummeting😉

It seems I’m suffering from “pernicious anaemia”, the doctors don’t say that but I got it from reading about Jane Austen’s life and liked the sound😀  Don’t you all fall to your knees and start praying yet, I’m okay😀

Easy Coriander Cumin Beef Flanken Ribs

4 thin cut beef flanken ribs

1 tbsp powdered cumin

1 tbsp powdered coriander

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

Make a paste with the cumin, coriander, pepper, salt and olive oil, then rub onto both sides of the ribs.  Cover with plastic warp and allow to rest for about 2 hours.  Preheat the oven on broil for about 5 minutes, then broil the ribs for about 6 minutes, turn,  and continue to broil for another 6 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Whosenever

 

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I was watching the Neville Brothers on youtube yesterday and realized that I had lost and forgotten a useful and beloved word from my childhood vocabulary, “whosenever”. Whosenever conveyed more than “whoever” or “whomever” to us.  It was an expression of perhaps disinterest and unconcern, expressed in a southern Black way while conversing. That was a good word.  As of today I’m reclaiming it and teaching it to the kids:)

Our daughter Jade is graduating from high school this Saturday, and the family will be briefly back together again; our son is coming from Maryland and my husband from Haiti. I wanted to make something special that everyone loves and decided on a file gumbo.

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Unfortunately,  I have still not been inspired to make up a batch of Emeril’s essence that is the perfect mixture for Creole and Cajun dishes.  Rummaging around the pantry, I did find a jar of my neighbor Caroline’s Cajun Spice Rub.  Caroline makes good rubs/salts and while I wouldn’t say her rub was authentically Cajun (more herbs then spices), this was a tasty rub and I just added a heaping teaspoon of piment d’espelette to the mixture as a work around.  Perfect!

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My husband who has apparently been starving to death in Haiti, and rightfully so, had to be beaten away from the browned chicken.

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My poor thyme plants are under an avalanche of weeds.  My husband will fix this before he returns to Haiti.  In the meantime I was able to scrounge up enough for the broth.  I used white peppercorns because I had white peppercorns😉

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The recipe for this gumbo can be found here.  There are many gumbo variations.  Try your own with duck, okra, whatever you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Farmers’ Market Hawley, Pennsylvania

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Yesterday, my pretty girl Jessie had an appointment in Hawley, the next town over, for a shampoo and grooming.

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While waiting for the deed to be done, I noticed there was a small farmers’ market in the park across the street and thought “why not”, with little enthusiasm and low expectations. Still, I knew that “Jessie Jane” was going to have a ball with those groomers and that it would take time, so I crossed the street.

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What a pleasant surprise!  The market was small but the produce was lovely, the farmers loquacious and friendly.  It was almost like, dare I, France:)  I’m going back every Friday! Look at this lettuce!

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Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

Veal Parmentier

 

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I’ve always been fascinated with the life of Antoine Augustin Parmentier who introduced potatoes into the cuisine of France.  Click the link above to see more about his life and his tombstone in the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

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I’ve made numerous “Parmentier” dishes while in France;  my favorite ones contained boudin noir.  I miss boudin noir😦   However, this Parmentier with veal and spinach was very good.

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In the meantime, here in Honesdale, Pa, my neighbor Caroline Romano gifted me with some golden, baby beets that she found at The Cooperage, our town’s Farmers’ Market.

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The beets, oven roasted, were a great addition to my simple salad of greens, tomatoes and feta cheese.

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Veal Parmentier with Spinach

4 large potatoes, cut into chunks

4 tbsp butter

1 cup grated parmesan or more

4 cups spinach, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 onion, chopped

1 1/4 lb ground veal

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp all spice

Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until cooked.   Add 2 tbsp of the butter and 1/4 cup of the parmesan, then coarsely mash.   Set aside.

Cook the garlic in the olive oil until soft, add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Set aside.

In the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, toast the pine nuts until brown, remove and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and saute until soft.  Add the veal, cinnamon and all spice, then cook until all the pink is gone.  Stir in the pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste.

Layer 5 individual casseroles with the veal, the spinach, parmesan and the potatoes.   Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minute.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments