Cooking from the Farms: Kitchen Update

Wow.  It’s cold today.  Just in time for the root vegetables and hearty greens from this week’s CSA shares.  Still:  Good-bye summer.  I will miss you.  Thank you for sending Saturday as your last gasp before this cold settled in.  I was able to get to the Parker River Wildlife Refuge beach for a morning of sun.  I’m browner than I was, and that’s a good thing.

I Love Leftover Anything

Remember Thursday’s roast chicken with root vegetables?  The vegetables disappeared by lunchtime the next day and the chicken helped – along with Cider Hill tomatoes, Heron Pond garlic, and rosemary from the deck –  me to put Saturday’s pasta dinner on the table.

On occasion my father made his pasta sauce with chicken on the bone stewed within it for flavor and richness. By the end of an hour or two, the meat would be fall off the bone tender, absorbing the garlic and sweetness of tomatoes, while the tomatoes and garlic benefited from the complexity of cooking meat on the bone.  I think that’s the definition of harmony.

You can try this sometime, too, browning bone-in chicken thighs as the meat base for your favorite sauce instead of sausage or meatballs.  Assemble the sauce on top of the browned meat as you would usually, and then let everything stew.  Eating the marrow from the bones after (as my father always did) is completely optional.

Saturday’s pasta used only the leftover meat so I built depth in the sauce with fresh garlic, generous amounts of rosemary sprigs, and some crushed red pepper flakes for warmth.  The following is not a strict recipe, but you’ll be able to follow along just fine.

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce with Chicken and Rosemary

First I submerged four tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds to loosen their skins.

I then peeled, seeded, quartered, then chopped these.  Next, I heated some olive oil in a large saute pan.  Two cloves of garlic were very thinly sliced and tossed into the olive oil to soften and turn golden.  I cut a really large sprig of fresh rosemary in two pieces and tossed that in the oil with the garlic.  The aromatics sauteed a bit.

Chicken pieces came next, then the chopped tomato.

This got seasoned a bit with salt and pepper.  I let all the juices reduce, added about a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes and a little more salt and pepper to taste.  Done.  Removed the branchy bits of rosemary.  Served the sauce over linguine.  Passed the piece of parmesan and the microplane.  Ate.

Glorious Morning

I have heard these muffins called Morning Glory Muffins and Glorious Morning Muffins.  I think I prefer the latter because they make any breakfast a glorious one.  It is the perfect muffin to make in the fall.  You need fresh carrots (in season) and a crisp tart apple (in season).  The cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins add to the pastry’s overall fallishness.  The recipe makes about 18 muffins, so you will need two muffin tins.

You will also need:

  • 1 1/3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup peeled, shredded apple
  • 1 1/3 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • rolled oats for sprinkling, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare the muffins tins by spraying the tops with non-stick spray and lining the cups with paper muffins cups.

Sift together the two flours, the sugar, the soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

Grate the apple and carrots, and measure out the coconut, nuts, and raisins.

Add these to the dry ingredients and toss to distribute well.

Beat together the eggs, oil and vanilla in a separate bowl.  Add to the egg mixture the dry ingredient mixture.  Mix by hand until just blended.  Spoon into prepared muffin tins (I use an ice cream scoop for uniformity).

Sprinkle with whole rolled oats if desired and bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 32 minutes.  Cook in pan at least 10 minutes before removing to a cooking rack.  Enjoy with a cup of coffee as the sun comes up for a truly glorious morning.

Pick of the Produce

This Cider Hill kale went into Saturday’s salad along with red leaf lettuce, scallions, chopped apricots, and toasted almonds.

Cider Hill carrots, roasted with chicken and folded into muffins.

Heron Pond turnips.  Sassy little white and purple things.  They looked sassy in their little jackets and tasted even sassier.

Heron Pond kohlrabi

©2010  Jane A. Ward