Friday, December 18, 2009

Grapefruit Mint Salad

Sounds like summer doesn't it? Not bone-cold December. I guess you don't have to wait for the holiday to have a few surprises. One of my favorite local farms is experimenting with high tunnels, which means I am experimenting with FRESH LOCAL salad greens in December.

Winter is also peak season for grapefruit and citrus. All the more reason to celebrate.

Grapefruit-Mint Salad
2 Ruby Grapefruits, sectioned
1 tbs. mint, chiffonade or chopped
3 cups greens, spring mix or mache
Juice of 1 lemon, plus zest
2 tbs. champagne vinegar
4 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. honey
salt and pepper to taste

Divide salad ingredients among four plates. Drizzle with dressing. You have room for some cookies now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Year, New Resolve

Note, I did not say resolutions. I tried to sit down and write a list of specific things I will do in 2010, but so much of it is just an extension of the topics I write about already. So, here are some of what you can look forward to in the New Year here in the kitchen:
  • More recipes, of course.
  • Thinking Globally. Worldwide issues of climate change and hunger and what that means for all of us, and how we are all connected in these issues.
  • Acting Locally. Ways to be active in my (and your) own community for Food Justice, and helping grow the local food movement for all.
  • Issues, laws and your food. Just not going to get away from this one. Hot buttons ahead; school lunches, food policy as health policy.
  • A little bit of humor now and again. I used to post these things, but we can all use some levity these days.
  • More free books. Well, as long as I have them to share!
As far as the other stuff; lose weight! learn a new language! exercise! Hey, we all do what we can. I don't need to wait for the calendar to tick over years before I do something worthwhile. I just need to not let the time pass by before I do.

Monday, December 14, 2009

January Book Giveaway

December's winner for The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook is Suburban Prep. Be sure you email your mailing address to farmerfare AT gmail DOT com to get your free book!

January's giveaway is, appropriately, Victoria Moore's book How to Drink. Leave a comment with your favorite cocktail or adult beverage you celebrate with and you will be entered into a random drawing to win the book.

The book covers not just alcoholic beverages, but the perfect seasonal drink for nearly every occasion. Recipes for the perfect drinks and cocktails are accompanied by advice and historical insights into beverage options.

Remember, kids, as the author says, it's not how MUCH you drink, it's how WELL you drink. And drive responsibly. Cheers for a happy 2010 for all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Recipes

I took down quite a few of the recipes on the site for the upcoming book. Still, there are many of the holiday favorites to be found.

Here's to a warm kitchen, full of family and friends and a safe, happy holiday to all this season.




Sunday, December 06, 2009

Comfort Food on a Cold Winter Day

I got the idea for this recipe at an Italian restaurant, one owned by Lidia Bastianich. When you think about the ingredients, cabbage and bacon, it doesn't seem very Italian. It also doesn't sound like it would work with pasta. Yet it did, pretty well.

I'm not about to suggest that I cook better than the world's most famous Italian grandmother. No way. But the dish got me thinking. Bacon and pasta. And a huge head of cabbage from the last CSA package of the season. A few of the last apples still in the fridge. Hmmm, could work.

I'm not going to call the end result Italian or German. It's just a nice, cozy dish on a cold winter day like today. Something warm and spicy while we wait for the winter storm to hopefully pass us by.

Bacon and Cabbage Pasta
1 lb. bacon, diced
3 shallots, diced
2 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. salt
2 green apples, cored and diced
1/2 medium head of cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tbs. cider vinegar
2 tbs. chopped sage
1 tbs. chopped rosemary
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 lb. potato gnocchi, or substitute 1/2 lb. dried whole wheat pasta

Cook the bacon in a large pot. Remove when just crisp and drain on a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 tbs. of the grease. Add the shallot to the pot and saute for two minutes. Add the spices and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the apples and cabbage and saute again, tossing to get the cabbage wilted.

Cook pasta or gnocchi according to directions.

Add the cider, vinegar, sage and rosemary to the pot. Braise the cabbage and apples with the spices and herbs for another 5-8 minutes. Before serving fold in the crisp bacon and the gnocchi or pasta.

Egg Nog French Toast

There are two seasonal foods that I have a real weakness for; pumpkin ice cream and egg nog. Real, full fat, buttery-rich eggnog. Ho, ho, ho, off to jog I go.

Egg Nog French Toast
For the toast:
3/4 cup eggnog
1 egg, beaten
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

6 slices egg bread like challah or brioche, or a whole grain like honey wheat.
1 tbs. butter

1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1 tsp. bourbon
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat the butter in a skillet. Soak bread, both sides, in the eggnog mixture. Brown on each side until golden.

Warm the syrup in a sauce pan with the bourbon, cinnamon, and pecans. Top the toast with syrup. Enjoy.