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Cranberry Orange Bread

23 Nov

by Katy

Being pregnant is the best excuse in the world to eat what you want, and also the worst.  Of course you want to feed the little bugger only organic vegetables and fruits with a side of free range eggs and meat but sometimes the hormones will only allow you to eat what appeals to you right then.  I go back and forth between eating healthy smoothies and drinking vegetable juice to indulging in cookies and ice cream.  People ask about cravings a lot when you’re pregnant.  For the most part, aside from that time when I drove way out of the way to Sweet Potatoes to get their Thursday Fried Chicken lunch special (and it was so worth it), I have been craving fruit, all kinds of fruit, and more fruit.

In the spirit of the season, and my extreme love of fruit, I decided to experiment with cranberries and my favorite fruit of late, oranges.  I wanted a sweet bread but not too sweet, just enough to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.  I hope I succeeded, let us know what you think!

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 bag (12 ounce) of fresh cranberries (you could use less if you’re not big on cranberries but they cook up nicely)

zest of 1 small orange (or half a large one)

juice of 1 small orange (or 1/2 cup of orange juice)

1 cup milk (whole or 2%)

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda) together in one bowl.

2. Mix your wet ingredients together in mixer (by hand works too).  Add in the dry ingredients, mix lightly, until dry ingredients are incorporated.

3. Coarsely chop the cranberries.   Fold the cranberries into the batter.  Pour batter into a buttered and floured bread pan.

4. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

I highly suggest enjoying this bread with butter and large steaming mug of tea.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s some more fruit I need to eat.

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For the Few Cold Days Left- 15 Bean Soup

14 Mar

by Green Gourmet L

The DC weather is taking a turn for the better, but we’re not out of the woods yet. The other day was frigid and I decided to make this warming soup. Have you ever seen the “bulk” bins at the grocery store filled with dried beans, grains, and rice? If you’ve seen the multi-colored bins of dried beans and not known what to do, this is a really good way to experiment with something new. At some grocery stores, they already have their own 15 bean mix, but you can easily make your own by just combining a little bit of your favorite beans until you get about 2 cups (or about 1 pound). The chipotle chili is a MUST in this recipe. It adds some heat, but more than anything it adds smoky flavor similar to a ham hock. This is a fantastic way to get meaty flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried beans
  • 2 32oz cartons vegetable stock
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo
  • salt/pepper

Directions

Soak beans for at least 8 hours (or overnight). I like to soak my beans in the morning before work, and then they are ready when I get home to cook dinner. When soaking beans, you want to make sure that your beans are covered by at least 3 inches of water. Once they have soaked, rinse and drain your beans.

In a large pot, cover your beans with 4 cups of vegetable broth.

In a separate pan, add olive oil and saute the onion, carrot, and celery over medium heat.

This should take about 10 minutes until all vegetables are soft and translucent but not browned. Add your chipotle chili and cook for an additional minute.

Add the vegetables to the pot with the beans and stock. Add the garlic, and herbs to the bean/veggie mixture.

It is important not to salt your soup at this point, as this makes the beans very tough. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and simmer for about an hour. Check the liquid occasionally and add more if needed. Note: I ended up using 2 full containers of vegetable stock. After the soup is cooked, season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy your meaty tasting soup and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

It’s Chicken Week- The Perfect Braise

24 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

If you haven’t tried any of the Green Gourmet recipes, this is the one to try. I have always wanted a go-to one-pot meal for when friends are coming to dinner and you want to hang out (instead of slave away in the kitchen all night). This recipe is not only easy, it’s so delicious and the oven does all the work for you. This recipe has been adapted from Bon Appetit magazine and it’s a keeper. Try this one. And thank us later!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 TB paprika
  • 3 lb chicken broken down into 8 pieces, (need help Breaking Down?)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes and juice
  • 2 cups of frozen pearl onions
  • 2 large roasted peppers (we used red and yellow from the jar), cut into strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB tomato paste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, paprika, 1 1/2 tp salt, and 1/2 tp pepper into large bowl. Add chicken pieces to flour, 1 at a time, and coat on both sides. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin side down.

It’s important not to overcrowd your pan. Saute about 3 minutes a side, until brown.

Remove chicken to a plate. Take skillet off heat. Arrange chicken in a single layer in large ovenproof pot or dutch oven.

Top with tomatoes and juice, onions, peppers, garlic, and bay leaves. Sprinkle with a bit more paprika (up to 1/4 tp).

Add white and red wine to the skillet. Bring to a boil and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom.

Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and tomato paste.

Pour mixture over chicken and bring to a boil.

Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours until chicken is tender.

Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Serve steaming hot in bowls with enough crusty bread to sop up all the sauce in the bottom! Enjoy the perfect braise and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

It’s Chicken Week- Chicken in Adobo

22 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

A little while ago, I was invited to attend a Slow Food DC potluck event to learn more about their group. I was excited to go since I don’t know much about the Slow Food Movement, other than the fact that they have a snail as their logo. What I found was a room full of like-minded people, concerned about food policy and safety, supporting a mission of good, clean, fair food for all. Slow food is the opposite of fast food: taking the time to shop, prepare, cook, and eat real food and share it with family and friends (instead of eating in the car). This is something this Green Gourmets can really get behind!

Not to mention that at this potluck, the food, oh the food, was unbelievable. All of the people in the group are big foodies, and since slow food is all about home-cooking, we enjoyed many dishes from the kitchens of DC home cooks. Some of my favorites were spaghetti squash, curried cauliflower, lentil/rice pilaf, and for dessert- Lemon Shaker pie.  I would go to any of these group meetings again just for the food! I think by far, one of the best dishes of the night, was a one-pot chicken dish called Chicken in Adobo. Just dipping my bread in the sauce was enough for me. Unfortunately, the meal did not come with recipe cards, so I am forced to try to recreate this masterpiece on my own. Here’s my best attempt! Check out more events for Slow Food DC or Slow Food USA and support this worthy cause!

Ingredients

  • 1 3lb chicken broken down (you already know how to do this!)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 TB grated fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cloves garlic pressed (or minced)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 TB cornstarch or 1 TB flour to thicken sauce

Directions

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for 2 hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 350. Transfer chicken and marinade to a large pot or dutch oven and add bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the mixture boils, cover and put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours until chicken is very tender. Discard the bay leaves.

Remove the chicken to a platter and place the pot over medium heat to allow the sauce to thicken.

If you wish to speed up this process, stir 1 TB flour (or 2 TB cornstarch) and equal amount of water in a small bowl until a paste forms. Add thickening paste to sauce and whisk to blend. Summer until sauce thickens to desired consistency, whisking often.

At this point, you can choose the pull the meat off of the bone, but we just kept the chicken as is and it was great. Serve the chicken over rice and top with the reserved sauce.

I’m not sure if this was as good as the one I tried at Slow Food DC, but I’m happy with the outcome. Enjoy and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Not for the Faint of Heart Chili

16 Feb

Guest post! Thanks to Non-Gourmet J for sharing her amazing chili recipe with us!

by Non-Gourmet J

Just the thought of winter gives me the chills. I remember my youth spent trudging through the snow in Kansas City, scraping ice off my windshield while my hands slowly turned a scary shade of blue, power lines downed on side streets, and random patches of black ice that sent my jalopy of a car into a fishtailing frenzy. Despite all this, there are many joys of winter that give me comfort in a way swimsuit season never can. I think of snowball fights, sledding down Suicide Hill, having a permanent excuse to lie on the couch all weekend (football), and cooking hearty food.

My favorite winter fare is, hands down, chili. The one-pot wonder is affordable and highly adaptable. You can make it spicy, vegetarian, loaded with beans (any other way is, in my opinion, a disgrace to the dish completely, but suit yourself), gourmet, or budget-friendly. The following recipe is nowhere near vegetarian, but could be made that way. Just omit the beef, change to vegetarian broth, and use a vegetarian Bloody Mary mix (most contain beef broth or flavoring).

I owe much of this recipe to my dad, who started this quest for the perfect bowl years ago. He and I have worked together and shared our successes and failures as every year we try something a little different. The following is my most recent attempt.

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced (I prefer Vidalia or red onions)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. ground sirloin (chuck also works well)
  • 2 c. beef broth
  • ¼ – ½ bottle Bloody Mary mix (I prefer Pain is Good – http://www.originaljuan.com/drink-mixes/batch-37-original-bloody-mary-mix – but any spicy, tasty bottle will do – you can even make your own!)

  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste (can add more if you need to thicken & cut heat at the end)
  • 2-3 chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo (optional – I only use this if I don’t have smoked paprika on hand – you can chop them up or throw them in whole and remove them later)
  • 7-10 tbsp. chili powder mixture (you can make up your own or see below for an example)
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 bottle dark beer (my favorite is Shiner – this can be omitted if serving guests who do not drink alcohol)

Chili Powder Mixture:

The following is what I used today, but it varies every time based on what I have on hand or what I find at the store.

  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. guajillo
  • 1 tbsp. chile de arbol
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (regular is just okay in this; if you don’t have smoked, use the chipotles in adobo instead)
  • 1 tbsp. jalapeño powder
  • 1 tbsp. ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin

Directions:

Sauté onions in oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add ground beef and brown.

Once the beef loses its pink color, add the beef broth, Bloody Mary mix, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.

If using the chipotles in adobo, add them here (can be added whole and removed later for flavor or diced and left in for extra spice). Add chili powder mixture and brown sugar. Turn down heat to low, cover and let simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. (*Note – if using dried beans soaked overnight add them here so they have time to cook).

Taste chili and adjust seasonings as necessary (adding tomato paste to cut heat; if you need to add heat here, you need to get tested by a doctor because you have a problem).

Add beans and beer.

Cook an additional 20 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, corn bread and/or saltines.

Green Gourmet L can totally vouch for this chili as I’ve had it at least 3 times now. Each time, it is a little bit different (based on the spice mixture), but so awesome! Give it a try and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets! To print this recipe, click here.

Moroccan Tagine

1 Feb

With Green Gourmet K on temporary leave (we miss you already!), the Green Gourmets will occasionally be publishing some guest posts from our foodie friends and family. Here is a lovely Moroccan Tagine from Guest Poster K- enjoy!

by Guest Poster K

I have loved food for a long time, and I take pride in being able to put together a meal not just for myself but one worthy of sharing with friends on a pretty tight budget. But as the issues and calamities of our food system are getting more attention (deservedly so), the choices we make at the market are not always so simple. It is easy to get bogged down by too many choices, and trying to decipher what’s the right choice. Do I go local versus organic all while trying to keep my budget in check? There are times when I haven’t planned ahead and haven’t made it to the market, need to go to the gym, still have to buy groceries and am left standing among aisles of food comparing what the USDA approves as organic with the foods I grew up with. After all of the confusion, it’s easy to lose a bit of the joy that good food brings to our lives. But then sometimes all of the factors come together in just the right way for aperfect meal. So here’s to Aunt Sally…

Inspiration for this meal came from my good friend Patrick’s Aunt Sally and her guiding influence on his life, a desire to preserve lemons, and the need to test a beautiful tangine to determine its status as cookware or simply decorative. In my freezer were two beautiful, bison osso bucco cuts from Gunpowder Bison, waiting since the fall trip to the country for the right occasion to present itself. The recipe below is a close adaptation from, Moroccan Cuisine by Paula Wolfert.

Directions

Soak a cup of prunes in cold water. Set aside.
In the tangine over low heat, melt 3 ½ oz of unsalted butter, 3 tbsps olive oil, a pinch of saffron, 1 tspof ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 3 tbsps grated onion, and 4 sprigs of cilantro tied together with twine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the mixture begins to meld together, place the meat in the pot. Cook for a few minutes on each side then add enough water to almost cover the meat.Note this is not the same as braising since the ceramic tangine can’t get hot enough to brown the meat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for an hour.

During this time we made the start of preserved lemons in preparation of our next Moroccan feast, (stay tuned ) and ate some wonderful pate.

Once the meat has simmered for an hour, add a thinly sliced small to medium onion, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add drained prunes, along with 1-2 tbsps of sugar or honey, ¼ tsp cinnamon. Uncover the tangine and simmer until the prunes soften and the liquid reduces to two-thirds, about 30 minutes.

At this point if you haven’t already, pour some wine and enjoy the incredible aroma that is now filling your house. You have a choice at this point to either catch up on daily trivial life pursuits or solve the world’s problems.

When there is about ten minutes left in the cooking time for the tangine, cook the couscous. For two people we added 1 cup of Israeli couscous to 1 ¼ cup of stock, with an extra pinch of saffron becauseat this point you are fully embracing this experience. In a large skillet sauté peeled, quartered apples in some butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

We used two Pink Ladies and two Granny Smiths from Eastern Market farm stand. These varieties can be found late into the winter season and provide just the right balance of sweet, tart, and crispness to hold up in the pan yet add a subtle creaminess to the palate ofthe dish. I saved half of the apple peels to add to salads and composted the rest.

Dinner is served!

We enjoyed this seasonal meal with a lovely Bordeaux picked up for the bargain price of $7.99. The robust flavours filled our bodies and spirits just as icy rain began to fall outside. And I was given a renewed sense of what Slow Food truly is, good, clean, fair, and enjoyed from preparation to finish with friends. A glass of Italian dessert wine and gingersnaps rounded out the finish. So cheers to Aunt Sally and Buon apetito a tutti.

A Big Pot of Beans- White Bean Cassoulet

27 Jan

by Green Gourmet L

Some nights when it is so cold outside that you can barely move, I like to come home to a big pot of something bubbling away in the oven. Instead of Chicken and Dumplings or Pot Roast, I like to make a Bean Cassoulet. Although cassoulets are typically made with pork, duck, or sausage, I don’t really miss the meat because this is hearty enough. If you like to plan ahead, this can be done with dried beans. If you are a last minute cook (like me!), this can also be done with canned beans. I think the flavor is much better if you take the extra time to use dried beans. Either way, this is a great vegetarian option for all those hearty winter one-pot meal nights.

Ingredients

  • 3 cans white bean (like Cannelini or Northern)
  • 1 1/2 TB fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 TB fresh parsley, chopped, additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar or red wine
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable stock

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2TB olive oil over medium-high heat in large pot or dutch oven. Add carrots, cover and cook on medium- high, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. Add onion and season with salt/pepper and cook, covered for 8-10 minutes until onions are beginning to brown.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar or wine and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add beans, herbs, 1/2 cup cheese.

Add 2 cups of vegetable stock. The liquid should about 2 inches below the top of beans. Stir well to combine.

In the meantime, make your bread crumbs by putting fresh bread into a food processor.

Combine bread crumbs and 1/4 cup cheese in a small bowl. Drizzle 1 TB olive oil into mixture and stir to combine.

Spread breadcrumb mixture on top of beans.

Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes or until top has browned and beans are bubbling. Cool at least 20 minutes to allow beans to absorb liquid.

Serve warm with a green salad. Enjoy your meat-free cassoulet (don’t tell Julia Child!) and don’t forget to tell them you read about it on Green Gourmets! To print this recipe, click here.