MRS. BROTHERS’ POTATO SALAD

MRS. BROTHERS’ POTATO SALAD

My wife and I recently spent an enjoyable afternoon with our friends KC and Steve Swallow. The food was fabulous. Steve smoked some pork, made a tangy sauce to go with it and KC made a potato salad that was the best I ever tasted.

What makes this potato salad so special is the dressing. It is cooked and applied to the potatoes when both the dressing and the spuds are still hot. It is sweet and tangy at the same time; a winning combination.

KC acquired the recipe for this potato salad over fifty years ago from a gracious Southern woman named Mrs. Brothers from Lexington, Virginia. Thank you Mrs. Brothers for sharing this unique recipe with KC and thank you KC for sharing it with Greg’s Garden Party.

Serves 8

Chopped celery to taste (we use two sticks)

2 1/2 lbs of potatoes (KC recommends Yukon Gold. We highly recommend AC Chaleur potatoes)

Chopped unions (Sweet onions work best. Vidalia, Walla Walla, or our new favorite “Red River”)

2-4 hard boiled eggs chopped (optional)

Cooked Salad Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Procedure:

Peel potatoes, cube and boil for 15 minutes While potatoes are cooking, make the dressing using a heavy sauce pan. Add the dressing ingredients in order listed except for the butter. Cook over low heat and stir constantly using a wire whisk until sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Combine potatoes, celery, onion, hardboiled eggs and dressing in a large bowl. Stir gently until all ingredients are combined. Garnish with chives or parsley and freshly cracked pepper. Can be made the day before, and gets better with refrigeration.

AC CHALEUR POTATOES AND RED RIVER ONIONS USED BY US IN THIS RECIPE.

Celery Root Soup – We Tried it, We Like it!

Celery Root Soup – We Tried it, We Like it!

While trying to decide whether or not to grow celeriac last year,  I came across an interesting recipe for Celery root soup with pear, ginger and sage in the food pages of the Boston Globe.  It was presented by Globe correspondent, Sally Pasley Vargas.  We made one change, we substituted shallots for the leek.  Also, Catherine and I both agreed that the soup could use double the ginger listed.  Other than that, we followed the procedure to a “T”.

The pairing of celery root and pear is genius.  This is the kind of soup to make on a snowy day in mid-Winter.  Oh yes, the sage adds just the right herbal accent. Here is a link to the recipe:https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2016/01/19/recipe-for-celery-root-soup-with-pear-ginger-and-sage/01gafRdmZOf5Ecwx5IfOkK/story.html

Happy Eating.

All the best,

Greg Garnache

A MID-WINTER HARVEST INSPIRES A DELICIOUS MEAL

A MID-WINTER HARVEST INSPIRES A DELICIOUS MEAL

A couple of weeks ago I peeled back the plastic on one of our low tunnels and discovered a small but healthy stash of golden beets.  I was surprised at the way these beets had weathered the cold.  The variety is BOLDOR and you can purchase the seeds from Territorial Seed Company.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had less than great success growing golden beets in the past.  Boldor is one of my favorite new crops of 2016.

TUNNEL GROWN BEETS

“BOLDOR” GOLDEN BEETS HARVESTED IN MID-JANUARY FROM A LOW TUNNEL

My wife Catherine began researching recipes as soon as I brought the beets into the house.  She discovered a recipe for a savory tart, combining beets, goat cheese and walnuts.  It was so good that we made a second tart a couple of days later.  The recipe comes from “Bistro Cooking At Home” by Boston chef, Gordon Hamersley.  We have enjoyed recreating recipes from this cookbook for nearly fifteen years.  Catherine especially loves the dough recipe for this tart; easy to work with, etc.

Here is a link to the recipe:  Gordon Hamersley’s Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Tart.

We made a couple of changes.  The most obvious is substituting golden beets for the red beets listed in the recipe.  The other substitution was leeks instead of onions.  We had them, so we used them.  You know what?   I like savory tarts, especially when the ingredients come from our own garden.

GOLDEN BEET, GOAT CHEESE AND WALNUT TART

A NICE LIGHT SUPPER, A SLICE OF SAVORY TART AND A SALAD

All the best,

Greg Garnache

 

Leftover Flank Steak with Rice and “Little Gem” Lettuce

Leftover Flank Steak with Rice and “Little Gem” Lettuce

We harvested our first head of “Little Gem” romaine lettuce this weekend.  Wanting to celebrate the occasion I checked the refrigerator and pantry to see what was available for ingredients.  Viola, leftover flank steak, a good start.  We also had onions, organic brown rice and a bottle of “Saigon Sizzle” stir fry sauce.

It all came together for a delicious and fun to eat meal.  Here is the recipe.

1 1/2 cups of leftover flank steak cut into 1/4″ thick slices against the grain and then cut into bite sized morsels

1 onion rough chopped

2 tablespoons of good oil (coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil)

3 tablespoons of “Saigon Sizzle” stir fry sauce

1 head of “little Gem” lettuce washed and separated into individual leaves.

a batch of your favorite rice, freshly cooked

PROCEDURE:

Start the rice.

While rice is cooking, prep all of your ingredients.

When rice is finished cooking, heat a saute pan, add your oil and then cook the onions until tender and slightly browned. (approximately 8 minutes).                       Add the flank steak and cook for 2 minutes, just long enough to bring to temperature.  Add the sauce and mix well.

Put rice, steak/onion mixture and lettuce on a platter.  Place some rice on a lettuce leaf and then some of the steak/onion mixture.  Enjoy.

LITTLE GEM LETTUCE BOAT WITH RICE AND LEFTOVER FLANK STEAK SAUTEED WITH ONIONS AND "SAIGON SIZZLE" SAUCE

HAVING FUN WITH YOUR FOOD. THE LITTLE GEM LETTUCE LEAVES ARE PERFECT FOR MAKING A VESSEL OF GOODNESS

Bean Soup with Bacon

Bean Soup with Bacon

Background

This past growing season, we made a conscious effort to put more of our legume production into beans for drying.  We’ve tried freezing green beans with less than great results so we decided to try something new.  We planted two heirloom varieties; Vermont cranberry and Kenearly, a white bean from the state of Maine).

I have to tell you that we having been really enjoying  cooking with dried beans.  We’ve had baked beans, potato leek and bean soup, and a “killer” red beans and rice among others.  Today, we are talking about a soup made with Kennearly beans.  The base recipe is taken from “Slow Cooker Revolution”, a cookbook presented by the people behind “America’s Test Kitchen” on PBS.  I have tweaked the recipe to satisfy my particular soup making style, but ATK deserves some props.  This is my take on their “Tuscan White Bean Soup.”

KENEARLY BEANS DRAINED, RINSED AND READY FOR ACTION

KENEARLY BEANS DRAINED, RINSED AND READY FOR ACTION

Ingredients

1 pound white beans (I used Kenearly) soaked overnight in 4 quarts of water containing 2 tablespoons of salt.  Beans were drained and rinsed prior to cooking

6 ounces of quality bacon chopped into 1/2″ squares
3 onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of white wine (for deglazing)
6 cups of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 large sprig of rosemary

Procedure

  1.  Prep all of the vegetables, stage the rest of your ingredients and setup your slow cooker.
  2. Place a couple tablespoons of cooking oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) in a large saute pan, heat up the oil and add the bacon.  Cook until crispy.
  3. Add Onions, garlic and red pepper flakes to pan and saute until the onions have browned.  Place in slow cooker.
  4. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of white wine and add to slow cooker.
  5. Add chicken stock, beans, bay leaves and cheese rind to slow cooker.  Set on low and cook for 10 hours.
  6. Twenty minutes before serving, add sprig of rosemary to slow cooker.
  7. Remove bay leaves, rosemary and cheese rind.  Serve with crusty bread and a salad.
  8. ALL OF THE FLAVOR INGREDIENTS SAUTEED AND READY FOR THE SLOW COOKER

    ALL OF THE FLAVOR INGREDIENTS SAUTEED AND READY FOR THE SLOW COOKER

    A BIG BOWL OF DELICIOUSNESS

    A BIG BOWL OF DELICIOUSNESS

    Prep time was about 40 minutes and well worth the effort.  I forgot to mention that we added some shaved parmesan cheese just before serving.  This one is going into the rotation.

Sauteed Scallops with Celeriac Puree and Wilted Beet Greens

Sauteed Scallops with Celeriac Puree and Wilted Beet Greens

One of the great joys of being both a cook and a vegetable gardener is putting together a delicious meal featuring some fresh picked vegetable.  My wife and I teamed up a couple of days ago to create a simple but delicious meal featuring beet greens that I had harvested that very afternoon.

Catherine went to the market to buy some fish.  However, she saw that sea scallops were half priced, so she brought those home instead.  Being a bit on the small size for sea scallops, we decided to stir fry them.  It so happened that we had some leftover celeriac puree in the fridge.  Catherine handled the scallops while I took care of the beet greens.

After washing and culling the greens, I put two large handfuls into a saute pan with a 1/4 cup of chicken stock.  I put the lid on and let the greens steam for a couple of minutes.  I then removed the lid and let the liquid evaporate as I moved the greens about with a pair of tongs.

When the stock was completely evaporated and the greens sufficiently wilted I added a splash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

The greens were placed into two shallow bowls with a pat of butter on top.  The reheated celeriac puree was placed over the greens and the scallops over the puree.  What a fabulous combination.  This was truly a delicious winter meal.

SAUTEED SEA SCALLOPS WITH CELERIAC PUREE AND WILTED BEET GREENS

SAUTEED SEA SCALLOPS WITH CELERIAC PUREE AND WILTED BEET GREENS