Category Archives: What’s for Dinner?

Slow Cooked Soy-Ginger Chicken

Chicken isn’t something we have too often, mainly because it’s one of the more expensive things to buy from the farm (costs more than vegetables, anyway!). but it’s a meat we enjoy on occasion. Chicken legs are one of the more economical cuts to purchase, and they are so incredibly easy to prepare, especially when you toss them in a slow cooker. This recipe has a rich flavor with salty soy sauce, fresh ginger, nutty sesame oil, spicy chili powder, and sweet honey. Served with some kale sautéed in a touch of sesame oil and chili powder, this dish is a crowd pleaser!

Slow Cooked Soy-Ginger Chicken

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Yes, that is grocery store purchased chicken in this picture! I think it's the only meat we've purchased from a market in over a year. We had a gift card to Trader Joe's and decided to give their product a try. I've got to say, it was odd to have meat in a Styrofoam tray with a bar code sticker ...

  • 1 onion
  • 6-8 chicken legs
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2″ chunk ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1.5 T. sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Peel and cut onion into 1/4″ slices. Place onion slices in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Place chicken legs on top of onion slices.

    Chicken and Onion

    Layer chicken legs on top of onion slices.

  3. Peel garlic cloves & crush them. Add to slow cooker.
  4. Peel ginger and cut into 1/8″ slivers. Add to slow cooker.
  5. Sprinkle chili powder and black pepper over chicken. Add bay leaf.

    Ginger, Garlic, Bay Leaf

    Flavorful ginger, garlic & bay leaf

  6. Whisk together soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Pour over chicken.

    Soy Sauce Mixture

    Soy Sauce Mixture

  7. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  8. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice with sauteed greens.
Soy Ginger Chicken

Soy Ginger Chicken with Sauteed Kale

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Root Veggie Stew with Herbed Whole Wheat Dumplings

Root vegetables are great. They’re filling, available in the cold winter months, nutritious and inexpensive. But boy, will I be happy to see tender spring vegetables again soon! We’ve eaten sooo many turnips in the past couple of months and have burned through our frozen reserve of green beans and tomatoes. I am finding myself dreaming of tomatoes and garlic scapes as the weather gets warmer and I can’t wait to have the first cookout of spring! The 60 degree weather outside is certainly playing into my spring fever, leaving me anxious and distracted as I am stuck in an office all day, wishing I was hiking or planting …

Anywho, root vegetables are where its at for the winter, and they really are delicious! This root veggie stew is kicked up a bit by the addition of whole wheat herbed dumplings. I’ve listed the specific root vegetables and greens that I used, but you can use a comparable amount of any combination of root vegetables and any dark, leafy greens.

Root Veggie Stew with Herbed Whole Wheat Dumplings

Stew Ingredients:

Stew Ingredients

Stew Ingredients

Dumpling Ingredients:

Dumpling Ingredients

Dumpling Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Peel rutabagas and sweet potato. Chop all root veggies into 1″ cubes.
  2. Chop onion and mince garlic. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large pot and add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is just tender.
  3. Add root vegetables. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.

    Sautéeing Veggies

    Sautéeing Veggies

  4. Chop or crumble sage (depending on fresh or dried) and add sage and herbes de provence to vegetables, cooking until just fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil.

    Simmering

    Simmering

  6. Chop greens and add to broth & veggies.
  7. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare dumpling dough. First, whisk flours, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
  9. Chop herbs and add to flour mixture, stirring well.
  10. Lightly beat egg. Add egg and milk to dry mixture and stir until stiff dough is formed.
  11. After 15 minutes of simmering, remove lid and drop dumpling dough on to stew by heaping tablespoonful.
  12. Replace lid and allow to cook, undisturbed, for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are tender and dumplings are puffy.
Root Veggie Stew with Dumplings

Root Veggie Stew with Dumplings


Kevin’s Cheese Ravioli

I think I’ve mentioned my husband’s propensity towards making pasta before. To encourage this talent (I benefit from his pasta wizardry, too!), I bought him several pasta-making accessories for Christmas this year, including a ravioli press. This simple gizmo, purchased at an anonymous-looking kitchen gadget outlet in Rehoboth, DE, simplifies the ravioli process tenfold. He is now able to whip up a dozen raviolis at once, and they are all the same size and hold the equal amounts of filling!

Of course, you can dress these up any way you’d like, but for his first test run with this gadget, Kevin stuck with a simple cheese ravioli topped with homemade alfredo (this recipe will come in another post) and broccoli.

The base recipe for these ravioli is Kevin’s go-to pasta recipe, cut differently and used in other recipes on this blog like: Asian Basil & Noodle Stir Fry and Aw Shucks! Pasta. You can cut it into squares, then pinch into bows for farfalle, strips for fettucini, leave in sheets for lasagna, etc.

Kevin’s Cheese Ravioli

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients (not pictured: fresh basil, parmesan cheese)

Pasta Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (Valley View Farms)
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

Filling Ingredients:

Directions:

For the Pasta:

  1. Beat two eggs for pasta.
  2. Place flour, salt, and the two eggs in food processor.
  3. Pulse until mixture looks like cornmeal texture.
  4. With processor running, add water and olive oil.
  5. When dough forms a ball in processor, turn out onto a floured surface.
  6. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into quarters and roll into rectangles about 7 inches wide by 12 inches long (or use a pasta machine, if you have one)
  8. Let sheets of pasta rest 20 minutes.

For the Ravioli:

  1. Mix ricotta cheese, fresh basil, parmesan, salt & pepper in medium bowl.
  2. Beat egg, then mix into ricotta mixture.
  3. If using a ravioli press:
    1. Place first sheet of pasta on press and push mold into pasta to form depressions.
    2. Fill depressions with ricotta mixture.

      Filling Ravioli

      Filling Ravioli

    3. Place second sheet of dough over press.
    4. Roll over dough with rolling pin, until perforations can be seen at ravioli edges.
    5. Remove individual ravioli from press.
  4. If forming ravioli by hand:
    1. Cut dough into whatever size squares you’d like.
    2. Place small spoonful of ricotta filling on center of a square.
    3. Brush edges of square with water or beaten egg and pinch another square of pasta on top.
    4. Repeat until pasta squares and filling are all  used.
  5. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  6. Add ravioli, working in batches if necessary, and cook until they float to the surface.
  7. Strain ravioli.
  8. Serve hot, topped with your favorite sauce or butter and parmesan cheese.
Ravioli with Alfredo & Broccoli

Ravioli with Alfredo & Broccoli


Mushroom & Root Veggie Shepherd’s Pie—It’s What’s for Dinner!

We’ve been eating a bit less meat than usual, trying to save money so we can make up for Irie’s vet visits. Kevin works manual labor out in the cold all day, so a warm hearty meal tends to be in order for the evening in the cold months. Since I started eating mushrooms last year, we’ve grown to enjoy using them as an inexpensive substitute for meat pretty frequently—You hardly notice the difference! Fortunately, the root vegetables that grow in our area at this time of year are also inexpensive and nutrient packed, so we were able to put together this awesome, filling dish for pennies per serving.

Mushroom & Root Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Peel and chop sweet potatoes and 2 of the turnips. Place in pot and cover with water. Add one whole, peeled clove of garlic.
  3. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mince remaining garlic and chop leek or onion, celery and jalepeño, if using.
  5. Sauté garlic, leek, celery and jalepeño in olive oil in large skillet until onion is translucent.
  6. Peel and chop remaining turnips and carrot, then add to skillet. Continue to cook and stir until turnips have begun to soften and turn golden.
  7. Slice mushrooms and add to skillet. Sauté 1-2 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to caramelize.
  8. Add 1 can beer, applesauce, thyme and sage.
  9. Bring beer to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by half.

    Mushroom Mixture

    hearty mushroom & root veggie filling

  10. When sweet potatoes and turnips boiling in water are tender, strain them.
  11. Add 1/2 can beer, a few tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper, then mash sweet potatoes and turnips until smooth, adding more beer if necessary.

    sweet potato & turnip mash

    creamy sweet potato & turnip mash

  12. Transfer mushroom mixture to 8×8″ casserole dish.
  13. Spread mashed sweet potatoes and turnips over mushroom mixture.
  14. Brush top of sweet potato mixture with olive oil.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.
  16. Serve warm with hearty bread and salad.

    mushroom and root veggie shepherds pie

    Mmm. We enjoyed this with some Apple Ridge Farm dinner rolls.


What’s For Dinner?

Can you figure out what I made for a weekend dinner based on these local ingredients? Check back for the recipe on Friday and see if you were right!

Ingredients

sweet potatoes, carrot, celery, turnips, leek, applesauce, garlic, white mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, jalepeno, sage, thyme, beer, olive oil, salt & pepper


Bread Stuffed Squash—It’s What’s for Dinner!

After the delicious stuffing-stuffed apples at Thanksgiving this year, I was inspired to see what other yummy bread-stuffed stuff I could make. The best part of stuffing is the crispy edges, in my opinion, so I also wanted to experiment with how to maximize that crunchiness without having it dry out. The bacon in this recipe adds smokey richness that balances with the sharp cheese and sweet apple.

Bread Stuffed Squash
(serves 4)

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn or other round winter squash (Heritage Farm CSA)
  • 1 apple (Strawberry Acres)
  • 3 slices bacon (Valley View Farm)
  • 3 scallions (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 2 cloves garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1/2 small loaf bread (this is from Taste of Italy Restaurant)
  • 1/4 c. milk (Keepsake Farm)
  • 1/2 c. mozzerella (sharp cheddar would also be excellent) (this is raw milk mozzerella (sharp tasting) from Groffdale Farms)
  • few sage leaves (my garden)
  • pinch thyme (my garden)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • couple tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Finely chop bacon and garlic. Slice scallions.
  3. Cook bacon in skillet until crispy, adding scallions and garlic halfway through.

    Bacon, scallions and garlic

    Bacon, scallions and garlic

  4. Place bacon mixture and drippings in bowl.
  5. Cut bread into cubes and add to bowl with bacon mixture.
  6. Add sage and thyme.
  7. Grate apple and cheese into bowl.
  8. Mix contents of bowl together. Add milk, stirring until mixture is evenly moist.
  9. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush inside and edges with olive oil.
  10. Pack stuffing into squash, pressing in so that surface is flat.

    Stuffed Squash

    Stuffed Squash

  11. Gently place squash, cut side down on baking sheet.
  12. Bake 45 minutes -1 hour, or until squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
  13. Carefully flip squash over (this may take extra spatulas or hands!) and serve hot.
Bread Stuffed Squash

Lots of crispy, crunch goodness to enjoy!


What’s for Dinner?

Can you figure out what I made for a weekend dinner based on these local ingredients? Check back for the recipe on Friday and see if you were right!

Ingredients

milk, squash, mozzerella, bread, bacon, scallion, garlic, apple, salt, pepper, olive oil


Slow Cooker Curried Chicken & Apples—It’s What for Dinner!

In an effort to find yet another way to use apples from my enthusiastic picking trip (I’ve even given dozens away and STILL have apples), I decided to put them to savory use. I pulled out my trusty slow cooker, some root veggies and potatoes and a half chicken from the freezer and got to work mixing up a curry dish that made the house smell heavenly and reminded me of my dear friend Fatima who had to head back to Tanzania to help her father. If you are one of those people who fears curry because of its aroma, please, give this recipe a try—It will warm your spirit!

We saved half of the chicken meat to put on Asian inspired chicken salads the next day—I’ll post that recipe soon!

Slow Cooker Curried Chicken & Apples

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Chop potatoes, apples, leek or onion, celery and carrot into 1.5″ pieces.
  2. Mix chopped veggies in bottom of slow cooker.

    Veggies

    Veggies

  3. Sprinkle with 1 T. of curry powder and salt & pepper, then stir.
  4. Brush olive oil on both sides of chicken, then rub in remaining 1 T. of curry powder.
  5. Place chicken on top of vegetables in slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  6. After 8 hours, remove chicken and vegetables from slow cooker with a slotted spoon.

    Chicken & Veggies

    Chicken & Veggies

  7. Whisk plain yogurt into juices in bottom of slow cooker until smooth.

    Yogurt Sauce

    Yogurt Sauce

  8. Remove chicken from bones, if desired.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables to serve and top with scallions, bean sprouts and/or roasted chickpeas.

    Curried Chicken & Apples

    I like to add something crunchy like these beans sprouts for contrast on top of this dish. Serve with flatbread for sopping up the yummy sauce!


What’s For Dinner?

Can you figure out what I made for a weekend dinner based on these local ingredients? Check back for the recipe on Friday and see if you were right!

Ingredients

bone-in chicken, potatoes, celery, salt, pepper, carrot, leek, apples, scallions, curry, olive oil, crunchy sprouts or chickpeas, plain yogurt


Beef Patties with Mushroom Gravy—It’s What’s for Dinner!

Last week, I planned on making meatloaf for dinner, but miscalculated my time and had fruit leather occupying the oven when it was time to make dinner. The day had demanded something hearty, and we are on a bit of a mushroom kick right now (it took us so long to find a local source!), so I still wanted to make something using beef and mushrooms that captured that “manly meal” attitude of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. So, out came the cast iron skillet (it just makes things feel heartier), a beer and some other ingredients, and voila! The perfect meal for a cold, bleak night. Plus—A bonus side dish recipe because my husband popped into the kitchen to whip up a batch of potato-cauliflower purée.

Beef Patties with Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

Beef Patty Ingredients

Beef Patty Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (Valley View Farms)
  • 1 onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 1/2 c. applesauce (homemade from Strawberry Acres apples)
  • 6-8 white or cremini mushrooms (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 1 clove garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1 beer (I used local Yuengling, but any lager or stout would work)
  • small palmful dried thyme (my garden)
  • small palmful dried rosemary (my garden)
  • 6-8 sage leaves (my garden)

Directions:

  1. Mince onion, garlic and half of each herb.
  2. Mix 3/4 of applesauce, onion, garlic and herbs with ground beef.
  3. Form beef mixture into six patties.
  4. Heat large cast iron skillet and add patties. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes, or to your liking.
  5. Meanwhile, slice mushrooms.
  6. When patties are cooked through, remove from skillet.
  7. Add beer to skillet, scraping up brown bits from bottom.
  8. Add sliced mushrooms, last 1/4 of applesauce and remaining herbs to skillet.

    Mushroom Gravy

    This will make your house smell amazing.

  9. Simmer until reduced by half and thick.
  10. Spoon gravy and mushrooms over beef patties and serve with potato-cauliflower purée.

    Beef Patties & Mushroom Gravy

    Drink a hearty beer with this!

Potato-Cauliflower Purée

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients (Pardon the mess in the background!) (Not pictured: cheese)

  •  2 c. cauliflower florets (this was leftover yellow cauliflower from Bechdolt’s that we had grilled then frozen)
  • 2 c. Yukon Gold potatoes (Strawberry Acres)
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1/4 c. milk, or to taste (Keepsake Farm)
  • 1/4 c. cheese (we used Keepsake Ferale from Keepsake Farm)

Directions:

  1. Dice cauliflower and potatoes and place in large pan.
  2. Cover contents of pan with water and bring to boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Use an immersion blender or mixer to purée vegetables.
  4. Add butter, milk and cheese. Stir until creamy and well combined.
  5. Serve hot with mushroom gravy.

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