Good Gravy

The key to good gravy is having a decent ratio of fat, flavor, thickener, and liquid.  It’s not rocket science, but it does take a little bit of extra time.  Good gravy is never an afterthought!

If cooking for a crowd, you’ll want to double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe.  There’s nothing worse than running out of gravy.  Well, there are plenty of worse things, but running out of gravy is a real bummer.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fat
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • optional – 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 cups stock (I use Better Than Bullion)
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  • optional – finish with 1/3 cup half and half or cream

Directions

Start with the fat from whatever meat you’re cooking.  Pour off some fat if excess or add butter if more fat is needed, so that you have about 8 Tablespoons of fat in your pan.  I use the same pan that I cooked the meat in.  On stove top, over med heat, saute the onions for 10-15 minutes until lightly caramelized.  Reduce heat a bit then sprinkle flour over the fat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly so that the flour doesn’t burn.

Increase the heat back to medium, and if you wish, add in a bit of white wine, whisking as you let it reduce (or skip this step).  Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth.  Then bump the heat up a bit and cook for about 10 minutes, whisking constantly, until the gravy has thickened.  Finish with a bit of cream if desired.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Submitted by Anna

Anna’s Mom’s Homemade Stuffing

This is not a fancy recipe, but it’s my favorite!  My mom NEVER used prepared stuffing mix, but would freeze a piece or two (including heels) from each loaf of bread we used for the few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  By the time Thanksgiving rolled around she had all the bread she needed for the stuffing and it was usually a nice assortment of French, whole wheat, multi-grain, home baked & store bought. I’ve never met a stuffing that I like better, and it’s the perfect vehicle for gravy, which is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.  See my gravy directions next.

Ingredients

This is enough for a rather small bird, double, triple, or quadruple according to size of bird.

1  onion chopped

4 celery stalks chopped

Your choice of herbs, fresh or dried

Butter, quite a bit of butter

Equivalent of two loaves of sliced & cubed bread

Cooked rice, optional (mix in at end with bread, celery, etc)

1 cup chicken broth

Salt & pepper or other seasonings to taste

Instructions

Sauté onions and celery in a few tablespoons of butter till browned.

While onions & celery are cooking, toast and butter each slice of bread then cut into cubes.

Mix together in a large bowl, bread cubes, onion & celery mixture, and assorted herbs, and seasonings.

Then mix in chicken broth till stuffing is moist and clumps together in your hand.

Finally, stuff bird and cook as directed.  Any extra stuffing can be baked in a covered dish or foil packet for the last hour or so that the turkey cooks.

Submitted by Anna

 

 

 

 

Hannah’s Cranberry Orange Muffins

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar (I use less)

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

4 Tbls cold butter cut up

1 egg beaten

Zest of one orange

¾ cup fresh OJ (about two oranges)

2+ cups frozen cranberries

Grease muffin tin (or use muffin liners)

Stir together dry ingredients and orange zest then cut in butter till equally incorporated and split pea sized.

Mix together beaten egg & OJ then stir into dry ingredients until just moistened

Add frozen cranberries, mixing quickly and just until incorporated equally

Spoon into muffin tin

Bake at 350 for 30+ minutes, makes 12 muffins

Submitted by Anna via Hannah

 

Valdi’s Icelandic Lamb Soup, a la Anna

We pulled this recipe out of the archives!  It’s a fall classic and we just happen to have all the ingredients that you’ll need.  It’s what’s for dinner tonight!

A couple of years ago when I was battling a nasty cold, Valdi brought the most delicious bowl of soup to the co-op for me.  It was the BEST soup I’d had in years… perfect for the fall and winter and it’s a great way to use up left-over lamb.  I like lean meat so leg of lamb or shoulder roast works well for me.  Valdi likes a lot more fat, he says it intensifies the flavor, so he uses more soup and rib bones and fattier left-over cuts. 

 

What you need:

2 – 3 packages of lamb bones and/or ribs (if you don’t have any left-over lamb, use 3-4 times as many packages of bones/ribs, as meaty as possible.)

1 – 2 cups diced carrots

1 – 2 cups diced parsnips or turnips

1 – 2 cups diced onion

2 – 4 cups chopped cabbage or kale

2 – 4 cups diced left-over lamb or a couple of steaks cooked and cut into cubes (or use 3-4 times as many soup bones and ribs in broth… so you have more of that meat to use)

1 scant cup rolled oats (I use thick rolled from the bulk bin)

Optional:  2 garlic cloves, chicken broth (I like Better than Bouillon)

 

What to do:

Fill large stock pot ¾ full of water

Add in bones, a pinch or two of salt, two stalks of celery, 2-3 carrots, a quartered onion, and a bay leaf (I also added two whole cloves of garlic, but Valdi doesn’t use garlic in his soup)

Bring to boil then turn down and simmer, uncovered, for two hours

For the first several minutes of cooking you’ll need to scoop off some icky looking foam.  I don’t know why it does this, I just scooped it off like Valdi instructed.

While the broth is simmering dice your veggies and meat

When the broth is done, strain out the bones and spent veggies, and pull meat from bones (if you want a lower-fat version, make sure to trim the fat from the meat and chill the broth for several hours so that you can skim off the fat).

Rinse stock pot then add broth back in, along with a few more cups of water or prepared broth, to fill stock pot ½ to ¾ full.  If adding more than three cups of water you’ll probably want to add some Better than Bullion (chicken base) so the broth isn’t too watery.

Bring broth to boil and add in all your veggies, meat, and oatmeal

Turn down to simmer for 20-30 minutes, add more liquid if needed

Add salt as needed

Recipe submitted by Anna, tweaked and adapted from Valdi’s family recipe

 

Winter Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

2 ½ cups (packed) mixed fresh local greens (spinach, kale, parsley, Asian Mix, or Braising Mix)

3 cloves garlic

¼ – ½  cup nuts of your choice (walnuts work well)

½  cup grated hard white cheese

1 ½ tablespoons organic lemon juice

½ cup organic olive oil (more or less – to your liking)

1 teaspoon of sea salt

 

Directions

Place the greens, garlic, and nuts in a food processor and chop as fine as possible.  Add the cheese, lemon juice, salt and oil. Continue processing until well blended.

Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer keeping.

** Double recipe makes seven 1/3 cup portions that I individually wrap and freeze.

 

Submitted by Pamela, adapted from Smith and Hawken Gardener’s Community Cookbook

Mushroom Medley Bisque

Ingredients

About 1 pound of assorted fresh mushrooms (dry-brushed clean, stems cut off, caps thinly sliced)

1 tablespoon organic olive oil

1/4 lb organic butter, plus 1 tablespoon

1 medium yellow onion cut into 2 inch pieces

2 medium carrots cut into 2 inch pieces

2 stalks of celery cut into 2 inch pieces

1 – 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence

Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper

Herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken or Mushroom base

2 cups finely chopped leeks (optional, mix with shallots or onions)

1/3 cup flour

1 cup white wine

1 cup milk (I use organic unsweetened almond milk)

1 cup organic heavy cream

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

 

Directions:

To make the stock heat olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large pot.  Add mushroom stems, onion, carrot, celery, 1 teaspoon of herbs de Provence, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Add 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of bouillon base, reduce heat and simmer for another 30 minutes.  Cool slightly then strain and reserve broth.

Meanwhile, in another large stock pot, heat the ¼ lb butter and add the leeks.  Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.  Then add the mushrooms and cook another 10 minutes until they begin to brown.  Mix in flour, 1 teaspoon of herbs de Provence, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper to make a roux.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the white wine and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring constantly and scraping from the bottom of the pot.  Add the strained broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add milk, cream, and parsley and bring nearly to a boil, but not quite.

Serve piping hot with homemade biscuits and butter.

Recipe submitted by Anna.  Combined and Adapted from several online and print mushroom soup recipes.

 

 

 

 

Angie’s Grandmother’s Apple Cake

Ingredients
3 farm fresh eggs
1 c of oil
½ c water
2T vanilla
3 c flour
1 ¾ c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t soda
¾ t. salt
3 c shredded apples and/or pears
1 c Equal Exchange chocolate chips

 

Directions
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, and then combine
thoroughly.  Add chocolate chips last.
Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes.
Sprinkle with granulated turbinado sugar when almost cool.
Enjoy!
Submitted by Jill, original recipe from family friend

The Best Way to Enjoy Padron Peppers

Enjoy Padron peppers as a simple yet elegant appetizer.

“Pimientos de Padron” are the pride of Galicia in northwest Spain. Just cook in a hot olive oil coated frying pan and sprinkled with sea salt before serving. With a delightful pepper flavor, they melt in your mouth.  Keep in mind that about one in ten is hot – so eat thoughtfully!

Ingredients:

 2 generous cups of San Juan Island Padron peppers

 1-2 tablespoons organic olive oil

 San Jaun Island Sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions:

Add olive oil to a hot frying pan, when the oil is hot and shimmering, add the peppers.

Cook and stir the peppers until the skins are browned and blistered.

Remove peppers from the pan, arrange on plate, and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

Submitted by Amanda, adapted from pattysfood.com.

Chicken Pipian Verde (Chicken in Pepita – Tomatillo Sauce)

Serves 4. Total time about 1 ½ hours. Easy to prepare.

The pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) give this sauce a unique toasty, rich flavor. Serve with your

favorite Mexican sides such as Spanish rice and beans. This dish is equally good with

grilled/roasted vegetables and polenta.

Ingredients

Grilled Chicken:

4 boneless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Pipian Verde Sauce:

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ C. chopped shallots ( or ½ onion chopped)

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

¼ tsp. Black pepper, ground

1 C. chicken broth

1 lb. tomatillos, husk removed, washed and sliced

3 Pablano peppers

¼ C. Cilantro leaves

1 tsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 C. raw, unsalted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Salt & pepper to taste

Beer

Directions

Coat chicken breasts with lime juice and lightly with olive oil and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Sauce: Heat chopped onion or shallot in olive oil in a medium sized, heavy saucepan over

moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add chopped garlic and ground pepper and

continue cooking for 1 – 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and tomatillos. Simmer tomatillo mixture

until it starts to thicken and tomatillos are soft, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, roast pablano peppers in a toaster oven set to broil. Turn the peppers as the skin

begins to char and blister, until they are charred on all sides. (You can also roast peppers by

placing directly over a low flame on the stove top or in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.)

Place charred peppers in a glass bowl, cover with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes. This will allow

them to sweat and make it easier to peel. Peel the charred skin from the pepper, remove the

seeds and stem and chop coarsely. Place peppers in a blender along with the cilantro leaves,

sugar and lime juice and set aside.

Preheat and ready your grill for the chicken. Set grill to medium heat.

Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat till hot. Toast the pepitas (pumpkin seeds),

stirring constantly, until they begin to pop and turn a toasty brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Watch closely! Don’t let them burn. Immediately transfer seeds to a plate to cool. Reserve 2

Tbsp. for garnish.

When tomatillo mixture looks ready you can begin grilling your chicken. Put chicken on grill and

set timer for 4 – 5 minutes, depending on thickness.

Open beer and take a few swigs. Set aside.

Once tomatillo mixture is ready, let it cool slightly (while you put chicken on the grill) then add

this along with the pepitas to the peppers and cilantro mixture in the blender. Begin blending.

If sauce is too thick, add some beer. Blend until semi-smooth. There will still be some

coarseness from the pepitas. If you prefer your sauces really smooth, keep blending. Add salt &

pepper to taste.

Turn chicken and grill another 4 – 5 minutes until just cooked through.

Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with reserved pepitas.

Recipe submitted by Peg Gerlock.  This is a traditional Mexican recipe and has been adapted from from several other adaptions.

TOMATILLO SALSA

INGREDIENTS

 1 ½ pound tomatillos, husks removed, washed and chopped*

 1 large tomato, chopped

 ½ cup chopped white onion

 1 – 2 Jalepeno or Serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced

 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

 ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

 1 Tablespoon lime juice

 ¼ teaspoon sugar

 Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve with Mexican dishes as a salsa.

*Alternate method: tomatillos may be roasted first then cooled and chopped

Recipe submitted by Peg Gerlock.  This is a traditional Mexican recipe and has been adapted from from several other adaptions.