Posted in Blog, Recipes

Traditional Mayan Cooking Course

While Jason is taking Spanish classes, I signed up for a five day cooking course where we get to cook a different Mayan dish everyday. Today we learned how to make Pepian, a traditional Mayan chicken stew. I had met Angela, the owner and Ines, my teacher, earlier last week when I signed up for the class. When I got there, they were preparing a fire in the outdoor kitchen set in a beautiful garden space. It is typical for Mayans to cook over an open fire.

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Angela setting the table.

Can you believe Ines is only 19 years old? She is very sweet and very patient for her age. She only speaks Spanish so Angela who is from Spain, is there to help translate what I don’t understand. I do find cooking to be a universal language just like music and most things you can understand by pointing and through demonstration. I appreciated the fact that the class was taught in Spanish so I could familiarize myself with the language.

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In the garden with Ines.

The three of us started by going over the ingredients of tomatoes, potatoes, tomatillos, 2 kinds of dried chile, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and a type of squash they call guisquil pronounced wee-skill. They had already butchered the chicken and had it boiling over the fire. Thank god! We peeled and chopped the potatoes and guisquil and added it to the pot. Next we charred the chiles, tomatillos and tomatoes on a skillet over the open fire.

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Posted in Recipes

Fried Taro Potatoes with a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

Taro potatoes have been commonly eaten in Japan since ancient times and are called Sato Imo. You may know taro potatoes used in a traditional Hawaiian dish called Poi. There are different varieties of taro and we grow the smaller ones common to Japan. Now taro is not the prettiest vegetable out there so when it is added to a CSA box you may not be inspired to use it right away. But don’t be shy! These hairy root crops are easy to prepare and very creamy and the texture even compared to marshmallows! Taro potatoes are known to boost your immune system. The extra mucus helps line the stomach and combat bacteria and virus. Unlike other potatoes, they are good for the digestion so they are great to eat when you are sick or have stomach problems. They are also said to help brain function and fight free radicals in the body.

 

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Posted in Recipes

Better Than Spinach Creamed Greens Casserole!

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Serves: 8
Ingredients:
1 pound mustard greens or any other greens like chard or kale works too
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3/4 cup of Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of blue cheese or any other melty cheese of your choice

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Posted in Recipes

Parsnip Taro Fritters by Camille Armantrout

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Taro Potatoes or Satoimo as we call it in Japan, are a great storage crop to have to get you through the winter. It is commonly eaten in Japan and our CSA members are just starting to get the hang of them. They have a high oxalic acid  content and are not suitable for eating raw so always make sure to cook them through. Popular ways of eating them are in soups and stews. My neighbor and CSA member, Camille Armantrout, has been busy experimenting with them and came up with this fabulous fritter recipe! I was lucky enough to be her taster yesterday!

PARSNIP-TARO FRITTERS

Taro, 1 cup boiled and peeled
Parsnip, 1/2 cup boiled or roasted
Onion or Scallions, 1/2 cup chopped
Garlic, 1 clove minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Peanuts or any other nut, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
Panko or bread crumbs, 1/2 cup
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon if using salted nuts, 1 tsp if using unsalted
Coconut, 1/2 cup shredded or flaked, unsweetened
Lemon or Lime juice or zest, 1 teaspoon
Cilantro, minced 2 tablespoons
Peanut oil or other frying oil
Sweet chili sauce (like Mai Ploya)

Using a potato masher, mush cooked taro and parsnip into small chunks.
Stir in onion, garlic, nuts, panko, salt, coconut, lemon and cilantro until uniformly blended. It will look like a sticky mess with lumps of taro and parsnip but have faith, these are going to be delicious.
Add 3 Tablespoons of oil to a hot pan.
When the oil is hot, drop spoonfuls of fritter mix into the pan, leaving lots of space between them.
Flip the fritters as soon as they are all in the pan to expose the oily side and use a spatula to press flat. This way the spatula won’t stick to the taro.
Turn heat to medium and fry for several minutes before flipping and pressing again.
Remove golden-brown fritters to a paper towel to drain.
Add oil to pan and scoop out stray bits of fritter if needed before frying the next batch.
Serve with sweet chili sauce.

Batter can be frozen and used another day.

Posted in Recipes

Orange and Date Arugula Salad by Beth Mullenberg

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This is from ‘Plenty More’ by Yotam Ottolenghi.  I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone wanting to experience new flavors with vegetables.
I didn’t have radishes or orange blossom on hand so just omitted them.  I had clementines instead of oranges so my version was a little sweeter. Still excellent.
Orange and Date Salad
Ingredients:
5 medium oranges (2.25 lbs-3 cups after peeling and slicing
3 large medjool dates pitted and quartered lengthwise
4 oz radishes, sliced paper-thin
1/3 small red onion sliced very thin
3 cups arugula
1 oz lollo rosso letucces (2-3 leaves torn into 1  1/4 in pieces-I used your butterhead)
1 cup cilantro leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves coarsely torn
Dressing
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1tsp orange blossom water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
3 TBSP olive oil
salt and black pepper
To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, orange blossom water, cinnamon, and fennel seeds.  Add the olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and a generous grind of pepper and whisk until well combined.  Set aside.
Using a small, sharp serrated knife, slice off the top and tail of each orange.  Cut down the sides of each orange, following its natural curve, to remove the skin and white pith.  Cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick and remove the seed.
Put the oranges, dates, radishes, onion, arugula, lettuce, cilantro, parsley, and mint in a large salad bowl.  Stir the dressing and pour it over the salad.  Gently stir everything together, pile into a large but shallow bowl, and serve.
Posted in Recipes

Leek and Mushroom Quiche

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This quiche goes well with Turnip Potage Soup that I posted a recipe for last week!

 

Ingredients

1 pie crust

2 happy organic eggs

1 cup half and half

1 pinch nutmeg

1 block of feta about 1/8-1/4 cup

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

3 small leeks (If you are getting them from your CSA the greens are tender enough that you can eat them too. Chop them up and steam them first with a pinch of salt and 1 Tbs cooking sake before sauteing white part)

4-5 sliced button mushrooms

*optional* A handful of chopped greens from your CSA (I used turnip greens but it can be kale, chard, mustards…I love adding greens to everything but there is more moisture in the quiche which could make your quiche a bit soggy.)

Preparation

1. As I mentioned above, steam the green part of your leeks if you have nice tender greens. If not saute the white part of the leek.

2. Add the mushrooms and saute a few more minutes.

3. Add the greens too if you like and saute until they wilt. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Put the mixture in a pie crust.

5. Beat the eggs, add cream and nutmeg and pour the mixture over the sautéed leeks and mushrooms.

6. Top with feta and mozzarella cheese.

7. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees F preheated oven.