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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.)
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.