Root Vegetable Pot Pie

A rich and hearty pot pie is perfect for the season’s cooler tempsMake the most of earthy veggies with this tender main course that suits the season all winter long. Yogurt adds moisture and texture to the flaky crust while the decadent filling guarantees second servings. Try with a simple side salad.

Recipe originally posted on CAFE newsletter, edited by Ellie Sharp

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs each rutabaga, turnips, and sweet potatoes, cut into a ½ inch dice
  • 1 lb each carrots (sliced), Brussels sprouts (halved and tough outer leaves removed if necessary)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (~2TB)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 rosemary stalks, leaves minced

Leek Bechamel

  • Olive oil to sauté leeks
  • 1 bunch of leeks, halved, washed, and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper

Yogurt Dough (adapted from Nourishing Traditions)

  • 1 cup yogurt (goat yogurt OR kefir would be an excellent local choice here!)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 ½ cups flour (whole wheat is an excellent choice here as the yogurt tenderizes and softens the whole wheat and produces a stellar flavor and texture. A spelt flour version is pictured below.)
  • 1 tspn salt
  • Egg wash/melted butter for cooking

Directions:

Make yogurt dough:

  1. Cream together butter and yogurt in stand mixer with paddle attachment.
  2. Add flour and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. Split into two. You only need half this the dough for the recipe. Freeze the other half for the next time you make pot pie, pasties, etc.
  4. You can use immediately or set aside to allow the yogurt to soak the whole grains to increase nutritional absorption!

Roast veggies:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. On a sheet pan with a Silpat mat/parchment/foil, combine rutabaga, sweet potatoes, and turnips. Add 1 TB of olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and half the rosemary. Flip vegetable halfway through. Roast for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.
  3. On another sheet pan add carrots and Brussels sprouts. Add oil, salt and pepper, rosemary.  Roast for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Set vegetables aside or add to your pie pan. You might have more vegetables than needed. They make an excellent topping to fresh greens, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette the next day for lunch. 
  5. Reduce oven to 375.

Make bechamel:

  1. Sauté leeks in olive oil over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes until leeks are translucent. Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic.
  2. Add butter. When melted, sprinkle flour over and combine. Let flour cook for 2 minutes.
  3. With a whisk, add milk 1/2 cup at a time, whisking with each addition.
  4. Allow the bechamel to cook for another minute and make sure everything is combined. Turn off heat.

Assemble:

  1. Place vegetables in pie pan.
  2. Top with bechamel and stir to combine. Taste and add more seasoning if needed! Set aside.
  3. Roll dough (easier if slightly chilled) out on countertop, make sure you have enough to cover pie pan. 
  4. Cover the pie with dough. Press dough onto pie pan using fork, crimping edges or your fingers to press down. Create vents on top allowing steam to escape during cooking process.
  5. Brush with egg wash or melted butter to help brown.
  6. Cook at 375 for 30-40 until crust is browned and delicious looking!

Braised Radishes (w/ bacon or browned butter)

First appeared on CAFE newsletter January 12, 2020

Edited by: Ellie Sharp

In the middle of the winter, finding colorful crunch is hard without the beautiful radish! Most people put radishes in salad. While they certainly are a tasty, crunchy addition to a salad, there are other ways to use them! The most common way is to simply dip them in soft butter and sprinkle with salt. Seriously, don’t knock it until you try it! If you can’t quite swallow that, you can spread some bread with a (thick) layer of butter, then a layer of radish, then top with salt (black salt pictured). Don’t forget about the tops too! They are thinly sliced and placed on top of the radish sandwich here, but radish tops make an excellent addition to homemade pesto and soups (think in place of spinach, kale, or mustard/turnip greens!).

Perhaps though, my favorite way to prepare radishes is to cook them. They are wonderful roasted on pan amongst other vegetables (like potatoes or squash). I’m a big fan of “sheet pan meals” and love to throw potatoes, radishes, broccoli, and some local sausages on a pan to roast and call it dinner! But I want to leave you with a very tasty addition to your recipe box. Braised Radishes. I hope you try it and love it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon OR ¼ cup butter
  • 2 bunches of radishes, about 1 pound, or about 14 radishes
  • 3 large shallots or a small red onion, sliced and 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Water or chicken/vegetable stock 2TB-1/4 cup
  • Italian parsley, leaves chopped into about scant ¼ cup
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim away bottoms of radishes. You can keep nice looking greens intact or remove and save for another use (or compost!). Slice each radish in half from top to bottom. Peel the shallots and slice into thin rings.
  2. Cook the chopped bacon in a large heavy skillet – preferably cast iron. When the bacon is crisped remove from skillet and set aside. If you need to, drain some fat away. You should have enough bacon fat covering the skillet (about 1-3 Tablespoons). OR melt butter in pan. Over low, allow butter to cook until small bits start to brown on the bottom of the pan ~3 minutes.  
  3. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they start to brown slightly. Move to the outside of the skillet, away from heat. Add the radishes, placing each cut side down in the skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms just start to color.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and some water/stock – the liquid should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the water has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley/herb of choice and sauté for about a minute or two, until it’s wilted.
  6. If using, add the bacon back in and season with salt and pepper. Serve over grits!

A formula recipe: Skillet gratin

Edited by: Ellie Sharp, first published in the CAFE newsletter

This time of year I crave hearty, deeply satisfying dishes like shepherd’s pie and baked au gratins. I turn to these and others time and time again, with just one regret: the inevitable stockpile of pots and pans that such recipes require when each component is cooked separately and then combined into a final baking vessel. With snow in the forecast this past week (it eluded us this time – boo!) I was hankering for a hearty, hot soup alternative that wouldn’t put my kitchen cleaning into overdrive. The result was combining the likes of a shepherd’s pie with an au gratin into a single skillet supper.

This meal is exceptionally adaptable and can be tailored to flavor preferences as well as meat or meat-free diets. Once a filling is chosen, it is topped with a starchy vegetable and cheese “crust”. With this basic formula as your guide, the resulting outcomes are truly limitless. Play around with what’s in season, try combining new-to-you ingredients with a familiar base, or switch up seasonings for Tex-Mex, Greek, Asian or Italian flair.

For my first creation, pictured here, I used bacon, leek, shiitake, and cabbage with a rutabaga topping: a true celebration of CAFE offerings these days!

Skillet Gratin 
The formula:

Protein: 1 lb ground meat, 8 oz chopped bacon, 1.5 cups leftover roast meat, OR 1 can of drained beans/lentils 

Vegetables: You need roughly 6 cups of chopped vegetables. Ideas include mushrooms, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc.

Gratin topping: 1 pound starchy root vegetable such as potatoes, rutabaga, turnip, even beets. Slice chosen vegetables thinly with a mandolin.

Seasonings and Herbs: Start with 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped, freshly chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Nice additions include tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, wine, etc.

Cream and Cheese for Topping: Save the cream from the top of your raw milk or, as pictured here, the top layer of canned coconut milk. Nut milk might work, too, if you can make it thick enough (give it a whirl). You’ll need about ½ cup of the milk choice and ½ cup of preferred cheese.

In addition to the following specific recipe, here are some combination ideas to get you started:

  • Chicken pot pie inspired with chicken, carrots, mushrooms, peas and topped with Yukon gold potatoes.
  • Roast pork from the freezer with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and topping with some potatoes and goat cheese.
  • Ground beef would do well with spinach or broccoli plus tomato and an addition of tomato paste.
  • Lentils! I can’t wait to try this with lentils and some kale topped with turnips. 

The possibilities are truly limitless or at least as far as your taste buds and imagination can take you!

Bacon, shiitake, leek, cabbage with rutabaga skillet gratin (pictured recipe):

  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 leeks washed and sliced into half moons
  • 1 small (or ½ large) cabbage head, quartered, core removed, sliced into ribbons
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 pound rutabaga, sliced thin with a mandolin
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (not shaken and poured from the cream on top)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. If using pre-cooked meat or beans continue to step 3. Otherwise, heat a 10-inch iron skillet over heat and brown the meat. Remove from the pan, place on a plate and set aside. Drain off all but 1 TB fat. Continue to step 4. 
  3. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, heat fat of choice.
  4. Add mushrooms and sauté until they release liquid, about 5 minutes (if using onions, I’d add them at this point too). 
  5. Add remaining chopped vegetables. Season assertively with salt and pepper. Sauté until they begin to cook and become slightly wilted/limp. Remember you will be cooking this in the oven for a time, so the vegetables don’t need to be entirely cooked, just get the process started, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add your herbs, garlic, and any other seasoning of choice at this point. 
  7. Add the cooked meat or protein of choice into the skillet and fold everything together until warmed and combined thoroughly. Turn off the heat. 
  8. Starting with your ragged looking slices (saving the pretty ones for the end) of gratin topping choice, began layering these over the mixture. Continue layering until all the slices have been used. Season with salt and pepper. 
  9. Slowly pour cream over the skillet, taking care to wet each slice and top with cheese, if using.
  10. Cover your skillet with aluminum foil. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Test your potatoes/topping for doneness by sticking a knife through them. If there is any resistance, continue baking another 5-10 minutes.
  12. Uncover the dish and bake another 5-10 minutes until the top has browned in spots.
  13. Let it cool for about 10 minutes while you throw together a salad. Slice and serve!     

Barley Risotto with Roasted Beets, Garlic, and Lemon

Barley risotto. Well first of all, you might know of our love affair with risotto. You can read about it here, here, here, and here. And not to be too repetitive, but yes, another beet risotto recipe. I promise you, if you can’t get with beets or risotto, you should try this and I guarantee it will convert you.

photo (4)

It started with a recent trip to a farmer’s market a few towns over to scout out other vendors/farms and see some “competition”. While we were there, I saw some beautiful chioggia beets. I had just asked Farmer B what we wanted for dinner and he said something with beets, so really it was destiny.

I had a new bag of pearled barley (I can’t find whole barley anywhere, so I need to go order it from the Upstate Food Co-op) and an itching to cook something sophisticated. (After I put Farm Baby down for the night) I roasted the beet roots with olive oil, salt and pepper and then I thought while the oven is on, I might as well roast everything. So I threw some whole, unpeeled garlic cloves and a couple slices of lemon on the baking sheet and threw it in. I defrosted some homemade chicken stock, thank you Blondie (an old Red Star hen that we recently harvested), sliced an onion, threw on some tunes (Alabama Shakes) and got to cookin’!

If you just can’t get with the beets, please, please try barley in place of arborio rice next time you make risotto. The barley is nutty and chewy.The flavor and texture completely out-do arborio rice. I will say if you plan on a soft, delicate risotto, like this one, I might not use barley. It is hearty and the other ingredients need to stand up to it. You can use the below recipe as a guide to cooking the barley risotto, but if you don’t want to read the recipe and want the quick version: soak the barley (1-2 hours) and rinse very well, while you don’t need more liquid, it does take more time than rice, so plan for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Barley risotto doesn’t get creamy like arborio.

photo (4)

Barley Risotto with Roasted Beets, Garlic, and Lemon

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of chioggia beets with tops
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2-4 slices of lemon,seeds removed
  • EVOO
  • S&P
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled barley, soaked and rinsed very well
  • Fresh thyme, parsley, chives
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional – if using reduce amount of stock)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 quarts of stock (I used about 5 cups) can be chicken, vegetable, mushroom, whatever you got and fits your diet

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Beets. Trim off the top greens, wash thoroughly, and slice into ribbons. Peel the root and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Spread on oiled baking sheet. Season with S&P.
  3. To the greased baking sheet, add the lemon slices, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with  EVOO. Place garlic cloves on a small sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with EVOO, S&P, set on baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Watch carefully as you don’t want the lemon to burn, but you do want a little color. I thought I would have to pull the lemons out before the beets were done, but they finished at the same time, around 20 minutes. Continue roasting the garlic cloves packet for another 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. When cool enough to handle. Squish garlic out of cloves and chop/mash. Set aside.
  4. While the beets roast, get out your risotto cooking pan. Set heat to medium, add EVOO. Once heated, add onion slices, season with salt, and saute until soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Add fresh thyme and parsley.
  5. Add barley. Turn heat to high. Toast for at least 3 minutes until the pan is dry and the aroma is nutty.
  6. Deglaze pan with wine or stock. Turn heat down to medium and let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Add more stock. Continue adding stock after the liquid is absorbed until barley is cooked, adjusting heat as needed to keep things simmering. This took me about 5 cups of stock and about 50 minutes. I keep a separate pot of simmering stock, right next to my risotto pan. This helps keep the risotto simmering and cuts down on time.
  7. About halfway through the cooking process (judging by the amount of liquid you have leftover) add chopped beet greens to pan. Continue cooking.
  8. Just before serving, add roasted garlic into risotto. Distribute evenly. Season with S&P.
  9. To serve, ladle risotto into bowls or onto a plate. Top each serving with a slice of lemon and fresh chives and parsley.
  10. To eat, smush (the technical term) lemon into risotto. Discard rind. Devour.

Note: We are steering clear of dairy currently, but I bet this would be divine with some fresh goat cheese on top.

Second note: Sorry for the crappy pictures. Taken at night with iphone. Never a great combo.

Recipe: Savory Waffles

We have been on a little kick recently. A wonderful little kick. I know a lot of people are really into breakfast for dinner or better known as “brinner”. And as egg farmers…that happens a lot at our house. We put fried/poached eggs on top of everything, we do lots of baked eggs, egg curries, omelettes, frittatas, well you get the point. Our “go to” is clean-out-the-fridge-hash in a skillet with eggs on top. But I came across this recipe a while back and couldn’t get it out of my head. So, then I made it (slightly adapted). Here’s a pic from the night we DEVOURED them.

waffles

Don’t mind the March Madness and beers in the background. Honestly, I couldn’t believe this idea has never occurred to me. Farmer B LOVES waffles and grew up in a household that had waffles frequently. Even waffles stuffed with bacon. Genius. And I like waffles and everything, but I don’t know, they’ve just never been my thing…even with the bacon. But something about taking the sugar out and letting the egg yolk provide the moisture…well now I can get on board with that!

The possibilities are endless with savory waffles. Throw in what you have and make a meal out of it! My first attempt at a recipe was great. I threw in some chicken sausages and sun-dried tomatoes, topped it with some greens and an egg. Divine. Best part? Farmer B loves cooking waffles, so all I have to do is whip up a batter and relax.

image (1)

A couple quick notes. It’s a little dry. If you are looking for the same texture and moisture of a waffle soaked in syrup, this might not be for you. However, I was caught poking my egg open and drizzling it all over…and the thought crossed my mind to fry up another egg just to get more liquid gold on the waffle 🙂 These take a little bit longer to cook. We use a Belgian waffle maker and because the batter is so thick and dense, we leave it to cook for a few minutes longer than when the machine beeps at you telling you it’s done…sometimes we are smarter than the machines we make…sometimes…

Let us know if you fall in love with savory waffles, too!

savorywaffles

Savory Waffles: Chicken Sausage, Sun-dried Tomatoes with a Green Salad and Egg on Top!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry, next time I want to add some ground flax)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (kefir or a milk sub if you’re dairy free, almond milk worked great the last round I tried)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 chicken sausage links (I used one with apple in it) and okay it turned out to be 2 1/2 links that made it into the batter, but I swear Farm Baby helped)
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated (I put them in a bowl and cover with water, place in microwave for 1 minute, let stand for about 5 and then drain)
  • 3 green onions, sliced or minced
  • 3 cups of mixed baby greens (we had swiss chard, arugula, spinach) tossed lightly with lemon juice and EVOO
  • 2 eggs, fried gently or poached over easy

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Beat together eggs, butter, and milk until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients and gently mix together. Fold in the sausage, tomatoes, and onion.
  4. Grease the waffle iron, we use butter in these parts, but spray would do the trick. Pour batter into pre-heated waffle iron, close.
  5. Wait for the beep or follow the directions of your waffle-maker. Again, these are pretty thick, so we like to cook ours a minute or so longer than usual.
  6. Serve with the greens and the eggs on top.

Fall Root Vegetable Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuits

Menu: This bad boy only needs a beverage. It was plenty of food. The boys had some Sam Adams Oktoberfest and I had Roots Cab Sav, delightful!

Music: We were entertaining a guest, so I just threw on Avett Brothers Pandora. I love using Pandora when entertaining, so you’re not constantly getting up to change CD’s, records, playlists, etc. It was a perfect, easy going blend for a quintessential Fall meal!

This meal was beautiful! I had bought (along with the rest of the world) the Living Social deal for Whole Foods a while back. I was up in Greenville so I decided to stop in and cash out my coupon. I never go to Whole Foods with a shopping list. You end up spending a ba-zillion bucks (yes, that is an exact figure). I go to Whole Foods to grab a few things that grab my attention and then stop elsewhere to round out a meal. The first thing I saw when I walked in was these beautifully ugly organic purple sweet potatoes from a nearby farm in NC (the dark looking potato between the sweet potato yam and parsnips). Then I remembered this recipe and set out grabbing lots of root vegetables and what I would need.

See the first blooms of Zinnias from our garden!

The veggies with lots of olive oil and herbs waiting to be roasted. Isn’t the purple just beautiful? The purple sweet potato tasted just like a sweet potato. I didn’t pick up any differences, except in the spots that I didn’t fully get the skin off, I noticed some very bitter bites. The skin was very thick and gnarly. 

The browned, caramelized, yummy veggies. They also go by the name of “Fall in a Bowl”. As BJ said, I could just eat that right there!

I could have also cut the biscuits a bit thicker. They had great flavor, but didn’t rise well as I used whole wheat pastry flour. 

I would make a few changes upon making this again. First of all, I would add mushrooms to the béchamel. Few a few dried mushrooms, rehydrated, then chopped into the base of the bechamel would really round out the earthiness of the dish. Second, I didn’t add wine, as I didn’t have any on hand. If you don’t, I would suggest adding a squeeze of lemon juice or something to brighten the flavors. That was missing from my dish. Third, I went with turnip because I couldn’t find a celery root. I would most definitely go with celery root if given the option. Man, just writing all those changes really makes me want to make this dish again soon!

I hope you enjoy this dish on a nice chilly night soon! Let me know how it turns out!

Fall Root Vegetable Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuit Topping

Ingredients:

  • About 1 lb. brussels sprouts, stem cut, outer leaves trimmed, and halved
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces*
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces*
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces*
  • 1 rutabaga, celery root, or turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces*
  • EVOO
  • S & P
  • 2-3 tspn. Herbes de Provence (or dried thyme, I had this on hand)
  • 1 tspn. sage
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 TB butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • Big splash of white wine or sherry, optional
  • Pinch of nutmeg, thyme, cayenne
  • Unbaked sweet potato biscuits (Recipe below)
  • You could always make this with meat, just throw chicken in to roasted veggies and combine with béchamel. 
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 425. Toss all the chopped veggies with ample amounts of EVOO, S & P and dried herbs. Spread into one layer on multiple baking sheets. Put into oven and roast. Open and stir every 20 minutes or so. They are done when your kitchen smells delicious and veggies are brown in spots and tender in the middle. Remove from oven, set aside. Keep oven on!
  2. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion. Saute until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic. Saute for a minute. 
  3. Add flour to onion mixture. Stir until fully incorporated and cooked, about 2 minutes.
  4. Next, get ready to whisk in the milk! Go very slowly at first, incorporating the milk by a 1/4 cup at a time or so. Whisking completely into the flour and then adding more. This helps prevent lumpy béchamel!
  5. Add wine if using, remaining herbs, and S & P to taste. 
  6. Combine veggies and béchamel. Top with unbaked sweet potatoes biscuits, arranging them to your heart’s desire. 
  7. Put into oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the biscuits are puffy a light browned on the top. 
  8. Let rest for a few minutes and then devour. 
*If using homegrown veggies or organic from a trusted source, skip the peeling and just give a nice scrub. The skins always contain the best nutrients!
Sweet Potato Biscuits
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (definitely peeled here)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry, as expected they didn’t rise as well)
  • 1 TB. brown sugar 
  • 2 1/2 tspn. baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn. baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn. salt
  • 7 TB cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup cold buttermilk or yogurt
Directions:
  1. In a small pot, cover sweet potatoes with water, bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are very tender. Drain well, then smash up with a fork. Reserve 3/4 cup of mashed potato and let it cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour through salt). Whisk to combine. 
  3. Press small pieces of butter into dry ingredients by squishing each piece in flour mixture. Then combine all the dough with your hands. It will resemble very course sand. Alternately, this can be done with a pastry cutter or food processor. 
  4. Stir in buttermilk and sweet potato mash until thoroughly combined.
  5. Place dough onto generously floured surface. Knead a few times until you have a nice consistency. 
  6. Roll dough out into about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into biscuits, however you please. I used a drinking cup, but you could use fun cookie cutters, squares, whatever!
  7. Place on pot pies or bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.