Kale and Portobello Pasta

I created this dish last week to use kale in an entree, and because husband was in the mood for portobellos ūüėČ Why not!

Kale and Portobello Pasta

  • YIELD:¬†4 servings
  • PREP:¬†30 mins
  • COOK:¬†20 mins
  • READY IN:¬†50 mins

The fresh robust flavor of kale blends with buttery portobellos in a garlic sauce over whole wheat linguine.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-6 Cups¬†Kale de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 Cup¬†Baby Bella Mushrooms¬†sliced
  • 1/2 Cup¬†Portobello Mushrooms¬†sliced
  • to taste¬†Sea Salt¬†ground
  • 1 stick¬†butter
  • 1/4 cup¬†fresh oreganochopped
  • garnish¬†Parmesan¬†grated over top of plated dish
  • 8 cloves¬†garlic¬†minced
  • Olive Oil¬†enough to coat your saute pan 2x
  • 1/2¬†onion¬†diced
  • 1 13.25 oz box¬†linguinecooked al dente according to package instructions
  • to taste¬†Black Pepper¬†ground

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large saute pan.  Coat pan with olive oil and add onions and 3 cloves of garlic.  Saute 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add mushrooms.  Cook 5-8 minutes until mushrooms are done.
  2. While sauteing the mushroom mixture, melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add 3 cloves of garlic and fresh oregano. Cook until aromatic. Add 2 Tbl of Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper to taste
  3. Bring saute pan back up to heat, and add olive oil to coat. Add 2 cloves of garlic and ginger. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add Kale. Cook until Kale is wilted, but still bright green, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add mushroom mixture to Kale mixture and pour sauce over everything and toss. Enjoy!

Taking the Plunge (ever so slowly)

A lot of people aren’t too sure about my eating local passion, and even when they think it’s cool, they have no idea how to start it for themselves. Part of that is because they’re looking at where I’m at now, not seeing the gradual 3-4 year journey that got me this far now. So here are some easy steps to do this year if you have no idea where to start.

1. Find your farmers market (google is your friend!) and the days it runs.
2. Plan a trip
3. Come home with some fresh, local food
4. Try something you’ve never heard of before

Okay, you say, (and you rhyme, so sublime!), I’m interested in eating more locally, but sometimes I have no idea what to do with the stuff I see in the farmer’s market, especially if I come home with something I’ve never heard of before, how do I cook it? What does it go with? And why does it look like an alien plant? (er, maybe it’s a heirloom tomato, there is something to the whole, the uglier it is, the better it tastes)

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite cookbooks and one that has helped me successfully navigate this, “what is it and how do I cook it?” for example, I once brought home beets from my CSA. Now, I don’t particularly care for beets, but determined to not waste them, I pulled down Simply in Season, and flipped to the index. Well, to my surprise, there was a chocolate cake recipe that had, surprise, surprise, beets in it of all things. You can’t taste them, and they give the cake a nice reddish tone, sort of like a red velvet, but with considerably more chocolate. And this cake served up with some apple sauce is simple fantastic… mmm makes me wish beets were in season now.

And now, a tour of Simply in Season…. drumroll please

The book is handily arranged by seasons and by the type of dish, ie. main dish, side dish, salad, dessert, breads, and breakfast, but also by season, starting with spring.

It also has a fruit and vegetable guide to help you store and cook your fruits and veggies for optimum storage life and optimum nutrition.  Starting with a one-page general overview, it then has a list of many common fruits and veggies with specifics on storing and cooking. (with pictures!)

And say you don’t know how to cook say, collards, or want a new way to do up your corn? there’s a handy index in the back arranged by the type of food that you’re looking for a recipe for.

And finally, there’s a handy glossary of terms that tells you how to do everything from blanching to wilting.

So go ahead, take the plunge, but do it slowly in manageable pieces, bit by little baby-stepping bit ūüėČ

Want the cookbook? you can buy it on Amazon here.

Breakfast for dinner

So last night, we took stock of what we had in the house, and had a loaf of 2 day old bread (well, it’d been out of the freezer for a couple days anyway), and lots of yummy fresh eggs (3 of them were just laid today!). ¬†Old bread and eggs equals French Toast!

Armed with a recipe from the food network, I messed with it (surprise, surprise), adding about 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon to the custard mix.  I then sliced up the loaf of bread, which is the basic hearth bread from my favorite baking cookbook, The Bread Bible, preheated the oven and was off an running.

Notice the 13 eggs in the picture. ¬†They are all from my chickens! (have I mentioned that I have chickens? ūüėČ ) And this makes this a somewhat local meal, pretty good given that it’s winter. The honey’s from a farm nearby, and the vanilla is a Tennessee product that’s made with vanilla beans and rum, the way it’s supposed to be (no high fructoste corn syrup!)

The recipe was a little complex in its steps getting many dishes dirty in the meantime, but it was worth it.

First you soak the bread in your custard mixture for about 30 seconds a side:

Then you let it drip on a rack with a cookie sheet under it (so it doesn’t make even more of a mess!). ¬†Sprinkle the top of it with more cinnamon before you put it in the pan.

Then you pop it into your pre-heated and buttered saute pan and cook both sides for about 3 minutes each, or until they look about like this:

Then you pop the slices into the oven for 5 minutes (I used a glass pan) while you fry up the next two slices, which conveniently takes you about 6 minutes, giving you time to remove the first set from the oven and hide under foil to keep warm before popping the next batch in the oven.

You can also then turn the oven off after you’ve cooked all of it, wrap all the slices of toast in foil and pop them back in the oven (with the oven off) to keep warm while you wait for your husband to get back from the grocery store where he ran while you were cooking because you forgot to get syrup and syrup is sort of essential with French Toast (omg, how could you! I can’t believe you forgot the syrup!).

And then when your husband gets back you can finally enjoy your breakfast for dinner:

But you’d better keep an eye on it because French Toast this good isn’t likely to hang around for long!