Monday, October 27, 2008

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Sweet Tea in Texas
as well as cabbage and onions from our CSA

  • 12 Large Cabbage leaves

  • 1 lb Ground Pork

  • 1 Beaten Egg

  • 1/4 C Milk

  • 1/4 C finely chopped onion

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 1 Tsp pepper

  • 1 Tsp lemon pepper

  • 1 C Cooked Brown Rice

  • 1 8oz can of Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire

  1. Start by browning your ground turkey. Season your ground turkey as it browns with garlic salt & lemon pepper. When this is done, drain and set aside.

  2. Start water boiling in a large pot for your cabbage. The easiest way that I’ve found to get the leaves off is to submerge the whole head of cabbage for a couple of minutes and pull it out, taking as many leaves off as you can easily. Submerge again until you can pull a few more off. You want to keep the leaves as in tact as possible. Do this until you have about 12 whole leaves.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, milk, onion, spices, & rice. Mix well. Take about 1/4 C of this mix and put into the center of a leaf. Fold in the sides, then fold up the bottom until it looks like a little burrito. Place them seam side down in the Crockpot until you have gone through your leaves or ran out of stuffing.

  4. In another bowl, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, & Worcestershire. Pour this over your little cabbage burritos and put the lid on the Crockpot. Cook these in the Crockpot on low for about 6 hours.

We both liked this recipe-- I think next time I will replace the lemon pepper with something else-- probably Penzeys Bavarian Seasoning or paprika or something similar. I replaced the ground turkey in the original recipe with ground pork, and I used brown rice.

Tim's Rating: 8/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp

The Amazing Race's stop in Cambodia
as well as our trip there in March 2008
and this recipe from Food & Wine.

Tim and I have never been anywhere like Cambodia. In some ways, it is a total sensory overload-- the heat, the humidity, the bright sun, the sounds, the smells, the bright colors. The Khmer people are some of the nicest people we have met on our trips around the globe. I highly, highly recommend a trip to Cambodia for those of you who have not been. And while there, don't just visit Angkor Wat; try to get out into the communities and spend time with the Khmer people. You will have memories for a lifetime.We were excited to see The Amazing Race would be stopping in Cambodia this season. The racers retraced our steps just months after we left. Watching the episode, we easily recognized the tiny Siem Reap airport...

watched the racers take a traditional boat out on Tonle Sap lake that was just like the boat we hired,
relived being amazed by the poverty and the simplicity and the beauty of life on Tonle Sap,
and we were thrilled to see the clue box on the Tonle Sap lake overlook (here's a shot from that exact small platform). We loved watching the racers finish the detour that used these fish trapsand complete the "roadblock" at Angkor Wat (we thumped our chests in the same room), ...finally finishing up at the "pit stop" at Bayon.
OK, on to the recipe:

  • One 3-pound rotisserie chicken
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup cooked jasmine rice
  • 8 shelled and deveined medium shrimp, halved lengthwise (about 1/4 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges, for serving

  1. Cut the chicken into legs, thighs, breasts and wings. Cut each breast crosswise through the bones into 3 pieces. Remove the thigh bones and cut each thigh in half.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, water, fish sauce, honey and rice and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook just until opaque, about 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, basil and chile and serve right away, passing lime wedges at the table.

Food & Wine beverage suggestion: Citrusy, off-dry Australian Riesling: 2006 Banrock Station.

I thought this was just ok. I don't know what my problem is, because the three reviews on Food & Wine's website gave it 5 stars, and Tim loved it. Hmm. I personally prefer the Brazilian Shrimp Soup from a few weeks ago.

Liz's Rating: 8/10
Tim's Rating: 9.5/10 ("I like the peppers, the rotisserie chicken, and the overall flavor. And the lime.")

Next week on The Amazing Race: India! (Don't worry, we haven't been there, so I'll just focus on the food next week! :) )

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Sage, and Pine Nuts

Butternut squash, garlic, and onions from our CSA
The Kitchn

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 package (16-18oz.) gnocchi (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 ounces high quality Parmesan, shredded or shaved (about a cup total)

  1. Heat the oven to 375°. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the strings and seeds the middle cavity. Flip the squash halves upside down and peel them. (Note from The Kitchn: The raw squash rind can irritate your hands. If they start to itch or tingle, wear gloves.) Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Toss with the onion, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Mince about half of the fresh sage leaves and also toss with the squash.

  2. Spread the squash mixture in a thin layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft.

  3. Heat salted pasta water to boiling and cook the gnocchi. Drain and set aside. As the squash finishes roasting, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large high-sided sauté pan. The oil is ready when it pops and sputters. (Don't let it start smoking.) Drop in the rest of the sage leaves and fry for about a minute, or until they begin to just shrivel up.

  4. Remove with a slotted spoon and salt lightly. Crush with the back of a spoon.

  5. Add half the gnocchi to the pan, along with half the roasted squash mixture. Crumble in half the sage. Cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes or until the gnocchi is heated through and getting crispy on some of the edges. Add the pine nuts and cook for another minute. Stir in half the cheese and serve.

    (Note from The Kitchn: Repeat the last step with the rest of the ingredients. It's very important that you not crowd the pan too much - you want the pasta to really pan-fry, not just steam up.)

I really enjoyed this recipe. I didn't have any short pastas on hand as used in the original recipe, so I used a package of gnocchi from Trader Joe's instead. It was delicious! I used only 1/2 of the squash, however, and saved the remainder of the roasted squash for another recipe.

I love this flavor combination and would like to try some of the following recipes:

Liz's Rating: 9/10

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rustic Cabbage Soup

I saw this recipe, originally from 101 cookbooks, on Erin's blog. She also has a CSA membership, and lives in the Twin Cities, so I love seeing what she does with her share.
This recipe utilized cabbage, potatoes, onions, and garlic from our CSA.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • a big pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups stock
  • 1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times.

  2. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning - getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc)...

  3. Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Easy Mac and Cheese

Cate's Kitchen

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese - the recipe calls for reduced fat, but I only believe in full-fat cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a few grinds of a pepper mill

  1. Cook pasta in a medium saucepan according to package directions.
    Transfer to a colander.
  2. In the same saucepan, combine the milk and flour over medium heat, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add cheese, salt, and pepper, and continue whisking until all the cheese is melted.
  5. Turn off heat, stir in the pasta, and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

This is SO easy, and it only uses one pot. Easy to make, easy to clean up. It's really rich, so I would suggest serving it with a salad, steamed spinach or broccoli, or something similar.

Tim's Rating: 8/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ANZAC Biscuits (Cookies)

The Amazing Race's stop in New Zealand
and this recipe.
I think the ANZAC biscuit background story is kind of interesting, which can be found on Wikipedia.

We visited New Zealand's south island in January 2006, and we loved it! I highly recommend a visit, and we are hoping to return sometime soon.
Here are a few of my favorite photos:



Franz Josef Glacier

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup (or honey or corn syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, and coconut.

  2. Combine the baking soda and boiling water in a small bowl to dissolve, and set aside. In a small pan, melt the butter and stir in the golden (or corn) syrup. Once the syrup is mixed into the butter, stir in the baking soda and water mixture. Remove from heat and pour into the mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients.

  3. Stir until the dough forms. It should be moist and able to hold its shape. If too dry, add a few drops water. If too moist, add a sprinkle of flour.

  4. Place rounded teaspoon of mixture on parchment and generously space apart. The cookies will each be 3-4″ wide.

  5. Place baking sheet into a preheated 300 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the cookies are a deep golden brown on top. They will puff up during baking and once cooled will be very thin. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Recipe Notes:
Since the cookies are thin, it’s best to bake them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When removed from the oven they are too fragile to remove by spatula, with the parchment you can lift them off of the baking sheet and can set on a rack to cool.

My Notes:
Make sure you leave plenty of room between cookies as they really spread during baking.

Liz's Rating: 9/10
Tim's Rating: 8.5/10

Next week on The Amazing Race: Cambodia, another of our favorite travel locations!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fettucine with Spicy Broccoli

Food & Wine
broccoli and garlic from the CSA

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3/4 pound dried fettuccine
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into 2-inch-wide florets with 3-inch stems
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving

  1. In a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the nuts are golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fettuccine until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the fettuccine.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet and add the broccoli. Cover and cook over moderate heat until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Stir the broccoli, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic and the crushed red pepper. Season the broccoli with salt and pepper and cook, stirring gently, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and cover.
  4. Transfer the fettuccine to a warmed bowl and toss with the butter. Add the broccoli and the pasta cooking water and toss well. Sprinkle with the reserved pine nuts and the cheese and serve, passing more cheese at the table.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bolivian Corn Chowder

The Amazing Race's visit to Bolivia
this recipe
and potatoes, garlic, and onion from our CSA

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • a 15 ounce can of whole-kernel corn, drained
  • a 15 ounce can of cream-style corn
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • a 4 ounce can of diced green chilis
  • 1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce), minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt
  • 1 cup half and half or whole milk
  • 2 limes

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Add the potatoes, whole-kernel corn, cream-style corn, and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the diced green chilis, chipotle pepper, oregano, and cumin. Continue cooking for 10 minutes longer.

  2. Shortly before serving, add the half and half or milk and heat through, without allowing the soup to come to a boil. Cut the limes in half. Squeeze 3 of the lime halves into the soup. Season the soup with salt as necessary and ladle the soup into serving bowls. Cut the remaining lime half into thin slices. Float one or two of the lime slices in each bowl as an attractive garnish.


I substituted 32 ounces frozen corn for the canned corn. Don't omit the limes or chipotle-- they make this recipe!

Liz's Rating: 8.5/10
Tim's Rating: 8/10

Next week on The Amazing Race:
New Zealand!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

The Amazing Race's second episode in Brazil
This recipe from Food & Wine
and tomatoes, onion, and garlic from our CSA

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from one 15-ounce can)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and cut in half horizontally
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, red-pepper flakes, salt, tomatoes, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook until the rice is almost tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the coconut milk into the soup. Bring back to a simmer and then stir in the shrimp. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just done, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.

Recipe Notes:
  • Coconut milk’s rich flavor will keep you coming back for more of this substantial soup. A true Brazilian version would include slices of okra, but ours is already so satisfyingly thick that we left it out.
  • Variation: Instead of the shrimp, use one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about three), cut crosswise into quarter-inch strips. Cook for the same amount of time.
  • The sweet elements here call for a somewhat assertive sweetness in the wine as well. A Vouvray demi-sec, from France's Loire Valley, ought to strike just the right balance.

My Notes:
Wow, I can't believe I made this! It was so delicious. If I tasted this at a restaurant, I would never think I could make it at home. I continue to be surprised at how the Brazilian recipes have the same flavors as Southeast Asian cuisine.
I used two CSA tomatoes in place of the canned tomatoes. I used 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper since we love spicy food; if you don't, use a scant 1/4 teaspoon and you should be fine.

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 9.5/10

Next week on The Amazing Race: Bolivia (Does anyone have any Bolivian recipes??)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cheesy Acorn Squash

as well as acorn squash from our CSA

  • 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: sliced fresh mushrooms or chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place squash cut side down in a glass dish. Cook in microwave for 20 minutes on HIGH, until almost tender.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add celery and onion; saute until transparent.
  4. Stir in mushrooms; cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
  5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley.
  6. Divide mixture in half, spoon into the squash and cover.
  7. Cook 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
  8. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and put back in the oven until the cheese bubbles.

Notes: It would be easy to prepare this ahead of time. Microwave the squash and then refrigerate. Chop the celery and onions, and then refrigerate. From there, it will take just a few minutes to throw this together. I suggest serving it with rice pilaf.

Tim's Rating: 8/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Product Rave: San Pellegrino Aranciata

We stopped buying Coke products for the home, and overall it's been good for us to drink more water at home. (We still drink soda when out and about.)

My friend Joann introduced me to San Pellegrino Aranciata. It's an all-natural alternative to Coke products, and it's very refreshing!

Ingredients: water, orange juice from concentrate, sugar, carbon dioxide, citric acid, natural flavors

160 calories per can

Cost: About $5 for a six-pack.