recipe

Cabbage and Farro Soup

by Anne Maxfield on February 4, 2019

Accidental Locavore Cabbage Soup with FarroThis cabbage soup was making the rounds of the Internet recently and everyone was raving about how good it was. It’s from Smitten Kitchen and serves 4.

Cabbage and Farro Soup

  • 1 pound cabbage: savoy or green
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 sprig of rosemary or thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup uncooked farro
  • About 4 cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus more to taste
  • Shaved Parmesan, to finish

Accidental Locavore Cabbage for SoupCut out the cabbage core and finely chop it. Cut the leaves into 1/8” ribbons.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cabbage core, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften but is not yet browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 3- 5 minutes, until the garlic softens.

Add the shredded cabbage leaves and herb sprig, if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and let it steam a bit to soften the leaves, then toss the cabbage to combine with other ingredients. Cook, covered, until the cabbage is very sweet and tender,15-30 minutes depending on the type of cabbage you’re using. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat a glug of olive oil over medium heat and add the uncooked farro. Toast it, stirring, for a few minutes, until it’s about half a shade darker.

When the cabbage is ready, stir in the vinegar. Taste and season with more salt and pepper. Add the farro and broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, until farro is tender. The soup will be very thick, but if you’d prefer more liquid, add another 1/2 cup broth or water. Taste and adjust seasoning again. Stir in lemon juice.

Ladle into bowls and finish each with a drizzle of olive oil and a shower of Parmesan, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Farro for Cabbage Soup

My verdict: Frank loved it, but I was disappointed in it. I had great ingredients, cabbage, garlic and onions from the farm, homemade chicken broth but it was a long process and in the end it was cabbage soup.

As a friend said about a recent food event—meh.

The original recipe comes from Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables which I happen to have on my iPad. He calls for meat or poultry broth and I’m wondering if beef broth would be a better way to go. I did add a couple of pieces of smoked pig skin (left from making bacon) for flavor, and used good homemade chicken broth, but neither took it into the realm of super deliciousness.

Both recipes said it would be thick, but mine was pretty soup-like. Not sure what browning the farro achieved except dirtying another pan.

Since I was on the fence about this, I gave it a time out and left it alone for a few days. Time made it thicker (the farro absorbing more broth) and a squeeze of lemon and some shaved parmesan gave it flavor. I’m still not wowed, there are better soups out there that come together faster. What do you think?

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Classic Meatballs

by Anne Maxfield on January 21, 2019

Accidental Locavore Spaghetti and MeatballsEvery now and then you need a meatball fix.

And every now and then you just want the comfort of spaghetti and meatballs.

With a winter storm about to hit, it seemed like the perfect time to whip up a batch of my favorite classic meatballs.

This recipe on the Food52 site from Rao’s had to be pretty much the standard. It makes about 24 meatballs.

Classic Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • Olive oil, for cooking, about 1 cup

Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add the eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is quite moist. Shape into 2 ½” balls.

Accidental Locavore Frying MeatballsHeat about 1/4” oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. When the bottom half of the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook top half. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

After browning them, if you want to cook them in sauce, use your favorite sauce and add the meatballs into the simmering sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with pasta and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Finished MeatballsMy verdict: About as good as they get!

It’s going to seem weird to be adding water when you’re making them, but it does get absorbed and the meatballs always come out great!

The amount of olive oil you’ll need will depend on the size of your pan and be sure not to crowd the meatballs or they’ll never brown. Better off to do them in batches.

What’s your go-to meatball recipe?

 

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Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

by Anne Maxfield on January 14, 2019

Accidental Locavore Red Cabbage SlicedWe’ve been lucky enough to get some beautiful red cabbage from our winter CSA share, and since it’s winter braising it seemed like the right way to go. This probably serves 4 as a side dish.

  • 4 slices bacon cut into ½” strips
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium head red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Braised Red CabbagePlace bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered.

While the bacon is cooking, slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut out the core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside.

When the bacon is cooked, add the onion and stir to coat in the bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the onion softens and begins to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the cabbage, stir to coat in bacon fat, and cook until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and mustard.

Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add the chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and soupy and the bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If the cabbage begins to look dry, add more broth or water. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Red Cabbage With DuckMy verdict: I’ve made this twice recently and the last time was the best. Might have been because I used some homemade chicken broth, but it was silky smooth and delicious! It’s not a quick side dish, but it’s easy and worth the time.

If you have a dog, try chopping up the core of the cabbage and giving it to him/her. My dog loves it (and zero waste)!

My guess is that you could make it with almost any cabbage, but the cooking time might be shorter with a green cabbage. What do you think?

 

 

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Chocolate Toffee Crack Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on December 31, 2018

Accidental Locavore Toffee Crack If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to cut back on sweets, you’d better get busy or…

You may want to stop reading here.

This toffee really is like crack.

Easy and addictive.

And you probably have all four ingredients in your kitchen.

Don’t blame the Accidental Locavore for this.

Makes one large sheet pan.

Toffee Crack:

  • 40 saltine crackers (or more to fill the pan)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Accidental Locavore Toffee Crack CrackersPre-heat oven to 350°.

Spray a sheet pan with vegetable spray.  Line with crackers.

Put the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Spread sugar and butter mixture evenly over the crackers.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Let cool slightly (mostly so you don’t burn yourself), then top with chocolate chips.

As chips melt, spread them out until the crackers are covered.

Let cool completely, break into pieces. Serve and enjoy! 

Accidental Locavore Butter for Toffee CrackMy verdict:

Blame my cousin Ellen (and her friend Mollie). She gave me a bag for Christmas.

I should never have gotten the recipe. It’s amazingly good and stupidly easy.

Mine wasn’t as good as Ellen’s but we talked it out and I think it was the sugar.

Light or dark brown sugar or a mix will work, but don’t make my mistake and use a granular (organic) brown sugar. It doesn’t melt thoroughly and my batch came out a little grainy.

For a large sheet pan, it’s a little more than a sleeve of saltines. I put them all salty side up. Ellen has done it like that and mixed it up. She says it doesn’t matter and I believe her.

This is Ellen’s advice: “You can also sprinkle toasted sliced almonds on top of the chocolate, but Mollie does not use nuts and her toffee crack is perfect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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