side dish

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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Yorkshire Pudding

by Anne Maxfield on December 24, 2018

Accidental Locavore Yorkshire Pudding PerfectAt my house, if there wasn’t a Yorkshire pudding Christmas dinner was a bust. My mother always used a well-worn copy of The Joy of Cooking for hers and it worked no matter how many glasses of champagne had been downed.

I’ve been in charge for the past couple of years, and haven’t had the Joy to refer to, so I’ve been using this recipe that I’ve adapted from Serious Eats. It’s worked out just fine.

  • 4 large eggs (200g; 7 ounces)
  • 150g all-purpose flour (5.25 ounces; about 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 175g whole milk (6 ounces; 3/4 cup) (see note)
  • 25g water (.85 ounces; 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 100ml beef drippings, lard, shortening, or vegetable oil (about 1/2 cup)

Combine eggs, flour, milk, water, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until a smooth batter is formed. Let batter rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, for best results, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate batter overnight or for up to 3 days. Remove from refrigerator while you preheat the oven.

Accidental Locavore Yorkshire Pudding BatterAdjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°. Divide drippings (or other fat) evenly between two 8-inch cast iron or oven-safe non-stick skillets. Preheat in the oven until the fat is smoking hot, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the pans or tins to a heat-proof surface (such as an aluminum baking sheet on your stovetop) and divide the batter evenly between the two pans (they should be filled about 1/4 of the way). Immediately return to oven. Bake until the Yorkshire puddings have just about quadrupled in volume, are deep brown all over, crisp to the touch, and sound hollow when tapped. Skillet-sized ones will take around 25 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Yorkshire PuddingMy verdict: Pretty spectacular! The secret is to make the batter ahead of time and chill it at least overnight. Besides making the puddings essentially fool-proof, it’s one less thing to do while you’re opening gifts and preparing a big meal.

If I’m home and have my scale, I use the weights, but if not, use a measuring cup. I use 1 cup of 2% milk instead of the whole milk water mix.

Cast iron skillets work great for this so use them if you have them.

 

 

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Easy and Delicious Grilled Mushrooms  

by Anne Maxfield on July 9, 2018

Accidental Locavore Marinated Grilled MushroomsThese grilled mushrooms on skewers will be one of your summertime favorites! It’s a simple recipe and will make you want to head right out and buy a bunch of mushrooms.

  • 2 pounds mushrooms, button or cremini
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Slice the mushrooms into about ¼” slices (on an average sized mushroom, I cut them into thirds). Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a container or Ziploc bag. Add the mushrooms and marinate for 30 minutes.

Skewer the mushrooms and grill over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes a side, until they are tender and slightly charred. Serve with just about anything and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Mushrooms and KnifeMy verdict: These were great!  Since there were just two of us (and we didn’t know how delicious they would be) I only bought a pound of mushrooms but kept to the same quantity of  marinade ingredients above.

We had them as a side dish and then I tossed some of the leftovers on some burgers we made the next day.

Being curious and impatient, I started to eat them before they were even grilled, and they were terrific. I’m not sure that eating them straight from the marinade was a good idea, but I survived and put some of the bits that were too small to skewer on a salad for lunch the next day.

If you don’t have a grill, a hot oven (425°) and a sheet tray would probably work fine and of course, a grill pan would too.

The thyme is a small amount and could be forgotten if you didn’t have any, or swapped out for some rosemary. Please don’t use dried thyme, it’s noxious and will ruin the dish. Better to go without.

Off to toss some more on the grill!

 

 

 

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Spinach with Garlic and Lemon Juice

by Anne Maxfield on January 12, 2017

Accidental Locavore SpinachSpinach is one of those vegetables that is hard to mess up.

A little fat (butter or duck) or olive oil and it’s a success.

However, there are times when you want it to be a little more…interesting.

The Accidental Locavore was making some Spare Ribs Vindaloo (recipe soon) and wanted an Indian spin on spinach that didn’t require running out for ingredients (I’m looking at you saag paneer).

I pulled out my favorite Indian cookbook Made in India and found this recipe for spinach. Serves 4.

Spinach with Garlic and Lemon Juice Recipe:

  • 1 pound spinach
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chili, very thinly sliced (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Juice of about ½ lemon (to taste)

Wash the spinach and set aside.

In a very large frying pan, over medium heat, add the butter. When it starts to melt, add the garlic and red chili.

Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the garlic starts to turn pale gold.

Add the salt and pepper.

Add the spinach in handfuls, toss to coat with butter. As it starts to wilt, add another handful or two until you’ve used it all up.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the spinach and take off the heat. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!

My verdict: Oh yes! Sadly, we only had a 9-ounce bag of spinach so I did half a recipe and wished there was more. Lots more.

This was super simple and I’ll be making it a lot—so good!

There wasn’t too much heat from the chili, a serrano, so we could have used more, but we like heat. If you don’t have serranos or jalapenos lying in wait in the freezer (when you have a mess of chilis, wash them, toss in a Ziploc bag and freeze them—you’ll always have them on hand), a sprinkle of red pepper flakes would probably be fine.

Try it and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

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