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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Lamb Meatballs with Feta

by Anne Maxfield on January 7, 2019

Accidental Locavore Lamb Meatballs With FetaThese lamb meatballs are the first thing I’ve made from Ottolehghi’s new Simple, but although they’re also the second thing I’ve made from the book, there are a lot of other great looking recipes.

Funnily enough, friends of mine sent me a photo of what they had made from the book—lamb meatballs with feta.

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 3 ½ ounces feta crumbled into ½” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (optional)

Accidental Locavore Lamb Meatballs PrepPreheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the lamb, feta, thyme, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well to combine, then form into 1 ½” balls.

Put the olive oil into a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the meatballs and fry for 5-6 minutes. Turn them gently and brown on all sides.

Transfer the meatballs to the parchment lined sheet and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses. Bake for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Lamb Meatballs FriedMy verdict: These are easily made ahead of time. Skip the preheating of the oven, make the meatballs, fry them and finish them off in the oven when you’re ready. I’ve served them with orzo, but rice or couscous would be good too.

The pomegranate molasses is optional, but it really adds a nice tartness to the meatballs and is a handy thing to have in your pantry. If you need an excuse for adding it to your shopping list, this is a great salad dressing.

I always think parsley is optional but had some on hand the second time I made the dish. Didn’t seem to be mission critical if it was in or not.

A pet peeve is dried thyme, it easily ruins a dish, so if you don’t have fresh thyme, go easy on the dried stuff, or substitute some dried mint or oregano.

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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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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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