What the Kale!

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Yep, I went there, but I had to because Kale is just too delicious to leave it out of my repertoire this summer.  This recipe for a Kale and Fuji Apple salad is crisp, bright and full of flavor.  It is surprisingly filling and can be served as a side dish for the barbecue season; or as a main course topped with grilled chicken breast or salmon.   With this recipe I have included a couple of pictures to help you get a better idea on how large the slices of apples and red onion should be in the salad.

Fuji Apple and Kale Salad

2 Fuji apples, core removed and sliced thin

1 Small red onion sliced thin

2 Bunches of kale de-stemmed and torn in bite size pieces

1/2 cup Golden Raisins

Vinaigrette

4 tsp Brown sugar

1/2 TB Whole grain mustard

1/2 TB Fresh thyme, finely chopped

1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar

1 cup Olive oil canola oil blend

1/2 TB kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Make sure to give your produce a rinse before you begin. 

In a large mixing bowl combine sliced red onion, apples, golden raisins and kale and store in the refrigerator.  Next, in a mason jar, combine brown sugar, whole grain mustard, thyme, cider vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Place the lid on your mason jar making sure that it is secure and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds or until emulsified.  Grab the mixing bowl from the fridge and add the vinaigrette.  Toss with a pair of tongs or with your hands; making sure that hands are washed before you toss.

Allow the salad to marinate for 15 minutes.  Before service give the kale salad another toss to redistribute the vinaigrette and you’re good to go. 

Enjoy!

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Sliced Red Onion

 

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Sliced Fuji Apple

Another use for SauerKraut

Now a days sauerkraut has a new face.  It’s not just a floppy, opaque cabbage accompaniment  that you top a brauts with any more.  There are all sorts of new brands popping up in grocery stores now, some krauts are made from beets, or are curried.  There’s a revival of the Kimchee a Korean version of sauerkraut and  each one of these, although all throughly spicy, has their own unique flavor profile depending on who you buy from.  Small batch, local and chock full of all those great probiotics you really can’t go wrong with this product.  And with so many different kinds of kraut out there getting creative with how you use it has gotten a lot more fun!

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One of my favorite brands is Cleveland Kraut.  Their kraut is delicious, crunchy, and you get more kraut and less brine with their product.  There are also a variety of krauts they offer, so, check them out at Heinens,  or you could order from them online as.  Click here for the link to take you to Kraut Heaven!  You’ll find this recipe on their site as along with other ways to use their product.

Here is a recipe that I came up with using their GNAR GNAR.  It’s a spicy twist on a Bloody Mary and since their kraut is fermented the old school way there are plenty of probiotics to help cure that hang over.

Cheers!

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Gnarly Mary Mix

2 Large stalks of celery; thinly sliced

2 Cloves of garlic; crushed and skins removed

1 oz. Yellow onion; finely diced

3 oz. Gnar Gnar

1/2 tsp. Lemon zest

Juice of one lemon, minus the seeds

1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp Prepared horse radish

1/2 tsp Celery seed

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

24 oz. Good tomato juice

1 1/2 cups Vodka

Breaking down the first three ingredients will allow a better blended product. In a blender  purée the first ten ingredients. Using a rubber spatula scrape the ingredients to the bottom of the blender and add about 8 to 10 ounces of tomato juice.  Blend until all ingredients are finely minced.  In a large pitcher add the rest of the tomato juice and the purée you have just made and stir.  Store over night to let the ingredients meld. Stir the vodka into the pitcher the next day. Serve in tall glasses over ice with a stick of celery.

When Life Gives You Meyer Lemons

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It was freaking cold, gray, and raining on and off all day.  The Akron Cleveland area was slowly transitioning into Spring and I was caught in the ugly part of that transition. I had plenty of errands to run and the last stop on the “to do list” was grocery shopping, which was also the highlight of the day.  Walking into the store, much to my chagrin, I was welcomed by a table of Meyer Lemons on sale.  I was inspired and couldn’t resist the opportunity so, I immediately snagged some of my own even though I had no idea what I was going to make.  A few days later and  the result of that happy meeting was a recipe for Lavender and Meyer Lemonade.  It was refreshing and light and I hope you enjoy this recipe with the anticipation of warm weather. 

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Lavender and Meyer Lemonade

Ingredients:

1 cup Sugar

5 cups Water

1/2 tsp. Good Vanilla Extract

1 cup Freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

Zest of 7 Meyer lemons

1 Tb. Dried Lavender

Butcher String

Coffee Filter

Small Sauce Pot

Pitcher

Ice Optional

Zest lemons with a microplane or the zester side of a box grater.  Place in a coffee filter along with the lavender and secure with butcher string.

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On the stove in a small sauce pot combine 1 cup of water and 1cup of sugar and cook until slightly thickened to make a simple syrup.  About 3-5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and place your little bag of zest and lavender in the syrup and allow to steep for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice the lemons in half reserving one half for garnish. 

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To juice your lemons us a reamer or a pair of closed tongs being sure to use a mesh strainer to separate the seeds from the juice.  This should yield about 1 cup.

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Pour the  juice, four cups of water, vanilla extract and the lavender simple syrup into a pitcher and stir until well blended.  Slice the Meyer lemon half into coins for garnish.  Store in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week or add ice and serve share with friends and family. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

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Sunday Sausage and Eggs

Sometimes going to the farmers’ market can be a little daunting.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the music and it’s great for people watching. Plus there are always artisans selling cool pieces and an abundance of produce to take home from all the local farms.  However, sometimes there is a little mystery as to how to use and prepare all the amazing ingredients your local farmers’ market has to offer. 

Well have no fear, Ash is here.  With this series of recipes called “Sustainable Eats” I want to show you how to prepare a  simple meal for four people while remaining on a budget.  The ingredients should cost a total of $20 or will fall under that budget. Although pricing is usually consistent it can vary a little from week to week and from vendor to vendor.   I will be sure to list the farms that vendors that I purchased from that week along with the Farmer’s Market that they are selling their product.  The only rules are that you have to have 7 ingredients always on hand.  Your staple list is as follows Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Yellow Onions, Garlic, Canola Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar (I like Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother) and  Honey. 

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Sunday Sausage and Eggs

“ Sustainable Eats”

Warning!!! This is a hardy breakfast and after eating this meal you will probably need a nap. It is Sunday though so I think it will be alright. This meal came in at a grand total of $18.65 and will require a little prep the night before. 

What and Where

Although vendors are subject to change everything here was purchased at the Farmer’s Market at Howe Meadows.

Red Basket Farm

3 lbs Russet Potatoes  $3.00

1 bag Rainbow Swiss Chard  $5.00

Teahills Farms

Chicken Brats    $7.65

Peters Creek Farm

1 dozen Poulet Eggs $3.00

Total cost per person: $4.66

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Ingredients:

2 lbs Potatoes 

1 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, thinly sliced

1 Tb. Garlic finely chopped

1 cup Swiss Chard packed; cut roughly in 1inch pieces

1 package Teahills Farms’ Chicken Brats

1 dozen Pullet Eggs (3 eggs per person)

Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

 The Night Before

Always be sure to wash fresh produce, give your swiss chard and potatoes a good rinse with cold water.  Make sure to pat you swiss chard dry.  Add the potatoes to a pot where they will be fully submerged in cold water.  I used a 6qt stock pot for this part and made sure to salt the water with 1/2 Tb Kosher salt.  Bring the water to a boil and allow the potatoes to cook until  fork tender but not falling apart.  This should take approximately 10- 20 minutes depending on the size of the potato.   Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow to cool enough for you to handle.  Cut the cooled potatoes in about 1/4 inch thick triangles.  They don’t have to be perfect.  Place potatoes in container in the refrigerator and allow to cool before covering. 

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You can also, prep the onions, garlic and swiss chard the night before storing them in separate containers in the refrigerator. 

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In the morning…..

Pre heat oven 350℉

Chicken Brats

Heat a 10 inch oven safe sauté pan  over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.  Lay your brats down in the pan with no oil.  The brat should sizzle as you lay it down be sure not to move it so that you can get a bit of caramelization.  Once it is caramelized you should be able to easily move the sausage and flip all your brats.  Add an 1/8 of an inch of water to the pan and place in the oven.  Sausage will take17 to 20 minutes to cook through.  You’ll know it the brats are done when the juices run clear and the inside is no longer pink.

While your brats are cooking you can start to prepare the breakfast potatoes and eggs.

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Breakfast Potatoes

In a large skillet place 2oz of oil and heat over a medium high flame.  You can test the to see if the pan is ready by adding a potato. If it is rapidly sizzling add the rest of you spuds and season with salt and pepper.  Do not disturb and allow to brown for 10to 12 minutes.  Add you onions and garlic and flip you potatoes.  Turn down the heat to a medium flame and continue to cook until onions and garlic are translucent and potatoes are warmed through.  Turn off potatoes and stir in swiss chard at the end.  The heat should slight wilt the chard.   Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

At this point check and see if the brats are done.  Once done turn oven to warm and place you the breakfast potatoes inside to keep warm as well. 

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Scrambled Eggs

This part of the recipe can be adjusted as needed.  If not everyone is going to eat 3 eggs for breakfast you don’t have to use a dozen eggs.

In a large bowl beat eggs, 3 Tb. of water with a whisk or fork until blended.

Heat 1 oz. of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Pour in eggs.

As eggs begin to set, gently pull the eggs across the pan  using a heat resistant rubber spatula. This will begin to form large soft curds. Continue cooking – pulling, lifting and folding eggs – until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  You don’t have to stir constantly.  Remove the eggs from the heat and set aside for plating.

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On a platter fan out your brats, layer on your potatoes and top with eggs. 

Enjoy!