Saturday, November 03, 2012

When Life Gives You Kale, part 2;

Eating: You may recall a few weeks back, part one of this post, about what to do with abundances of certain types of produce.  Well, now I have a bunch of beets (actually, I still have roasted beets in the freezer from last year) and some large cabbage, as well as several pounds of apples we picked.  Here are some more recipes in the same spirit as When Life Gives You Kale, Make Kale Chips.  I am thinking of cross-stitching that saying and hanging on the wall.  By the way, I really really like that roasted tomato soup recipe I posted last time.

Beets.  Was there ever a  vegetable that divided groups of people more?  Well, maybe brussel sprouts but more on those later.  Beets seem to be something you like or something you definitely do not like.  I like beets.  I liked them canned when I was a kid, I like pickled beets, I like them in a salad.  But...there is a such thing as too many beets for me.  I think part of it is that I don't know a lot of ways to prepare them and so when I have a lot of them, I am overwhelmed and get tired of the roasted-beets-as-side-dish preparation.  So I found something new to do with them: Roasted Beet Borscht.  In the same vein as carrot soup and zucchini soup, this is a pureed soup.  I made one sample batch to see if I like it (made with a very large golden beet - it was a very beautifully colored soup), then made a triple batch and froze most of it for later (mix of red and gold beets, deep red color, also quite lovely).  Recipe is courtesy Tyler Florence of Food Network.  Have I mentioned that I love Tyler?
Roasted Beet Borscht (for when life gives you beets)
1 pound beets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken stock (I cheated and used chicken base/bouillon and hot water)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
To roast the beets (same as I do when I make them for a side dish), heat oven to 400.  Scrub beets and place them on a pan. Salt and pepper and drizzle with 3 T olive oil.  Add 3 sprigs of thyme. Bake until the beets are tender, about 1 hour (depends on the size of the beets).
When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins, and chop them into large chunks.
In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Put in the onion, carrots, garlic, and remaining 3 thyme sprigs and cook until softened and just starting to color, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Put the chopped beets into a blender and add the cooked vegetables and most of the stock (SMALL BATCHES!! to avoid soup scald shower). Blend until smooth, add more stock if the puree is too thick. Add the vinegar and honey; season with salt and pepper. Blend again to incorporate flavors. Can serve hot or cold. (The borscht is good without the vinegar and honey but definitely add those because it enhances the flavor A LOT.)

You can also make a garnish for this (I did not do this part, because it was just for me - I don't need to be so fancy eating my lunch). Grate a Granny Smith apple on the large holes of a grater and mix 2 T chopped fresh dill.  Add a big dollop of sour cream to each bowl of soup and top with the apple and dill mixture.

I was also going to blog cabbage recipes but realized I did that last year, so if life has given you cabbage, check out Cabbages Galore for recipes for a soup that uses carrots and for the very handy Freezer Cole Slaw recipe. 

I know everyone likes apples, so an abundance of apples is probably not a problem, but here are a few of my recipes and ideas for when you hit the orchard in the fall and pick way more than you really know what to do with.  Not that I would ever do that...

Apple Cake - two different recipes posted here.

Taffy Apple Pizza - an old Pampered Chef recipe that I have made many many times and previously blogged here

Grandma Nellie's Apple Crisp
(I received this recipe from my mother-in-law as part of a bridal shower gift and it is the only apple crisp E likes because it does not have oatmeal in it.  I lost the recipe and had to call my MIL to get it again.  Grandma Nellie's original lacked a few directions, so this is slightly modified.  I will give you cooking temp and time, for example.)
Fill bottom of a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with sliced, pared, cored apples.  Sprinkle with 1 C sugar (lately I have cut this back to 1/2 or 2/3 C) and sprinkle with cinnamon (lots of cinnamon if you are making this for E).
Combine: 1 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 C butter (I melt it in the microwave first)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 t salt
Mix until forms crumbles.  Crumble over the apples.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes until the top is golden.

I make mine in the crock pot because then I don't have to watch it so closely and it makes the whole house smell delicious!  This year I bought a food mill which is not necessary but does make the sauce smoother and (maybe more importantly) I don't have to peel the apples or worry about getting all of the seeds and core out.  I just use the apple wedger.  I also make mine without added sugar.  Then I can use it in recipes without altering the sugar content of the recipe.  And you can always stir in a little brown sugar to taste.
Wedge/core about 10 apples (peel if not using a food mill).  Place in crock pot along with about 1/2 C water.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  If not using the food mill, you can mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender.  Cool and store in refridgerator or freezer.  I freeze mine in 1 1/2 C portions in freezer bags.  That is what I use to make muffins.

Applesauce Streusel Muffins are yummy and the recipe is here.  I usually mix up the batter on a Saturday morning and bake half the muffins then and half again on Sunday morning. 

Now I am hungry. 

Until we eat again,

1 comment:

Mikazuki said...

I love beets! That soup sounds simply divine. :D

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