What’s in the box… week two

Each time I visit Midnight Sun Farm my back hurts less.

Although, I have to say those ladies who spend all day long bent over in rice paddies must have hamstrings of steel.  My typically workload on farm this time of year consists of weeding…. lots and lots of weeding… and after a few minutes of bending over my legs start to bark and I’ve now started in on the “crawl on your hands and knees” technique.  Very elegant.

What really excites me, though, is when I see the things that I’ve weeded (and a few things I’ve harvested and washed) showing up in my CSA box.

In my box this week were:

  • getting the rainbow chard ready

    salad mix

  • two heads lettuce
  • one bulb fennel
  • green onions
  • rainbow swiss chard
  • Hakuri sweet turnips, and
  • spinach

So, what became of this random box of green goodness?

I made several salads and another stirfry, but the true prize of the week was Frittata Night with my friend Kelly.

I totally made this recipe up based on something I’d seen Chef Giada do on the food network….. this is not really at all close to the recipe, so, it’s a Lauren original, and delicious.

Lauren’s spinach and chard Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, sliced or diced (depending how onion-y you like it)
  • 3 sweet turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small bunch rainbow swiss chard
  • 1 small bunch spinach
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 C. half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 – 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • bacon bits (the real stuff, not Bacos, people)
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 4-6 sprigs fennel leaves

Directions:

Add 2 TB vegetable oil to a high sided saute pan and heat over medium heat.  Add potatoes and cook until slightly softened and translucent (maybe about 5-7 minutes… just prep the other stuff while you do this and check on them occasionally, turning down the heat if they are starting to brown).

wilty greens ready for the eggs

Meanwhile, separate the leaves of the chard from the woody stem and chop the stems.  Add chard stems, onions, and turnips to the pan and cook another 2-4 minutes.  Add the spinach and chard leaves by the handful, and mix until the greens become dark and wilty.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl with half and half and and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and lower heat to low.  Cook about 5 minutes, covered, and add shredded cheese, bacon, fennel and green onions.  Return lid and cook until the cheese is melted and eggs are set.

I served this gorgeous thing with a side salad of spring mix, kidney and garbanzo beans, strawberries, sunflower seeds, leftover radishes and dried cranberries.  That, and about a bottle of red wine….

And it looked like this:

Lauren’s spinach and chard frittata with strawberry salad

This, friends, was a night to remember!

photos courtesy of Kelly Rose

Betty knows best: Deviled Eggs

One of my prized possessions is my first edition 1950 Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.

It has amazing tips on how to be a good housewife and decorating a kitchen with polka dots… “Gayest, most colorful of all!”

Though perhaps slightly dated in its approach and it’s recipes (like: miniature pigs in blankets and pineapple marshmallow creme), every recipe I’ve tried out of this book has been amazingly successful.  It just goes to show that when it comes to classic American cooking…. Betty Crocker knows best.

This New Years Eve, I tried making Deviled Eggs for the fist time, much to the delight of my household and, I might add, me.  Simple. Creamy. Delicious.

Betty’s Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

6 eggs (hard-boiled, see below*)

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt, depending on your taste (I like less salty)

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

About 3 TB mayonaise, vinegar, or cream (enough to moisten)

Directions:

Cut hard-boiled eggs in half, slip out the yolks into a small bowl and mash with a fork.  Add the other ingredients and mix until creamy.  Refill egg whites with yolk mixture (you can just spoon it in, or use a pastry bag if you want to be extra fancy).  I like to dust them lightly with Paprika.

There are about 1,000 variations of Deviled Eggs, and you can experiment yourself with curry powder, diced ham, pimentos and the like… but I like them just like this.

If you don’t have a fancy deviled egg tupperware as I do, you can lightly squeeze two halves back together and wrap them in wax paper like a salt water taffy (twisting the sides tightly) for transport.  That is, if you don’t eat all of them before you get to your party.

*Just in case you don’t know how to make hard-boiled eggs, a brief tutorial:

  • Boil water in a pot.  The pot should be large enough for the eggs to sit in a single layer, and fill with enough water to completely cover the eggs.  Add 1 TB vinegar to the pot.
  • Lower eggs into the water one at a time, using a ladle and gently resting them in the water.  Lower the heat to medium-ish.
  • 20 minutes later.
  • Use your ladle again to scoop out the eggs one at a time and place them in a colander.  Place the colander in an ice bath to prevent the eggs from continuing to cook, not to mention they are too hot to handle.