Saturday, September 21, 2019

Kale and Leek Buckwheat Crepes

UPDATE: The Market will be closed this Sunday September 22. Come visit next Sunday September 29 for all your fall produce.

At the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm

The brilliant green kale and leeks inspired a quick post-market brunch of buckwheat crepes along side pan seared potatoes, onions, and peppers. If you prepare the batter ahead of time, this meal can come together as quickly as omelettes for a weeknight dinner. 

Kale and Leek Buckwheat Crepes
for the batter
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
3 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
a pinch of salt

for the filling
1 bunch kale
1 leek
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
several handfuls of grated cheese such as aged cheddar or gruyere.

1. Prepare the batter. Combine the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. The batter should have the consistency of thick cream; add a little more milk if needed. It's best to let the batter rest for an hour or so before you use it. You can make it in the morning or even the night before your crepe dinner and if the butter separates out, just give it a quick mix.

2. Prepare the kale and leek filling. Rinse the kale leaves, strip the leaves from the stems, and roughly chop the leaves into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the green part from the leeks (save for stock), trim off the root end, and slice the white part lengthwise. Rinse the white parts while separating the leaves to remove any dirt. Cut widthwise into 1/2 inch half moons. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and when the heat radiates to two inches above the pan, add the olive oil, the leeks, and a pinch of salt. Saute until glassy. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the kale starts to soften and becomes bright green. Add the tomato paste and saute for a minute while it starts to caramelize. Remove from the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Taste and season as needed.

3. Make the crepes. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat, melt a thin slice of butter and swirl to coat the pan. Pour in the crepe batter slowly while you swirl the pan so that it is just coated with batter. Cook until the batter loses its pale color and develops permanent bubbles. Secure a spatula under the crepe and flip with confidence. As the second side cooks, spoon a thin layer of the kale filling over half of the crepe and sprinkle over a thin layer of cheese. Flip the naked half over the filling half and slide onto a plate. Eat while hot.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Instant Pot Tomatillo Pork and Bean Stew

This Sunday, come visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. for fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm

Camas Swale has gorgeous tomatillos on offering. I love searing them in a cast iron skillet to make a delicious roasted salsa with layers of flavor that belie the ease of preparation. The drizzly weather reminded me of another favorite tomatillo dish of pork and white bean stew, based on a Rick Bayless recipe and made in a slow cooker. Here I adapted it for an instant pot pressure cooker and incorporated a step of searing the tomatillos for extra flavor. I also incorporated some roasted Hatch green chiles that Market of Choice sold every Friday in August, but other roasted chiles would work fine. I served the stew over rice with corn tortillas and seared summer squash on the side and it was a huge hit with hungry kids after a long day of school and sports practice.

Instant Pot Tomatillo Pork and Bean Stew
serves eight and freezes well
1 lb tomatillos
6 garlic cloves
several green chiles of desired heat (e.g. 2 poblano, 1 hatch)
1 bunch cilantro
~3 lb pork shoulder
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 cups white navy beans, soaked overnight in salted water

1. Husk and rinse the tortillas. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high and sear the tomatillos whole until they are well charred. Transfer the tortillas to the insert pot of a pressure cooker. In the same skillet, sear the green chiles until charred, then remove to a bowl, cover with a plate, and allow to steam and cool. At the same time you can throw in the unpeeled garlic cloves and roast them until they start to blacken, then remove and cool. Peel the charred skin from the peppers, remove the seeds and membranes from the inside, and add to the pot. Peel the garlic and add to the pot. Rinse and roughly chop the cilantro and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the contents of the pot until smooth. Taste and season with salt and chile pepper if you would like more heat (or sear and blend in more green chiles). 

2. Cut the pork into 1 1/2 inch chunks and season well with salt. In the same skillet, add a little neutral oil to coat the pan and then sear the cubes of meat well on each side, working in batches so as not to overcrowd them. Transfer them to the pot and immerse in the tomatillo sauce. Turn on the pressure cooker and cook the meat in the tomatillo sauce for 30 minutes on high. Allow the pressure to release naturally. 

3. Drain the soaked beans and add them to the pot. Make sure they are completely submerged in liquid, and if not, add a cup or two of water (or reserved bean broth from a previous batch of beans). Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes and allow the the pressure to release naturally. Taste the sauce and add more salt and chile pepper as needed. Brighten with fresh lime juice. Serve with rice and tortillas.

This can also be cooked slow in a slow cooker or in low oven in a Dutch oven.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Easy Apple Oatmeal Scones

This Sunday, come visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. With the start of the school year, be sure to pick up ingredients for easy weeknight dinners and lunchbox lunches, with fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm

Camas Swale has rosy red Akane apples that are perfect for lunchboxes or teacher gifts to start off the year on the right foot. I used a couple in some easy oatmeal scones inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetite, but I dialed back the sugar to that of my favorite yogurt scones. These scones use only heavy cream, similar to these King Arthur flour never fail biscuits (which are genius). They have a lighter texture than butter-based scones and none of the associated butter-incorporating anxieties. They were easy to bake up as a Saturday breakfast treat to celebrate surviving the first day of school.

Easy Apple Oatmeal Scones
makes 8
2 small or one large apple
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp. sugar 
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1⅓ cups chilled heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp chilled heavy cream
2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Core the apples and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Put the into a small baking pan with a pad of butter and the cinnamon and transfer to the warming oven while you prepare the scone batter. After a couple minutes, stir the apples to coat with the melted butter and return to the oven.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, and salt and mix well with a fork.

3. Measure out your cream in a measuring cup and slowly drizzle it into the flour mixture, tossing with a fork to disperse liquid and hydrate flour. Stop mixing when you still have a few dry spots.

4. In the same measuring cup, add 1 Tbsp cream and one egg yoke and whisk together.

5. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Dust the surface with flour.

6. Check on the apples, which should be softened and cooked through (takes about 10-15 minutes). Add them to the bowl of dough, making sure to transfer all of the melted butter from the pan. Fold in the apple pieces with a rubber spatula, taking care only to mix they are distributed throughout and you have a sticky dough.  

7. Transfer the dough to the floured silicone mat or parchment paper and shape into a 1 inch thick square. Brush the surface with the egg and cream mixture. Sprinkle over 2 Tbsp oats and 2 Tbsp raw sugar. Use a pastry knife to bisect the square lengthwise and widthwise and then cut each of the resulting smaller squares along the diagonal to make 8 scones (if working on a silicone mat, be careful not to cut the mat). Gently move the scones apart from each other on the mat so that they each have a couple of free inches around them.

7. Bake scones on upper rack until tops are lightly golden all over and bottoms are golden brown, 15–20 minutes (mine took the full 20). Let cool on baking sheet. Serve warm.