This recipe is a Fall favorite for me. At the end of every summer, I restock my supply of homemade chicken stock, and then, all I can think about is SOUP! And I can’t say enough about how flavorful and hearty this one is. With the fresh chill of Autumn in the air, it’s the perfect meal at the end of a long day. Zesty Sausage and Kale Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage 3-4 large Potatoes, skins on, sliced in half and then in 1/4″ half moons 2 medium Onions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped, cooked Bacon, grease reserved* 4 Garlic Cloves, minced 1/2 bunch Kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into large chunks (I prefer Red Russian or Tuscan Curly for this recipe.) 4 cups (32 oz.) Chicken Stock 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream 1-2 tbsp. Olive Oil Instructions: Break Sausage into small bits by hand and brown with Olive Oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer cooked Sausage to stock pot and set skillet aside. Add Chicken Stock and Potatoes to stock pot. Cover and bring to low boil over medium heat. Return to skillet. Add 2 tbsp. Bacon Grease and chopped Onions, and cook over medium-low heat until Onions are translucent and fairly soft. Add Garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Transfer Onions and Garlic to stock pot with other ingredients. Cover and return to simmer. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes or until Potatoes are soft and break apart when stirred. Remove soup from heat. Stir in Kale and Cream. Cover until ready to serve. Serve hot with fresh bread and butter! *If you’re like me and you usually have a little tub of Bacon Grease in the fridge but don’t always have the actual Bacon, don’t worry about that part. The Grease will add enough Bacon flavor that the soup will taste just fine without the bits.
My favorite part about this recipe (other than it’s crispy-creaminess, of course!) is that the stovetop portion can be done ahead of time, saving the final broiling for right before you eat. It’s a perfect compliment to holiday main courses such as roasted turkey or chicken. Also, save that delicious cream that’s left over and drizzle it over roasted potatoes or freshly cooked greens or to fold into mashed potatoes. Creamy Braised Potatoes and Fennel By Holly Rodricks (Inspired by Food52.) Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-2″ chunks 2 Fennel Bulbs, with tough/bruised outer layers removed, trimmed and cut lengthwise into wedges about 1.5” wide, leaving core intact to hold wedges together 2 cups Cream 1 cup Chicken Stock 1 Bay Leaf 4 large sprigs fresh Thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme) 1/2 tsp. dried Orange Zest (or fresh zest of 1 Orange, if available) 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese, finely grated 3 tbsp. Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: In a medium bowl, combine Cream and Chicken Stock and set aside. In a 4 quart pan, combine Potatoes, Fennel wedges, and Bay Leaf. Season generously with Salt and Pepper. Pour Cream mixture over vegetables until just covered and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until Potatoes and Fennel are tender and cooked through. While vegetables are cooking, toss Thyme, Orange Zest, and Cheese together in small bowl until evenly mixed, and set aside. A few minutes before Potatoes and Fennel are cooked, preheat oven broiler to medium high and generously coat the bottom of a casserole or gratin dish with olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked vegetables to prepared dish. Some Cream mixture will carry over, which is a good thing! Add more Salt and Pepper to taste, as necessary. Then drizzle Potatoes and Fennel with a little more Olive Oil and add Cheese mixture. Toss all ingredients together until evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer in dish and place under broiler, approximately 6 inches away. Brown for 3-5 minutes, until potatoes and fennel are crispy around the edges, or longer as suits your preference. Serve hot! *Image courtesy of: https://food52.com/recipes/14606-crispy-cream-braised-potatoes-and-fennel.
This recipe makes great use of the wonderfully delicate Napa Cabbage, or Chinese Cabbage, which is loaded with zinc. Napa cooks quickly with little work, which makes this recipe a winner at the end of a long day, when you’re craving a good, hot meal without a ton of prep. Sesame Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry By Holly Rodricks (Adapted from a recipe found on an amazing site called Budget Bytes.) Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: For the Beef – 1/2 lb. Ground Beef (We highly recommend WW Longhorn Ranch. They are one of our go-tos for meat, and you can find them at the CNY Regional Market in Shed C every Saturday!) 2 cloves Garlic, minced 1 tsp. Ginger, freshly grated 1 tbsp. Peanut Oil (or oil of choice) For the Stir Fry Veggies – 1 Onion, sliced finely 2 Carrots, grated 1 Napa Cabbage, chopped finely 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil Salt and Pepper to taste For the Stir Fry Sauce – 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce 1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil 1 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar 1 tbsp. Sriracha 1/2 tsp. Honey 1 tbsp. Corn Starch 1 tbsp. Sesame Seeds Instructions: Mix all Stir Fry Sauce ingredients and set aside. In a large saucepan or wok, over medium-high heat, sauté Ground beef in Oil until cooked. A few minutes before meat is cooked through, add Garlic and Ginger. Continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes until aromatic and evenly mixed. Remove meat from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add Coconut Oil and Onions and sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Increase heat to medium-high. Add Carrots and continue to sauté for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. If mixture is drying up, add some Stir Fry Sauce to moisten. Add Napa Cabbage. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until cabbage begins to wilt. Add remainder of Stir Fry Sauce. Return cooked Beef to pan. Toss all ingredients together and add Salt and Pepper to taste, as needed. Serve hot. Image courtesy of: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/08/beef-cabbage-stir-fry/.
If you enjoy Au Gratin as much as we do, you’ll love this hearty Fall take, with the surprising addition of Kale. If you prefer to bake your Au Gratin, preheat the oven to 350º and follow the same layering steps detailed below, but in a prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the cheese to crisp up. Crockpot Potatoes Au Gratin By Briel Driscoll Makes 6-8 servings. Ingredients: 6-8 medium Potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick 1 Onion, sliced thinly 6 oz. Milk (or milk substitute) 2 tbsp. Butter, melted 3-4 cloves Garlic, minced 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar, shredded (or whatever cheese blend you prefer) Salt and Pepper to taste Parsley, to taste 1/2 bunch Kale, stems removed and chopped finely Optional: Sausage or Bacon layered throughout Instructions: Layer Potatoes in crock pot. Once bottom is lined, sprinkle a little Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Onions, Garlic, and Cheese (reserving a good portion for the top layer). Start new layer of Potatoes and repeat until all Potatoes are used. Mix Milk and melted Butter. Pour liquid over top layer of Potatoes and sprinkle remaining Cheese across top. Cook for approximately 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. (Cooking times will vary slightly depending crock pot.) Right before serving, Stir Kale into potato mixture. *Image courtesy of: http://ohmyveggies.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/sweet_potato_and_kale_gratin_on_plate.jpg.
What can I say about this one? Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Sweetness, spiciness, and a wonderful tanginess collide to make the most delectable of dishes. Pan Seared Salmon with Arugula and Candy Striped Beets By Holly Rodricks Makes 2 servings. Ingredients: 2 Salmon fillets 1 cup Candy Striped Beets, peeled and diced large 2 handfuls Arugula 1/2 cup hearty Grain of choice, (Brown Rice, Cous Cous, Farro, Quinoa, etc.) 1 inch piece of fresh Ginger, grated or minced finely 1 Shallot, minced 6-7 tbsp. Olive Oil or Ghee, divided (or Oil of choice) 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup 1 tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice or 1 tbsp. Wine Vinegar pinch of Cayenne Pepper (Optional) Salt and Pepper, to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 375º. Place diced Beets on rimmed baking sheet. Toss in 1-2 tbsp. of Oil until evenly coated and generously sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender. While Beets are baking, cook Grain according to package instructions. When Grain is completely cooked but still hot, remove from heat, add Arugula, Salt and Pepper to taste, and a drizzle of Oil. Stir until mixed well and set aside. Generously sprinkle each side of the Salmon fillets with Salt and Pepper. Whisk remaining Oil, Maple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Cayenne, Shallots, and Ginger. When Grain is ready and Beets have just come out of the oven, place medium-sized skillet over high heat. Add liquid marinate to pan. Lay Salmon fillets into pan and do not disturb for 2-3 minutes, until side of fillet touching pan is caramelized and separates easily from skillet. Flip and cook for a remaining 2-3 minutes or until fillets reach desired level of “done-ness.” Plate Grain, lay Salmon on top, and sprinkle with roasted Beets. Serve and enjoy! *Image courtesy of: https://media.blueapron.com/recipes/479/c_main_dish_images/20141015-2124-16322-7749/Salmon_20with_20Candy_20Beets-0039_splash_feature.jpg