I thought about sharing a soup this week, but it’s too hot for that! Instead, this week’s recipe is for something seasonal that can be appreciated room temperature or cold: apple kuchen.
Photos by Zachary Cross
This is not a guest post but it was made by a guest chef: my older daughter, Lexi. She’s had an interest in cooking, and especially baking, for a long time. Since I discovered that I have a wheat allergy I’ve stopped baking with wheat and also most grain flours. Lexi has filled the void my decreased baking has left.
We discussed both the pronunciation of kuchen (we learned koo-ken from Mennonites) and the definition. Basically, it means cake in German. One of our favorite dessert recipes, though, from The More-with-Less Cookbook is for peach kuchen, and it’s more of a custard pie. Turns out that is a Käsechun, a cheesecake, specifically Pfirsich-Käsechun. The M-w-L recipe uses sour cream or yogurt for the custard, something I found odd but yummy (we’ve always used yogurt). Now I learn that German cheesecake is made with a German cheese: quark. It sounds a bit like Greek yogurt in that it’s strained and a bit tangy. It’s not yogurt but an acid-set cheese - not one made with rennet - and I’m excited to try making it in the future.
Lexi made more of a traditional sheet cake with an apple topping, so it’s an Apfelkuchen. There’s no streusel on it, though it sounds like it doesn’t need it. Jeffrey pronounced it “moist, but not the least bit gummy.” It certainly smelled heavenly, I suppose the combination of cinnamon and apples. And it was gone in less than 24 hours!
The blog post this recipe comes from is a bit of an advertisement for White Lily flour. Lexi used regular all purpose flour, but made sure to sift it thoroughly to keep it light and fluffy. The cake is in the post is very white, Lexi’s version is a lovely golden color from the pastured eggs she used. She also only used 3 apples “because I sliced them so thin,” and it sounds like that was plenty. They were Winesaps from Wheeler’s Orchard, plenty tart in place of Granny Smiths.
From Chocolate, Chocolate and More
4-5 medium Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups White Lily All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Alternating, add flour mixture and sour cream, starting and ending with flour. Mixing just until each addition is incorporated into batter.
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. (I line mine with parchment paper for easy removal of cake to a serving tray.) Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Peel, core and slice apples into thin slices (about 16 slices per apple) place apples in a single layer across top of batter.
Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping. Sprinkle over top of apple layer.
bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and let cool 30 minutes.
Prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Serve cake still warm or can be served cooled.
Store in refrigerator.
A rotisserie chicken is a modern convenience food. It’s ready for you to eat (and even still hot at the store!), can be served as a traditional carved bird, or it can be shredded to use in other dishes - and it’s cheap! Take a little hands-on time, though, and a long, slow cook in the oven, and instead have your own tender and tasty chicken that’s locally and humanely raised.
Is that rotisserie chicken really inexpensive? Although it will depend on the store and day, usually no. There are loss leaders or fresh chickens nearing their sell-by date that a store decides to use, but, generally, the rotisserie chickens are just smaller than the fresh chickens you will buy in the same store.
What about the convenience? If you’ve made a special trip to pick one up, you’ve spent more time than prepping a roast chicken takes. Certainly they look and smell appealing when you’re already shopping and hungry, but a little planning ahead can mean that the chicken is already prepared for you at home.
How was that bird raised? A chicken purchased at the grocery store is definitely going to be factory-farmed. Even if you shop at Whole Foods it may not be raised the way you might think. You probably have seen information about the 5-step animal welfare rating. Looking at the Global Animal Partnership site shows that a chicken has to be at least step 4, and more likely step 5 or 5+ to compare what you’d get at market. Step 1 is barely one step up from the lowest level of care. Right now at the Chattanooga Whole Foods a rotisserie chicken is Step 2 and on sale for $7.99. You get what you pay for: Step 2 provides little improvement: enrichment activities and no cages but a life all indoors.
What is a busy locavore to do? Make your own! There are many ways to roast chicken that take different amounts of prep and cooking time. The October issue of Real Simple has a recipe for chicken with 10 minutes of prep, then 2 ½ - 3 hours on low heat to roast without any attention needed. The long time does make this likely a weekend project. If you’ve purchased your chicken frozen, great, leave it in the fridge till the weekend and it will hopefully be defrosted and ready to go. (I feel like chicken takes forever to defrost so I’m a little cynical about how long it takes.) If you’ve bought it fresh on Wednesday, will it still be good Saturday or Sunday?
I went down a reddit hole trying to figure out safe poultry shelf life via the internet. I’ve waited until the weekend to cook Wednesday’s fresh chicken myself, but I wanted to make sure it was safe enough to recommend! The USDA’s official recommendation is to cook your fresh poultry 1-2 days after you get it home. This is a recommendation intended for poultry purchased in a supermarket or similar store. I wondered, though: how long does it take for a fresh chicken to get from slaughter to store? How long does it sit there before you buy it? Vegetables and fruits can be days or weeks old, eggs can be months old, surely chicken suffers a similar fate?
Yet, it turns out, you don’t want to eat your chicken too fresh! You can eat it within a half hour of slaughtering but wait much longer than that and you need to let it rest for at least 24 hours. Some sources say 4 or more days for best flavor. I find this fascinating! According to an NC State poultry professor, chicken can reach the store a day after slaughter, but should be consumed within 14 days at the latest. Two weeks is a long time. But note: chicken needs to be keep at 40 F or below during that time. Please be safe and bring a cooler or insulated bag plus ice packs to market if you’re going to hold your chicken over.
Not only is your chicken going to be local but some of your seasonings will be as well. Rosemary and thyme or oregano are sturdy herbs that can stand up to long cooking. They’re readily available at the market, and thyme and rosemary grow well unprotected through the winter. Salt, pepper, and lemon round out the seasonings for a tasty chicken that goes well with many dishes that is able to stand alone as well. Lemon thyme could be used as a substitute for the lemon zest. The lemon itself adds moisture to the chicken but with long and slow cooking it shouldn’t matter too much. I’m going to try lemon thyme with this week’s chicken.
Photo by Heather Cross
Real Simple’s recipe doesn’t mention this, but I learned from Martha Stewart to loosen the skin on the breast and rub it with fat and seasonings directly on the meat as well as on the skin. She also puts thin rounds of goat cheese under the skin and arranges sage leaves (sage is another good herb for roasting) nicely on top. It’s pretty but not necessary for a yummy bird.
For your side, roasted veggies are a natural match. Usually I roast at high heat, but roasting veggies alongside chicken or other meat is pretty traditional. Real Simple recommends a separate pan of veggies; you decide which you would prefer. And if you roast plenty of vegetables you will have the beginnings of plenty of meals for the following days.
From Real Simple Magazine October 2017
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or thyme
1 lemon, zested
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3½ -to 4-lb. chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine salt, rosemary, oregano, 1½ ￼teaspoons lemon zest, and pepper in a small bowl. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and rub all over with oil. Season with herb mixture, inside and out. Halve lemon and place inside cavity.
Roast until chicken is pull-apart tender (grab a leg and wiggle it; it should easily come away from the bird), 2½ to 3 hours.
Printable recipe here
Photo by Zachary Cross
Although this is a recipe blog most of us have days when we'd rather not cook. Let's look at the options for market items on those days.
Salad is an obvious first choice. Greens are most abundant in the spring and fall but can be found most weeks year round. Some vendors wash their baby greens, sparing you of even that step. But don’t limit yourself to the basic lettuce, spinach, arugula, or baby greens. Edible weeds are often found at market, including henbit and chickweed (Tant Hill) as well as purslane (currently offered by Healthy Kitchen). Microgreens, essentially older sprouts grown in soil instead of water, are often available from Spring Creek Veggies and Land Before Time Farms. A few snips and you have ready to eat tender greens.
Sunflower Sprouts from Spring Creek Veggies (photos by Zachary Cross)
You don’t have to limit yourself to a greens-based salad, though. In The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen says: “Most vegetables can be eaten raw if cut properly.” She recommends grating or finely mincing your vegetables to make a salad that looks “like edible confetti.”
There are plenty of other vegetables and fruits at market to add to your salad as well. Pick smaller or baby produce - cherry tomatoes, carrot thinnings, berries, etc. - to cut down on prep work. Vegetable ferments from Harvest Roots Ferments and/or pickles from various vendors round out your vegetable options.
For protein add goat cheese (Rafting Goat), cubes of hard cheese (Sequatchie Cove Creamery), or smoked salmon (Wild Alaskan Salmon and Seafood).
There are options for your bread as well. Bread & Butter has various sourdough breads while Colvin Family Farm offers gluten-free options as well as traditional breads.
Are you looking for heartier fare? Ansley from Wheeler’s Orchard has been making main dishes such as Shepherd’s Pie as well as smaller bites such as egg rolls. Ansley made sweet potato pie, too, an option that lends itself to either the main meal, or dessert, depending on your inclination. Our family tried it last week and enjoyed it. Our older daughter recommended that it be served with coconut cream which she thought would complement the flavor better than regular whipped cream.
Also for dessert there are cookies, sweet bread and pastries, or jams (various vendors). Or you could eat your fruit and cheese for dessert - an idea that both brings to mind a fancy meal and also makes me think of the Saturday morning cartoon PSAs encouraging kids to eat cheese or fruit.
Drink options include kombucha from both Blue Indian Kombucha and Harvest Roots.
And remember the food for your eyes! Southerly Flower Farm has lovely bouquets, currently dahlias.
So next time you don’t feel like cooking, or think you won’t in the coming week, don’t feel like you have to skip market and opt for takeout or the grocery store. Take a look around at the options various vendors have and enjoy a no- or low-work meal.
It was raining and blowing last night, with a chill in the air. Zachary was baking bread, which smelled wonderful, and I was contemplating what to make for supper. It was definitely soup weather! Looking in the fridge I realized I had plenty of celery so I decided to make a tried and true family favorite. After some recipe fails last week it was nice to have a recipe success!
I don’t know about you but when I think about celery I think of eating it raw, perhaps with a dip or spread, or as an ingredient along with many others in a soup or casserole. It also works as the main ingredient in a creamy soup, perfect for these chilly evenings that feel like fall.
Celery is a member of the carrot family (Apiaceae) and you can see its resemblance to flat-leaf parsley, if not visually to carrots. Sometimes it’s grown for its bulb, known as celery root or celeriac, but in the United States it’s mostly grown for its stalks. In the grocery stores the celery you see tends to be very pale as a result of blanching, or covering the stalks to stop photosynthesis. This also makes the stems more tender and keeps the flavor mild. The celery you will find at market will likely be a nice green, both from lack of blanching and also from more nutrient-rich soil. It will be a stronger flavor raw, but that can be an asset in soup, where cooking already mellows the flavor.
The celery you find at market may also be a variety with thinner stalks and more leaves, known as Chinese, leaf, or herb celery, among other names. I found this to work well in soup, too, though I had to add the leaves to have enough celery. That’s not a problem when it’s all blended up anyway.
I often do not use a recipe when cooking, and especially when making soup. I got out the cookbook for this one, though, so I could share the recipe and what I did with it. Like most soups, though, it’s flexible, and you can adapt it to both taste and availability of ingredients. It takes a full bunch of celery to make the recipe as written but you can make do with less and add some more potato, though as you might expect there will be less celery flavor.
This recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen’s first cookbook, The Moosewood Cookbook. Originally published in 1977, we own the 1992 edition, from the heyday of low-fat diets. In this edition Katzen removed some of the deep-fried recipes and reduced eggs, butter, and cheese in the rest. She went a little overboard removing the fat so I usually add some back and did in this case. One last change I made from the original recipe is to eliminate the celery seed and white pepper called for. The taste of each are a bit harsh and, besides, the celery and onion have plenty of flavor on their own. If you want, add up to a teaspoon of celery seed and white pepper to taste. Katzen often also left out or reduced salt in the interest of health but the salt in this recipe is just right.
The recipe as written calls for three pots to be used cooking this soup. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to wash more pots than I have to! Two of those are for first boiling the potatoes and celery and then the second for holding the finished soup, so the first saucepan is an easy one to eliminate. Simply cook the potatoes and celery in the pot the finished soup will go in. The third pan is for sautéing the onions and celery that are not blended to add to the texture and flavor. If you would prefer a completely smooth soup just use one large pot, and start by sautéing the onions and some of the celery. Then add the water, potatoes, and remaining celery and cook until soft. Purée and add the remaining ingredients. For puréeing soups I highly recommend an immersion blender so you can blend right in the pot.
Adapted from Light Cream of Celery Soup from
The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
2 average person’s fist-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chopped celery (1-inch chunks) (plus more celery a few ingredients from now)
3 cups water
1 ¼ tsp salt (plus more later)
2 to 4 Tbs butter
1 cup finely minced onion
1 cup very finely minced celery (preferably innermost stalks)
1 cup milk
4 to 5 Tbs sour cream, half and half, or heavy cream
Minced chives, parsley, or other green garnish
Additional sour cream as desired
Photo by Zachary Cross
Apple butternut tartlets (with caramelized onions, thyme and local cheese).Fall is (almost!) here, and you know what that means–pie. I’m a fan of fruit plus a crust in any variation: pumpkin pie, apple tarte tatin, plum galettes … but I have to admit, I’m not the biggest sweet treat eater. I tend to prefer savory things, so with my bounty of butternut squash and apples from last week’s market, I decided that I would stick with the crust plus fruit equation that always makes me happy, but that I would make them for dinner, instead of dessert.
Apple butternut tartlets
For the crust
To make the tarts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large saute pan or skillet, caramelize caramelize the onions over medium-low heat in a little olive oil, butter or a mixture of the two. When the onions have caramelized, remove from the heat and stir in the thyme leaves.
Meanwhile, roll out the dough for your tarlets. To do this, I rolled the dough into a rough triangle, 1/4″ thick, and cut out circles using a large biscuit cutter (mine was 3 and 5/8″), then rolled the circles out further until they were 1/8″ thick.
Arrange on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. In the center of each circle, spread 1 T. of the onions, leaving a roughly 1″ border on all sides. Sprinkle 1 T. of cheese over the onions, then layer with a piece of butternut squash and several slices of apples.
Fold the edges of the tarts back over the filling, crimping as you go, if you like. Brush the dough with the egg and water mixture and bake for 20+ minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the bottom of the tarts are no longer soft.
Cool slightly before eating and serve warm, or at room temperature.
Makes 10-12 tartlets.
Photos by Zachary Cross
We were discussing my husband Jeffrey’s birthday a few weeks ago and talking about how to celebrate. Green tomato cake has been a favorite in the past so we asked him if he wanted that. He replied, “how about a cucumber cake?” I think he was mostly joking, but I looked it up and found several recipes.
Vegetable-based desserts are nothing new. It seems odd at first, but most vegetable desserts use a fruit that we eat as vegetables, such as in zucchini bread. Others use roots or leaves - carrot cake is possibly the most common and popular, while sneaking spinach into brownies is a relatively new and possibly less appealing idea. On the market blog there are recipes for Swiss Chard Tart, Squash Bars, Pumpkin Bars, and our family favorite, Green Tomato Cake.
Cucumbers are another fruit that we usually eat as a vegetable. They’re in the Cucurbitaceae family with squash and pumpkins, so why not put them in cake? Appropriately the recipe I ended up using is from Veggie Desserts, a site full of vegetable dessert and other veggie recipes. There’s a cookbook now, too, Veggie Desserts + Cakes.
The recipe is pretty simple, simpler than other veggie cakes I’ve made. No sugaring or salting the veggie to drain excess water. I was surprised since cucumbers are so watery but the final cake was not wet at all. Lemon juice and zest complement cucumber’s light flavor. We did not have the elderflower cordial for the icing so used the recommended substitute, lemon juice. If you want to try the elderflower flavor in the icing, Wildflower Tea Shop & Apothecary has dried elderflowers you can use to make the cordial. There’s a version of the cucumber cake on Veggie Desserts with a gin icing as well.
Since I have a wheat allergy our older daughter volunteered to make the birthday cake as written. She found the cucumber hard to blend completely but ended up liking the green flecks and texture. She also decorated it with icing made with natural colors.
The cake was well received so I decided to make a grain-free version and try it out. The cucumber is a subtle flavor but is definitely present. I found the cucumber hard to blend as well and eventually added the eggs to the blender to give it more liquid to blend with. It worked! I like the contrast of the light green color and the white frosting. I used lemon as the flavor in my frosting as well and added some zest for more flavor. Unfortunately, I mixed up the two cake recipes and added too much butter. That’s one reason my cake is thinner. I made two layers as well - more room for icing!
I’m inspired now to try more vegetables in desserts and in other new ways, too.
From Veggie Desserts
200g cucumber (about half a cucumber) Zest and juice of half a lemon
115g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
150g (3/4) granulated sugar
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150g (11⁄8 cups) self raising flour
For the Elderflower Icing:
75g (1/3 cup) butter, softened
150g (11⁄8 cups) powdered icing sugar
1 tablespoon elderflower cordial (or lemon juice if elderflower isn't available)
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Lightly grease 2 x 7in sandwich tins or a 9 inch round cake tin.
2. Leave the skin on the cucumber and deseed it by cutting it in half lengthways and scraping the seeds out with a teaspoon. Cut into chunks and puree until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
3. Cream the butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well.
5. Stir in 1⁄3 of the flour, then add 1⁄3 of the cucumber and continue until it is all combined.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and turn out on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
For the Elderflower Icing:
1. Beat the butter, icing sugar and cordial together until smooth and fluffy. Keep in the fridge until ready to ice the cake.
This week's post comes from my neighbor, Ali Whittier. Ali is a St. Elmo resident and local competitive cyclist for Scenic City Velo and Privateer Cyclocross. A native of Iowa, she has a decade of experience in health promotion and community engagement, as well as health care communications.
Connect with Ali on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. Follow the Whittiers' cycling adventures at www.withthewhittiers.com.
I don’t remember eating sweet potatoes as a child. I grew up in Iowa which doesn’t have ideal climate for this heat-loving crop. It wasn’t until I moved to the south as an adult that I had my first taste – sweet potato casserole, of course.
I soon realized casseroles and pies weren’t the only ways to use sweet potatoes. And they have some nutritional benefits, too.
My husband and I are competitive cyclists, and we’ve been slowly refining our eating habits to include little to no processed foods. But we both work full-time in addition to training on the bike 5-6 days a week, so many nights we have little time to get a healthy dinner together.
After a little experimentation, we found a simple, quick way to prepare sweet potatoes that can be easily paired with a number of meals – or even as a dessert!
Stir-fry sweet potatoes in coconut oil
We learned chopping and stir-frying sweet potatoes in coconut oil was much quicker than boiling or baking them. And adding some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (along with some butter and salt) help this side become a tasty treat.
Photos by Ali Whittier
All you need is a large pot (large enough to hold your sweet potatoes without much stacking), coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a little bit of butter (we use Kerrygold) and salt.
Here’s what to do.
Start by chopping your sweet potato(es) into small blocks.
Heat up your pot when you’re almost done chopping.
Add your sweet potatoes and season them.
Cover them, then check in a few minutes to stir.
Finally, add a little bit of butter and salt to top things off.
There you have it! We prefers ours with some over-easy eggs, any green veg and also with almost any type of protein. The sky’s the limit with this versatile side – enjoy!
This week I’m sharing a recipe from Michael Rice of Mad Priest Coffee Roasters. Each month or so Michael features one of his coffees and the country it’s from, along with a recipe from that country. Mad Priest’s mission is to “craft good coffee, educate the curious, and champion the displaced”. The coffee/country/recipe combination is one of the ways they are doing that. This month’s country is Rwanda, the coffee is Bourbon from the Nyamagabe region, and the recipe is for Igisafuliya (Rwandan chicken stew). Although the recipe contains some exotic ingredients, they are available locally and most of the ingredients are found at the market as well.
The Rwanda coffee is my favorite so far from Mad Priest. The flavor notes listed are lemon, black tea, and balanced. I was surprised to see the lemon as my first thought drinking it was “chocolate!” Note that I eat unsweetened or lightly sweetened chocolate so I was not detecting a sweet taste. I think what I was experiencing was the balanced part of the flavor, an effect of a washed coffee such as this one - if I’m understanding this correctly. I’m no expert! In subsequent cups I began to notice the various subtle flavors that contribute to its complexity.
Photo by Zachary Cross
From Mad Priest about the featured coffee:
This coffee comes from Buf Cafe and is 100% Bourbon variety. The famed Buf Cafe washing station is in the mountains near the village of Karaba, in the Ginkongoro prefecture in south-central Rwanda. Buf Cafe started operation in 2000, after funding aid from the Rwandan Development Bank and USAID’s PEARL project.
In the 1930s, the Belgian colonial empire forced Rwandan farmers to plant masses of low-quality coffee. But the coffee industry was virtually wiped out after the horrific 1994 genocide (around 800,000 people were killed in 100 days), which was the culmination of a century of hostility and conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups. In 1959, the Hutu revolution caused 300,000 Tutsi refugees to flee the country. But larger by far was the African Great Lakes refugee crisis after the genocide, which caused 2.1 million refugees (mostly Hutus) to flee to neighboring countries in 1994 (200,000+ fled to Tanzania on April 28 alone). The horrors continued in refugee camps where 50,000 people died of cholera and other diseases and the exiled Hutu military leaders took control of the camps, eventually leading to the First Congo War in 1996.
But slowly Rwanda is rebuilding, and some leaders recognized the potential of the coffee industry to re-write the future of the country. And in spite of the destruction of war, this “land of a thousand hills” has excellent coffee growing conditions: high altitude, volcanic soil, plenty of sun, and equatorial mist. Today the coffee industry has been responsible for creating jobs, boosting the farmers’ quality of life, and even helping in the reconciliation process between the Hutus and Tutsis, all while delivering some of the finest coffee to the world.
About the recipe:
Traditional Rwandan food includes lots of potatoes, beans, cassava, plantains, vegetables, and fruit, with occasional meat. Igisafuliya, which means “one pot” in Kinyarwanda, is a combination of some of these flavors in a mellow sauce. As the Rwandan proverb says, “The most extensive land is the human belly.” Enjoy!
Notes from Heather:
Ingredients in this recipe likely found at the market this week are chicken, onions, leeks, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, and chili peppers. Occasionally some farmers have celery, too. The only exotic ingredient is plantain, but those are found at most grocery stores in the area. You’ll want green plantains as this is a savory dish. Green plantains can be a bother to peel but I’ve found soaking them in hot water for a while first helps the process.
From 196 Flavors
WHAT YOU NEED:
4 chicken thighs
2 onions, chopped
4 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, cut
The chopped leaves of a bunch of celery
4 plantains, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then in half width
1 cup spinach, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons oil
1 chili pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
WHAT YOU DO:
In a large pot, sauté the chicken over medium-high heat in hot oil to brown all sides. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.bg /
Then add tomatoes, celery and tomato paste and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Cover with water, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove two pieces of chicken, place plantains, cover with spinach, then put the pieces of chicken on top. Add water if necessary so that plantains are completely immersed.
Cover, add the chili pepper, and simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes.
Photos of the finished dish here Printable recipe here
More info on Rwanda:
Brief history of coffee/country--example of blog post on a roasters website
NPR interview with african journalist about coffee
Brief history/current farm review--story of Epiphanie Muhirwa
In depth history/stories/coffee
Timeline of rwanda
More specific timeline of war years
Refugees returning finally in 2016
Super in-depth history of refugees
Great lakes refugee crisis
Quotes from journalists during crisis
Photo by Michelle Thompson
It's been here all along, and we all know there is nothing better than a slice. Hot or cold, thick or thin, with beer or orange juice (don't knock it till you try it)-pizza is arguably the best comfort food out there. Tomorrow, to celebrate all our farmers at Main Street and beyond, we will have a little extra fun down at the market for National Farmers Market Week. Thanks to our awesome vendor, Bread and Butter, we will be taking our pizza dough to the grill, with some other farmer donated toppings that make a pie that is crispy, a bit soft on the inside, a bit of char in all the right places. My advice is to keep a close watch on it, it doesn't take very long at all to cook the crust. The toppings need to be thin and precooked/sauteed. You can go veggie lovers with local peppers, squash, onions, and basil. Or meat lovers with local sausage, ham, bacon, or ground beef. Or try a fig/goat cheese/caramelized onion pizza. Make your own sauce or if you must buy it, but the local flavors really shine in this pizza. You could be eating your pizza from dough to chewy goodness in about 10 minutes flat. Easy as pie.
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
Makes 4 thin, smallish pizzas
Heat your grill over medium-high.
Divide your dough into four quarters. Use your hands to gently stretch it into a thinner blob — it doesn’t need to be round — then lay it on a plate where you can stretch it further. We’re looking for a thin dough but it doesn’t need to be paper-thin or it might get too cracker-like once cooked. For this reason, I absolutely prefer hand-stretched over rolling pin-rolled for grilled pizza. You want an uneven, hand-stretched, thinness with some thicker spots. Repeat with other three quarters.
Brush tops of each thinly with olive oil. Place doughs oil-side-down on the grill (it will not fall through, promise) and cook for just a minute or two, until lightly browned underneath but still very doughy and soft on top. While they’re cooking, brush the tops of the doughs lightly with olive oil.
Once undersides are lightly cooked, remove doughs from grill and place cooked-side-up on a large tray. Thinly coat each cooked top with prepared sauce, then scatter with cheese. I like to season my pizzas at this point with a little salt and pepper before cooking them.
Slide each pizza back onto the grill and cook, lid down, until undersides are browned with a tiny char spot or two, and cheese has melted. If you abhor a pale pizza top, you could run these under your oven’s broiler for a minute for a toastier lid, but we rarely bother as the whole point is to cook and eat outside. Finish with fresh basil and eat immediately.
A Couldn't-Be-Simpler Pizza Dough
SERVINGS: 4, PETITELY
TIME: 2 HOURS
-2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose or bread flour, feel free to swap out some (I do 1/3) with whole wheat flour
-1 1/4 teaspoons (half a packet) instant or active dry yeast
-a heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
-3/4 cup room temperature water
Mix everything together in a big bowl with a spoon. It’s going to be craggy and messy. Get your hands in there and knead the dough together into a single, even mass, about 1 minute. If you’ve used whole wheat flour, I recommend 2 to 3 minutes of kneading, however, it helps soften it up faster. Place in a covered bowl and set it aside at room temperature for 2 hours.
This week is as simple as it gets. Greek salad is one of my favorite dishes in all its various forms. It is summer, it is hot, and let's just let the produce be the star with out a thought of turning on the oven. In this dish, featured from Main Street Farmers Market are the tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and peppers. If you wanted to take the dish from a hearty side to a main, I would add some chicken from the market. Dress it with what you like on a bed of romaine lettuce, I chose a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Grab some oregano and mince it in the dressing to amp up the Greek flavor. This dish is definitely choose your own adventure- no recipe required. It looks great on a platter for a late summer gathering, or enjoyed at home just about any day of the week. Enjoy!
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