Posted on 11 October 2010
The husband decided that we ought to use up some ground bison and make his own special on-the-fly version of Italian Wedding Soup. This was a collaborative effort, and what we came up with is absolutely incredible. It’s far from traditional, but it was incredibly delicious and definitely something that will be made again. We had made chicken wings the night prior (boil wings, then throw on grill to crisp) so we had the chicken stock on hand already. Other than that, the recipe is below, feel free to print, use, and enjoy!
Italian Wedding Soup:
Bison – Backyard Bison
Red Onions – Maysie’s Farm
Garlic – Maysie’s Farm
Egg – Mt View Organics
Bread – LeBoon’s Homemade
Cilantro, Sage, Basil – My Garden
Carrots – Maysie’s Farm
Potatoes – Smith’s Produce
Chicken Broth – Boiled down from Mt View Organics wings (Tuesday Night’s dinner!)
Non-Local – Salt
|Italian Wedding Soup
|Ingredients – Meatballs
||Ingredients – Soup
|1 lb ground bison
||10 cups Chicken Broth (from 2lbs chicken, boiled)
|2 cloves garlic, minced
||2 Small Red Onions, Diced
||2 Carrots, sliced
|1 slice Italian Bread, crumbled
||8 Small Potatoes, cubed
|Cilantro, Sage, Basil to taste
||1 tsp Salt
||12 large leaves of Spinach, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Break egg into bowl, add bison, garlic, crumbled bread, and spices, mix together well with hands.
Roll into 1″ round meatballs, place on greased cookie tray and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
Heat broth on medium-high in large stock pot.
add onions, carrots, potatoes, and salt and simmer while meatballs are cooking.
Add meatballs to pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add spinach and simmer until wilted.
Top with your favorite grated cheese and enjoy!
Makes approximately 14 1-cup servings
The husband has returned home and planted himself in the kitchen. I can’t say I mind, when the result is an amazing crock pot meal. He took a Bison chuck roast out of the freezer and threw in all manner of vegetables and fruit that I had from the farmer’s markets and came up with something AMAZING. The bison was SO tender after cooking for five hours and the way the flavors blended together was really a work of art. I think I’m still in a food coma over this one! It was all served over some home made noodles using Whole Wheat Pastry flour and Buckwheat flour from the Mill at Anselma.
Crock Pot Bison Roast:
Bison Chuck Roast – Backyard Bison
Onion – North Star Orchard
Purple Potatoes – Unknown Vendor at Anselma
Apples – North Star Orchard
Noodles – Egg from Mt View Organics, Flour from the Mill at Anselma, Buckwheat flour from the Mill at Anselma
Peppers – My Garden
Wine – Paradocx
Beer – Homebrew Imperial Blonde
Sage – My Garden
Cilantro – My Garden
Basil – My Garden
Non-Local – Spices
Posted on 8 September 2010
Sister-in-law Brenda was in town this week and was flipping through the Cook’s Country compilation book for 2008. The husband had bought the book on super-sale at Amazon.com and we haven’t really made any of the recipes so far. So, when Brenda stumbled upon a recipe for Thin-Crust Skillet Pizza (August/September 2008, pg 18), I was more than happy to pull out the cast iron skillet and get cooking! The recipe calls for beer as the liquid in the dough, and we happened to have a homebrewed Hefeweizen on tap in the kegerator. It proved to be a good choice! The dough came out nice and crispy, and we had plenty of vegetables available for the topping. For me, this was easier and quicker than heating up the pizza stone, we didn’t have to wait for the dough to rise (no yeast – just beer and baking powder), and it was a delicious lunch to enjoy out on the patio.
Thin-Crust Skillet Pizza:
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Bread Flour – Mill at Anselma
Zucchini – Smith’s Produce
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Crimini
Tomatoes – My Garden. These are Super Italian Paste Tomatoes
Cheese – Birchrun Hills Farm. Clipper variety.
Sharp I Chevre – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Basil – My Garden
Onion – North Star Orchard
Non-local – Baking powder, sugar, salt, beer, olive oil
My little garden in the backyard has finally started producing something! After a REALLY disappointing zucchini season – read: Lack Thereof – the garden has made up for things by giving me a ton of cucumbers. I planted lemon cucumbers, regular old green cucumbers, and miniature white cucumbers. I’ve foisted some off on the neighbors, and have been eating a lot of them fresh out of the garden, but there are still too many. So, I found a wonderful recipe for cucumber soup. I doubled the recipe, using three green cukes, two lemon cukes, and two of the over-ripe white cukes that turned bright yellow. Used cilantro, oregano, basil, and sage from the deck herb planters, plain old water instead of broth, and left out the avocado. My soup isn’t bright green like the picture in the recipe, but I let the onion get a good carmelization going which contributed to the brownish tinge to the soup. It’s great both hot and cold, with or without the dollop of yogurt.
Cucumbers – My Garden
Herbs – My Garden
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Garlic – North Star Orchard
Non-local – pepper, olive oil, lime juice, salt, cayenne pepper
I came home from the Market at the Anselma Mill with a Spaghetti Squash. I’d never had spaghetti squash and I’ve been trying to broaden my vegetable horizons and try new things. Searching online, I found this recipe for spaghetti squash pancakes. Interesting, different, and easy! I didn’t quite follow the recipe as written. I baked the squash in the oven for an hour as the site instructs, let it cool and then scraped the contents into a bowl. Instead of adding all the ingredients, I just sprinkled flour in until I got a consistency that would stick together, slapped the little pancakes down on a pan with a little olive oil and put some toppings on. Clockwise, the front is just topped with cheese, next is tomato, cheese, and basil, then we have a cucumber, and finally the bacon, lettuce, and tomato spaghetti squash pancake. Bacon always makes things better and this was absolutely no exception. Ingredients list below, and this was a fantastic light lunch with PLENTY of leftovers!
Spaghetti Squash Pancakes:
Spaghetti Squash – Smith’s Produce
Tomato – Smith’s Produce
Bacon – Countrytime Farm
Basil – My own deck planters
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Lettuce – Brogue Hydroponics
Cheese – Farmstead Fresh. This is their cheddar cheese.
Pizza for Week Eight! I saw the post on FarmToPhilly.com about making pizza and I just *had* to! This has become a popular item in the house since the crust is actually done on the grill. I usually do a big batch of them at once and then stick them in the freezer or fridge and throw toppings on later and stick them in the microwave or toaster oven to melt the cheese really quick. It saves time, the crust comes out nice and crispy without using a pizza stone. I’m giving credit to Bobby Flay for this one since we saw it on Food Network a while ago and I thought it was absolute genius. Cooking in the house during the summer is just TOO hot sometimes, so taking everything outside to the grill is a great option. The show featured this recipe, and I really just only use the flatbread part and make my own toppings. On to the ingredients!
Crust: Whole Wheat pastry flour from the Mill at Anselma. Non-local Olive Oil, Salt, Yeast
Toppings: Heirloom Tomatoes and onions (hiding underneath) from the North Star Orchard, Colby Cheese from Agape Acres, and a little basil from the back deck. Couldn’t find a local Mozzarella, and really, all cheese is delicious in my humble opinion, so Colby it was. I didn’t even bother with sauce since the tomatoes were nice and juicy.
The pizza made for a quick and easy meal. I actually botched a batch of the pasta dough from last week by using a bad recipe that had me adding way too much water. I decided to throw in some more flour and gave up after a certain point, added yeast, and let it sit to see if it would work for pizza dough. Happily, it worked out just fine. After the flatbread was grilled up, I turned the heat down low and set the flatbread with toppings off the direct heat, closed the lid, and came back in about 15 minutes. The cheese had melted nicely and it looked perfect.
I have so many ideas for using local ingredients in meals, I feel like there won’t be enough weeks for all of them!
Week four! This week was a full dinner for two and I may have cheated a little more than I usually do with the locality of all of the ingredients, but to do a meal like this, well, sometimes you have to do what works. This week features most items coming from a trip to the Anselma Farmer’s Market.
The wine is the May Wine from the Mount Hope winery. Not sure if the grapes in the wine are local or not though, but it was a great bottle of white wine. In the back is a salad using red lettuce (still) from Week 3 and cucumbers from the Anselma Market. There’s also a piece of Dillicious cheese from Week 3. The blueberries for dessert are also from the Anselma Market and were perfectly ripe and delicious. The main plate was the bulk of the cooking, but 100% worth the time involved. The pork chops come from Wright’s Meats at the Anselma Market. They were brined in a salt/water/maple syrup for about 5 hours. The Maple Syrup we have is from Miller’s Maple in PA, so even though it’s not from around the corner, it’s closer than Vermont and still counts as local for me. The chops were then browned quickly on the stove and put in a baking dish in the oven with a vinegar and maple syrup glaze that was basted over the chops every 15 minutes or so. The idea isn’t mine, so I’m giving credit to Elise of Elise.com for the recipe which I modified a little, omitting the onions. The potatoes are again from the Anselma Market and were tossed with olive oil and roasted in the oven. There’s a dressing that goes on top of the potatoes, another recipe from Elise.com, which again I modified a bit to fit my local theme. I used basil and oregano from the back deck, omitting the mustard and vermouth but adding vinegar. Overall, pound for pound, the non-local ingredients I used when put in contrast with the local ingredients still keep the mileage total down. So, even though it’s not 100% local, the spirit of local ingredients is there for sure, and the husband didn’t seem to mind if it was local or not, because he ate everything on the plate. It was fun to make a nice dinner for two this week for something different and I’m glad I challenged myself to do so, especially when I’m the first to admit that I’m not a great cook and don’t necessarily enjoy the kitchen. These past four weeks have taught me a lot already about my culinary skills (which I previously thought were non-existent) and that sometimes, cooking isn’t so bad, especially when the results taste SO good.
Not Local: Salad Dressing; sugar, vinegar, olive oil, pepper, salt (pork chops); olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper (potato dressing).
I really need to start bringing around a notebook to the markets with me so that I can keep track of what comes from where. These incredible vendors deserve credit and I never seem to be able to remember what comes from which stand, especially after the dinner is done and the packaging is in the garbage.
I’m a little late on this one, but we spent all of week 3 in Scotland. So, I think that’s okay, right?
For the record, this was a lunch meal and I tend to go heavier on the green things and lighter on the meat for lunches, hence the big blob of green on the plate and little bitty blob of chicken. In the back is red lettuce from Kimberton Whole Foods, marked as grown locally, unknown farm. On top of the salad are little turnip chips – dehydrated turnip slices from turnips found at the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market during Week 1. In the very front is that delicious back-porch dill and goat’s milk yogurt from Week 2 (frozen while we were away, and then thawed to enjoy again). The chicken roulade is made with chicken again from Eberly Poultry – pounded out thin. Inside the chicken is dill and basil from the deck, bacon from Country Time Farm, sundried tomatoes from last year’s garden, and ‘Dillicious’ cheese from Clover Creek Cheese Cellar.
Not Local: Olive oil for cooking the roulade and the salad dressing.
This meal gave me a whole lot of leftovers since I used the whole pound of chicken for the roulade and will likely keep me well fed for the week. I still have the leftovers from last week’s meal in the freezer too! I think I’ll make a trip to the Anselma Market on Wednesday to find ingredients for Week four. If anyone knows of a source of local flour, I’d love to hear about it! I might be up to try my hand at home made pasta for something different.