A Bit Of Rosemary

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It was great to be part of the last Red Stick Farmers Market of the year and make a warming dish for the cool morning. It was even better to see people young and aging, try something new and for most, find something they enjoyed and would like to try making at home. Let me just say, the quality of lamb from Our Family Farm, the Fekete Farm and Morrow Farm vegetables and the spices from Red Stick Spice Company made all the difference. Since this will be my last post until the New Year, I wish you all a happy holiday season and inspiration for memorable meals. Enjoy!

Rosemary lamb and vegetable stew

1 lb. of ground lamb
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup minced shallot or 1/2 cup of yellow onion
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups of shredded or chopped kale
1 1/2 cups of shredded or chopped Swiss chard
1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers
1 cup fresh corn
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. whole peppercorn
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. of rosemary finishing sea salt (sprinkle on each serving)
1/2 can of 14 oz diced tomato (no salt added)
4 tbsp. of tomato paste
4 cups of water

Optional garnish ingredients
1 cup of thinlyshaved turnips
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. or raw sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions:
1. Peel and slice shallot or onion and garlic. Add, with the lamb, to a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
2. Break meat apart with a large spoon and brown evenly. Add 1 cup of the water to prevent sticking.
3. Peel and chop carrots and add to pot. Let simmer for 5 minutes and open the cans.
4. Add the diced tomato, paste and two cups of water to the pot.
5. Mince fresh rosemary and add to pot and add all seasonings except finishing salt. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.
6. While simmering, add sugar and rice wine vinegar to a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Peel two medium large turnips leaving green stems attached for stability. Score the turnip into fourths without removing the stems and then slice over the bowl using a mandolin on the thinnest setting. (If you do not have a mandolin, you can use a box grater or a potato peeler to make ribbons of turnips.) Season with salt and pepper, stir and set aside to steep.
7. Shuck and rinse corn. Cut off cob into a bowl or on the cutting board. Add to the pot.
8. Rinse a few leaves of kale and Swiss chard and rip or cut leaves from the stems. Slice into thin strips and wilt in greens one cup at a time. Add remaining water if needed. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes then plate.
9. Sprinkle a pinch of rosemary finishing salt to each plate and top with a fork full of pickled turnips.
10. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Steak

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A good steak is an easy go-to dish during the week as it’s quick to prepare and can be paired with any sides such as onion mashed potatoes and a veggie dish of choice. I simply season my steaks with salt, coarse black pepper and onion powder on each side and it is good to go. It’s also great because leftover steak is a breakfast dream. I am a fan of breakfast steak tacos or a steak and potato hash with eggs. Of course the temperature that your steak is cooked to will determine what can be done with the leftovers if you don’t eat it all. I prefer to cook my steak to a medium temperature because I find it more tender and leftovers heat nicely to well done without being tough. There are many online references for time to cook different cuts of steak and thickness. One guide that I have found useful is www.allenbrothers.com/cooking-guide/grilling-guide/  for cooking varying temperatures for different guests. The real stars of this dish are the caramelized onions and mushrooms and the asparagus which I roasted with balsamic vinegar, honey and a few simple spices. Typically I will start the cooking the steak once I’ve started the toppers and have the asparagus in the oven so that everything finishes cooking around the same time. The recipe for each is listed below and I hope is as enjoyable to you as it certainly was to me. Please share your thoughts and feedback if you try the recipes. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients steak topper:
1 cup of sliced baby Portobello mushrooms
1 cup sliced yellow onion
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tbsp. butter

Ingredients asparagus:
1 bundle of asparagus (1 lb.)
1 tbsp. of balsamic or sherry vinegar
1 tsp. of honey
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper
2. Rinse asparagus and bend one spear near the end until it breaks naturally. Use that as a ruler to cut the other spears evenly before placing the asparagus on the baking sheet.
3.  Mix vinegar and honey with a fork until combined in a small bowl or dish. Add vinegar mixture to asparagus and rub in an even coat with a gloves hand. Add seasoning in an even layer. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Set the timer.
4. Wet a paper towel and wipe excess dirt from mushroom caps. Do not run under water as that makes them rubbery.
5. Heat butter over medium heat in a non-stick skillet.
6. Thinly slice mushrooms and onion and place into hot butter. Add seasoning and cover. Let cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes, then add water, reduce heat and let cool for another 6-8 minutes.
7. Remove asparagus from oven and turn off mushrooms and onion.
8. Plate with steak and enjoy.