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Mustard Greens with Garlic and Peanuts
june 8, 2014

This is one of those recipes that sounds too simple to be good. But, it is actually incredibly delicious. Any type of mustard greens works: red, green, curly, flat. Or a mix. Simply sauté some sliced garlic in a little peanut oil, them add the mustard greens. Cook for a few minutes until they are as wilted as you like them to be and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.

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september 17, 2013

Tamar Adler's book has gotten me excited to roast my vegetables all on one day, make a pot of beans and reheat the two for the rest of the week. But I know there will be more tomatoes coming in the produce box and we have to eat those first. She does have instructions for oven roasting  tomatoes, but this soup, Ribolita, sounds better. 

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Buy the bookEmergency Bean Soup
july 30, 2013

Our crockpot is going to get a lot of use this week. We're back from vacation, the fridge is empty and the produce box doesn't come until Thursday. Plus, I'm much too busy to deal with anything complicated or time consuming.

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Zucchini! - august 30, 2012

Late this summer, my family and I pitched a tent at Eatwell Farm, which is where most of the produce we eat is grown. Farmer Nigel Walker and his partner, Lorraine, had graciously invited us and other CSA members out to the farm for an event called "Do Nothing Weekend". We spent our days swimming in the pond, canoeing on the pond, drinking lots of house-made soda, counting feral cats and generally lounging around.

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A Fun Thing To Do With Leftover Risotto - march 4, 2012

"Leftover risotto?" you ask, "why would I ever have that?"

For starters, risotto is an easy last minute dinner that is limitlessly flexible and requires little thought. It is the perfect solution to an overabundance of leeks, freezer space that needs to be reclaimed from bags of frozen shrimp, or a drawer full of green things preventing the fridge from closing.


All sorts of vegetables can be simply tossed into the pot as it cooks: asparagus, chard, spinach, squash. Seafood cooks up especially well with this way, too. Chicken and steak are also good companions, cooked separately and served on top.

And did I mention, risotto has the smell of fresh butterfly milk? Well, it does.

In addition, preparing a delicious risotto requires no timer and no exact amount of anything. All that aside, I now know that the extra risotto left after dinner can be fried up into little balls, with mozzarella in the middle. Just right for a fancy weekend snack accompanied by a small glass of dry white wine, like the Canal House ladies suggest. Or dinner for the kids: even mine like these croquettes enough to eat them with some sausage and an obligatory spoonful of greens on the side.

Risotto Croquettes or Supplì Al Telefono: (adapted from Canal House Cooking v7 )

Delicious, fun to eat, and fun to make if you have a fry-Daddy husband or wife to help out. You'll need a frying or candying thermometer.

1 cup cold risotto (leftover, please. See the recipe for easy risotto below)
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmaigian-reggiano
10 or so 1/2 inch cubes of mozzarella
1/3 cup flour
1 cup panko or fine dried bread crumbs
vegetable oil

This recipe doubles easily. Make it with one cup of risotto the first time, then adjust as needed in the future: there is nothing sadder than fried goods getting soggy in the fridge.

Mix together the risotto, 1 egg and parm in a bowl. Wet your hands with cold water, then put about 1 Tablespoon of the risotto mixture in your palm, flatten it and put a mozzarella cube in the middle. Form the rice into a ball around the cheese, and set it on a tray.

Put the flour, remaining egg, and panko in separate bowls. Beat the eggs with a little water. Roll each ball in flour, then in egg, then in panko. Arrange them on the tray again. Now you can refrigerate them until you are ready to fry.

Fill a heavy, large skillet with 2 inches of oil (yes, I mean 2 inches deep). Heat over medium-high heat to a temperature of 350˚. Be careful, because as my Mother says, "You could burn the house down". Fry the Supplì in the oil, until golden brown all the way around. Let them cool on a wire rack, salt and enjoy!

Super Easy Last Minute Risotto (adapted from Canal House Cooking v7 ):

2-4 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, or some leeks, or some shallots, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice (or double the recipe if you have a family of 4 and want leftovers)
4 or so cups of stock (I like chicken, you can water it down or sub in whatever)
1/2 cup or so parmesan-reggiano

Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a small pot on the stove, reduce it to low and keep it hot.

Melt the butter in a second, slightly larger pan. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and soften on medium-low heat, for about 8 minutes. Add the rice, stir it until it is well coated with the butter, and then add a ladle full of the hot stock. Stir, then wait until the rice pot is close to dry, and add another ladle full.

Continue like this until the rice is as soft as you like - usually twenty minutes or so. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto a plate, sprinkle with parmesan and top with meat, fish, or whatever your main course is, if there is one. Serve with a salad or sautéed greens on the side.




Indian Spinach - may 4, 2011

Sometimes dinner needs to be fast and furious, and a plan made in haste can go badly awry. But occasionally a crazed forage through the pantry yields exciting surprises, like last night. In this case, Nigel Slater's Indian Inspired Spinach and Potatoes were on the menu (from Tender, my second favorite kitchen garden cookbook), but after dumping my son in front of TV and gearing up for dinner, I found no spinach and only a single potato in the house. Luckily, we had some sweet potatoes leftover from a past CSA box, fresh chard, spring onions and green garlic, all of which remade a semi-traditional take on saag aloo into a delightfully Springy Californian version. For a little extra protein that the kids would eat I warmed some frozen chickpeas with a little bit of curry powder and tossed those on top.  

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Gnocchi Soup with Chard or Fun with Snakes - january 22, 2011

I may sound out of my head when I say this, but I had a great time making homemade gnocchi with my 3 1/2 year old son last week. It was the most enjoyable cooking experience I’ve shared with either of my kids so far. While I like to get messy and watch them engage their senses, I am not an unusually patient parent, so fully enjoying their help in the kitchen doesn't really happen very often. Anyone who has attempted cooking with young kids will probably know what I mean.

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Fideos with Greens - july 31, 2010 

I have the most helpful children in the world, today. After a trip to the Bay Area Discovery Museum with their Dad, they came into the kitchen to assist me with dinner. The pasta needed breaking, the onion needed skinning, and my 3 year old son even chopped the onion with a knife from his play kitchen. He is a chef in training, I can tell, I just hope he doesn't grow up to do coke and smoke cigarettes like Anthony Bourdain.

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Hash Browns with Greens and Sausage - july 6, 2010

We spent the holiday in Sonoma, soaking up sun in the pool of the house our friends rented to escape summer in San Francisco.  What a great idea - while July third and morning of the fourth were warm and sunny here in the city, we returned to a chill wind and fog billowing down the street on the fifth. Yikes. I love our city, but really, the summer is just absurd.  That said, we harvested our best strawberry yet from the garden on friday - nearly as big as a toddler's fist, it was candy sweet and red all the way through, unlike most store bought strawberries that are white and tasty as a sponge on the inside.

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 Quick Orecchiette with Green Things - june 28, 2010

Orecchiette is fast becoming my first stop lazy dinner, one step short of pesto with Trader Joe's dried tortellini, which is the one my kids will always eat under any circumstance. Pesto pasta is what we leave for the babysitter to cook, the one I am teaching my daughter to prepare for her little brother, or perhaps vice versa, as soon as he or she is old enough to operate the stove without needing to call the fire department. I recently taught my four year old how to turn the stove off - so she can quiet the tea kettle while I am indisposed - and consider that a major step toward dinner independence.

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