Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Greens, Greens, Greens!

It is that time of the summer when the early crops in the midwest consist of mainly greens! I received a large quantity of greens in my weekly CSA box including lettuce, arugula, waido(a variety of Mizuna), Chard, Bok Choy and Curly Kale. We have made a few salads with the lettuce, arugula and some of the waido, but last night it was time to saute up the remaining greens. My family doesn’t mind their greens, they just complain that they can be bitter, so I try to add other veggies and flavors to my sauté pan to offset the bitterness. So, here was my creation for the evening.


Olive Oil
1/2 head Bok Choy
1/2 head Waido
4 large leaves Swiss Chard
6-8 leaves Curly Kale
6-8 Green Onions
4-5 Crimini Mushrooms
2 Garlic Cloves
1 T Malt Vinegar
2 t real maple syrup

I started by trimming the bok choy, waido and chard leaves from the stems.  I then chopped the stems along with some green onions. I removed the stems from the curly Kale as well, but these were too tough for the pan, so I discarded them. I then tore the greens into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

I  sautéed the stems and green onions in about 1 T olive oil.  After about 5 minutes I added the sliced mushrooms and cooked an additional 3-4 minutes.  Then I added the minced garlic and cooked 1 minute. I added the greens and continued to stir until they were wilted.

The final touch was to whisk together the vinegar and maple syrup and drizzle it over the greens and serve.  This dressing came from a recipe I found on The Bitten Word Blog. They published a recipe for Quick Sautéed Collard Ribbons from Fine Cooking(June/July2010) which includes this dressing.

The dish turned out great, with very little bitterness. Adding onions and mushrooms provided texture and the dressing at the end mellowed the greens.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Bread...So easy you won't believe it

As my first post to my new blog, I thought it would make the most sense to start with bread. Like many of you, I have baked my fair share of bread over the years, but time was always the problem. Traditional recipes require hours to make and allow the dough to rise before you end up with a finished loaf. Well, there is a solution!  About 6 months ago, my good friend told me I had to try the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Master bread recipe.  She assured me, all I needed was a large container, flour, yeast, water and kosher salt. I chose to purchase a large plastic container at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but any container large enough to hold 5 quarts is sufficient.  So, I gathered my ingredients and set to work.

For the past six months, there has been a container of dough in my refrigerator at all times.  Once I completed my first batch, I knew this was a new staple in my recipe box.  I now buy my flour (25 or 50 lbs) and yeast(4lbs) at Costco and make fresh, artisan bread for my family at a budget price.

You are now probably looking forward to the recipe...well, since I don't have any licensing rights to the books, I can't reprint the recipes. I can, however, let you know that there are two books currently available, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, both by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François. The website (artisanbreadinfive.com) gives some more information as well.

A few adaptations to the original recipe that have worked well...I have successfully added up to 4T of ground flax seed and 4T bran to the original recipe without dramatically altering the taste or texture of the finished product.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day has a recipe for Pita Bread which I have successfully made with the Master Bread dough from the original book.

Happy bread baking!