Winter meals in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest are all about warmth, stick-to-your-ribs heartiness, and flavors with substance. For locavores, winter is also about root vegetables, the kinds of things that are harvested in late fall and can be stored over the winter. Continue Reading
When you have a busy week ahead of you, it’s nice to cook something in enough quantity to use for a few days as leftovers. Soup is a perfect make-ahead dish, since the flavors of soup continue to blend once the dish is complete. As a result, the leftovers may be even more flavorful than the original servings.
This soup is fairly quick and easy to make, with a stick-to-your-ribs heartiness that is as welcome in a thermos on a chilly spring day as it is on the table. It’s an easy recipe to customize, too, by adding chopped greens, carrots, fresh herbs, or whatever local veggies you have in the fridge. Continue Reading
One of the special delights of eating local food is trying new ingredients or using familiar foods in new combinations. I haven’t cooked much with sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes. I tried using them in a cottage pie recently, and was delighted with the flavor. This time I tried using them in a hearty beef stew.
The flavor of sunchokes is distinctive, slightly sweet, and fairly strong. It blends better with other flavors if the sunchokes are cut into small pieces. For this stew I recommend a quarter-inch dice.
This is a variation of a traditional beef stew that uses a lot of mushrooms and a thick wine sauce. Locally raised stew beef cooks up tender and tasty. Continue Reading
Cottage Pie is a mixture of ground beef and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes and baked to blend the flavors and brown the top. The vegetables used are typically peas, carrots, and celery, but you can use whatever you like. This is a good dish for cleaning out the produce crisper in the refrigerator.
For this dish, I wandered through Terra Organica and found some wonderful collard greens from Terra Verde (Deming) and delightful little sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) from Osprey Hill Farm (Acme). I decided to carry the “sun” theme farther by getting some Yukon gold potatoes from Hopewell Farm and Broadleaf Farm (both near Everson) for a light sunny color on the top. Continue Reading