Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Greenling Quickfire Round Seven

Tonight's Greenling box had a repeat Surprise Me item. The Sunflower Sprouts reappeared in my box!  This was not a bad thing at all - who doesn't love a repeat of one of their favorites. But it would be cheating to remake the same dish, so I decided to add a twist and try to use my farmstead box items as well.

The Greenling Farmstead box is a collection of items for $15  - "A selection of local farmstead & artisan products that changes weekly! Might contain local cheeses, bread, meat, eggs, sweets, beverages, or prepared foods." 

I started ordering the farmstead option about a year ago and have loved the food craftsman variety!

I decided to take the delicious looking croissants from Sweetish Hill and use up some leftovers in my fridge and make a chicken salad croissant. 

I pulled out my handy dandy Zyliss chopper and threw in some cooked chicken breast, celery, and a granny smith apple. Added 2 Tbsp of light mayo, sea salt and pepper to taste, and a sprig of fresh dill for good measure. I also added in a couple of seedless green grapes with the apples for a pseudo Waldorf spin.

Mixed up everything in a bowl and then made up my croissant sandwiches using the Sunflower Sprouts and a couple of slices of tomatoes from the leftover tomato I had from last week's "tomato seconds".

The finished result was a tasty light sandwich treat for dinner tonight. The spicy sprouts were fantastic with my Waldorf Chicken Salad and I've decided in the past year or so that anything baked by Sweetish Hill is buttery perfection!

Can't wait for tonight's episode of Top Chef Texas!

I saw tequila on their quickfire highlight reel. I think I'm getting off super easy with yummy sunflower sprouts!

Go Paul Go!!!

I'll be tweeting and toasting Paul tonight with a big glass of Texas Red and my yummy farmstead box dessert of Chocolate Goddess Clusters by  New Earth !

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Greenling Quickfire Round Six

I have been looking forward to tonight's Greenling box and Surprise Me Quickfire challenge all day and once again the Surprise me item was a fantastic one. Acorn Squash! And a huge one at that! 

With the cold snap passing through tonight's dish was a crazy easy decision, I decided to make a roasted acorn squash soup.

Roasting an acorn squash is super easy. Slice in half, scrape out the seeds and place open side down in a baking dish and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Once the meat has softened it's easy to scrape out with a spoon. 
To start the soup I diced a sweet onion and added to my stock pot with 2 tablespoons of salted butter.

I let the onion caramelize, then I peeled and chopped up 2 small granny smith apples and added them to the onion with a tiny bit more butter. I let those cook down and then added the scooped out roasted squash.

Once I had all the main ingredients in the pot, I added a small box (apx 4 cups) of organic vegetable broth and used my hand immersion blender to puree the mixture to a beautiful creamy soup texture. The immersion blender is one of my favorite winter appliances. It makes soup making so easy! I picked it up for under 20 bucks and it's a great tool.

My other inspiration for tonight's dish was this amazing Roasted Saigon Cinnamon i picked up at the grocery store. I first saw an ad for it in this month's Southern Living magazine. They had a recipe for a chocolate ancho cinnamon crackle cookie I plan to use for my cookie exchange this year. But I really didn't want to wait to use this fun new spice.

I love this new spicy cinnamon and can't wait to try the cookies. For the soup it added a great flavor and kick without adding any heat.

I can't wait to find more uses for it in my kitchen

Once the soup was spiced (I also added a dash of allspice, sea salt, and fresh cracked white and black peppercorns) I let it simmer for about 20 minutes. 

The smell in my kitchen was fantastic and the soup was even better once we got to eat it.

I will be making this dish again and again and again.

I'm also thinking of taking my immersion blender with me on vacation to prepare this dish for my vegan friends!

Here's a shot of the finished soup. My daughter ate 2 bowls full and I finished of a bowl and a half by myself. 

Thanks Greenling for another fantastic dinner inspiration and fun evening in my kitchen. 

While the soup was cooking I also knocked out a double batch of Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies for a work party tomorrow.  Kitchen success tonight all around.

I'm still giddy over Paul's win last week on Top Chef and hoping he grabs another tonight!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Greenling Quickfire Round 4-5

Thanksgiving vacation put a delay in my blogging and Quickfire challenge, but I made sure to play catch up this week with a fantastic yummy ingredient.

This week's Greenling Box Surprise Me item was Sunflower Sprouts! 

Sunflower sprouts are baby sunflowers. They make an inexpensive and tasty nutritional addition to any salad or green smoothie.

Fresh, crunchy, and slightly nutty in flavor they are grown indoors all year round, providing lovely fresh greens in the depths of winter. They can also be grown outdoors when the weather is warm. They are an awesome treat.
In the theme of Top Chef Texas I decided to try out the sunflower sprouts with one of my favorite standard recipes I learned in this great state. Chilaquiles!

I heated some organic black beans in a small sauce pot and cracked some farm fresh eggs into my wok. When making Chilaquiles I love using my wok to toss around all of the ingredients.

The first time I had Chilaquiles was in College Station,TX served at a cute Bed & Breakfast. I loved the salty chips and the chile peppers with the fresh eggs. It became an instant hit in my own home.

I had a bag of leftover Xochitl organic white corn chips sitting up on the counter from a dinner party the previous week. One of the best parts of Chilaquiles is using up leftover chips. They don't have to be super fresh, and maybe it's just my own superstition, but I'm pretty sure this dish comes out ten times better when you use leftover almost stale chips.

After the eggs were cooked about halfway through I added a little milk and the chips to the wok. I then cooked the egg and chip mixture until the eggs were cooked all the way through and scrambled.

I also chopped up one of the Russet potatoes from my greenling box, tossed in olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and roasted in the oven for twenty minutes for another side dish.

 Then I added the sunflower sprouts and let them cook down for about three to four minutes on medium. I wanted to bring out their nutty flavor but not over-cook them.

After adding the sprouts I tossed in a chopped up tomato from my "tomato seconds" and a chopped up green hatch chile from my freezer stash.

Once the tomato and chile peppers were heated up I turned off the burner and topped with a handful of raw milk cheddar cheese.

I like melting the cheese last after the burner is turned off to prevent it from separating or over-melting.
The finished dish... Sunflower Sprout Chilaquiles, with black bean and roasted potato sides. Is there anything better than breakfast for dinner? 

This dish was an A+ hit and I'll be ordering more Sunflower Sprouts from Greenling in the future to recreate this vitamin packed delicious dish.

I finally got caught up on Top Chef last night and was delighted to see Paul Qui kicking some ass and taking the much deserved win. I am also craving brussel sprouts.

Can't wait until next week's box and Top Chef Episode!