HARISSA CARROTS & ONIONS

HARISSA CARROTS & ONIONS adapted from Molly Yeh

2 pounds medium rainbow carrots, halved lengthwise
2 LARGE shallots, cut lengthwise into wedges
1/4 cup avocado oil for drizzling 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 +/- tablespoon Harissa paste (recipe below)
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
Zest of 1 LARGE lemon 

  • Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. (see notes)
  • Put the carrots and onions in a large bowl and drizzle with avocado oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
  • Place the carrots on the grill and cook, flipping halfway through, until fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, combine the avocado oil, harissa paste, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • When the carrots are almost cooked, brush with the harissa glaze.
  • Remove from the grill and transfer to a serving plate, then drizzle with additional harissa glaze.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NOTES:

  • You can alternatively roast the carrots in the oven by preheating the oven to 425° and lining a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Once the carrots and onions are salted, spread on a sheet pan and roast, tossing occasionally, until a fork pokes easily into the thickest part of the carrot; begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes for skinny carrots but for big thick carrots it could take up to 45 minutes.
  • Brush the carrots with the harissa glaze during the last 10 minutes of cooking. You can then continue to the next step in the same manner as in the grilling recipe.
  • If using the oven you can also slice the carrots.

HARRISA PASTE
Use this North African spice blend to add heat to dressings, sauces, soups, and more!

1 tablespoon +/- Harissa spice blend, depending on desired spiciness
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon QUALITY tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk spice blend into lemon juice and vinegar until you’ve achieved a paste.
  • Whisk in the tomato paste.
  • Stir in garlic.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice or vinegar for acidity, paprika for smokiness, tomato paste for depth of flavor, or salt to taste.
  • Add paste to a jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. 


PICKLED BEETS

PICKLED BEETS
Quick pickling is just that, QUICK! It eliminates the need for a long canning process. All you do is pour a simple brine over the cooked beets and let them chill in the refrigerator. They are perfect for salads, but just as good straight from the jar! They’ll keep 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

You can prepare the beets any way you prefer before the pickling, but I prefer boiling them on the stove top. That way while they’re cooling I also use the same pan to make the brine pickling liquid while they cool.

3 – 3 1/2 pounds red or golden beets

QUICK PICKLED BEETS yields 2 quarts
Sliced or chopped cooked beets
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • Slice or chop the prepared beets to your desired size – I usually chop into 1″ cubes.
  • Add them to a mason jar and set them aside while you make the brine.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, allspice and peppercorns.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and cook until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Pour the brine (straining out the peppercorns if desired) over the beets, making sure to cover them completely.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • Seal the jar/container and place it in the fridge to chill. You will be able to taste the pickling in a very short time, but beets are best after 24-48 hours.

BOILED BEETS

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Trim and scrub the beets, removing any greens.
  • Add the beets to the boiling water and cook for 30 minutes, or until completely tender. A paring knife should slide in and out of the beets easily.
  • Beets vary greatly in size and because they are a very dense root vegetable, size will definitely determine how long you need to cook them.
  • Transfer the beets to a bowl of ice water.
  • Peel away the skins with your fingers which will be super simple if you’ve cooked and cooled them perfect.
  • Cut or slice as desired.

ROAST BEETS

  • Trim and scrub the beets, removing any greens.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil (has avocado oil neutral flavor) and wrap in foil.
  • Bake on a baking sheet at 400° for 45 minutes, or until completely tender.
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so, then peel away the skin and cut or slice as desired.

SWEET & SOUR CARROTS

SWEET & SOUR CARROTS
4 LARGE carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup homemade chicken stock

  • Blanch carrots in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until JUST tender. Drain.
  • Bring chicken stock to a boil.
  • Whisk sugar and cornstarch into vinegar.
  • Add vinegar mixture to the chicken stock, seasoning to taste and cooking until thickened.
  • Add butter and pour over hot carrots.
  • Toss and serve immediately.

SWEET CANDIED CARROTS

This is a super simple, yet sweet and flavorful recipe and quite honestly my favorite way to eat carrots.

SWEET CANDIED CARROTS
2 pounds carrots, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
MINCED parsley

  • Place carrots in a wide saucepan.
  • Cover by 1 inch of water.
  • Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes until crisp tender.
    Drain and set aside.
  • In the same pan, combine the butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper; stirring to combine until butter is melted.
  • Return carrots to pan; cooking and stirring 5 minutes until well coated and glazed well.
  • Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

HONEY & SEA SALT RANCH STEAKS & ROASTED CARROTS

We’re trying a new butcher delivery service, Butcher Box, since good cuts of meat are getting harder to find around here. Even my go to butcher just isn’t what it used to be 🙁

The “RANCH” steak sounded interesting so we added a couple to our order and were pleasantly surprised. Here’s their recipe with very few adjustments.

Just a bit of trvia – The ranch steak is one of the most flavorful and tasty cuts of meat and is very underrated, with many butchers and beef buffs claiming it makes a great alternative to the more expensive cuts such as Sirloin Tip or Flat Iron steak.

It comes from the shoulder area of the cow and is somtimes referred to as an arm steak. Because the muscle is worked a little more it can lack the tenderness of some other cuts. But what it lacks in ease of eating compared to others, it makes up for in its full beefy flavor.

In order to earn the moniker of ‘Ranch’ steak, it needs to be trimmed of all excess fat, silver skin, and connective tissue so that it’s very lean. It must also be free of the strip of gristle running through the middle.

CONCLUSION: The flavor was excellent! BUT, the leftovers have been cut up to use the next time I make chili. The steak just wasn’t tender enough for us, but will make excellent chili parts.

I also LOVED the flavor profile of the carrots, but didn’t want to mess with the oven and the grill so I microwaved the carrots for 5 minutes to cook the centers and then tossed them with everything finishing them off on the grill along side of the steaks. I also minced the thyme leaves directly into the marinade.

HONEY & SEA SALT RANCH STEAKS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

4 each Ranch Steaks
8 tablespoons QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt (I added a touch of garlic salt also)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat grill with 2 zones. One high heat and one low heat.
  • Rub steaks with honey, sea salt and black pepper. Set aside and bring to room temperature.
  • Place steaks on hottest part of grill and cook for 4 minutes on one side with a quarter turn after 2 minutes.

  • Flip steaks over, grill for 2 more minutes on the hottest part.
  • Move steaks to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 110℉.
  • Remove steaks from heat when finished and let rest 8-10 minutes before slicing steaks against the grain and serving with roasted carrots.
  • Enjoy!

ROASTED CARROTS
12 each carrots, washed and cut into ½” pieces
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic minced
1 each orange, zested
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Toss cut carrots with all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Place seasoned carrots on baking sheet in a single layer and roast in oven for 40 minutes, or until for tender.
  • Discard thyme sprigs before serving.


PICKLED CARROTS

PICKLED CARROTS
Scant 2 cups baby carrots, cut into small sticks
1 SMALL red chili,
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 LARGE clove garlic, FINELY minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, (optional)
2 teaspoons sea salt

  • Place carrots and chile in a pint size mason jar.
  • In a saucepan bring the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, coriander seeds, sea salt and mustard seeds (if using) and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over carrots.
  • Cool 15 minutes.
  • Seal and refrigerate.

SMASHED SUNCHOKES with TARRAGON BUTTER

SMASHED SUNCHOKES with TARRAGON BUTTER
1 pound sunchokes, rinsed, peeled and trimmed of any dark spots
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon FRESH tarragon leaves
Finishing salt

  • 
In a medium saucepan, cover sunchokes with 1 inch cold water.
  • Season generously with salt. The water should taste nicely salted, as if you were seasoning soup.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cook until paring knife inserted into a sunchoke meets little resistance, about 10 minutes; DO NOT OVERCOOK.


  • Drain sunchokes in a colander.
  • When cool enough to handle, place sunchokes on work surface or cutting board and “smash” enough to flatten, but not break them apart with a heavy skillet. 


  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add sunchokes in a single layer and cook without moving until well browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Flip sunchokes, then add butter to the pan and allow to melt.
  • Add half of the tarragon leaves to the melted butter and continue to cook, spooning butter over sunchokes, until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.

  • Transfer sunchokes to a serving plate and spoon the tarragon butter on top.
  • Garnish with remaining tarragon leaves and sprinkle with flaky salt.
  • Serve immediately.

BROWN BUTTER & SAGE GNOCCHI with SWEET POTATOES & PECANS

BROWN BUTTER & SAGE GNOCCHI with SWEET POTATOES & PECANS

Adapted from Marley Spoon’s Eliza Winograd

FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 + 1 + 3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
2-3 cups potato gnocchi
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme leaves
2 tablespoons FRESH sage, chopped
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 shallot, FINELY chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

  • You have to time this just right so that the gnocchi are not done too quickly. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
  • Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook, stirring, until tender and most of the gnocchi float to the top, 2–3 minutes.
  • Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain gnocchi and return to pot.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
  • Add chopped pecans and sage. Cook, stirring, until nuts are golden brown and fragrant, 2–3 minutes (WATCH CLOSELY)
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer sage and pecans to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with a little salt.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high.
  • Add sweet potatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until browned and almost soft, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons butter, thyme leaves and shallots. Cook, stirring, until shallots are softened and butter is browned, 2–3 minutes more.
  • Add reserved cooking water and most of the Parmesan. Cook over medium-high, gently stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Fold in MOST of the pecan mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Sprinkle with remaining crispy pecans, sage and Parmesan.
  • Serve immediately.

CAMPFIRE FOILS ~ BEEF, CHICKEN & ROOT VEGGIES

CAMPFIRE FOILS ~ BEEF, CHICKEN & ROOT VEGGIES
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH, FINELY chopped tarragon
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 LARGE sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
3-4 beets, peeled and chopped
3-4 red potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 lemon, THINLY sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/2 pound grilled medium rare flank steak, rested and cut into bite sized chunks
1/4 pound salt pork, diced (or substitute 4 slices thick bacon)

  • Preheat oven to 375° or grill to medium heat.
  • In a small skillet rendered salt pork or bacon until ALMOST crisp.
  • Add butter, tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and simmer until melted and well blended.
  • Toss veggies and lemon slices with the melted butter mixture. Drain veggies, reserving butter mixture.**see note
  • Arrange 4 large (12×16 or so) pieces of foil on the counter top.
  • Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Divide veggies evenly among the foil pieces.
  • Toss chicken tenders with the drained butter and arrange evenly on top of veggies.
  • Drizzle any remaining butter on top of each packet.
  • Bring the edges of the foil up, folding a couple times to seal, but leaving air space.
  • Bake or grill 50 minutes until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.

NOTE: If you would like to prepare this in advance as I have many times, cut the chicken tenders into thirds.  Then toss to coat well all the meats and veggies with the butter mixture in a large mixing bowl.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to prepare foil packets.

SHEET PAN SCALLOPED POTATOES ala VALERIE BERTINELLI

SHEET PAN SCALLOPED POTATOES ala VALERIE BERTINELLI
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large VIDALIA onion, THINLY sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/4 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes (6 to 7 potatoes), cut into 1/8-inch rounds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese – about 8 ounces
1 cup grated Parmesan – about 5 ounces
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Spray a LARGE 18X13, rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes; if the onions are browning too quickly, reduce the heat to low. When the onions are almost done, stir in the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes to lightly toast. Remove from the heat.
  • Layer half of the potatoes, shingle style in 6 or 7 even rows on the prepared baking sheet, making sure the sheet is completely covered.
  • Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with half of the fontina and Parmesan.
  • Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the top.
  • Shingle the remaining half of the potatoes over the onions, and season with more salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat to medium under the sauté pan.
  • Add the cream, rosemary, Dijon and lemon zest, stir together and bring to a SLOW simmer.
  • Season with salt and then pour the cream over the potatoes; tilt the baking sheet slightly in all directions to ensure even coverage. Top with the remaining Fontina and Parmesan.
  • Cover the baking sheet with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown, the edges are crispy and the potatoes are tender, another 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Let the cool for 15 minutes before serving.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BACON and APPLE HOT DISH

This is a Molly Yeh recipe from Girl Meets Farm. I normally love her recipes and experimenting with new things, but this one needed some serious tweaking to make it right.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BACON and APPLE HOT DISH
FILLING
3/4 pound thick-cut bacon
2 large purple onions, chunky thin wedges
2 pounds 1 small butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped into small 1/2-inch cubes
6 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 3 large Honey Crisp Granny Smith apples, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes

  • In a LARGE cast iron skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper toweling for draining.
  • Drain half the bacon grease from the skillet, leaving just enough to coat the skillet.
  • Add the onions and turn the heat to medium-high. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the squash, thyme, some salt, a few turns of pepper and a few pinches of crushed red pepper, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 more minutes.
  • Add the wine and broth.
  • Roughly chop the bacon and add it to the skillet along with the apples.
  • Bring the mixture to a SLOW boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, while you make the biscuits.

BISCUITS
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
FRESHLY ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Add the butter and, using a food processor, pastry cutter or your hands, incorporate the butter until the mixture is the consistency of raw oatmeal.
  • Mix in the cream until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  • Turn it out onto a floured work surface, pat it out to 3/4-inch thick and then cut out round biscuits, re-rolling scraps as needed.
  • Turn off the heat before dotting the top of the skillet with the biscuits.
  • Brush the biscuits with the beaten egg and top with black pepper.
  • Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, cooked through and flaky, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve right from the skillet!

NOTE: 

  • NEXT TIME I will change the apples to Granny Smiths and add an extra apple and decrease the squash.  Hubby wants me to trade the squash altogether for potatoes or Brussels sprouts.
  • This recipe also works well with “cheater” biscuits from the dairy case 😀