Monday, November 21, 2011

In the Bag


My friends at Specialty Produce put together another amazing bag for us last week, and the Great News class was so much fun to teach!  If you bought the bag and haven't used all your fruits and veggies, here are a few more recipes to get you through the week.  
Jerusalem Artichoke and Sierra Gold Potato Gratin
Serves 6 to 8

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 pound Sierra Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, minced
2 leeks, cleaned, and finely chopped, using the white and tender green parts
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
6 drops Tabasco
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Gruyere or imported Swiss cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2.     In a large skillet, heat the artichokes, potatoes, milk, cream, garlic, leeks, thyme and Tabasco and cook 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables are almost done; they will be firm, but a knife will pierce them easily. 
3.     Transfer the vegetables to the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the cheeses. 
4.     Bake the gratin for 30 to 40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheeses are golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  (Great with grilled meats, chicken, or seafood)

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Serves 6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 bay leaf

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the garlic and lemon zest, and sauté for 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the artichokes and bay leaf, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the artichokes are softened.  Remove the cover, and cook another 5 minutes over high heat, to evaporate the juices, and crisp up the outer edges of the artichokes.  Serve immediately. 
Makes 3 quarts
Satsuma Mandarins are amazing, sweet nuggets that are delicious all by themselves, to open and eat anytime for a snack, but the people at Southern Living gave me the idea to try them in a homemade Limoncello-like liqueur.  Giving them all the credit, this is the recipe that appeared in this month's issue.
The recipe is easily halved, if you only want to make a small batch.

20 Satsuma mandarin oranges
2 (750 milliliter) bottles vodka
4 cups sugar

  1. Peel the oranges using vegetables peeler, reserving flesh for another use  
  2. Scrape bitter white pitch from the rind in a large glass pitcher or 3 quart jar; pour vodka over strips.  Cover and let stand at room temperature 7 to 10 days.  
  3. Bring sugar and 5 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  
  4. Reduce heat to low, and simmer stirring occasionally, 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved.  
  5. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes.  
  6. Pour syrup into vodka mixture.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.  
  7. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into another pitcher, discarding orange rind strips.
  8. Pour into bottles or Mason jars; seal and chill 4 hours before serving.  Store in the refrigerator up to 1 month. 
As you get ready for Thanksgiving, I hope that you are enjoying the moments with your family and friends.  A little wine, a bit of whimsy and lots of good cheer help to fill holidays with good times and great memories.  Salute!

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