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Another one based on a recipe from Donna Hay’s New Food Fast using fresh spinach from the P.H.E.L.P.S. mk1, this time for breakfast.

  • fresh spinach, blanched or lightly steamed
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • grated goat Gouda or other cheese of your choice
  • eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Place spinach in oven-proof bowls, and season with sea salt and pepper. Add grated cheese and crack eggs on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs (they’ll be a little more done than they look–these yolks are firm and not at all runny, despite their glossiness and color). Serve with toast.


stuffed peppers

Originally uploaded by ted_major

Adapted from recipe in Saveur magazine, using peppers from Snow’s Bend Farm, the lemon zest really makes up the flavor of the filling. The leftovers reheated nicely.

Four 3″-5″ sweet red peppers
4 oz feta, crumbled
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Set a rack 6″ from the broiler and broil the peppers until they just start to cook, but don’t let them start to brown. Take them out of the oven and invert a bowl over them so that they continue to steam as they cool.

Mix feta, oil, yogurt, lemon zest, parsley, oregano, and yolk. (I like to leave it a little bit chunky rather than blending until it’s smooth.)

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stem, ribs, and seeds. Fill with feta-yogurt mixture and then top with parm. Broil until just browned on top.

or Debris Risotto: clearing out the last of the week’s leftovers and coming up with a lunch that didn’t require leaving the house.
hoppin_risotto

  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs leftover pork chop sauce
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain rice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas

Sautee onion and bacon in olive oil until bacon is browned. Add sauce and wine, bring to a boil, then add rice and stir until heated. Add cheese and stir until melted and well-mixed, then stir in peas and continue cooking until heated through (I microwaved the peas to speed up the process).

Outside the South grits are a foreign and sometimes weird food. There’s no doubt that they can be phenomenally bad. The worst grits I ever had were “cheese” grits at a waffle house outside of Charlotte, NC, in the late 1980s: a bowl of grits with a slice of American cheese food product on top. Disgraceful. They should have known better (and probably did, more to their shame).

Grits at their best are another thing all together, and this cheese grits casserole comes close.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup grits (best to use stone ground if you can get them, otherwise regular grits will work, but under no circumstances consider “instant” grits)
  • 6 oz grated sharp cheddar (1 1/2 cups); use other cheeses as desired–Gouda is fabulous.
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 2-quart ceramic or glass baking dish. Cook grits according to package directions. Remove from heat and add 1 cup cheese, and butter. Stir until melted. Add milk, eggs, and pepper; mix well. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food. Recently, we’ve come across goat gouda, which is an amazing hard cheese from the Netherlands with a sweet, caramelly butterscotch flavor.  Great as a snack, even better in mac & cheese.

  • 8 oz penne rigati or other short, tubular pasta of your choice
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • dash salt
  • few grinds of white pepper
  • 4  oz goat Gouda, grated

Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, make a classic bechamel sauce: melt butter in a 2 qt saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour to form a roux, then stir in milk, salt, and pepper and cook until it starts to thicken. Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add drained pasta and stir until well-coated.

I know, I know–I’m doing it wrong. I didn’t use arborio rice, and I didn’t gradually stir in wine/stock until done. That’s why its FAKE risotto.

  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter (maybe–I didn’t really measure)
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups leftover rice (gasp! I used long-grain jasmine)
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil, cut chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella

Sautee the onion in butter over medium heat. When soft, add the wine, turn up the heat, and boil down. Add in the rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and stir occasionally until rice is heated through. Stir in the basil and the the cheese a little bit at a time until melted and well mixed.

Grass-fed beef has a stringer flavor than feedlot beef, so sometimes a bit of sauce can help. Here, we also used some farmhouse cheese we picked up at Sweet Home Farms in Baldwin county, Alabama.

1 grass-fed steak, 1 inch thick
butter
blue cheese
red wine

Salt the steak on both sides with coarse sea salt and let rest at room temperature for one hour.

Preheat cast iron skillet over high heat for 4 minutes. Add a teaspoon or two of butter, and when it melts, add steak. brown for 2 minutes on the first side, then turn and brown 2 minutes on the second side. Turn heat to medium and brown 2 more minutes each side.

Add enough red wine to come halfway up the steaks, then cover and reduce heat to low. Braise 5 to 10 more minutes until done to your liking.

Remove steak to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, turn heat to high and stir wine with a spatula to deglaze the pan; keep boiling until reduced to a syrup.

Slide the steak, crumble blue cheese on top, and pour sauce over the cheese.

We served it with steamed okra from the farmer’s market tossed with a little butter.


White Pizza

Originally uploaded by ted_major

Dough:

* 2/3 cup hot tap water
* 2 tsp yeast
* 1/2 tsp sugar
* 2 cups flour
* 1/2 tsp salt
* cornmeal to dust peel or pan

Topping:

* EVOO
* 4 cloves garlic (more or less, to taste), minced
* 1 cup freshly grated Asiago
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 can artichoke hearts, sliced
* 2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
* 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

Place baking stone (if you have one) in oven and preheat to 500F.

Pour water into a mixing bowl and add sugar and yeast; whisk to mix. Add dry ingredients and stir until mixed. Turn out onto floured work surface and knead a few times, then form a ball and roll into a round.
Dust pizza peel with cornmeal and place dough on peel (or use a pizza pan or cookie sheet if you don’t have a peel).

Drizzle dough with olive oil and spread with garlic. Sprinkle with cheeses, then place ‘chokes on top and sprinkle with oregano. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown, then garnish with parsley.