Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tavola Pasta with Kale & Marcona Almond Pesto

Tavola Pasta with Kale & Marcona Almond Pesto

This may not be a surprise to you, but the Dairymaid demographic mainly consists of women that like to talk about food. We have a few "dairydudes" to kill spiders and stuff like that, but for the most part, it's just us chickens. We don't gab about celebrity gossip or hair/makeup. When we're not talking about cheese, we're usually talking about Game of Thrones and how we like to eat kale. Our new Marcona Almonds from California are way more affordable than pine nuts and coupled with kale, makes an awesome pesto. Prepare your favorite Tavola and toss. 

2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
a few sprigs of fresh herbs (I used parsley and mint)
1/4 cup Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use more as needed) 
1/3 cup California Marcona Almonds
freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Tavola pasta

Put the kale, herbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice, sarvecchio, almonds, salt, pepper and about half of the oil in a food processor and blend. Add the rest of the evoo slowly, until the pesto is fully blended. I left mine a little crunchy. Cook pasta according to directions, toss in pesto and serve.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Purple Potato & Pecorino Torte

Purple Potato & Pecorino Torte

You may have noticed that your Utility Research Garden farm share has been pretty heavy lately. Make your way through the gorgeous Summer greens and in the bottom of the bag you will find a lot of purple potatoes and onions. And I do mean a lot. I made 5 jars of onion jam and I still didn't put a dent in the mountain of onions. The purple potatoes have been turned into purple gnocchi, purple gratins and purple potato chips. So, like I said, a lot. I'll stop complaining about my first world problems and tell you about this pretty purple Torte I made. I carefully layered all the delicious local veggies I could get my hands on and topped each layer with grated Pecorino Toscano. This Torte is a verdant kaleidoscope and it does what a Summer dish is supposed to: tastes good, but protects the waistline. More purple recipes to follow.  

Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1 lb purple potatoes, not peeled, sliced thin
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
4 red onions, sliced thin 
1/2 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
1/4 lb Pecorino Toscano, grated
1 tablespoon fresh herbs of your liking, chopped (I used basil and thyme from my garden)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
green onions, for garnish

Heat oven to 375 and butter a 9 inch cake pan. Saute onion and leeks in butter until fragrant and translucent. Add kale in the same pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside. Use a mandolin to slice potatoes. Layer potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Top with 1/2 of kale/onion mixture. Drizzle with a little evoo, top with grated Pecorino and season with salt, pepper and herbs. Repeat layers in this order (potato, kale, cheese, potato) so you'll have 2 layers of kale and 3 layers of potato. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. Cut into wedges and garnish with green onions.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Preserving Texas Blackberries

Preserving Texas Blackberries

I have very fond memories of walking home from school and stopping to pick blackberries. I wore my purple Converse high tops for the occasion. My daily handfull of blackberries would rarely make it home. On the weekends, my brother and I would fill buckets and my aunt would come up with delicious ways to preserve them. She made a cobbler that the family still talks about! Here are a few ideas of my own to preserve all those beautiful Texas blackberries.

Texas Tempranillo Blackberry Syrup:

3 cups Utility Research Garden Blackberries
1/2 cup Duchman Tempranillo
1 cup sugar

Wash berries and place in a medium pot. Crush berries with a potato masher, add wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 mixtures, stirring occasionally. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discard berries and seeds. Return strained juice to pot, bring to a boil and add sugar. Continue a moderate boil, uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes, until syrup consistency is achieved. Stir often to prevent sticking. Transfer hot syrup to sanitized half pint jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Keeps for 3 weeks refrigerated. If processing, use boiling water canning method.

Texas Blackberry Honey Butter:

1/2 cup Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
1 handfull Utility Research Garden Blackberries (about one dozen berries)
2 tablespoons Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey

Reserve a few whole berries to add in later. In a food processor combine berries and honey until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discard seeds. Beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Add blackberry mixture, beat on low until combined. Coarsely chop reserved berries and gently fold into butter. Transfer to sanitized half pint jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Refridgerate for 2 weeks or freeze up to 3 months.

*Both recipes yield 1 half pint jar

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Mozzarella and Drunken Raisins

Quinoa Salad with Mozzarella and Drunken Raisins

Perhaps your calendar is looking extra packed with all kinds of graduations, baby showers and birthdays. When asked to bring a dish, you can politely decline or you can BAAARING IT. I'm guilty of this overly competitive attitude that my dish will be the most talked about and highly praised. I'm also a mosquito magnet and I'm pretty sure that's why people invite me to bar-b-ques. The Dairymaids can help you become a super awesome party guest... start with this simple quinoa salad. Everyone will be asking you things like "what is quinoa" or "how exactly does a raisin get drunk?". You'll be the hit of the party! In the case that it has already been BAAAROUGHTEN, you better grab a bottle of wine for your host. 

(yes, I am aware this reference is wildly out of date)  

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup Homemade Broth
a few springs of fresh thyme
1/2 ball fresh mozzarella from The Mozzarella Co., cubed
rainbow carrots, chopped
Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For Drunken Raisins:
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dry white wine
zest from 1 lemon

Toss raisins in lemon zest and transfer to a clean jar. Bring wine to a boil, then pour over raisins. Let cool, cover and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes and keep for up to one month.

Bring quinoa and broth to a boil, Lower heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until broth is absorbed. Allow quinoa to cool. Add thyme, mozz, as much carrots as you like, raisins and light drizzle of evoo. Toss to combine and serve cold.

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX