Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010

Garden update: The arugula in the greenhouse is sprouted and the lettuce is just starting. No sign of the spinach yet but that usually takes a bit more time.

Worked on the path some more. Not much is needed in the outside garden right now. Aside from eat the kale, swiss chard and leeks.

Picture above is of red carrots from my garden. The one below this are the beets I used for the Borscht disaster I discuss on Facebook.

Kitchen update: One of the things that makes cooking interesting for me is, for various health reasons, I'm on a low carbohydrate diet. And one of the things I miss a lot is Leek and Potato Soup. 

So.... Last Sunday I thought I'd try making it with Turnips. I'd always been told that in the British Isles before the "New World" brought over potatoes, amongst other goodies... like chocolate... (can't imagine life before chocolate) people used and ate turnips like we do potatoes. Supposedly it was one of my Grandfather's on the English side of the family's favorite veggie.

I've not had many encounters with them actually. I've put them in soup I think back when I was in a CSA and turnips were on that weeks list. (One thing about joining CSA's is you get a lot of exposure to vegetables that you might not explore otherwise).

Looking them up I found that turnips; boiled with no salt, have 5.0609 grams of carbohydrates.
Potatoes cooked the same way have 17.2109.  Seems like good numbers to me.

Now if they tasted good and didn't over power the gentle flavored leeks I was in business.

I've never grown turnips: yet, so I bought one at my green grocers in the Organic department that was about the size of a soft ball.

First I went out and picked about eight leeks: they are skinnier then the ones I usually bought so thought I'd need more. I'd guess it was about 3 cups of chopped leeks.

I chopped up the turnip  and put it in a bowl of water.

Then I chopped up the leeks and a fat clove of garlic, sauteed them over medium flame in a little olive oil and when they were at that "limp" stage (don't let them brown) I put in the turnips and their water. Added a small bit of salt and pepper to taste.

The water just  covered it all and I brought it to a boil. Once it gently boiled for about ten minutes I put a lid on it, turned off the flame (I prefer gas cooking) and took a nap. The latter in an important step :)

When I woke up I put the mix in my food processor and pureed it. You can leave it with some chunks if you want but I like mine smooth. You can use a blender too if that is all you have or one of those hand crank mills for pureeing.

I then took 1/2 of it and froze it; this was about 3 cups. Don't freeze it with the milk in it as it will curdle. 

The other half I added some 2% milk; though you could use 1/2 and 1/2 or cream... warmed it up (don't boil milk; it will go sour). If you want to be fancy you could put some chopped chives or other herbs on top. 

It was not only good but great. I didn't miss it wasn't potatoes at all though I could tell the difference in taste: it was very good in it's own right.

I followed this with a salad and all in all it was a great meal.

Also this week plans are: Kale and white bean soup, stuffed (organic local) cabbage with (local naturally raised) spicy Italian sausage and brown rice; froze half of all that as well. 

One thing I like to do is to try, usually on a Sunday, to make as much food as I can. Not only for the week ahead but to freeze some for up to 6 months or so for nights when it's not convenient or I'm too lazy to do a lot of cooking.  

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