Herondale chicken wings: the best stock I’ve ever made
Well, this is embarrassing.
It turns out that the best chicken stock I’ve ever made was not only the simplest, most foolproof, and most delicious; it also used a meat CSA ingredient I’ve long struggled to utilize.
I make a lot of chicken stock. Gallons every year, for use in everything from soups to braises to vegetable dishes. I’ve tried all the methods, experimented with various chicken parts (just a carcass, just pre-roasted bones, backs and necks, whole chickens, etc) and played around with various combinations of ingredients.
This batch, made with Herondale chicken wings and just four other ingredients, was the simplest and best I’ve ever made. It was so good I’ll probably drink it all - not sure I can bear to even make soup with it.
Here’s what I did.
- 2 packages Herondale chicken wings, defrosted
- one onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 TSP salt
1. Put all ingredients in crock pot. Fill up with water (not all the way to the rim - leave a little bubble room.)
2. Cook it on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6.
3. Let it cool and strain it finely. Discard the solids.
4. Use within 5 days or freeze.
It was divine. The flavor was pure and sweet and perfect.
Got wings? Make stock.
New CSA Offering: Jacuterie charcuterie!
If you’re the kind of person who feels that meat is the ultimate snack, this news will make you very happy.
Jack brought samples of his new charcuterie to the gym to try, and I just loved it. There were four varieties:
1. Finocchiona: a Tuscan variety flavored with fennel, garlic, and red wine. Jack’s was subtle and delicious.
2. Chorizo: the famous Spanish dried sausage, made with smoked paprika, garlic and a touch of ancho chile powder.
3. Alpine Cervelat: an original sausage inspired by the characteristic flavors of the Alps, including mustard seed, nutmeg, ginger and coriander.
4. Saucisson Sec (shown): My favorite! A French cured sausage flavored with nothing but salt, this sausage has an incredibly sweet and pure taste that kept me coming back for just one more taste… until half the log was gone.
Jack is also offering a soppressata. I didn’t get to taste a sample, but based on how wonderful the other sausages were, I can’t wait to try it.
Jack’s also got flavored bacons and other goodies in the works, so stay tuned.
My CSA box: A plan for the week
You’d be right to notice that this is a photo of *last week’s* Sol Flower Farm CSA box. That broccoli was fabulous, the heirloom tomatoes made my day, and I managed to keep the cilantro fresh for a week (!) by pulling off the dry leaves and storing them in a glass box with a snap-on lid. That’s a record for me with cilantro, which I’ve struggled to store for longer than a day in the past.
But THIS week, my CFSBK friends, our box had a decidedly autumnal bent.That’s just fine with me; the weather has finally cooled off, I’m willing to turn my oven on, and I can’t get enough collards and winter squash.
Here’s my plan for the the vegetables in this week’s box.
Even though I didn’t eat them first until I was an adult, I love Southern-style collard greens, and most frequently prepare them this way.
What I’ll be making: Collard Greens with Red Onion and Bacon (calls for a bit of brown sugar; leave it out if you don’t eat sugar.)
You might also like:
If you eat legumes, try this lovely-looking Ham and Black-Eyed Peas with Collards soup.
For more quick-cooking options:
- Fast Brazilian sauteed collard greens
- Quick-sauteed collard ribbons
- Here are some more ideas from Fine Cooking.
That head of greens many people assumed was lettuce is actually escarole, a hearty green related to endive and frisee.
I prefer to cook, or at least wilt, escarole, rather than eat it raw - mostly for texture rather than flavor reasons - but both raw and cooked recipes are common.
What I’ll be making:
You might also like:
What I’ll be making:
Roasted acorn squash with chile vinaigrette This looks AMAZING.
You might also like:
- Acorn squash puree
- Sausage-stuffed acorn squash with molasses glaze (leave the breadcrumbs out, or substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs - easy to find)
I confess I almost always do the exact same thing with my beets: wrap them individually in foil, roast them in a very hot oven until completely tender, then ten minutes out of the oven, run the unwrapped beets under running water, at which point the skins slide right off. Then, I slice them, dress with a little olive oil, vinegar, and salt, and use them in fall salads. Note that you should always dress beets while they’re still warm.
This time I’m considering making this balsamic and citrus dressing from Fine Cooking:
- 1/4 cup strained fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt; more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives (optional)
(Whisk everything together and dress warm beets. Enjoy.)
You might also like:
Sweet and long green peppers
I use celery in my chicken stock, but not a whole head! I confess I frequently freeze individual stalks, wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil, to pull out the next time I make stock (and don’t want to buy, and waste, an entire new head of celery.)
You might also like:
Kohlrabi Recipe Roundup
How bout that kohlrabi in our CSA boxes, folks? C’mon, you know you want to try it.
Kohlrabi is mild and crunchy - something like (peeled) broccoli stem, which I very much enjoy. I’ve only ever eaten it raw, sliced into salads and slaws. You just hack off the leaves for another use*, peel the tough skin, and go to town.
Here are some recipes to get you started:
Farmer’s Market Grated Kohlrabi Slaw from The Kitchn
photo via The Kitchn
Please note that most of the vegetables in this recipe need to be grated. This goes much faster if you have a food processor with a shredding blade, or a mandoline. We highly recommend either tool as a must-have for the home kitchen.
3 medium kohlrabi, peeled, stems trimmed off, grated
1/3 purple cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, grated
1/2 red onion, grated
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cider vinegar
4 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or more, if you prefer
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill for several hours before serving.
Kohlrabi ham bake (use smoked ham)
*Kohlrabi greens can be cooked like turnip greens or winter kale.
By Request: Eggplant Recipes UPDATED
This is the most wonderful time of the year for CSA participants: high summer.
That means eggplant, peppers, and the queen of summer produce, field-grown tomatoes. Our box this week from Sol Flower Farm contained all those, plus beautiful small squash, more lovely lettuce, and a pint of the sweetest cherry tomatoes I think I’ve ever eaten.
I had a few requests for eggplant recipes in particular, so I wanted to share my tips and suggestions with you.
First, a note: the lovely thin Italian-style eggplant we received does not need, in my opinion, to be salted and drained. It’s not that bitter, and frankly I have rarely found that step to be necessary in any eggplant dish. Personal preference, perhaps, but with eggplant this small and local I never waste time salting.
In terms of preparation, the ultimate way to prepare eggplant is to grill it. A sad truth for we urbanites bereft of grills, for sure, but if you have access to a grill of any kind, put your eggplant on it and prepare to be amazed.
Grilling transforms everything for the better, but the impact on eggplant is magical. It practically becomes something else both in terms of texture and flavor. Watch the video for more info, but it’s really quite painless: slice, dab with olive oil, grill til it’s soft. With some salt and perhaps a sprinkling of fresh chopped basil, you have an alluring side dish for any meal. I once spent a summer weekend in Vermont piling eggplant on a strange grill in the half-darkness, with no recipe and no clue what I was doing, and found that the “burnt” vegetable I thought I’d ruined was fantastic with no more embellishment than oil and salt.
The NYTimes just published a nice little round-up of grilled eggplant recipes; take a look and see if their baba ghanouj, Italian-style, or herbed options look good to you.
What to do if you don’t have a grill?
My answer is always to make ratatouille.
Ratatouille is easy and cheap to make, extremely forgiving, gets better in the fridge as you keep it, freezes like a dream, goes well with any meat, and does not require a bed of pasta or other starch to make you want to eat it. (No complaint from me if you want to put it on a bed of polenta, however.)
I always make a big batch and freeze at least half of it. Heating it up in mid-winter is a lovely way to be kind to yourself, trust me.
Ratatouille, from epicurious
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionaly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.
Not to belabor the point, but if you have a grill, you ought to make grilled ratatouille, for the best of both worlds.
- Grilled ratatouille salad with feta cheese
- Grilled ratatouille salad with balsamic vinegar and tarragon
UPDATE 8.18: I made the feta cheese ratatouille recipe, above, adding a good pour of balsamic and a big hit of thinly-sliced fresh basil. I highly, highly recommend this - delicious!
- Lamb and eggplant shepherd’s pie
- Cumin-scented eggplant with pomegranate and cilantro
- Caponata (sweet and sour eggplant)
If you’ve read this far, you might have noticed that I don’t have any moussaka recipes to offer. Dirty secret: I don’t much care for it. But fortunately there are many other wonderful eggplant options out there. If you have an eggplant preparation you particularly love, put it in the comments!
Spanish Stuffed Eggs: Huevos Rellenos de Atun
Plus: How to hard-boil perfectly peel-able farm fresh eggs
I love deviled eggs and recently bought a collapsible, two-tiered deviled egg carrier (!) so I am henceforth required to bring deviled eggs to every summer party for all time.
Perhaps they need no explanation, but I like them so much because they hit all my summer food sweet spots (and very few foods do that): they are truly delicious, they are in line with the way I eat today, and they’re super duper nostalgic. Home run.
This recipe is from The New Spanish Table, the first (and only) Spanish cookbook I own (and source of the famous Catalan guacamole recipe as well.) The addition of tuna to deviled eggs might initially seem strange to you, but once you taste these, you’ll understand the appeal.
I never make deviled eggs more than two hours before serving them; you should do the same.
Spanish Tuna-Stuffed Eggs, adapted from The New Spanish Table
6 hard-boiled eggs (see below), peeled and halved lengthwise
6 TBS high-quality tonno in olive oil, drained and finely flaked (use imported or Bumble Bee tonno in oil)
2 TBS mayo (I love homemade, but any will do)
1-2 TBS lemon juice, or more to taste
2 TBS small capers, drained
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spanish smoked pimentón (paprika, but much better)
Optional: Oil-packed anchovy fillets and jarred piquillo peppers, cut into strips (for garnish)
1. Put the yolks in a bowl and mash them finely with a fork. Add mayo, lemon juice, and capers; season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spoon some of the mixture into each egg white half.
3. If using the anchovy and piquillo peppers, roll up an anchovy around a strip of pepper, and garnish each egg.
4. Dust lightly with pimentón.
How to Boil Perfectly Peel-able Farm Fresh Eggs
Ever wind up with hard-boiled eggs that look like this? My eggs come from my Herondale Farm CSA. Farm-fresh, pastured eggs are, scientifically speaking, 4,567 times more difficult to peel than factory eggs, regardless of their age. I’ve let my CSA eggs sit in the fridge for several weeks before hard boiling, employed all of the tricks of the trade in their preparation, and they were still impossible to peel. The deviled eggs I made from them looked like they’d been clawed by velociraptors.
From Cook’s Illustrated (requires online subscription) I learned this technique, which works like a goddamn charm.
1. Put eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.
2. Let sit covered for ten minutes.
3. Fill a medium bowl with ice and water.
4. After ten minutes, drain the hot water from the pan, then vigorously shake the eggs in the empty pan to crack the shells.
5. Pour the cracked-shell eggs into the cold water bath. Let sit for a few minutes.
6. Peel and rejoice.
Fennel Citrus Salads
A bunch of CSA members asked me what to do with the fennel in our boxes these last two weeks.
I was never a fan of fennel until I first had a simple fennel-citrus salad at a friend’s Seder dinner. Since then, I’ve made it numerous times, different ways, and it’s always good. It’s easier to slice it super-thin if you own a mandoline, but if you don’t, just use a sharp knife.
I don’t use the tops; they’re too licorice-y for me. The bulbs are, too, but they’re also crisp and refreshing, and their character changes with the addition of olive oil and citrus.
Some recipes I like:
Sicilian Fennel and Orange Salad with Red Onion and Mint (long name, only 6 ingredients)
For a good fennel salad without citrus, try this one. Parmesean and fennel might sound weird, but it’s great.