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Recipe: Vegetable Fried Rice

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

Every season is the perfect season for Vegetable Fried Rice. It’s a great way to “upcycle” miscellaneous types, as well as odd portions, of veggies. And it happens to be a recipe that kids, as well as adults, almost always enjoy — you can choose whichever vegetables you like best. You can also modify the recipe and use quinoa instead of rice if you feel like mixing things up a bit, and feel free to adjust the soy sauce and sesame oil to your liking.

Vegetable Fried Rice
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ cup scallions
5 cups assorted vegetables, washed and chopped, herbs
1 cup frozen baby peas
5 cups cold cooked rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper

1. In a large heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds. 

2. Add all of the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, until done but still a little crisp. Add the peas, rice and sesame oil, and stir to combine. 

3. When the rice is hot, add eggs and soy sauce, cooking until the eggs are dry. 

4. Season with salt and pepper.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/18/16 at 06:54 PM • Permalink

Blueberry Chicken Salad With Corn And Feta

I am happily a pescetarian. The times are rare that I regret my decision to eschew meat. But leave it to Guido’s to make me rethink it. This recipe, adapted from The Food Network by Guido’s own dietitian Rachel Alves, combines grilled chicken breast with corn and feta (and blueberries!), a summery mix that was a winner among customers lucky enough to be in the store when Rachel was offering samples.  —Lisa Green

Blueberry Chicken Salad with Corn and Feta
Serves: 12

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs. Herbes de Provence

For the Dressing:
2 tbs. mayonnaise
4 tbs. light sour cream
2 tbs. low-fat Greek yogurt
1/8 – 1/4 c. low-fat milk
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp. maple syrup
3 tbs. fresh dill, minced
2 ears fresh corn on the cob
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large shallot or 1 small red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. crumbled feta

For Chicken
Light a gas or charcoal grill until hot. Drizzle olive oil over chicken breast and season with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Grill chicken about 7-8 minutes per side (depending on size). When done, remove to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest and cool while you make the rest of the salad.

Make Dressing
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients and taste for enough salt and sweetness. Add enough milk to reach preferred consistency.

For the Salad
With a very sharp knife, shave kernels off each corn cob and in a large bowl, combine them with the celery, shallot or onion.

When chicken is cool enough to handle (after about 10 minutes or so), dice it into bite-sized pieces and place into the bowl with the celery, onion and corn. Stir to combine. Pour some of the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently to coat. Don’t over dress; it should be light!

Add the blueberries and feta and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

For more of Guido’s recipes — in all categories — check the website here.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/11/16 at 01:07 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Asparagus and Shiitake Summer Rolls

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

The possibilities for summer roll fillings are endless, but this is one of our favorites. Sweet, spicy and salty flavors combine to create an addictive appetizer that also is fun to make. Working with the rice paper rounds takes some finesse at first, but stick with it, and you’ll have a very delicious and very attractive dish to share. We encourage experimenting with different vegetable combinations, too. Let what’s ready in your garden be your guide!

Asparagus and Shiitake Summer Rolls
Yields 10 rolls

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon tomato paste

3/4 teaspoon sugar

4 ounces bean thread or rice noodles (cellophane noodles)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 pound shiitakes, remove stems and slice remaining portion

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 large sweet potato, steamed and cut into batons

1 pound asparagus, trimmed, steamed and halved lengthwise
(12) 8-inch rice-paper rounds, plus additional in case some tear

1. Cook onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer, whisking, for 1 minute, and then cool.

2. Cover noodles with boiling-hot water and soak 15 minutes, then drain well in a sieve. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with vinegar and salt to taste.

3. Heat vegetable oil in sauté pan. Add shiitakes and soy sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to bowl.


4. Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round (make sure there are no holes) in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels.

5. Top rice paper round with even parts noodles, sweet potato, asparagus and shiitakes. Then fold in sides and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels.

6. Continue until all of the rice wrappers have been used. Serve rolls halved on the diagonal.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/05/16 at 10:47 PM • Permalink

Recipe: White Chocolate Souffle With Blueberry Whiskey Compote

This week we are happy to announce we are being joined by new recipe contributor Audrey Leary, who herself just welcomed her first child a few days ago. Fortunately, the Blackberry River Baking Company co-owner (along with her husband) and French Culinary Institute-trained pastry chef delivered this recipe before she did her baby.

My wedding anniversary is the day after my birthday, so we’ll usually go out to eat one night and I’ll make us something fancy the next. This year we had a fabulous dinner at Arethusa al Tavolo for my birthday and the following evening I made us duck for dinner and this for dessert. I’m a big white chocolate fan, and I always love the drama (and surprising ease) of a soufflé. Blueberries are starting to come in locally, and we have a great Berkshire Mountain Distillers whiskey that’s way too good to cook with, but for a special occasion, so good. The whiskey brings out the sweetness in the blueberries and the soufflé is just subtle enough to really let the compote shine.

You can also make the base of the soufflés ahead of time and then bake them off just before serving for a show-stopping dinner party ender.





White Chocolate Soufflé with Blueberry Whiskey Compote
(Recipe adapted from epicurean.com)
Makes 4 large or 6-8 medium soufflés

3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
4 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or one vanilla bean)
About 1/2 cup of whiskey

For the soufflé:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter 4 individual soufflé dishes, about 8 ounces each. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of the dishes with sugar. Melt the chocolate over barely simmering water; set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color. Beat in the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar. Stir in the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Fold one-fourth of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it; fold this mixture into the remaining egg whites.

Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared dishes. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set and golden brown; if in doubt, give them an extra minute or two.

For the blueberry compote:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat until the bite has gone out of the whiskey and the sugar has dissolved; use a wooden spoon to stir and mash the blueberries. Use a spoon to make an indentation in the soufflés and pour in the compote. Enjoy!

 

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/28/16 at 03:29 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Orzo Salad

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

Summer is here, and our favorite summer veggies like tomatoes and peppers are making their way from seed to plate. But they aren’t on our plates, just yet anyways. Until they are, take another look at the lingering abundance of spring. This easy, delicious recipe makes use of the last harvests of spring veggies, while being a perfect dish for a hot summer day.

Orzo Salad

Serves 4-6

1 cup orzo
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
1 head broccoli
1 cup peas, freshly shelled or frozen
1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with 2 big pinches of salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
juice of one lemon

1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. You are going to use some of this water over the orzo and the rest to blanch the peas, broccoli and asparagus.

2. Put the orzo in a medium bowl, add boiling water to the surface of the grains and let it stand for about 15 minutes, just until tender. Drain and press out any remaining water and toss with a couple pinches of salt. Set aside.

3. Return the saucepan to the heat and bring the remainder of the water back up to a boil. Salt the water and cook the broccoli, asparagus and peas for just about 20 seconds, just long enough for them to brighten up and lose a bit of their bite. Drain, run under colder water to stop the cooking, and add to the orzo.

4. For the dressing, whisk the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil together and season with more salt if needed.

5. To the orzo, broccoli, asparagus, and peas add half the scallions. Toss with a big splash of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Adjust the seasoning as well at this point. Garnish with the remaining scallions, the chopped egg and serve.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/20/16 at 04:22 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Chicken Jambalaya

If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. Abby Simchak Donovan, Haven’s director of marketing and special events, shares one of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.

I know it’s summer, and who wants to be in the kitchen? But this recipe, although it requires the oven, is a one-pot meal that’s sure to please and makes for a wonderful family meal and/or a great potluck picnic dish. 

After a quick sauté, the balance of the ingredients gets thrown in together and put into the oven to bake for one hour. Any rice will do but the nutty flavor of basmati is best and if you want to elevate the flavor, sauté a minced shallot first before adding your rice and stock. Then, while your jambalaya is cooking, you can relax in your backyard with a fresh margarita in hand!

Chicken Jambalaya
Serves 10

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 white onion, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 andouille sausage, cut into 1/4” pieces
1 jalepeno pepper, including seeds, chopped
1 8-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
2 tbs. smoked paprika
1 tbs. ground cumin
Vegetable or canola oil for sauté
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

3. In a large oven-proof pot, heat 2 tbs. oil over high heat until wisps of smoke are visible. Carefully place the chicken pieces into the pot and sauté until golden brown, about two minutes per side.

4. Reduce the heat to medium, add peppers, onion, andouille, jalepeno and spices. Stir, cover and let cook for four minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes, stir and cover.

6. Place into oven for one hour.

7. Serve immediately over your favorite rice.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/13/16 at 10:08 AM • Permalink

Recipe: Basic Flatbread

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

There’s nothing quite like a good flatbread—particularly if you have access to a wood-fired oven or a cast iron skillet. Flatbreads lend themselves to any toppings that happen to be in season, and right now that includes spinach, scallions, oregano, and asparagus. We also used canned tomatoes from last year and we cheated a little and bought some basil, too. Gather all of your desired toppings beforehand, and use the hour needed for the dough to rise to prepare each of them. Enjoy!


Flatbread
1 packet (2¼ teaspoon) active dry yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon minced herbs (rosemary and thyme work well, but don’t limit yourself to those)
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon organic cane sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
¾ cup warm water

1. In a large mixing bowl, add yeast, garlic, herbs, sea salt, organic cane sugar, all purpose flour and spelt flour, and whisk.

2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add olive oil and ½ cup (120 ml.) of warm water to start. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix. Add more water as needed until dough forms.

3. Transfer to a clean, well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic—about 2 minutes—adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

4. Wipe out mixing bowl and add a bit of oil. Roll dough around to coat and position seam-side down in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Once doubled in size, cut dough into 6 even pieces, arrange on a clean surface, and lay a damp towel on top. Let rest.

5. In the meantime, heat a large skillet (electric or cast iron) to medium-high heat.

6. One at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a large circle that’s fairly thin.

7. Lightly grease preheated skillet and lay down flatbread. Don’t touch, cook for 2½ minutes. Flip and cook for 2½ minutes on the other side. Repeat, adding more oil to coat surface, until all flatbread is cooked.

8. Top with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil (or any toppings you desire) and enjoy immediately or let cool completely and store in a well-sealed bag or container up to 3 days (though best when fresh).

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/06/16 at 10:24 AM • Permalink

Recipe: Hot And Sour Rhubarb-Strawberry Soup With Chicken

If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. Executive Chef Matt Schweitzer shares the recipes of some of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.

When rhubarb season arrives, culinarians everywhere quest for new ways to celebrate this perennial vegetable. In our Haven kitchens, we think we’ve found a new winner. On its own, rhubarb is bitter and can be somewhat stringy to chew if not prepared properly. “I remember as a kid my Grandma cutting the stalks and giving them to me raw with a bowl of sugar to dip,” says Abby Simchak Donovan, Haven’s director of marketing and special events.

So don’t be afraid of the seemingly large amounts of honey and chili sauce. Both are very sweet but necessary to pair with the rhubarb in this recipe. The strawberries give this soup another dimension and add a familiar flavor. Top it off with cilantro and scallions for a truly sophisticated finish. This recipe makes enough for a crowd or freeze it for when you want to revisit rhubarb heaven. Thanks to Chef Matt, Chef Shelly and their team for creating yet another recipe unique to Haven!

Hot and Sour Rhubarb-Strawberry Soup with Chicken
Serves 15-20

2 lbs fresh rhubarb, roughly chopped
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 quarts fresh strawberries
1 white onion, cut into 1/2” pieces
2 jalepenos, roughly chopped, including seeds
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
2 cups sweet chili sauce
3 quarts chicken stock
1 cup honey
1 cup cilantro, minced
1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin on the diaganol
Salt and freshly ground black peper


1. In a large pot on medium high heat, place the rhubarb, strawberries, onion, jalepenos, chipotle pepper, chili sauce, chicken stock and honey. Bring to a boil and adjust heat to lightly boil unti all ingredients are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

2. Puree the mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary, and place back into pot.

3. Add the chicken and simmer on medium low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to let the flavors meld.

4. Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro and scallions.

5. Serve immediately.

 

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/31/16 at 06:40 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi

One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Julie Cerny, farm education director and garden manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

How many recipes can you eat for five days straight?

Last week, when our students came to visit the farm, we made this ricotta gnocchi four times over four days. I liked it so much that I made it again for myself over the weekend. That’s love.

The secret ingredient in this recipe is the lemon zest, which catches you off guard in the best way possible, brightening the whole dish. Use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand. This time around we used scallions, peas, some frozen tomato sauce from last year, and the ever-prolific asparagus. When summer rolls around, we’ll look forward to switching it up with some summer squash, peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes.  A recipe for all seasons. Enjoy.

Ricotta Gnocchi
Serves 4-6

2 cups ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup asparagus chopped into ½” pieces
½ cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup tomato sauce
Salt
Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan

1. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper and eggs in large mixing bowl. Slowly fold in the flour. Mix until it forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust the top lightly with some of flour. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a ½-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into ½-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball and lightly dust with flour. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.

3. Turn a fork over and hold at a 45-degree angle, with tips of tines touching work surface. Working with one at a time, roll gnocchi down fork tines, pressing with your thumb, to make ridges on one side. Transfer gnocchi pieces to floured baking sheets.

4. Add half of gnocchi to boiling water and stir. Cook until they float to surface, about 3 minutes. Add the other half of the gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface. Transfer with a slotted spoon to bowl.

5. Heat oil and butter over medium heat in sautée pan. Add asparagus, scallions, peas, tomato sauce and vegetable stock, sauté for 4-5 minutes or until peas are tender. Add lemon zest and gnocchi.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/23/16 at 07:56 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Chicken Liver Pâté

If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. Executive Chef Matt Schweitzer shares the recipes of some of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.

Pâté isn’t for everyone. But for those of us that do like it, well, love it… it’s pure decadence! Smooth, creamy goodness in every bite, this pâté is basic and very easy to make. The secret is in caramelizing the onions. Take your time, and stir often. The result is a golden sweet treat that makes this recipe sing. Use your own judgment on the purée at the end — some like a smooth paste, some prefer some chunks for texture. Either way, this is a creation that tastes like it came from a restaurant kitchen. And actually, it did!

Chicken Liver Pâté
Makes 1 loaf

1 lb. chicken livers
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs. canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Nonstick spray

1. Using plastic wrap, line a 9x5 loaf pan and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. Pour heavy cream in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook onions in 1 tbs. of oil, covered, stirring occasionally until the onions are a deep mahogany color, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

4. Lay chicken livers on a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

4. In a separate large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining oil. Sauté chicken livers 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Add the caramelized onions and gelatin mixture to the pan and heat for one minute. Cool slightly.

5. Place the mixture in a food processor and puree.

6. Pour this mixture into the lined loaf pan and refrigerate overnight.

7. Slice, serve and enjoy!

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/16/16 at 12:53 PM • Permalink