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Recipe: Cider Vinegar Chicken With Root Vegetables

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. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

This warm and earthy Cider Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables is an amazing weeknight dinner. It’s easy to make, hearty and has just the right amount of acidity to brighten up a cold winter’s evening. The rich and tangy sauce contrasts beautifully with the substantive winter root vegetables. Our teen students — many of whom claimed to dislike turnips and parsnips — gobbled this dish up!


Apple Cider Vinegar Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 whole chicken thighs, dried with paper towels
1 carrot, sliced
1 parsnip, sliced
1 turnip, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek, sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
Salt
Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and add them to the pot, skin-side down. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the skin turns a rich, golden color and begins to crisp. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the oil/fat that has cooked off.

3. Add the carrots, parsnips, turnips, garlic and leek to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Deglaze the pot with vinegar, scraping up any browned chicken that is stuck to the bottom. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pot, skin-side up.

4. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Allow the chicken to braise for 50 minutes.

5. Heat the broiler. Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a broiler pan or heavy baking sheet. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, until the skin crisps back up. Meanwhile, place the pot of vegetables back on the stove and allow it to reduce over medium heat. Stir in the butter.

6. To serve, spoon the sauce over the chicken thighs and brown rice.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/28/16 at 10:15 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Thanksgiving Detox Smoothie

We know it’s a bit hard to think about recipes on — or soon after — Thanksgiving. But we think you’ll appreciate this one, because it’s a bracing smoothie that’ll literally make you feel better about whatever (or however much) you’ve eaten.

The recipe starts with cranberries, which are antioxidant powerhouses, then adds in apples and bananas for sweetness, a tiny bit of stomach-soothing ginger root and a handful of spinach. The ingredients are probably already in your fridge, and the result is much healthier (and tastier, and prettier) than Tums.


Thanksgiving Detox Smoothie

1/2 cup cranberries
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/2 a banana
1 tbsp diced ginger root
1 handful spinach
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice

Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy!


Recipe and photo courtesy of Free People, by Julie Keim.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 11/20/16 at 08:19 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Baked Pears With Honey Whipped Cream

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. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

This elegant and simple Baked Pear with Honey Whipped Cream recipe is an amazing last minute addition to any meal or dinner party. The pears become soft and caramelized when baked, and the natural sweetness from the fruit and honey are a perfect combination. You can substitute olive oil instead of butter, or yogurt instead of whipped cream for a healthy (yet equally as delicious) version. We made these with our teen students last week and even those who had declared that they hated pears were eager for seconds!

Baked Pears with Honey Whipped Cream
Serves 12 (1/2 pear per person)

6 Bosc pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored
4 tablespoons of salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
12 fresh mint leaves, minced finely
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Brush the pears with butter and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Place pears cut-side down on the baking sheet.

3. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the pears are caramelized and tender. Transfer the pears onto a platter, cut-side up, and allow them to cool until warm.

4. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks. Gently fold in vanilla extract and honey.

5. Fill each pear with a spoonful of the whipped cream and sprinkle with mint.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 11/14/16 at 04:38 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Stuffed Peppers With Bulgur And Spinach

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. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

These Middle Eastern-inspired stuffed peppers are great as a family-style appetizer or vegetarian main dish. The natural sweetness of the peppers come through when baked and complements the savory and fresh flavors of the bulgur mixture inside. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar for a bright contrast.




Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur and Spinach
Serves 4

4 bell peppers (red, green or other type of mild pepper)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups water
1 cup bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried currants
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 bunch of spinach
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces), divided
Balsamic vinegar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Carefully remove two cups of boiling water and transfer to a bowl with the bulgur, the currants, two tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cover and let soak for 30 minutes.

3. Cut the tops off of the peppers, and remove seeds and pith. Finely chop pepper tops and onion.

4. Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped pepper and onion; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add cumin; stir for 20 seconds. Mix in spinach; stir until beginning to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Combine vegetables and bulgur mixture with mint and dill. Stir in currants and half of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Fill peppers with bulgur mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake until heated through, about 30-45 minutes depending on the type and size of peppers. Serve warm.

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

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Perhaps the only thing better than a day at the spa is the greeting by the spa manager holding a plate of fresh-from-the-oven cookies. I was the customer, and Brandi Scalise, the manager and author of “Cookie Classics Made Easy.” An enthusiastic home baker with a passion for cookies, Brandi came up with 41 no-fuss recipes, all made using just one bowl. Here’s one that’ll go with your pumpkin spice latte. —Lisa Green

Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen cookies

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup canned pumpkin purée
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. If using regular (nonstick) cookie sheets, line with parchment paper.

2. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, preferably with an electric mixer, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and mix until well blended.

3. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or a rounded teaspoon, scoop out the dough and place about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.

4. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the edges are darker in color. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Excerpted from Cookie Classics Made Easy © by Brandi Scalise, photography by Katie Craig, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 11/01/16 at 04:19 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Butternut Squash Cake

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. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

This beautifully spiced cake is subtle, fluffy and light, and is naturally sweetened with maple sugar. We like to coarsely mash the butternut squash so the cake is dotted with orange flecks. It’s perfect served warm with a cup of coffee on a crisp fall day and is a great cake for the holidays — especially for those who are looking for a healthier baked good that doesn’t sacrifice flavor or texture.

Butternut Squash Cake
(1 )9-inch round cake

2/3 c. olive oil
3/4 c. maple syrup
3 eggs
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup cooked butternut squash, coarsely mashed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pan and set aside.
2. Whisk together the oil and maple syrup. Add eggs and yogurt, beat well.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and baking powder. Add to liquid mixture. Fold gently.
4. Add squash. Stir just until mixed.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 10/24/16 at 01:02 PM • Permalink

Spiced Steamed Buns With Miso-Maple Pulled Chicken And Pumpkin

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.

Have you ever tried an authentic Asian steamed bun? If not, this recipe not only gives you the opportunity to create your own but also to experience a brand-new taste sensation which can best be described as Asian-New England fusion. The soft pillow-like texture of the bun paired with autumn ingredients like pumpkin, cinnamon, cardamom and maple has a truly unique flavor profile. Be sure to use an authentic bamboo steamer (an inexpensive investment); it will make all the difference in the moisture and rise of your bun. Leftover buns? Freeze them for the next time you feel like having a special treat.

Spiced Steamed Buns with Miso-Maple Pulled Chicken And Pumpkin
Makes 50 steamed buns

For the Pulled Chicken
1½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded and medium diced (about 3 cups)
1 white onion, cut into medium dice (about 1 cup)
½ cup miso paste
1¼ cup organic maple syrup
1 cup organic chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 3 tbs oil in a large oven-proof braising pan over medium-high heat until wisps of smoke appear.
3. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Remove and set aside.
4. Add pumpkin and onion, and cook until slightly softened and caramelized (about 4 minutes).
5. Add the chicken stock, miso paste and maple syrup and stir until combined.
6. Place the chicken thighs snugly in a single layer on top of the sauce. Cover and bake for one hour.
7. Using a fork, shred the chicken, mash and stir all other ingredients and keep warm.

Steamed Buns
1 tbs.+1 tsp active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water
6 tbs. granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground allspice
4¼ cups bread flour
3 tbs. nonfat milk powder
1 tbs. kosher salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup beef fat or vegetable shortening
Parchment paper
Plastic wrap
Vegetable oil spray

1.  In a small glass bowl, combine yeast, water, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and allspice. Steep for five minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients with yeast mixture. Cover with plastic and let rest in a warm place for one hour.
3. Cut out (50) 4”x4” parchment squares and place the squares on two baking sheet trays. Using a pastry cutter, divide the dough into five equal sections.
4. Roll each section into a 9-inch log. Portion each log into 10 disks of dough.
5. Turn each disk of dough on its flat side and gently roll into an oval. Lightly spray the top of each oval and carefully fold in half. Place each bun on a parchment square and cover with plastic wrap.
6. Using a bamboo steamer, work in small batches to steam all the buns.
7. Allow to cool slightly and fill with desired amount of chicken filling. Serve immediately.

Note: Any unused buns can be frozen for up to one month.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 10/17/16 at 10:09 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Potato Salad with Sautéed Kale

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. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

This fresh take on a potato salad is perfect for mixing and showcasing the season’s beautiful variety of colorful potatoes. The kale adds a nice texture variation to the salad while the dressing—which does not use mayonnaise—brings a bright acidity to creamy potatoes. It’s a stunning side dish that easily accommodates changes based on what you have available. Try it with lemon juice instead of vinegar, or Swiss chard or collards instead of kale!

Potato Salad with Sautéed Kale
(4-6 servings)

Ingredients
1 lb assorted potatoes
1 lb kale
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp assorted minced herbs
Salt and pepper

Directions
1. Chop kale and sauté in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Set aside.

2. Cut potatoes into large cubes and boil in salted water for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce them. Drain into a colander.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Add potatoes and kale and toss gently.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/11/16 at 05:25 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Ba Mee Gia

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 believe chefs are true artists. Our executive chef, Matt Shweitzer, is no exception, and this recipe is one example of how he’s combined complex international flavors into one amazing dish that’s also a feast for the eyes. Many of us know Ba Mee as a traditional Thai noodle dish, often a common street food.

Here, Chef Matt uses multiple flavor layers to heighten the palette experience. This is no common street food! Remarkably easy to prepare using simple pantry ingredients, this dish will not let you down. One piece of advice however: be sure to use authentic sriracha (found in the Asian food aisle). You’ll be hooked, and want to use the rest of the bottle on everything from steak to eggs, or… more Ba Mee!

Ba Mee Gia
Serves 2-4

1/2 package plain ramen noodles
1 lb boneless chicken thighs, patted dry
10 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs ginger, minced
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1 tbs whole coriander seeds
2 tbs lime juice and zest from one lime
1 cup peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 green bell pepper, medium diced
1 red bell pepper, medium diced
1/2 cup garlic, minced
1 tbs sriracha
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
Flour, for dusting
Vegetable oil, for frying

For Oyster Fried Chicken:
1. Place a rack in center of oven and heat to 350.
2. Prepare two medium size bowls for dredging. Place 5 tbs oyster sauce in one bowl and flour in the other.
3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 10” saute pan over medium heat.
4. Dredge chicken in flour, then in oyster sauce, then back in flour.
5. Fry chicken 2-3 minutes per side until deeply golden brown. Do not crowd the pan; cook in batches and add more oil if necessary.
6. Transfer chicken to a sheet pan and bake until juices run clear and chicken is at 165 degrees (30-40 minutes). Set aside.

Soy Ginger Infusion:
1. In small saucepan, combine soy sauce and ginger and boil on high heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Put mixture through a sieve, discard ginger and set aside.

Lime Coriander Vinegar:
1. In medium saucepan, combine white vinegar, coriander, lime zest and juice. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Put mixture through a sieve and set aside.

Putting It All Together:
1. Blanch ramen noodles in boiling water, drain and set aside.
2. Heat a 10” sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add peppers and red onions and cook for additional 2 minutes until glossy and softened.
3. Add soy ginger mixture and lime coriander mixture, the remaining 5 tbs of oyster sauce and the sriracha.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and add noodles, stirring for 2 minutes to combine the flavors.
5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and scallions.
6. Place in individual serving bowls or on one large platter. Top with sliced oyster chicken, peanuts and bean sprouts.
7. Serve immediately.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/04/16 at 01:32 PM • Permalink

Recipe: Late Summer Farm Risotto

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. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.

This Late Summer Risotto is the perfect recipe for those cool summer evenings that transition us into fall. The warm and creamy risotto is punctuated with crunchy bits of peppers and zucchini, while the fresh tomatoes add a bright, acidic contrast to the Parmesan. It is truly a beautiful dish that highlights the bounty of late summer or early autumn. The consistency of the finished dish should be “all’onda” or “wavy,” which speaks to the ripples that the risotto should evoke when you tilt your plate.

Late Summer Farm Risotto
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoon olive oil
6+ cups vegetable stock
1 onion (small dice)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 medium zucchini (small dice)
1 bell pepper (small dice)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper
3 tablespoons fresh chives and basil (chopped)

1. Heat stock.
2. In a pan sauté tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Sweat onion until tender (about 5 minutes).
4. Add rice and sauté until grains are coated with oil. Add two ladles of stock and a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Continue to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Allow stock to absorb into rice each time, before adding more.
6. After cooking rice for 15 minutes, add sautéed vegetables and tomatoes.  Continue to cook until rice is cooked through, but still al dente (about 18 min).
7. Remove from heat and fold in butter, cheese, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Consistency should be “all’onda” or wavy, and it speaks to the perfect risotto soft and loose texture, so if you tilt the plate the risotto ripples in waves.

 

 

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/25/16 at 11:29 AM • Permalink