braised carrots

There’s braised fried tofu and mushroom in soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper and vegetable soup with shiitake mushrooms, carrots, bok choy, broccoli, bean curd sheets, cabbage, tofu garnished with chopped green onions and coriander. Eat both dishes while hot with hot rice is the best 😆

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Purée, Roasted Asian Pear, Seared Pork Chop with Garlic, Shallot, Thyme and Mustard Seed Sauce

We’ll just call this Pork Chop à la Hypocrite because awhile back I was pretty snobbishly stern about not wanting to give in to the ~flavors of fall~ bullshit we are all bombarded with from late September to early December (cinnamon, pumpkin, butternut squash, root veggies, apple etc) but….Several posts later I certainly haven’t stuck to my word. See:
•Apple [cinnamon] tart on yogurt dough
•Butternut squash gnocchi
•Roasted Veggies w/ greek yogurt

I do enjoy cooking with the seasons though and apparently I like butternut squash more than I realized okay! Hop of my phallic shaped squash!

This dish is actually really easy and rather affordable. I bought a small butternut squash for $1.50 at deandeluca . Thyme and carrots for $1.50 each, and garlic and shallots are under a dollar. Two pork chops for $7.50. Not bad for a semi-elegant home cooked meal with leftovers. More on that later.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of carrots, scrubbed and chopped into small chunks
1 small butternut squash, halved w/ evoo
½ head garlic, cloves crushed
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp of grainy dijon mustard ½ bunch of thyme
1/3 cup good evoo
1 FIRM asian pear, tart apple or pear, sliced and lightly salted
½ cup chicken broth
2 pork chops, salt and peppered

Step 1: preheat oven to 450. Add your carrots, squash and asian pear to oven when ready. Let roast until squash is soft — about 45 minutes. Check often to make sure pear doesn’t burn, you want it a little browned and crispy but not burnt.
Other option: braise carrot and squash chunks in broth in a deep pan, covered on medium heat. Roast pear separately.

Step 2: 20 minutes into it, add olive oil, garlic, thyme and mustard seeds to pan. Turn heat to high, stirring often until shallot is translucent. Add pork chops and sear on each side for 4 minutes. Remove chops from pan and set aside, covered. Add chicken broth to pan and let simmer on low heat, stirring up browned bits.

Step 3: when squash and carrots are tender, spoon squash’s flesh out carefully and add both to blender or use a hand-mixer. Blend until smooth, spoon onto plate. Add pear slices, pork chop and spoon sauce and it’s components onto EVERYTHING BECAUSE IT IS DELICIOUS.

2

Guinness BBQ Baked Tofu with Sautéed Portabella Mushrooms, Red Potato Mashers, Braised Carrots, and Sautéed Swiss Chard

For dinner last night, I pressed slices of tofu and marinated them in Guinness and Organicville Tangy BBQ Sauce and then baked them at 375 while I prepped and cooked the rest of dinner.  I scrubbed the carrots and red potatoes that came from our CSA share and braised the carrots, and made mashers with half-n-half, butter, salt and cracked pepper with the red potatoes.  The remaining side was swiss chard sautéed in walnut oil with a blend of spices and a splash of lemon juice.  When plating up, I also sautéed a sliced portabella mushroom and put those slices across the top of the BBQ’d Tofu.

Everything came together nicely.  I don’t think the swiss chard was anyone’s favorite – I would LOVE ideas for other things to do with swiss chard!  Molly fed her tofu to her 3 year old step brother, who loved it!  However, Brian really liked the tofu and mushrooms and loved the potatoes and carrots.  Overall, it was a win. :)

Click photo to read more.

I hate throwing away produce and a lot of it is more resilient that you’d think. Before going out of town to leave a bunch of veggie souls to sit in limbo, to decay in the confines of fridge drawers, I threw together a plate of anything and everything that I thought might work in harmony rather than waste away.

Be creative. Roast, boil, sautée, grill, mash, or juice your veggies. Don’t be a wasteful snob, a little brown on the tip of some leaves never killed anyone, chop that part off and keep going. Obviously if it smells bad and is slimy don’t eat it.

Garlic, turmeric and chicken (or veggie) stock braised kale and carrots, minced shallots and quinoa, tender beets, warm goat cheese, and crushed pistachios.

Ingredients^

There are no specific measurements or guidelines, this is all about free-styling with whatever is left in the bottom of your fridge. This is about the act not a specific dish. It’s like when the titanic sank, and the already-full life boats could have just dipped, but instead they went back to rummage around and save what they could. Be a life boat that went back.

Bring water to a boil for beets. Boil for about 20-30 minutes until penetrable with fork. Peel and dice when ready, you can handle scooping goat cheese, carefully chop pistachios with sharp knife.

Bring water to a boil for quinoa. ¼ cup dry quinoa makes what you see on my plate. When grains are plump and taste right, drain. Using same pot (now empty) drizzle a bit of olive oil and add chopped shallots, stirring often. When they begin to brown remove from heat and add quinoa back, mixing well.

In a large sauce pan get about ¼-½ cup broth (this isn’t soup) to a fast simmer, add chopped garlic, stir for 1 minute, add pinch of turmeric and stir, add torn kale leaves and sliced carrots. Turn heat down, let simmer, stirring every so often. When tender, remove from heat and create your tower.