Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apple Crisp for a Cold Night

The cooking bug struck last night. While the kids were off with Dave working on Halloween costumes, I picked up the CSA, walked home in the cold rain, and found myself with 90 minutes and a house to myself. I, admittedly, have been pretty bored with cooking of late and have the menu to prove it. I have been recycling the same eight meals, all the while wishing for inspiration. I've looked in cookbooks and magazines and tried to brainstorm, but everything seemed dull, or too hard, or just not tasty enough to try.

I don't know if it was the rain, or the thought of uninterrupted kitchen time, or the pea shoots, spinach, cilantro, and apples in my bag, but something snapped, and I couldn't wait to get cooking.

All recipes serve 4 people.

Mushroom Spinach Risotto

1 TBSP butter
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1 small sweet pepper, sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
4 to 5 cups beef (or chicken or vegetable) stock, hot
1/4 cup white wine
2 TBSP tamari
black pepper to taste
1/4 lb spinach, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan or other hard cheese, grated

Melt butter in a large pot. Add mushrooms and pepper slices and sauté, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until mushrooms are thoroughly brown and leaking juices, ~ 20 minutes. Put in a bowl and set aside. Do not wash pan.

In the same pan, add olive oil. Add onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.

Add rice and stir until coated with oil and starting to brown, ~ 2 minutes.

Add stock, one 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. (I cheat on this step, quickly preparing other things in between stirring, but the risotto really is creamier if you stir the entire time.) Add next 1/2 cup of stock when the first one has almost all disappeared. Continue until rice is just tender, very approximately 20 minutes. If you need more liquid, you can use a little water.

Add wine and stir. Add tamari and black pepper and stir.

Stir in mushroom/pepper mix.

Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add cilantro.

Take off of the heat and stir in cheese.

Boiled Turnips

3 large or 4 medium white turnips

Wash turnips and cut each into 4 quarters.

Place in a pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a strong simmer and cook until tender, ~ 15 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of butter and salt and pepper.

Apple Crisp

4 large or 5 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1 stick butter, divided in half
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup corn meal

Preheat oven to 375.

Put apples in a bread pan.

In a small sauce pan, melt 1/2 stick butter. Add honey. When it bubbles, add lemon juice and take off heat. Pour over apples.

In a small bowl, using your fingers, mix remaining 1/2 stick butter, sugar, flour, and corn meal, until all incorporated and crumbly. Spread over the apples evenly. Bake until the crumble top is brown and the apples below bubbling, ~ 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.