From The Vine

Fall is here, schedules are busy – lets make it easy! Week 13 CSA Recipes

School is back in session and Fall is fast approaching, well not fast enough for me! I can’t wait for some cooler weather! It is this time of year we start thinking about finding ways to make quick, easy dinners. What better way to do that then with a crockpot! Our first meal this week is a Baked Slow Cooker Chicken. It is easy and the flavor is simple and mild. We serve it with an Eggplant Casserole that has been in my husband’s family for years! It involves some chopping but basically comes together quickly. The Okra Cornmeal Fritters can be made partially ahead of time so that you only need to mix together the ingredients and fry them up!

Baked Slow Cooker Chicken

1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken
salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika
3 large carrots (split lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces)
2 medium onions (quartered)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

1. Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3- to 4-inch balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place chicken in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
3. Set the slow cooker to High for 1 hour, then turn down to Low for 4 to 5 hours. Add the vegetables and cook until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about another 4 to 5 hours. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Eggplant Casserole
Blanche Carroll

1 medium eggplant
1 egg
3 tablespoons Butter
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 medium Onion
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
1 cup cream style corn

Peel and cube eggplant. Put in saucepan with water to cover. Add 1 tsp. salt. Cover ad cook 8 minutes until tender.

Drain eggplant. Put in large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients except cheese. Stir together until completely mixed. Put in greased baking dish, cover with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Okra Cornmeal Fritters

Servings: Makes about 28 fritters
Prep Time: 30 min

4 bacon slices
1/2 large Vidalia or other sweet onion (finely chopped (2/3 cup))
1/2 pound fresh okra (trimmed and chopped)
1 large egg
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup white cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
About 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in middle.
Cook bacon in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving fat in skillet. Finely chop bacon. Add onion and okra to fat in skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon.
Whisk egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk, cornmeal, sugar, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt until smooth. Stir in okra mixture.
Wipe skillet clean. Add enough oil to skillet to measure 1/4 inch and heat over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook rounded tablespoons of batter (6 to 7 fritters per batch), turning once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm in oven while making remaining batches. Serve immediately.

Additional Notes
Bacon, onion, okra mixture can be made a day ahead and chilled.

Our second meal is an unusual Autumn Pot Roast that is cooked in a Dutch oven for several hours. You could cook it in the crock pot if you want after browning the meat. The roast makes a delicious “gravy” that will be great with the Mashed Potatoes. For a simple side dish slice up some ripe, red tomatoes and end the meal with an Apple Pear Tart. The crust is made with pecan shortbread cookies! Yum!

Autumn Pot Roast II

1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (4 pound) boneless beef chuck roast
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 tablespoons Butter
1 large onion (sliced thin)
12 whole peppercorns
12 whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon finely grated raw horseradish
1/2 cup bay leaf (crumbled)
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup water

1. Mix together salt and flour, and rub mixture into the meat. In a Dutch oven, cook garlic in butter over medium heat. Place meat into pan, and brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan.
2. Arrange sliced onions in the bottom of the Dutch oven, and then place the meat on top of the onions. Season with peppercorns, allspice, horseradish, and bay leaf. Pour in rum. Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 3 to 4 hours. A good pot roast will supply most of its own juices, but as it cooks pour 1/2 cup water over it to make an ample supply of gravy.
3. Transfer roast to a platter. Stir gravy until smooth, and pour over roast.

Mashed Potatoes

Servings: Makes 8 to 10

4 pounds large boiling potatoes such as Yukon Gold or russet (baking) potatoes
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (cut into tablespoon pieces and softened)
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a 5-quart pot, then simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 18 minutes.
Shortly before potatoes are done, bring milk just to a simmer in a small saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat.
Drain potatoes well in a colander, then return to pot along with hot milk, butter, salt, and pepper and mash with a potato masher until combined well.
Variations: Add 2 cups crumbled goat cheese (8 oz) to potatoes along with butter and milk, and reduce salt to 3/4 teaspoon.
In place of butter, use 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.
In place of milk, use 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup drained bottled horseradish.
In place of 1 cup of milk, use 1 cup sour cream at room temperature.
Add roasted garlic: Roast 2 heads of garlic, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 400°F oven 50 minutes. Squeeze roasted garlic from skins into potatoes along with butter and milk.

Sliced Tomatoes

Apple Pear Tart
Servings: 8

10 pecan shortbread cookies (crushed (1-1/3 cups))
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
1 egg
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
2 medium firm ripe pears, peeled (cored and cut in 12 wedges each)
2 medium apples (cored and cut in 12 wedges each (do not peel))
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl combine crushed shortbread cookies, flour, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Pat mixture into bottom and up sides of 14x5x1-inch rectangular or 10-inch round tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside.
In medium bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add egg and 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping; beat until smooth. Spread mixture in bottom of baked crust. Bake 10 minutes more or until center appears set when pan is shaken. Cool on wire reck. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
In 12-inch skillet cook pears and apples in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender but still holding their shape, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and heat through. Spoon fruit mixture atop tart. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons caramel topping. Makes 8 servings.

We’ve added a bonus recipe this week that can be used as a side dish or as a main dish served with a salad! The quinoa is a great source of protein and is so versatile. If you have not tried it yet, you should. You can use it in muffins, savory dishes, desserts, and much more.

Gingery Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash (halved and seeded)
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion (chopped)
1/2 green bell pepper (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 apple (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger (minced)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place the squash halves, cut-side up into a small baking dish, and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
2. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. When done, stir in the butter until melted, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, green pepper, and celery; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the apple, and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more. Add the garlic and ginger, cook 2 minutes more, then stir in the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes; season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. When the squash is tender, scoop out some of the flesh, leaving the halves 1/2 inch thick. Roughly chop the acorn squash, and combine with the quinoa and apple mixture. Spoon the mixture back into the squash shells, and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven, and bake until the cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 5 minutes.


Baked Slow Cooker Chicken
1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken
ground black pepper
fresh chopped parsley

Eggplant Casserole
dry bread crumbs
shredded cheddar cheese
white pepper
green pepper
canned tomatoes
cream style corn

Okra Cornmeal Fritters
Vidalia or other sweet onion
fresh okra
white cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
vegetable oil for frying

Autumn Pot Roast
all-purpose flour
chuck roast
whole peppercorns
whole allspice berries
raw horseradish
bay leaf

Mashed Potatoes
whole milk
black pepper

Apple Pear Tart
pecan shortbread cookies
all-purpose flour
cream cheese
caramel ice cream topping
lemon juice
caramel ice cream topping

Gingery Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash
acorn squash
extra-virgin olive oil
green bell pepper
fresh ginger
apple cider vinegar
white sugar
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
red pepper flakes
mozzarella cheese

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