From The Vine

The Season Finale….Week 20 CSA Recipes

This week I have included a couple of my all time favorite recipes in the newsletter. They aren’t particularly healthy, but they are delicious! (I have offered some suggestions on how to transform a couple of the recipes to be healthier, but have not tried the suggestions myself.)

Bob’s Chicken and Corn Bisque

2 lbs. cooked chicken, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tbls Tony Cachere’s Creole seasoning
1 1/2 tbls Old Bay seasoning
1 qt whipping cream
3 cans chicken broth
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn

In a 6 qt. pot, melt butter. Sauté onions, peppers, and celery until soft and onions turn clear. Add flour, stirring until it turns slightly brown and thickens a little. Add chicken broth slowly, stirring as you add to pot. Add whipping cream, creamed corn, whole corn and spices. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Add cooked chicken and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

(To make this a little more healthy, you may be able to cut down in the amount of butter. I would not cut back any more than half. Also, I am not a big fan of canned vegetables. For the whole corn I use corn that I have frozen during the summer. You can use fresh corn to make creamed corn but I have not tried it yet. I will include a recipe just in case you want to try it. Of course I love to use homemade chicken stock. If I don’t have that available I use organic chicken stock.)

This bisque freezes well. Double the recipe, freeze extra and enjoy on a cold winter night.

Creamed Corn

3 cups fresh corn kernels (divided)
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Place 2 cups corn, milk, cornstarch and salt in a blender; blend until smooth. Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan, and add the remaining 1 cup corn. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture simmers and thickens and the corn is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

My neighbor gave me this recipe years ago. She said her mom always served it to company. With the canned soup and onion soup mix, I just could not picture myself serving it to company but I tried it for my family! Well it is our favorite go to roast recipe by far! It isn’t a healthy recipe but it is good and makes an awesome “gravy” to pour over mashed potatoes!

Yummy Pot Roast

Roast, chuck
1can cream of mushroom soup
1 package dry Lipton Onion soup mix
Corn starch

Put the roast in a crock pot. Pour mushroom soup over the roast. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast. Add 1/2 can of water. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Take roast out of the crockpot, place on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Put 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch into a small bowl. Add water, a little at a time stirring until there are no lumps and it is the consistency of milk. Pour into the crock pot and stir to thicken the gravy.

Serve roast with mashed potatoes. Pour gravy over both.

To make this a little more healthy you could make your own cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix. Recipes for both follow.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 lb fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 tablespoon dry sherry (if desired)
freshly ground pepper

1 Slice enough mushrooms to measure 1 cup. Chop remaining mushrooms.
2 In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook sliced and chopped mushrooms in butter about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown. Sprinkle with flour and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
3 Gradually stir in whipping cream and broth; heat until hot. Stir in sherry. Sprinkle with pepper.

*****Do not add water to the roast if using this soup recipe.

Dry Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cups dehydrated onions
1/2 cup beef bouillon powder
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and seal in ziplock bag or jar. Use as you would boxed onion soup mix.

My favorite way to cook turnip and beets is below. Both are so simple!


Wash, peel, slice turnips. Put in pan and cover with water. Salt and pepper. Cook on medium beat until turnips are tender and water has evaporated almost all the way. About half way through cooking, add a tablespoon or two of bacon grease. Yes, bacon grease! No true southern kitchen is complete without a jar in the fridge.

I love turnips with grilled pork chops.

Roasted Beets

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets, cut off greens, half or quarter depending on the size of the beet. Do not peel. Make sure all the pieces are approximately the same size.

Toss in olive oil. Salt and pepper. Put beets on a cookie sheet. Cover tightly with foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until beets are tender. Remove from oven, uncover and let cool a few minutes. Pull the peel off each piece. Salt and pepper a little more if necessary.

This risotto recipe would make a filling main dish. Serve with a salad and crusty bread.

Butternut Squash Risotto

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded (and grated (about 4 cups))
1 large clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan

1. Warm the broth in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute. Add the squash and garlic and cook until the squash begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
3. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally and waiting until it is absorbed before adding more. It should take about 30 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Spoon into individual bowls.

Cabbage For Those Who Dislike Cabbage Recipe

2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 cups shredded green cabbage (about 1 normal-sized head)
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1. In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat; add cabbage, garlic and brown sugar to pan.
2. Sauté until the cabbage is limp, about 5 minutes or so.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in vinegar.
4. Cook, stirring very often, for approximately 20 minutes; taste and if cabbage is too crunchy for you, continue to cook for a few more minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Sweet Potato Fries

4 medium sweet potatoes (peeled (if desired))
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Snipped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil.
Cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick strips. Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Turn potatoes over and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Brussels Sprouts With Brown Butter and Sage

2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts (40 to 50 sprouts) (trimmed and halved)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped sage leaves (6 to 8 leaves)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, add the sprouts to boiling salted water and cook until bright green and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
2. In a 12-inch skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until nutty brown in color, being careful not to burn it. Add the sage, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sprouts, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat in the butter and cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sausage and Apple Kebabs With Smashed Potatoes and Peas

1 ½ pounds medium potatoes (about 4)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
⅔ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
18 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage links or kielbasa
2 apples
¼ cup maple syrup
8 small wooden skewers

1. Soak the skewers in water for 15 minutes. Heat oven to 400° F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment.
2. Peel and quarter the potatoes and place them in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Add the peas and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Drain the potatoes and peas and return them to the pot. Add the milk, butter, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and gently mash.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, cut the sausage on the diagonal into 1-inch chunks. Core and cut the apples into chunks.
4. Alternately thread the sausage and apple chunks onto the skewers and place on the baking sheet.
5. Brush the skewers with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and roast for 10 minutes. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and continue to roast until the apples are tender but still hold their shape, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve with the smashed potatoes and peas.

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