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Green Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin

June 3, 2017

Farmer Steven with Just Natural Farms has green tomatoes in the CSA boxes (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture) this week!  What shall we do with them?  Hmmm… here’s one of our favorite recipes that uses green tomato. It’s from the recipe files of Culinary Center of Kansas City Chef/Instructor Sandy DiGiovanni.  Serve up this colorful, unique dish to friends and family, and ENJOY!

green tomatoGreen Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound bacon or pancetta
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 4 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Render bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet and stir into the bread crumbs. Add the onion rounds to the skillet in batches and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes per side, without breaking the round slices apart, until there is some golden color.

To assemble the gratin, overlap the green tomato slices in one row in a 9- x 11-inch baking dish.  Next, make a row slightly overlapping of the partially cooked onion rounds, being careful to keep the slices intact. Repeat steps until all tomatoes and onions are used. Season tomatoes and onions lightly with salt and heavily with pepper.

Crumble the bacon over the vegetables; sprinkle the grated cheddar over the top, followed by the bread crumbs. Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. If the top is getting too brown, loosely cover with foil. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Focus: One Ingredient, One Recipe or One Technique

June 2, 2017

Join us for this Saturday’s
Saturday FLASH DEMO™ Cooking Class
 

at The Culinary Center of Kansas City
Saturday, June 3,  11 a.m. – Noon

This week’s topic for the power-packed one-hour cooking class
including tastings and recipe is:

Flash Demos: Chicken Marsala
MAMA MIA: IT’S CHICKEN MARSALA!
Despite the fact that this iconic dish is a menu staple at virtually every Italian American restaurant in the United States, it is rarely made at home.  And that’s too bad, because it’s relatively simple to prepare once you learn a couple of techniques.  When done right it is a dreamy and satisfying dish.  Start with chicken breast that is pounded into a cutlet, then pan-seared until golden brown but still tender and juicy.  And then there’s that ridiculously amazing pan-sauce made with Marsala wine and mushrooms.
Stop it already. I’m hungry. 

Register online or walk-in the morning of class > $25/person.

Register Now for theChicken Marsala Flash Demo!~ ~ ~   M O R E   U P C O M I N G   F L A S H   D E M O S  ~ ~ ~

Kung Pao Chicken with Exploding Noodles
Sat, June 10  |  11 a.m. – Noon

Let’s Go On A Blender Bender!
Wed, June 14  |  10 – 11 a.m.

Pasta Primavera Perfecto
Sat, June 17  |  11 a.m. – Noon

Zoodles of Faux Noodles
Wed, June 21  |  10 – 11 a.m.

Matcha: Not’cha Normal Tea
Sat, June 24  |  11 a.m. – Noon

Shrubs & Infused Syrups:
It’s What’s Shakin’ in the Cocktail World!

Sat, July 15  |  11 a.m. – Noon

and more to be announced soon…

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How To Use Your Onion Bulb

May 31, 2017

We had a few phone calls to The Culinary Center of Kansas City after Farmer Steven brought bulb onions in the CSA boxes from Just Natural Farms.  “What do we do with them?!”, some subscribers asked.  Steven reports that while the bulbs are a bit sweeter than a normal green onion, you can use them just like you do green onions in a recipe. 

And here’s another tip: Many people just use the white or reddish bulb end of the onion, but you’re missing out on a lot of great food if you don’t chop up and use the greens also!

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Here’s a recipe we like that calls for green onions – try out your bulbs here!

Traditional Curry Soup with Sweet Potato

BROTH

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 2 kaffir leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai yellow curry paste (or red curry paste)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 2 (13.5 to 14 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk, divided
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 3 red Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced with seeds, for garnish (or 2 red jalapeño chiles)
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish

For the broth, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Add the kaffir leaves and ginger and cook for 1 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste, curry powder, and chili paste. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk (scooped from thick liquid at top of can). Stir for 2 minutes or until thick and fragrant. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil. Keep warm.  (The broth can be made 1 day ahead; refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep chilled.)

Bring water to a boil. Add sweet potato cubes; stir to heat, about 1 minute. Using strainer, remove sweet potato from pot and rinse under cold water to cool. Place in small bowl. (The sweet potatoes can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

To complete/assemble, bring broth to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and stir to heat through, about 1 minute. Divide rice among bowls and add soup. Top with green onions, cilantro, Thai chilies, and a wedge of lime, for garnish.  Serve.  Makes 10 servings.

 

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To Us, New Red Potatoes = Nicoise

May 25, 2017

Farmer Steven with Just Natural Farms has new red potatoes in his CSA boxes (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture) this week.  Because the collective of Just Natural farms are south of the metro area, they tend to have just enough warmer weather that their crops are ripe before many of the KC-area farms. Steven was excited to offer up local new red potatoes before they’re readily available in the area.

Here’s a recipe we think of when we get those first new potatoes of the season… Chopped Nicoise Salad. It’s an elegant-looking salad that makes a colorful spotlight piece for a summer luncheon. In our photo, we added boiled, sliced eggs to the salad, but be creative in using what you have available.

Chopped Nicoise SaladChopped Nicoise Salad

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper taste

DRESSING

  • 4 small red potatoes, washed (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/3 pound green beans, fresh, washed, trimmed
  • 2 ounces light tuna, packed in water, drained
  • ½ cup Greek olives, pitted, chopped (or Spanish)
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

For the dressing, in a small bowl add oil, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until combined.  Set aside.

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket add water and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add potatoes.  Cover and steam for 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a fork.   Add beans and steam both for 6 minutes more.  Transfer the potatoes and beans to a serving dish and place in refrigerator to cool (or plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool more quickly).

In another large bowl, add tuna, olives, red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.  Add cooled potatoes and beans and toss mixture to combine.  Pour prepared dressing over salad and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.  Makes 4 servings.

 

 

 

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Looking For A New Broccoli Recipe?

May 17, 2017

Do you ever feel like you just get in a rut? Especially with cooking vegetables? Once we find a way we’re comfortable with preparing a vegetable, it’s easy to slip into a pattern and not venture out to try others.  This is your week to push the bounds on how you serve broccoli!   Steam-schmeam… try out this deliciously tasty recipe instead when you bring home broccoli from the market this week.  Farmer Steven has broccoli in the CSA boxes from Just Natural Farms this week.

BroccoliToasted Bread with Drowned Broccoli
(Vrocculi Affogat)

  • 3 to 4 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 1 red chile pepper, cut in half (or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper)
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or red wine)
  • 8 (1-inch) slices day-old Italian peasant bread, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for garnish

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the florets and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Mix in garlic, olives, 6 tablespoons parsley, chile pepper, anchovy, and wine. Simmer until tender. Add bread and cook until bread absorbs wine. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese over top, for garnish. Serve very hot.

 

 

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Swedish Dishcloths – Stylish & Eco-Friendly!

May 15, 2017

We’re thrilled to present the latest new items available for sale in The Kitchen Shop at The Culinary Center of Kansas City….  Wet-It! Swedish Treasures dishcloths!

These little beauties are amazingly absorbent kitchen and cleaning cloths that you will LOVE – and you’ll find yourself buying them for others. The patterns are adorable so it’s hard to choose.

The dishcloths are 100% biodegradable, made of 70% cellulose/30% cotton, and they can absorb 16 times their weight.  They’ll last for more than 6 months, and they’re dishwasher safe and machine washable – you can even bleach them, if needed. (Expect some shrinkage if you put them in the dryer.)  Help extend their life even longer by placing the wet cloth in your microwave for 3 minutes now and then. Remember, it will be HOT when it’s done.

Have I mentioned how absolutely CUTE these are?! We have them available for sale on our website. Click here to order online or stop by The Kitchen Shop in Downtown Overland Park, KS.  Take a look online at all the patterns we have…

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So Many Things To Do With Strawberries

May 10, 2017

There are strawberries in the Just Natural Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes along with several other fresh favorites from the farm this week. 

You know a great way to use strawberries?
Make a strawberry pavlova!

Strawberry Pavlova is the topic of our FLASH DEMO™ at The Culinary Center of Kansas City,  this Sat, May 13, 11 a.m. – Noon.

This week’s topic for this power-packed one-hour cooking class including tastings and recipe is:

Strawberry Pavlova
Named in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this particularly dreamy meringue dessert is magnificent and deliciously easy, especially when served with those abundant juicy strawberries and drizzled with an elegant syrup of balsamic vinegar and a dollop of whipped crème.
Strap on your ballet shoes… you’re gonna wanna pirouette after eating this jewel of a dessert!

Register BEFORE Saturday for $25/person!
OR walk in the day of the class for $30/person

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

We’re having fun deciding how to use all of the produce goodies!  I shared a salad recipe last week, but I can’t help myself – I’m going to do it this week also. This Strawberry Spinach Salad is just SO good.  (I promise we’ll shake things up with next week’s CSA recipe and share something other than a salad!)

Strawberry Spinach Salad
with Honey Lime Dressing

DRESSING

  • 1 good-sized lime, freshly juiced and zested
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of salt

SALAD

  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pint ripe strawberries, fresh, rinsed, hulled and halved
  • 2-3 tablespoons red onion, chopped into small slivers
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the dressing, in a bowl add the juice, zest, oil, honey and salt; whisk together and set aside.

In a large salad bowl, toss spinach leaves, strawberry halves, and red onion in a large salad bowl. Set aside.

Place almonds and sugar in a sauté pan and cook over medium-low heat. As sugar melts, stir almond and sugar syrup constantly. The almonds will brown a bit and the sugar will become amber colored, be very careful to not burn the almonds. Turn them out onto a dinner plate in a single layer to cool.

To serve, drizzle with dressing and top with some of the cooked almonds. Serve.

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If you’re interested in more information or subscribing for the Just Natural Farms CSA program, click here.

 

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