Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pork Chops with Rhubarb-Chipotle Sauce

Sorry it has been such a long time. It seems like life is getting busier and busier. Finally, I have time to sit down and post a delicious recipe, mostly since school is over. The season of farmers markets started anew last weekend, as the downtown farmers market began. This is the time for gardens and greens. To honor this season it seemed fit to make a recipe out of one of the greens you can find this time of year, rhubarb. Rhubarb is usually paired with something sweet due to it’s tangy nature, but this recipe does something a little different. This rhubarb-chipotle sauce is sour and slightly spicy and goes perfectly will with Christiansen Family Farm’s sweet pork chops, or any pork chops for that matter.  This recipe puts a twist on this green, which I always think of being combined with strawberries. Try it out! You might find this new rhubarb just as appealing as I did.


4 pork chops (Christiansen Family Farm)

1 onion, chopped
2 tbl. olive oil
4 cups chopped rhubarb 
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
1/3 cup apple juice (Red Barn Cider Mill)
1/2 cup honey (Clifford Family Farm)
1/4 honey vinegar (Slide Ridge Honey)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pork chops in baking dish and bake approximately 20-30 minutes or until still slightly pink.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in large, heavy saucepan. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent. Add the chopped rhubarb and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb just begins to become soft.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb is soft and the sauce takes on a thick consistency. Test for your desired sweet or sour taste and add either more honey or vinegar to your taste.
4. Place sauce on top of pork chops for the last 10 minutes of bake time.

We served this with some sauteed asparagus for a great meal. You can also serve this savory sauce with cheese and crackers or on pork spareribs. I am also going to freeze some and will let you know how that goes later in the year, when there is no rhubarb around except what can be found in the frozen section of your supermarket.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bacon Jam and a new Grilled Cheese with a Twist II

I will say it again, you just can't go wrong with a recipe with bacon in it, especially local bacon! So when this recipe for bacon jam popped up I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  Since our family now includes only two people anytime we cook up bacon we have so much left over that we usually freeze it for later use. Well, this recipe gives us a reason not to do that! Now we can eat this jam on a slice of toast in the morning, make a grilled cheese with it and pear or apple slices an some arugula, throw it in potato leek soup or use it mixed up in some of your cooked squash. We did all of these over the course of a few weeks and liked it no matter what we did with it! I think it would even be great with scrambled eggs.  My mother loves it on toast in the morning, especially a thick slice of crusty Crumb Brothers bread (which she now buys at our local Whole Foods). Make up your own uses for the bacon jam and I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did. Any local bacon is delicious, but Julie Clifford's bacon and Christian Christiansen's bacon are definitely our favorites. We will be having it tonight on grilled cheese sandwiches with asian pears (Utah Farms CSA), Beehive Cheese, and some braising greens! 

Bacon Jam:

1 pound bacon
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic,  crushed and minced
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup honey or cider vinegar (Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar)
1/4 cup honey
2 tbls. brown sugar

1. Cook bacon in large, heavy weight skillet until just beginning to brown. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper-towel lined plate.  Save 1 tablespoonful of bacon grease, drain off the rest and clean out pan with paper towel. Once bacon is cool, break up slices into small pieces.

2. Add one tablespoonful of bacon grease back to pan. Over medium heat, add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until onions are translucent. Add the next 4 ingredients to pan and heat to boiling. Add bacon and turn down heat to low.

3. Simmer on the stovetop for 1-1 & 1/2 hours, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed and remaining liquid is of a syrupy consistency. Turn off heat and let cool in the pan.

4. Add to food processor and pulse 5-10 times until the "jam" is a chunky consistency.

5. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or you can freeze it (which we did) and then defrost and add to any dish you like.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Russian Cabbage Borscht

What do you do with four heads of cabbage that you have been accumulating over the past few weeks from your CSA? Nothing!! That is what we were doing until my Mom complained about the cabbage to some of her friends. We got many suggestions, but not many that I liked, including sauerkraut! My Mom's friends brought her the old Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen and the Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas Cookbook. We had some turnips from our CSA and my Mom had just bought some beets at the new 'Pop-Up' farmers market so she went ahead and made this Borscht. I missed the 'Pop-up' market myself in November but my Mom took some pictures you can see below. She said it was really fun and we are both looking forward to the one in December.

As for the Borscht, surprise, surprise...I actually liked it, although I liked mine without the sour cream since I am not a sour cream lover.

And don't forget to check out the next Winter 'Pop-up' Farmers Market from the Salt Lake Downtown Alliance on December 17th and the Wasatch Front Winter Market at Wheeler Farm the 1st Sunday of every month. I plan to check both out in December.


2 large potatoes, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups beets, thinly sliced (Downtown Market)
8 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2-3 tsp. salt
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (Utah Farms CSA)
1 small head cabbage, chopped (about 6 cups)
2 tsp. caraway seeds
8 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tbl. salt
2 tbls. honey vinegar Slide Ridge Honey
2 tbls. honey
1/2 tsp. dried or fresh dill
sour cream (Winder dairy)

1. Place potatoes, beets and water in large saucepan and heat over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
2. Melt butter in large dutch oven. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add caraway seeds, salt, carrots and cabbage and sauté for additional 3-5 minutes. Add water from the beets and potatoes and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Add the beets, potatoes, honey vinegar, honey and dill.
3. Cover and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Serve topped with sour cream and extra dill weed if desired

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grilled Cheese with Twist

Grilled Cheese with a Twist

Looking for a quick and easy meal, like a grilled cheese, but tired of the same sandwich over and over again, then this is the recipe for you! This new take on a classic is delicious. All you really need to do is choose what kind of cheese you want and you are good to go. Bacon is good on anything, as I am sure you all know, and on this sandwich it is no different. The pears and bacon together with the cheese makes the perfect mix of salty, sweat, and creamy. Apples are also good. Feel free to experiment and try different fruits and cheeses. Of note, check out the Gold Creek Farm website. They are now selling some of their cheeses in local Harmon's store in the Salt Lake Valley. This is perfect for a quick meal and can be entirely local! Please enjoy and keep yourself warm in this chilly weather! 

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Pear

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked (Clifford Farms or Christiansen Farms)
  • 2 pears (or apples), thinly sliced (Utah Farms CSA)
  • Smoked cheddar cheese from Gold Creek Farm or blue cheese from Snowy Mountain Creamery or Barely Buzzed from Beehive Cheese. 
  • Sourdough bread, 8 slices (Crumb Brothers)
  • Butter (Winder Farms)

Make like you would any grilled cheese sandwich but only this one uses fruit and bacon and is great when the weather starts getting a little chilly.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pears in Mulled Red Wine or Port Wine

During the fall season, we tend to get a fair amount of local pears from our CSA.  Years ago my mom remembered this recipe that her friend Kris made with pears poached in Port Wine and then served on a salad but she could not find the recipe. Instead, I found this recipe for canning the pears in red wine. These are pictures of the pears we canned last year and then used in salads over the winter. Our problem is we don't really know how to can that well so we placed these in the refrigerator since my Mom didn't trust our canning skills (she also placed some pickles she made this year in the refrigerator). Maybe, we will get better at canning if we do it a bit more and take a class next year with Wasatch Community Gardens.
Anyway, these pears are really delicious on a fresh salad with some toasted nuts and blue cheese. We add toasted pecans that you can order from Thompson Family Farm and blue cheese from Snowy Mountain creamery. We got some arugula from our CSA this week but the pears we made this year aren't really ready to eat yet. You can use the wine to make the dressing for the salad.  We'll post a picture of the salad with these pears once they are ready.

2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 and 1/2 pounds pears
lemon juice, mixed with water to make 10% solution
small handful of cloves
2 pieces of 2-inch cinnamon stick

1)  Sterilize two 32 ounce canning jars and lids.
2) Make the wine syrup.  Mix sugar in 2 & 1/4 cups water in heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a slow boil and all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add in the wine. Place cover on pan to keep warm.
3)  Peel and slice pears. Place sliced pears in 10% lemon juice solution to keep from browning.
4) Pack the pears into the sterilized jars. Add cloves and one piece of cinnamon stick to each jar.
5) Bring the wine syrup back to a boil and pour over the pears. Leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Process the jars in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Use within one year (if they last that long).

Red Wine and Balsamic Wine Reduction

1/2 cup of the red wine from the pears
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tbls. honey

1) Combine red wine, vinegar and honey in small saucepan.  Cook over low-medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until reduced to a syrup-like consistency.

2) Mix red wine reduction with 1/4 cup of olive oil and serve over fresh green salad with pecans, pears and crumbled blue cheese.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pasta with Broccoli Aioli

Did you know that Gold Creek Cheese is now being sold at select Harmon's Stores in the Salt Lake Valley? Do you like Gold Creek Cheese as much as we do? Then be excited! This new development means a great opportunities to cook all kinds of delicious dishes like this one. This dish uses delicious broccoli and Gold Creek Cheese to make a tasty pasta dish. Local broccoli has become on of my favorite local vegetables to eat. Local broccoli seems to have more flavor and can be slightly sweeter then the broccoli you get from the grocery store. Along with the cheese this dish is amazingly flavorful. Enjoy this dish and Gold Creek Cheese as much as you can!


8 ounces fresh pasta
2 cups broccoli, diced into florets (Utah Farms CSA)
1/4 cup butter (Winder Farms)
2 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
Salt (Redmond Sea Salt)
Red pepper flakes
Grated parmesan cheese (Gold Creek Farms Cheese)

1) Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to whether you are using fresh or dry pasta. Drain pasta but reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
2) Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes but do not brown. Add broccoli florets and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.  Add hot pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, and continue cooking until broccoli is tender. Keeping over low heat, add the drained pasta to the skillet. Add remaining olive oil, butter, parsley and red pepper flakes. Toss until all the butter is melted and pasta is well coated. Serve with generous sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes

We really love risotto at our house. When we visited Italy this past summer, we drove by rice patties in the Emilia-Romagna region where arborio rice is grown. Since no arborio rice is grown locally here in Utah, we have learned to make our risotto with barley, which I also think makes for a healthier dish in general. We get our barley from West Mountain Wheat that is supplied to us via our Utah Farms CSA. You can make this barley risotto from so many different things that we thought we would try it with eggplant, mostly because we had bought a bunch of eggplant at the Farmers Market and did not have time to fry them up to use in Eggplant Parmesan. Since eggplant do not last long uncooked, we needed to cook them fast and this sounded like a good way to do it without having to egg, bread and fry eggplant all night long. Don't get me wrong. I love Eggplant Parmesan and fried eggplant can be frozen to use over the winter but with all my school work, soccer, Girl Scouts and college entrance exams, and all my Mom's work and volunteer activities, frying eggplant just wasn't going to happen and letting the eggplant rot was also not going to happen. 

Once again, one of the only ingredients we ever use that is not local is olive oil! You can substitute
butter for the olive oil but it wouldn't be as healthy so we just go ahead and use olive oil without feeling guilty. Now if only someone could grow olives in Utah! Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and get creative with your own barley risotto recipe.


6 cups diced eggplant
2 cups peeled and diced tomatoes
3 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
5 cups homemade vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (2oz) crumbled feta cheese
grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil, thinly chopped
chopped nuts, optional (walnut, pine or pistachio)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place foil on jelly-roll pan.
2) Toss eggplant, tomatoes, 2 tbls. olive oil and freshly grated pepper in a bowl until vegetables are well coated with oil.
3) Place vegetables in a single layer on prepared jelly-roll pan. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender and tomatoes collapse.
4) Combine broth with water and heat to simmer on the stove top. Keep this warm over low heat.
5) Heat remaining 1 tbl. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan and cook until just beginning to turn translucent. Stir in barley and garlic and cook about one minute; stirring constantly.
6) Add wine. Stirring constantly; cook until wine evaporates.
7) Add one cup warm broth to pan. Stirring constantly until broth is absorbed, then add additional cup of warm broth. Continue this process until barley is tender but firm. You may reach this step before adding all 6 cups of liquid so make sure that nearly all liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup of broth and test the barley with each addition for doneness.
8) Stir in the roasted vegetables.
9) Top with cheese, basil and nuts if desired.