This past week we started planting in the greenhouses. One day Elena and Alexis, Pam's granddaughters, helped. Read about it on our blog at http://prairiehollow.com/blog1/2014/02/07/playing-in-the-dirt/
Alexis planting radishes
Elena planting radishes
Alexis and Elena enjoying being able to run!
We finally got the snow drifts we needed around the greenhouses!
January 5 - Honey Ginger Carnival Squash
Another easy and fun way to prepare squash. Cut carnival squash in half. Scoop out seeds. Slice squash into strips 1/4 - 1/2" thick. Melt butter over low heat. Add squash slices. Cover pan and turn down heat to low. Allow squash to steam under their own moisture 10 - 15min until tender. Mix 2 Tbsp honey and 1 tsp ginger. Brush over squash and serve.
November 5 - How to Make a Perfect Stir Fry.
The perfect stir fry is all about balance. Balance in the ingredients and balance in how you cook.
To acheive balance with the veggies you need to have equal amounts of sweet, bitter and neutral. For sweet you can use onions, carrots, sweet red or yellow peppers, apples, winter squash, etc. Bitters include asparagus, pea pods, spinach, kale, the leaves of beet greens, chard or choi, etc. Neutrals include all the items that add neither a sweet or bitter flavor and are all about color or texture. Examples are pac choi ribs, the ribs of swiss chard, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, potatoes, etc. You can also use wild rice as a neutral.
Balance also needed to be maintained in the length of cooking time for each vegetable. The most dense vegetable need the most cooking, so you'll want to arrange your veggies in order of density. You will also want to cut the denser vegetables to maximize surface area.
Saturday morning I used carrots, onion, and red peppers for the sweet, pac choi, swiss chard ribs as neutrals and the leaves as the bitter. Since I was light, volume-wise, on neutrals, I also used previously cooked wild rice.
Since the cooking demo was at the market, I used electric frying pan with the temperature set at 350 degrees. When the pan was hot, I added two tablespoons peanut oil. While the oil was heating, I peeled 3 carrots, cut them in half and then sliced them diagonally. Keep in mind that the more surface area in relation to the overall size of the piece will result in quicker cooking. As soon as I was done cutting, I transfered the carrots to the pan and stirred to coat with oil. Since the carrots were the most dense vegetable I was using, they went into the pan first. Then I chopped the onion and added it to the pan, stirring once again. Then I stripped the leaf from the pac choi and swiss chard ribs. The ribs were also cut thinly and added to the pan. Next I slivered the pepper and added that also. At this point the carrot had been cooking about 7 minutes, and was just starting to get tender. Tthis was my cue to quickly chop the swiss chard and pac choi leaves and add them to the other veggies. With leaves, you want to just stir and fry until the leaves are wilted, no more. Both flavor and texture become objectionable with over-cooking. I stirred the leaves about 30 seconds and then dumped in the rice and stirred everything together. Ready to eat in less than 15 minutes from start to finsh.
Note on wild rice. I like to make a big batch and then freeze portion size amounts so it is ready for quick and easy meals. The easiest way to prepare is put rice in a pan. Whatever your rice amount, add twice that amount of water and a little salt. Bring to a boil, cover and turn off heat. In 30 minutes, the rice will be ready. One of my buddies, Larry Gates, hand-harvested the absolute best wild rice. You can order it from us.
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