What to do with tomatillos – Veggie Chili Verde

tomatillos

I really enjoy figuring out what to do with all of the veggies we get in our CSA every week. With the exception of a some wilted bok choy (I just can’t get myself to like it no matter how hard I try) I have used pretty much everything before it became over-ripe. We do have a smaller sized shared than average, but I am proud just the same. This recipe has become a family favorite and it can use up a lot of veggies when you have one of those weeks where cooking just doesn’t happen. It is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s Vegetarian Chili Verde recipe, which is amazing, but I made it a bit easier for myself and just use what I have on hand.

You Need:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
One large potato, diced (about 1/3″ squares)
One large beet or sweet potato, diced (about 1/3″ squares)
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 large tomatillos husked, rinsed, chopped
2 large sweet peppers, chooped
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 14.5 ounce cans of Cannellini beans or hominy, with their juices
1 cup vegetable broth
1-2 hot peppers of your choosing, chopped

Garnishes. We like cilantro, low-fat greek yogurt, grated pepper-jack cheese, avacado. Sometimes I even find the energy to make cornbread.

Serves: 4-6

Veggies In Bowl

Wash, and chop all the veggies, except for the hot pepper. I like to chop them into one big bowl. As a rule I try to chop everything to about the same size. Don’t bother peeling the potatoes or the beets/sweet potato. If you do use beets just keep in mind that your chili will be pink when it is done. I think it is rather pretty actually.

Heat up the oil on medium heat. Add the chopped veggies and cover, stirring often. Let the vegetables sweat for about 8 minutes until the onions are translucent.

pot1

In the meantime, gather the dry ingredients. I generally only put a pinch of salt in at this point because I find it difficult to judge how salty the veggie broth will be. Salt can always be added near the end.

Spices

When the onions are translucent, add the flour, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the vegetables and stir.

beans

Add the two cans of beans along with their juices. I like using Cannellini beans because I almost always have them on hand, but you could use any bean. I really liked the hominy in there, but hominy is sometimes hard to find in my area.

Add veggie broth. Stir.

hot pepper

Carefully chop the hot pepper(s) (use gloves or don’t touch your eyes for, like, the rest of the day). I use whatever I get from the farm. It really depends on your personal taste how much and what kind of pepper you put in there. If you wanted to be safe, one Jalepeno is fine.

pot2

Reduce the heat so that you have a good simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom.

Uncover and simmer for 20 more minutes, stirring frequently to prevent a gunky bottom.

Add more salt if that is to your taste. Serve immediately with garnishes.

I made a huge double batch of this once I realized how good it was and froze a bunch for later in the winter. I imagine it will be pretty tasty.

yum
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Spicy Pickled Radishes

radishes
Radishes.

I got one bunch from our CSA and used a few in some salads over the week. Quite yummy for sure, but I still had 4 or so large radishes left a week later when I got another bunch, and they were getting a bit spongy at that. I trusted that The Internets would know what to do, and man did it deliver. Turns out it is not a secret that the best thing on earth to do with a radish is to pickle it (perhaps tied with eating it with butter and fleur de sel somewhere in the south of France, but I am not getting there anytime soon).

There is no shortage of recipes and tutorials out there for how to pickle your own radishes. However, I was making a big old batch for our annual fourth of July celebration and had made a few adjustments to the recipes I’d found and I figured I’d try my hand at writing a recipe post, complete with lovingly captured shots of the process (with deep gratitude to the amazing women who have inspired me to get reacquainted with my camera, Amy and Stacy). Furthermore, everyone who has eaten them is now addicted and wants the recipe, so this seems like a good way to share it.

Now is a good time to mention that you need not stop at radishes. If I ever had to eat a shoe I would pickle it because it would be at least marginally appetizing. In the case of my 4th of July batch I added a bunch of Salad Turnips (also from the CSA) and when I had one jar that wasn’t quite full I added a chopped up fennel bulb too.

Fennel
The recipe below is for 1 “normal sized” bunch of radishes but it can be easily doubled, tripled, whatever.

Okay, first you should have on hand the following things:
1 bunch of radishes of any type
1 cup of white or cider vinegar (once I did half of each and it was good)
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons of sea salt (if using kosher or regular salt use a bit more)
2 teaspoons of coconut palm sugar (you can definitely use some other sweetener like white sugar or honey but I really love how this comes out)
1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Fresno pepper (Jalapeno works just fine too)

Jar
You’ll also need:
-A mason or canning jar. I actually used old spaghetti sauce jars washed out very well and sterilized in the dishwasher. They are a weird in-between size.
-A Canning funnel (or something to help you get boiling liquid into the jar safely)
-A bit of plastic wrap or parchment paper (or plastic jar lids)

Washed

Chopped
1) Chop off the radish greens (use here if so inclined) and scrub the radishes. Chop the radishes into halves or quarters so they are of pleasing pickle size.
*note: this is a good time to gauge how many jars of veggies you actually have. Generally 1 bunch of radishes = 1 jar but could be more or less.

Peppers
2) Slice your chili pepper in half. You can leave the seeds in or take them out if you want a little less heat.

Spices
3) Stuff your chili pepper, garlic, and radishes into the jar and add the peppercorns.

pot
4) In a small pot add the vinegar, water, sea salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Let bubble for a few minutes until the salt and sugar dissolve.

Waiting
5) Using a canning funnel, pour the hot liquid over your future pickles, covering them completely, and filling the jar with about half an inch to spare.

6) Cover with a small bit of plastic wrap and then screw the lid on tight. The plastic wrap helps keep the vinegar from corroding the metal lid. You can also buy plastic lids for this purpose. I learned this from my dear friend, Latisha.
*note: before you put the ring on the lid you can add a label if you want to be a little fancy. I used a free downloadable .pdf from Jenny Lee Fowler that I learned about in my subscription to Taproot Magazine to create my labels. So pretty!

Labels
7) Set out to cool to room temperature, then move them to the fridge.

Let the pickles be for at least 24 hours, but then they are ready to eat! I have heard they will last a month in the refrigerator but I wouldn’t know. In this house they are gone within a couple of days.

Enjoy!
Pickles
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