Sauerkraut and Mushroom Pierogies

pierogies and sour cream
Traditionally, pierogies are served with sour cream.

With a title like that, we bet that a number of people are making yucky faces and saying “Sauerkraut and Mushroom. Ewww! Yuck!”, while others are looking at the title and saying quizzically, “Sauerkraut and Mushroom, really? Hmmm. That might be interesting.” Well, we tried them, so we know what we think, but you’ll have to continue reading to find out.

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Eggplant, Rosemary, and Thyme Galette

Delicious! Just plain delicious!

We look through cookbooks quite a lot. Sometimes, we find recipes that we want to try; other times, we’re just looking for new ideas, or perhaps a new way of cooking up a dish. We can heartily recommend that, if you’re interested in cooking, you should start picking up a cookbook or two from your local library and just browse. You’re sure to come away with at least one or two new ideas.

Today’s post is really about wanting to bake a galette, for no other reason than it looks and sounds tasty. Naturally, we picked up the idea of a galette from a whole variety of cookbooks — everyone has his or her own galette recipe these days, but the flavor combination in the filling is pure scratchin’ central brainpower — after all, we should have one, too.

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Bouchon Bakery’s Pâte Brisée

Perfect crust!

Pie crust. That’s all that’s meant by Pâte Brisée; simple, savory pie crust. We’ve been looking for a pie crust that we can use as our go-to recipe, and, so, periodically, we try something new. In the past, we’ve tried the Vodka Pie Crust offered up by America’s Test Kitchen. It was tasty and flaky, but very, very sticky and difficult to handle. Not a good choice unless you like frustration in the kitchen. While we happen to have a pie crust that we like pretty well, it uses shortening, something that we’re becoming less enamored of, especially the whole hydrogenation thing, so we’re always on the lookout for a crust that avoids shortening.

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A Downside of a CSA

weekly CSA produce share
Those peppers could be hot, or they could be mild. Only time and tasting will tell.

Joining a CSA has a lot of benefits: some of the freshest produce you can get without growing and picking it yourself. But, there are downsides, too. You pay in advance and you never know exactly what or how much you might get. We’re lucky, because our farmer has been involved with the CSA for close on a decade, and he has the experience to know to plant a large variety of crops, knowing that some years a particular crop may fail. That means that almost always we get a pretty good-sized share of each type of produce. But, sometimes we don’t, and this week’s green beans are a good example. We received about 1/2 of a basket of green beans, probably not quite enough for a side dish for two people. It might be a little disappointing, but, after six-plus years of being members, we know that this is part of the risks and rewards of farming.

Overall, we picked up:

  • Big Jim Anaheim peppers (5)
  • Red Potatoes (5)
  • Sweet corn (3 ears)
  • Cucumbers (2)
  • Basil (1 bag)
  • Tomatillos (1 basket) traded for another bag of basil
  • Okra (1 basket)
  • Green beans (1 basket)

Upon returning home, we immediately cooked up a batch of fried okra and had that with a side of red potatoes. Later in the week, we’ll be making Basil-Almond Pesto with those bags of basil, so, if that interests you, keep checking back. We’re still undecided on the rest of the produce.

September 4 update: The basil was indeed used for Basil-Almond Pesto. Cucumbers we had sliced as crunchy sides with meals. We cooked up two ears of corn, along with a few potatoes, in the microwave, the third ear of corn we pan roasted along with the green beans to use as a bed for a batch of porcini risotto. The peppers we broiled to remove the skins, they are still awaiting their fate.

Pickled Jalapeños

adding salt
jar of jalapenos
Spicy hot!

Today’s post is a great example as to why it’s worth it to get into the habit of scratchin’ up your food. One of us just happens to love jalapeños and will eat them pretty much with everything — possibly even cake. Yeah, the other doesn’t quite understand the appeal of having your tongue practically blistered; after all, that’s what pizza fresh out of the oven is for. But, anyway, we don’t really buy the pre-pickled jalapeños at the store unless they’re on a great sale, which is maybe once a year. Today, we stopped in at the local farmers’ market to pick up some fruit to have on hand for the week, and, lo and behold, jalapeños for 50¢ a pound! That’s a great sale for fresh, organic jalapeños!

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Onion rings? No, taralli!

We’ve been interested in these since we first saw the recipe in Salty Snacks, by Cynthia Nims. For some reason the simplicity of the ingredients called to us, along with the idea of using wine for part of the liquid. Hmm. What would that be like, we wondered? So, the other day when we were making up that Corn and Okra Pudding, we wanted a small, snacky bread product to go along with. We saw this and thought now was the time to run this recipe through a thorough scratchin’.

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Corn and Okra Pudding

corn and okra pudding
corn and okra pudding
A Southern treat!

No, it’s not a dessert; instead, it’s more like a small casserole that combines two great vegetables in a thickened cream sauce. Now, if you haven’t heard of such a thing, it might be that you haven’t eaten too many Southern meals. Fortunately, that can change, and, once you try this one, you’ll be looking for more Southern treats to try!

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