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How to Clean Mushrooms

Today, I have beautiful shiitake mushrooms to clean. The enemy of mushrooms is excess moisture because they are porous and are natural sponges. They will soak up any extra moisture they come into contact with.

If you wash them in the sink with running water, all that water is being soaked up by the mushrooms. You will end up with soggy shrooms and they will not caramelize and crisp when you cook them.

How to Clean Mushrooms:

The mushrooms we have in the Marketplace are very clean already. All you need to do is take a damp towel and wipe away any dirt particles you see. If the bottoms have dirt you can’t get off, just chop off that bit. Try this method and see how quickly your mushrooms brown.

Another quick tip: don’t crowd the mushrooms! Leave the mushrooms to brown in a large pan, so all surface area touches the cooking surface.

3/2/21 What Grows Together Podcast

3/2/21 What Grows Together, Goes Together What Grows Together, Goes Together

Chef Diana Smedley, of Lancaster Local Provisions, talks with Johnny Roberts about this week's curated Market Box ingredients, vegetable history, and recipes. 

Spring Garlic & Blue Cheese Butter

The perfect finish for grilled steaks, savory pancakes or just as a spread on a chunk of rustic bread. One taste and you’ll want to make up a couple of jars to have around all the time.

What you need:

  • 1 spring garlic
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, at room temp
  • 3 tbsp blue cheese

Finely dice the spring garlic, you can use the green part as well. Add a pinch of salt and try to  make  a paste like  you would with a garlic clove. Add the butter and cheese and work together until well mixed.

Serve on toasted bread or finish a piece of beef with the butter.

Pickled Red Onions

Here’s another one of Chef Diana’s Pantry Perks. Red onions have a higher sugar content than a yellow or white onion. That means they can handle a bit of acid that won’t over power. Making these is so easy, and you’ll have an instant pick me up  for any dish!

What you need:

  • 2 red onions
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 clean jars with lids
  • Optional spices: whole peppercorn, sliced garlic clove, bay leaf

Note: These are refrigerated pickles, they are not shelf stable and must be stored in the fridge.

Slice the onions as thin as you can. Meanwhile, heat the rest of the ingredients on the stove until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool. 

Fill your jars with the red onion and then pour the pickling liquid over to cover. Let everything cool, then close with lid. 

The onions will be pickled and ready to eat when they turn bright pink. That may take an hour or a day, depending on how thin you’ve sliced them. Serve them on a salad, burger, grain bowl, and anything in between!

Savory Beet Green & Ricotta Pancakes

This is a great way to enjoy a new green that you might be wary of cooking. I’m using a combo of beet greens and kale, you can really do any combo of kale, chard, collards, or beet tops. I like making 2-3 inch little pancakes…they feel more like a party. (You can also half the recipe if you want to use only 1 bunch.)

Watch Chef Diana cook these savory pancakes!

What you need:

  • 2 bunches of greens, trimmed from stems (about 8-10 cups)
  • A pinch of harissa or paprika
  • 1 cup organic flour
  • 1 tsp salt & dash of pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated lanchengo or parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp oil plus more for pan

Wash the greens and place in a large pot still wet. Cover and cook on high until the greens are wilted and tender, but not totally cooked. When done, put in a colander and let drain.

Meanwhile make the batter. Combine your dry ingredients in one bowl and whisk your wet ingredients in a larger bowl. Squeeze any remaining water out of the greens and then chop finely. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and then gently stir in the greens.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat and cook pancakes. Pour the amount of batter you want for the size cakes you would like. It’s a very thick pancake batter, so it will not ooze out like pancake batter. Cook on each side about 3-5 minutes until golden.

Serve warm topped with yogurt, pickled beets or onions, or a flavored butter. (We are serving it with the Spring Garlic Butter.)

Spring Potato Salad with Spring Garlic & Kale

I’m soooo excited that Spring is almost here…we’re already starting to see signs of it like spring garlic in the market! In this recipe I’m pairing it with kale to add flavor and crunch to my take on a deli classic. I prefer vinaigrette dressings to mayonnaise to keep my salads lighter.

What you need:

  • 1 pound small potatoes, Yukon Gold or Eva
  • 1/2 pound sunchokes
  • 2 – 3 spring garlic stalks
  • half a bunch kale, with stems removed
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped sweet and spicy pickle, or your favorite
  • 2 tbsp mustard, grainy is preferred
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 410° F.

I don’t peel the potato for this recipe, it’s full of nutrients and texture. Sunchokes also do not need to be peeled. (You can substitute the sunchokes for more potatoes.) Place potatoes and sunchokes in a large pot and cover with cold water with about 1 inch of water above all the spuds. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Toss kale leaves in a little bit of oil and massage gently then tear into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Cut tip with roots off spring garlic. Finely dice the rest of it. Whisk with the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and rest of oil. Add in pickles and potatoes. Toss to coat. Fold the kale into the salad.

This dish is best prepared the same day you plan to eat it. Store at room temp until ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Biscuits are a great accompaniment to any meal and are actually easier to make than you think! I love the savory, faintly sweet flavor you get by using cooked sweet potato in this recipe.

What you need:

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Add apple cider to milk and let sit 5 minutes until slightly curdled. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the sweet potato into the milk mixture. Using your fingers, rub and pinch the butter into the flour until you get little pieces and the mixture looks like little peas. Then add the milk/sweet potato mixture to the flour mixture, stir until it just comes together. With your hands, knead the dough in the bowl about 8-10 times. 

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle around 12x 9 inches in size, give or take. Look at your rectangle with the longest sides on the top and bottom. Eyeball what the dough would look like in thirds. Fold the right third over the center third, then fold the left third onto the center as well. (This is how to make a flaky biscuit!) Rotate your dough 90 degrees so the longest sides are on the top and bottom. Roll out until the  dough is about ¾ inch thick. 

Using a sharp knife, cut out 12 square biscuits. Cut in a downward motion to keep the layers we’ve just created intact. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and cooked.

Serve warm with butter, spreads or the spring garlic & blue cheese butter.

Mom’s Apple Cake

This is a SUPER easy cake to make. You do not need to know how to bake to make this delicious creation. It’s light, has very little sugar and is one layer.

What you need:

  • 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Autumn Harvest Blend, or cinnamon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 cups very ripe apples
  • Butter & flour to coat baking pan
  • Mixer – hand held or standing
  • 9 inch round cake pan

Preheat oven to 350° F

Grease the baking pan with butter and a light dusting of flour. This will help to keep the cake from sticking to the pan.

Beat the eggs and sugar until foamy with a hand mixer or a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Add all remaining ingredients, except the apples, and mix until combined. With a spoon, mix in the apples until they are incorporated. 

Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 1 hour. If you’d like a crunchier top texture, sprinkle a bit sugar on top before baking. The cake is done when you pierce with a knife and it comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.