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All posts for the month July, 2017

Hen House CSA Week 3: Returning to our German Roots

This week’s CSA saw an almost too-colorful-for-words bounty of produce (as you can see) and an ingredient that made me probably just a little too excited: kielbasa. I like kielbasa. Like a lot.

Amongst the realm of sausages, kielbasa edges out bratwurst and sweet Italian as my favorite.

In fact, if it were me, I definitely would have just grilled up the kielbasa, threw them on the egg buns, added a little pepper relish and mustard and gone to town.

My wife, on the other hand, offered to make German food. So…we ate German food.

Kielbasa, cabbage, and spaetzle

 

Now, if you’re not sure what spaetzle is, it’s a German noodle (is probably the best way to describe it), but it’s got a more a dumpling-like consistency. They have a flavor kind of like a biscuit, but their small size means they cook quickly and, when you fry them in butter, get very firm on the outside and a pleasant, nutty flavor.

You will need:

Kielbasa and cabbage

  • 4 kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cabbage, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Spaetzle

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup milk
  1. First, start the kielbasa and onion cooking by tossing the sausage, onion, and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  2. When the kielbasa is done cooking, add the cabbage and another pinch of salt. This will happen at some point while we are making the spaetzle.
  3. Now, make the spaetzle by mixing the dry ingredients together in one bowl and beating the eggs in a second bowl.
  4. Alternate pouring a little milk and a little egg into the dry ingredient bowl, mixing the entire time.
  5. Continue until the milk and eggs are gone.
  6. Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  7. Use a spaetzle press or push the dough through a cheese grater with large holes to make the spaetzle. Add to the water.
  8. Repeat until all the dough is in the pot.
  9. Cook for 3 minutes or until the noodles are floating on the water.
  10. Once the spaetzle is done, drain and let sit until the cabbage is done cooking.
  11. When the cabbage is done, add the spaetzle to your skillet and make a hole in the center.
  12. Add the butter and let it melt, then stir so that the butter coats as much of the spaetzle as possible.
  13. Cook for another 2-4 minutes or until the spaetzle is slightly firm, give it a good stir to mix with the cabbage mixture.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

Oh, and as before, Hen House has supplied me with the produce from the CSA, therefore, this qualifies as a sponsored post.

Why Have Veggies When You can Have Gravy?

Well, week 2 is in the books and as you can see, Hen House has provided an amazing array of produce again! The Napa cabbage was crisp and perfect, the radishes red and firm, and the tomatoes were rich and juicy.

So naturally we decided to make biscuits and gravy.

I had thought about taking the Napa cabbage and sausage to make some American spring rolls. Use the tomatoes and egg buns for a little panzanella, and marinate the radishes to make pickles.

My wife wanted biscuits and gravy. So, we ate biscuits and gravy.

So, without further ado!

Hen House Biscuits and Gravy

You will need:

  • 1 pound Hen House sausage
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1/4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Baking spray
  • 2 pop cans of Grands biscuits*
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to the temperature indicated by the Grands pop can.
  2. Put the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown until all trace of pink is gone.
  3. Once the sausage is ready, check to see how much grease is left in the pan. If there is at least a tablespoon of grease, you can omit the vegetable oil.
  4. If there is less than a tablespoon, add the olive oil and let it get hot.
  5. Add the flour to the grease and stir to make a paste.
  6. Add the milk and whisk until your flour paste is well-incorporated.
  7. Reduce heat to medium.
  8. At some point during the gravy cooking process, the oven will be preheated. When that happens, liberally cover a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the biscuits on the baking sheet and bake according to package directions.
  9. Simmer the gravy until the biscuits are done, check for salt and pepper and serve.

* Yeah, I get it. Grands aren’t fancy, but it’s also hard to beat when you’re putting together a quick dinner, either.

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

If meat isn’t your thing, you can replace the sausage in the recipe above with Morningstar Farms faux sausage (which you can buy at Hen House) and an extra tablespoon of vegetable oil.

You will first chop and then brown the Morningstar Farms sausage in the vegetable oil and then proceed with step 2 as normal.

Oh, and as before, Hen House has supplied me with the produce from the CSA, therefore, this qualifies as a sponsored post.