Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

New Year’s Day provided us with a freebie day off in the middle of the week.  Besides random household chores, I decided that the best use of this time would be to cook a few dishes that we planned to eat in the coming week so that we buy ourselves time in the evenings for the next few days by having dinner already prepared.  The bigger benefit being that these dishes are ones that get better with time- the kind that soak up dressings, and age with grace.  A soup, some roasted vegetables, a dressed rice dish….

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 medium carrots, quartered and sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 1 3-inch piece daikon, halved and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small purple-top turnip, peeled, halved, and cut into thin half-circles
  • 1 cup thinly cut cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower (or other mild) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon barley miso (we found a great 3-year dark handcrafted right in Conway, MA by South River.  Organic too!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  • Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot, add the rice and return it to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through, about 50 minutes
  • Meanwhile, bring a large fry pan up to a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and all of the sesame oil, then toss in the carrots, celery, leek, daikon and turnip and get a nice brown on them.  If they begin to get too dark, turn down the heat and cook them until they’re al dente
  • When the veggies are cooked, add in the cabbage.  It’s cut nice and thin so it should soften up quickly
  • While that’s cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, remaining tablespoon of sunflower oil, ginger, miso and crushed red pepper until blended
  • When the rice is cooked, add it to the pan with the vegetables (or, if you’re out of space in the pan you can do this in a large serving or mixing bowl) and pour in the dressing, stirring to incorporate all ingredients
Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Pork and Kimchi Sliders

While perusing through my pile of recent magazine recipes I came across one from Food and Wine for “Crunchy Pork Kimchi Burgers” and I thought well, this sounds weird, but oddly good at the same time.  Then I went to the Northampton Tuesday Market  and there was a vendor sampling fresh kimchi which was nothing like the shelf-stable stuff that I had eaten in the past- a little less crunchy, a little less bitter, more sweet, and simply lovely.  Just a hop-skip-and jump up from her stand was Mockingbird Farm who had ground pork for sale and I just knew that I had to give this recipe a try.   I grabbed some baby spinach from Enterprise Farm and now had the makings for this lovely sounding dish, locally sourced.  Since I was on a roll, and they looked fantastic, I grabbed some white turnips too (from Old Friends Farm)- I figured they’d be great for roasting.

Since I’ve eaten primarily grain-free since the beginning of this year, I adjusted the recipe to omit the flour and panko and obviously had a different end product than what was advertized in the magazine.  I really loved the dish the way that I made it and will definitely make it again this same way.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 large garlic clove, pressed

2 scallions, chopped

1 lb. ground pork

3/4 cup finely chopped kimchi (I ran it through the food processor rather than hand-chopping)

Sprinkle of Kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for frying

10 oz. baby spinach

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions

  • In a bowl combine the ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with the salt

ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with salt

  • Form the mixture into eight small patties, about half an  inch thick (to get these all a uniform size, I used a number 2 scoop)

Add the patties and fry over moderate heat...

  • In a large skillet (cast iron if you’ve got it), heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add the patties and fry over moderate heat, turning once only, until you have a beautiful crisp on each side and there is no more pink visible from the outside(you want them to be cooked through)
  • Set aside to drain on paper towels and let the juices finish distributing
  • Pour off all of the vegetable oil from the skillet and add some toasted sesame oil and the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-high heat until wilted (about 1 minute)

baby spinach wilting in toasted sesame oil

  • In a small dish, mix the mayonnaise, sesame oil and soy sauce
  • Pile the spinach on plates and top with the sliders, drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy

Pork and Kimchi Sliders over wilted sesame spinach with roasted white turnips

I will admit to eating two left-over patties the next day, straight out of the fridge.  A different experience, but good still.  The sauce is a bit salty, so be sure not to over-do it.

J

Honey-Soy-Glazed Root Vegetables

If you’ve never eaten a cooked radish then you’re missing out.  If you’ve only ever had them raw and disliked radishes and written them off, again, you’re missing out.  When a peppery & crunchy radish is cooked its flavor and texture transform into something wonderful.  Something buttery.  Something smooth.  Something yummy.  Radishes are roastable, steamable, fryable, but I would start here where they’re incorporated with other flavors so that if, for some reason, you don’t care for them- you still have other tasty vegetables to eat.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound medium turnips, cut into 3/4-inch wedges

1 pound medium radishes, quartered

½ medium sweet potato, quartered & sliced

1 large carrot, sliced

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 pound Swiss chard, bottoms of stems discarded and leaves chopped

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons water

Salt

6 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps quartered

1/2 pound rice crackers, pulverized

Pulverizing rice crackers. Need I say more?

Directions

  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the turnips and radishes, sweet potatoes and carrots and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until lightly browned and crisp-tender, 10 minutes
  • Add the honey and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the vegetables are glazed.
  • Add the soy sauce and cook until syrupy
  • Add the lemon juice and the Swiss chard; cook until the chard is wilted. Raise the heat to high and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated; keep warm.

Chopped Swiss chard & quartered shitake

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the molasses with the water and season with salt. Add the shiitake and toss to coat.
  • Drain the mushrooms, squeezing out most of the excess liquid.
  • In a separate bowl, toss the mushrooms with the rice cracker crumbs to create a crunchy coating

Shitake coated in rice crackers

  • In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat, until golden and crisp

Crisping the shitake

  • Transfer to paper towels to blot off oil. Top the vegetables with the mushrooms and serve

We had our glazed root vegetables with some Asian pork tenderloin.  They would side well to almost any meat though, or could be eaten alone or over rice as a vegetarian dish.

Glazed root vegetables with pork tenderloin

J

Recipe adapted from an article in Food & Wine, recipe by David Chang