Monday, July 30, 2012

Beet Greens

I really love beets.  I love the taste of them, I love the look of them, I *love* growing them, I love thinning them!  So it is all the more unfortunate that I only learned about beet greens a few years ago; to think of all the delicious greens I just....discarded. (gasp!)

Next time you pull up some beets from your garden-don't throw those leaves away!  Utilize those flavonoids and vitamins for your own benefit: Try this recipe instead...and be forever converted.

**For an extra treat, I will occasionally add crumbled bacon pieces to the top before serving...but only when I want to impress.

You'll need:

  • 1 pound beet greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/6 cup of cider vinegar
  •  1 or 2 strips of  bacon, chopped** (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)

** If you choose to impress with bacon, brown it now. Pat it dry and set aside.

Keep the hot grease or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat in your large skillet.

Add chopped onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in minced garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.

Cut the leaves and stems an inch or two from the neck of the beet. Wash and pat dry your beet greens, and if you want to chop them, do so-I usually don't) and then add them to the skillet by gently tossing them in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar.

** Top greens with bacon pieces just before serving.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Saucy Spareribs

Spare ribs are a very special treat in this house but since we had our home-grown hogs butchered, we happen to have them in the freezer.  So on a middle-of-the-week, hotter than heck summer day, and nobody present except our very own selves, we decided to have a feast.  

These spare ribs were delicious.  The sauce was divine.  Try them next time you want a middle-of-the-week feast.  That's all.

6 lb. pork spare ribs
1 t. salt
3 T cooking oil
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. ketchup
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1/3 c. vinegar
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. spicy mustard

Place ribs and salt in a kettle with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until almost tender.

Drain well.  Set aside (in fridge if it won't be for a while)

Meanwhile, heat oil in 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat and sauce onion and garlic in it about five minutes or until tender.  Add remaining ingredients, mixing well.  Cook until mixture comes to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. 

To Grill:

Grill ribs over medium heat, turning and basting often with sauce, for about 30 minutes or until ribs are well glazed.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) Syrup

I have four children.  That is eight extra hands to help pick huckleberries with me every July that I can make good use of.  Of course, it can take some doing to make those small hands actually kerplunk them into buckets instead of mouths- but the promise of this blueberry sauce and pancakes for supper usually does the trick.

The above photo required making a (THIRD!) batch of pancakes after supper and scrape the bottom of the syrup pan just to get this picture.  You BARELY got a picture.  So, is edible.

Here is the recipe, which I doubled for my family of six (and will likely triple in the future.) 

1 c berries
1 T. butter
1/2 c. water
1/3 c, sugar (or honey)
1 t. cornstarch

Mix cornstarch and water and then all other ingredients to a saucepan and boil until berries have popped.  Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened.  

Super simple.  Super delicious.