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       Volume I - November 29, 2008

Try These Veggie Dishes
by Patty Liston

Parsnips, cabbage and leeks are wonderful foods to consider. Try the recipes below and tell us what you think.

Cream of Parsnip Soup with Potato Crisps and Bacon

3 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock
3 pounds parsnips, peeled and diced
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces raw bacon, chopped
1/2 pound new potatoes, thinly sliced and soaking in cold water
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a 6-quart stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaf and garlic.
Add the stock and parsnips and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the parsnips are very soft, about 1 hour. Remove soup from heat and allow to cool a little. Discard bay leaf.
Using a hand-held blender, carefully puree soup until smooth. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small saute pan, over medium heat, render bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Fry the potatoes in bacon fat until crispy and brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer potatoes to paper towel lined plate when done. Season with salt.
To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with the crispy potatoes, bacon and chives.

  Download this recipe.

Braised Red Cabbage

1 tablespoon butter
1 red cabbage, sliced 1/4 inches thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 sweet apples, quartered and sliced thin
6 allspice berries, lightly crushed, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup molasses or cane syrup (the cane syrup is lighter in color)

Melt butter in a deep saute pan with a cover. Once the butter's melted, and the foam's subsided, add the cabbage and stir to coat.
Add salt and pepper, to taste, red onion, apple, and allspice packet, cover the pan and lower the flame to low-medium, turning once in a while, until the cabbage is soft, but still slightly firm, about 15 minutes.
Remove lid and deglaze with the red wine, bring up flame and cook, uncovered, until the wine is reduced by at least half. Add the red wine vinegar reduce a little, add the molasses or cane syrup and toss to coat. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes, remove allspice packet, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  Download this recipe.

Bacon and Leek Warm Potato Salad
From Rachel Ray

4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
8 slices center cut bacon, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled then thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler, then chopped into bits
2 leeks
1/2 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1/2 cup chicken stock, eyeball it
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, 5 to 6 sprigs, stripped and chopped
Black pepper

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, salt water and cook until just tender 10 minutes.
Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add a liberal drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the bacon. Cook bacon until crisp.
Reserve bacon on paper towel lined plate, removing it from the pan with a slotted spoon. Drain some of the fat, leaving about 3 tablespoons in the pan. Add celery and carrots to the pan. While the vegetables cook, cut leeks lengthwise then into half moon slices 1/2- inch thick. Run the leeks under cold water and separate every layer to release the trapped grit. Drain well. Add leeks to sauteed veggies and cook another 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Deglaze the pan with wine and pick up any pan drippings. Reduce heat to low and add chicken stock and thyme.
Drain potatoes and return to hot pot to cook off water then transfer the potatoes to the skillet with the vegetables and stock. Carefully combine the potatoes and vegetables, add bacon back to the pan then season the warm salad with salt and black pepper, to taste.


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