Monday, June 23, 2014
I happened upon this cookbook after my husband turned me on to a show called The Farm. Ian Knauer is the host of the show, and author of this cookbook. When I say he truly understands the term ‘farm to table’ he really does.
Once upon a time, he worked at Gourmet testing recipes, but also worked on his family farm that has been in the family for generations. I love that he created recipes for venison as my husband is a hunter (something I haven’t admitted on this blog for fear of the backlash of people who don’t quite understand there is a difference between hunting and killing animals – to answer the next question: I don’t hunt, but did grow up fishing as I live along Long Island Sound), but bought the book because I just loved his show. When I got the book I was surprised at some of the recipes like Pasta with Shredded Collard Greens or Venison Loin with Apple-Shallot Hash, both different than I’ve ever had, or thought to put together, and ended up loving.
As I went through the book, I stopped looking up recipes to use certain ingredients, but began reading it as a book because he added wonderful stories of how a recipe came to be. Granted, I’d probably wouldn’t make Groundhog Cacciatore, but I do understand the frustration he felt watching one groundhog destroy a vegetable garden. I referred to my garden eating groundhog as my arch nemesis (http://littlemsblogger.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-arch-nemesis-is-back-and-has-joined.html), but he also gives chicken or rabbit as great substitutes (apparently, groundhog taste like rabbit). Don’t like venison, well, use lamb instead. The point is…. he wrote a cookbook using all parts of the farm which appeals to my foodie side.
I realized both my husband and I really liked his recipes and the charming stories made me want to try more. It’s like an attractive person who you think is a 7 out of 10, but add in a really great personality and it can push that person up to a 9 or 10 on the scale. The stories did that for me. It made want to try more. Lately, I’ve been a slacker in the kitchen, but have tried Grilled Filet Mignon with Summer Herb Sauce and a Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Tomato Vinaigrette (which I have leftovers and will be adding quinoa, feta cheese, black olives and possibly black beans for a couple of lunches this week).
I don’t know how many recipes there are, but I’ve earmarked an additional 20 to try out in the near future.
Here’s the first recipe I tried:
Pasta with Shredded Collard Greens
4 slices bacon, chopped (I used 8 because we love bacon)
½ c walnut pieces (did you know walnuts are good for lowering blood pressure?)
1 large bunch of collard greens (about 1 lb)
3 T of extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ c finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus more for the table)
1 T of apple cider vinegar
8 oz of elbow macaroni (I didn’t use, but used a similar type pasta for this dish)
1. Cook the bacon and walnuts in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, turning, until the bacon is crisp and the walnuts are golden (Note: I believe I sautéed a finely chopped shallot with the bacon and walnuts until it softened up) about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and let cool, then crumble the bacon. Do not clean the skillet.
2. Stack and roll up the collards tightly, like a cigar, then slice them as thinly as possible so they resemble Easter grass (chiffonade?)
3. Add the oil to the skillet, along with the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the collard greens and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning with tongs, until the collards are wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Parmesan and vinegar to the collards, along with the bacon, walnuts (and sautéed shallots), then season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water until is al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta-cooking water, drain the pasta, and toss it with the collards, along with the reserved cooking water. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve the pasta with additional Parmesan.
*Note – all my comments and/or additions are italicized
Ian Knauer has a website: http://www. ianknauer.com You should definitely check him out.