Friday, December 31, 2010

Daikon Radish

This vegetable causes many people to ask, "What IS that?" It looks like a white carrot, but it is not a carrot at all. It's a daikon radish, great for salads, stir fries, and roasting with other veges. And a 3 oz portion has less than 20 calories! You can even cook and eat the greens! Fiberlicious! If you are into organic gardening then plant some daikon radishes alongside your cucumbers and squash to repel beetles from attacking these vegetables, alongside tomatoes to repel mites.

Scalloped Daikon and Ham (from December 2010 issue of Experience Life, page 32)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups of cream
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large daikon, sliced
12 oz. ham
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 and butter a baking dish.

In a saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in arrowroot as a thickener (optional). Cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Return to heat and simmer while stirring. When thickened (if using arrowroot) remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Spread a third of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and top with half of the sliced daikon. Layer with half of the onion, half of the ham, and half of the cheese. Add another third of your sauce and repeat layers. Top with the last of the cream sauce.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 25-30 more minutes, or until daikon is tender. Serve with a salad to complete meal.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Day

The traditional meal for New Year's Day is black-eye peas, greens, and ham. Supposedly the peas bring good luck, the greens bring wealth and prosperity, and the ham represents moving forward (because hogs root forward). Other fun sayings about New Year's Day:
"Don't do laundry on New Year's Day because that will bring bad luck."
"Don't sweep the floors because you will be sweeping someone out of your life."
"Place a penny on your kitchen windowsill for good luck."
"If you eat beef on New Year's Day you will have a tough year."

Superstitious? If so, here's my Mama's recipe for collard greens to wish you and yours a prosperous 2011!

First, cook a cured hamhock and fat back until tender. While meat is cooking, wash collards thoroughly. Remove meat from the pot. Add collards to the broth. Cook until tender (about 30-40 min). Remove collards from pot and drain. Sprinkle a little salt and sugar, and chop collards. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cozy Fires

If you haven't stocked up on firewood, now's the time to visit the Market and load up the truck. Nothing beats a warm, cozy fire on a cold winter night. Hope you are able to enjoy such comfort during the Christmas season!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe for Turnips and Greens

Pictured here are turnip roots and curly mustard greens, a staple to any Southern meal. How to cook 'em? Let me tell 'ya how. You will need -

2 lbs fresh turnip greens
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 cups water
3 medium turnips, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash greens thoroughly; drain. Tear into bite-size pieces. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven until browned. Drain bacon, and set aside; reserve drippings in Dutch oven. Add greens and water. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. While the greens are simmering peel and dice turnip roots. Then stir roots, sugar, and salt into Dutch oven. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes until roots are tender yet still firm. Spoon into serving dish. Chop bacon and sprinkle over top.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Berries

Strawberries in December? Can it be true? Are they really grown in NC? The answer is yes, yes, and YES! Berries from Lewis Farms in Rocky Point. Pictures courtesy of Jason Cox.