Dear Eaters,

Happy March! In the Goosefoot kitchen we’re rather vegetable-centered; maybe you’ve caught on. And never more than when easing our way into spring, then summer. Seasonal transition times, such as now, are inherently ripe for creativity and possibility. I love this time of year when the flavors and textures subtly begin to change. A lightness shows up in the recipes, and this meal plan ever-so-gently reflects that. That said, March and April are the most challenging months in the upper Midwest in terms of sourcing local foods, but I’m undeterred knowing we’ll still eat well and with imagination.

--Kristin

 INGREDIENT OVERLAP: fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, and on), nuts, tortillas


Recipes & Market Lists

Meal Plan for March 1-7, 2018

 
Fish Fillets Poached w/ Tomatoes, Swiss Chard, & Ginger
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Inspired Scrambled Eggs, Any Time
Seasonal Vegetable Tagine
Upside-Down Fruit Skillet Tart

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Fish Fillets Poached w/ Tomatoes, Swiss Chard, & Ginger

Serves 4

 
 

Poaching is one of my favorite ways to prepare and eat fish. And honestly, this is one of my favorite fish dishes of all time. Delicate, flavorful, clean. I like the simplicity and ease of this recipe too; supper can come together quite quickly here. If you do opt for a bed of basmati rice or roasted potatoes, or prefer a green salad, make sure to have those ready ahead of making this speedy recipe. So healthy and satisfying this supper!

Some Slicing

Slice off the central stems from 1 bunch of Swiss chard, and set a few stems aside. Chop the leaves, add them to a colander and rinse under cool water. Rinse the reserved stems and slice them thinly crossways. Peel, halve, and thinly slice 1 yellow onion. Peel 1 large thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, slice lengthwise into coins, stack them and slice thin matchsticks. Put a large, wide skillet over medium-low heat, and when warm, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Toss in your chard stems, onion, and ginger. Partially cover with a lid, allowing this mix to soften while you tend to the other ingredients; in a moment though, add a sprinkle of kosher or sea salt, and toss.

Fish Ready

Rinse 1 ½ pounds skinless fish fillets (such as salmon, steelhead trout, or cod) under cool water, and divide into four equal portions. Remove any bones if necessary. Sprinkle kosher or sea salt and black pepper over both sides of the fish fillets, then set them aside to rest on the countertop.

Quick Sauce

Once the vegetables have softened, add 1 X 15 oz can chopped tomatoes, stir and gently simmer. After a few minutes, add 1 X 15 oz can coconut milk, and another good pinch of kosher or sea salt and black pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Add your chard leaves and stir them in. Then lay the fish fillets in a single layer over the top of the sauce, then gently tuck or press them in to the top layer of your sauce as well as you can. Continue to spoon some of the sauce over the top of to moisten the fish. Cover your skillet and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the fish fillets have cooked through; the time will depend on how thick your fillets are.

CHEF NOTE: It is easy to overcook fish given the qualities of its meat. Best to slightly undercook your fish, knowing it will continue to cook (and finish) with residual heat. There are a few ways to judge doneness, such as looking for the entire fillet to become just opaque in color, and for flakiness in the meat. Another way to test its status is to touch the fillet with the tip of your finger; it should be similar firmness as the tip of your nose when it is done cooking.

Once the fillets have just finished, remove them gently to a plate, and allow the sauce to simmer for another minute or so. Taste your sauce to see if it needs any further salt or even a pinch of red wine vinegar to perk it up. To serve: lift a piece of fish with some of the greens and place on a plate. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish and garnish with some chopped cilantro and/or some extra matchstick slices of fresh ginger.

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • Serve this as is, or perhaps with a green salad. Or, serve the fillets and sauce on a bed of basmati rice or roasted potatoes.
  • I have made this dish vegetarian by substituting tofu for the fish. Either fresh firm tofu, sliced thickly. Pan-fried tofu slices will poach well too.

MARKET LIST

1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 yellow onion
1 large thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
Extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ pounds skinless fish fillets (such as salmon, steelhead trout, or cod)
Kosher or sea salt
1 X 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 X 15 oz can coconut milk (preferably organic, unsweetened)
Fresh cilantro
Refer to Notes and Variations

 


Cream of Mushroom Soup

Serves 3-4

 
 

As we move into the month of March our dishes begin to change, however subtly. Mushroom soup feels like a transitional soup for me—a bit lighter and cleaner. This is a basic recipe, rather straightforward and unfussy. Don’t discriminate on which mushrooms to use, any and all are welcome, even those that are a bit past their prime. Look at my notes and variations for adapting the recipe to certain preferences, and please savor this one slowly, slowly.

Starting with an Onion

Chop 1 large yellow onion or leek (white parts only) and 2-4 garlic cloves, and set aside. Put a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-low heat, and when warm add 2-3 tablespoons of butter or extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the chopped onion (or leek) and garlic; then add a bushy sprig of fresh thyme, a good pinch of kosher or sea salt, and a splash of water. Cover the pot, and allow that to stew.

Preparing Mushrooms

Meanwhile, rinse 1- 1 ½ pounds of mushrooms in a colander under cool water, and drain. Remove the mushroom stems (and reserve them for a later stock, if you like), and chop the mushroom caps. Add the mushroom caps to your pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow that to cook for about 5 minutes.

Turn your heat down a bit and stir 1 tablespoon of flour (or arrowroot) into the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add a good pinch of kosher or sea salt and black pepper. Stir in 3 cups of stock (mushroom, vegetable, or light chicken) and bring to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes.

CHEF NOTE: When blending hot food, such as soup, be mindful. When using a stand blender in this case, you should blend in batches; fill your blender only half way each time. Remove the cap or stopper from the lid of the blender. Place the lid on the blender and cover the hole with a thick folded tea towel, holding it in place with your hand. This is how you will blend your soup; this action allows some steam to escape from the blender, preventing a soup explosion.

 

Puree

Time to blend your soup, but you may want to give it a few minutes off the heat to cool a bit first. Puree the soup in a blender (in batched if necessary), then add it back to your pot. Stir in 1 cup of whole milk or cream (and/or further stock), and taste for salt and pepper. If you feel the soup needs a bit of a flavor lift, you can give it a splash of sherry and/or soy sauce or tamari.

Because of this soup’s drab color, I usually add some minced herbs upon serving such as parsley, thyme, chives, or tarragon.

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • Make this dairy free by omitting the milk/cream and simply adding in more stock to thin out.
  • If you’re keen to freeze all or some of this soup, hold off on adding the milk/cream and simply freeze the mushroom puree. Reconstitute by adding the milk/cream while heating up to serve.
  • To give this thin soup some more body, stir in 1 cup of premade rice (white, brown, or wild) to the soup puree on the stovetop.

MARKET LIST

1 large yellow onion (or leek)
2-4 garlic cloves
Butter or extra virgin olive oil
Fresh thyme, plus parsley, chive, or tarragon (optional)
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
Flour, or arrowroot (1 tablespoon)
3 cups of stock (mushroom, vegetable, or light chicken)
1 cup of whole milk or cream (and/or further stock)
Refer to Notes and Variations


Inspired Scrambled Eggs, Any Time

Serves any number

 
 

When I was in culinary school many years ago I couldn’t believe my eyes when I watched the instruction on scrambled eggs. I don’t make them this way at all now, just usually a quick pushing and shoving of eggs in the pan, along with accoutrements, but it is always good (or at least intriguing) to know the traditional and proper method. Try it and see what you think; I’ve included plenty of variations below to entice you. And if you have kids, consider assigning them as the house egg-makers; this is such a great, foundational skill that they can carry with them.

Master Recipe: Scrambled Eggs

In a large bowl add the number of eggs you wish to scramble, a sprinkling of kosher or sea salt and black pepper, and a splash of cream, milk, or water (optional), and beat for 1 minute until they are combined and frothy. In a heavy saucepan (yep, a saucepan), melt 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter per egg over low heat, and pour your eggs into the pan. Cook very gently and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. As the eggs on the bottom of the pan begin to cook a bit more quickly, scrape them back-and-forth with the wooden spoon so that they mix with any uncooked egg on top. Continue to scrape back-and-forth as your eggs begin to cook on all sides of the pan. When the eggs are creamy, but slightly looser than you may like, remove the pan from the heat. Keep stirring until they have thickened further (ultimately looking like creamy curds), and serve straight away. 

CHEF NOTE: Oh man, I’m so conflicted about food labels, since they are at once incredibly important and also infuriatingly confusing, especially when it comes to store-bought eggs. I think a lot (maybe too much) about this subject, and regularly research the status of labels. With eggs, the most reliable terms are “organic”, and “pastured” or “free range”, and within those parameters consider those most local.

Scrambled Eggs w/ Feta, Scallion, and Mint: Add some crumbled feta (preferably Israeli) to the eggs as they finish cooking, along with some chopped/sliced scallions, and dust with some minced mint or parsley. Some chopped fresh tomato added with the herb would be a fine fit.

Scrambled Eggs w/ Spinach and Nutmeg: Add some sautéed spinach and a pinch of nutmeg to the eggs as they finish cooking. Consider serving this combination with warmed chickpeas.

Scrambled Eggs w/ Smoked Salmon (or Bacon) and Parsley: Add a few tablespoons of cooked, diced bacon or shredded/diced smoked salmon to the eggs right before they have finished cooking, and then dust some minced parsley on top.

Scrambled Eggs w/ Chili, Onion, and Tomato: Add a bit of chopped, sautéed onion and chili (such as serrano or jalapeno) to the eggs at the end of cooking, and then top with some chopped fresh tomato. Serve with warm tortillas.

Scrambled Eggs w/ Vegetables: Add a few tablespoons of chopped, sautéed vegetables, such as mushroom, asparagus, zucchini or eggplant to the eggs as they cook, along with some minced garlic if you like.

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • Please do serve your scrambled eggs with crusty bread or toast, or warm tortillas (when fitting) and/or a side of roasted potatoes.

MARKET LIST

Eggs (look at chef note on choosing sustainable eggs)
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
Milk or cream (optional)
Unsalted Butter
Refer to Notes and Variations, and consider adaptations within recipe


Seasonal Vegetable Tagine

Serves 4

 
 

The tagine is a fascinating and delicious dish, a sort of dynamic Moroccan stew. Tagine is the term for the dish itself and for the vessel it traditionally cooks in; of course these days it is usually made in a skillet or large pot.  Usually tagines marry meat (usually lamb) with vegetables or fruit, and are deeply aromatic. In this recipe seasonal vegetables are the beating heart of the dish, along with the traditional mix of spices, chickpeas, and other embellishments. Serve this with crusty bread or over a bed of couscous. Be playful here, using what seasonal vegetables you have at the ready.

First Layer

Chop 1 yellow onion, 1 celery stalk, and 1 carrot, and set aside in a bowl. Put a large, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Once warm, add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and your chopped vegetables. Partially cover the pot and allow the mix to soften and lightly brown. In a small bowl add: 1-2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon ground ginger. Add the contents of that bowl into your pot, along with a good pinch of kosher or sea salt and black pepper. Allow that to cook gently while you move on to the next step.

Smelling Good

Ready 1 ½ cups stock (light chicken or vegetable, preferably homemade). Consider a variety of vegetables that will be at the heart of your tagine; you’ll need about 3 cups of chopped vegetables. In cooler months consider peeled potato, sweet potato, winter squash, and root vegetables. In warmer months consider new potato, summer squash, green beans, asparagus, fennel, peas, and artichoke. The cooler month vegetables will need a bit longer cooking than the warmer month vegetables, since the latter are more delicate and fast-cooking; we’ll get to that in a minute.

Add your stock to the pot and bring to a strong simmer. Add in your 3 cups of vegetables and another good pinch of kosher or sea salt and black pepper. Partially cover your skillet or saucepan, allowing your tagine to simmer until the vegetables just soften. Remember, since winter vegetables are heartier, they will need about 15-20 minutes, and summertime vegetables will need about 5-10 minutes to just get tender.

Once your vegetables are just tender, stir in about 1 ½ cups chickpeas (homemade or from 1 X 15 oz can) and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Look below for ideas on added ingredients and ways to embellish.

NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • Dried fruit is a common ingredient in tagines, and you can choose to add in a handful of dried fruit along with the winter vegetables; consider raisins, currants, apricots, or moist dates or pitted prunes. It’s a gamble adding the dried fruit to the warmer month vegetables, but if you’re keen to try, by all means do so.
  • Once the tagine has finished, you can add a few embellishments such as: chopped cilantro, parsley and/or mint, lemon zest or preserved lemon, 1-2 teaspoons of honey (that is traditional), and/or sliced almonds or sesame seeds (toasted preferably). 
  • Consider a condiment or sauce such as chermoula (in the archives) or harissa, if you want to give this dish even more character.
  • Tagines are traditionally served with bread or couscous.

MARKET LIST

1 yellow onion
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
Extra virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves
Tomato paste
Ground cumin
Smoked paprika
Ground cinnamon
Ground ginger
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
1 ½ cups stock (light chicken or vegetable, preferably homemade)
3 cups chopped vegetables (refer to recipe)
1 ½ cups chickpeas (homemade or from 1 X 15 oz can)
Refer to Notes and Variations, especially for additions and embellishments


Upside-Down Fruit Skillet Tart

Serves 8

 
 

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless, of all places. I’ve been making this seasonally versatile dessert for years, using just about every kind of fruit. I adore that it is simply made in a skillet on the stovetop, and then slipped into the oven; it really is an easy affair this one. There is real scope for the imagination here, using various fruits and different style batters. Plus, it’s always fun (and also a bit nerve-wrecking) flipping over a dish, just praying it dislodges into a piece of art.

Brown Butter

Preheat your oven to 375°F, and position a rack in the middle. Ready 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, ½ cup packed dark brown sugar, and 3 cups of fruit (chopped into ½-inch cubes, or thickly sliced) such as pineapple, apple, pear, nectarine, plum, mango, banana, or any berries. Melt the butter in a large 10-inch oven-proof skillet that preferably nonstick, over medium heat. (Ceramic, aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron are all hot-oven safe, but plastic, silicone, Teflon and enamel are not; check all parts of your pan for these elements.) Cook until the butter begins to turn golden-brown, turn off the heat, then pour it into a medium-large bowl. Without cleaning the skillet, distribute the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Then, distribute your fruit over the brown sugar in an even layer, and let rest while your prepare your batter.

 Batter

In an empty large bowl whisk together: ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup whole wheat flour (or additional all-purpose flour), ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder. Stir in ¾ cup white sugar to the browned butter, then whisk in 1 large egg and ¾ cup plain, whole-milk yogurt (or buttermilk) to the sugar and butter mix.

Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour in your wet ingredients, and stir to just combine.

Nearly There

Spread your batter evenly over the fruit in the skillet, making sure to stretch it all the way to the edges. Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top. Remove carefully, using a pot holder, and rest on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Invert a plate (that is at least the size of the tart) over the skillet, and then holding both the skillet and plate firmly between your hands, invert the two in one quick upside-down motion. Gently remove the skillet, which should be easily done, and the tart is ready to eat.

 NOTES & VARIATIONS

  • Truly a seasonal dessert, use what fruits you have around in this versatile tart.
  • Occasionally the skillet doesn’t easily separate itself after I’ve inverted it and some fruit remains stuck to the pan. Simply press that fruit back into the top of the tart upon serving.
  • We highly recommend serving this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

MARKET LIST

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Dark brown sugar
3 cups fruit (such as pineapple, apple, pear, nectarine, plum, mango, banana, or any          berries)
All-purpose flour (3/4 cup)
Whole wheat flour (or further all-purpose flour)—3/4 cup
Kosher salt
Baking soda
Baking powder
White sugar (3/4 cup)
1 large egg
¾ cup plain, whole-milk yogurt (or buttermilk)


What’s On Hand Already?

Consider using any extra ingredients from your fridge, pantry, or garden

 

 

 Which Recipes Are You Shopping For?

Maybe you’re only shopping for 1-2 of the above recipes, or doubling or dividing one

 

 Notes

Use this area to make one, comprehensive market list that reflects your shopping trip, if you like