Archive | July, 2012

Braised Cabbage, Thyme, and Apples

29 Jul

I’ll admit that I struggle to find ways to prepare cabbage, both green and red. I find my creativity stunted, and have no idea what to do with it. My husband recently harvested three heads of cabbage from our garden, forcing me to come up with something new and interesting. I was recently introduced to this recipe, and love that it can take on a different flavor and color depending on what kind of cabbage or apple you use, and is a nice accompaniment to most dishes (especially pork chops). It also went well with The Farm Table thyme that came in the Garden Box several weeks ago.

I suggest you file this one away for the holidays – you can make it in a deep pink/purple or green.

Braised Cabbage, Thyme, and Apples


  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 onion (preferably yellow), thinly sliced
  • Approximately 3-4 tart apples (I suggest pairing Granny Smith apples with green cabbage, and Pink Lady apples with Red Cabbage).
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 head green or red cabbage, cored, and thinly sliced (crosswise is best)
  • 1/2 cup or more chicken or vegetable broth


  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan.
  • Add the onions, apples, thyme, and bay leaf.
  • Season with salt, and cook until tender and golden (about 5-7 minutes), stirring occasionally
  • Add the cabbage, broth, and season with salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, and cover.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the cabbage is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve right away or cover and keep warm.

Mushroom Risotto & Caesar Salad Dressing

18 Jul

The appearance of mushrooms in The Farm Table garden and chef boxes is always a welcome sight. We love adding them to  homemade pizza, in pasta dishes,  in our breakfast scramble or omelette, and especially in the mushroom risotto recipe below, served alongside a nice salad with Caesar dressing. If you’ve never had good luck with mushrooms, we hope the tips below on cleaning, storing, and preparing them will help you enjoy them even more:

Buying, cleaning, and storage:

Fresh mushrooms should be firm. Avoid limp, wrinkled, or soggy mushrooms, and especially those with dried ends, which indicates that they are old. Tough ends, such as those of shiitake mushrooms, should be removed entirely.

Clean all mushrooms by hand with a cloth or small brush (pastry brush, BBQ sauce brush, or even a paint brush), place in a paper bag and store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Mushrooms contain a great deal of water, so avoid washing them in a bowl of water, otherwise they will soak the water up like a sponge. Rather, let them warm up to room temperature before dicing and cooking them (this reduces the chances of you poaching them when you fry them in oil or butter, a common mistake). Only use water unless the recipe calls for it (such as with dried porcini mushrooms).


In a hot frying pan, place some olive oil (2 tablespoons)

When the oil begins to smoke, place the mushroom slices (1/8-1/4″ in width) into the hot pan, allowing them to sit for about 2 minutes.

If you feel confident about your cooking (and cleaning) skills, shake the cooking mushrooms, and using your wrist, flip the mushrooms over. Stir or flip frequently for about 8-10 minutes.

To extract the real mushroom flavor, they should fry, not poach (if you don’t like mushrooms, it may be that they’ve not been prepared properly).

Once done, remove the mushrooms, or just take the pan off of the heat.

Mushroom Risotto


  • 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced into 1/8″ thick pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice, found at most grocery stores
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (Optional, but not really. The smell and flavor are intoxicating!)
  • 2-3 cups of broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped parsley (as a garnish)


  • In a  pot, heat up the broth, and allow it to simmer on low. While the stock is heating, prepare the mushrooms as directed above.
  • In a  separate pan or pot large enough to hold the risotto, place about 2 Tbs of butter and heat. Place the onions in the hot butter and saute until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Place the rice into the hot butter and onion mix. Stir well for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the wine. Stir and cook the wine off (about 30 seconds).
  • Now you shall begin the process of adding the broth, one ladle-full at a time, over the next 20-30 minutes. You must continue to stir every time you add the stock.
  • After about 20 minutes, the rice will start to begin creamy.
  • Now you are ready to add the sautéed mushrooms. Continue to stir.
  • Taste the rice to see if it is ready. If it is soft, with a little resistance, then it is ready). If it is not, add a little more broth.
  • Stir in the grated cheese. If the risotto seems too dry or difficult to stir, add some additional stock or milk.
  • Sprinkle the parsley over the top, and serve with additional cheese.
  • Knock your guests’ socks off by adding a drizzle of truffle oil over each individual serving. Be sure the oil has warmed up to room temperature.

Excellent served with a Caesar salad made with,

Caesar Dressing:


  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed with the back of a knife
  • 1 Tbs of Dijon mustard
  • 1 can of anchovies (just do it)
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons 
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cups croutons (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grates parmesan cheese
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces


  • Pour the olive oil into a bowl large enough to hold the entire salad.
  • Add the anchovies, and using the tongs of a fork, mash the anchovies into the oil.
  • Now add the mashed garlic and ix the oil and garlic/anchovies together.
  • Swirl in the mustard using your fork, and then add the Worcestershire sauce.
  • Now using your hands, mix the romaine into the dressing covering all of the lettuce.
  • Pour about 2 Tbs of lemon juice on the salad and mix.
  • Finally, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese and mix again.
  • Serve immediately in salad bowls or plates, and sprinkle croutons on top.

Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t share an equally delicious way of preparing and consuming this wonderfully aromatic vegetable with you – You must try C’est Le Vin’s take on Roasted Wild Mushrooms via the E.A.T. Blog.


Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding with Mango & Coconut Topping

11 Jul

We were so excited about The Farm Table’s Mexican-themed Chef Box this week, that we asked Todd Richardson, Executive Chef at The Boathouse to come up with a dessert that could follow the creative Mexican concoctions coming out of your kitchens.

We learned that Richardson is about to embark on a new project: collecting authentic Mexican recipes and techniques in Texas and Mexico, to bring back to RVA, which he will share in a soon-to-be upscale Mexican restaurant, Casa del Barco, slated to open on Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, November 1st).

We can hardly wait.

Until then, you can make this delicious dessert at home.

Go ahead, get the rice ready.

Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding with Mango & Coconut Topping

2 cups long grain rice
4 cups water

Cook rice until done and then chill in the frig.

2 pints heavy cream
1/2 wheel of Abuelita hot chocolate 
6 each egg yolks (Farm Table fresh, of course)

You can get the ingredients for this recipe at most grocery stores, but we suggest you head down to your nearest Latin market instead.

1 Abuelita tablet, heated in 4 cups of milk, makes a comforting and tasty hot chocolate.


Bring the cream to a boil and melt the chocolate in to the hot cream.
Pour this mixture over the egg yolks and whisk to temper the eggs.
Pour mix over the rice and mix well.
Bake @ 350 for 20 min .

Serve with fresh mango and toasted coconut.

Toast coconut for no more than 2 minutes on a cookie sheet in an oven at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on it – it is easy to burn.

You can reserve the egg whites to add to your breakfast burrito the following morning, served with the tomatillo salsa you made with the recipe located in your newsletter.  

Incidentally enough, we are hosting a Salsa-making contest on Saturday, July 21 from 3:00-7:00 pm at Robious Landing Park, Picnic Shelter # 3 (James River Road, Richmond, VA 23113). We will choose our favorite salsas and award prizes to the winners. We’re right next to the playground, so bring the whole family!