A Country Road Map for Spring Tonic Potage
4 c shredded chicken
1. Four cups of shredded chicken - use one chicken or four breasts. Rinse and place chicken in a stockpot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Add carrots, onions (and/or other fresh vegetables that are available) and chopped fresh herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered for about 45 minutes. The juice of the chicken should run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove the chicken and strain the broth. When cooled, remove chicken and take the meat off the bone. Shred the chicken.
2. Add broth, shredded chicken, bay leaves, salt and pepper together back to the stockpot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding filtered water when needed.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a head of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil with a tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap and place in oven to roast - about 40 minutes. Chop 2 carrots and 1 onion and toss with olive oil on a baking sheet. Place inside the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.
4. Peel the roasted garlic and add to soup, leaving each clove whole and soft. Add roasted vegetables to the soap.
5. If desired add a small pasta, stirring for another 10 minutes. Cooked dried beans or canned beans can also be added at this point. Add a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary and a handful of chopped parsley. Salt and pepper.
6. Before serving, chop spinach and/or available greens and add to the pot.
Roben Mounger, Columbia, Tn
Baked Bean Salad
1 lb of any dried bean
garlic to taste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2/3-cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
After soaking beans overnight for many years, I have found another method that I believe to be a tastier preparation called The Parsons Method:
*Put 1 pound of beans in a cast iron Dutch oven with 6 cups of water and 1-teaspoon salt.
*Use any seasoning you wish, onion, garlic, meat etc.
*Bring to boil on top of the stove and then cover and pop into a 350-degree oven until the beans are done.
*This can take from 1 hour to 2 hours, garbanzos or scarlet runners are the exception – they do need to be soaked before cooking.
Now that you’ve prepared those beans, be sure to prep everything that is available from your last CSA delivery for a delicious main event salad. Many things such as carrots, fresh herbs, peppers, onions, and salad greens can, of course be eaten raw. A few items such as beets or potatoes must be roasted prior to addition. Simple vinaigrette is the crowning jewel of the bean salad and should be applied and mixed with the other ingredients when the beans are
still warm. This dish will never fail you. I swear, so help me God.
Bean and Vegetable Dressing
Pound the garlic and salt into a paste and combine the mustard and vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil slowly and taste for seasoning.
Roben Mounger, Columbia, TN
Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Thighs
Main Ingredients: soft goat cheese, raisins
, dry breadcrumbs, fresh chives, fresh oregano, black pepper, olive oil, mixed dried Italian herbs, salt, chicken thighs
Chevre (Goat Cheese) Stuffed
4 ounces soft goat cheese
1/3 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon mixed dried Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 chicken thighs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, raisins, breadcrumbs, chives, oregano and pepper.
In another small bowl, combine the oil, Italian herbs and salt.
Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan.
Lift the skin of each thigh and place one-eighth of the cheese mixture under the skin. Brush the skin with the oil mixture.
Roast for 30 minutes or more until the juices run clear.
Roben Mounger, Columbia, TN
No Sauce Vegetable Pizza
Main Ingredients: herbs
, red onion, green or red pepper, black olives, mushrooms
, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, jalapeno pepper
, banana pepper
1 package of Dry yeast
4 cups of flour unbleached wheat, whole wheat or rice (for those who can’t tolerate wheat)
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
Fresh herbs basil, oregano, parsley approximately 1 ounce total
1 small squash & zucchini, sliced; you can use 1 large of either if no small sizes are available.
½ red or green pepper, chopped
¼ red onion, chopped
1 cup black olives, chopped or sliced
½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
2-3 cups of Italian shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, provolone) available in 2-4 cup bags at the supermarket
1 jalapeño or hot banana pepper, chopped, if desired
This is a real summertime pizza it should be made with fresh home grown or farmers market veggies. It’s tasty, quick, easy and healthy; a great way to get the kids to eat vegetables. (I know I used it when my son was growing up.) As always try to use organic ingredients whenever possible.
Pizza dough can be purchased at Whole Foods if one is nearby just go to where they sell fresh pizzas and ask for the dough they have white & whole wheat. Other pizza crust options can be found at any local health food store or supermarket in the form of frozen or prepackaged crust some are even gluten free! For those of you who feel really ambitious here is a simple pizza dough recipe. Again ingredients can be found locally.
Dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup of warm water (do not take from tap). Add the flour and olive oil, 1 cup warm water and the salt; kneed for 10 minutes. Put in an oiled bowl and cover, when the dough has doubled in bulk approximately 2 hours punch it down and divide in two. Let rest 5 minutes roll out the dough with a rolling pin and stretch with your fists until you have two 12 inch circles. Place on pizza pan, stone or cookie sheet perforate with fork.
Preheat oven to 400-425 degrees
Once you get the hang of making this type of pizza you can vary the veggies according to your taste. Cut the veggies on a cutting board slicing them small and thin enough to bake evenly. Here is my standard recipe for a 12 to 16 inch pizza:
* Fresh herbs basil, oregano, parsley approximately 1 ounce total
* 1 small squash & zucchini, sliced; you can use 1 large of either if no small sizes are available.
* ½ red or green pepper, chopped
* ¼ red onion, chopped
* 1 cup black olives, chopped or sliced
* ½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
* 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
* 2-3 cups of Italian shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, provolone) available in 2-4 cup bags at the supermarket
* 1 jalapeño or hot banana pepper, chopped, if desired
After rolling out the crust place the fresh herbs on the crust before adding anything else.
Here is a pizza secret I learned from a pizza parlor at the Jersey shore even if you’re making a traditional sauce pizza; always put the cheese on first!
Next add the squash, peppers and onions
At this point I always sprinkle a bit more cheese just a delicate covering.
Next add the mushrooms and olives
Again sprinkle a bit more cheese.
Add the hot peppers than carefully place the tomato slices in a circle making smaller circles until you reach the center. If you still have some fresh herbs left sprinkle on top.
Place in the oven on the middle rack at the above temperature and bake until cheese bubbles and the crust is slightly too medium brown. This usually is an indication the crust is completely baked. About 20-25 minutes What does it taste like-more!
Dennis Nanni, Tullahoma, TN
The Hestia Platter
Sliced Tomatoes: Salt, Pepper and add Chopped Herbs or Green Onions
Debra Huchel Billups as told to Roben Mounger:
My deviled egg recipe changes according to what I have in the fridge. For example: coarsely chopped parsley, capers and green onions with tops. Mash egg yolks, garlic salt and pepper, mayonnaise to taste. Add to taste - chopped herbs and stuff the eggs.
I blanch and chill the green beans the day before however I marinate them a couple of hours before serving. The vinaigrette is equal amounts of extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. I do splurge on a pricier olive oil for salad dressings. Coarsely ground Dijon mustard to taste. Taste and add more olive oil if too tart. Garlic salt and pepper to taste.
Display stuffed eggs, tomatoes and green beans on beautiful platter and serve.
Debra Huchel Billups, Jackson, MS