Kohlrabi & Turnip Salad

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Kohlrabi & Turnip Salad

I get really excited about salads that don't include leafy green things. Leafy greens have their place in the spectrum of things that are wonderful about salad, but they are not everything. So often we get stuck thinking a salad starts with lettuce. This salad can also double as a cole slaw, or kohl slaw, if you are looking for an alternative that doesn't involve mayo. Either way it would be great with barbecue or anything off the grill.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized kohlrabi with greens
  • 4-5 medium turnips
  • 1 medium red beet
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 Doux South sweet pepper relish
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

There are a couple of different ways to prep the vegetables for this salad. My favorite by a mile is the Benriner Japanese Mandolin. It's cheap and easy to use, though it can be a little scary. Those blades are sharp and I would always recommend using the provided tool to grip the food and protect your fingers. You could use a knife, a julienne peeler, or a grater (either box or food processor) to achieve similar results with more work.

  1. Wash and peel the vegetables (peeling is optional for the kohlrabi and turnips, it depends on where they fall on the tender to tough spectrum). We will use the kohlrabi greens for this recipe, save the turnip and beet greens for something else, they are delicious.
  2. Julienne the vegetables, being careful of your fingertips.
  3. Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes to draw out some of the excess moisture. This is a crucial step in any slaw recipe you could make, it will prevent your slaw from being too drippy and wet.
  4. Remove the stems from the kohlrabi greens. Stack the greens together and roll them up like you're rolling a cigar. Slice thinly across the roll to shred the greens. Add them to the julienned vegetables and toss toss toss.
  5. Make the dressing by combining the red pepper relish, oil, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl.
  6. After 30-45 minutes drain off the liquid that has come out of the vegetables, squeeze them a bit to get everything out.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything together. Taste and add more salt or more vinegar depending on how salty and sour you like things to be.

This would be great with anything fried or grilled. We ate it with some pan-fried smoked milkfish. Enjoy!
-Matt

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Black Eyed Peas and Braised Kale

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Black Eyed Peas and Braised Kale

This was my all-day Sunday project. It doesn't have to take all day, but it can, and it will taste better if you let it. Most of the time it's just cooking slow and low on the stove while you do other things. And you can tell people you spent the whole day cooking if you know the kind of person who is impressed by that.

 
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Ingredients

serves 6-8 people

  • 1 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped small
  • 2 carrots, small dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks of celery, small dice
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 pound smoked meat (pork hocks or turkey necks or turkey legs or other)
  • 1 quart of water or stock (stock will add more flavor but don't go to the store if you don't already have some, I didn't and it was still delicious)
  • 3 cups black eyed peas, fresh or frozen (you can use dried, you'll just have to add them sooner and cook them a lot longer)
  • some fresh herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (yeah I know) will enhance this if you have them handy, it's fine without so don't feel like you have to go out of your way, you can add a little bit towards the end.
  • some kosher salt and/or fish sauce

Serve with steamed rice or crusty bread with butter


Note about the meat you choose: What you want is a muscle that worked, a leg, a neck, a tail, a cheek, something like that. These parts have a lot of flavor and a lot of connective tissue that will break down and add body and richness to your braise. The smoke is a natural friend to greens and peas. I used turkey legs because that's what I happened to have in the freezer.

Note about the liquid you choose: There are enough flavor components in the recipe that you can cook all of this in water. If you have stock you can use that and it will boost the flavor. I recommend avoiding anything that says broth, these always have too much salt. You can use them or bouillon sparingly. Smoked meat already is pretty salty so you don't want to add too much.


  1. Cut up all the vegetables. Your goal is to have everything roughly the same size as a black eyed pea.
  2. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add the oil to the pan.
  3. You're going to sweat all the vegetables first. This means to saute without browning to cook out a little bit of the liquid and concentrate the flavors of the vegetables. Cook the onion first, adding a pinch of salt and stirring often.
  4. Add the carrots when the onions are translucent and before they start to brown. Add another pinch of salt and stir it up.
  5. Add the celery and garlic when the carrots begin to soften a little. Don't burn the garlic.
  6. Add your smoked meat and cooking liquid. Turn the heat up a bit and let the liquid come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, put the lid on and walk away for a couple of hours. How long depends on what meat you are using, you'll know it's done when the meat falls off the bone.
  7. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside to let it cool.
  8. Add all of the kale, or add as much as will fit, put the lid on and let it cook, then add the rest when the first batch has wilted down. Stir it in to the cooking liquid, put the lid back on, leave the heat down low.
  9. When the meat has cooled enough to touch pull it apart, discard the bones and skin (they've given away all the flavor they have to give at this point) and return the shredded meat to the pot. This is a good time to stop and taste the cooking liquid for salt. Add some kosher salt and/or fish sauce (I like fish sauce here because it adds salt and a punch of umami).
  10. Cook for at least 90 minutes more. You want the kale stems to be soft and the leafy parts to be really soft.
  11. Add the black eyed peas and chopped fresh herbs if you're using them, mix them in, and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the peas are soft. Taste again and add more salt if you feel it's needed. (You shouldn't taste salt, but if there isn't a lot of flavor, if it just sort of feels flat on your tongue then you may need to add another bit.)
  12. This is great over rice with your favorite hot sauce, or with some buttery crusty bread.

Enjoy!
-Matt

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Sauteed Gai Lan With Ground Beef

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Sauteed Gai Lan With Ground Beef

This is as much a recipe for a dish as it is a method for a fast and easy meal. You can substitute pretty much any meat and vegetable in this combination and get delicious results. If you want to make it vegetarian you can use delicious mushrooms instead of meat.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch gai lan, chopped into 2" sections
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • generous pinch of kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

serves 4-6 


  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet or a wok on high heat. Add the oil.
  2. When the oil starts to smoke put the meat in the pan and break it up into small pieces. It's important that the heat is really high when the meat goes in because you want the meat to brown, not steam.
  3. Sprinkle with some salt and allow the meat to brown, stirring minimally. It's best to leave it alone so that it can brown thoroughly, then stir a little so that more pieces can brown.
  4. Add the garlic and green onion and stir into the beef. After one minute add the stems of the gai lan, stir in and cook for one more minute.
  5. Add the greens of the gai lan and stir into the beef mixture. The greens will give off some moisture that will help you to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add the chicken stock to help with this.
  6. After two more minutes or so of cooking, turn off the heat, add the oyster sauce and sesame oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with rice. Enjoy.
-Matt

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Whole Wheat Crepes and Spring Vegetable Moo Shu

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Whole Wheat Crepes and Spring Vegetable Moo Shu

Moo Shu

  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 4-5 leaves of chard with stems, sliced thinly
  • 2 heads pac choy, sliced thinly
  • 1 bulb and stem green garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1" chunk ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 8-10 small carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbs Guilin style chili sauce (This might be too spicy for some people, it's not super hot but if you are especially sensitive you can reduce or omit this. Some fermented black bean sauce would be a nice substitution.)
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs fish sauce (Red Boat is my favorite if you can find it)
  • Some hoisin sauce

 

Crepes


1. Mix the ingredients for the crepes. You can use water or some other flavorful liquid like chicken stock or mushroom stock. Water is really fine though if those aren't handy. Do this first so that the batter can rest a little bit before cooking.

2. Wash and shake dry all of the vegetables. A little water clinging to the leaves will help them cook faster so don't worry about getting them super dry. Your goal is to cut all of the vegetables small so they cook fast and in the same amount of time.

3. This will work best in a wok but you can use a cast iron pan or heavy frying pan too. The important thing is to get the pan very hot and then keep the food moving around. Have everything ready to go and at hand because it will cook very fast. When the pan is hot add the onion first and begin to stir. When the onion begins to soften and turn translucent add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat down a bit if the vegetables are burning or there is too much smoke. As you add new vegetables the liquid that cooks out of them will steam the vegetables and cool down the pan a little bit. Next add the carrots and let them cook for a few minutes. Then add the Guilin chili paste and stir it in. Add the mirin and fish sauce at this point too. Then the chard and pac choy. Turn the heat all the way up if you turned it down and stir a lot. The greens will give off a ton of liquid when they wilt and you want to cook that off quickly or your final dish will be too wet. After a couple minutes you should be done. Take the pan off the heat and store in the arugula. Set aside while you make some crepes.

4. If you are super into multitasking or in a hurry you can make the crepes and stir fry at the same time but you don't have to if you would rather focus on one thing at a time. Get a small nonstick pan on the stove over medium heat. Spray it a little bit with some cooking spray or wipe a little bit of oil on it with a paper towel. Pour a small amount of crepe batter in the pan and tilt the pan to spread it around in a thin layer. Expect that you will throw away your first one or two crepes as you get the temperature and technique dialed in. Adjust the heat so the crepe browns on one side in about a minute. The edges should begin to curl up and dry out when it's ready to flip. You can use a spoon to help you pick it up and turn it over. It should release easily. If it doesn't then try cooking a little bit longer until it does. Cook on the other side for 30-60 seconds and then remove from the pan. Repeat until you've cooked all of the batter.

5. If your greens are now swimming in liquid after sitting while you made the crepes here's what you can do. Drain off the liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix a cornstarch slurry (something like 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 tbs of water) and drizzle it slowly into your excess liquid to thicken it into a sauce. Then you can stir it back into your vegetables.

6. You can assemble before serving or build your own as you eat. Spread some hoisin sauce on a crepe and wrap some of the vegetables inside.

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Strawberry Arugula Salad with Hakurei Turnips and Carrot Leaves

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Strawberry Arugula Salad with Hakurei Turnips and Carrot Leaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 5 Hakuri turnips
  • Some carrot tops
  • 1 recipe green garlic aioli
  • 1 TB rice wine vinegar
  1. Wash the vegetables and fruit, especially the carrot tops they are really dirty.
  2. Chop up the strawberries and turnips to pieces roughly the same size. Pull the carrot leaves off the stems, the stems are tough to chew.
  3. The green aioli from one of my previous recipe turns into a salad dressing when you whisk in another tablespoon of vinegar. Toss everything together and give it a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper if it's nearby. Toss it again.
  4. Make sure that you can see the strawberries and turnips when you put it on a plate.
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Roasted Baby Carrots and Hakurei Turnips with Green Garlic Aioli

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Roasted Baby Carrots and Hakurei Turnips with Green Garlic Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 TB chopped green garlic
  • 1 TB rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • A bunch of small carrots and some Hakurei turnips

1. Put a cast iron frying pan into a cold oven and heat it up to 400F.

2. Make the aioli while the oven gets hot: Separate the egg and save the white for breakfast. Whisk together the egg yolk, green garlic, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl on a damp towel so it doesn't slide around while you are whisking. Very slowly drizzle the oil in to the egg yolk until it's all combined.

3. Remove the greens from carrots and turnips and reserve for other uses (the carrot greens can be used like parsley and are great in salads, the turnip greens can be cooked along with kale, chard, spinach or other greens). Scrub them and peel the carrots if you want to. Cut the turnips into quarters and toss with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Put the carrots and turnips in the hot pan and return to the oven. Roast for about 8-10 minutes until cooked through and started to darken. Check on them occasionally and stir them around with a wooden spoon. Serve with the aioli as a dipping sauce.

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