Day 84–Beautiful Swiss Chard

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Some vegetables are so lovely that they are almost ornamental in the garden (and on your plate). Bright Lights swiss chard is dazzling to look at in the garden with its stalks of fushia, neon yellow, bright green and ruby red. In the late winter garden, when everything looks so brown, chard adds some visual happiness to the landscape. It’s also a super healthy and delicious addition to our diet.

This is one of our famer’s market finds this week! Happy market shopping!

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Day 34–Sustainable Super Bowl Menu

Old Bay Seasoning

I am passionate about three things: my family, food, and football. Super Bowl weekend combines all three, and I love to cook a dinner that celebrates the team we pick to win. And we want that meal to be as sustainable as possible. This year, none of us have a dog in this fight, which throws a kink into my sustainable, thematic Super Bowl dinner plans.

We debated how to handle this–pizza (NY) and chowder (NE)? Lobster rolls (NE) and black & white cookies (NY)? Hot dogs (NY) and baked beans (NE)? None of these seemed fun and interesting and since none of us are in love with the ubiquitous chicken wing, we pondered the issue. Then, my husband came up with a brilliant idea: The “shoulda’, woulda’, coulda'” dinner. Celebrate our favorite teams that almost made it, but not quite.

Now we are pumped up for the game and for dinner. Our menu celebrates my favorite, the Broncos (so close!), my husband’s favorite, the Cowboys (ok, not so close, sorry baby), and our two playoff favs, the Saints and the Ravens (my home state). And it’s fairly high on sustainable, locally produced ingredients.

Shoulda’, Woulda’, Coulda’ Menu

  • Coors beer and hot pepper marinated, grilled  skirt steak (Cowboys & Broncos)
  • Baltimore crab cakes (Ravens)
  • Sautéed mustard greens w/pignoli nuts (no affiliation)
  • Homemade pralines (Saints)

The skirt steak is coming from our Farmhand Foods meat box and sources from Yadkin County, the crab I’m not sure of just yet, the greens came from New Bern and the pecans came from near Greenville. Not too bad!

Here is my version of a recipe for the crab cakes, taken from www.epicurious.com :

Delmarva Crab Cakes

  • 1/2 c. + 1/3 c. homemade bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. organic mayonnaise
  • 1 large farm egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 organic scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, cleaned of cartilage
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. Mix the 1/2 c. bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, scallion, Worcestershire sauce, and Old Bay in a small bowl.
  2. Mix in the crabmeat and form into 6 cakes about 3″ wide
  3. Place remaining bread crumbs in a deep plate or pie plate.
  4. Coat the crab cakes in the crumbs and set aside.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel or paper towels. Top with a cooling rack.
  6. In a deep skillet, pour vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over high heat until very hot, but not smoking.
  7. Carefully add the crab cakes and cook, turning only once, until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes).
  8. Using tongs or a slotted spatula (I like my Asian spider scoop for this), transfer cakes to the cooling rack to drain.
  9. Serve hot with lemon, tartar sauce or whatever makes you happy. 

Whatever you serve for Super Bowl Sunday, remember to visit your local farmer’s market or meat producer–I found this week, many of the vendors had Super Bowl specials for this weekend! I, for one, will be super happy if this dinner is half as good as it sounds to me.

And while I’ll be pulling for no team in particular, I will probably be wearing my John Elway jersey as I drink a Coors beer. And dreaming of next season 🙂