Friday, June 28, 2013

Black & Blue Gin Fizz

When Crop Share hands you add gin.  Okay, well at least I do.  You know, after I also add butter.  I'm a big fan of gin and I'm also a sucker for cool packaging.  So when hunting in the ABC Store for a reasonably priced gin to go into these blackberry gin fizzes, I was completely transfixed by the Bombay Sapphire East.  Notes of Vietnamese black peppercorn and Thai lemongrass?  Yes please!  So what started out as just a blackberry gin fizz, quickly became...the Black & Blue Gin Fizz.  Think of these as juice for adults.  If you put yours in a sippy cup, I won't judge.

Black & Blue Gin Fizz

1/4 cup blackberries, heaping
2 Tbsp sugar
3 shots Bombay Sapphire Gin, plus a splash for good measure (use East or regular label)
2 limes, juiced
6 ice cubes, divided
20 oz club soda, divided
2 sprigs basil, sweet or Thai, for garnish
2 blackberries, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, add blackberries, sugar and gin.  Muddle blackberries until they are well mashed (alternatively you can blend them up with the sugar and then strain to remove the seeds, but I like bits of blackberry floating in my cocktail).  Stir in lime juice and blend well.  Add strainer cap to the shaker and strain equal amounts of liquid into two tall glasses filled with 3 ice cubes each.  If like me you want more blackberry yumminess, spoon some of the muddled blackberries (discarding pits) into each glass.  Top both with equal amounts of club soda until glasses are nearly full (won't use all 20 oz, maybe about 15-16 oz).  Slice into two blackberries, taking care not to cut all the way through.  Garnish each glass with 1 sprig of basil and 1 blackberry.

Makes 2 tall glasses.

Sip away!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen: (

Thursday, June 27, 2013

McCauley's Roasted Pepper Relish Now Available at Nalls Produce!

We're relishing the opportunity (pun totally intended) to carry locally produced McCauley's Peppers in our store!  So when their founder, William, asked about our recipe blog, I said bring on the guest post!  So enjoy a little window into this small, local business we're pleased as peppers to partner with...

McCauley's Peppers, a small local start-up business out of Burke, VA, has partnered with Nalls Procduce to sell their spicy, savory roasted pepper relish. Tara, one of Nalls' employees, first discovered McCauley’s pepper relish when she was shopping at the H St Farmer’s Market in DC. She tried a sample and fell in love! She knew her co-workers and customers at Nalls would find a million ways to pair the pepper relish with their favorite foods. 

So she invited McCauley’s Peppers founder William Arnold to host a tasting on Friday June 21st, to introduce Nalls' shoppers to the exciting new partnership. He served the peppers on stone ground crackers with FarmFriend Raw Goat Cheddar and received a very warm welcome. These peppers are perfect as part of an antipasto platter with crackers, cheese, hummus, and charcuterie, on eggs and sandwiches, or really anything that needs a little extra heat or flavor.  So stop by Nalls Produce to pick up a jar of roasted pepper relish!

If you missed them last week at Nalls, be sure to head out to the H St Farmer’s Market in DC on June 29th from 9am-12pm for their next tasting. Or check them out on Facebook (McCauley’s Roasted Pepper Relish) or on their website ( for more information on tastings and suggested servings! 

Blackberry Butter

Despite a sizable portion of my genetics being of the French variety, I'm not all that big a fan of butter.  However, if that butter is flavored, I will eat it like its a dessert and likely gross everyone out.  There's a reason why I haven't tried the Maple Brown Sugar Butter we carry in store from Great Harvest.  Because I know once I start down that path, my co-workers are going to find me hiding in the store cooler, with a spoon, surrounded by empty containers of butter.  So I've been doing very well in the not-eat-an-entire-crock-of-flavored-butter department.  That is until I came across...blackberry butter.  That's right, say it with me now...BLACKBERRY...BUTTER.  It has fruit in it, so that makes it a health food, no?  And it includes local honey, so really a spoonful, or two, or three of this today is good for keeping my allergies at bay.  Did I mention the butter is also dairy-free and soy-free?  Oh well, if it's for my health, then I guess I must.

Blackberry Butter

15 oz (1 container) Soy Free Earth Balance Margarine, room temperature (or use whichever butter strikes your fancy)

1/8 cup, plus 1 Tbsp local, raw, unfiltered honey (Now back in stock in our store!  Look for the yellow tops!)

1 cup fresh blueberries

In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer beat together butter and honey until light and fluffy.  Add in blackberries and beat on medium speed until blackberries are pretty well broken up.  I wanted to still have some bits of blackberry in mine, but you could certainly whip these until it's completely smooth.  Pour into small jars or back into empty Earth Balance container.  Chill in fridge until ready to slather on all sorts of goodness.

Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas

Before she started blogging, Natasha from Tash's Noshes and Crop Share member, was dishing out the healthy noshes left and right and Instagramming the whole delicious journey.  Sometimes I got to be on the receiving end, as was the case with a memorable asparagus risotto (dairy-free even!).  But one that's had me drooling just from the photos has been her rendition of Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas.  I love eggplant and I love pizza, put the two together and I'm all over that!  So next time you're feeling a family pizza night, make a toppings bar and slap them on some eggplant slices for a healthy, yet delicious meal.

Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas - Tash's Style


1 large eggplant
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomatoes, finely chopped and seeded
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4-1/3 cup shredded, low-fat mozzarella

Slice off ends of eggplant and then slice into 3/4" thick rounds.  Place on paper towels and sprinkle well with salt -- this is to help draw the moisture out of the eggplant so they don't get too soggy during baking.  Allow to rest for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.  After the salted eggplant has rested for 30 minutes, wipe off excess liquid and salt then brush both sides with olive oil.  Season with ground black pepper and place on a baking sheet to bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

While the eggplant rounds are baking, heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium high heat.  Add in minced garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.  Pour in diced tomatoes, oregano and Italian seasoning, stirring to fully combine.  Once bubbling, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.  Add water if sauce appears to become too thick.

Preheat broiler to high.  Evenly distribute tomato sauce onto eggplant rounds.  Sprinkle with thin strips of basil, and top with shredded mozzarella.  Place under broiler until cheese has melted and begins to bubble.

Serve it as Natasha did with a refreshing side salad of rocket greens/arugula with a grapefruit vinaigrette.

Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowls

So the Mister and I are kind of a hot mess of food allergies.  Our home is peanut, cashew, dairy, egg and gluten free.  And while I adore Thai food, it's pretty much the kiss of death for the hubs.  Thus I was pretty darn excited when I stumbled across these Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowls from How Sweet It Is and realized all I needed were a few key tweaks to make it safe for both of us.  Including subbing in almond butter in place of peanut butter -- you'd never know.  While this dish is the perfect vehicle for this week's cilantro, you could just as easy throw in some of the diced, green bell pepper or even blanch some of the broccoli to toss in.  I say the more crunchy veg in these quinoa bowls, the better!

Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowls


1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked to package instructions
2 chicken breasts cooked & shredded, or use leftover rotisserie chicken
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

4 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp coconut milk
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp almond butter
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Toss shredded chicken with cooked quinoa.  Add in chopped vegetables and cilantro and stir to mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until fully combined and pour over quinoa mixture.  Fold sauce in evenly and taste.  Season with salt & pepper if needed.

Adapted from How Sweet It Is: (

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What's Cookin'?

About two weeks ago, I put a blurb on our Crop Share inserts asking those of you Instagramming members to tag any of your Nalls photos (especially of what you create with your weekly share of veggies and fruits) with #onlyatnalls, so we could all see and share what's cookin' in our kitchens (Note: Unfortunately your profile has to be set to public for anyone not currently following you to see.).  Well I wondered if anyone would actually take us up on it and wow, two of our members have not only been tagging with wild abandon, they have us drooling with all of their amazing creations!  So because I just can't help but share the amazingness, here's a little walk through the culinary creations of members Bethany Duffy and Mandi Ward.

First up, let's take a peek inside Bethany's kitchen...

Cranberry Beans with Collard Greens & Carrots

Poblanos, Spring Onions, Potatoes & Zucchini in Cartoccio with Broiled Kielbasa

Drunken Pasta with Beets & Beet Greens

Caprese Salad

Fajitas with Corn, Avocados, Tomatoes & Spring Onion

Little Apricot Cakes

Butter Sauteed Radishes

Poblanos Stuffed with Rice, Beans, Spinach, Chipotle Venison Sausage...and lots of Cheese

Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Scallions & Okra Marinated in Red Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil

Bethany, we love being a small part of your family's dinner table!

Next up, behind the scenes in Mandi Ward's kitchen....

Baked Curry Chicken and a Warm Beet Salad with Cilantro & Caramelized Onions

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Orange Popsicles

Greek Yogurt with Blueberries

Crockpot Chicken with Carrots, Celery, Lemon, lots of Garlic and a Dill mohawk


Cabbage Rolls

Pattypan Squash with Bacon & Spring Onions

Bethany & Mandi, thanks so much for the "instalove" and giving us a window into your kitchens!  So um...when will dinner be ready?  ;)

For the rest of you, if you're on Instagram, don't forget to tag any and all Nalls related photos with #onlyatnalls.  We'll use our favorites to highlight here on Nalls Kitchen, our website and our Pinterest page.  We don't currently have a Nalls only Instagram account, but we're individually tagging our photos with the hashtag so you can all get a behind the scenes look.  So follow along on Instagram with us and the rest of the extended Crop Share family under #onlyatnalls.

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie

It took all the willpower we had, but the Mister and I some how held off on devouring the blueberries in this week's share long enough for me to make something with them.  When the Nalls' daughter, Valerie, told me that these New Jersey blueberries would going to be about the best I would ever taste, she was NOT exaggerating.  And...a little factoid for your Sunday evening...when blueberries look like they've been frosted with that slight white hue, that's when they are at their prime.  So basically, we are all ruined for blueberries from any other place for the rest of our lives.  New Jersey...keep cranking those beauties out!

So while okay, the entire pint of blueberries didn't survive till today (quality control my friends, had to make sure they were indeed as amazing as I'd been promised), I still had just enough of them left to cool us down on this hot, humid Sunday with these quick and easy Blueberry Pineapple Smoothies.  Did I mention they're 100 % vegan, as well?!  We've got the pineapples and bananas you'll need to round out this recipe in our store, plus tomorrow is another Fresh Start Monday so all day long you'll receive 10% off of all produce (runs every Monday through the end of August)!

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie

1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pineapple, skinned and cut into chunks
2 1/2 bananas
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or milk of your choosing)
15 ice cubes

Throw all ingredients into your blender or Vitamix and blend away until nice and smooth.  You can also toss in some spinach or kale for an added iron boost.  Will make about four 8oz servings.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fresh Tomato Salad & Panzanella Longings

For years, panzanella has been my signature summer salad.  It's a classic Italian dish that was a way to use up stale bread as the croutons.  If I must say, my homemade croutons were AH-MAZING.  But then life has a funny way of throwing you curveballs, and mine arrived in the form of a gluten allergy.  So while I gladly trade all those delightful carbs for the ability to feel human every day, panzanella is one dish I do miss, as I've yet to find a gluten-free bread that will really fit the French bread bill needed to make the croutons.  But that hasn't stopped me from regularly turning tomatoes into a wonderful, fresh, and fragrant summer salad.  Served as a side or topped with grilled chicken, these bright flavors are the essence of summer, and for those of you growing fresh herbs, it's a great way to use up any basil that's growing like crazy.  And so no one else has to miss out on the tastebud joy that is panzanella, I'll include the extra steps and ingredients for that at the end.

Fresh Tomato Salad (with Panzanella adaptation below)

1.5 - 2 lbs tomatoes, seeded and diced (I'll often mix red and yellow tomatoes)
1/2 sweet onion, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 tsp Kosher salt
black pepper to taste
2 cups arugula

In a large bowl, mix together tomato, onion and garlic.  Pour olive oil and lemon juice over top and toss to fully coat.  Add in chopped basil and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper, tossing to evenly blend all ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Toss with arugula and serve.

Panzanella Croutons

1/4 cup butter (use Earth Balance margarine or coconut oil for dairy free)
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
6 cups cubed French Bread
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste (I've also added some herbs de provence, as well)
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan (can substitute vegan parmesan for dairy free)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add breadcrumbs and toss to evenly coat.  Season with salt and pepper and pour bread out onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, tossing to coat, and bake for 8 or 9 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Allow to cool before tossing with the rest of the salad.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Grilled Scallions With Romesco Sauce

I once caught an episode of Tony Bourdain's No Reservations where he was roaming around Barcelona and other parts of Catalonia, and during one outdoor gathering, the Catalans were grilling up calcots, a type of scallion that is native to the area.  I'm not rightly sure what it was that was so transfixing, I mean they were just grilled scallions paired with a romesco sauce, but I was in hardcore food lust and I knew I just had to have those.  So while likely very few of us will be traveling to Barcelona any time soon, we can attempt to recreate the magic by grilling up the scallions from this weeks' share and dipping them in a decadent romesco sauce.  And thanks to the foodies at Food Republic, this recipe looks like just the ticket!  Pair these with a hearty red wine and for those avoiding dairy, you can easily sub in vegan parmesan with the romesco.  Clink the link in the title below to view the recipe...

Grilled Scallions With Romesco Sauce

Baked Spicy Brown Sugar Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

Salmon is a go-to protein around here, as the Mister isn't a huge poultry fan and I don't eat very much red meat or pork.  So I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting preparations for this tasty piece of fish, and one of my current favorites is this baked salmon with a spicy brown sugar rub.  We made it for some friends for Easter dinner this year, and it had everyone ooo'ing and ahh'ing.  And there's really nothing better to serve with this dish than a simple medley of roasted vegetables.  We all know yellow squash is divine when roasted up, but certainly don't miss out on roasting this week's yellow squash along with the tomatoes, as the flavor just explodes.  For those of us without access to a proper grill, it's the closest we can get to some lovely charred tomatoes.

Baked Spicy Brown Sugar Salmon with Roasted Vegetables


4 salmon fillets
olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 crushed red pepper flakes
3 yellow squash, halved and sliced into half-rounds
2 tomatoes, halved and sliced into wedges
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Drizzle salmon fillets with olive oil and then evenly distribute brown sugar rub onto fillets, gently massaging the rub onto all sides of salmon.  Place in a baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.  If you want a bit of a crispy crust, reduce cook time by a few minutes and place under the broiler on high and allow sugar to begin to bubble and caramelize.

Spread veggies out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon juice and season to taste with salt, pepper & garlic powder.  Or for an added zing, reserve some of the salmon rub to sprinkle over veggies.  Bake also at 425 for 20-25 minutes, turning half-way through, until veggies begin to brown.

Pattypan Palooza!

We all had a great time experimenting with pattypan squash this week, especially for those of us (like me!) who were completely new to this funky, cool squash.  One of our Nalls crew, Dawn, got extra creative this week and whipped up some baked pattypan, stuffed with cheesy bacony goodness.  *gasp*  I, on the other hand, got lazy after a long day and decided to just dice it up, season it, and bake it into submission.  Then I tossed it with a grilled shrimp and romaine salad, so if you've yet to use up the pattypan from last week, this is a great way to use up that along with this week's romaine lettuce.  So here's two pattypan preparations from our Nalls' Kitchen to yours...

Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Pattypan Squash

6 pattypan squash
1 pack applewood cured, thick sliced bacon
1 cup diced onion
1 fresh jalapeno, finely diced
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring one inch of water to boil in a saucepan, over medium high heat.  Add squash, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and slice off the top of the squash.  Let cool and then carefully scoop out the center of the squash, reserving all of the meat.

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown.  Drain on a paper towel and set aside.  Saute onions in bacon drippings, chop squash meat and add to onions, sauteing for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add jalapeno, breadcrumbs, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan.  Crumble in bacon.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Stuff each squash and top each with remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, cut in half and drizzle with ranch dressing.  Enjoy!

Spiced Pattypan Squash

3-4 pattypan squash, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust (coming soon to our store!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place cubed pattypan on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and spice mix to evenly coat.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through, until sides begin to turn golden brown.

We tossed ours into a simple salad of romaine, arugula, grilled & spiced shrimp (used Dizzy Pig Tsunami Spin on these).  And then made a vinaigrette of equal parts olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Pattypan Squash with Pasta & Mint via Katrina Runs for Food

Last June we shared this delicious recipe for Pattypan Squash with Pasta & Mint from Katrina Runs For Food, and it's just far too good not to share with you again.  Since pattypan squash is a summer squash, it's incredibly versatile, much like yellow and zucchini squash.  They are almost too cute to eat...almost!  Click the link below to visit the original post...

Pattypan Squash with Pasta & Mint

Potato Salad With Cucumber, Rocket Greens & Smoked Salmon

With the hot and humid temperatures this week, I've been craving light and fresh salads.  But when it comes to the Mister a typical dinner salad isn't exactly his cup of tea.  However, over the winter we stumbled upon this gem of a salad that he swears he could eat every night.  Throw some potatoes in a salad and everyone is happy!  It's a quick and easy weeknight dinner, and he even whipped it up for me when I was leveled with pneumonia early in the year (photographic proof below!).  So this will be a great way for you to use up the cucumber and potatoes in this week's share.  We adapted it from Martha Stewart's Potato Salad with Celery, Cress and Bacon, so absolutely check out her version as it is equally as delicious, and well, it has bacon in it.  'Nuff said.

Potato Salad with Cucumber, Rocket Greens & Smoked Salmon

1.5 lbs medium potatoes, cubed
Coarse salt & fresh ground black pepper
7 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 packet smoked salmon, shredded into bite-sized pieces
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
3 cups rocket greens/arugula (or a spring mix)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss cubed potatoes in 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Spread onto a baking sheet and bake in oven for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and fork-tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and remaining 5 Tbsp olive oil, and season with salt & pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss together salmon, cucumber and rocket greens.  Fold in potatoes and pour dressing over   top, tossing to evenly coat.  Add additional salt & pepper to taste, if desired.

Can also use celery or thinly sliced fennel in place of cucumber to let this salad carry you through the seasons.

Adapted from Martha Stewart: (

Chicken In A Spring Onion Cream Sauce

Thanks to this round and the Early Spring round of Crop Share, I am officially addicted to spring onions.  Not only do I get a kick out of the fact that the ones we get for Crop Share are often dug right out of the ground the day before our pickup, but also they are just so versatile and flavorful.  By far my favorite preparation has been this cream sauce I devised one evening.  I had a bunch of spring onions and a few pieces of salmon, so I poked my head into the fridge and the pantry and after a bit of musing, I came up with a plan to make a decadent cream sauce to pour over the fish and use the spring onions as a fragrant base.  This was one kitchen experiment that turned out even better than expected, and one that we've repeated again and again as either a sauce over salmon or chicken.  Here I give you the preparation I use with chicken.  Enjoy!

Chicken In A Spring Onion Cream Sauce


2 Tbsp olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bunch spring onions, washed and sliced thin (greens & bulb)
3 tsp fresh dill, divided
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups sour cream (we kept it dairy free with Tofutti Sour Supreme)
4-6 Tbsp Dijon mustard (depending on how much mustard zip you prefer)

In a heavy skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Season both sides of chicken with salt & pepper, and then add to skillet to brown chicken on both sides, about 8-10 minutes on each side.  Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add wine to deglaze, scraping any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan.  Add in spring onions and stir occasionally to allow for some of the onions to caramelize a bit. 

Add 1 tsp of dill and stir to evenly distribute among the onions.  Continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes or until onions have begun to brown on the edges.  Add in chicken stock and then whisk in sour cream and Dijon mustard till sauce is fully incorporated and thick.  Stir in remaining 2 tsp of dill and season sauce with salt & pepper to taste.

Return chicken to pan along with any juices that have collected on the plate.  Stir to coat the chicken, reduce heat and simmer together for 3-5 additional minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked through and sauce is thick.

Serve over rice or quinoa and with roasted potatoes.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Guest Post from Across the Pond: Pattesons Glass' Pork Rillettes

Apparently my foodie vibes must have been reaching across the miles, because as I spent my weekend musing over this blog becoming a collection of voices, I returned to work on Monday to find an e-mail from Pattesons Glass Ltd, a glass bottle and jar company in Grimsby, England.  They've enjoyed reading our blog, and wanted to offer up one of their recipes to share with our members.  While their Pork Rillettes recipe isn't exactly Spring produce heavy, it's the perfect way to put your garden herbs to good use in a bouquet garni as the base for this dish.  Still have lots of parsley leftover from last week or have you been drying your Crop Share herbs?  Then now is their time to shine.  Just whatever you do, don't tell Penny Pig we've got a pork recipe up on the blog, she might start to wonder why I feed her so many strawberries!

So from some fellow foodies across the pond, I give you their recipe for traditional French rillettes (if you need help with the metric conversions, hop on over to to compute it quickly and easily)...

Pork Rillettes

Like all charcuterie, rillettes (pronounced ree-yettes) were originally a way of preserving the cornucopia of fatty goodness yielded by the slaughter of a pig. Stored in earthenware crocks or in glass jars and sealed with a lid of pork fat, they would keep for months. This recipe is much lower in fat and consequently has a little less staying power, but the rillettes will keep well in the fridge for at least a week, and will benefit from a few days’ maturation before you break open the jar.

1.25kg pork belly or shoulder, skin removed but bones left in, cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 bouquet garni
3 bay leaves
6 cloves
50ml vermouth
500ml water
1tsp ground mace
Salt and pepper

Place the pork, garlic, bouquet garni, bay leaves, vermouth and water in an ovenproof, lidded dish. Cook at about 100°C for four hours, turning the meat a few times so it doesn’t become too brown, until it falls away from the bones. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Discard the bay leaves, cloves, bouquet garni, bones and any obvious pieces of cartilage. Drain the pork and place the liquid in a small bowl over ice or in the fridge to chill.

Using two forks, gently shred the meat, allowing it to retain its natural grain. Remove the reserved liquid from the fridge and carefully lift off the solidified fat. Mix the jellied stock that remains with the pork, season to taste with mace, salt and pepper and place in a sterilised 580ml clip-top jar.

Melt the reserved pork fat and pour over the rillettes before sealing the jar and refrigerating until needed.

Rillettes are delicious served cold or at room temperature as a starter, the centrepiece of a light lunch or for a picnic. All that’s needed to accompany the rillettes are some slices of warm baguette, a few cherry tomatoes and some cornichons or pickled onions.

View the original recipe on Pattesons Glass' recipe blog at and be sure to check out some of their other great recipes, like their divine looking Salsa Verde!

Thanks very much to Pattesons Glass to reaching out to us with their recipe, it's great to have you at our communal table!

The Communal Table: Gathering Together Our Crop Share Family

This past weekend, the Mister and I went to the National Museum of American History to check out their newly opened exhibit, Food: Transforming the American Table.

Okay, well it was more of a pilgrimage for me to see the re-opened Julia Child kitchen exhibit, because I've been in a year-long state of withdrawal while they "re-modeled" it.  Come on Smithsonian, you can't do these things to a foodie!

So much kitchen envy!

Once I started to come down from my Julia high, it was time to explore the rest of the Food exhibit.  While you may think an exhibit on the history of food in the U.S. would be rather droll, it was actually quite fascinating to see where we've come, even since the 1940s and 1950s.  Those of us who take to our kitchens to tackle our Crop Share ingredients are recipients of the legacy started by people, like Julia Child, who wanted to get average Americans into their kitchens to not just make dinner, but to fall in love with the act of cooking.  For much of our history, cooking was drudgery and if you had the means, you made it someone else's drudgery.  Then we entered into a very weird phase where the American home cook became chic, but in a weird let's microwave cook everything or put it in a Jell-O mold kind of way.  I'm so, so very glad we did not stay there!

And then into the sea of TV dinners and meatloaf came a boisterous giant, chortling, swilling wine and exhorting us all to, "Save the liver!"  America fell in love with Julia Child, and in turn fell in love with the art of cooking and the beauty of ingredients.  Today, it's hard to imagine a time without the Food Network, celebrity chefs, and even food bloggers.  Talking about food has become as American as apple pie.

By far one of the best parts of the exhibit is the Open Table, a large table where museum guests can gather around to talk about food.  What food types are on or off their table and why?  Are organic and sustainable labels important to them?  It was great to just stand and watch as strangers from around the world came around a table to talk food.  Politics and religion often drive peoples apart, but here at the Open Table, food was bringing people together.

So it got me thinking about our Crop Share program and the reasons why we all took the plunge and became members.  I know for myself it was a desire to eat a healthier more plant-based diet and to challenge myself to learn to cook every random piece of produce we'd get.  But what about all of you, what prompted you to sign up?  

We refer to all of you as our Crop Share family, and while we don't gather around the same table each night, we are all bonded by the fact that this program is something we all love and believe in.  So it's my hope that this blog can be more than just a repository of recipes, that this can be a virtual, communal table where we can all dialogue about food, our traditions, newly discovered recipes and what kind of impact Crop Share has made in your life.

Thus, I want to hear from you, whether it's a great recipe you've come up with, a photo of last night's dinner, a link to your own food blog, your thoughts on anything food related, whatever it is, I want to hear it and share among all of us.  So leave comments, e-mail photos and recipes (, even tag your food photos on Instagram with #onlyatnalls so we can see what's cooking.

Let's make this blog a place where we all gather around our common bond of good food and fresh ingredients.

Now...let's get cooking!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chicken Shawarma at Home

Having a best friend who's mom owns an amazing Lebanese restaurant (if you're ever in Youngstown, OH you need to beat a path to Samia's Phoenician Grill and prepare for food bliss), tends to make one slightly obsessed with Middle Eastern food, and also rather picky.  I'm pretty sure my body is about 75% hummus.  So being out here in the DC area and missing Samia's amazing chicken shawarma wraps, a gal has to improvise and try to recreate the magic at home.  It took some trial and error, but finally I stumbled upon a great base recipe from The Shiksa In The Kitchen and soon the Mister and I were on Cloud 9...if Cloud 9 is a delicious shawarma cloud.  While pickles and grilled or sauteed onions are a traditional must, we also love to add some slices of fresh tomato.  So slice up and seed one of the tomatoes you get and slap those babies on some homemade chicken shawarma.  All the fun of take-away without ever having to leave your home!

Chicken Shawarma at Home


For chicken:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cayenne
Salt & black pepper

For garnish:
1 sweet onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tomato, sliced and seeded
Dill pickle spears (to make your own, see our Nalls' Kitchen recipe here)
Pita for wraps (If anyone knows of gluten-free pita, please tell me!!  We had to use GF tortillas, whomp whomp.)

For garlic sauce:
1 head garlic, roasted
1 cup sour cream (We use our dairy-free Tofutti sour cream, but plain Greek yogurt would also work great!)
1/2 lemon, juiced

Slice chicken into strips and place in a marinating dish or large plastic, well-sealing bag.  In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil and all the spices for the chicken marinade.  Pour over chicken and toss to completely coat each piece.  Cover the dish/seal the bag and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or even better, overnight.

Preheat oven to 400.  Slice off the top of a head of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves.  Place on a baking sheet or into a muffin pan, and generously drizzle olive oil over the top.  Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until cloves are soft and golden.  Set aside to cool.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet (or on a stovetop grill pan) over medium high heat.  Add in marinated chicken and saute until chicken is browned and cooked through.  Remove from pan and dice into small shawarma-like pieces and pop back into the pan for another minute just to flash sear and flavor the newly exposed parts.  Remove from pan and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil.

In the same pan (add an additional Tbsp of olive oil if needed) add in sliced onion and saute for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the onions to continue to soak up some of the residual seasoning from the chicken.

For the garlic sauce, remove roasted cloves by squeezing into a bowl and mash with 1 cup of sour cream, taking care not to get any garlic skins into the bowl.  Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and stir to incorporate.


Grab whatever carb-o-licious vehicle you're going to place all this goodness on,  add a portion of chicken, some onions, a few slices of tomato, a pickle spear or two and top it all off with a dollop of garlic sauce.  Get generous with that garlic sauce, because it's not enough until you're sweating it out.  Make sure your loved ones do the same so everyone's garlic aroma will cancel each other out.  ;)

Recipe adapted from The Shiksa In The Kitchen: (

Just Beet It! Baked Beet Chips

You know I can't help with the puns, so let me get them all out of my system now:  We've got the beet!  All we are saying, is give beets a chance!  Just beet it!  Lettuce, turnip the beet!  Go Navy, beet Army!  Okay, whew, I promise I'm done.

But since we've given you a great veggie dip recipe for the radishes this week, we might as well give you a healthy recipe for something to scoop up all that yummy radish dip with.  So when Crop Share hands you beets, you make beet chips!  These make a delicious and healthy alternative to potato chips, which means you can feel good about eating the entire bowl of radish dip you make.

So click the link below to enjoy this oldie but a goodie from our Nalls' Kitchen archives...

Baked Beet Chips

Radish Dip: Guest Post From Crop Share Member Misse Welch

This week's Crop Share is going to be RAD!  Why?  Because you're getting a bundle of RADishes!  If you're a radish skeptic, fear not, because do I have a recipe for you.  Or more like Crop Share member Misse Welch has a recipe for you.  During the Early Spring round, Misse sent us this recipe as an entry into our Nalls Next Top Food Blogger Contest, and we've been drooling over it ever since and waiting for another go-round of radishes so we could share this great recipe with you all.  So from Misse's kitchen to yours, we give you delicious way to prepare radishes.  Because we all know, cream cheese makes every thing amazing!

Radish Dip

5 oz cream cheese
1 cup radishes, quartered
1-1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 bunch chives, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper

I threw the radishes, chives, garlic and parsley in my food processor until finely chopped, and then added the lemon juice and cream cheese (cubed to make it easier).  Once it was combines to the consistency of a dip, I added sea salt and pepper to taste and put it in a serving dish.  I sprinkled it with paprika and it was ready to eat, more like devour!  It can be eaten with veggies, potato chips, or I even used it as a sandwich spread!

Adapted from Farmgirl Fare (