Monday, November 8, 2010

A Happy Meal: Local and Sustainable Dinner!

This was a truly excellent meal. Andrew at one point commented that it was "restaurant quality." And you know what? I actually agreed with him (which is rare because I often am the first to criticize my food). I can see it now: Grass Fed Sirloin with a Smokehouse Rub, Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Butternut Squash Risotto. Sounds good, right?

The food itself wasn't complicated in itself, the pleasure was from the ingredients. Besides the risotto (which despite what you might think is not all that difficult), everything else was prepared very simply.

While we were eating we did an inventory of the ingredients and determined that the majority of them were either from local sources or our garden. Below, in the ingredient list, I have added where they originate.


And not all that hard to pull off. Unless you are eating meat with every meal, it is not even that expensive. I didn't give the recipe for the steak, because all we did was season it and grill it. Let me tell you though, a happy cow makes a tasty steak! This particular cow was from Country Meadow's Farm (a vendor at the Lancaster Central Market).

What we like to do is stock up on meats (beef, buffalo and some lamb) every once in a while and stick it all in the freezer. Today in fact we got two pounds of ground beef and a flat iron steak from our meat vendor, Red Haven Farm, at the Mt. Airy Farmer's Market (sad news - today is their last day of the season - NOOOO!!!). Plus a dozen gorgeous eggs it cost about $18. Not too shabby and we'll take it out when we need some iron in our diets :)

Also, this is only the second time I've ever made risotto. It freaks me out a little, but once I start making it, I realize I'm silly, its not that difficult (just a little time consuming) and the results are delicious!!


Honey Roasted Carrots
This recipe is inspired by our little neighborhood market. They have a prepared foods section and commonly sell these. Its not the real recipe, but my best guess. Either way, noms.

1 bunch rainbow or orange carrots, cut into large slices (Weaver's Way Farm)
Honey (My parent's neighbor has hives)
Olive Oil
1 tsp dried rosemary or 1 bunch fresh

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss carrots with olive oil, rosemary and a large drizzle of honey. Salt and pepper. Cook for about 60-90 minutes, tossing occasionally. The carrots will be ready when they are soft and caramelized.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from The Best of Cooking Light
Makes 6-8 servings (good leftovers!)

1/2 cup water
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3-4 cups butternut squash, 3/4" dice (about 1 pound) - from our garden!
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or other short grain
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 cups grated cheese (we used a local goat Gouda)

Bring stock to a simmer in large saucepan (do not boil). Keep it warm over low heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the water, squash, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until squash is tender. Add rice and stir to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup of broth and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed.

Stir in parsley, cheese, butter and remaining olive oil. Serve immediately!

Learn how to make risotto here.

Recipes I bookmarked this week: Butternut Squash Crumble (White on Rice Couple) and Spaghetti with Chickpeas (Smitten Kitchen).


Andrew J Kirkpatrick said...

This dinner was fantastic! and totally restaurant quality! The risotto was awesome and really creamy. The steak just melted in my mouth! I definitely recommend this one!

Anonymous said...

That is my kind of dinner. Local and sustainable food. Wonderful job!

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

This looks so good! Isn't eating local the best?! You can definitely taste a difference, that is for sure!

Randi said...

That risotto was to die for. Wish I could have nom'ed some steak too. Guess that's what I get for being busy!

foodies at home said...

Sounds fantastic! I will be happy to be your taste tester any time! hehe

crazylucy said...

isn't it satisfying to cook a meal made of mostly local products?! next time you are in lancaster county, let me know...i will introduce you to some awesome local, all natural, happy livestock meat...

Georgia said...

Yay for Happy Meals!

Andrew - Glad you liked it :)
Kirsten - Sustainable food should be everyone's kind of dinner!
Jenn - You can taste the difference!!! It really is amazing!
Randi - Next time noms on steak.
Foodies - Thanks!
Lucy - I may just take you up on that! I love Lancaster County (I went to school at F&M). I miss the Central Market dearly.

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