Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#16 Sunchoke Chicken Congee

Congee is Asian comfort food that is as comforting and nourishing as Grandma's chicken and rice soup. A great way to use up the left-over roast chicken and sunchokes I made the other night (see #15). You can use commercial broth, or make bone broth from the carcass (I made mine with organic chicken feet, lots of cilantro and leeks). Add rice, onion, ginger, salt and pepper. Boil away until rice is mush and broth is creamy. Add water as necessary. 

To serve Southeast Asian style, stir in a little sweetness, sugar or agave, add sour flavoring like lemon or lime juice, squeeze and microplane a little more ginger for that bright zing.  In this version, I topped with fried slices of jerusalem artichokes that I had previously roasted whole with the chicken. I fried shallots and garlic and placed on top alongside sliced chicken, scallion, fresh cilantro, (bean sprouts would be great), fish sauce, and a fried chile pepper, and you are ready to sup. 

For recipe followers, here goes:
Sunchoke Congee, SE Asian style (creamy chicken rice soup)

Boil 2 ½ cups of chicken broth and 3½ cups of water with two chicken legs or thighs skin and fat removed, ½ cup chopped onion, ½ inch piece of smashed ginger, cilantro stems and salt & pepper. Boil for 30 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of white or brown rice. Boil away until rice is mush and broth is creamy, about 45 minutes. Add additional water as necessary to thin. Remove chicken and cilantro stems.

In the meantime, scrub clean and slice thin the sunchokes. Heat oil to medium high and fry chokes until crisp and golden.

To finish,  Stir in a half tsp of rice or agave syrup, and lemon or lime juice. Grate a little more ginger for that bright zing.  Top with your choice of the following, sliced chicken, fried sunchoke slices, fried shallots and garlic, sliced green scallion, fresh cilantro leaves, a few bean sprouts , fish sauce, sesame oil and pickled or fried jalepeno peppers. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth, consider switching the chicken for peanuts or tofu, and sauteed mushrooms.

Eat with the World, the Most Common meal is Rice 

Eat with the World honors the interconnection of earth's inhabitants and the effect that our food decisions have on others. http://www.isobeldavisart.com/installation.html

Monday, October 19, 2015

Harvest Fall 2014

Harvesting Event 2014 included several tastings. Liz Steig roasted her chokes to perfection. They were golden and sweet. Each choke had been cut to a similar size for even roasting. Not too mushy, not too crunchy or earthy. She roasted in Olive Oil with salt in a hot oven, I'm guessing it was about 425 degrees for 30 minutes or more. Pictured below is Liz, helping Isobel to pull sunchokes from the root mass of the harvested Jerusalem Artichoke plant.

We also served sunchoke and white bean dip, fermented sunchoke pickles, among the tastes. Bradner gardens in the background. Isobel's fence art. See earlier postings for recipes.

After harvesting, time to take a bountiful supply to Rainier Valley Food Bank.

#15 Roasting with Chicken

We did move the harvest to February 2016 instead of fall 2015, but that doesn't mean that I haven't had a chance to test taste some of this years crop,. In Early October I dug up a few small ones (they are still growing) and they roasted up beautifully. I added them to the roasting pan with a supreme organic
chicken from August Farms delivered along with produce from my CSA, Helsing Farms.

Roasting with chicken
A simple roast chicken, rubbed in salt the night before, stuffed with meyers lemons, garlic, onions, fresh picked thyme sprigs, roasted at 450 for 30 minutes, then reduced to 375 for 50 minutes or until skin is crisp and chicken cooked through. Fabulously simple and delicious.

Last year's roasted chicken with sunchokes was an organic chicken from the farmer's market rubbed under the skin with saffron butter and and lemon slices. 
Both recipes had scrubbed sunchokes and fingerling potatoes added to the roasting pan for the last hour. Soft in the center and crispy delicious around the edges.

NOTICE: Harvesting moved to February this year, Tasting event and planting in March

Our annual gathering and tasting party will be at the spring planting this year in March. We hope to install safeguarding to protect the sunchokes from the onslaught of basket balls. This year the choke crop took a beating by the errant balls from keep away games and rim ricocheting. Fun on the courts is a great community part of Bradner Gardens, so we need to fortify our sunchoke bed to co-exist.

Fence art at the Jerusalem artichoke bed installed 11/2014