Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Fritters

We've spent most of our lives being told to "eat your vegetables" and now that we are, we're being told to "eat your green vegetables".  For years and years I tried to act as though I liked greens (spinach, turnip, chard, kale, mustard) in the cooked stage, but it was all an act.  Having been raised on canned food both at school and at home, greens were just a slimy mass that required vinegar poured on them to make them palatable enough (huh?) to go down.

In my opinion, anything that requires vinegar in order to make it palatable shouldn't be eaten anyway.  Enter fresh greens.......

Although I'm still struggling with the texture of a bowl of cooked, steamed sauteed or otherwise heated up greens, it is definitely getting better.  I actually lightly steamed/cooked some fresh kale in beef broth a couple of months ago and it was DELICIOUS!  I since haven't been able to duplicate the event.

The menu for supper was all lined out the other night, but something green was absent from the list, so I ventured into the garden, picked a small bunch of Swiss Chard, medium sized leaves, and headed back to the kitchen.

Here's the recipe:

9-10 leaves of Swiss Chard, medium size (about 2 cups cut into thin shreds)

2 small sweet potatoes (about 1-1/2 cups grated)

1 egg

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Tablespoon or so of flour 

a couple of teaspoons of honey

salt and pepper to taste

Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet and turn on medium heat.  Mix the grated sweet potato and shredded chard in a bowl and add the egg and flour, honey and salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Drop by big spoonfuls onto the pan (oil should sizzle when mixture is added) and mash out into fritters about 4" in diameter.  Let them cook on one side until browning and crispy then flip over and finish cooking on the other side.  Drain on paper towels and enjoy hot!  Actually, when I cleaned up the pan most of the oil was still in there.

Yet another yummy way to enjoy those all nutritious green veggies!



"Vegetarian" Chile Rellenos

Ok, I finally did it--made "vegetarian" chile rellenos and they were actually quite tasty.   Through the years I've had eggplant fixed two different ways:  eggplant parmesan or breaded and fried.  It's great both ways, but boring.  I subscribe to a blog called My New Roots and this lady comes up with some really interesting ways to prepare veggies.  She uses eggplant as a neutral base for other flavors much as you would rice or pasta.  Because it is sort of bland it soaks up other flavors nicely.

The ingredients in this dish are:

1 eggplant prepared and chopped (see below)

1/2 onion, chopped

2 Anaheim Chiles halved lengthwise and seeded

dash of cumin

4 small flour tortillas

oil for sauteeing

Monterrey Jack (or similar) cheese

Sour cream or cream cheese

splash of milk

The first step in making this dish is to peel and slice the eggplant then salt it really well and set aside for about 20 minutes.  This causes a lot of the moisture to come out of the eggplant then you take paper towels and dry it off.  Pulse the eggplant in a food processor until the consistency of ground meat (see where I'm going now?)

In a pan saute some chopped onion and a little garlic.  I also put the anaheim chiles in this pan to soften up a bit before placing in tortillas.  After the onion is soft, add the eggplant and a dash of cumin, salt and pepper to taste.   I stirred this around for about 8-10 minutes to get more moisture out.  When you're satisfied with this conglomeration, heat up just a tad of oil in a frying pan large enough to accommodate two tortillas and spread out a chile pepper on one of the tortillas.  Add eggplant mixture and top with cheese (I used Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve cheese--YUMMY!) then top with the other tortilla.  Place in pan on medium low heat until that side is browning then flip it over and repeat.

I made a sauce with some of the cheese, a dollop of whipped cream cheese and a splash of milk, then topped it with some freshly made salsa.

Very tasty.

Footnote:  The Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve cheese AND the whipped cream cheese was purchased at a local grocery stored called United Grocery Outlet or UGO.   The cream cheese was 50 cents a cup and the cheddar cheese was $1.29!   If one were purchasing cheese for this dish I'd say Monterey Jack would work and sour cream would work in the sauce--HOWEVER if you've been reading my recipes very much you'll know that I never have everything in the pantry that a recipe calls for so improvising is one of my strong points!

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