Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Sweet Potato and Kale Fritters----YUM!

Okay, I'm getting a little creative in my attempts to consume green leafies every day.  Most days I resort to munching on kale while I'm harvesting it--which is probably my favorite way to eat it.  The CSA season is winding down, and  the regular season ended last week, but I'm filling a few vacation makeup boxes this week and next, BUT I can actually relax a little.  Well, almost.

The large high tunnel has been stripped of its summer cover crops of beans and lettuce, kale, chard, arugula and braising mix have been planted and are being coddled along with sprinklers every day.  The small high tunnel is in the midst of seasonal turmoil with a perfectly healthy tomato crop being removed--it's so hard to do that--lots of composted leaves and chicken manure thrown down, and spinach being planted in for the upcoming winter crop.  I'm going to try a little cress this year as well--haven't grown that before.

Back to the regularly scheduled program---Sweet Potato and Kale Fritters.  Feeling a lot hungry and a little creative, I grabbed a half dozen of the skinny, not-saleable sweet potatoes and grated them on the grater


I probably ended up with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of potatoes grated.

Then I took a large handful of washed kale and chopped it sort of finely


I'd say there was about a cup of chopped kale.

Of course anything like this needs onion and garlic and since it was after 8:00 pm, I used minced dried onion and garlic powder.  To stick it all together I grabbed a fresh egg from the happy hens and a heaping spoonful of flour.  Quick mix with a spoon, and


a nice sticky mixture to make fritters with.  I put a glog of olive oil in one of my trusty cast iron pans, heated it for a few minutes, then put in a small handful of mixture.  Let it brown on one side and give them a flip.  I did turn the heat down just a little so they would cook through before browning too much......


All I can say is YUM!  I ate the two smaller ones along with fresh sweet corn, sauteed summer squash and a big yellow Mr. Stripey tomato.  It doesn't get much better than that :-)


Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

At a friend's house on New Year's Day, I tasted a really, really good Sweet Potato Salad that her son-in-law had sent her the recipe.  I kind of overdid the chipotle peppers, but it was still very tasty:

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberry – Chipotle Dressing

2 ½ lbs. local sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2” cubes
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. olive oil - divided
salt and pepper – to taste
3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce – more for extra heat
5 tbsp. lime juice
4 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. cilantro
1 c. fresh cranberries
1 c. slivered toasted almonds
1 ½ c. chopped green onion, green and white parts
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes, stirring once, until tender but still firm.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2) In a blender or food processor combine, chipotle chilies, lime juice, honey, ketchup, garlic and cilantro.  Process until pureed.  Continue to process while adding remaining olive oil in a slow stream until mixture thickens.  Set aside.
3) In a medium pot, add cranberries, ½ cup of chipotle mixture and ½ cup of water.  Cook over medium heat until cranberries burst.  Use the back of your spoon to crush the cranberries, this will thicken the juices. Allow to cool.
4) In a large bowl combine roasted sweet potatoes, chipotle chili mixture, cranberry mixture, almonds and onions, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Of course I didn't have ALL the ingredients--I had to substitute dried cranberries for the fresh, but instead of cooking them until they popped, I cooked them until they fluffed up--it was still great!



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!


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