Chicken Marsala with Wild Mushrooms + Garlic Scapes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 6 servings



2.5 pounds chicken, de-boned

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

3.5 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 onion, halved and sliced thin

3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin

5-6 garlic scapes, whole

1/2 cup dry Marsala

1 cup chicken broth



Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet, heat oil and 1.5 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking; brown chicken in two batches, transferring each batch to a separate plate with tongs after they've finished browning.

Keep half the remaining fat in the  skillet and sauté onion, mushrooms, and garlic scapes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, covered, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. (You will need to turn the chicken over about half through to ensure it cooks evenly). Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

Continue simmering mushroom sauce until liquid has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Spoon the mushroom sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom Pierogies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 24 pirogies



Pirogie Filling

1 cup water, boiled

1 medium onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced (shiitakes or oysters work well)

1 ounce dried porcini

1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 handful of spinach, finely chopped


Onion Topping

1 pound onions, sliced

1/4 cup (half-stick) unsalted butter


Pirogie Dough

(Note: dough makes about 48 pirogies; refrigerate extra dough for up to 3 days)


1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading/rolling

3/4 cup cake flour (see note below)

2 large eggs

1/4 cup water




Prepare dough: Stir together the flour(s) in a bowl. Make a well in flour and add eggs, salt, and water, then stir together with fork without touching flour. Continue stirring, gradually incorporating flour into the well until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding only as much additional flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough will be soft. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (May also be made ahead: wrap well in plastic wrap and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

For filling: Pour boiling water over porcini in a small bowl and soak until softened, 10 to 20 minutes. Lift porcini out of water, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and rinse well to remove any grit. Pour soaking liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a bowl and reserve. Finely chop onion and garlic in a food processor, then add mushrooms (including porcini) and pulse until very finely chopped.

Heat butter in a skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook mushroom mixture, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are dry, about 8 minutes. Add reserved soaking liquid and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick, dry, and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely.

To make the pierogies: Halve dough and roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface into a 15-inch round, keeping remaining dough wrapped. Cut out rounds (about 24) with floured biscuit/cookie cutter or similar. Put 1 teaspoon filling in center of each round. Working with 1 round at a time, moisten edges with water and fold in half to form a half-moon, pinching edges together to seal. Transfer pierogies as assembled to a flour-dusted kitchen towel or baking sheet. Repeat with remaining rounds.

To cook the pierogies: Begin by cooking the onions and butter in a large heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and carmelized, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Gently place prepared pierogies into the boiling water and cook, covered,  until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the skillet with your onions. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately.



[Note about cake flour: If, like me, you really don't keep cake flour on hand readily, don't freak out -- I've got you covered. Essentially, cake flour is just a much finer flour and will help your dough be less dense, more like a pastry dough. So here's what you'll want to do: measure out 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and then remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons corn starch. Finally, you'll want to sift that a few times into a bowl. This will give you the lighter flour that you're looking for.]




Strawberries + Shortcake Biscuits

With strawberry season in full stride and as easy as shortcake biscuits are to whip together (or pick up at co-op this Wednesday -- I'm baking tomorrow, you're welcome), strawberry shortcake is the obvious no-brainer this time of year. Aside from popping a fresh strawberry directly into your mouth off the plant, there's literally no better way to enjoy this lovely little fruit.

And, just in case you're unsure of this or are iffy on your shortcake  building skills, we decided we'd clear all that up with a basic recipe. 



1 pound strawberries (about 2 pints)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons confectioner's sugar



Quarter strawberries into a large bowl, then toss with sugar and lemon juice. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, or up to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour heavy whipping cream into a chilled mixing bowl. Add vanilla and confectioner's sugar. Whip on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over mix, or else the cream will begin to separate. Use immediately or transfer to the freezer to chill.

To build the shortcake, split biscuits in half horizontally and place the bottoms in a bowl. Heap strawberries, then whipped cream on to the biscuit bottom. Finish with top half of biscuit. Optionally, cover with leftover strawberry mixture and/or whipped cream.


Lamb Ragu with Cheese Grits

Yield: 4 servings




Lamb Ragu

1 lb. ground lamb

5 cups canned tomatoes, peeled & quartered

1 cup tomato paste

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

2 teaspoons syrian red pepper (or, 1 teaspoon red pepper & 1 teaspoon paprika)

1 tablespoon ground sage

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 small onions, diced


Cheese Grits

2 cups whole milk

2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup organic corn grits

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 tablespoons butter

5 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded



For ragu: In skillet, brown lamb on medium heat until mostly cooked, about 4-5 minutes (some pink is okay). Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside, off heat.

In a medium-size pot or dutch oven, melt butter. Mix in garlic and onion. Saute over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, almost caramelized. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and combine remaining ingredients. Add lamb. Continue simmering on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Serve over grits.


For grits: Place milk, water, and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, gradually add the grits while whisking continually. Once all the grits have been incorporated, reduce heat to low and and cover. Remove lid to whisk frequently, every 3-4 minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or becoming too lump ridden. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until creamy. Remove from heat, add black pepper and butter, and whisk to combine well. Once combined, gradually whisk in cheese.

Pork Chops with Ramp Chimichurri


2 1-lb. pork chops

2 teaspoons garlic, chopped

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons lime juice (optional)



Place the pork chops on a piece of heavy-duty foil. Coat with garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, and onion. Sprinkle with olive oil and orange juice. Wrap the chops in foil.

Heat one side of grill to medium. Place pork chops - still wrapped in foil - on unheated side. Cook over indirect heat in covered grill, turning occasionally for 1 hour or until pork is fork tender and/or has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees. To serve, slice chops and top with chimichurri. 

Wild Greens Pesto

"When in doubt, use nettles.”   - David Hoffman


Spring on the farm has been marked by many things: warmer temperatures that actually allow for t-shirts and cut-offs, a constant stream of baby animals, and the color green. Spring, though, has also shown itself in our woods and pastures through the wild greens we've been harvesting. Dandelions pop up unabashedly in yellow bursts, while stinging nettles - no less discreet - pop up along our creek beds and sting ankles and hands with no remorse.

These greens, however, are more than just confirmation that the season is in full swing, they are also highly medicinal and nutrient rich. Nettle, for instance, is a long-revered anti-histamine, and is high in iron and other vitamins & minerals - most specifically B vitamins, which modern folk tend to be particularly deficient in. Dandelion greens, another superpower in the wild greens category, boast high B vitamins, but are also a natural liver tonic and a great source of potassium and calcium.

This wild greens pesto is one of my favorite excuses to grab up armfuls of these medicinal giants. Keep in mind, though, when harvesting, that you'll want to avoid harvesting alongside a roads or in any areas that might be prone to sprayed pesticides. Also, while the recipe below mentions wild greens, it works well as a basic pesto recipe for any number of green leafy things: carrot greens, ramp greens, basil, arugula - essentially anything else you may have lying around. Go wild.



1/2 lb. of fresh wild greens and/or herbs, packed

1/2 cup of soaked nuts or seeds of choice (sunflower seeds or walnuts are my favorites)

3-4 garlic cloves, smashed

1  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, or similar (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste



Combine all ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Makes approximately 1 cup.


Roast Chicken with Fennel & Spring Onions

This recipe is from Andrea Reusing's book "Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes", which features food from many of Hana's farmer-friends back in North Carolina. This cookbook, as well as Reusing's "Lantern" restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC, is highly recommended. Perhaps in a few weeks you will all be eager to read the anecdote she shares about overcoming her boredom with greens...but for now, this recipe:

Roast Chicken with Fennel & Spring Onions

Serves 4

1 (3.5-4#) chicken

4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 t expeller-pressed vegetable oil (or olive oil)

2 fennel bulbs with green fronds

8 spring onions with green tops

6 garlic cloves smashed and peeled

1/2 c dry white wine

1/2 c chicken stock (from neck)

Allow the chicken to come to room temperature, up to an hour.  Preheat oven to 425F. Rinse chicken under cold running water and pat dry.  Remove wing tips and reserve with neck for broth.  Coat chicken with 1 T butter and season it inside and out with generous amount of salt and pepper.  

Coat a large, heavy roasting pan with 1 teaspoon of the oil.  Trim the fennel and spring onion bulbs, reserving the fronds and tops, respectively.  Cut each fennel bulb and the onions in half lengthwise, and then into half-inch wide slices lengthwise.  In a medium bowl, toss the fennel, onion bulbs, and garlic scapes with a quarter teaspoon of salt and the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to coat.  Arrange the vegetables in the roasting pan, put the chicken on top, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.  

In the meantime, make a light chicken broth and prepare the green onion tops and fennel fronds. Simmer the neck and wing tips of the chicken in cold water with some aromatics like a slice or two of carrots and onions, a garlic clove, and a few peppercorns for about 45 minutes.  Slice the green onion tops into thin rings and tear the fennel fronds into small sprigs to make about 3 cups total; set aside. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and give the vegetables a stir so they color evenly. Roast for another 20-25 minutes until the chicken is done -- the skin will be crisp and deep golden brown, the juices will have just a tinge of light pink, and an instant read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh will read 165F. 

Remove the pan from the oven.  Transfer the chicken to a platter, tent it with foil, and let it rest for ten minutes.  In the meantime, if the fennel and onions are not yet golden brown, return them to the oven to roast for another few minutes on their own, until they are well caramelized. 

Put the roasting pan over medium-high heat and add the wine and stock, scraping the bottom of the pan and stirring the vegetables.  Simmer for about 3 minutes, until the sauce has a slightly syrupy consistency.  Add the fennel fronds and green onion tops.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining 3T butter, swirling it in until it dissolves and thickens the sauce. 

Carve the chicken into serving pieces, adding any juices that accumulate on the carving board to the sauce.  With a slotted spoon, spread the vegetables on a warm serving platter.  Arrange the chicken over the vegetables and spoon the sauce on top. 



Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce

Thanks to co-op member Marilyn Moors for submitting this recipe ! 

Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce 

from Suzanne Goin’s A.O.C. Cookbook via Sam Sifton in the NY Times;

About one hour prep time; four servings.  I made a double batch for Memorial Day weekend and they were a great hit.  Since the spices are North African and goat is also a North African meat, these might work just as well with ground goat! 


For the meatballs:

  •    1 medium onion, finely diced
  •    ¼ c heavy cream
  •    2 egg yolks, extra large
  •    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  •    1 tsp ground cumin
  •    pinch red pepper flakes
  •    pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  •    2 lbs. ground lamb
  •    salt and black pepper
  •    1 cup bread crumbs
  •    ¼ cup chopped parsley

For the sauce:

  •    1   28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
  •    3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  •    1 sprig rosemary
  •    red pepper flakes to taste
  •    1 medium onion, diced
  •    ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  •    ½ tsp ground cumin
  •    pinch ground cinnamon
  •    pinch cayenne pepper
  •    1 bay leaf
  •    ½ tsp white sugar
  •    ¼ cup orange juice
  •    1  3" strip of orange peel, pith removed
  •    salt and pepper to taste


For the topping:

  •    4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  •    2 tbsp thinly sliced mint leaves

1) Preheat broiler. In a large bowl, mix together the onion, cream, egg yolks, cinnamon, cumin, red pepper and cayenne.  Put the lamb in the bowl and season it generously with salt and pepper. Add the bread crumbs and parsley. Combine the mixture well. Shape into balls a little larger than golf balls.

2) Grease a baking pan with olive oil and put the meatballs, evenly spaced, on it. Place beneath the broiler until well browned, turning as necessary, 5-7 minutes. Set meatballs aside. Turn oven to 400º.

3) Make the sauce.  Run the tomatoes quickly through a food processor and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil, and add the rosemary and red peppers and shake to combine. Cook for another minute, then add onion, thyme, cumin, cayenne and bay leaf and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, orange juice and peel, along with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat to reduce by about one-third. Adjust seasonings.

4) Pour the tomato sauce into a large serving dish (ovenproof). Transfer the meatballs to the sauce, leaving about ½ inch space between them. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through.

5) Top with crumbled feta cheese and scattered mint. Serve alone or with pasta, couscous, or rice.