Broccoli and Kale Soup

Broccoli-Kale-Soup2I’m a big fan of thick and creamy soups. In trying to eat a little healthier (have to do something to balance out the amounts of whiskey and bacon we consume!) I find that that combo leads to potatoes and/or cream being added to the soup. No ma gusta. Broccoli-Kale-Soup1Then the idea hit…beans. Loads of good stuff and nowhere near as heavy. Thanks to my CSA box from Fertile Grounds, I had tons of veggies to choose from when deciding what kind of soup to make. Given that my fridge and freezer were full of kale, it made the most sense. The broccoli though… that was a matter of ‘use it before it goes bad’. I admit, I’m a carnivore, most vegetables and I don’t see eye to eye. But I didn’t want the broccoli to go bad and I do want some green stuff in my body, so I figured why the hell not. Broccoli-Kale-Soup3

I was pleasantly surprised. It took a few batches to get the texture and flavor right…and I didn’t complain about eating those many batches. Seasoning is a big key. The salt, garlic and lemon combo give it a bright savory taste. The broccoli and beans make it nice and creamy, without the starch or cream. I like mine thicker, but you could add more water to thin the soup out. Also, the power of your blender/hand wand/liquefying device will determine the consistency. While mine isn’t the strongest, I’m actually ok with having a few bits of the kale and broccoli in there to help the texture. Regardless, as a king of the meats, I can tell you that anyone from vegans to your local T-Rex will enjoy this soup!
Broccoli and Kale Soupby WhiskeyBeard

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients:1 vidalia onion 7 garlic cloves1 can great northern beans5 cups kale6 cups broccoli1 cup vegetable broth2 cups water2 tbsp salt2 tbsp pepper1 tbsp olive oiljuice of 1 lemon
Instructions:
Roughly chop onion and garlic. In a medium to large pot on medium heat, add oil and heat until it shimmers. Then add onions, pepper and 1 tbsp salt. Cook until onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir often make sure garlic doesn't burn. Add stock and water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. While water comes to temperature, remove stem from kale and roughly chop it and the broccoli. Drain and rinse beans as well. Once pot comes to a boil, add beans and cook for 4 -5 minutes. Now, add broccoli first and then kale last so it's on top. This will allow it to steam, not boil. Cover with lid. Check pot every 2 minutes and cook no longer than 10 minutes. You want the kale to steam and brighten in color. Be careful not to cook too long, 8-10 minutes max. Overcooking will discolor kale and broccoli. When done, using either hand wand or blender, puree the mixture. If using a blender, do in batches and add back to pot when done. When fully pureed, add remaining salt (or more if you like) and lemon juice.

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Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy-smashed-potatoes5Traveling and eating are two of our favorite things.  When they can happen at the same time…BOOM goes the dynamite! This spring/summer was a heavy travel season for me and it proved delicious. Of all the things I tried, one stuck with me because of it’s simplicity and tastiness. Tender yet crispy, the smashed potatoes changed breakfast for the rest of the summer. Where did I have these tasty taters…of all places, the Minneapolis Airport. Crispy-smashed-potatoes1

Realistically, it’s just a boiled potato smashed flat and fried. But with that simple preparation you get something fun and exciting. Boiling, then smashing the potatoes gives them that nice velvety texture we love from mashed potatoes. But then the quick frying of them adds the crispy crunchiness of hash browns or homestyle potatoes. Who in the hell doesn’t want that in their mouth?!Crispy-smashed-potatoes2 Crispy-smashed-potatoes3

The only real way to mess these up is to not boil the potatoes long enough or use one that’s too large (as seen above). If you’re lucky enough to have a CSA around you like we do or a local farmers market, small new potatoes work the best. So long as they’re about the same size and on the smaller side though, any variety will do. Simple, tasty and quick. A new way to serve an old favorite!Crispy-smashed-potatoes4

Crispy Smashed Potatoesby Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 2

Ingredients:6 small new potatoes1/3 cup salt1/4 cup olive oil2 tbsp grated cheese1/2 tbsp salt1/2 tbsp pepper5 basil leaves
Instructions:
In a medium-sized pot, add enough water to cover potatoes and salt and set to high. Wash and scrub potatoes. Once salt is dissolved, add potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, finely chop basil and place in small bowl. Mix grated cheese, salt, and pepper into the basil. Place to the side. Once potatoes are done, move to colander and run under cold water until cool to touch. Using a sturdy measuring cup, press down on each potato and smash to even thickness, 1/4 -1/2 inch. Heat oil on a large pan over medium heat. Once oil begins to shimmer, add the smashed potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towel. Plate and serve with basil/cheese mixture on top.

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Summer Scape Salsa

Summer_Scape_Salsa_8Things we love about summer: Sun, Patio Drinking, Drive-Ins, Patio Drinking and Garlic Scapes. Garlic, in general, is a fave, but scapes are a magical summer treat. They come from the green tops of garlic (think scallions to an onion) and have a great mild garlic flavor that goes delish in almost any dish.

Summer_Scape_Salsa_2This salsa gets a garlickly-tastic kick and a nice crunch along with the other fresh veggies for an even better texture. It’s almost like having roasted garlic without having to turn the stove on…which is a blessing in the summer heat!
Summer_Scape_Salsa_1Summer_Scape_Salsa_4 Summer_Scape_Salsa_5 Summer_Scape_Salsa_6If you’re looking for a fresh and unique dish for your outdoor summer soire’s this is the one. Hit up your local farmer’s market for this not-so-secret ingredient and be glad you did!

[Editor’s note: We realize if you’re pretty hip to the CSA scene, you already know about the wonders that spiral from scapes. However, hipsters, yes we’re talking to you, be kind. Scapes are cool – so don’t knock our post because we’re over 30, drunk, and still in love with scapes.]
Summer Scape Salsaby Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients:1 pt cherry tomatoes4 scapes3 scallions1 onion1/4 bunch cilantro2 limes, juiced2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1/2 tbsp saltsalt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Chop scapes into small enough pieces to fit in your food processor. Add scapes, lime juice, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tbsp salt to processor and puree. Set to the side. Quarter cherry tomatoes, chop scallion and onion and add to a large bowl and mix well. Add the scape mixture, chop cilantro and add to bowl. Mix well. Add remaining EVOO, stir and taste. If salt and pepper are needed, add. Set in fridge for at least 15 minutes to marry flavors.

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Whiskey Roasted Veggie Burger

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With all the bacon we consume, every now and then we like to do our hearts a favor and bulk up on the veggies. Though the idea of one of those cardboard tasting veggie burgers is less than desirable.

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So we revamped the veggie burger into a roasted stack of awesomeness.  These thick cut veggies roast up perfectly and make for an awesome meatless option.

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What you end up with is a mouth busting stack of smoky roasted veggies. The whiskey and oil mixture helps to keep the veggies moist at such a high temperature. You get a big messy burger without all the guilt of…well, a big messy burger. Filling, healthy and tasty enough to make carnivores think about converting.

Whiskey Roasted Veggie BurgerWhiskey Roasted Veggie Burger by Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients:1 large eggplant4 tomatoes2 onions1/2 cup olive oil1/2 cup whiskey1/4 cup apple cider vinager2 tsp liquid smoke1 tbsp garlic powder1 tbsp black pepper1/2 tbsp salt1/2 cup asiago cheese4 buns
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400. Cut all veggies in to 1/2 inch slices, keeping them as close to even as possible. Using a serrated or bread knife works best. Whisk together all other ingredients, except the cheese and buns. Line 2-3 cooking sheets with foil. Use 1/4 cup of olive oil to grease the pans. Lay out out all of the veggies. Touching and slight overlapping is ok, just make sure they are not stacked. Pour all of the whiskey-oil mixture onto the veggies. Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Turn and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle asiago on to veggies and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Toast buns. Remove veggies and let cool for 2-3 minutes so you can remove without them sticking. Begin stacking on buns as you like and top with sauce of choosing.

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