Harvest Survival Food - Champ - Comfort Food Extraordinaire!

Champ is an Irish dish that I have loved since childhood. The most important things to remember when making champ are cooking the scallions (green onion) in milk and adding LOADS and LOADS of butter when the potatoes are mashed and then adding MORE butter to the champ when it's on your plate. The recipe  below does not have measurements because this is something you must taste as you go. It should be salted, buttery and infused with a subtle scallion flavour. 

Potatoes

Milk

1 or 2 bunches of scallions

Gobs of Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop scallions and place in a pot, cover with milk and simmer but don't boil.

Meanwhile boil potatoes, drain and mash. Add a lot of butter to the mash and add the scallions with slotted spoon, adding some milk if necessary, but don't make the mash too wet. Salt and pepper to taste, adjust butter and salt until it tastes  buttery and nicely salted. :)

To serve, fill a large dinner plate with a huge pile of champ, make a small depression or well in the centre of the potatoes, add butter to the well, melt and mix the butter into the champ. Wow! It's delish!!!!

Note: Leftover champ is great for making amazing potato farls (pancakes).  

PS. It's really hard for me to look at this photo. I want some NOW! Confessions of a champ addict. 

 

From Wikipedia: 

Champ (brúitín in Irish) is an Irish dish,[1] made by combining mashed potatoes and chopped spring onions with butter andmilk, and optionally, salt and pepper.[2] It is simple and inexpensive to produce. In some areas the dish is also called "poundies".[citation needed]

Champ is similar to another Irish dish, colcannon, which uses kale or cabbage in place of scallions.

The word champ has also been adopted into the popular Hiberno-English phrases, to be "as thick as champ", meaning to be stupid, and to be "as ignorant as champ at a wedding", meaning to be uncultured or boorish (champ being a common everyday dish, not one befitting a banquet celebration).[citation needed]

 

Harvest Survival Food - What to do with all of that Eggplant

Most people either love it or hate it. We LOVE eggplant, especially fresh from the garden in ratatouille or fried, topped with fresh basil leaves, fresh cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese. The plants, once established, can be prolific and we inevitably end up with hoards of eggplant by the end of the summer. Our solution is to cut them into 1/2 in rounds, roast them until most of the moisture is removed, cool and pack in freezer bags, layered between waxed paper. Before freezing we always keep some of the roasted pieces in the fridge to microwave with slices of parmesan for a quick, warm sandwich filling or with a salad. Love it! 

When refrigerator space is limited, we keep the eggplant cool outside the front door until we are ready to roast them. 

When refrigerator space is limited, we keep the eggplant cool outside the front door until we are ready to roast them. 

Sliced into 1/2 pieces, roast them at 300º, turning once, until moisture is removed. When they are cool, layer them in waxed paper and freeze. Use later on pizzas, in stews, soups or pasta sauce. 

Sliced into 1/2 pieces, roast them at 300º, turning once, until moisture is removed. When they are cool, layer them in waxed paper and freeze. Use later on pizzas, in stews, soups or pasta sauce. 

Freshly roasted eggplant with melted parmesan makes a perfect side to salad or try it on an open faced sandwich with mayo. Delicious!

Freshly roasted eggplant with melted parmesan makes a perfect side to salad or try it on an open faced sandwich with mayo. Delicious!

Harvest Survival Food - The Perfect Pasta

We are pastaholics. We would eat pasta every day if we could. The following recipe is our favourite pasta dish. This meal is a lot of fun at a dinner party because your guests can make their own pasta according to their tastes.

Ingredients:

Spaghettini  

Feta cheese

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Toasted pine nuts

Jill's Jalapeño Peppers or hot pepper flakes (OR BOTH!)

Roasted Tomatoes* (recipe below)  

 

Cook pasta. Put bowls of all of the other ingredients on the table. Pile the pasta with generous helpings of each ingredient, including some of the oil from the peppers and tomatoes. Toss and enjoy! *If you use cheddar you can microwave to melt the cheese if desired. 

*Roasted Tomatoes

Cut Cherry tomatoes in half and place on oiled foil on cookie sheet. Roast at 325ºF until they are firm and chewy. Pack in canola oil and store in the fridge or freezer.

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry tomatoes halved and ready for roasting

Cherry tomatoes halved and ready for roasting

Roasted to intensify flavour and remove the moisture. They taste like candy! 

Roasted to intensify flavour and remove the moisture. They taste like candy! 

Toasted pine nuts.

Toasted pine nuts.

Those famous peppers!

Those famous peppers!

The Perfect Pasta.

The Perfect Pasta.

Harvest Survival Food - Peppers, Hot Stuff!

These peppers pack some punch! Jill uses them on almost everything she eats, except for breakfast. Our favourite pasta includes these peppers. We will share that recipe with you in the coming weeks.

Ingredients: 

Jalapeño Peppers, Coarse Salt and Canola Oil

 

 

These hot peppers came out of our garden two days ago. Thankfully they were not hit by frost! 

These hot peppers came out of our garden two days ago. Thankfully they were not hit by frost! 

Wash the peppers, chop them into thin slices and place them in a bowl. Be careful, they are hot, best to hold the pepper with a fork while you cut them and if you touch one, DON'T RUB YOUR EYES!

Wash the peppers, chop them into thin slices and place them in a bowl. Be careful, they are hot, best to hold the pepper with a fork while you cut them and if you touch one, DON'T RUB YOUR EYES!

Completely cover the peppers with coarse salt, put a lid or plate over the bowl and leave to rest overnight.

Completely cover the peppers with coarse salt, put a lid or plate over the bowl and leave to rest overnight.

The next morning, rinse all of the salt off of the peppers. BE PREPARED...when the water hits them stand back! The heat from the peppers gets into the air.

The next morning, rinse all of the salt off of the peppers. BE PREPARED...when the water hits them stand back! The heat from the peppers gets into the air.

Pack the peppers in mason jars or tupperware and cover completely with canola oil and put them in the fridge. Canola oil works best because it doesn't solidify in the fridge like Olive oil. That's it! Leave them for about a week and then enjoy them on burgers, pizza, pasta, sandwiches...whatever you like. 

Pack the peppers in mason jars or tupperware and cover completely with canola oil and put them in the fridge. Canola oil works best because it doesn't solidify in the fridge like Olive oil. That's it! Leave them for about a week and then enjoy them on burgers, pizza, pasta, sandwiches...whatever you like.