There have been some big changes in my personal homestead. After nearly two years at home caring for the love of my life (our daughter), I’m back to work full time. That means time is even more precious than it was before, and time spent on food is one of the places that has had to be cut to the bone. That means my slow cooker has been getting quite a work out recently. Hopefully I’ll be able to use my imagination and resources to continue to feed our family from our CSA while spending as little time as possible over the stove. One of the products of this is pictured above – behold! Stuffed Swiss chard with mashed turnips and potatoes.
The Swiss chard recipe is a riff on stuffed cabbage, a traditional Polish dish. It was really delicious and fast, when you factor in the slow cooker. My coworker, who was born and raised in Poland, saw me eating the left overs and gave them her seal of approval. I was honored. The mash was just made to use up some stuff in the fridge, but it was really good and not too strong in the turnip flavor department, which I count as a bonus.
Stuffed Swiss Chard
1 c cooked rice (about 1/2 rice, cooked according to package directions)
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
16 oz tomato sauce
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 T lemon juice
1 T brown sugar
10-20 large Swiss chard leaves, stems removed
In a large bowl, combine the rice, beef, and onion. Hands are the best tool for that task. In a separate bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Add about 1/4 c of the tomato mixture to the beef mixture and combine. Lay out each Swiss chard leaf and scoop about 1/4 c of the beef mixture onto it. Roll it up like a little burrito. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with stuffed leaves, ladle on about 1/2 c of the tomato mixture, and repeat until all the filling and leaves are used. Scoop any remaining sauce onto the top of the pile of stuffed chard. Cook in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
Mashed Turnips and Potatoes
I can’t take any credit for any part of this recipe (except the cream cheese). I channeled the great JC and took it directly out of my beloved copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you’ve got a copy, find the recipe for mashed turnips and have a go. If not, here is a synopsis.
1 lb turnips, peeled and quartered
2 T butter
4-5 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
3 oz cream cheese
Set to medium sauce pans to boil with salted water. In one, boil the potatoes until they are tender. Mash them with the cream cheese and set aside. In the other, boil the turnips for 3-5 minute. This…this!…is the step I’ve always skipped. Don’t skip it! It takes the bite out of the turnip and turns this dish into something really yummy instead of something, for lack of a better word, turnipy. Drain the turnips and return them to the pot with just enough water or chicken broth to barely cover them. Add the 2 T butter and boil for 20-30 minutes, or until they are tender. When they are tender, you can drain the extra water/broth off, if there is any, or I just left what little was left in the mash for extra moisture. Mash the turnips, add to the potatoes, and mash the whole thing again until it’s light and fluffy. Salt and pepper as necessary.
In the interest of time, I made the mashed turnips on the weekend when I had a few spare moments. They reheated beautifully to be included with the stuffed chard for a fast Monday night dinner.