Saturday, January 17, 2009

CSA Week 7

Here's the haul for this week:

  • Lettuce
Salad of some sort, one night when we don't feel like cooking.
  • Collards
I have yet to ever find a way to cook collards so that they're edible. Nope, sorry, they're terrible. But I found a way to cook callaloo that I liked, so there's hope yet. I've got some roast pork belly leftover, and a half jar of Trotter Gear. Will combine these somehow into a braise of sorts. Maybe with some onions and cabbage.
  • Cherry Tomatoes
Either in a salad, or I'm thinking of making a salsa with the tomatoes, starfruits and cilantro for something. Tacos or fajitas maybe?
  • Asian Braising Greens
These will be in tonight's dinner, which Meredith is cooking because I have a cold so I'm not sure of the details. I know it involves the greens being braised in the wok with Chinese spices and some leftover cabbage and a bok choi from our garden. Served with Chinese spiced seared duck breast. (We've got a whole duck to break down.)
  • Tatsoi
Side sometime this week, probably wilted like the Komatsuna from Week 5. Thinking of serving with some soba noodles and miso/ginger dressing.
  • Black Sapotes
Are green and rock hard. It'll take some patience, then I'm thinking: muffins?
  • Carambolas
The tart kind eh...probably into a salsa? No need for lime juice... Maybe I'll just make a martini or two and call it good!
  • Cilantro
Between the kind we grow (some freaky varietal I can't remember the name of that doesn't look like cilantro but tastes great!) and the amount we generally have around, it will be used in various places. Salsa, maybe a Chile Verde of some kind.
  • An Eggplant
Again? Ok. We're having a debate about whether to make baba ghanoush again, or try to do something else, like an Eggplant Parmesan. My experiences cooking it in the past have always been a bit underwhelming, but who knows. We do have all those tomatoes...
We've still got last week's avocado (still hard as a rock). It may go into guacamole or something if it ripens this week.

The canistels from last week are still ripening, one is good and in the freezer but two need more time. Going to be great ice cream when they're ready.

Cabbage. Boy do we still have cabbage. I had some pork belly trimmings (about 2lbs) from my whole belly for the pancetta, so I gave it about 3 days in a brine of salt, sugar, cloves, bay leaves, thyme, and a bit of pink salt. Then roasted it, and served on a bed of Colcannon that used some of the cabbage and all the garlic chives we got last week. The belly was good, but the skin didn't get crispy enough, largely due to the irregular shape of the trimmed end. The parts that did get crispy were tasty though! The leftovers will be used with the collards somehow. Will probably leave the pink salt out next time, it probably wasn't necessary and gave it a bit of a corned beef edge. Some of the cabbage is going in tonight's braised veggies. Otherwise I'm thinking shredded in fish tacos with the starfruit salsa? I love it when a plan comes the docks!

The heirloom beans were good. Half went with some ground beef and lots of pepper, stir-fried Thai style and served with some Basmati rice. The rest will go into the big stirfry tonight.

Our little container garden is humming along nicely. The bok choi went from frail little starters to monster cabbages over Christmas, and we picked the first one today. Into the wok you go! The tomatoes and peppers have started flowering, and our sad, crippled little squash and cucumber plants have either died or are flowering. It's interesting to see the impact of different sized pots on the various plants. Apparently bigger really is better...

I spent some time last week and redid the front planter bed. It had been supporting a healthy Thai basil plant, which died over the break. So I ripped everything out (there wasn't much, mostly rocks and bamboo leaves 4 inches thick) and mixed in whatever potting soil I could find, and some composted barley from brewing. Then I planted all the odd starters and remaining seeds we had around. Everything seems to be doing ok. The freaky cilantro is there (pictured below), and some mint, Thai basil, rosemary, chives, and six mystery chile plants. Planted some tomatillos, but who knows if they will grow. They were backordered and delivered late (much to my forgetful surprise!) They take a while to germinate too, and I didn't have the time or patience to start them inside now. So godspeed little seeds, victory or death wot wot. One of the cucumber seeds sprouted today, and so long as I water it every day (the soil is very sandy, and drains quickly) it should do fine. Who knows if the Shiso seeds will start growing, they certainly didn't like the backyard or the starter pots inside...


Chloe said...

Oh no Russell,
Collards can be great, but need to be cooked all day, or more. :) Try the crockpot. Cut out a lot of the stem, unless it is small and tender, it can be bitter. A little vinegar goes a long way and of course, a lot of pork goes a long way!

My 2 cents,

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