Thursday, January 29, 2009

CSA Week 8 / Leftover Wrapup

So it's been a while between updates. School, life, busy, etc. Mojito in hand we trudge on.

Here's what we got for Week 8!

  • Zucchini 2
Honestly, I still have the two from a week ago. Normally I just slice and grill them with some oil and herbs, but I haven't really gotten around to them yet.
  • Head Lettuce
With M out in the field for most of last week, it was rough going on the head of lettuce we had. Still, big Greek Salads will finish this one off in no time.
  • Lacinato Kale (extras bin!)
  • Russian Red Kale
The two kales...I may try Kale Chips with some of them for a party tomorrow night. Otherwise, a braise of some sort.
  • Komatsuna
is really growing on me. I've been chopping it and adding to salads, just as good as when blanched with some sesame oil.
  • Sweet Bell Pepper
It was small. Half went into coleslaw. Other half into salad.
  • French Breakfast Radishes
I've really started to like the tops. Been adding them to salads.
  • Assorted Herbs 1 small bunch
This was small and kinda useless. I'm making Moule Marinier tomorrow, I may add the bundle.
  • Avocado
The one from two weeks ago is finally ready to eat. This one, well, will be ready in two weeks...
  • Strawberries
The newsletter said *EXTREMELY RIPE– EAT IMMEDIATELY*. They weren't kidding. Went bad in about two days, before I could eat them. :(
  • Canistel 2 + 2 extra
After the Canistel Ice Cream fiasco, (curse you UPS!) I was hot to try again so I picked up some from the xtras box. If they are ripe by tomorrow, they'll be Canistel Cream filling for crepes for dessert at the party.

Uses and Leftover Wrapup:

Canistel Ice Cream Fiasco

So Canistel Ice Cream is delicious. There's a local company that makes it, and it is really good (You can get it at Fairchild, among other places. Also try Eggfruit Smoothies at Robert Is Here!). So I set out to make the Norman Van Aken recipe and met with, at best, mixed success.

As many of you know, when you're making ice cream there is a period of frantic activity when you are tempering the eggs and bringing everything up to a simmer. Unfortunately it was at that exact time that UPS decided to deliver a package to my doorstep. Dog going crazy, eggs in mid-temper, I went to the door and brought it inside. As much as I wanted a custom set of window blinds addressed to someone who lives on the other side of town, this package was not for me. Back to the eggs and the simmering pot. Two more scoops in, and *ding*, back to the door to exchange the errant package for some brewing ingredients I had, in fact, ordered. The tempering was a disaster, on adding the eggs I got a pot of scrambled eggs and cream. >:( But I ran it through the ice cream maker regardless, having sacrificed the cost of nine eggs and a vanilla bean to the disaster.

Verdict? Taste: A+. Really good. The canistel gives it an interesting egg custard but faintly fruity taste. Texture: D-. Grainy and weird from the eggs. Also, the recipe has you grind a fresh cinnamon stick and half a nutmeg. While I applaud Norman for encouraging fresh spices, you better grind the bejesus out of those spices! I was getting unpleasantly large chunks of nutmeg...

Moral? Try the recipe, it is really good, but if the UPS man comes, ignore him.

Cold Noodle Salad with Braised Greens

This was a 'use all the braising greens you have' meal. And it was actually quite good. The recipe begins with these two sauces from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's TriBeCa restaurant '66' which I think is now 'Matsugen Soba House'. Anyway, make the broth and peanut sauces more or less as directed (I halved the broth, it's plenty.) The peanut sauce clump is a little dark on account of I ran out of white sesame seeds and had to use black ones... Still tasted good.

Take whatever braising greens you've got, in my case it was the leftover braising mix, some backyard bok choi, some tatsoi, etc. Stir fry with some garlic and ginger, then braise in shaoxing rice wine until done. For noodles I used both udon noodles, boiled then cooled, and rice vermicelli, with boiling water poured over and cooled (pictured). I liked the udon better, personally. Had more body and flavor. Plating is: a bed of noodles, ladle on some broth, pile of veggies, a scoop of peanut sauce, sprinkle of sesame seeds, cilantro and peanuts. Enjoy.

Horiatiki Salad

The classic Greek salad has been the receptacle for a lot of my greens recently. And why not, they're easy and tasty. Importantly, a lot of the longevity that's been ascribed to the "Mediterranean Diet" owes its basis to these salads. Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean these salads are made of whatever can be picked locally, and these are often wild greens, like dandy lion and purslane. For our CSA purposes, I interpret that as including whatever weird tops or greens that don't need to be cooked to death to be edible. So radish tops? Oh yeah. Tatsoi, komatsuna? Yep. Lettuce? Obviously. Cabbage? Sure.

The trick to making a really good horiatiki is one I learned in Cyprus: Herbs. Always always add some parsley at the very least. Flat leaf is preferable, but you can chop curly parsley finely and it will work. For a Cypriot twist, add cilantro. (I always do!) Mint and basil give it a twist. Throw in some tomatoes, cucumber, kalamatas, and feta and you're golden.

As for dressing: juice of half a lemon for two, a whole one for a family. Drizzle a little olive oil and grind some pepper on top. Done. Makes a good meal on its own, but I served it with some baba ghanoush (last week's eggplant!), hummus, and tzatziki with some pitas.


The cabbage finally went the way of all cabbages. Which is to say: coleslaw! Honestly it's pretty much the only thing I do with them. Here's my favorite recipe, from Steven Raichlen's "BBQ USA":

Mustard Slaw

1 pound and a half-ish head of cabbage. Cut in half, remove stalk. Cut into 8 sections, food processor one or two at a time till finely chopped (this is not a shredded slaw). Add about 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper. (I used the green one we got this week)


1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup French's Mustard
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp celery seed
ground black pepper and salt to taste. Mix it all up and add to cabbage/bell pepper. Done.

Smoked a pork shoulder, made pulled pork sandwiches. Delicious. And plenty of leftovers...


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