Monday, April 13, 2009

CSA Week 19

Only one more week! Here's this week:

  • Kale
  • Lots of Spring Onions
  • An Eggplant
  • A GBP
  • Some Green Beans
  • A big Red Cabbage
  • A Cucumber
  • A small bouquet of Italian Parsley
  • Strawberries
Plan for this week:

The first plan is to run out to the store today and see what's for sale cheap after Easter. Ducks? Lamb? The results may change the plans somewhat. Here's how it stands right now though.
  • Roast Veal Breast with Beet
I picked up two veal breasts on wicked sale (buy one get one). I set out to debone them today, with the intention of making a braised veal roulade stuffed with some of the Italian sausage I made last week and some matzos that a friend left over here (bleh, matzos. But waste not want not...) The remaining bones would make some veal stock. Unfortunately I soon discovered that:
  1. I'd put them in the freezer and I didn't defrost them all the way first. This led to the knife digging a little too much into the meat.
  2. My boning knife is a 7" Opinel fillet folder that I keep monstrously sharp. It actually cut straight through some of the fairly cartilaginous veal bones...d'oh!
  3. A (presumably well-meaning) butcher had slashed huge gashes across the breast, effectively destroying any chance of stuffing it.
In short I butchered the butchery.

So I trimmed the remaining breast and left it at that. Tonight it will be braised with about half the giant white beet (roasted separately?) in some wine, beef stock, rosemary and demiglace. Half the green beans will probably be a side, with whatever herbs I can scrounge. The bones of the one mauled breast went in a bag, and the chopped meat in another. Which leads to the next meal of the week:
  • Beef and Trotter Gear Pot Pie
Meredith and I were talking about a restaurant we used to go to, a cute neighborhood place in Seattle called Pies and Pints. You would walk in on a cold rainy day, and order a beer and a pie-float: one of several different crusty mini-meat pies set in the middle of a bowl of pea soup. Cheap and awesome.

So I've got a spare pie crust, my hacked up veal and some very frozen stew beef, half a giant beet, some red potatoes, leeks, green beans, spring onions, and assorted herbs. Beef pie time. Also still have some trotter gear and guanciale, so I'm thinking it's time to try out this recipe. No peas for split pea soup though. Might pick some up...
  • Red Cabbage
It'll keep. I'd like to make sauerkraut but I don't think I have time. Grilled? Maybe a coleslaw, or cooked up with some of the ridiculous amount of sausages I have in the freezer.
  • Eggplant
Who knows. Baba Ghanoush again? Nom nom nom.

  • Pizza
As posted earlier last week there was Gardenpocalypse. I ended up with about 6 big red tomatoes and RBPs that had to be eaten soon. So I made pizza! Using everything I could get my hands on...

The dough was a simple pizza dough. Only difference was that I had some dried Chantrelle mushrooms around that I rehydrated. I used the mushroom-rehydration water in the dough, which was pretty tasty.

Pizza sauce is easy. Took two big tomatoes, chopped, cooked in a tablespoon or two of olive oil with a clove of garlic and a dash of salt, pepper and oregano for about 45 minutes until it was sauce.

On the left is a veggie pizza, with yellow squash, fresh basil, Chantrelle mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, garlic and fresh mozzarella. Very good. The squash was better than I expected.

On the right is the meat pizza. There was fresh hot Italian sausage, dry Spanish/Miami chorizo, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, and fresh mozzarella. Amazing.
  • Hot Italian Sausage and Poblano Sausage
I had all these RBPs and Poblanos around, so I picked up some pork and made 10 lbs of sausage. Both recipes were basically the ones out of Charcuterie, but I tweaked them a bit. I added roasted red bell peppers to the hot Italian sausage (lessening the liquid amount) and I used homemade chili powder and some vinegar and tequila in the Poblano sausages. Both were good, but the Italian is really great.
  • Moroccan
Saturday we had 14 people for a Moroccan dinner that Meredith had donated for an auction a while back. Sadly we were too busy cooking ( to take photos. But we used a lot of the CSA veggies. Often I see food blogs with lots of studio quality photos of every step and I'm like: seriously? Wtf. How did you possibly have time for that. Do you have a prehensile tail? A well trained dog or kitchen gnome who waits patiently to snap photos for you? Anyway, here's the courses:
  1. Bisteya - an awesome 13"x9" chicken, egg, almond, cinnamon and sugar phyllo-dough pie.
  2. The Lemon and Olive course. A chicken tagine with kalamata olives and preserved lemons. Side was an herb salad of beet tops, carrot tops, Italian parsley, kale, cilantro, kalamatas, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, steamed and then cooked to death (and deliciousness). Served with a dollop of Harissa.
  3. Lamb and Veggie Couscous. A big couscous with lamb, CSA zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots, and chickpeas. Topped with fried almonds and spiced caramelized onions and raisins. Served with a harissa sauce made with the lamb stock. Here's the couscous steaming on the couscousiere. The idea is that you make a stew in the bottom and use the steam to cook the couscous just right. It just barely fits on the stove. I got it at Daily Bread for about $ is huge and makes a minimum of couscous for 6, but I have no doubt it would easily do couscous for 30.
  4. Harissa. Not really a 'course', but I needed to use a bunch of ripe chiles. So I took about 20 red ripe serranos and jalapenos from the yard, halved and seeded them, and steamed them for about 5 minutes. (You could also use rehydrated dried chiles). Into the cuisinart they went with a roasted red bell pepper, a clove of garlic, and about 2 t each of caraway and coriander (toasted). Blitz to paste. Adjust with salt and pepper, then strain through a sieve to get a fiery hot neon orange paste. It'll keep a little while. You can use it like you'd use any garlic/chile paste (like Sambal Oelek).
Dinner was a raging success. People were pretty cool with sitting on pillows and eating with their fingers. It was a frightening amount of work, but everything was cooked perfectly and there were hardly any leftovers.

Now let us never speak of it again.


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