Saturday, April 04, 2009

CSA Week 18

Only two more weeks left!

  • Spring Onions
  • Italian Parsley
  • Carrots w/ Tops
  • Three Yellow Squashes
  • One GBP
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • And a massive White Beet that I am henceforth naming Turnipus
From the extras bin: one big zucchini, one wilted head of Romaine, some wilty dill.

Also into this week's calculations go the facts that we're going to be making some yogurt this week, and it seems that everything is ripening in the garden at once. We have about two dozen ripe red serrano chiles, some pasillas, about six RBPs, two huge flowering bok choi, and soon we'll have about eight ripe huge heirloom tomatoes. Plus the mint patches, basil, rosemary, chives, and cilantro are all doing well.

Turnipus is a beast, weighing in at 3lbs 4oz with tops. Also, the only thing I have ever used beets for is raining some root-vegetable doom down on the doomed heads of my doomed enemies in Super Mario Brothers 2. Oh 1988...salad days indeed.

Suffice to say Beets are not really my forte. I hate the pickled ones in a can. Roasted they're ok I guess. But there's no chance of roasting it like smaller red beets, it's enormous (could probably chunk it though). I'm thinking it could be soup, or some kind of gratin, mash or pancake?

My first thoughts for this week are use yogurt and use herbs. I'm thinking we'll go Greek and Indian this week. Maybe some grilled lamb and squashes, with dilled yogurt on the side. We've got a lot of parsley, maybe a quinoa taboule? I'm thinking the carrots would go well in a cold curry-yogurt sauce. Chicken Tikka?

Or I'm thinking this Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Harissa Yogurt would solve all of my problems at once: carrots, turnip, green onions, parsley, yogurt, chiles! Only problem is there is a large chance that we will be cooking a multi-course Moroccan feast for eight next Saturday, can there be too much of a good thing?

Last Week Roundup

We had a leftover/garden night with Chinese Stuffed Red Bell Peppers and Steamed Bok Choi. I took two ripe RBPs from the garden, cut the tops off about half an inch down and removed the seeds and veins. Into a saute pan went some oil, onion, ginger, garlic, two small diced lop chong sausages, diced carrot, green onions. Sauted all that till done, then mixed it with an egg and some leftover rice. Stuffed RBPs. Placed tops back on, stood them upright in a pan, poured a couple T's of the daikon dipping sauce from earlier in the week around them and some Shaoxing Rice Wine. Threw a lid on and into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, I made a bok choi recipe based on one from Tom Douglas' Tom's Big Dinners. One of the big flowering bok choi from the garden was cleaned and chopped into 4" lengths. Into the bottom of the wok went about 3 cups of water, four coins of ginger, and half one of the oranges from that week. On went the bamboo steamer, in went the bok choi, steamed for about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, fried some garlic chips in some veggie and sesame oil. This went on the bok choi along with a tablespoon of the daikon dipping sauce.

Once the peppers were ready, I took them out, put them on plates. Put the pan back on the stove and added a teaspoon of cornstarch to the soy/ricewine/pepper drippings in the bottom of the pan and made a tasty sauce for the peppers.

All in all not an outstanding meal but a good use of stuff we had leftover and around. The bok choi was good but not as ginger/orangy as I'd hoped.
  • Caesar Salad with Dandelion Greens
We had the head of romaine and the dandelion greens left, and the last two rice-batards were going stale. So I made a Caesar salad with it all.

Diced the bread, rolled it around in a couple cloves of chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, and a little olive oil. Baked at 350 till golden crispy.

Made the dressing. Here's the recipe I use for two people, based on one that feeds six from Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe.
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 anchovies
  • 1 t Dijon
  • 2 t lemon juice (or less if you prefer)
  • 2 t sherry vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
  • an egg yolk
Blitz the oil and garlic in a Cuisinart. Strain into your salad bowl, pressing garlic to get maximum goodness. Mince the anchovies, in they go with the Dijon, lemon juice and vinegar. Add black pepper to taste. Right before serving whisk in the egg yolk.

A note about Food Safety. Yes it's a raw egg yolk. No you won't die. The CDC says about 30-40 people die a year from salmonella, mostly the young or elderly. In 2006, 46 people were killed by lightening. In 2005, 20,000 people died from accidental falls. You're more likely to die from slipping and falling on a broken egg. Does this mean you should lick that raw chicken cutting board you've left festering in the sink for a couple days? No. But a raw egg yolk once in a while won't kill you. Particularly when it's in a vinegar solution like this dressing.

I'm no more happy with the current state of U.S. factory chicken production than you are (or should be). And I'm skeptical about the cleanliness and safety of any of it. Buy local, buy organic, and know where your food comes from. For an eye opening look, you can check out Michael Pollan and others, but for a really in your face statement of the problem check out Jamie Oliver's Fowl Dinners (here's the first episode. Warning, many dead chickens.) Brutal but it's the truth, and it needs to be told, which is why this series cemented Jamie's place as one of my Food Heroes.

A raw egg now and then in your salad, egg nog, or cookie dough won't kill you. Still, no meal is appetizing if you spend the dinner worrying. So if you're still freaked by the idea, you can either coddle the egg first, or use a pasteurized egg. Or omit the egg altogether. Same goes for the anchovies. (But you really should leave them in, otherwise it's not really a Caesar!)

Ok, sorry for the food safety rant...back to the recipe.

Washed and chopped the lettuce and dandelion greens. Into the salad bowl with the croutons, and about a quarter cup grated Parmesan cheese. Mixed around, top with some more Parmesan and cracked black pepper. Delicious.
  • Bucatini All'amatriciana
By the end of the week I'd pretty much cleaned out our veggies (yay!) so I made this recipe using a big heirloom tomato from out back and some of the guanciale I've still got. It was very good, and very easy.


Post a Comment