Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Week Twelve of 2012

We got...
Arugula, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Carmen Peppers, Corn, Eggplant, Golden Rave Tomatoes, Red Onions, Salad Mix, Tomatoes, Basil, Parsley
Fruit: Peaches
My ideas...
Arugula, Bell Peppers – This Linguine with Chickpeas andArugula looks like it will make a great weeknight meal.
Broccoli – I am thinking of using the Broccoli to make this SesameBroccolini.
Carmen Peppers, Golden Rave Tomatoes, Red Onion, Basil – The peppers are piling up so I went searching for a roasted peppers recipe.  I am looking forward to trying RoastedPeppers Stuffed with Cherry Tomatoes, Onion, and Basil.
EggplantEggplant Parmesan sounds really good!  It freezes well too.
Tomatoes, Peppers, Onion, Basil and Parsley – My husband saw all the tomatoes we got and said, “Gazpacho please!”  You got it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Coriander Glazed Carrots, Crispy Potato Chips

Dinner was a success last night.  I found a great method for quick and easy potato chips – kids will love them.   I also enjoyed trying out a new cookbook I got as a gift.
Sunday Menu – Grilled Salmon, Coriander Glazed Carrots, Crispy Potato Chips
Farm Share Food – Carrots, Potatoes
Coriander Glazed Carrots
from Glazed Carrots with Coriander in “Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables”
Printable Version
4-6 carrots, depending on size, cut on a diagonal ¼ inch thick
1 t whole coriander seeds
3 T unsalted butter,
3 T lemon juice
3 T honey
2/3 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
In a skillet over medium to medium high heat, toast coriander seeds for one minute.  Cook until fragrant and color becomes darker.  They will also begin to hop in the skillet.  Remove seeds from skillet and crush with a mortar and pestle or grind to a fine powder.  Set aside.
In the skillet melt the butter and then add coriander.  About 1 minute, until fragrant.  Add lemon juice, honey, water and cook for 1 minute.  Add carrot, salt and pepper.  Stirring occasionally cook for 12-15 minutes until carrots are tender and a glaze has formed.
NOTE:  I usually read a recipe like this and would just use ground coriander.  For this I did actually toast coriander seeds and crush them in my mortar and pestle.  It was so fragrant!
Crispy Potato Chips
from Cooking Light September 2012
1 ½ cups thinly sliced potatoes
1 T olive oil
Salt, to taste
Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt.
Put parchment on a microwave safe place.  Lay slices on the parchment.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Work in batches.

Recipe Reviewed: Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

This recipe was included in our CSA newsletter and is from a favorite radio show, The Splendid Table.
The sauce was easy to make and has already been served to the children.  They said it was the best pasta night ever!  I plan to use it on Pizza and possibly in Eggplant Parmesan.  It is a great recipe to have around with all the tomatoes rolling in.
Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

Friday, August 24, 2012

Recipe Reviewed: Hibachi Fried Rice

I wish my kids would always eat as well as they do when we go out to Hibachi.  They gobble up everything those entertaining, knife wielding, and onion volcano making chefs put in front of them.  In my dream kitchen I’ll get a flat top grill and make up comedy routines to do each night while I make dinner for them.  Until then I found this Hibachi Fried Rice recipe that is yummy and gets those kids to gobble up CSA veggies.
Hibachi Fried Rice
I always use jasmine or basmati rice. 
My general rice cooking formula is 2 2/3 cup water, 1 1/3 cup rice, 1 T butter, and salt.  I bring the ingredients to a boil, and then let simmer 10 minutes.  It then needs to be put aside to set up.
I puree the onion with my immersion blender.  You can puree any other vegetables at this step, carrots, summer squash, zucchini, and peppers would work well.  This is why I like this recipe, it’s vegetable hiding ability.

Peach Pie: Frozen Core

On a recent visit to family I took some of our CSA peaches.  Not realizing they were from the CSA my family raved and raved about the peaches.  I offered to make them a pie for an upcoming visit at our place.  I had peaches from the week we were visiting family that my friend saved for us and this week’s peaches too.  Just enough to get a pie put together.
Alton Brown has a method for blueberry pie that you freeze the core of the pie and bake it later from frozen.  I wanted to use this methodology (they won’t be here till after Labor Day), but needed a recipe for peach pie.  I found a yummy and helpful step by step method at Smitten Kitchen. 
Peach Pie: Frozen Core

Printable Version

3 1/2 pounds peaches
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons minute tapioca

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Prepare an ice bath. Make a small x at the bottom of each peach. Once water is boiling, lower peaches, doing this in batches if necessary, into saucepan and poach for two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath for one minute to cool. Transfer peaches to cutting board and peel the skins.

Slices peaches into pieces about 1/3-inch thick. Add to a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a small dish, stir together sugars, cinnamon, salt and tapioca until evenly mixed. Add to peaches and toss to evenly coat.

Line a pie plate with aluminum foil and transfer pie filling to the pie plate.  Place in freezer for 6-8 hours to freeze completely.  Then remove from freezer, remove foil, and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in a freezer bag for storage in freezer.

If you are ready to bake, use your favorite pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 1.5 hours, placing the frozen core directly into the pie crust.  Let cool for 1.5 hours.  Alton has good directions for this step in his recipe.  I’ll post more later when I do this step.

NOTE: check out the Smitten Kitchen link for the reasons why granulated and brown sugar are used.  There is also a great joke about if poaching the peaches to peel them doesn’t work.  It worked great for me, so I think it is worth the time.  I haven’t decided what crust to use yet.  I’ll post again on the final results of this pie.

Quick Pickled Jalapenos

We got four Jalapenos in our share this week and then there were three in the share box.  I scooped those right up.  Now I have a beautiful jar of pickled Jalapenos in the fridge.
Quick Pickled Jalapenos
Farm Share Food – Jalapenos, Garlic
Printable Version
7-10 Jalapeno Peppers, thinly sliced seeds and membranes intact
3 T sugar
¾ cup white distilled vinegar
¾ cup water
1 T kosher salt
½ t dried oregano
1 clove garlic, smashed and very roughly chopped (those cloves from the share are HUGE!)
Rinse Jalapeno slices and set aside.  Bring sugar, vinegar, water, salt, and oregano to a rolling boil.  Turn off heat and add Jalapeno slices.  Let sit 10 minutes.  Peppers will have lost their bright color.  Transfer to a jar, cool completely.  Store in fridge.
NOTE: I followed the recipe from Food Wishes exactly, but felt the need to write it out because I found it annoying to have to keep watching the video if I missed a step or detail.

Thai Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry

Thursday Menu – Thai Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry, Rice
Farm Share Food – Broccoli, Garlic, Basil
This recipe originally called for Green Beans, which I was hoping to get this week, but we did not get.  I was excited to try the recipe so I substituted the Broccoli we got for the Green Beans.  This was a tasty and quick meal to prepare.
Thai Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry
based on Thai Steak Stir Fry
Printable Version

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound skirt steak, cut against the grain into thin strips
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets and thinly sliced stalk
4 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large
2 cups cooked rice, for serving
In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium high.  Add steak and cook until browned, 4 minutes.  Transfer steak to a plate and reserve.  Add broccoli stalk slices, ginger, and garlic.  Cook until stalks begin to become tender.  Add florets and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Return beef to the pan along with fish sauce and basil.  Cook 1 minute.  Serve with rice.
NOTE: Soy Sauce can be substituted for Fish Sauce.  No basil in the share this week, but I had plenty frozen in the freezer and it worked great for a recipe like this.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Week Eleven of 2012

We got...
Broccoli, Carmen Peppers, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Peppers, Jalapenos, Onions, Salad Mix, Tomatoes, Parsley
Fruit: Peaches
My plans...
Broccoli – This Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and AlmondTomato Sauce sounds delicious!
Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers – While my children would appreciate if I just cut up the peppers and let them chomp on them; I am hoping to try this Chicken Andouille and Shrimp Jambalaya.
Carrots – I just like having that huge bag of lovely carrots around, but these Perfectly Cooked Carrots would make a nice side dish.
Eggplant – My mouth was watering as I read this recipe for Lamb Patties Braised with Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes.
Jalapenos – We got four in our share, and then there were three in the share box that I snatched up.  I am going to quick pickle the Jalapenos and then make this CheesyJalapeno Pull Bread.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Method Reviewed: Silk Free Corn

My Aunt used to tell me that when the same subject keeps coming up in different aspects of your life, then you know you are in line with the universe.  I’m not sure I’m in line with the universe, but this Silk Free Corn method keeps coming up this summer.  First on a podcast we listened to on the way to the beach, then when my husband went to a friend’s house for dinner they discussed the method, and then there was a blurb in the Cincinnati Enquirer that my mother in law saved for me.  I had to try it!
Polly Campbell of the Cincinnati Enquirer describes the method best...
“Microwave corn, unhusked, untrimmed for four minutes an ear.  Then, use a big knife to cut the stem off through the cob.   Then you hold the ear vertically, so the cob drops out of the husk.  No silk.”
It was super fun to pull the whole husk off in one motion!
But I have to say this method is not for us.  Four minutes per ear was way too much.  I was afraid the first ear I tried was going to turn into popcorn.  From then I tried 3 minutes and the whole husk still came off.  Not every bit of silk came off and so I still steamed the ears in an inch or two of water because that is how I always get those last silks off.  I also thought it was time consuming, three minutes per ear of corn took close to 20 minutes to husk the corn.  I can sit outside and get 6 ears of corn husked in less than 5 minutes, or even better – get my kids to do it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fresh CSA Salsa

I came home from CSA pick up and wanted to taste and touch everything.  I was excited to throw together a simple salsa to go with our Quesadillas from many of the items I just picked up.  
Tuesday Menu – Quesadillas
Farm Share Food – Hot Peppers, Onions, Zucchini (these went in the Quesadillas), Tomatoes, Onions, Basil
Fresh CSA Salsa
2 medium Tomatoes, diced
½ Red Onion, diced
½ - 1 Jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 T Cilantro, minced
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T lime juice
Gently mix together all the ingredients. 
This gets better over time in the refrigerator, but we had not leftovers last night.
NOTE: we didn’t have any Cilantro; we did get Basil this week.  I tried the Basil in the salsa for a little color and to have a fresh herb.  It worked nicely.

Week Nine of 2012

Yesterday was one of those days I came home from CSA pick up and wanted to try a little bit of everything and wanted to put everything into dinner that night.  Good stuff this week.
We got...
Black Cherry Tomatoes, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Garlic, Green Beans, Hot Peppers, Onions, Potatoes, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Basil
Fruit: Peaches
My plans...
Black Cherry Tomatoes – I’m going to make this Fresh TomatoSauce to go on spaghetti.
Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Jalapeno – I’ve been waiting for melon to make this Spicy Cantaloupe-Cucumber Salad.
Carrots and Green Beans – These are going into the freezer.  Check out this link for tips on how to freeze lots of veggies.
Hot Pepper and Onions – Quesadillas are a great meal for using small amounts of CSA veggies.
Potatoes – These Potato, Chorizo, and Green Chile Burritos sound yummy.
Tomatoes – Fresh CSA Salsa to go with the Quesadillas.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kashmiri Eggplant

I love eggplant!  My good friend’s husband is from Kashmir and her mother in law taught her how to make this eggplant.  For me this dish is comfort food, it’s warming and just melts in your mouth.  It is perfectly served with Naan to dip.
Meatless Monday Menu – Kashmiri Eggplant, Rice Noodles (alas, we had no Naan)
Farm Share Food – Eggplant, Onion, Garlic, Beet Greens
Kashmiri Eggplant
2 T olive oil, divided
1 medium Eggplant or 3-4 Asian Eggplants, roughly chopped
½ t Cumin seeds
1 Onion, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 t ground Coriander
1 t Garam Masala or Curry Powder
1/8 t Cayenne
½ t Turmeric
1 T Curry Paste
Salt, to taste
4 Tomatoes
Heat 1 T of olive oil to a skillet.  Add chopped Eggplant.  Cook covered over medium heat until Eggplant is soft, about 15-20 minutes.
In a Dutch Oven heat remaining 1 T of olive oil.  Add Cumin Seeds, cook 1 minute.  Add Onions and cook until light brown.  Add Garlic, cook 1 minute.  Add spices – Coriander, Curry, Cayenne, Turmeric, Curry Paste and Salt.  Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add tomatoes, and cook until tomatoes lose their shape and form a nice sauce.  Add Eggplant, stir to combine, and cook over medium heat, covered for 30 minutes.
NOTE: I had Beet Greens in the fridge.  I added them to the dish with the softened Eggplant.  They were a nice addition.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Firecracker Beet Slaw

I am always looking for ways to use my beets.  They are not a vegetable I enjoy.  BUT, I do enjoy spicy food.  This recipe for Firecracker Beet Slaw in our CSA newsletter caught my attention.  
Sunday Menu – BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Firecracker Beet Slaw
Farm Share Food – Corn, Beets, Garlic
Firecracker Beet Slaw
3 cups raw Beets, shredded
1 cup Granny Smith Apple, shredded
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 T Extra Virgin Olive OIl
3 T Dijon Mustard
1 T Agave Nectar
2 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
2 t canned Chipotles and sauce
Salt, to taste
Toss together Beets, Apple, and Scallions.
With an immersion blender or in a food processor, blend vinegar, oil, mustard, nectar, garlic, chipotles, and salt.   Add to Beet mixture and toss to coat. 
The notes on this recipe say this slaw gets better over time and can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
NOTE:  Chipotles in Adobo Sauce come in a small can.  You never need the whole can.  I always take the remainder, put it in a baggy and freeze it flat.  Then I just break off what I need the next time a recipe calls for this ingredient.