Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week Eight of 2013

We got...
Carmen Peppers, Carrots, Corn, Eggplant, Head Lettuce, Poblano Peppers, Potatoes, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Cilantro

Fruit: Peaches
My ideas....
Carmen Peppers  - I found this recipe for Asian Beef Rolls this winter and have been so excited to get Peppers so I could share it on the blog.
Carrots, Head Lettuce, Cilantro – I want to make an Asian Noodle Bowl.  I plan to use this recipe as a model - Vietnamese Noodle Bowl.
Eggplant – Last week was non-traditional Eggplant Recipes, this week I thought I’d share this Open Faced Eggplant Sandwich that uses classic, breaded eggplant cutlets.
Poblano Peppers, Tomatoes, Cilantro – I found a blurb from a seed company about the Saladette Tomatoes that says they are good for salsa.  I want to try this Roasted Poblano, TomatoSalsa.
Potatoes and Poblanos – Looking for something else to do with your Poblanos, these Potato,Poblano, and Chorizo Tacos look like the perfect summer meal.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Soy-Lime Salmon with Green Beans

I was so pleased with dinner last night.  The salmon was cooked perfectly using the foil packet method in this recipe.  The flavors were vibrant in this easy week night meal.
Monday Menu – Soy-Lime Salmon with Green Beans, Rice
Farm Share Food – Green Beans
Soy-Lime Salmon with Green Beans


This recipe was well written and easy to follow.  They suggest 12-15 green beans on top of the salmon, I just used a handful to guesstimate.

I only made two servings, but followed the recipe for the suggested four.  I made the extra green beans their own pack and used the extra soy sauce mixture to flavor them.  I’m eating those for lunch today with some bread or noodles.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Readers Suggest: Recipes for Chard and Eggplant

I’ve been getting emails.
One reader suggests Summertime Noodles with Sweet BalsamicDressing. 
She omitted the orange, thought it seemed weird.  When I read the recipe I agreed.  I thought about putting lemon zest into the dressing.  She also swapped almond for the sunflower seeds and chard for the spinach.  This recipe also uses basil which we got this week and tomatoes, which hopefully we will get this week.
She said it was delicious.

Another reader suggests White Bean and Roasted Eggplant Hummus.
The review was, “Yum.  Big Hit!”
When I read the recipe I liked the suggestion of using cucumber slices for dipping.

The pictures are from the recipe websites.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reader Suggests: Summer Corn Salad

A reader emailed me to let me know this salad was fantastic.  We didn’t get tomatoes with this week’s share, so she used the green pepper we did get as a substitute.  She also used goat cheese she had on hand to replace the feta.  She said it was so good with these substitutions she would always make it that way.

Recipe Reviewed: Shrimp Fettuccine with Chard

Friday Menu – Shrimp Fettuccine with Chard, Salad
Farm Share Food – Chard, Salad Mix, Green Pepper, Cucumber
This recipe came together quickly and was a delicious week night meal.  The original recipe calls for Spinach, but the Chard from this week’s share worked great.  I used the whole bunch of Chard in the recipe.  I added a bit of crushed red pepper into the step to cook the shrimp for a bit of heat.
Shrimp Fettuccine with Spinach and Parmesan

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi Sandwich


According to Wikipedia Banh Mi refers to the bread made in Vietnam based on the French baguette introduced to the Vietnamese during the French colonization period.  So Banh Mi is any sandwich made on this bread.  This Grilled Eggplant version is delicious.  It would also be great with the addition of grilled chicken, pork, or slices of steak. 
I wasn’t super organized putting these sandwiches together.  I was doing small steps all day.  I was getting frustrated and thinking how sandwiches with lots of prep just aren’t worth it.  Then it all came together and they got compliments from everyone I shared them with at the pool.  I began to rethink my review of this recipe.  First off, I’m always looking for easy meals to take to the pool with us for dinner.  This packed up easy and was a tasty meal.  Next time I make them I will gather everything into a prep line.  Prepare the carrots, grill the eggplant, make the peanut spread, and slice the cucumber, jalapeno, and herbs.  Once these are parts are organized the sandwich comes together quickly.

Thursday Menu – Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi, Microwave Potato Chips, Cucumber Salad
Farm Share Food – Eggplant, Cucumber, Basil, Potatoes
Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi
I substituted a couple of ingredients.  I traded fish sauce for the yellow miso called for in the recipe.  I was looking for the umami offered by the miso that fish sauce also provides.  It was a good substitution because it loosened up the peanut butter spread.  I traded basil for cilantro.  Simply, we got basil from the share this week and I didn’t have any fresh cilantro.
Hummus would make a good substitution for peanut butter if you have allergies.
I need to give a shout out to the Microwave Potato Chips we had with this meal.  They are amazing, crispy, golden bites!  And they are made in the microwave.  Follow the link for instructions.

Microwave Potato Chips! Amazing!


These potato chips were made in the microwave.  I opened them up at the pool and all the kids scooped them up.  The adults couldn’t believe they came out of the microwave.  I wasn’t really expecting potatoes from the CSA this week.  When I couldn’t find the potato chips I was looking for, I remembered this technique and thought they’d be the perfect summer, pool side use for the potatoes.  This technique never ceases to amaze me.

You start by fitting a piece of parchment paper to your microwave plate.

Slice the potatoes thin and toss with olive oil and salt.  Place them in a single layer on the parchment on the microwave plate. 

Cook in the microwave until crispy and beginning to brown.

Microwave Potato Chips
Based on a step in the recipe Chicken Nuggets with CrispyPotato Chips and Honey Mustard
Printable Version
1 pound potatoes, thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
Salt, to taste
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your microwave plate. 
Toss potato slices with olive oil and salt.  Place the potato slices in a single layer on the parchment paper on the microwave plate.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Then in smaller time increments until the chips begin to brown.  Remove and enjoy!
NOTE: The timing for the chips varies.  I usually start with 4 – 6 minutes then work in 2 minute increments until the potato slices are golden.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger

In need of some inspiration for Zucchini, I was excited to stumble upon this recipe for Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burgers.  It’s an interesting way to use Zucchini, beyond Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Boats. 
These are tasty and come together quickly.  While Spicy is in the name the amount of cayenne called for gives them a mild bite.  If you are looking for a real kick increase the amount a bit.  They are very moist.  I’ve made them twice.  The second time I added an egg to help bind them together.  It helped, but I think they might need a little bread crumb added to make them firm enough.  First time I served them without a bun and dipped them in the refreshing sauce.  Second time I served them on buns with the sauce like a traditional burger.  Delicious no matter how you serve them!
Wednesday Menu – Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger, Corn on the Cob
Farm Share Food – Zucchini, Cilantro, Corn

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week Seven of 2013

Back from vacation and produce draw is full again...

We got...
Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Potatoes, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil

Fruit: Peaches
My ideas....
Chard – I’m going to use Chard for this Spinach recipe, Shrimp Fettuccine withSpinach and Parmesan.
Corn – My husband and seven year old have been asking for corn since our share started this year, so this week I will only be allowed to boil and serve the corn.
Cucumber and Eggplant – Looking forward to these Grilled Eggplant Bahn Mi Sandwiches.
Green Beans – This Steamed Green Bean with Lemon-Mint Dressing recipe has three additional variations.  To start the main recipe suggests using basil instead of mint, good...we got basil this week.  The three additional variations are Red Pepper and Pesto, Ginger Sesame, and Stewed Tomato and Spices.
Green Peppers and PotatoesSkirt Steak with Peppers looks yummy.  The recipe includes as side dish using both peppers and potatoes.
Zucchini – I’ve already made this Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burgers.  They are delicious.  Also easy to prep and put in the fridge to have ready when you return home ready to eat as soon as you can cook them on the grill.
Relevant Notes: I had several readers ask for Eggplant recipes.  Check out this special post, Readers Request:Eggplant Suggestions.

Readers Request: Eggplant Suggestions

At pick up yesterday I had a few people ask me for eggplant suggestions...beyond eggplant parmesan.
Here are favorites from over the years at The Purple Cook...
All Time FavoriteAfghan Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce
Comfort FoodKashmiri Eggplant
These two dishes are what I make when I’m craving eggplant.
Loved by ManyTortellini with Eggplant and Peppers
Smells DeliciousLemon Rice and Eggplant Chick Pea Curry
ClassicGrilled Eggplant Sandwich
Here are two recipes I found to try this year.  Can’t decide which to try first!
Grilled Eggplant Bahn Mi Sandwich
Red Beans and Rice with Merguez and Eggplant

Merguez is lamb sausage.  While I’d be happy to try this, I have a bunch of chicken sausage in the freezer and may just use that.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week Five of 2013

We got...

Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumber, Kale, Onions, Salad Mix, Salanova Head Lettuce, Scallions, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro

Fruit: Cherries
My ideas....
Beets and Basil – This Golden Beet Pasta uses both Beets and Basil.  It also uses the Beet Greens.  No reason not to substitute CSA Beets for the Golden Beets.
Broccoli and Onions – I’m freezing these.  The University of Missouri Extension website has a great guide for freezing vegetables.
Carrots and Cilantro – Again, a good looking recipe that helps use the herbs.  Moroccan Spiced Baby Carrots looks like a great way to use early season CSA Carrots.
Cucumber – Summer can’t go by without Cucumber Salad.  I made this recipe last week using crushed red pepper in place on the jalapeno, and cilantro in place of the dill.
Kale – A reader suggests this Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing.  The review was that the whole bowl was gone, they couldn’t get enough.
ZucchiniThese Stuffed Zucchini Boats look like a refreshing summer dish.  The recipe calls for Scallions and Cucumbers – other items from this week’s share.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Recipe Revisited: Strawberry Shortcakes

Happy Fourth of July! We celebrated with CSA Share Strawberries.
I’ve shared this recipe before.  I had a little trouble then with the shortcakes.  This time they came out great.  I didn’t try to make them round by using a biscuit cutter.  Step 4 calls for patting the dough into a rectangle.  At that stage I cut the rectangle into 8 pieces.  It was the perfect size for a serving of Strawberry Shortcake.  The original recipe calls for combining the strawberries with sugar.  We prefer them fresh and without the resulting syrup.  This posting I’ve also added a printable version of the shortcake recipe.
From Baking Illustrated
Printable Version
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 T sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
8 T (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup plus 1 T half and half or whole milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

  1. For the Shortcakes: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the over to 425 degrees.  In a food processor, pulse the flour, 3 T of sugar, the baking powder, and salt to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 one second pulses.  Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Mix the beaten egg with the half and half in a measuring cup.  Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture.  Combine with a rubber spatula until large clumps form.  Turn the mixture onto a floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.
  3. Use your fingertips to pat the dough into a 9x6 rectangle about ¾ inch thick, being careful not to overwork the dough.  Flour a 2 ¾ inch biscuit cutter and cut out 6 rounds (You can use the scraps to cut out 1 or 2 more rounds).  Place the rounds 1 inch apart on a small baking sheet, brush the tops with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 T sugar.  (Dough rounds can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)
  4. Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, 12 – 14 minutes.  Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the cakes until warm, about 10 minutes.

Recipe Reviewed: Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

Swiss Chard and Herb Tart
Farm Share Food – Swiss Chard, Onions, Basil, Parsley
I enjoyed this tart.  This recipe would be a great brunch dish.
To adjust the recipe for the CSA share I substituted Basil for the Dill in the recipe.   I liked it as a CSA recipe because you use the stems of the Swiss Chard.
To make the recipe easier I used a store bought crust.  I also did not use a spring form pan, I just made it in a regular pie pan. 
This recipe can be made in stages.  You can bake the crust and make the filling ahead of time.  When I was ready to serve it did the final step of baking them together.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Week Four of 2013

We got...
Broccoli, Cabbage, Chioggia Beets, Cucumber, Red Russian Kale, Salad Mix, Salanova Head Lettuce, Snow Peas, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro
Fruit: Strawberries
My ideas....
Broccoli and Cabbage – For the 4th of July I want to try the Cajun Slaw in this recipe.  It calls for Broccoli Slaw Mix.  I think I’ll shred both the stalk of the Broccoli and the Cabbage to mix with the dressing from the recipe.

Chioggia Beets – My husband prefers roasted beets.  I’d like to try this salad of Honey Roasted Chioggia Beets (with Mustard Greens).  I plan to use the Beet Greens as a substitute for the Mustard Greens.
Red Russian Kale – Keep meaning to make Kale Chips, this method from the Smitten Kitchen is the best I’ve found.
Snow Peas – My family always wants something “fun” for dinner on Friday night.  So, I’m hoping they think these Honey GlazedChicken Wings with Snow Peas are “fun”!
Swiss Chard – This Swiss Chard and Herb Tart and a Salad will make a nice summer evening dinner. 
Zucchini – I think we got enough for me to make this Chocolate Zucchini Bread and some Chai Zucchini Bread.
Basil – I had a request for Green Goddess Dressing.  I’m going to try this Vegan Green Goddess Dressing.
Strawberries – The strawberries came home and I was given strict instructions that they must be served with shortcakes and homemade whipped cream.  Aye, Aye!
Relevant Notes

If you haven’t sliced open you Chioggia Beets yet – they are the pretty, candy stripped variety.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Trio of Zucchini and Summer Squash

Monday Night Menu – Shrimp and Herb Salad, Zucchini Rice, Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar
Farm Share Food – Salanova Head Lettuce, Summer Squash, Parsley, Zucchini, Scallions, Garlic Scapes
Recipe Reviewed: Shrimp and Herb Salad
This was a light and refreshing salad.  As for the veggies in the salad, they were all from the CSA. 
I boiled my shrimp because they were still frozen when I went to make dinner.  I boiled water in a large saucepan with Old Bay Seasoning, lemon peel, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, cumin seeds, and salt and pepper.  They were tender and tasty.
We didn’t get Basil this week, so I used Parsley in the salad.  I put dried oregano in the dressing.  The salad mix was gone, but I still had head lettuce.  It worked great in the salad.
Recipe Revisited: Zucchini Rice
I’ve mentioned this recipe on the blog before.  The rice creates a great aroma.  This recipe makes a great side dish.  I’ve been shredding and freezing zucchini – this recipe is a perfect way to use a bag of shredded zucchini in the winter months.
This was suggested by a reader several weeks ago.  The reader said her family couldn’t get enough.  The same was true at our dinner table.  I used scallions for the onions and added a chopped up garlic scape with the scallions.  I also used one summer squash and one zucchini.  Mouthwatering!