Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Prosciutto, Green Garlic, Ramp, Carmelized Onion, Pinenut and Chevre Pizza
This was a quick, mid-week meal made with dough I had in the freezer and various and sundry items from the pantry/refrigerator. I was super excited to be able to walk out to the yard and pick oregano, basil and tarragon for seasonings.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Asian-Style Beef Short Ribs and Grilled Egyption Walking Onions on Sauteed Greens with Parsnip Fries
not pictured: Carrot and Sunchoke Soup
This is what we grilled out on Memorial day. The ribs were another farmers' market purchase and all the veggies are from the CSA. We started with the carrot and sunchoke soup which is an Odessa Piper (one of my heroes) recipe found in "From Asparagus to Zucchini." The soup was delicious and fresh with the nutty flavor of the sunchokes really coming through. This is a little bit of an aside, but I found it so interesting (via "From Aspargus to Zucchini"). Sunchokes apparently do not contain starch, but instead something called inulin, which is a polysaccharide that digests slowly and helps to lower blood sugar levels. Cool, huh? The ribs were super tasty, and you already know how I feel about parsnip fries...
Smoked Trout and Sunchoke Salad on a Bed of Spinach
We picked up some local smoked trout at the farmers' market and found this fun recipe in "From Asparagus to Zucchini" which used up lots of our CSA veggies. We made some minor substitutions based on what we had on hand. Very flavorful.
Nick thought of this great way to use up some of our CSA rhubarb (we got more this week). We used this method to make the actual infusion, and then tried our hand at mixology over the holiday weekend. First we tried a Rhubarb Mule, which is rhubarb vodka and ginger beer. We found the ginger beer overpowered the delicate rhubarb flavor. Next we did a Rhuby Martini. We shook the vodka with ice and strained it into glasses garnishing with a fresh basil leaf. Better! And we liked the tiny hint of basil mixed in with the rhubarb that we could now taste. My favorite, however, was the Rhuby-Q. Rhubarb vodka and tonic (Q is for quinine) with a lemon slice. The tonic added bubbles (yay!), but did not mask the rhubarb flavor and the lemon added a nice bit of freshness. This might be the drink of the summer at our house.
We started our holiday weekend with a Saturday morning trip to the Mill City Farmers' Market. It went on Nick's list after reading several local blog postings last week about the soft-shelled crab sandwich being served at the Chef Shack. Nick LOVES soft-shelled crabs as I think it instantly transports him back to happy days spent in Baltimore growing up. This one apparently did not disappoint. My excitement involved finally finding a Datura/Thornapple/Jimsonweed/Moonflower (take your pick!) plant for the yard. I love the large, tropical-looking white flowers and the fact that it blooms all summer. I know it has hallucinogenic properties when cooked and ingested (and apparently so did a lot of the people at the market, as it was quite a conversation starter!) but Datura is one thing that will NOT be on the menu at our house this summer!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Creamy Asparagus and Bacon Soup with Green Salad and Toast
CSA delivery number two has arrived in all it's glory. I am super excited about the green garlic, which is one of my favorite spring-time treats. That went into a salad (pre-mixed at the farm) along with oil, vinegar and pecorino romano. And, we took the newsletter's suggestion of making a creamy asparagus and bacon soup for our first night's effort. Simple and tasty and green!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Grilled Ribs with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce and Radish & Feta Salad
Due to a tree removal project next door, we were without power for most of the day. Good thing we planned on grilling! We were able to use up a bunch of our CSA veggies for this meal, making room for our new delivery later today. The BBQ sauce was a little on the spicy side, and we even limited the amount of chili sauce in it. Next time I will make more of a rhubarb jelly for a tangy glaze and let the dry spice rub on the ribs do the seasoning. The salad was excellent. The recipe is from the book "From Asparagus to Zuchini" put out by MACSAC. The Zinfandel was a nice choice (and did not require any refrigeration or ice...two things that were limited yesterday). We really enjoyed our evening outdoors!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Yes, everybody's doing it, but you gotta get 'em while the getting's good. We sauteed ours in butter and put them on top of lemon pepper papardelle with wilted ramps and spinach. We also tried out our first rose of the season. We don't drink much pink wine, but this was tasty and refreshing on a rather hot evening.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Mint and Green Tea Smoothie
In celebration of Jaime's great news, I thought I would post about my current smoothie obsession. Inspired by something similar at Tao Natural Foods, I make myself one of these nearly every day around lunchtime. I never measure anything, but I'll give some guidelines in case anyone wants to try this at home. I start with 3/4 cup good quality plain yogurt (I'm using my homemade right now!), one banana, 1-2 ice cubes, 8-10 fresh mint leaves, 1-2 teaspoons of Moroccan Mint loose leaf green tea, 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup horchata (I buy this pre-made at the co-op and it's got some yummy sweet and spicy flavor to it, so I don't have to add any additional sweetener). I blend it all up and drink. It is subtly minty and sweet and always seems to hit the spot! Cheers!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunchoke and Prosciutto Pizza with Chevre and Pinenuts
It had been awhile since we'd done Friday pizza night. This go around the dough turned out extra airy. We also added some chives and fresh oregano. We get a new CSA delivery later this week, so we are continuing to use up the veggies from last delivery so we're ready for the new stuff.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Grilled Burgers with Blue Cheese and Pickled Ramps served with Parsnip Fries
Yum! The burgers were great (especially with the pickled ramps and blue cheese), but the parsnip fries stole the show. This was all Nick's idea and he executed it flawlessly. The super sweet over-wintered parsnips were the perfect flavor to stand up to the frying and salting. Also, check out his nice handiwork with the lovely jar of pickled ramps.
I am so excited that my first attempt at homemade yogurt turned out so well! I have been contemplating getting a yogurt maker ever since reading in Harold Mcgee's "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" how good the various strains of yogurt bacteria are for our digestive tracts. Well, turns out Mr Mcgee recently posted a recipe for DIY yogurt without a machine in the New York Times. I gave it a try and am very happy with the results! So long massive quantities of plastic yogurt containers that can only be recycled into toothbrushes and razors.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Rhubarb Chutney over Jasmine Rice
Check out my new/old cast iron grill pan! Found it at the thrift shop with a bit of rust, but I scooped it up and after some steel wool and elbow grease it's as good as new (actually better than new, since it's now seasoned). I've been itching to use it, so even though it was a perfectly decent night to grill out, we decided to use the pan for our chicken thighs. I made a rhubarb chutney to accompany the chicken using some rhubarb from the CSA. I am not a fan of rhubarb desserts as a general rule, so I always have to get creative with rhubarb recipes. We have more to use up, so maybe a rhubarb curry will show up in the next week or so.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Pickled Ramp and 12 Bridges Gin Gibson's with Parsnip and Greens Galette
As a means of prolonging the enjoyment of our ramps, Nick pickled them (the greens we saved for salads). We tried this for the first time last year after seeing it on a restaurant menu and loved the results. And, since we have some great hand-crafted Gin right now from Kate and Scott, we thought we'd make a truly hand-crafted cocktail. The "Lady's Thumbs" accompanied Deborah Madison's Parsnip and Greens Galette from 'Local Flavors.' We used parsnips and greens from the CSA box, of course.
Our first CSA delivery of the season arrived full of veggie goodness. Our traditional first meal with the produce is a mixed salad. This one has over-wintered spinach, sorrel, ramp greens, black radish, chives, blue cheese and oil and vinegar to top it off. So fresh!
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Shrimp Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde
For Cinco de Mayo we made the shrimp enchiladas recipe from the cover of this month's Bon Appetit...with a few minor adjustments, including using tortilla chips instead of corn tortillas and layering the ingredients like a lasagna (hence 'chilaquiles') before baking.