Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CSA Week 6: Marinated Peaches over Maple Yogurt

Here it is Wednesday night and I still haven't posted anything about this week's farm haul. For shame, Lady A! And this was an extremely exciting haul! We're slowly inching towards summer vegetables and we got a fantastically large fruit share this time around! While not all fresh and sweet, it was been delightful to be able to munch on fruit all week--exacty what we were hoping for when we first signed up for the share. So, without further ado, here's what we got: 4 cucumbers, 2 spring onions, 9 carrots, 5 fava beans, 2 oz. parsley, 3/4 lb. greens (swiss chard) and 1/4 lb. baby greens. As for fruit: 5 lbs (!) plums, 3 lbs peaches and 1 pint cherries. Yay!
As I sat on the kitchen floor, munching on a peach, I realized they were not quite ripe and starting dreaming about what to do with them. I've been toying with the idea of buying a bigger ice cream maker, so I was very attracted by Kelly's Peach Ice Cream (and accompanying rant) on Sass & Veracity. But dinnertime came around and I had no ice cream maker. Instead, I marinated the peaches while I prepared dinner and while we ate. Then I drizzled on some blood orange olive oil, scooped the peaches over cream top maple yogurt that I bought us as a treat last week at whole foods. Delicious.
Marinated Peaches over Maple Yogurt
Toss peaches, sugar and clementine juice in a bowl together and set aside (in the fridge if you have room) until ready to use, preferable for 2 or more hours. When ready to serve, add olive oil and mix well. Scoop yogurt into bowls and serve covvered by peaches. They're also wonderful over vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Links to other peach noshes:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Halibut and Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Since I've started blogging regularly again the past couple of months, though with little increase in readers, I began thinking about why I started blogging in the first place. Honestly, it wasn't for the food blogging community (that was an added bonus!); it began purely as a way for me to keep track of the food I was making--kind of a 21st-century collection of recipe index cards. See, I was living in Paris and, for the first time, solely responsible for what I (and, usually, the Boy) were eating. This meant not only was I cooking regularly, but I was also encountering new ingredients and preparations every day. Not to mention that I was learning about meal planning and attempting to keep us healthy at the same time. So it came as a pleasant surprise that I was creating so many delicious recipes. And, late one night while the Boy was with his family in China, I wrote my very first post. Believe it or not, that was over 4 years ago!
All of this is to say that, now I've re-entered the blogging world, I've noticed a significant in my cooking and my comfort in the kitchen, developing and adapting recipes. So, reviewing some of my earliest posts while deciding what to make for dinner tonight, I stumbled upon my third post: filet de mulet et sauce piquante de yaourt. I decided to tweak it and remake it (adding some fronds from my leftover fennel) and was thrilled by how well it came out. Served alongside a leafy green salad for two, this was a light and easy summer meal. Enjoy!
Halibut and Spicy Yogurt Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat bottom of a glass baking pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place 1 bay leaf and 1 fennel leaf on each side of pan. Rub halibut with salt, fish spice blend and pepper. Cut into 2 fillets and place each one on top of bay leaf and fennel. Cover with water, until fish is completely submerged. Cook 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Sauce:
In a small bowl, stir together sauce ingredients until sauce is all 1 color. Once fish is cooked, serve with sauce spooned over. Serves 2.
Links to other halibut noshes:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

CSA Week 5: Caramelized Beets with Garlic

Another week and another batch of produce. This week, we had quite a large assortment of vegetables--so much so that, I admit, I'm a little stumped as to what to do with it all! So, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them. And, with no further ado, the vegetable goodies were: spring onions, fresh garlic, carrots, fava bean pods, beets, field greens and swiss chard. The fruit was very similar to last week, with one minor addition: pink currants, black currants and cherries. All in all, a varied haul. Thus far, I've made a Garden Harvest Cake, using twice as many carrots and ignoring the zucchini; a Carrot, Turnip and Mint Salad with Raisins, finally finishing the turnips from so long ago; and these Caramelized Beets with Garlic, the idea for which I took from this wonderful ode to beets on Farmgirl Fare.

Although beets have gained a bad reputation, we needed no convincing of their deliciousness. However, I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy vegetables and these caramelized beets were so easy that I knew I had to try them. I only wish I had more beets! We enjoyed them with deviled eggs with anchovies and white beer. This was also the first time I made beets forgoing the messy task of peeling them. Enjoy!

Caramelized Beets with Garlic
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add beets and cook, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes. When beets are soft, add garlic, salt and cardamom and cook undisturbed 1 minute. Mix everything together and cook 1 more minute so flavors meld. Serve.
Links to other beets noshes:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CSA Week 4: Lettuce Corn Salad with Pancetta

Well, this week certainly flew by! It's already Wednesday and I realized I'd better write up this week's farm haul before Thursday's upon us and we get a whole new batch of goodies.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to do much interesting cooking. In fact, I only made real dinners Thursday night and Friday night, neither of which got photographed. The tastier dish using farm ingredients was by far the simple salad I made Thursday night, so that's the rough recipe that will follow, but, really--sorry for not offering something more groundbreaking. I'll have to make it up to you next week.

Anyway, on to the CSA! Our vegetables were: 1 lettuce, 2 spring red onions, 1 bulb fennel, 1 napa cabbage, 1 bok choi and greens (kale and swiss chard). Also, our fruit share finally got started, so we also got a small container of black currants and one of cherries.

Lettuce Corn Salad with Pancetta
Remove leaves from lettuce and wash and dry well. Place corn in a small pot covered with about 1/4 inch water and simmer 4-8 minutes, depending on how fresh corn is. Drain and reserve. Fry up pancetta in a pan over medium heat until crispy. Mix lettuce, corn, pancetta and green onions in a large salad bowl.
Combine all other ingredients in a small jar to make the dressing. Shake well and pour over salad. Toss and serve immediately.
Links to other lettuce noshes:
A final note: welcome to any fellow CSA members! So glad you've stopped by and please feel free to leave comments about what you've been making with all our goodies.

Friday, July 03, 2009

CSA Week 3: Cold Blueberry Garlic Almond Soup

Week 3 of our CSA and another very exciting haul. It's still been extremely rainy here, so no fruit share yet, but we've been promised a double share next week. (Yikes; I mean, yay!) But we have some lovely vegetables again, still more springy than summery, but no complaints here. And things that I can't usually find in Chinatown. So...what did we get? 1 (very small) head of broccoli, 1 head of lettuce, 3 beets (with their beautiful greens still attached), 2 heads of garlic with the thick green stalk still attached, 1 pound swiss chard and 1 bunch mint.

Once I brought everything home and stored it properly to last the week, I began thinking about what to make for dinner. What most excited me about this haul was the garlic. I'm a really big fan of what I call "fresh garlic" since it's the garlic I prefer to eat raw. So it's my garlic of choice for pestos and uncooked sauces (before I discovered garlic scapes, of course). But I've been making lots of sauces lately so I started thinking about a cold soup. Then the Boy and I started discussing whether people eat beets raw so I did some research, decided that they do and garnished my soup with some chopped beet. This soup was inspired by Cold Garlic Almond Soup from Anne's Food.

While very tasty, I never did completely get rid of the almond meal texture. Any suggestions? And the addition of blueberries is the reason for the stupendous color.

Cold Blueberry Garlic Almond Soup
Tear the bread into about 9 pieces. Submerge in a bowl of cold water and let soak for 30 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as possible and remove bread to bowl of food processor. Add almonds, blueberries and garlic and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add olive oils, salt, curry powder, pepper, water, sherry and vinegar. Process again until as smooth as possible (and perhaps you'll find a way to get rid of the coarse almond texture, perhaps by straining the soup through a cheesecloth-lined strainer?). Transfer to a glass bowl, cover, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve (1-2 hours).
Before serving, mix together pine nuts, raisins and beet in a small bowl as garnish. Serve soup and invite diners to sprinkle garnish on top. Enjoy!
Links to other garlic noshes: