CSA Delivery Aug 18, 2011

August 25, 2011

Another week of wonderful surprises from the farm….this week’s delivery included zucchini, yellow cherry tomatoes, yellow and several red tomatoes, red chard, cukes, radish, corn, a japanese eggplant, honeydew melon, and a light yellow bell pepper. Oh, yes, and one jalepeno.
Now don’t get me wrong, but I must confess I am starting to get sick of zucchini. I love to eat it, but 3-5 zucchini a week is a lot for two people…..this week, I sauteed it with onion and sundried tomatoes to eat with broiled fish. This went over very well with my hubby, and I enjoyed some of the leftovers in an omelette the next day, with a little dollop of ricotta cheese folded in the middle. Yummy!
The red tomatoes have been enjoyed just sliced, as they are SO good and sweet and taste like summer. The cherry tomatoes were turned into a delicious fresh salsa (Tyler Florenece’s recipe). Roast the tomatoes tossed in oil until they burst, mix with lime juice, cilantro and the jalepeno. Simple and spicy.
The red chard was tossed into a risotto, made with black eyed peas, bacon, white wine, chicken stock and onions. The risotto turned a beautiful pinkish color with the chard but I felt that the bacon should have been crisper and it needed a little grated cheese (sorry Bobby Flay)

Red Chard Risotto

The light yellow pepper was tossed into a vegetable chili I made which was a nice break from meat. The eggplant was sauteed with tofu, black bean sauce and onions for a salty, savory vegetarain meal. The cukes were made into a salad with greek yogurt, peas, parsley and lemon juice and accompanied a roasted pork tenderloin in a Puerto Rican Marinde of spices and garlic. This was a big hit too….the corn was devoured as is – it has been really good this year.

Sadly the melon was not sweet nor ripe, like eating watermelon rind, so that ended up in the trash. Tomorrow, we get more….I was harvesting on Wednesday, and carrots, beets and corn were on the picking list……I’ll have to start thinking on that one! Keep cooking, eating local and sharing recipes you have with me…..or ask me if you need new ideas for your own meals! I am always happy to talk food.

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I was fortunate to get away to Maine this past week for a little R&R. We started our trip in Portland, in the Old Port area. Beautiful waterfront history and many restaurants. First stop – Stonewall Kitchens. A little taste of champagne blueberry jam (not a fan), double chocolate fudge sauce (needed to put this one back), Major Grey’s chutney (bought some), and several mustards. A salted caramel sauce was a contender, but ended up leaving with a blueberry jam instead. OK, off we go to find some lunch. We head to the oldest pub in Portland – Gritty McGruffs. Wooden floors, multiple rooms and a decent menu. Sadly the tips on my salad were tough (guess I should have had lobster, right??), and the salad was nothing special. We head off to walk the town, explore, and then head to our hotel. Dinner resulted in a waterfront very casual Portland Lobster Company picnic table. Great live entertainment, paper plates and plastic wine glasses under a beautiful summer sky. Scallops with applewood bacon and lemon cream sauce, corn on the cob and a baked potato were really very good. Well cooked, and seasoned. My hubby had swordfish that was tasteful, tender and fresh. Next morning a quick coffee and muffin at a little cafe then off to see seals, lighthouses and a city tour. We had lunch at the Dry Dock between tours. Lobster soup (heavy cream with a few pieces of well cooked lobster served lukewarm) a nice salad and a crab melt for my hubby. Despite taking 20 mins to get our food, the crab melt was pretty good.
Dinner we headed to five fifty five on Congress Street. A little more upscale, but for our last night in Portland we splurged. Amazing cucumber and melon soup with a touch of crabmeat. Cool, smooth and well seasoned. My hubby had pepper crusted scallops that were beautifully cooked, and heavily peppered. For me, mussels in a red pepper broth that were delicious. Chived butter on squares of sourdough bread were a nice start with a blueberry gin drink and we finished with a shared trio of ice cream – apricot, chocolate hazelnut and a cherry grasshopper – fresh mint ice cream with little chunks of chocolate and cherry in it – our favorite flavor. Delicious and great service!
Off to Bar Harbor after a great omellette breakfast at Becky’s (see DDD on Food Network – Guy ate here)…..a beautifully set tourist area inside of Acadia National Park. We walked around town, ended up in quirky Geddy’s, full of signs, license plates and good spirits. We shared seafood balls (all cracker and no hint of the scallops, crab or fish they promised) and a lobster pizza on a whole wheat crust. That was really good, and the lobster very tender. Back to our inn to sleep off a full belly.

The next day we went to Jordans – famous for its blueberry pancakes. We are not fans of pancakes, but I did order a waffle with fresh blueberries. Good blueberries, but disappointing log cabin syrup and mix tasting waffle. My hubby’s egg sandwich was nothing special either….not bad, not great. Oh well. Rode them off in Acadia by bicycle – hilly!!   An early dinner at the Terrace Cafe on the water offered really really good chowder, crab melt, boullabaise with fresh thyme, and warm blueberry pie with a very light flaky crust and full of berries. A must eat at place on the waterfront! Next day we had a yogurt, coffee and a muffin for my hubby. Off to see the whales – amazing time with a mom and calf who breached several times, waved and rolled for us like a performer. Heavy fog that lifted in time to see puffins and a great ride on the Atlantic Cat high speed catamaran filled our morning. Sea air always make us hungry, so we headed to the Thirsty Whale, a little bar “hole in the wall”. But what they say is true – good food at the “diviest” places!  A grilled salmon sandwich with a dill mayo and a haddock and asian cole slaw wrap – well seasoned and cooked beautifully. After driving through Acadia, up Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole and some walking we were ready for dinner. Off to the Portside Grill. Here we ended on a mixed bag. My hubby’s chowder had an odd tangy flavor to it and his lobster roll tasted flat and water logged. Crab cakes were full of crabmeat, lightly fried and delicious. My salmon was done perfectly with tomatoes, capers and wonderfully cooked green beans with tarragon on the side. We headed to a local ice cream parlor to have a little fig and walnut gelato (for him) and a chocolate pretzel caramel ice cream for me that really hit the spot. Oh, and if you think lobster tastes good in EVERYTHING……well, not in vanilla ice cream. Trust me.

You thought I forgot, or was lost in the cornfields….perhaps taken away by a ground hog with a vengence, but I just got really busy this past week. Sadly the week of July 29 was a bounty of zucchini, corn, peppers, jalepeno, eggplant, mezuna, green beans and more summer squash. I needed to step out on this one and resorted to a favorite standby – grilled veggies. With fish, delish. Leftovers ended up in a lasagna with a little goat and parm cheese (trying to clean the fridge out, you know) The mezuna ended up in a stir-fry with leftover smoked chicken, carrots from the CSA ( I think the week before?) onions and the mezuna. Red curry sauce made this dish spicy and colorful.
The week of Aug. 5th, corn, beets, radishes, a pepper, carrots, more zucchini, cherry tomatoes, arugula, kale  an eggplant and cukes arrived.

Saturday was spent creating and cooking. A roasted tomato sauce with the pepper and garlic roasted in EVOO, salt, pepper and rosemary. Pureed and to the freezer.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Zucchini ended up in a chocolate buttermilk cake that was moist and rich, no hint of a veggie inside. A caramel icing topped this sheet pan cake to be shared with family. The beets were caramelized in orange juice and maple syrup and cooked down. Then a little triple sec added, again cooked down until syrupy. This was added to the middle of a bundt pan cake with walnuts and baked. Wonderful dense cake with a unique twist from the beets. However the beets did stick a bit on the bottom and broke the cake, but that’s ok – this one was for us…..glazed with a little of the caramel icing leftover from above cake. The beets were sweet, adding nice color when you cut the cake.

pound cake with beets on top made in a bundt pan.

The carrots were cooked with a leek, broth and harissa, a red chili pepper and spice mix paste used in a lot of African foods. Wonderful flavors and heat, with the fresh carrot taste just beaming through the soup. Corn will be enjoyed in a salad with the arugula, radishes, cukes and some tuna, perhaps with a lemon vinaigrette. And a glass of wine….which should be a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, but will more than likely be something red. I think there is a bottle of Cab Franc open.
The eggplant? hmmmm  need to think on that – one is not enough for moussaka, but it is a large enough one to have twice. May eggplant fries with our steaks tomorrow? We’ll see.

Next week we are giving our share to my in-laws as we won’t be able to pick up ourselves. But I will be back to tell you all more the following week, and may have some great food stores from Maine! Is it blueberry season yet? Have a great week, grill, eat local and enjoy! Peaches are right around the corner!