CSA delivery, Sept 16, 2011

September 21, 2011

Yes another trip to the farm for a bag full of fresh goodies! Today’s harvest included beets, more tomatoes of various shapes sizes and colors, poblanos, Diablo peppers, onions, jalapeno, corn, eggplant and a bell pepper. Sadly the summer crops are waning, the cool nights not conducive to flavor or growth, but the winter crops – squashes, cauliflower and more are not ready. So we will indulge ourselves in this last tomato harvest.

Today, I am making a Kamut (grain), flagelot (french bean) and tomato salad with a tarragon thyme vinaigrette and some green onions. this is truly one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. The tarragon, Dijon and tang of the vinegar was so good next to the nutty hints from the kamut. The flagelots offered a starchiness, while the fresh tomato was so bright next to these flavors. OK, without sounding too much like a food critic, this was really good!

I smoked corn over mesquite in my wok, resulting in the house smelling incredibly like bacon, to toss with black beans, a jalapeno, one of the onions and a little olive oil – smokey sweetness, starchy black beans and the kick of the pepper – a new favorite salsa/side dish.
We had a herbed goat cheese stuffed shrimp with a fresh tomato sauce. Creamy cheese, acidic tomatoes and sweet shrimp were decadent together.  Eggplants are going in Indian eggplant and potato stew loaded with spices. The beets – perhaps I will try pickling them, or just roast them to enjoy as is. I am the only one eating them, so my choice! The rest of the jalapenos are going to be stuffed with goat cheese, corn and green onions, topped with a grilled pepper and tomato sauce.

There really isn’t enough week in the week to eat all of these goodies, and my freezer is full! That doesn’t stop us from scarfing down everything as soon as it is done (sorry no pictures this week – guess we were extra hungry). I hope you are enjoying the last of the summer crops, perhaps starting to think apples and pumpkins, and trying new combinations too.

Bon Appetit!

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Sept 9 2011 CSA

September 12, 2011

This Friday, I headed to the farm to see what goodies were being offered…I knew there’d be tomatoes. Heirlooms, plum, yellow, orange, and green…12 tomatoes in all. A few peppers, jalapenos (scored 2 more from the extra bin!). Corn that is questionable, per the sign reading “Your lucky day – free worm with every ear” and an eggplant. Edamame was  available to pick your own. A small bunch of beets rounded out the basket.
So many tomatoes were headed to a roasted tomato sauce – lot’s of onion, garlic and fresh herbs – I used basil, some thyme and rosemary from my herb garden. Olive oil and a long roast in a 450F oven.

Ready for the oven

Finished sauce

Roasted tomatoes and onions

TVP meatballs and some pasta made great use of this delicious sauce. A classic, turned vegetarian and filling!
Eggplant, what to do with you. My southwestern cookbook offered a roasted eggplant and tomato soup that sounded divine. A little cayenne for heat, bell peppers, onions, more tomatoes and roasted eggplant slices pureed into smooth goodness. It was creamy, without milk, mild, yet full of flavor.  A keeper for sure.
The corn is going into a corn pudding to accompany the fish we shall pick up Tuesday. Think very soft cornbread, served with a spoon….the edamame made me break into my grain drawer, and I came up with Triticale – a cross between wheat and barley, full of protein and good carbs. Mixed with the edamame, balsamic, shallot, olive oil, and feta – a delicious side for lunchtime. Nutty, earthy and tangy with the vinegar.
Beets – I sadly did not finish the roasted beets with orange and sour cream from last week – just too many good choices in the fridge, and not enough meals to finish eating them – so no roasted beets this week.  I decided to treat our house to a peach and beet crumble. Now this is an experiment in getting my husband to eat beets (he is NOT a fan). We had picked up some utility peaches (not pretty, but still tasty) from Ward’s Berry Farm and I decided the red beet color would be wonderful in the peaches, with an oatmeal crumble.
Warm spices of mace, ginger, and cinnamon blended with shredded beets, sliced peaches, brown sugar and a little tapioca resulted in a wonderful cobbler. It had a slight beet flavor – sort of a “Hmmm what’s that taste”, but the sweetness of the peaches and crumble quickly took center stage. Unfortunately, my husband figured it out – are there beets in here? he asked puzzled. I can’t lie…..

Peaches and beets ready to bake

Finished Crisp

The peppers,  jalapenos, carrots, canned tomatoes, tomatillos, and spices mixed with black eyed peas for a very spicy and colorful chili. Did I mention my husband is a HUGE fan of chili? SO every week, he gets a different variety of chili…at least for a while. Good way to use up and enjoy the veggies, and the heat was hot enough to suit even his palate.

Another good week of eating, fresh from the farm. I hear there is cauliflower and broccoli coming soon….how do you prepare those?  Bon appetit!

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!