Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What we did with Box #6

Chili Lime Kohlrabi Salad
(recipe included in our CSA newsletter)

While this recipe was very tasty, it wasn't the best choice for a main course. I felt like I needed a side of cheese or cream. With that said, I'd definitely eat it again as a side dish.

Makes 2-3 Servings

2-3 small kohlrabi
1 bunch scallions
1 small or medium head bok choi or Yukina Savoy
Small head leaf lettuce
½ cup lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp sunfl ower oil (we used peanut oil)
Salt and pepper

1. Wash kohlrabi and trim off leaves at the base, leaving a bare bulb. Slice the bulb crosswise as thinly as possible. Reserve leaves.
2. Wash and chop scallions. Toss scallions and sliced kohlrabi with lime juice and chili powder in a medium-size mixing bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour to marinate kohlrabi.
3. Rinse bok choi or Yukina Savoy and chop into bite-size pieces. Cut kohlrabi leaves crosswise into ¼” thick strips. Rinse leaf lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces.
4. Drain excess lime juice from kohlrabi mixture. Toss with chopped bok choi, kohlrabi leaves, lettuce, and sunfl ower oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Picnic Sandwich

We used a basic italian bread, topped it with arugula pesto one one slice and sage (from our garden) and green garlic spread. We stacked turkey, bacon, cheese, arugula and red leaf lettuce between the bread and voila! This was one heck of a lunch!

A note about the sage and green garlic spread. I have recently discovered greek yogurt and am obsessed with it. I've been adapting this recipes for chive and onion spread in all sorts of ways and the sage and green garlic is one of the trials. The possibilities are endless! Good thing I discovered 2% greek yogurt.

Radish and Arugula Sandwich

I love radishes - am I repeating myself yet? My favorite way to enjoy them is by eating them raw or eating them thinly sliced on buttered (I break down and buy Plugra butter during radish season) bread. Mike thinks this is too simple of a concept. So, he made these radish sandwiches which is pretty much the same thing but with arugula and it's not served open-face. Give me radish, Plugra and some bread and I'm set. Add arugula and I'm sold!

Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizza

We had a crust in the freezer from last time we made pizza so we whipped up this one with salmon, asparagus and goat cheese. Smoked salmon and goat cheese make it on to my favorite things list (along with radish, Plugra, and arugula). All we did for this pizza is brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkled some sliced green garlic. We then topped it with blanched asparagus, smoked salmon and lumps of goat cheese. We ended up eating the whole pizza between the two of us. I could really go for another piece right now.

Italian Sausage and Spinach Pasta
(Mike found this recipe somewhere, sorry person we stole it from)

This pasta was a lot tastier than I expected. The best part? It only used one pot! That's my kind of recipe. Owen ate a big serving of this and didn't even pick out the spinach. We'll definitely be making this again!

serves 2-3

1 pound spicy Italian sausage, split in half and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound spaghetti
10 ounces spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup half-and-half
Handful grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Set a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until they begin to release some of their fat. Toss in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon off any accumulated fat.
2. Pour in the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil. Add the spaghetti. It probably won't all fit in the liquid, but just keep stirring every 10 seconds or so, until it is tender enough sink into liquid. Keep stirring every 30 seconds to allow the noodles to cook evenly. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
3. Toss in the spinach, stir, and then cover the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Stir, and then add the half-and-half. Let the sauce thicken, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Rhubarb Cardamom Sorbet
(by way of A Good Appetite, originally from Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic)

We have this in the works as I type this, more to come later...

3 1/2 c fresh rhubarb, chopped
2 1/2 c water
1 2/3 c sugar
1/4 t salt
2 t dried lemon zest
1/2 t cardamom
1 t vanilla extract
2 t corn syrup

Place the rhubarb, water, sugar, salt & lemon zest in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & let simmer for 5 minutes. The rhubarb should get very soft. Let cool. Press through a fine strainer to remove the pulp. Stir in the cardamom, vanilla & corn syrup. Cover & chill until very cold. Process in your ice cream maker until creamy. Place in a container & freeze. Makes about 1 quart.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Box #6

What we'll make this week is completely up in the air but here's what we have to work with:

Red Leaf Lettuce
French Breakfast Radishes
Purple Scallions
Garlic Scapes
Yukina Savoy
Sauté Mix

What we did with Box #5

Spicy Stir Fried Chicken with Peanuts
(recipe included in HVF newsletter, originally from

For some unknown reason, I'm not a big fan of stir fry. I always think I'll really like it but it often just doesn't do it for me. Must be a lack of cheese. Or cream. Or both.

With that said, this dish was pretty good. Not plate licking good but good. I'd make it again.

2 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp dry Sherry, divided
3 tsp Asian sesame oil, divided
2 tsp honey, divided
1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into
1/3-inch-wide strips
3 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
4 green onions or 2 green garlic, white parts and green parts
chopped separately
2 tsp chopped dried chiles
1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, hon tsai tai, bok choi,
mustard greens, kale), spinach left whole, other greens cut into
1-inch strips
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup asparagus
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Whisk 1-tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1-teaspoon sesame oil, and 1-teaspoon honey in medium bowl. Add chicken; marinate 20 to 30 minutes.

Whisk remaining 1-tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1-teaspoon honey in small bowl and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add white parts of onions and garlic and chile flakes; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over high heat. Add broccoli, asparagus and greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Sauté just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens.

Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts. Serves 4

Breakfast Sandwich with Sauteed Pea Vine
(another recipe from the HVF newsletter)

We often don't use our produce for breakfast but we saw this recipe in the newsletter and to try it. We love breakfast sandwiches, especially when they include bacon and creamy sauce. This one didn't disappoint. My only regret is that I didn't make homemade muffins to use for this. Someday...

Sauce: 1 ½ Tbsp fl our
1 ½ Tbsp butter
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ¼-1 ½ cup milk
Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 Biscuits or English Muffins, warmed
6 oz bacon or ham, cooked
1 Tbsp butter
4 eggs
1 bunch pea vine

In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt butter for the sauce. Sprinkle in fl our and stir to combine with a rubber spatula until it is well combined and has the appearance of wet sand.

Stir in mustard and gradually add milk in small amounts, stirring with a wire whisk. Once all the milk has been incorporated, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 15 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Melt 1 ½ tsp butter and sauté pea vine just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.

Start to assemble sandwiches. Open biscuit or muffin. On each half, place crumbled bacon or slices of ham.

Coat the small sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Cook the eggs one at a time. Cook to over-easy so the yolk is still liquid. Remove from pan and place on top of bacon or ham on the open-faced sandwich. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs.

Top eggs with sauce and then sautéed pea vine. Enjoy!

Chinese Braised Pork Ribs
(from Eating Out Loud via A Good Appetite)

I saw this recipe on A Good Appetite and decided I must have the ribs and I must have them now. The ribs were finger-licking good - literally. The meat fell off the bones and the sauce was delicious. We served the ribs with brown rice and a side of bok choy (sauteed with a few random asian ingredients from the pantry) as A Good Appetite did. I drool just remembering the taste of these ribs.

1 rack baby back ribs, about 2 - 2 1/2 lbs
2 T canola oil
1/2 c soy sauce
1 c sweetened rice wine (we find this in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, peeled & minced
2 T honey

Cut the rack of ribs into separate ribs. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven. Add the ribs & brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients & bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat & simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Remove lid & let boil gently until the sauce is thickened & coating the ribs, 15 - 20 minutes.

Serves 3 -4 (depending on how many ribs you serve per person.)

Pasta with Asparagus, Arugula, and Ricotta
(from NY Times)

I'm not a big fan of cooking elaborate meals (my definition of elaborate = rib recipe above). I like eating them but not cooking them or cleaning up the mess from cooking them. This recipe for pasta is more my style - simple, quick and tasty. I will note that mixing the ricotta with water seemed really, really wrong. We did it anyway and it worked. I might just throw lumps of ricotta in if we make this in the future.

3/4 pound thin asparagus, woody ends snapped off, cut into 1-inch lengths
3/4 pound penne, fusilli or bow-tie pasta
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A generous handful of baby arugula or wild arugula leaves, rinsed and spun dry (about 1 ounce, or 1 cup tightly packed)
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a generous amount of salt. Add the asparagus. Cook pencil-thin asparagus for two minutes, three to four minutes if stems are medium-thick. Transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. Place the ricotta in a large pasta bowl.

3. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the directions for timing on the package but checking a minute before the suggested cooking time. Stir 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water into the ricotta. Drain the pasta and toss at once with the olive oil and ricotta, the arugula, asparagus and Parmesan. Serve hot. (Serves four)

Tofu with Spinach Sauce
(recipe by Mark Bittman)

I love, love, love, love this recipe. It's almost like palak paneer but not quite (because, obviously, it has tofu and not paneer and that's a huge difference). But, I'd be content eating this rather than getting palak paneer takeout. Just don't plan to have people over the morning after cooking this unless they really like the smell of garam marsala.

A note about this recipe which makes it even more fantastic - you can use any sort of greens (as long as they don't have a real strong flavor) in addition to the spinach. We added turnip greens and it was great.

1 1/2 pounds spinach
12 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 dried chilies
2 tablespoons garam masala or curry powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup yogurt
1 1/2 cups light cream or half-and-half

1. Trim and wash spinach; do not dry. Chop leaves in one-inch pieces. Cut tofu in two horizontally and wrap in paper towels. Put it under a couple of plates.
2. Put butter or oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. A minute later, add ginger, garlic and chilies and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to color.
3. Stir in garam masala or curry powder and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until it wilts, then add yogurt and a cup of cream. Pick out chilies and discard.
4. Cook mixture over medium-high heat; liquid in spinach will boil off. When mixture is nearly dry, cut tofu into half-inch pieces and incorporate. When tofu is hot, add remaining cream and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Adjust seasoning and serve. (4 servings)

Variations - Spinach sauce: In Step 4, omit tofu. Purée mixture with 1/2 cup remaining cream. Add squeeze of lime juice. Serve with grilled meat, poultry, fish or vegetables.

Parsnip Rosti
(adapted from UKTV Food)

We had quite a few parsnips to use up. Time for parsnip rosti! Pretty much like a potato pancake but with parsnip and some potato onion. Mike whipped up a sour cream/yogurt/onion topping (not pictured), too. Even Owen liked this one!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Box #5

Box #5 arrived on Thursday with some tasty stuff:

Green garlic
Potato onions
Hon tsai tai
Sweet baby broccoli
Bok choi
Baby white turnips with tops

Our plans for this week:

- Spicy Stir Fried Chicken & Greens with Peanuts (Hon Tsai Tai, Broccoli)
- Parsnip Rosti (using last weeks parsnips)
- Pasta with Asparagus, Arugula and Ricotta
- Chinese Braised Short Ribs with Bok Choy on the side
- Cardamom Rhubarb Sorbet

Asparagus, Spinach, Hon Tsai Tai, OH MY!

Over the past few days, we've used up most of Box #4. Here are the results:

Grilled Pizza with Mushrooms, Green Garlic, Spinach and Goat Cheese

This was our first time grilling pizza and it was fantastic. I can't wait to do it again! We added some shredded mozzarella to hold everything together in addition to the goat cheese.

Asparagus and Mushroom Bread Pudding
Recipe courtesy Deborah Madison, Local Flavors (by way of Barbara Kingsolver's Book, Animal Vegetable Miracle)

This recipe is absolutely delicious. The original recipe calls for morel mushrooms. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to buy a pound of morel mushrooms at this moment but I can only imagine how wonderful it would be if we had used morels.

3 cups milk
1 cup chopped spring onions with green shoots
Add onions to milk in sauce pan and bring to a boil, set aside to steep

1 loaf stale or toasted multigrain bread broken into crouton sized crumbs
Pour milk over crumbs and allow bread to soak

1 lb. asparagus
Chop into ½ inch pieces and simmer in skillet full of boiling water until bright

2 tbs. butter
1 lb. morels (or other wild mushrooms)
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in skillet, cook mushrooms until tender, add spices and set aside

4 eggs
1/3 cup chopped parsley
3 tbs. oregano
3 cups grated Swiss cheese
Break eggs and beat until smooth, add herbs and plenty of salt and pepper, add
bread crumbs with remaining milk, asparagus and mushrooms with their juices
and 2/3 of the cheese. Mix thoroughly and pour into a greased, 8x12 gratin,
sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (until
puffy and golden).

Flank Steak with Hon Tsai Tai
Recipe courtesy Harmony Valley Farm

Owen has been such a trooper with trying our new creations. He really liked this one, but picked out the Hon Tsai Tai (it's green!).

1 ½lb. Flank steak
1 stalk green garlic
1 bunch Hon Tsai Tai or 2 heads baby bok choi
Peanut Oil to taste (we left this out because Owen hasn't had peanuts yet)
Mirin, to taste
Juice from one lemon
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
Soy Sauce to taste
4 small dried chile peppers, chopped finely
1 cup mushrooms, washed, and sliced, stems removed (can save and add to a stock)
¾ of package Soba noodles
5 Carrots, peeled, lengthwise slices

--Marinate steak in equal parts mirin, soy sauce, peanut oil and juice from one lemon for 1 hour
--In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil. Sear flank steak on both sides, then reduce heat and cooked to desired degree of doneness. Set aside and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice thinly on a bias.
--Prepare soba noodles according to package, drain and set aside.
--Saute mushrooms until soft and cooked down, add carrots, green garlic, chile peppers and sauté until carrots are tender.
--Add a light drizzle of peanut oil (1-2 tsp), a dash of mirin (2-3 tsp), and a splash of soy sauce (1-2 Tbsp) to desired taste and enough to just to coat veggies.
--Cut Hon Tsai Tai and/or bok choi into bite-sized pieces and add to veggies. Cook until the greens are wilted.
--Add soba noodles and flank steak—stir until well combined and heated through. Top with toasted sesame seeds and serve. Peanut Marinated Flank Steak with Hon Tsai Tai
Serves 4-6