Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of August Bounty

We've reached the midpoint of our CSA deliveries and the boxes are getting quite heavy (literally). Here's what we've been cooking:

Steak Fajitas

We pan grilled some steak and served with sauteed onions and peppers. Simple and delicious.


Poached Eggs with Tomato on Toast

I can't get enough tomatoes. There's nothing better than a bright red, juicy tomato. I've been eating as many as I can which translates to tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Poached eggs are a standard breakfast around here. We put them on top of all sorts of CSA veggies (sauteed greens, spinach, pea vine, tomatoes, etc.). I believe the tomato in the photo is one from our own garden.

Poached Eggs on Toast with Tomato

Marinated Peppers on French Bread and Trout
Peppers recipe from All Recipes

In the past, we've had trouble using up the peppers fast enough. My new strategy is to roast them or saute them and eat as many as possible in one meal. We got a variety of peppers this week (ukrainian, roaster, pimento, mini sweets). I used all but the roasters (similar to poblanos) in this mix. A delicious side and a new regular to our menu.

Marinated Peppers on French Bread and Trout

* 1 red bell pepper
* 1 green bell pepper
* 1 yellow bell pepper
* 1 1/2 cloves garlic, sliced
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
* 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley (didn't use)
* salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the whole red, green and yellow peppers in the oven directly on the rack. Roast for about 15 minutes, turning if needed, until the skin is well scorched. Immediately place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or in a paper bag, and allow to cool. (I put them under the broiler)
2. Remove the skins from the peppers by rubbing with your hands, and rinse under cold water. Cut in half, remove stem and seeds, then cut into strips.
3. Place peppers into a medium serving bowl, and stir in the garlic, vinegar, oil, basil, parsley, salt and pepper.

Tomato Brie Fusilli
recipe from Whole Foods

We've been making this recipe for years and I'm pretty sure I blogged it last year. One of my favorite ways to use tomatoes and basil.

Tomato Brie Fusili

Sausage & Peppers Pasta and Chopped Caprese Salad
recipe from A Good Appetite

I love reading A Good Appetite. They have so many great ideas, they seem to be into the same things we are, AND they're in Minneapolis and get veggies from Harmony Valley. I feel like we should meet them. Anyway! We're fans of the traditional sausage and peppers dish but I like this recipe for a little something different. We had tomatoes to use up (suprise!) so I made a side salad of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt. Easy and delicious!

Sausage & Peppers Pasta

olive oil
6 - 7 oz bulk Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
2 c sweet peppers, seeded & sliced
1/4 c sherry
2 T tomato paste
1 T red wine vinegar
dash of red pepper flakes
4 oz pasta, medium shells
1/4 c reserved pasta cooking water
grated Parmesan (optional)

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with a little olive oil & heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausage & brown until cooked. Add the onions & cook until starting to soften. Stir in the peppers, sherry, tomato paste, vinegar & red pepper flakes. Cover & turn the heat down to low. Let cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain the pasta reserving 1/4 cup of the water. Mix the pasta & water into the sausage & peppers. Top each serving with grated Parmesan if desired.

Serves 2 (we increased everything to make enough for 4+)

Rocky Road Cake
recipe from All Recipes

My sister was in town and she had just recently celebrated her 19th birthday (yes, there's quite an age difference there). I decided to make her a cake (because I want cake and she likes cake and it's her birthday) so I found an absolutely ridiculous cake. I tend to make cakes from scratch and avoid mixes and canned frosting but I had a craving for pure junk. Pure junk but absolutely delicious.

Rocky Road Cake

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blogging without a camera

After I declared that I would resume blogging, I realized that we didn't have our camera. We accidently left it at a friend's house and life is so crazy these days that we didn't pick it up for a week and a half (this is a long time for us to be without camera, folks!). In the meantime, we made two fabulous meals. You'll just have to imagine how these meals looked.

Bihari Green Bean Masala
Mark Bittman

I absolutely loved this dish. The sauce was so tasty that I would be willing to drink it from a glass. We'll definitely be making this again and might try some variations.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.

1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat and transfer almonds to a plate or bowl; set aside for garnish.
2. Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt to the unwashed sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes.
3. Add coconut milk and green beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes.
4. Sprinkle beans with lime juice, and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. If desired, serve accompanied by plain cooked rice or roti flatbread.

Yields 2-3 servings (we doubled and served over rice)

Friday Night Pizza

We had friends over so we made two pizzas. One with eggplant, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese. And the other with a roasted tomato and cotija cheese topping. They were both heavenly and very photogenic. Too bad we didn't have the camera.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Adapted from Chow

This dish was pretty good but way too salty and way too spicy (and I like my spicy!). We might make again, reducing the salt and skipping the jalepeno and relying on a little heat from the poblano.

1 cup uncooked white long grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
3 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
8 medium poblano peppers
1 cup cooked black beans
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (about 2 small tomatoes)
2/3 cup chopped scallions (about 1/2 bunch)
1 jalepeño, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place rice in a colander or a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Combine rice, water, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low; cook until water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes (rice will be slightly undercooked). Remove the lid and set the pan aside to let rice cool.
2. To prepare peppers for stuffing, use a paring knife to cut a wide circle around each stem (like when carving a jack-o’-lantern), so you end up with a cap that can be replaced once you’ve stuffed the peppers. Be careful not to puncture or rip the peppers. Clean any seeds and membranes from the cap and from the interior of each pepper; set aside.
3. Place beans in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or the back of a fork, lightly mash them (some whole beans will remain). Stir cumin, sour cream, Cotija, cilantro, tomatoes, scallions, jalapeño, pepper, and remaining salt into mashed beans and mix until evenly combined. Gently mix in cooled rice. Taste mixture and, if necessary, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Note that the filling should be quite salty to compensate for there being no salt on the peppers.) Stuff each pepper with the filling and replace caps, securing with a toothpick.
4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place stuffed peppers on their sides and close the lid. Roll each pepper a quarter turn every 7 minutes or so to cook all four sides. The peppers are finished once the filling is hot, the skins are well-charred, and the flesh is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and serve. (we used the oven)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Long time, no post!

The blog got put on the back burner after some serious morning sickness last farm season. Earlier this season, our beautiful baby girl was born (June 2nd) and things were just too hectic to even get dinner on the table, let alone remember to take a photo and post about it. But, here I am again. I hope to resume my weekly posting for the remainder of the season, even if that seems like quite a daunting task.

In the meantime, here's some photos of things we've made that I didn't have time to blog about.

Delicious medium rare (oh how I missed that while pregnant!) burgers made with Thousand Hills ground beef.

Coconut Curry - One of our favorite curry recipes from All Recipes.

Rhubarb Galette - This one looked a little better than it tasted.

Friday Night Pizza: Golden Beets, Artichoke Hearts, Capers, Banana Peppers, Feta

Stuffed Figs - I wish I could eat this through the screen. I absolutely love figs.

Friday Night Pizza: Figs, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Arugula