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I have done probably the last thing I shall do with my CSA this year, which is this:
Boil quartered brussels sprouts for 5 minutes and florets of cauliflower for 3. Plunge into ice water and drain. Reduce 1.5 cups of cream, with some onions and sage, to maybe around 0.5 cups. Place half the veggies in a greased 9x13 pan, top with salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Add the rest of the veggies, another 0.75 cups Parmesan, and the reduced cream. Bake covered for 40 minutes at 375 °F. Meanwhile, toast 1/3 cup pine nuts. Fry 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs (I used some fresh-today honey oatmeal bread, and toasted it to get the moisture out first) in a little olive oil, with parsley. Combine with the pine nuts. After the 40 minutes, top the casserole with the breadcrumb mixture and bake uncovered 15 minutes.
Cream is such a wonderful sauce, reduced like that, and with the cauliflower it was just decadent. The little mini cabbagey brussels sprouts were fantastic as well. mmmmm.
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This was from Alton Brown.
While the water boiled, I chopped the chard, separating the stems and leaves, onions, and garlic. The chard leaves blanched for 3 minutes, then I fished it out and put the pasta (stripy bowties!) in the same pot. I cooled and chopped the chard, then sautéd the aromatics (including the chard stems, which were yellow) in some olive oil. I added a paste of equal parts butter and flour, cooking that for about 5 minutes, and then added lots of canned diced tomatoes. The next step was to add chicken broth, which I substituted with my homemade vegetable stock. I will be sad when I use all of that up. Then I added the chard and the pasta and tossed it to warm everything up, and finished with probably more Parmesan than it called for, a little rosemary, and some salt and pepper.

This is fantastic. The sauce has some of the same tomato-garlic flavor that makes our pasta sauce so amazing, but it's tempered by the roux and the stock, so it is a little creamy and the bitter chard really shines.
I did a lot of the prep in advance, as the water heated and as the chard and pasta cooked, so the actual cooking part went very smoothly.
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I threw a birthday party for one of my roommates, which turned out to be dinner and cake for 13 people. No pressure for my first dinner party! :D
Monday I baked the cake, using White Cake II from the '97 Joy of Cooking. I added an awful lot of food coloring and made a green and yellow checkerboard cake with three layers.
Tuesday I did the rest of the prep. I filled the cake with raspberry preserves (heated and strained directly onto the layers), frosted it with Butter Frosting (from Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book) tinted a lovely shade of purple, and decorated it. Sooj added some lovely flowers, lavender and sweet pea. Then I baked Olive Oil Bread, using 1.5 cups white flour and 1 cup white whole wheat. I keep trying to use a pizza stone and it keeps coming out thin and crispy, and oddly shaped. I need to reduce baking time a lot, and maybe try a better improvised peel. I set up the standard tomato-and-garlic pasta sauce, using 4 15-oz cans of tomatoes and scaling up appropriately. I measured out the oil, which ended up being a little too much. Next time I just eyeball it, as usual. After the sauce was simmering, with some Yellowtail Shiraz added, I prepped 5 ears of corn, cutting the tips and ends off and cutting each ear in half. That was a little harder than I expected, but I stuck them in a dish in the microwave, with some water added and saran wrap over them, and just let them wait. They eventually got microwaved for 4 minutes on high, and came out excellent.
The salad consisted of lots of different lettuces and also arugula, all from Boistfort Valley Farm, and I put the birthday girl in charge of other vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, and celery).
I brought my food processor to a standstill making pasta with seven egg whites and five cups of flour (three white, two whole wheat). I ended up turning it out onto the counter to mix and add more water and oil to, and then back into the processor to finish. The dough came out just fine despite that.
That much pasta just barely fit into the pot, and it did boil over once or twice. I served the salad and the corn while waiting for the noodles to finish cooking, and then brought the pot and the skillet to the table.
Everyone loved all of it, which made me very happy. The sauce was exquisite, the noodles were tasty, and the cake was rich and buttery and very very colorful!
Pictures of the cake, the food, and the party to follow.
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Or in other words, Kale.
Kale is this weird curly-leaved thing that tastes a lot like broccoli, but you strip it off its stems like chard. Then you add it to some garlic flowers sauteing in olive oil, with the water clinging to the leaves from washing and a little bit more. You cover it and let it cook for a little while, until it's bright green and maybe some bits are a little browned. Then you can serve it over couscous. Or other starch thing. Or maybe you could have made some sort of main dish, if you like that sort of thing.
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a thing with the stuff that used to be in my old freezer
--this was basically pork fajitas, with bell peppers and tortillas.
vegetable and tofu stir fry with honey-soy-sauce glaze
--a good way to use up some stuff from my CSA box.
Beet/pea salad with dijon dressing
roast beets with feta and balsamic vinegar
Stir Crazy Cake
Sundry saladry

CSA Report

Jun. 23rd, 2009 08:13 am
nothavanas: (Default)
Bunch carrots
Sugar snap peas
Shell peas
Salad bowl lettuce


Last week's foods: misc salad with lettuce, radish, kohlrabi. Roast beets with feta, balsamic vinegar. Peas, strawberries, apples all eaten as-was.
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What’s in the Box:
Bunch beets
Cameo Apples
Purple kohlrabi
Bok choy
Shell peas
Red Oak Leaf lettuce
Winter Density lettuce
Garlic flowers

I pick it up today around 5ish.
Unrelatedly, Cooks Illustrated recommends a gadget for stripping kernels off of corn. I may have to get one, 'cause it sure is messy with a knife.
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I have taken part of my first paycheck as a college teacher and used it to buy a summer and autumn's worth of fresh, local, organic produce.

Boistfort Valley Farm offers a small share, meant to feed two, for $460 if you pay in full before May. I intend to store some, eat vegetables instead of cereal, and have friends over/take food over to friends a lot.


Mar. 9th, 2009 05:02 pm
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1 tbs butter
1 elderly leek, sliced
a couple slices red onion plus the skin
2 bunches of carrot greens, plus carrot bits
carrot peelings
parsnip peelings
3 leeks, green parts only
asparagus ends
chard stems
the center of a head of cauliflower
2 small purple potatoes, chunked
2 bay leaves
2 large pinches of peppercorns
4-5 sage leaves

water to cover, brought to a boil and gently boiled 40 minutes.

Strained through cheesecloth and filled 1 and 3/4 32 oz Mason jars. I'll freeze the fuller one (it has just enough headspace) and make soups with the other one right away.


Jan. 7th, 2009 09:56 am
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Some fingerling potatoes, from my CSA box, sliced around 1/4 inch thin, sauteed in olive oil. Some parmesan cheese and some Smoky Hills Cheese Blend added for flavor.

Good for dinner and for breakfast!


Jul. 31st, 2008 12:45 pm
nothavanas: (Default)
Swiss Chard
Golden beets
Summer squash
Green leaf lettuce
Purple kohlrabi
Shell peas
Sugar Snap peas
Snow peas
Italian parsley

(I've just discovered that the list is online at Yay for copy and paste!)
nothavanas: (Default)
radishes (the skinny kind that are good with butter)
Beets (not the same as last week’s)
golden raspberries (oh, wow)

Salmon (omg)
Blueberry apple cider

CSA Update

Jul. 20th, 2008 02:03 pm
nothavanas: (Default)
July 8:
garlic scapes
bok choy

July 15:
two kinds of radishes
Rainier cherries
red-leaf lettuce
romaine lettuce
garlic scapes


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March 2017

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