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Saturday I went to the Farmers' market in the U district (after my eye doctor appointment) and got an entire sockeye salmon for $25, and a miscellaney of vegetables. I got squat rounded carrots called Thumbelina, golden beets (many of which were smaller than chocolate chip cookie dough portions), parsnips (which were labeled carrots, but I've never met a white carrot), and celery root. I diced up the veggies, adding in two potatoes and a number of garlic cloves, and tossed with olive oil and spices. The spices I grabbed were mixed peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, sage, kosher salt, and a little mustard seed, plus a dash or two of apple cider vinegar. I roasted them at 350 for 20 minutes, then raised the heat to 450 (so I could bake biscuits!) for another 15-20 minutes.

Today I dumped the leftover veggies into a pot, heated them up, and added about half a jar of roasted red and yellow peppers, and a quart ziploc full of veggie stock. I diluted the stock with maybe 3.5 cups of water, enough to cover and seem souplike, and brought it to a boil. I pureed the resultant mixture in the blender, leaving a little texture behind. Final flavor adjustments involved a titch of garlic powder and some salt.

I like the soup better than the whole vegetables, honestly. They didn't get quite soft enough during roasting, but the heating and blending process softened them up nicely.
nothavanas: (Default)
The annual festival of food is nearly over. The report so far:

roast acorn squash with brown sugar topping

Indian food at Saffron Grill

20.6 lbs of turkey
bird bacon
stuffing with sausage and bread
whole cranberry sauce
mashed potatoes
brandy-glazed carrots
vegetarian stuffing
brownie pie
(dinner for five)

green chile sauce
turkey burritos with same
corn soup with bacon
[generated a nice canful of grease]
(dinner for ten)
sourdough starter
turkey stock

sourdough pancakes
some sort of cookies
(dinner at Pinecoon with Dave's lasagna)

I'm not cooking again for weeks.
nothavanas: (Default)
Things I made which were good:

Grilled Mexican Corn, from Cooks Illustrated, with a spicy creamy sauce. They have you rub the corn in oil mixed with chile powder before grilling, which gives it a great flavor. I used the broiler, since we weren't grilling anything else.

Vegetable stock, two giant pots full. I didn't bother sauteing any of the vegetables this time. I have made stock ice cubes from some of it, and used some of it in...

Vegetable soup that was sort of supposed to be borscht. Mainly it had a couple beets in it. It ended up being your standard tasty veggie soup with carrots and celery and potatoes and things.

Squash dumplings with brown butter. Thank you, Alton Brown! These were fantastic. You bake some potatoes and some squash (I had delicata, not butternut) and mash their fleshes together. You add salt and nutmeg and flour, then shape into little balls. I couldn't get the dough to become non-sticky, so I just sort of hand-shaped some blobs. I refrigerated them overnight (okay, I left them out in the garage) and boiled them in salted water the next day, until they float. Then you cool them in ice water and toss them with a touch of oil. Before you serve them, you brown them in butter which has first been browned itself, with some sage leaves. So fantastic, rich and decadent and relatively healthy, as decadence goes.
nothavanas: (Default)
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.
nothavanas: (Default)
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.
nothavanas: (Default)
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.
nothavanas: (Default)
So I was at Rockridge Orchards' stand at the U-District Farmers' Market, contemplating their rhubarb fiercely. The woman who works there (I believe she's the owner's wife/co-owner) asked if she could help, and I said I was trying to decide between pie and cobbler. She suggested stir-fry; just add the rhubarb in as if it were a vegetable. Which it is, technically, and it's only used in desserts with a ton of sugar. So I got a few sticks, along with some raspberry apple cider made on Friday.

(Diversion: Empire Ice Cream is back! They have bacon and hazelnuts, chocolate, mint, brown sugar, and rhubarb-oolong sorbet. All are delicious.)

Today I got some mixed stir-fry frozen vegetables, along with some fake chicken strips and some stir-fry sauce, and threw diced rhubarb in there. It came out quite well. The rhubarb was tart and crunchy, and some chunks got soft and sweeter. It went very well with the crispy broccoli and snow peas and such.
nothavanas: (Default)
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.
nothavanas: (Default)
I had been planning on soup from stock, but didn't feel like defrosting the stock. So I just did butter-steamed parsnips and carrots. Parsnips are kind of a pain to handle, plus I've mislaid my vegetable peeler, but it was tasty in the end.

Also, I went to the best frozen yogurt place ever, and got a massive bucket of yogurt with fresh kiwis to mix in.


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!


Oct. 28th, 2008 11:47 am
nothavanas: (Default)
Grilled cheese sandwiches with the perfect ratios of homemade sourdough bread, Beecher's Flagship cheese, and Zeke and Zach's Honey-Jalapeño Hot Sauce, melted in the toaster oven. So good.

Saffron-Pistachio Cookies. They have a beautiful saffron flavor, probably from extracting the threads in melted butter rather than hot water, and are very buttery and delicious.

White Winter Vegetables baked in Cream, from Greens. I used cauliflower, parsnips, fennel, and leeks, and 2 cups heavy cream, plus a buttered breadcrumb topping. It was pretty popular at Pumpkin Fest. I'm going to mix the last of my butter-sauteed chanterelles into this for tonight's dinner.

White Bean and (Winter Squash) Soup, also from Greens. This is a lovely hearty winter soup, and the Delicata and acorn squashes I used are slightly sweet and very nice. You make a stock from the pumpkin seeds and some other detritus, and use the bean cooking liquid as well. I threw in 2 cups of my vegetable stock from last year's CSA to make volume, which added a nice complexity.


Oct. 14th, 2008 08:06 am
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I made chard-saffron tart last night, from The Greens Cookbook. This is my favorite dish of all time from that book, including olive oil bread, and it is the only reason I own a tart pan. It's easy, the dough is beautifully flavored and textured, the custard is quick and tasty. And it makes an excellent breakfast.

I also boiled some various potatoes and mixed them with pesto, as if I didn't feel like making the pasta portion of pasta with pesto and new potatoes. And I blanched some yellow and green beans and dressed them with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Wash Park seasoning blend. It was food processing evening.

Oh, and Sunday I made sourdough bread, which I ate with apple butter from Woodrings Orchard.
nothavanas: (Default)
Eggplant is perfectly tolerable with a lot of feta cheese and some tomatoes. Pretty much everything is tolerable if covered in enough cheese, though.

Roasted beets with balsamic vinegar and feta are fantastic, though. I stand by that one.
nothavanas: (Default)
A Thing With Some Chard What I Thought I Had a Recipe For, But Didn't.

Some chard, stems and leaves separated.
Cream, or half and half, whatever.
Pine nuts

Boil the chard leaves (which are in smallish pieces) and put them in a colander. Melt some butter and saute the chard stems until tender. Add a lot of cream, and reduce the heck out of it. Add some salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. You don't need much nutmeg. Add the chard leaves when the cream is reduced. Fling a handful of pine nuts on after serving.

(This style of recipe title inspired by I Forgot to Thaw the Chicken Casserole, for the record.)


Sep. 5th, 2008 12:22 pm
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Harvard Beets, quoth the 75th anniversary JOY.
In which I roasted 1 and a half pounds of beets (two very large ones), cut them into wedges (1/6ths) and then tossed them into a cooked sauce of sugar, white wine, cornstarch, salt, and cloves, letting them sit for quite a while. I added the butter and a splash of cider vinegar to the tupperware containers, so that it melted in "just before serving" when I microwaved them.

I had 1.5x the amount of beets, but I didn't need to increase the amount of sauce. I think I will cook up some chicken breasts and serve with the leftover sauce. And it could have used a touch more butter to thicken it, or perhaps whisking it in as I served it (like, you know, the recipe says to do) would have helped.

They are very tasty indeed. I didn't know I liked beets before this summer, never having eaten them, but now I do. :9


Sep. 3rd, 2008 06:01 pm
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Crookneck squash

one glorious peach, which is currently tempting me from my in-box. It will wait until after some chemistry.
nothavanas: (Default)
Cajun Fried Zucchini, pg 40 of On the Chile Trail.

I did Various Summer Squash, including zukes, patty pan squash, crookneck squash, and an odd ridged variant of zukes. I had seven cups of squash, which took 3 and a bit cups of breadcrumbs. (Breadcrumbs equals 1 package of TJ's hot dog buns, dried in the oven on warm for about 10 hours and food processed vigorously.)
I needed only 1 cup of flour and the 2 eggs/1 cup milk ratio they recommended for the 2 cup batch. I used 3/4 cup half and half and 1/4 cup skim milk, since that's what I had.
The spice mix is tasty, but it underflavors the bits. I'd add a teaspoon and a half, rather than a teaspoon, per cup of dried starch product. Although as they cool, they taste more of spices and less of delicious warm fried food.

I've never deep fried before, so that was an experiment. I was quite terrified of the hot oil, quietly shimmering at 350 °F. But once I actually dropped the food in it was easy and not very splashy. I followed Alton's recommendation and let the breaded food sit for awhile, which I think was a good call. (What I did was to bread everything, and then fry everything.) Now I have two cookie trays piled high with fried squash. Om nom nom.


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