Saturday, December 22, 2007

CSA farm subscription - week five

Let's see what we've got this week.

First off are a big bag of braising greens and a smaller bag of salad greens. No inspiration required here; the instructions are right in the names. The key with both, I think, is going to be simple preparations that don't overwhelm the green's flavors and textures. I think last week's hon tsai tai recipe will work better with this week's braising blend.

The cucumbers are definitely going into the pickle jar this week. I've only ever done refrigerator pickles, but I might try the traditional crock style that pickles using fermentation instead of vinegar if I can find a suitable container.

The tomatoes, as I mentioned in my last post, I'll probably stuff. Looking around at the recipes, I'm finding at least four different varieties of stuffed tomatoes with the main component of the filling being meat, bread crumbs, cheese, or the scooped-out tomato. All I've ever had is the soggy nasty hamburger-and-rice stuffed version so I'm curious what an actual good stuffed tomato is like.

The herbs this week are dill and cilantro. Some of the dill will flavor the pickles. The cilantro will find its way into something. I do too much Southeast Asian and Central American cooking for some application not to turn up before it rots.

For the pole beans my first impulse is a bean and corn salad. My second impulse is that I had a very nice ceviche dressed with both of those ingredients a while back.

Finally, the avocado I think I'll use in a California cuisine sort of way which mainly seems to involve slapping a slice onto some unsuspecting sandwich., the California Avocado Commission's website has a long list of recipes ranging from reasonable (bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwich) to ludicrous (avocado schnitzel). The Beer-Battered Fried Avocado Wedges with Salsa seems like a particularly bad idea so I'll probably end up making that. I'm probably going to encounter problems substituting the Florida Monroe avocado for the Hasses the Californian recipes are expecting. If any of you guys have advice on this, I'd be obliged to hear it.

Since I got the half box, I missed out on chard, which I don't mind, and sunchokes which I'll miss. Since they're in season, I suppose I could go buy some, but they'll probably be imported from halfway across the planet. If you're wondering what to do with them, my favorite preparation is to just spritz them with a bit of olive oil, cut a small slit in the skin and then roast them at a pretty high temperature. The insides with turn into a flavorful paste that you can spread on bread like you can with roasted garlic and the bit that leaks out where you cut will caramelize beautifully. Now that I think about it, I have no idea what else to do with the things. Good job I like the one recipe I do know.

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