Saturday, February 16, 2008

CSA farm subscription - week twelve

Before starting out the new week, there are a couple dishes left from this last week worth mentioning. I complained about the bowl of wilted stems I got from the mizuna, but I managed to make a dish of that description work. I've been saving up the stems from the tougher greens from the last few weeks--some kale, some collards and some chard--and had enough by now to braise them like a mess of greens. It took a bit longer--about 20 minutes, but I didn't actually time it--and the pot liquor wasn't anything to speak of but otherwise it was just fine.

Second, I got some very tasty bratwurst down at the Whole Foods and made a smothered cabbage dish with it. I cooked a brat in a cast iron pan, removed it to a bowl, added a half a cabbage sliced thin along with a grated carrot and some sliced onion. Browned it at high heat for a few minutes, added some sliced cherry tomatoes and browned them too. Then I added a couple splashes of cider vinegar and a couple teaspoons of sugar, stirred well, turned down the heat to medium, covered and steamed for a couple minutes. When the cabbage was tender I returned the cut up sausage along with its juices and a Tablespoon or so of mustard. That turned out nicely, too.

So, the new share.

First off is the cilantro. I bought some cilantro a few days ago for the peanut soup and it's an interesting contrast with the local stuff. The California cilantro is dark green, has short stems and is much more aromatic than the cilantro in the shares. I wonder if it was treated in some way for shipment or picked younger. That's probably it.

Next is some more lettuce. After a big salad for lunch I'm down to just this head of...eruption, I guess, and most of last week's romaine. Both are pretty sturdy so I might try a stir-fried lettuce recipe.

The yukina savoy is another bunch a bit smaller than I'd need to for a full meal. I wish I had checked my share first as there was a big bunch in the extras box. My first thought was to use it as part of a stir fry but if I'm going to be stir-frying the lettuce I'll have to come up with something else.

The green beans I'm out of clever ideas for. I'll have to do some more research. I've done typical Chinese, Greek and American preparations. There must be other cuisines to mine. I have vague memories of traumatic childhood experiences involving poorly prepared french-cut green beans. I wonder what that the French preparation is supposed to taste like.

I already used one of the cucumbers in a salad. Another I'll use in a tuna tartar, I think. Maybe more salads for the others if I can work up the will power.

The squash I definitely don't want to use in a stew again. This week's is definitely going to be roasted. I've got a whole chicken that I was planning to butterfly and broil, but the squash wouldn't hold up to that sort of treatment. I'll try some more gentle cooking method that the squash can come along for.

That leaves the grape tomatoes and the tangerines, both of which I'll mostly just snack on. I've got one of the tangerines set aside for part of a sorbet, though. That's a new recipe for me and I'm curious how it's going to go.

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