Saturday, January 24, 2009

CSA week seven wrap-up, week eight start-up

I said in my last post that I came close to catching up on my cooking this week, but now that I take inventory I see that might have been a bit of an exaggeration. I was thinking of the tatsoi which is the last of the main-dish ingredient items I've got, but I forgot about the nearly full head of lettuce, half the cherry tomatoes, the black sapotes and carambolas (all now fully ripe), parsley, cilantro and a fair bit of cabbage I've still got hanging about.

The tatsoi I intend to sauté up for lunch today as a bed for a trout I've got. Maybe I'll add some cilantro and go for southeast Asian flavors.

For the sapotes, maybe a pie, maybe a quickbread or cake. The recipe from last week's newsletter (which Cintia lauds in a comment on last week's start-up post) uses the sapote just as a fruit layer not a full cake component but I'm curious if it could work that way. Bananas can substitute for eggs; applesauce can substitute for oil. Is sapote useful at all that way? Usually I'd take the lack of recipes as a good counter-indication, but sapotes are so obscure that it's worth experimenting. If only I felt like baking this weekend.

But on to this week.

To start with there's another head of lettuce. I still haven't tried a cream of lettuce soup so I think I might go that way this week. Oh, wait, I've got a lettuce and zucchini tart recipe I've been wanting to try which I found...hold on, let me I've never made pastry dough before so this may be a challenge.

The red kale below the lettuce I intend to bake into chips. It's a simple and common recipe-- spray with olive oil, season and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until crisp--but somehow my post about making them last year is now the third-ranked Google result. I wonder why.

The komatsuna in the upper right corner is up for another sauté or stir fry. Not much else to do with medium-weight greens.

The radish tops in-between are in for the same treatment, but in butter and olive oil and served over pasta. The radish bottoms appear to be breakfast radishes which are best raw so nothing fancy in the future for them.

The pepper is too tiny to worry about and the avocado and canistel won't be ripe for a week so I'll put them out of my mind too.

The strawberries we've been instructed to eat immediately and who am I to argue?

That leaves the herb bundle. The particular combination I've got is oregano, thyme and tarragon. You don't often see a recipe for all three but thyme works well with either of the other two.

Hmm, that's just four main dishes listed there. Maybe this is the week I get ahead of the game.

And here's that trout I was talking about:
It stuck to the pan a little which mars the visuals a bit, but with ginger, garlic, cilantro, scallions, garlic chives, lime, fish sauce (and some agave nectar not pictured) it's pretty tasty. Actually, this rainbow trout, farmed in New Zealand if I recall the label at Fresh Market correctly, was substantially more flavorful on its own than the trout farmed here in south Florida. I wonder if it's just the difference between species or if they're doing something differently.

And that brings up another point I'd like to ask the group about. I'm trying to eat more fish, because it's healthy, but at the same time be careful to buy sustainable fish which I'm having trouble finding. Farmed trout is OK and so is farmed tilapia but I haven't found sustainably caught tuna or salmon anywhere I've looked and a lot of the other fish on the best-choices list just aren't available. Do you have any recommendations of fish to try or places to shop?


Karen said...

If you don't do Whole Foods, which has an extensive but expensive seafood selection then, using the list at
as a shopping guide, there are a lot of good places to get local snappers, dolphin(fish), king fish, tuna, etc. including many fish that are so local they aren't on any list (but no local salmon).

In South Miami there's Mariner Seafood on Red Rd, and further south in a warehouse area is a new place - Bone Island Fish Market at 19200 SW 106 Ave #10 - with great prices and selection. And for just-off-the-boat-today fresh there's the Fish Market in Key Largo, though it's not unfortunately on the daily commute.

kat said...

I'm a big fan of kale chips too, maybe that's what I'll do with the bit I have left in the crisper

billjac said...

That's the shopping guide I use and I find it frustrating that I when I can a fish that's on the best choices list I usually can't get information on how it's been caught.

I've been in Mariner Seafood--I work at UM so it's a lunch-break bike-ride away--but I was turned off by the lack of labeled prices on any of the fish and surly service. But if you recommend them I'll take another look.

Karen said...

well, I'm finding this software sort of surly right now, since it ate my response, but I'll try to reconstruct my thinking ...

yes, sometimes you have to kind of chat them up, which seems a bit weird in a service establishment, but they do have very good fresh and locally caught fish. They don't open til 11-ish and so the labeling of the prices sometimes lags - they're back there fileting , etc. My husband hates to deal with them but I always find them very helpful, so I give myself karmic backpats.

The main thing is that dealing with locals, where the shop has a few of this and few of that every day, you can be fairly sure you aren't dealing with the factory boats that cause the big damage. In some sense, you're supporting the local (farmer/fisherman).