Saturday, February 14, 2009

CSA week ten wrap-up, week eleven start-up

If you carefully kept track of the sub-divisions in my last post, you'll have noticed that I set aside half the dough and didn't touch it again. This stuff doesn't last very long so that meant another hearty pasta dinner last night (kind of a deconstructed carbonara with the egg fried instead of raw). Rolling went much more smoothly this time around as I learned about a problem I hadn't identified the previous attempt: each roller setting can only handle dough very slightly thicker in-coming than out-going. I've kind of got the hang of this now, but with two over-large pasta dinners in a row, I don't want to see another noodle for a while.

So, back to the vegetables. I haven't mentioned the radishes; they and their tops went into another tortilla española early in the week. I got a bit of extra height on it, by cooking it in my new saucier, but that didn't give it real structure and it slumped over during the flip. Next time I'm trying the low heat method suggested in the comments.

The bok choy and spring onion went into a sa cha beef stir fry that I screwed up a little with too much oil and too much corn starch. It was rather unsightly so I'll spare you the image. Those troubles aside, my homemade sa cha dishes really haven't closely resembled the very good versions I've had when eating out (back when I had ready access to quality Chinese restaurants). Either they've got significantly different recipes or sa cha sauce reacts well to the very high heats you can't get in home kitchens. I'll have to do a bit more research to figure out what's going on here.

That leaves the cabbage and turnips which I've been holding on to. The cookbook I was waiting for arrived in my local library branch today so I'll be trying out something from it soon. And, of course, there's one more avocado that's just ripened to usability. I'm still hard-pressed to find uses for them.

On to this week, starting with the arugula (in the plastic bag in the corner). From what it said in the newsletter two weeks ago I figured we'd be getting this last week so I bought a chunk of cheese to make the Florentine dish Tagliatelle con Rucola e Gorgonzola. Rucola is rocket a.k.a. arugula. If I find myself wanting to pull out the pasta machine again, I may still do that. Otherwise I'm thinking of turning it into something similar to creamed spinach and using it as a side-dish to a piece of meat of some sort. It should go well with steak and I've still got a few filets in the freezer.

The chard I'm thinking of using in another version of the garlicky greens tacos I made last month, maybe with shrimp this time. That would also use some of the cilantro I took from the extras bin and, why not?, slices of avocado on top. And/or sliced radish too.

Maybe I'll do a Mexican pickle on the radishes. A quick search didn't turn up a recipe so I suppose it's as simple as Mexican pickled carrots. Oh, speaking of pickles, let's check out the zucchini and eggplant I pickled a couple weeks ago...whoops, wrong jar. Be right back...OK, here we go. Rather more mild than I expected. You can taste a bit of the vegetable through the sweet and sour. The texture of the zucchini is good--a little crisp but softer than a cucumber pickle. The eggplant are spongy, though. On the other hand that means they've absorbed more of the brine so they're more strongly flavored. I like my pickles on the bold side so these are a little disappointing, but they're mild enough to eat straight and I find I'm having difficulty stopping doing so. I'll give them another couple weeks to see what happens.

So, where were we? The potatoes. If I hadn't bought a few big red potatoes last week these wouldn't be enough to worry about, but since I did, I do. Roasted is a possibility, of course. Maybe a chunky potato salad? They're good in chowder too. Eh, they'll keep. I've got enough other meals to worry about.

The avocado will keep too as it won't ripen this week. And honey lasts forever. A few roma tomatoes will get themselves used as will the carambola. I'm in the middle of making ice cream with last week's carambola and I could maybe use a little more. I'll post more about that in a day or two when it's done.

Right, I'm off the library now to pick up that cookbook.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Those with a full box also got a bunch of carrots with the tops. In "Local Flavors", Deborah Madison has a wonderful recipe for Carrot Top Soup, which can be found online at http://www.goinglocal-info.com/my_weblog/files/carrot_top_soup.pdf and a few other places.

Alternatively, just don't throw those tops away - find someone with pet rabbits, they love the tops even more than the carrots themselves, and they're healthier for them (contrary to Bugs Bunny's mythology). Our bunnies love our CSA box!