Saturday, March 14, 2009

CSA week 14 wrap-up, week 15 start-up

A lovely day for a walk today so I went my pick up spot on foot. As I expected, it was a little awkward carrying the box back, but the wagon I thought I'd need is probably overkill. I have a shoulder strap I think I can clip on that should make things a little easier for next week.

But, before next, there's last week. I'm pretty happy with my efficiency as I managed to use just about all of my CSA vegetables and didn't have to buy much to supplement them--just some mushrooms for the kale soup.

The green peppers went into the simple beef with black bean sauce stir fry I mentioned a week ago. It looks pretty good in that pictures, but I think I should have made the effort to get the fermented black beans and make the sauce from scratch. The pre-made didn't have the punch I was looking for. Lee Kum Kee is usually such a reliable brand, too. Maybe it was just the lack of MSG.

I also said I was thinking of finally doing something with the strawberries. I thought about making a sorbet, but instead I decided to try making a sabayon to top them. Pretty simple stuff, really. Take two egg yolks, 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar, 4 Tablespoons of dry white wine, whisk them for ten minutes over gentle heat and you've got sweet, wine-flavored foamy egg yolks which actually are a pretty nice topping for berries--no argument here. I've read that you can fold in whipped cream and then put it under a broiler for a "glaze". I'm really not sure what that means, but I saved half to try that later today.

That brings us to this week's share.

Normally, I start in the corner and work my way around the picture, but the elephant in the room is a bunch of rainbow chard big enough to feed an elephant. I think maybe I'll try a gratin again as the first one I made back in January could use some improvement. Should be enough for a second dish too.

And speaking of reworking disappointing dishes, I wouldn't mind making turnip cakes again with the daikon. Since the browned outer bits were the best part last time I might make them again but much thinner. I seem to recall thin disc-shaped turnip cakes I've had as dim sum that were a somewhat different recipe but a quick search isn't turning up a recipe.

The squash isn't enough to do much with. I've been meaning to cook a chicken to create enough bones and scraps so I can make my next batch of chicken stock so maybe I'll roast the squash along with that. It might be nice with a pesto, too. I bought pinenuts to make one with last week's parsley but didn't get around to it so that's still a possibility.

The mizuna is best raw or lightly steamed so want to go minimalistic with it. I might just use it and the lettuce in a salad or two or as a rice substitute under the various leftover saucy dishes I've got in the freezer. It would be obvious to use the grape tomatoes in that salad, but I'd like to find something a little more interesting to do with them. I'll have to give that some thought.

That leaves the grapefruit. Plenty there for a sorbet, but I'd have to add some other flavors to keep things interesting. There are a couple intriguing recipes for grapefruit ice cream out there, too. Maybe a sherbet with coconut milk...I'm not entirely certain of that flavor combination. I'll have to do some testing on that.

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