Saturday, March 21, 2009

CSA week 15 round-up, week 16 start-up

Back to driving to the share pick-up point today. Weather like this always makes my bad knee (from too many crashes while bicycle commuting in Boston) act up so I wasn't sure I could make it all the way there and back on foot. And good thing too as it started pouring again while I would have been still on my way home. Maybe next week.

I've got a couple dishes left to talk about from last share. I did make dim sum-style daikon cakes again, but I a new recipe from the February 2007 issue of Bon Appétit which is posted all over the Web at this point, but I found reposted here. It's a little unusual in that it calls for squeezing all the moisture out of the finely chopped daikon and frying it for 20 minutes with the fillings instead of boiling it. It really condensed and intensified the flavors nicely. Plus the smaller batch of the recipe halved to the one daikon radish I had made the thin cakes I was looking for. A substantial improvement all around. I was hoping to use the mazuna here too, but the cup of cilantro I was going to swap it in for is actually in a dipping sauce which I don't think the recipe needs at all.

I also made the fruit and oat bars again filling them this time with a cup of chopped dried apricots stewed with 1/3 cup sugar and a thick slice of ginger in the juice of my last grapefruit. I accidentally halved the butter in the oat mixture so the texture is rather sandy but the filling is bursting with bright and rich flavor. You can't identify the grapefruit, but the apricot is airbrushed, enhanced and framed and I'm giving the grapefruit credit for that.

Beyond that, I've still got plenty of mazuna, lettuce and chard although they're getting past their prime. And a whole lot new in this week's share too.

Along with what came in my half share I was pleasantly surprised to find a leek in the extras box and I took some red radishes from the event-leftovers pile. Even if I can't find a use for them immediately, they'll keep for a while.

I'd be much happier seeing the callaloo and kale if I hadn't had more than enough of them already. And I've still got half of the previous batch of callaloo still sitting around. I haven't made a proper pepper pot soup yet. Maybe I'll do that. As for the kale, a braise with Portuguese sausage, maybe. I don't really want to do the full caldo verde thing because of how potatoes freeze poorly, but I can use the same flavor profile for something with better leftovers.

The zucchini and squash are enough for a few recipes. I have a zucchini garlic soup I'd like to try and I've got this image of a recipe where you layer long strips of thinly sliced squash in a baking dish. I'm not sure that's real, though. Maybe a risotto instead.

Plenty of radishes, too. The tops I'll likely sauté. At least some of the rest I'd like to roast. I don't think I've tried that before and I'm curious how it'll work out.

The pepper goes into the pepper pot soup if I make that. The cucumber in a salad of some sort, maybe with salmon since I've got some.

I'm not going to plan anything in particular around the herbs or the leek. I'm sure they'll find a place. The Chinese celery saves my chicken soup (that I really ought to get started making if I want it done in time for dinner) from the rubbery browning celery that's been sitting in my produce drawer for a while. That's a good place for the leek too now that I think of it.


Karen said...

The squash are great as Calabacitas (cubed and sauteed then baked with corn, onion, green chilis, one egg, cheddar cheese) or Tian (baked with cooked rice, sauteed onion & garlic, one egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs) - might suffice as disguises from kids. Or the book (and website) "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by B. Kingsolver has a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies using zucchini which sounds pretty good and they claim is kid-proved.

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention the salad turnips - figure out anything interesting for them?

billjac said...

I wish I had read these comments sooner.

I made something similar to calabacitas with the squash yesterday, but since I had no idea there was such a thing I just followed the recipe instead of adding the corn and green pepper that the dish really needed.

And Anonymous, you're right, I completely missed the turnips. I should have put one in the stockpot for the chicken soup. With so much to cook I'm probably going to end up using the turnips together with the kale. They should braise together just fine.