Saturday, March 28, 2009

CSA week 16 wrap-up, week 17 start-up

With Thursday taken up by the Food and Wine festival, I didn't get a chance to finish up week 16's box so I chopped up and froze the two remaining zucchini for later. I froze the pieces on a cookie sheet before bagging them up which is supposed to a) freeze them quick to keep ice crystals small which maintains their texture better and b) freeze them individually so they don't stick to each other in the bag. I can vouch for the second, but haven't tested the first yet.

On Friday I used my turnip tops and the leftover thinly sliced zucchini on top of my second attempt at homemade pasta. I still had some trouble rolling it out; I'm pretty sure the problem is that each roller setting will only work well with a narrow range of incoming dough thickness and getting that right is something you need to get a feel for over time. Once I got it rolled out, I made strozzapreti by cutting the dough into noodles, folding a couple over and rolling them together between my palms until they stuck into an irregular lump. I used a lot of flour so they didn't always stick right, but they tasted good either way. Next time I think I'll try making orecchiette or some other thick pasta shape.

On to this week. I walked down to the pick up spot again and this time tried out my shoulder strap, but discovered the limits of the boxes structural integrity might not be up to the job. If I can find a better way of attaching the strap it might still work, though. I'll have to give it some consideration.

And on to the share. In the upper left corner are dandelion greens. Not something I've used very often. I found lots of good ideas here mainly centering on blanching, sautéing and then lightly dressing the greens. Bitter greens are bitter greens so fair enough.

Under that is a romaine heart. I haven't used my previous lettuces much, but this is about as good as lettuce gets so I figured I ought to give it a try. So, fine, salad.

I don't think I need a particular plan for the spring onion, potatoes or oranges. They'll find themselves a use.

Next up, the bok choy. I could do a stir fry or a soup or maybe that Chinese green vegetable recipe I posted about a while back. It's not a vegetable that cries out for innovative uses. I'll look around, but I wouldn't be surprised not to find anything that piques my interest.

And, speaking of innovative uses that piqued my interest, if you read my last post through you'll know that a strawberry/black olive ice cream is on my to do list. I've got another flavor in the works right now and there's still plenty of last week's flavor left so I'll probably freeze these strawberries and get to making that later.

That leaves the daikon. And leaving the daikon is what most people did if the full extras box at my drop off point is any indication. I'm determined to find at least one more worthwhile thing to do with them beyond radish cakes and kim chee. These are a staple ingredient in Japanese cooking, but not really central very often so using up three fair sized daikon takes some doing. Maybe I'll make a Japanese curry or there's a Korean daikon and pork soup I found that looks good. I dunno, maybe I'll just braise the dang things.


Karen said...

I'm wondering about daikon pancakes, along the lines of potato pancakes or zucchini pancakes - something to turn them into a center plate item, but fewer steps than the Chinese recipe you made. Or there's also an excellent Didi Emmons recipe for diakon potstickers, but that's more like snack food plus a lot of work.

Other ideas would be welcome!

The good news, since I haven't used any of them yet, is that they keep quite well nearly forever in the fridge - I finally made really good pickles with the last of last year's daikon combined with the cucumbers from the beginning of this CSA season.

billjac said...

Daikon pancakes ought to work. I've just been doing some research and discovered that daikon are a staple of Punjabi cuisine where they're commonly stuffed into flatbreads. Google "mooli paratha" for recipes. Not a big leap from paratha to pancake.