Thursday, April 30, 2009

CSA week 20 - Glazed turnips, cabbage and kielbasa

As I mentioned a while back, I wanted to try a variation on the very successful and rather odd glazed turnip recipe I made a while back. I was just going to mess with the seasonings a little, but since I've got half a cabbage and a little sausage that might do well in this inverse braise why not try it all together?

It's the same simple procedure: slice a turnip into wedges, add them to a cold pan, dot with butter and add water to halfway up. Bring to a boil on high, turn heat down to medium, boil away the water stirring infrequently (about 20 minutes, when the pan's dry turn the heat back up and cook five minutes more until the turnips are tender and browned.

This time I added the sausage when the water came to a boil and laid the cabbage over top for it to steam. I tried to keep it elevated after stirring with some success, but just mixed everything up for the final sauté. That caused a small problem as the cabbage stuck to the cast iron pan and burnt a little. I should have used non-stick.

I decided not to do a full vinegrette since that would have been weird with the sausage. Instead I just seasoned with a little mustard seed, a little caraway seed, salt and pepper and drizzled a little cider vinegar over top when it was done. I would have deglazed the pan with it if it wasn't for the burnt bits.

The turnip didn't turn out quite as well as last time. They could have used a little more time in the pan when the cabbage was ready to come out. Also, this turnip was a bit past its prime so its texture was sub-par before I started. Given all that, it turned out fine. The cabbage worked out better--tender, lightly browned (the overbrowned bits stayed in the pan) and flavorful. And the keilbalsa was well cooked and had a bit of browning too.

So, a good one pot meal. I just need to cook the turnips a little longer before adding everything else.

And that does it for the CSA season bar some leftover celery that I've got a plan for and a pile of potatoes that I don't. The first a la carte CSA offering is this weekend but you have to pick it up down at the farm and I really don't like driving in Miami even on Saturdays so I passed this time around. I think I'm happier with how it went this time around than last year. I threw out less lettuce for one thing and I think the dishes I made were, on average, both tastier and more interesting. I have the CSA to thank for my increased blog readership certainly, although given the number of people in the CSA I thought I'd have more than a few dozen regular readers. I guess most folks know what they're doing and don't need my ideas. I wonder if a message board would get more traffic? I also wonder how many folks will stick around as I switch from CSA-driven posting to working through the recipe to-do list I've accumulated. Time will tell.


LaDivaCucina said...

Hiya Bill! Another blogger friend told me that hardly any readers comment so perhaps you have more readers than you think. I have friends that comment on my facebook page and not my blog! sheesh!

I did a great veggie curry the other day with my stray CSA veggies: carrots, one large turnip, a few small beets, celery, potatoes and a few grape tomatoes. I "cheated" and used Pataks mild curry paste and then added some red lentils for body and served over rice with poppadoms. Yum. Nice flavor and the turnips lost their bitterness.

kat said...

Looks like a very Eastern European dish to me with those veggies & flavors.
Does your CSA know about your blog? Mine includes links to my blog on theirs as well as in their newsletter which has helped. We also have a Yahoo group to share recipes & ideas which has been nice. We are looking forward to ours starting again next week!

billjac said...

Diva, the percentage of readers who comment has always been low and it's getting lower now that more folks are reading via RSS feed. I've just now added a widget that adds the comment count to the RSS feed so that might help. I can guestimate how many regular readers I've got by counting up the number of subscribers through feedburner (23), the number of followers on blogger (2) and maybe 1/3 the number of returning visits during the last week (20). So that's 45 or so. I really don't know if that's high or low given this sort of blog.

Kat, subscriber blogs are listed in every issue of the CSA newsletter which is delivered with the veges, plus I've been mentioned more prominently several times this season. All with nary a blip in traffic stats except when Margie, the mind and hands behind the CSA, specifically recommended the black sapote oat bars. That brought in a dozen extra visitors.

A Yahoo or Google Group is a good idea. I looked at stand-alone message boards just before our CSA started and decided they were too difficult. I should have thought of Groups.

And as for the food, Eastern European just seemed the right flavor profile given the particular sausage I had on hand. Turnip and cabbage a flexible; they could have taken on a lot of different options.

And Diva, curry pastes aren't cheating if you use them as a base and doctor the flavors up to your own tastes. Half of Thai cuisine is based on prepared curry pastes.