Sunday, February 7, 2010

CSA week ten - Thai canistel and radish omelet

OK, I recognize that this one is going to require a bit of justification.

First off, I had a leftover roasted canistel from last week that I was looking for ways to use. You may recall that I mentioned that it tastes rather like pumpkin which would explain why I was searching for savory pumpkin recipes. A technique I use while trolling around the web for recipes is to pair the ingredient I'm hoping to use with various proteins and cooking styles and seeing what pops up. In this case a search for "pumpkin and stir fry" turned up a couple of southern Thai recipes for pumpkin and egg stir fries. Who knew that was a thing?

As for the radishes, when you thinly slice them and fry them until they're browned around the edges they lose their peppery bite and take on a lovely savory/sweet flavor that goes well with eggs. I've substituted them in for the potatoes in Spanish tortillas before with quite good results so why not try them here too?

So I fried up a handful of thinly sliced radishes and a couple links of lop chong in a little peanut oil until both were nicely browned.

Removed them and fried the canistel until it was browned too. That went rather more quickly than I expected; it looks burnt, but it just tastes caramelized.

Returned the radish and sausage, squirted on some fish sauce and then added three beaten eggs and a handful of chopped cilantro.

My attempts at omelets generally fall apart at this point. It ended really more scrambled eggs. Ah well. But that just made it easier to serve over a bowl of rice with a bit more fish sauce and sriracha to taste.

I know this isn't terribly plausible, but I think it works. Both the canistel and the radish have been transformed. The canistel is more like roasted squash while the radish is savory/sweet without a hint of bite. Both flavors are enhanced by the saltiness and umami of the fish sauce. The radishes taste nothing like the Chinese sausage, but they both have similar savory/sweet balances that work well together. The eggs add richness and tie everything together. But the real standout here is the canistel with sriracha; the combination creates a lovely sweet heat that definitely merits more exploration. Give it a try and see what you think.


kat said...

Looks like the kind of dish Matt would love.

Karen said...

Margie mentioned in the newsletter that maybe carambolas (star fruit) are the tropical equivalent of zucchini in gardens farther north. I'm voting for canistel, however. You should get a medal for your valiant attempts to creatively use it, rather than leaving it in the Extras box (which was my cowardly solution this past weekend). I'll trade you any future canistels for any future lettuce!

billjac said...

I'm enjoying experimenting with the canistels and I hope I'm giving folks useful ideas. But i know only a small percentage of CSA subscribers read my blog and there've been piles of canistels in the extras box every week they're included. I wonder if Possum Trot's going to take the hint that nobody wants them and start growing something else.

Karen said...

Well, mature canistel (Pouteria campechiana) is a medium to tall tree, so it wouldn't be a quick turn-around. I wonder what the distribution site managers do with all the extra Extras? Also, it is on the Miami-Dade County Controlled Species list (see, as an invasive exotic in native hammocks, so maybe the combination of factors would be an influence.