Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CSA week three wrap-up, week four start-up

As I predicted last week, I cooked a lot of stuff, but nothing so complicated or interesting it was worth it's own post. Mostly, I focused on using the herbs in quantity and in combination.

First off, I had a few herb-heavy salad filled with basil, parsley, garlic chives and tarragon along with the salad greens, but that's boring to look at so I didn't take any photos.

I herb crusted a pork chop and cooked some pole beans with that. If I recall correctly, that was tarragon, thyme and basil.

I stuffed a bunch of herbs under the skin of a chicken and roasted it. I roasted the squash with it, but didn't get a picture. I used rosemary, bay and parsley for this. Too much really as the bird tastes as much of herbs as it does of chicken. The rosemary came out a too strong really, but it's not bad.

I topped pasta with sage, parsley and ham.

I used half the dill to pickle the okra. There are a couple jalapeños, a small eggplant and a small squash in that jar too.

The other half I used for gravlax. Along with the dill, salt and sugar, I seasoned the salmon with a smokey, peaty scotch that added a lot of really nice flavor to it.

And I made an agua fresca from a handful of mint, a cucumber, sugar and lime juice. With a sugar cane swizzle stick.

I left the cabbage alone. It'll keep until a really good application presents itself.

On to week four then:

Another herb-heavy week, but they're varieties easy to use in bulk so I don't mind.

That's a big bag of basil in the lower left hand corner. It's a mild sweet variety, but I'm probably going to go Thai with it anyway. I'm just not a big fan of pesto.

To the right is a bunch of cilantro. Along with the four tomatillos and the jalapeños center top, I could make a tiny batch of green chili. Or I could do some salsa.

Above the basil is mint. That agaua fresca was mighty refreshing with a jigger of rum added so I'm definitely making that again. That uses the cucumber too. Actually, that cucumbers pretty tiny. I'll have to buy some supplemental cukes to match the mint.

Above the mint is another squash and zucchini sampler. I want to pair that with the chard in the upper right corner as they both go so well with cheese and cream sauces. I could do a risotto, but it would be a big batch and it doesn't store so well. Maybe a bread pudding?

A couple eggplants in the center there. I haven't been happy with the texture I've been getting out of eggplant recently by doing the salting, purging and squeezing method. I'd rather roast them until they collapse this time around. Maybe I'll make baba ganoush.

And finally, in the bottom right are a small head of lettuce and a smaller head of pak choy. A salad and a ramen soup garnish respectively.

Of all that, the basil dish might be worth writing up and possibly the squash. That's about it. I'll probably just end up with another wrap-up post.

But, in the meantime, Friday UM's hosting a food truck night. They don't usually come this far south so I'm looking forward it. There's no info I can find on who will be there, but I've got my fingers crossed for Dim Ssam a Gogo and the GastroPOD. Even if I skip lunch I don't think I'll be able to try more than, say, four so I'd appreciate suggestions of which trucks to prioritize.

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