Monday, January 31, 2011

Black sapote oat bars, variation two

My original black sapote oat bar recipe, two years ago, was a pretty big hit, both for the folks who tried the batch I made and for others looking to use their excess sapotes. As I said in my last post, I've got some new ideas for flavor combinations. I figured it would be a good idea to keep the rest of the dish constant so I could isolate that variable to see how it changes the results.

Before, the filling in the bars was made up of black sapote pulp mixed with walnut butter, a bit of cinnamon and a bit of coffee. No cooking involved. The result was a sort of mocha/fig flavor with toasty, nutty overtones. I'm going a rather different direction this time.

Filling ingredients:
1 1/2 cups black sapote pulp
1/2 cup not-too-fruity, not-too-dry red wine [I used a pinot noir]
2 Tablespoons dutch process cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla

1. Bloom the cocoa in the wine for a minute or two.

2. Add the choco-wine, sugar and salt to the black sapote pulp. Mix well, mushing up the sapote. Cook down over medium-low heat until it thickens and reduces to 1 1/2 cups, stirring frequently.

The mixture will be thick and splattery so be careful.

3. Cool until it stops steaming and add vanilla to taste.

No change to the bar itself:
3/4 cup butter, softened,
1 cup packed light brown sugar
and then mixed with
1 1/2 cups rolled oats,
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
and another pinch of salt.

I packed 2/3 on the bottom this time instead of just half, letting it rise up a bit on the sides and in the corners which should help keep things from sticking.

Then I spread the sapote mixture out and topped with the rest of the dough, sprinkled and spread around evenly, but not pressed down.

I baked at 400 degrees for 20-some minutes minutes until it's browned and it was clear the sugar had melted and the bars were fairly solid. It came out sizzling. I don't remember it sizzling before.

And here it is after cooling:

This turned out quite well indeed. The flavor was familiar, but hard to pin down. The fig element was there again, but it was filled out with rich chocolate and tanin notes. It was kind of like a port, maybe. A really great contrast with the light sweet crisp flavor of the crust, particularly with the generous amount of filling I used.

If you didn't want to make oat bars, the filling could work well as a swirl in a quick bread. Or you could cook it down a little more and use it as a layer in a chocolate cake. Or it could work as a pudding or ice cream base with the addition of some egg yolks and some cream. Lots of options worth a try.

Oh, hey, one last thing before I go. Did you know that, if cut a just-ripe black sapote around its equator, you can unscrew it open like an avocado? It leaves the seeds sitting there exposed and easily removed. It takes a little finesse to get the pulp out of the half-skins, but it's a much less messy process than what I had been doing before.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CSA week seven wrap-up, week eight start-up

Margie gave the blog a very nice mention in the newsletter this week. That usually brings in a handful of new readers so I'm feeling a little pressure to be interesting. I'll see what I can manage.

Yesterday, I was going to make the potato/collard salad I mentioned in last week's start-up post, when I went to get the collards out of the refrigerator there were the braising greens I had completely forgotten about. So, instead, I wilted them a little Chinese bacon and a whole lot of garlic and ginger and added them the pot to simmer while I made ramen.

That leaves the collards and potatoes unused, but they'll both keep a little longer. I've also still got the black sapotes. I've harvested the pulp from two and the third is about ready to go. I've got a couple ideas for flavor combinations to go with them, but I'm not sure if the final result will be in cake or ice cream form.

On to this week...

It's another greens-centric week, but they're all different enough that there's still some interest here.

For the chard, I can't argue with the taco recipe from the newsletter. I've made variations on it a few times and have been pretty happy with the results.

For the dill, I'm in the mood to make another batch of gravlax which should use up this small bunch plus the extra stems I've got stashed in the freezer.

The canistel won't be ripe for a while so I won't bother worrying about it too much now, but I since just one isn't quite enough for more recipes I'll probably do another round of my savory canistel recipe experiments.

The mizuna, next over, I think I've found the trick for. That's to remove the stem ends and treat it like baby spinach: salads, last second additions to soups or such or a quick saute to use with pasta or eggs or as a base for a chunk of meat. Not a lot of promise for anything particularly exciting, though.

Peashoots (in the bag above the mizuna), I like in tea sandwiches or on crackers with a bit of, for instance, gravlax. Delicate applications like that. Put them in a salad and they'd get lost and I can't see cooking them giving great results. On the other hand, that is quite a lot. Maybe they'd work in a cold noodle salad.

And finally, the yukina savoy. That's the only one of this lot hearty enough to survive a stir fry but that's kind of an obvious way to go. Maybe a slaw?

If any of you have better ideas, (for the yukina or otherwise) please share them in the comments.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

CSA week six - optimized stuffed peppers

It's been a few years since I've stuffed a pepper. I think the mediocre results dissuaded me from the effort. Beyond the two peppers in week five's share, what inspired me to pick the idea back up again was an article on that claimed to have the secret to better peppers: a whole lot of salt. That sounded sensible to me so I thought I'd give it a try.

1/2 cup uncooked rice, cooked [careful if you have a rice cooker. The cup measure that comes with mine is six ounces so I had to use 2/3 the resulting cooked rice]
4 bell peppers, tops removed, cored and de-ribbed, and a bit sliced off the bottom if they won't stand up straight
2 Tablespoons fat of one sort or another
1 medium onion, diced
plenty of garlic, minced
1 pound meat, grind to a coarse hamburger texture [You do grind your own, right? You definitely should]
Worcestershire, soy or Maggi sauce or some other umami-rich seasoning
tomato in one form or another
2 eggs
cheese, grated
salt and pepper

0. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. While the rice is cooking, boil a pot of water large enough to submerge at least one pepper. Add salt as if you were cooking pasta and simmer peppers until they start to soften, around 3 minutes. Drain and cool. [I used the water I rinsed my rice in. Waste not, want not.]

2. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add your fat of choice and heat. When your fat is ready add the onion and cook until softened and slightly browned. [Add any other vegetables you want to include around now and reduce the amount of meat accordingly.] Add garlic, cook briefly until fragrant. Add meat [I used beef] and cook until barely no-longer-pink. Season heavily with salt and pepper but add only enough Worcestershire (or whatever) to bring out the meatiness, not so much that you can identify it. Remove to a large bowl.

3. Mix rice into the meat mixture.

[At this point I split the filling into two bowls so I could go in two different culinary directions.]

4. Add your tomato of choice and season to match. [To one bowl I added half a can of roasted diced tomato, basil and oregano. To the other, about the same amount of salsa, chili powder, cumin and chipotle flakes.]

5. Add the eggs and mix well. [The original recipe called for just one egg, but I was disappointed in the final texture so I think you should use more.]

6. Salt the peppers well, inside and out, and stand them up in a baking dish. Stuff them with your filling, packing it in well. [I either had smallish peppers (I did) or I went overboard with the tomato (probably also true), as I had a fair bit of extra filling. No reason you couldn't save it and stuff something else later.]

7. Top peppers with grated cheese. I used mozzarella for the Italian-seasoned peppers and pepper Jack for the Mexican.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned and the peppers have wrinkled up a bit.

And here's the result:

It definitely looks better than my previous stuffed pepper attempts, although I'm a bit disappointed that the filling doesn't stick together. An extra egg or two, as I advise above, would help with that. As would using bread crumbs instead of rice and/or mixing some cheese into the filling. The flavor combinations turned out quite well, if a little overboard on the salt.

The real question is, is the pepper itself improved. It's been nearly three years since I last had a stuffed pepper so I have no idea, to be honest. However, reading over those old posts, I don't sound entirely happy with the results and this time around, I think I am. The pepper is firm and flavorful but doesn't overwhelm the flavors of the fillings. I can definitely recommend it. I do wish I had done one without salting to compare and contrast, though.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CSA week seven - roast chicken and cherry tomatoes

When I looked around for recipes (excluding salads) using cherry tomatoes, most all I found agreed that roasting them was the way to go. That was the extent of many recipes, but this one, which I found at Epicurious but appears to have originated in Bon Appétit, goes a little bit further to good result. Still very easy and straightforward, though. It seems rather forgiving of variation so I've vagued it up a bit.

2 chicken breasts with ribs or large chicken thighs
several garlic gloves, crushed and minced or pressed
1 handful of fresh herbs [I used marjoram and basil]
generous crushed red pepper
several Tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, stemmed and washed [I supplemented the 8 ounces from the CSA with some small local heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market.]

0. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1. Season the chicken, heat a cast iron pan and brown the skin side of the chicken in a little oil. Remove, skin-side up, to an 8"x11" baking pan.

2. Mix the garlic, herbs, red pepper and a few pinches of salt with the olive oil in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and toss.

3. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken so that the tomatoes array themselves into a single layer around them, the chicken is coated in oil and some bits of garlic and herbs remain on top of the skin.

4. Bake until chicken reaches 160 degrees, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes for internal temperature to reach 165. Crush the tomatoes a little if they haven't collapsed.

Top with a little more fresh herbs and serve with crusty bread or some other starch to soak up the sauce.

I didn't brine or prep the chicken in any way so the meat is your usual underwhelming experience that is chicken, but there are a couple of real highlights here. First, the skin with the caramelized edges and crispy bits of baked on garlic is darn good eating. Second, the sauce, made of garlic and herb infused oil, chicken drippings and roast tomato is pretty fabulous too.

I probably could have used a larger pan and roasted some sliced potatoes too. Or turnips maybe. I'll see what I've got on hand next time we get cherry tomatoes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CSA week five - grapefruit anchovy salad

Grapefruit and anchovies sound like an odd combination, I'll admit, but it's not as far a reach as you might think. I'm just substituting the grapefruit into a traditional Sicilian orange and anchovy salad. I was prepared to add some sugar to adjust, but I was lucky enough to have a couple unusually sweet grapefruit. I let them sit for an extra week after they looked ripe; Maybe that made a difference.

1 medium and 1 small grapefruit, cut into supremes and then into bite-sized pieces
two stems flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 scallion, green part only, chopped
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (careful with the salt as you've got the anchovies)

1. Cut grapefruit into a bowl and drain the excess juice.

2. Add everything else, mix, taste and adjust seasoning.

This salad comes together a lot better than you'd expect. The balance is only slightly off a salad dressed in lemon vinaigrette. The salt cuts the bitterness of the grapefruit and the juiciness of the fruit buffers the saltiness of the anchovies. With everything balanced, the most prominent flavors to emerge are herbal with citrus tartness and olive oil unctuousness backing it up. Possibly that's because I started with two quite mild grapefruit. You'll have to bump up the other elements if yours are intensely sour and/or bitter.

Now that I know grapefruit goes with the salt and umami of anchovies, I want to try it with Worcestershire sauce. I'll let you know how that goes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CSA week six wrap-up, week seven start-up

I only had three cooking nights this week, but I managed to use the majority of my half share. The green beans, bok choy and curry leaves were in the curry I wrote about last time, of course. I also made a wilted komatsuna salad dressed in sesame oil that was pretty tasty.

For the collards and turnips, I thought I'd try a new cooking method. I put them in a pot with a cup of chicken stock, steamed with the lid on for 10 minutes, took the lid off, simmered the liquid entirely away, added a little oil and finished by getting a little color on them. Other than some timing issues (I'd add the turnips after five minutes next time), it turned out pretty well, I think. I threw in some garlic sausage too but I don't think it added too much. If I do it again, I want to find some way to incorporate bacon.

That leaves the peppers--which I still intend to stuff once I go shopping to buy some meat to stuff in them--the parsley and the leftover grapefruit. I've found a pretty interesting recipe to use the latter two in. I suspect it'll be revolting, but I'm curious enough to give it a try.

If I had known that this week's share would be so skimpy, I wouldn't have made such a concerted effort to use last weeks. Partially my fault as I left my lettuce behind as usual, but I got shorted turnips and cilantro. I intended to check my box carefully after missing out on mustard greens two weeks ago, but I was distracted by a woman picking all the good stuff out of the extras box. I suppose there's no actual rule against it, but it seems really inconsiderate to me, particularly if you're there early.

Still, I've got a bit to work with.

The braising mix, on the left, is actually more versatile than the name suggests. I'm thinking of a cream of greens soup, but I've got some other recipes that call for miscelaneous mid-weight greens that I might go with.

On right is collards again. I found a collard & potato salad recipe that I might try. Or I might do chips. Collards should work just as well as kale does. If I don't do the salad, I'll just keep the potatoes around as they're always handy.

The sapotes won't be ready for a couple weeks. The one I've already got on hand is approaching ripeness now, but I think I'll freeze the pulp until these two are ready and use them all at once.

That leaves the cherry tomatoes which I can rarely resist eating out of hand, but if I can resist, I want to roast them. Maybe with a chicken.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goan shrimp and vegetable curry

Suvir Saran, the author of the recipe I based this on wrote "I associate this dish's flavors with Goa" and "feel free to add whatever vegetables you want" so I'm guessing that this is not so very traditional. But it uses up three sprigs of the curry leaves, which is a lot for 4 servings, and "whatever vegetables you want" means a bunch of CSA vegetables I have so that's convenient.

Here's my version:

herb paste:
2 sprigs curry leaves, removed from stem
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
zest and pulp from 1/4 lime (substituting, poorly, for 1 Tablespoon lemongrass)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/2 hot pepper, chopped

1. Blend all that with a few Tablespoons of water into as smooth a paste as you can manage. Set aside.

1 1/2 Tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seed
1 sprig curry leaves, removed from stem and roughly chopped
2 dried chile peppers
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 pound assorted vegetables, prepped (I used 1/2 pound green beans plus 1/4 pound baby bok choy)
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined. Brined wouldn't be a bad idea either.
3 Tablespoons more cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

2. Put oil into a large pot over medium high heat. Add seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves, peppers and turmeric. Stir and cook 1 minute.

3. Add the herb paste, reduce heat to medium low and cook 2-3 minutes more until fragrant.

4. Add the heartiest of the vegetables (green beans in my case) and some salt and cook until about half done, adding other, more delicate vegetables as appropriate.

5. Add coconut milk and cream plus some more salt. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Return heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables are done to your liking.

6. Add shrimp and simmer 1-2 minutes until just cooked. Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning and serve with rice.

And here it is:

All the sauce drained into the rice. Here it is still in the pot:

So, not bad. Not as intensely flavored as you'd expect given all those herbs and spices, but nicely fragrant of curry leaves. The coconut milk really takes on the cumin and mustard well and there's a little spice to it. My problem is just that the flavors are too distinct. The green beans taste like green beans and the shrimp tastes like shrimp. The sauce is nice but the rice soaked it all up. I think this is going to be one of those better the next day dishes. The flavors will blend with a good long soak.

Serving with some other starch instead of rice might be a good idea too. Chapatis maybe.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

CSA week five wrap-up, week six start-up

Not a lot of wrapping up to do, really. I had the broccoli with ziti, froze the cilantro (which worked quite well. It's the defrosting that's a problem.), and I'm still waiting for the grapefruit and black sapote to ripen.

In contrast to last week's scanty box, there's lots to deal with this week. Too much considering I'll be traveling for most of it, but I think everything here can hold a little while.

Starting with the greens, there's collards on the left and komatsuna on the right. I've got a ham hock in the freezer so I might cook the collards up Southern-style, but I might shred them and add them to a soup, substituting for kale, instead. Komatsuna is a mid-weight Japanese green that takes well to braising. I haven't cooked Japanese recently so that's a possibility. Add a little miso and sesame, top with a piece of soy-glazed fish and I'm done. I could probably find a way to use the turnips in there too, I think.

The green peppers this week don't have the weak spot on the bottom that kept me from stuffing last week's pepper so I have another chance to cross that off my agenda. I could use to parsley in that dish, I think. There's really not a lot of it there once I've got rid of all those stems.

The baby bok choy you can't really see in the back will make a nice stir fry. There isn't enough to use just them so I'll probably incorporate the green beans too. Oyster sauce complements both vegetables so it should work.

That leaves the curry leaves. All those plans above might change depending on what curry recipes I find to use the leaves in. There's enough here for way too many servings so I'll freeze some too.

That's a whole lot of cooking for not many days, plus last week's fruit and some lúcuma I've got. I may end up, if not skipping next week's share, only taking a few selected items from my box.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1/11/11 Cobaya dinner at Chow Down Grill

If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough. -- Sriram Krishnan
Last night at the Chow Down Grill, chef Joshua Marcus was trying plenty hard.

Since I haven't written up a Cobaya dinner in a while, I should probably explain that these are experimental dinners with chefs preparing set menus, generally made up of untested new recipes, for a crowd brought in by Frodnesor of the Food for Thought blog. Chef Marcus laid out eleven dishes for an over-full house which would be an impressive feat even if he was working off his usual menu. Trying out new dishes on this crowd makes him, and most-all of the Cobaya chefs, braver than I. It was, as I said, an experiment which means not everything is going to work, but a goodly percentage did and is worth applauding.

I think this is the first write-up to get posted, but Frod and Paula from Mango & Lime both have their photos up already. It looks like they used their flashes so their pics mainly came out better than mine. You might want to go over and take a look if you can't make out what you're seeing here. Frod usually puts up a post with more insight into the dinner as an event and inside info about how the dishes were prepared within a few days so you might check over there to see if it's up yet too. I'm going to just concentrate on the food and what I thought of it, and, since we're talking about eleven dishes I'm going to be pretty brisk about it.

Course 1 - Bird's Nest Soup

Made with squab instead of the traditional chicken broth and accompanied by the restaurant's first batch of house-made soy sauce made by sous chef Jason. The soup was deliberately under-seasoned to highlight the elevating effects of the soy sauce which did indeed perk it right up. But the soy sauce was so good, with a mild well-rounded flavor, that the best spoonful was when I tried a little on its own. The sauces were standouts all night long, really.

Course 2 - Monkfish Liver with Aji Panca Sauce

I found the liver itself to be a bit overcooked which gave it an canned-tuna edge to the flavor and a rubberiness to the texture, but the spicy-sweet citrusy sauce covered just the right bits while leaving the liver's roasty-savory finish. When eaten all together (along with a toast point), quite successful.

Course 3 - Giant Pacific Oyster with Habañero-Pickled Cauliflower and Pike Roe Caviar

I'm a minimalist when it comes to oysters so I found this one over-accessorized (and a little over-cooked), but the tartness of the soy-citrus sauce and of the pickle do complement it if used in moderation. I preferred separating out the cauliflower which was quite nice with just a touch each of the soy-citrus and oyster liquor.

Course 4 & 5 - Sweetbread Dumplings with Carrot Wrapper and Squab Bao

There was a bit of a timing issue with this course and the dumplings had been cooling a little while before they got to me. My sweetbreads were a little undercooked and the wrappers kind of soggy and chewy. But if you're going to use eggroll wrappers, you're going for kind of trashy so soggy and chewy is appropriate, right? A great match for the house-made duck sauce.

The bao I've got no complaints with. Most bao skimp on the fillings and use cheap meat covered with disguising sauces, but this one had plenty of mildly seasoned squab and a thin layer of dough for a good balance of straightforwardly flavorful components. Very nice indeed.

Course 6 - Baby Octopus with Soy Beans and Spicy Sauce

The spicy sauce was made with fermented black beans and chewy dried shrimp and was pretty darn good with the crunchy soy beans. The octopus was impeccably tender, but very bland, which is a shame as I think it would have worked well with the sauce if it was more flavorful.

Course 7 - Beef Tataki with Bamboo Shoots and Cucumber

That's dry aged rib-eye seared and sliced rather too thick for my tastes so my experience was more like eating chunks of rare steak (which I'd rather not) than what I'm looking for in a tataki. It was also quite mildly flavored so the pickled vegetables were pretty much all I could taste.

Course 8 - Sea Urchin Lo Mein with Caviar

The sea urchin sauce was unevenly mixed with the lo mein. I and the fellow on my right could barely taste it while the folks on my left raved over it's flavor. The hints I got seemed pretty good, though.

Course 9 - Baby Abalone with Sea Beans and Cat's Grandma's Avocado

This was, I think, the best composed dish of the evening all laid out pretty and with a pleasant balance of flavors. I wouldn't have imagined avocado going well with abalone, particularly not Florida avocado, but there you go. There were some textural issues though. My abalone was very tough and the avocado was fairly firm too. I had a lot of difficulty getting up the slices of abalone onto my fork and cutting the avocado without everything falling into the salt the shell was nestled.

Course 10 - Buddha Jumps Over the Wall with Sea Cucumber and House-Made XO Sauce

Here again, the sauce was the stand-out aspect of the dish. I was surprised to enjoy the notoriously-off-putting gelatinous texture of the sea cucumber more than the meltingly soft leek. The black trumpet mushrooms were better than both, though.

Course 11 - Five-Spice White Chocolate Ganache with Walnuts, Jackfruit

We were instructed to top this dessert with a few drops of Sriracha which was a very good idea. It provided acid to cut the richness and anyone who's read my history of ice cream recipes knows I'm fond of a little spice with my sweets. I particularly liked how the combination brought out the fruity flavors in the hot sauce. I will be stealing this idea.

And that's the lot. Now that I've gone over it all, I think it was more successful than not. My thanks to the chef and all the Chow Down staff for their efforts and to Frodnesor for putting the evening together. If anyone else who was there has read this far, what did you think?

Monday, January 10, 2011

CSA week six - Return to the quiche-quest

Longtime readers (Hi Mom!) might remember that back in 2008, I experimented in an attempt to create a more perfect quiche crust. Your standards crusts tend to be soggy on the bottom, dried out on top and contain a heck of a lot of butter to no notable benefit. Also, it's kind of a pain to make. I had the idea that a savory crumb crust might make a workable substitute and worked through a few variations. I was fairly happy with a cracker-crumb crust, but since I was making a quiche today to use up a bunch of scallions, I thought I'd try a new tweak on the formula.

This time around I processed a couple handfuls of homemade breadcrumbs with around an equal amount of Kalvi Crispy Thin crackers until they were fairly finely ground. To that I added a big pile of finely grated Parmesan (which I'm rather surprised I haven't tried before), a bit of salt and a couple Tablespoons of melted butter--just enough to give the mixture a little structure so it would stay up on the sides of the pan. Once I got the crumbs laid out nicely I blind baked the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

It didn't quite fuse into a solid piece, but there's a bit of structure there. Enough that I didn't have to be too gentle when putting in the fillings--three scallions and a tomato cooked-down, a half cup of diced green pepper browned, a little Serano ham frizzled and three more scallions cut larger and just wilted--plus a third cup of crumbled capricho de cabra, a soft flavorful but not too tangy goat cheese. Over that went four eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk and 3/4 cup cream. The fillings stuck to the bottom so I had to gently mix things up a bit to distribute the vegetables.

I baked for 35 minutes at 375 degrees until a knife inserted in the middle came out clean, rested it for a bit and cut out a piece.

The quiche itself is nothing remarkable, but take a look at the bottom. Now that's a proper crust; I've got no idea how the crumbs transformed into that. It's a separate layer enough density and integrity to it that it broke along its own weakpoints instead of where I tried to cut it. It's flavorful from both the crackers and the cheese and even crisp up on the sides and, as you can see, a gorgeous golden brown. Very nice indeed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

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

It's been a little while, but I promised when this season started up that I was going to cook less ambitiously and post more judiciously. Put those together and you get fewer posts. Let's see if there's anything worth mentioning that wasn't worth a full post...
Frizzled breakfast radishes are good as a topping for steak.
I used the clementine to revisit the unsuccessful Szechuan orange chicken I made last year. This time I was scrupulous about de-pithing the skins, but that didn't change the results much. The skins still turned palate-blastingly bitter when cooked. Luckily, the bitterness doesn't spread and I left them in larger pieces this time, so I was able to pick them out (as the original recipe says to do so I don't know why I thought I could do otherwise in the first place). The resulting dish was pretty good, but there were so many other bold flavors that it was hard to tell if the clementine skins had any real effect. There seemed to be a slight citrus edge, but it's nothing a squeeze of orange juice wouldn't more easily accomplish.
I found a very interesting turnip recipe, but it's a main dish so I decided to save it until I had more than a half pound of turnips to use. I didn't do the gratin I was planning either; I made the mistake of shopping at Whole Foods and I don't think they carry cheese that isn't too good (or at least too expensive) to waste melting over turnips. I ended up cooking the turnips pot-sticker style which is a great preparation if you're making them as a side-dish.

I think that's it. On to this week...

Not too much here this time, partially due to the cold weather and partially because I left the lettuce behind and got shorted mustard greens. I should have read the read the newsletter more carefully and checked another box; I do quite like mustard greens.

As for what I do have, there isn't really enough of anything to base a recipe around, except maybe the scallions. I was thinking a quiche for them since I've got some excess eggs at the moment.

I could see pickling the broccoli, but it's really good with pasta too so I might do that.

I ought to find a recipe that uses a whole lot of cilantro too since I've got a supermarket bunch in addition to this one. I've made a parsley salad or two; a cilantro salad should work just as well. The microgreens I found in the extras bin might work well in that.

The green pepper is big enough to stuff and I found instructions that promise better stuffed peppers than the results I've had before so I might give that a try.

The black sapote isn't going to be ripe for a while and I'd like to accumulate a couple more before cooking anything with it.

That leaves the grapefruit. As Margie mentions in the newsletter, they do go well with shrimp. Maybe I'll do something with that.