21 July 2010

Tales from the CSA: Week 8

In this week's box:  BOUNTY!

4 ears of corn
3 yellow squash
2 zucchini
6 cucumbers
2 green peppers
2 tomatoes
1 onion (looks like a Vidalia)
8 plums
3 Ginger Gold apples
large bag of broccoli florets
small pile of roma green beans

Garde manger is a funny thing.  I saw peppers and onions this week and immediately thought:  fajitas (into which we also put the kernels from two of the ears of corn)!  Which necessitated buying cilantro for the marinade.  I don't grow cilantro because it's frankly too much of a pain in the ass - in order to keep a continuous supply, you have to keep re-seeding and re-seeding and re-seeding.  And it's cheap and easy to come by at the market.  And it keeps reasonably well, as long as you lop off the ends of the stems, plunk it in a glass of water and pop it in the fridge as soon as you get it home.  But it comes in LARGE bunches (at least at my local market).  Garde manger to the rescue!  How about flank steak with chimichurri sauce? Plus I have all that flat-leaf parsley in the yard.  Of course, one batch of chimichurri sauce is way more than you need for flank steak for two.  Would it be good on boiled little red potatoes?  Yes!  What about broiled snapper?  You bet!

Anyway, the other thing that this week's bounty said to me was: ratatouille.  We always make the traditional stew-like version, and it's good, don't get me wrong, particularly when make with fresh herbs from my garden. But I'm dying to try the version Thomas Keller created for the eponymous Disney movie.  I suspect I'll have more opportunities.

I made another run at the cucumber sorbet, this time going back to basics:  cucumbers, basil, lemon juice, a little gin, simple syrup, a little salt.  That's it.  MUCH better.  As the tomatoes start rolling in from the CSA, I'll be making gazpacho and I think a scoop of the cucumber sorbet will be an EXCELLENT addition. 

The plums seemed a little under-ripe to me, so we drizzled them with honey and popped them on the grill the night we had the flank steak, turning it off and cooking them with the residual heat, then tossing them with a little cinnamon before eating.  Yummy and simple.

The broccoli, the other two ears of corn and the rest of the squash have gone to side dishes, but I haven't used the roma green beans yet, and they're starting to look a little peaked.  Any ideas?

My colleagues came to the rescue on the apple situation - I only had 5 between last week and this week and they were smallish.  That's not even enough to make one pie.  Word got out that I was looking for CSA apples to make a pie, and apples came pouring in, with the request that if I got enough to make TWO pies, could I please bring one into the office?  Done and done! 

Upcoming:  the apple pie recipe (it's a good one!) and...THE NEXT FOOD LAB!  Topic? Food Lab: Raw Meat.


Hecate said...

I was thinking of making gazpacho for Sunday's tete-a-tete, and if you felt like bringing cucumber sorbet, well, it likely wouldn't go amiss. But if you've used it, no worries; people always like gazpacho in summer.

My CSA sent out a good recipe for zucchini. Cook onions & garlic in olive oil. Add zest of one lemon, minced, and lemon juice. Throw on julienne zucchini and chopped up mint. It's a good way to use up zucchini w/o frying, which I'm trying not to do.

Now I've got to figure out what to do w a head and a half of red cabbage . . . .

Claire said...

Here are two ideas for the roma beans that sound like something you'd like. Okay, I'd actually skip the potatoes in the first one.

Anonymous said...

@Hecate - I'll definitely bring it. So far we haven't run into problems using the various squashes, and I haven't even had to fall back on zucchini bread/muffins/cake yet (although that's always an option).

@Claire - I found both of those recipes, but we ended up going with a simple olive oil and garlic saute last night, since we were missing key ingredients of both of those and they were starting to look at little wilty, so I didn't want to wait any longer to use them. Jim was "meh," but I liked them.

Liam O'Malley said...

Speaking of garde manger, one of the chefs totally butchered a chicken galantine this week on Top Chef. It was painful.