Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maple Baked Apples and Pears

Bake this while you bake the squash for Buttercup Cavatappi. Serve warm with ice cream for dessert. Even better: refrigerate overnight and have it for breakfast with maple vanilla yogurt.

Maple Walnut Baked Apples and Pears
maple syrup

Core fruit from the blossom end, using a melon baller. Stuff with walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Buttercup Squash with Cavatappi

It's been awhile. After moving, it's taken some time to get readjusted to the new kitchen (built for Elves, not hobbitses). It is an excellent kitchen though, with a gas stove and a DISHWASHER. Sigh. Talk about a life of luxury.

This week, we had this for dinner. I baked the squash ahead of time.

Buttercup Squash with Cavatappi

1 buttercup squash, approximately 1 1/2 lbs
1 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 C water
pinch of sage leaves
black pepper
3 packets of condensed chicken broth (Trader Joe's)
3 - 4 C pasta cooking liquid
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 T butter
1 lb. Cavatappi
Old Amsterdam cheese, grated

Cut the squash in half, seed and place in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Since you have the oven on, make Maple Walnut Baked Apples and Pears. Let the squash cool, then scoop out the squash flesh and dice the bits that are large. You may refrigerate it and make the dish up to 4 days later.

Start heating water to cook the cavatappi.

Heat a large pot or dutch oven, and add oil. When the oil is hot, add onion and a pinch of salt and saute slowly until it is starting to caramelize. Add 1/2 C of water to deglaze the pan, then add squash. Gradually add pasta water, one cup at a time, cooking and stirring the squash to break up large chunks. Add broth, salt (if needed), pepper, lemon juice, zest and butter. Stir until the butter melts, then add pasta. Serve with grated cheese.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stoned Summer Betty

It has been brutally hot and humid for about a week. I have not been inspired to cook anything but salads. Very boring.

I have plenty of plums and peaches from last week's share. I considered making a tart, crostata or pie, but that requires and oven. I considered poaching the fruit with dumplings on the stove top, still too much heat.

Remember Apple Brown Betty from home economics class? Here's my version, made on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, and it doesnt require an oven.

Stoned Summer Betty
10 peaches and plums, stoned and cut up anyway you like
1/2 C brown sugar
4 T butter
1 C dry breadcrumbs
1 t almond extract
vanilla ice cream (for dessert)
vanilla yogurt (for breakfast)
toasted almonds (optional

Macerate fruit with sugar overnight (at least several hours).
In the morning, melt butter in a small pan, then add breadcrumbs and extract, stir to combine.

Sprinkle 1/3 of crumbs on the bottom of an 8" square pan or 1 - 1/2 qt bowl. Using a slotted spoon, top with 1/2 of the fruit. Repeat, top with a final layer of crumbs, then pour the juices over the top. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rot Report

Yikes. I've been slacking. Today, mizuna, cucumber salad, and a few peaches got by. Oh well.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Upside Down Cauliflower Au Gratin

There was a beautiful head of cauliflower in last week's share. I planned to roast it with olive oil, lemon and salt, then dust with parmesan before serving, but the weather was uncooperative. I simply refuse to turn on the oven on a blistering hot day. What to do? Use the rice cooker, my loyal kitchen companion.....

1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
1 cauliflower, cut in small pieces
1/4 C water
4 T cream
2 oz gruyere, grated (Roth Kase Private Reserve)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in the pot of the cooker. Add garlic, and let cook while you cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Add cauliflower, stirring to coat with butter and garlic. Add a pinch of salt. Let saute a few minutes, then add water and cover. Let steam a few minutes, checking for tenderness of the cauliflower. When it is still a bit al dente, add the cream, stirring. Let cook a moment while you grate the cheese, then add to the pot. Set the lid ajar, to let some moisture escape, and cook until the pot shuts off on its own. You will be surprised to find it nicely browned on the bottom. As you serve it, try to turn it over to show off the golden brown deliciousness....

No Use Crying Over Rotten Veggies (aka the Rot Report)

July was a very busy month. The past week was a whirlwind of visitors and swirling chaos of paperwork involved in the purchase of an apartment. As a result, out of sheer exhaustion, we ordered pizza and ate out a couple of times. The consequence: 1 small head romaine, 1 small head red leaf lettuce, 2 cucumbers, and 1 batch of veggie slaw were laid to rest.

In the past, when I've let a veggie from SuperMarket go to rot, it was a shrug at the waste and a toss in the trash. Now there's this sense of not living up to my part of the bargain, my link in the chain. From the seed, the soil, the earth, the rain, the sun, the moon, the farmer, the farmhands, the truck driver and the CSA members who work together to purchase and distribute each vegetable, a great deal of effort is expended. Not that this is any less than the energy expended by an AgribusinessFarm but I don't have faces for the links of that chain.

And so it goes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cucumber - Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Mint

I made cucumber salad last night. Bill requested the addition of chickpeas. Have I mentioned Bill's addiction to chickpeas? It seemed a reasonable addition and one that would guarantee that Bill's interest.

2 Large cucumbers, seeded and cut in 1/2 " pieces
1 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 scallions, white and green bits, finely sliced
1-2 tsp dried mint (or 2T fresh)
1/4 C lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepared Blue Cheese Dressing for garnish (Optional)

Put cucumbers through pepper in a bowl with a tight fitting lid (1 1/2 qt capacity). Toss everything by shaking the container. Let sit in the refrigerator for several hours. Serve with a small dollop of dressing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer is flying by

This week's CSA share
Beets with greens
Chinese cabbage (1 head)
Cucumbers (1 regular and 2 Asian long)
Italian frying pepper
Peaches (3 lbs)
Red leaf lettuce
Spring onions

ROT REPORT: 2 casualties
This evening, I discovered 2 cucumbers that didn't get used in time. I failed them. They were going slime/mush/mucky, so they were tossed.

I've actually been doing very well compared to past seasons. At this point, when it seems like I'm getting behind, I try to preserve something. So far the fridge contains (shelf life in brackets)

Broccoli with garlic, lemon juice, raisins and toasted pine nuts (up to a week)
Kimchee (up to 2 months)
Pickled Daikon sushi condiment (indefinitely)
Chopped, cooked red chard- 1 qt freezer bag full (up to 6 months)

So tonight, I will chop some cucumbers for a salad

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Peach Melba My Way and Weird Slaw

This week, it finally feels like summer.

Peach Melba My Way
2 peaches, peeled and cut up as you like
1 t sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 container of raspberries
Divide peaches between two dessert dishes. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Top with raspberries, cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, pour about 1 T cream over each portion.
Weird Slaw

  • White Radish

  • Red radish

  • kohrabi

  • carrot

  • snow peas
Shred the vegetables (use food processor) and toss with salt, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice. It will last a few days as is. Serve with salad, rice, make sushi rolls, or as a filling in summer rolls. If you want a more traditional slaw, add mayonnaise, more sugar and vinegar.
Other meals from this week:
-Codfish with Greens using black kale and red chard, served with pasta and pesto. Used this recipe, but substituted cod for the scallops.
-Salmon burgers, and green chard served with toast with smoked mozzarella.
-Pasta with pesto, Sicilian Squash Pickle, and steamed broccoli with a bit of julienned bresaola.
-Frittata with bresaola and BB Artichoke pesto served on bruschetta.

Kim Chee

A crock of kim chee is resting in the fridge. I can't believe how easy it is. Adapted (simplified the process) from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook. The hardest part was finding a suitable jar. I use a half gallon jar that held marinated artichokes from costco),

1 lb bok choy, cut in 2" sections, or whole if using baby
1 lb white radish, peeled, halved then cut crosswise in thin slices
3 T salt
2 T finely minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 T minced garlic
5 scallions with greens, sliced
1 T cayenne or hot Korean pepper (I have used crushed red pepper flakes and sricha)
1 t sugar

Combine 2 T + 2 t salt and 5 cups water, stirring to dissolve salt. Place choy and radish in a crock, large jar or a bowl if that's what you have. Pour salt solution over veggies, stirring and dunking them in water a few times. They tend to float. cover loosely (I rubberband a papertowel over the top) and let rest on the counter for 12 hours or so, dunking the cabbage back into the liquid if you think about it.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour off most of the soaking water into a large glass measuring cup or other container. Stir spices into cabbage, then add soaking water to cover (about 2 C). Give the mix a final stir, cover loosely, and let ferment on the counter for 3 - 7 days, depending on the air temp (summer will be quicker than winter). Taste after 3 days to check sourness. When it's to your liking, cover the jar and store in the fridge.

Serve about 1/4 C per person. You can use the pickling liquid to flavor soups.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MSL Spring Onion Soup (for H)

Here's a way to use up lots of onions. It's pretty good. For a delicate appetizer, serve as suggested, with 'crisp flatbread.' For a more substantial meal, serve it with (or over) grilled cheese.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 pounds spring onions (or yellow onions), trimmed and thinly sliced
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
2 cups water
8 pieces crisp flatbread, for serving

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent but not brown, about 15 minutes.
Stir in salt, stock, and water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let cool for 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree in a blender, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, blending until soup is smooth.
Divide soup among 4 bowls, drizzle with oil, and serve with flatbread on the side.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cucumber Cream Salad

I saw this recipe in Good Housekeeping Cookbook ca 1963 that Bill rescued from somewhere. I couldn't reisist. We served it on Bill's Gigantic Lettuce, Rotisserie Chicken and Radish Salad with Chickpeas. It's kind of like wobbly dressing.

1 3 oz package of lemon gelatin (YES! respect the JELLO MOLD!)
1 t salt
1 C hot water
1-2 T vinegar
1 t grated onion (dry onion flakes or powder would be fine, this ain't haute cuisine)
1 C sour cream
1/4 C mayonnaise, plus garnish (I omitted on principle; Bill garnished with blue cheese dressing)
1 C drained, finely chopped cucumber
Salad greens

Early in day: Dissolve gelatin and salt in water. Add vinegar, onion. Refrigerate until syrupy, then beat in sour cream, mayonnaise and cucumbers. Pour into 6 individual molds. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold on salad greens; top with mayonnaise. Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday morning

A summer cold has hit the Barnacle household, which has slowed the pace of cooking adventures. During the week, Bill was inspired by gorgeous basil at the local supermarket, and made a batch of pesto with thin linguine. It was delish.

I'm feeling a bit better, Bill is feeling a bit worse. I felt like cooking, so this morning's adventure, I made pickles with the yellow squash, more Spicy Radish Leaf Furikake (recipe from Just Hungry website), and started a batch of Kimchee.

Yellow Squash Pickle - Sicilian style
2 yellow squash, sliced in rounds
olive oil
garlic scape, minced
lemon juice

Brown squash, and set aside. Saute garlic scape in the same pan, adding oil if necessary. Turn off the heat, and add lemon juice to deglaze pan. In a wide mouth jar, layer squash, salt, pepper, spoonful of scapes, and pouring the remaining juices from the pan over the last layer of squash. Refrigerate. Serve with toast, over macaroni or with salad.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today's haul

broccoli, lettuce, peas, scallions, bok choy, red chard, cucumbers, daikon, pint of blueberries

Today's lunch

Brown rice with leftover Kohlrabi slaw (enhanced with carrots and peas)

Last of the cherries

Rot Alert:

cucumbers, 5 from last week

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Antipasto Bento Dinner and Teriyaki Chicken Balls lunch

Last night I was pretty beat. In the morning, I threw this together in the rice cooker.

No Think Lunch
8 Aidell's teriyaki chicken meatballs (costco)
1 C sushi rice
1 1/4 C water
pinch of salt
Spicy Radish Leaf Furikake (made last week, all CSA)
Kohrabi & Bok Choy Slaw (made last week, all CSA)
Cherries (CSA)

Chuck frozen meatballs in rice cooker (preferably touching the pan), add rice, salt and water around the balls, flick the switch and go back to bed. An hour later, jump out of bed, pack rice and meatballs in 2 lunch boxes, add slaw and a couple of tablespoons of radish furikake. Pack cherries in 2 other containers.

Antipasto Bento Dinner
Ok, I really should have taken a picture of this. Since I didnt, imagine this: a black bento box (think lunch at sushi palace) packed with caprese salad, carrot sticks and radishes, olive salad, pickled beet salad, and fresh cherries. I put it together after work, but BB and I were to tired to eat. So we had it for tonights dinner. Most of the items were not from the CSA (indicated by /).

/Homemade Pickled Beet salad (beets, onions, vinegar)
/Caprese (tomato, smoked mozzarella, basil)
/carrot sticks
/olive salad (straight from the bottle)
Red Radish halves

Dish & Bitch
rice cooker pot and lid
rice paddle
2 larger lunch containers
2 smaller containers (for cherries)
2 forks

Cutting board
2 spoons
2 bento boxes with lids
2 glasses for seltzer
2 forks

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Interdependence Day

Well, we went away for the holiday, and it's taken a bit of time to get back into the routine.

Before leaving, I made cherry amasake pudding. It's pretty good. Amasake is rice milk, so this is suitable for vegans or those who are lactose intolerant/ dairy allergy. The original recipe calls for unsweetened amasake, so it can be considered sugar free. I admit, I added a 1/4 C sugar for my sweet tooth.

Cool Amasake Cherry Pudding (from The Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook by Aveline Kushi and Wendy Esko)

1 quart amasake (rice milk)
pinch of salt
1/4-1/3 C kuzu (arrowroot starch) or scant 1/2 cup of cornstarch
1 c cherries, pitted and halved

Dissolve starch in a little amasake, then add to remaining amasake in a suitably sized pot (add sugar here if desired). Bring up to a simmer, slowly, whisking occasionally. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, until thickened. Let cool a few minutes then stir in cherries. Pour into dessert dishes and chill.

Dish & Bitch
measuring cup
cutting board
wooden spoon
6 custard cups

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday July 2 Share

This week's haul:
bok choy
red chard
Snow peas
2 kohlrabi
2 summer squash
5 cucumbers
2 qts cherries

And the Rot Report- what's left from last week:
snow peas
!1/4 head of romaine!
1/2 head Bok Choy
red radish
white radish
green onions

Comfort food

Thursday's Meals

Potato and Egg Hero Redux
When I was a kid, my dad took my brother and I fishing. Sometimes we'd fish from a very small boat, sometimes from the beach. On early mornings, we'd stop at the local deli and buy a potato and egg hero to share. It was huge, made with an entire loaf of bread, and delicious.

1 tsp each butter and olive oil
2 fingerling potatoes, finely diced
1 large green onion, thinly sliced
1 small garlic scape, thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 large pita, split into two very thin rounds

Over medium high flame, heat butter and olive oil in a small cast iron pan. Add onions, garlic and potatoes, add a pinch of salt, then cook until golden brown. Pour eggs over vegetables in pan, and lower heat to medium. Sprinkle with black pepper, cover and let cook a few minutes until set is set. place 1 slice of cheese to top of eggs, and place pita half on top. Flip out of pan onto cutting board, pita side down. Top with the remaining slice of cheese and pita. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut in half and pack in wax paper bags to go. Serves 2.

cutting board
frying pan

Rice Cooker Jambalaya
olive oil
2 small green onions, sliced
1 garlic scape, minced
1 white turnip, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 soy chorizo links, sliced diagonally
1/2 T Old Bay seasoning
3/4 C short grain brown rice
2 T tomato paste
2 1/2 C chicken broth

Turn on cooker and add olive oil. Add vegetables to rice cooker and cook until softened. Add soy-rizo slices and continue to stir/ saute until golden. Stir in Old Bay seasoning and continue to cook. Combine broth, paste and rice, stirring to dissolve tomato paste, then pour into cooker. Stir until combined. Cover and cook until the cooker finishes its cycle, stirring occasionally. Let cool and pack into bento boxes. Serves 2.

cutting board
wooden spoon
rice cooker bowl and lid
2 bento boxes
Well, I'm skipping the pictures for this post. I'm going to try and recruit Barnacle Bill aka Muscles aka dear husband, to take future pictures. He is talented with a camera.

Wednesday night, he made dinner:

Barnacle Bill's Salad served with Sourdough toast with BB's artichoke pesto

Romaine lettuce (csa)
red radish (csa)
green onions (csa)
green pepper
blue cheese dressing

The Dish Report
Large bowl
salad spinner
cutting board
2 bowls
1 small plate
2 forks
1 spoon
1 butter knife

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Enchanted Broccoli Bentos

Looks like a lush green Northeastern forest? Hm.

After some hemming and hawing over what to make for lunch, I decided to use the !russian kale! and the broccoli before it earned the !rot alert! tag. Based on Mollie Katzen's recipe, "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest" from the cookbook of the same name.

1/2 T olive oil in rice cooker
1 scape, finely chopped
1 large scallion, finely sliced
Russian kale, finely chopped
broccoli stems, chopped
pinch of salt
2 T? lemon juice
spoonful of Barnacle Bill's artichoke pesto
pinch of crushed red pepper
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 C brown rice
1 1/4 C water

Turn on the rice cooker, add oil and saute scape, and chopped broccoli stems until tender. Add salt and kale, cover and steam until wilted. Add rice, and let cook a minute or two, stirring when you feel like it. Add lemon juice, BB's pesto and peppers. Stir to combine. Add water, stir again. Cover and cook until done. When the switch turns off, place broccoli florets on top of the rice, then cover to let steam.
Carefully remove florets from rice and set aside. Divide rice between two containers, smoothing the rice. Poke the florets into the rice to form the forest.. Yeah it's supposed to look like an enchanted forest.


cutting board
4 C glass measuring cup (staging area for veggies, measure rice, water)
Rice cooker pot and lid
2 lunch containers
2 sporks for lunchboxes

Few dishes, some chopping, set it and forget it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scallops with Greens

Tonight for dinner I made this. The picture demonstrates that I'm not a great photographer.

The original recipe was from Martha Stewart Living "What's for dinner?", March 2009. It contained spinach, arrugula, garlic and served 4 (with pasta, soup and dessert). I adapted to use ingredients from the CSA, and to serve 2 adults. On the side: sourdough toast (ok ok, bruschetta) with Barnacle Bill's (aka dear husband) artichoke and sun dried tomato pesto. And of course our homemade sparkling water. It was fast (30 minutes for everything) and delicious.

10 sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 T canola oil
1 garlic scape, finely chopped
1 bunch of dandelion greens, roughly chopped
1 bunch of red chard, roughly chopped
2 pinches of crushed red pepper

Heat large straight sided skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Add 1 T oil then add scallops. Cook on one side until golden brown (about 7 minutes) then flip and cook until opaque (about 1 minute). Transfer to plate lined with paper towels.

Reduce heat to medium, and add 1/2 T oil to pan. Add scape, greens, pinch of salt and crushed red pepper. Cook until wilted. Divide greens between plates and top with scallops.

We both work full time. Ease of clean up after dinner is a consideration. Part of assessing each cooking adventure will be an assessment of cleanup.

cutting board
chef knife
food processor (for pesto)
3 plates (1 for serving toast)
2 glasses
2 forks
1 butter knife (for pesto)
1 spoon (for serving pesto)

Veggies left as of this evening
! = RotClock Alert
!russian kale!
!bok choy!
white turnips
handful of snap peas

Monday, June 29, 2009

June 16 Share

June 16 was the first delivery of the season.
It contained the following treasures: kohlrabi, bok choy, garlic scapes, radishes, scallions, russian kale, swiss chard, romaine, and two beautiful rosy quarts of strawberries
Swiss chard:
  1. Frittata with garlic scapes, scallions and cheddar
  2. Sauteed with garlic scapes and scallions then tossed with tortellini, lemon and romano
Romaine: 3 nights worth of salad with radishes, green onions and chick peas and/or roasted chicken
Strawberries: sliced and tossed with a little sugar and a pinch of salt. Add yogurt for breakfast
At the end of the week, Bok choy, kohlrabi, scallions, scapes, and Russian Kale remained.
Week 2
Contained: basil plant, broccoli, daikon, dandelion greens, garlic scapes, snow peas, radishes, red chard, romaine, scallions, strawberries
  1. Gave 1 quart to GB
  2. Sliced and sugared for yogurt and Strawberry shortcake
  1. Made furikake
  2. Made Japanese pickled daikon for sushi
Snowpeas were cooked with bok choy and rice for a quick lunch
Bok Choy
  1. with snowpeas for lunch (see above)
  2. with rice, tofu, snowpeas and scapes

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A summer of recipes or how i used everything

My goal this season is to use every bit of goodness from my CSA share. CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, in the spring, one buys a share in a local farm, and collects dividends in the form of produce. Here in New York State it's approximately $600 for 22 weeks of veggies and 20 weeks of fruit. If the farmer has a good year, you eat well. If not, you don't eat so well, but the payback is that the farm survives the season.

Every year it is an adventure. Like a box of chocolates, "you nevah know what cha gonna get" each week. In a 2 person household, it is a challenge to use everything before rot sets in.