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.