Category Archives: CSA

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Sailing on Sunday

Rafting (for my first time) on Saturday. Fun!

I had the day off from work yesterday. It was tough fitting in everything I wanted and needed to do but I managed. I accomplished all of those mundane things that are only great accomplishments to me: laundry, mopping the kitchen floor, grocery shopping, walking the dog. There is nothing more satisfying than a day when the dog gets walked and the floor gets cleaned.

Monday ended on a high note too. I made enchilada sauce completely from scratch and we had some fabulous enchiladas for dinner. The recipe came along with a bag of Anaheim chiles in my CSA box last week. I didn’t have any onions and I’m sure preferred it that way. The sauce was simply roasted chiles, fresh tomatoes (also from the CSA), garlic, and cumin. I’m ashamed to admit how much I licked off the spoon. It wasn’t even too hot for Lee. Victory!

The sauce was so good I didn’t even feel the need to add much else to the enchiladas. They were just corn tortillas, smooshed tofu, and some chopped broccoli for green + crunch. I think of this as the vegan version of cheese enchiladas: simple, creamy, saucy, good.

The sauce kind of looked like this cozy fire we had the other night.

I thought of photographing the sauce and enchiladas for one flitting moment but I decided to just enjoy the cooking process and forego the pictures. How can I teach myself to slow down and document what I’m doing?

I’m giving you the original recipe, straight from the Mariquita newsletter, along with my slight modifications. This was so much easier than I thought it would be. The chiles roasted while I cleaned the house and peeling them was s cinch. After that It was just a matter of throwing everything in a pot to simmer. I didn’t even chop the garlic or peel the tomatoes, since I knew I’d be using the blender.

Red Enchilada Sauce, from Mariquita Farm (makes 3 cups)

12 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, about 2 pounds (I only had 6 chiles to work with)

2 cups thinly sliced onion (left this out)

1 cup chopped tomato (I used maybe 8 small, quartered tomatoes, so about twice this)

1/2 cup water

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

4-6 chopped garlic cloves (I just smashed mine and threw them in the pot)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place chiles on a baking sheet; bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until blackened, turning once. Place chiles in a non-reactive bowl or pot then top with a plate or lid; let stand 10 minutes. USE GLOVES FOR THIS (I didn’t but I washed my hands really well afterwards): Peel; discard seeds and membranes. Place chiles and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Whirl in food processor or use immersion blender to puree.

I think doubling the tomatoes and halving the amount of chiles made my sauce less spicy than it would have been otherwise. That was perfect for my spicy food-hating husband but I bet the original recipe, complete with onion and plenty of chiles, would be sweeter and have quite a kick to it.

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A plate full of good food

Seeing as my last post was September’s Recipe Swap, my blogging frequency is clearly suffering. I’ve been busy blah blah blah…I’ve still been cooking blah blah blah…I’m done making excuses. More on that later.

Apples: One of the many ingredients in Russian Salad.

 Christianna dished out a doozy of a recipe for everyone, as usual. On my first read, I didn’t catch the veal or herring part of the Russian Salad. Potatoes, apples, beets, eggs, good vinegar – everything sounded good to me! I’ve never made a raw egg dressing before but considered giving it a try. According to Wikipedia, the dressing recipe for the original Russian Salad was closely guarded by its creator, chef Lucien Olivier, back in 1860’s Moscow.

Lee, Doc (the dog), and I have been on vacation for the past week. We drove the 15 or so hours (I’m a Californian, I measure distance in hours, not miles) to Jackson Hole, Wyoming over the course of a day and a half. Then we spent one glorious week alternately relaxing, and, as Lee says, “power hiking” the trails of Teton National Park. To say it was beautiful would be an understatement. Between the fall-colored Aspens and Cottonwoods and the spectacular peaks I was barely paying enough attention to see all the wildlife. There were bears, moose, elk, deer, and bison. Until last week, I’d never seen a moose or a bear in the wild! Now I can say that my 15 pound dog has chased a bear (Don’t worry, the bear was oblivious and Doc just wanted to play!). The only downside to all this wildlife was watching people do stupid things to get a closer look. People disappoint me.

Do you see the moose?

I missed good food on our trip. We had some nice meals in Jackson and I got to cook with my mom in the condo, so that was nice. Driving through northern Nevada and Idaho, though, was rather trying for a non meat-eater. There were lots of potatoes, mostly in french-fried or mashed with butter in a 1-1 ratio. We ate breakfast at a roadside restaurant whose special was the “Giant Chicken Fried Steak Breakfast”. It was large enough to startle the (relative) locals next to us even when split between two plates.

As you might guess, I was in serious need of some vegetables by the time we got home on Saturday. Thankfully there was a bag of Red Norland Potatoes left in the fridge from our last CSA box. A thawed block of tofu and bag of Brussels sprouts later, I had exactly what I needed: a plate full of good food. That’s how I imagine the original Russian Salad: a heap of good food that works well together, especially in this transition to comforting Fall dishes full of root vegetables and apples. I may just start calling all my potato-based, weirdly delicious, concoctions Russian Salads.

 A Simple Plate of Good Food

10-12 small red potatoes, halved or quartered

1 block extra firm tofu, frozen and thawed if you like it extra crispy

Lots of Brussels sprouts

olive oil, S&P, dill

hot sauce/ketchup

Roast the potatoes and tofu with olive oil and seasonings for 20-25 minutes at 375 F, stirring half way through. With 15 minutes left, add the Brussels sprouts to the oven, halved with cut side down on a separate baking sheet. Once everything is done, toss a little of everything on your plate. Don’t forget the hot sauce and ketchup, if you’re into that kind of thing.

I apologize for this sad excuse for a recipe. I’m sure my fellow Recipe Swappers have much, much more polished interpretations of Russian Salad for you.



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Oh, potatoes

I wrote a much longer, more eloquent post about these potatoes earlier today. WordPress proceeded to stall out while uploading a picture and send my hard work into a void of digital nothingness. grrrrr

This time around, I’m keeping it simple.

I’ve been getting bags of delicious new potatoes in my CSA box all summer long. While they aren’t up there among my favorite foods, I don’t dislike potatoes. Until last weeks batch, I don’t think I ever really appreciated them.

This simple recipe for roasting an assortment of tiny “Potatoes Détente” came from chef Jonathan Miller, who contributes recipes to Mariquita Farm‘s weekly newsletters. The medley of French Fingerling, Russian Banana, German Butterball, and Red Norland potatoes roasted up beautifully with a few springs of rosemary (also from my box), some olive oil, salt, and pepper. When I pulled them out of the oven their skins were perfectly crinkled, holding flavor I never imagined in a potato. The crunchy bits of rosemary only made things better. Every bite really did melt in my mouth! I could go on and on and on…but I won’t.

These were the smallest potatoes I’ve ever seen. Described as “sort-outs” in the farm newsletter, I don’t know where you would ever get potatoes like this except directly from a farm. Now that I think about it, part of what made me love these so much is the potato skin to pulp(?) ratio: skins are my favorite part of any potato and with tons of tiny spuds you get more crackly, crispy skin!

Roasted potatoes, tempeh (also roasted), and a salad.

Potatoes Détente (or any tiny, roasted potatoes)

Ingredients

  • About 2 lbs tiny potatoes, washed and dried
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 rosemary sprigs, if you have it
  • salt and pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread potatoes and rosemary on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan (you can put slightly larger potatoes on their own pan. I just cut the handful of larger ones in half). Be sure they are not crowded.
  3. Sprinkled olive oil over the potatoes and stir them around until they are evenly coated.
  4. Add salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Place potatoes in the oven and roast until they are just cooked though. This will take about 30 minutes but start checking them at 20 to 25 minutes. Mine were perfect at 25.

Notes

From Jonathan Miller via The Ladybug Postcard Vol. 81

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Spring oven hash

This is what the light looks like in my dining room at dinner time. That is, this is what it looks like since I broke the cheap plastic blinds and can no longer open them. Little slits of light come through the west-facing window and cast magical shadows on dinner plates. I photograph dinner so rarely (What’s the point when it’s usually a not-so-pretty meal eaten in the half-light?) but I couldn’t let this one go.

At first I was disappointed in my pictures of this glorious meal. Who wants to drool over shadowy potatoes and dimly-lit avocado? I guess I do because when I uploaded my pictures the day after taking them I really, really wanted there to be more potatoes and lima beans in my fridge. The memory of how they tasted was still vivid and I could taste the fresh parsley and melty goat cheese just looking at the photographs.

Sometimes things we throw together on a Sunday night just work. Often they don’t but it’s those bullseye dishes that make cooking a worthwhile endeavor for me. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I love the plain, “boring” comfort foods that I make all the time with whatever is lying around too.

Back to the potatoes. I would like to thank Mariquita Farm for including little, red, new potatoes and a grocery bag full of fresh lima beans in my veggie box last week. I’ve never been much of a potato person but when I eat them I prefer the crisp, new potatoes or sweet potatoes baked to the point of caramalization. Yum.

The potatoes and lima beans worked so well with the fresh herbs in this dish and something about this combination of foods roasting in the oven is the perfect transitional spring meal. I served it for dinner but it would make a perfect bed for eggs at breakfast. When I’m combining a lot of different elements for one meal, it’s nice to have at least one of them in the oven. That makes for fewer pans to manage on the stove.

Spring Oven Hash

Ingredients

  • All your potatoes (I had about 10 small, red ones), cut into halves or quarters so that all pieces are about the same size.
  • 1 cup shelled lima beans
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly oil a roasting pan or baking sheet, or use a Silpat
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag and toss to evenly coat everything with oil+herbs
  4. Spread mixture on baking sheet and place in the oven.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring 1-2 times part way though.
  6. Remove from oven and stir in parsley. You can serve the hash now or place is back in the turned-off oven to wilt the parsley a bit more.
  7. Serve with goat cheese (or another creamy, flavorful cheese) and maybe an egg or two.
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