Delivery: Week 3

June 23, 2010 - One Response

This was delivered on June 16th.

Due to a number of factors, I didn’t take a picture of this week’s delivery!

But we got:

  • Collards
  • 2 beets with tops
  • 3 small heads of broccoli
  • Cilantro plant
  • Red Leaf Lettuce

Right now we are overwhelmed with greens!  Niether John nor I have ever been big eaters of greens, cooked or raw, and the kale from the first week’s delivery took us a few weeks to finish…and because my sister gave me back some swiss chard, and this week’s delivery of collard greens, it’s all a little overwhelming.  I may give the collards away – I just can’t handle this many of them!

Pineapple – Habanero Salsa

June 23, 2010 - 2 Responses

Just FYI – while I was on vacation, my sister accepted the delivery on my behalf, and this is one of her recipes using the spring onion from the CSA delivery. Read the older post, here, for her introduction.

Ok, so I had my small group over for dinner last Thursday and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try a little CSA fun.  For Christmas I got this great little book called Delicious Dips from my mom.  I have tried one recipe from it but wanted to try another for an appetizer and I saw a recipe with green onions!  Hurray…those came in the cute red CSA storage container.  (wish I got to keep that) So I decided to make Pineapple – Habanero Salsa.  However, I made it without the habanero.  I know…I’m a rebel!  But habanero sounded too spicy.  And by the way every time I told my husband Lee what I was making he would make me say habanero with the correct pronunciation.  Ok, so here’s the recipe…it’s so easy…and trust me if I say that it’s true. 
 
1 pineapple – cut into ¼ inch dice
1 red pepper – seeded, deribbed and cut ¼ inch dice
4 green onions – including green tops, cut ¼ inch dice
1 pepper – (your choice of how hot, I got a mild one), seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ kosher salt
 
You just mix it all up and let it sit for 1 hour before serving to let flavors meld. 
 
My group loved it and ate it all up!  I think it was the green onions for sure J  Well this has been fun…but I’m ready for Jill to get back!

Delivery: Week 2

June 23, 2010 - Leave a Response

Please make no notice of the dates, here…between being gone for vacation, different family events, and a wedding, I haven’t had time or energy to post, but I’ve been collecting stuff!  This delivery happened on June 9th.

The CSA delivery was made!  John dropped it off and the fun begins.  First of all, this swiss chard…I have enough to feed like a farm of rabbits.  I think rabbits eat lettuce?  At any rate…I have no clue what I am going to do with that.  I think I’m going to save the plant chive thing for Jill because she should have that and plant it.  It won’t make it long at my house!  And at the bottom of the box which you couldn’t see I got a small thing of strawberries…those are already gone.  Yum!  There was also another bag of greens but it had a bug in it.  AHH…I don’t think that was supposed to be part of the delivery.  I’m already not sure about this week, but I think I can at least do something with the green onions.  I’m on it…

Out on vacation – we have a guest blogger!

June 9, 2010 - One Response

So, I’m leaving this afternoon for Disney world, and our second CSA delivery is today.  After talking with my sister on the phone about it, and her exclaiming what a good idea it is and how she should try it, I had a brain wave…maybe SHE should take over the CSA delivery for this week!  It would give her a chance to try out what it’s like to get the farm delivery of new and unusual foods, and it would keep me on schedule for the blog.  I called her up, and she agreed!  So, with no further ado, here she is!

Well this week I have received a very big honor that I am completely unqualified for.  I am the recipient of Jill’s next CSA shipment AND have to take a picture AND figure out what to do with everything!  (Jill’s out of town this week at Disney with her hubby!)  I am Jill’s “not so domestic” sister and also the “almost burned down my house reheating chips in the toaster” sister.  So needless to say I am a little nervous about this task…
 
So Jill forwarded me what I will be receiving this week.  Here’s the list. 
 
CSA Delivery for June 8-13,  2010
This week’s boxes will include:
chives (plant or snip to use in your chard wrap!)
swiss chard
green onions
mixed greens such as arugla, red mustard, and yukina savoy~ These are spicy so are great to combine with ice berg  or green leaf lettuces for an incredible salad.  ”
 
So of course…right of the bat I’m thinking…swiss chard…swiss cheese..same thing right?!  I love swiss cheese!  But then it mentions something about putting chives in a chard wrap…huh?  A cheese wrap?  Maybe that could work…but somehow this can’t be right.  And spicy lettuce…what in the world? Ugh…I’ve never heard of such a thing.  I’m in trouble for sure.  I’m definitely going to need to seek wise counsel this week.  Does Mickey Mouse make house calls?

Casserole with Kale, Farfalle, and Sausage

June 8, 2010 - 2 Responses

So, last week, thinking about kale, I ended up wanting to make a casserole with some of the kale that we got.  I wanted to make a main dish with it, not a side dish, and thought that perhaps a pasta dish would be the way to go.  I dug around on the internet and found this recipe for a kale and pancetta dish.  It was pretty close to what I was thinking, so I used it for the basis for my recipe and then altered it to add the pasta, and some cheese with it, to make it more like what I’d been thinking.

First I put a pot of water on to precook the pasta, and I washed my kale well (washed it in a water bath a few times, then spun it dry.)  Then I cut the thick spines off, and sliced it into pieces about 2-3″.  In retrospect, I think I would make them smaller next time.

Then, I simmered the kale in a few inches of water for 4-5 minutes, and then thunked it in a colander in the sink to drain.  At this point the kale had a delicately leafy flavor and slightly more firm texture than cooked spinach.

The kale cooking.

Next, I took a package of sausage (I used a sweet sausage here), took the casings off, and fried them, crumbled, in the pan.  Then I took some of my green onion and chopped it up, and threw that and some minced garlic in the pan with the sausage for a minute or two.  After that cooked, I poured about a cup of half and half in the pan and lowered the temperature, so it would simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  I ended up wishing I had used more (although it sat in the warm pan for longer than it should have as I dithered around in the kitchen, so that may have added more.  But next time I’ll use more.) At this point, I checked out my kale.  I was worried about it being too liquidy, so I tried to wring them out a little more.  I think that might have been a mistake – the kale leaves REALLY stuck together after I did this, and I had to kind of peel them apart.  But, anyway, I then put the kale in the pan with the sausage and cream, and stirred it around.

Next, I stirred in a pound of my pasta that I’d been cooking on the side.  I used the bow ties.  I thought that I might have made too much pasta, but it ended up being ok.  I then put two thirds of the mixture in the pan, and dotted it all over with a mixture of ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese.  I had a dilemma about whether to put egg in the cheese mixture as a binder, and did a lot of research about it.  I had decided to put some in, and then at the last minute forgot it, but I didn’t miss it, so it turned out ok.  I didn’t use too much, either, so that might have had an impact.  Anyway, I then put the rest of the pasta on top, and sprinkled the whole thing with a mixture of parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.  (I should have also used some of the mozzarella here, it would have been nice to have a creamy texture with the crunchy.)  I baked the whole thing in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes total.


The finished cassarole, before the cheesy topping.

How was it?  Well, the flavor was great – the combination of the kale and the sausage was really good.  I thought it was a tad on the dry side (although my husband loved it that way) and I think it would be better with a few more clumps of the cheese mixture, and some more cream with the sausage and kale.  I also think the kale could have been chopped a little smaller. But overall, I think it was a success!

Perogies with Green Onion, Corn, and Sausage

June 4, 2010 - 3 Responses

John has been having a craving for perogies lately, so they were on the menu for this week. When I make perogies, I usually saute onions and sausage to go with them.  I figured it would be a piece of cake to swap out the onions for the green onions that we got in this week’s delivery.  I also decided to throw in some corn that we had leftover.

The chopped green onion.

First, I chopped our star ingredient.  I used one stalk, using most of the white after I had cut off the root.  They actually made me tear up, like onions do, which was a good sign that these were really fresh.  The largest central stalk actually had a thick stem with a hollow inside that was pretty cool – made me think of bamboo.

The thick hollow stem.

 

Then I sauteed the green onion with a little olive oil and garlic.  It smelled REALLY good – this with chopped corn would make a great side dish.
I put that aside, then pan fried the perogies, then put those into the oven to keep warm.  Lastly I sauteed the sausage (I used a smoked turkey sausage). After that, I just tossed it all together, and added the corn, which I just let warm up in the pan with the rest of the ingredients.
At the very end I put the perogies back into the pan.
The result?  Good!  The green onions added a pleasant flavor to the mix – slightly more delicate than regular onion, but similar.  I don’t know if it featured the ingredient like it should if I was on iron chef, but luckily for me, I was not. 

Delivery: Week 1

June 2, 2010 - 3 Responses

This is our half-share from week one.  A large pile of kale, big bundle of spring onions,  a bag of lettuce (looks like green leaf or butter), a teeny tiny dill plant (that I’m very excited about, as I’ve been wanting to plant dill) and a small package of strawberries. Overall, it looks promising – I was worried it would be an overwhelming amount, but this amount seems just about right. 

 The strawberries we won’t have a problem using – I could eat them right now, but I’ll wait and share with my husband.  I was surprised we got any – I heard the growing season wasn’t going to be very long, and the farm had a big strawberry festival this weekend.  The lettuce won’t be hard to use either.  Salads we definitely know how to eat.  The spring onions – well, I know I can use those in stir fry, and perhaps in a pasta salad.  I’ll have to see what else I can use those in. 

The kale presents the biggest challenge.  There’s a lot of it.  And I’ve never been big into eating lots of cooked greens.  I suppose I can use some of it in a soup, like a minestrone – heck, I really don’t know what to do with it.  Time to start searching recipes!

(I know the picture is horrible – it was my cellphone camera.  I’ll use a better camera next week.)

Kale Casserole

June 2, 2010 - Leave a Response

Well, after percolating about kale today, I think I want to try a pasta casserole with kale and sausage. I haven’t found the exact recipe that I want, but I think I’ve gotten close enough to try it out. This recipe here: http://www.cooklocal.com/?p=128 is a tasty looking gratin with kale and pancetta; I think I’ll basically follow it, but change out the pancetta for crumbled sausage and add pasta and perhaps some cheese – maybe ricotta and mozzerella. What I need to figure out is whether I need a little egg as a binder with the cheese…

Kale

June 2, 2010 - 2 Responses

After searching on the internet, I have discovered a whole contingent of people who love kale. I started with this helpful link on allrecipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipes/everyday-cooking/seasonal/winter/kale/top.aspx.  I then discovered http://iheartkale.blogspot.com/, who led me to http://www.101cookbooks.com/ingredient/kale, which has SO many recipes that look, surprisingly, really good.  I’m intrigued.

Here are the contenders:

  • Baked Kale Chips: This recipe was recommended by our farm, and I also found it online, with LOTS of reviewers raving over it. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.
  • Zuppa Toscana: A soup made with bacon, sausage, chopped kale, cream, and potatoes.
  • Sautéed kale with garlic and lemon: I should at least give it a try.
  • Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry: This recipe from the 101 cookbooks blog caught my eye.  I’m kind of starting to get interested in chickpeas – they have such an interesting texture, and I think they can hold up well in place of meat when I don’t feel like eating meat.
  • Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole: This stars kale, and keeps the calories down, and who doesn’t like the words “pasta” and “casserole”?

If I do three of those, it should use up the bunch that we got.

It’s a start…

June 2, 2010 - One Response

For a long time now, I’ve been thinking about how the basic things that I do every day – the clothes that I wear, the car that I drive, the food that I eat – impact the world in a negatively.  Everything that is easily available to me to wear was most likely made in a sweatshop.  My car eats oil and produces pollution.  The produce that I eat is genetically engineered, grown in massive factory farms with massive amounts of pesticides, and shipped thousands of  miles.  And the meat – animals living their lives in misery so that I can have a cheap steak. But it just seems so impossible to do anything differently.

This is what has been percolating in me for the past 5 or so years.  My motto in life has been “do what you can”, and the past three years I’ve been looking at CSA as a start to change the way I live.  Community Supported Agriculture is a concept where people are invited to buy a “share” of a local farm’s produce, and during the growing season, they get a part of what the farm produces.  (This link further describes it, if you’d like to know more: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/)

This year, newly married, was the first time I’ve been settled enough to be able to join one, and I did research and found a farm in February that looked like a good fit.  My husband and I selected a half share instead of a full share, as we don’t really normally eat that much produce.  Personally, I’m excited about the challenge of having to cook and eat things that I don’t normally use.

The farm that we joined is about a 45 minute drive away (they almost all are) and offers delivery for a fee.  Ultimately I’d like to be the type of person that goes and gets their own produce, but with a full-time job (ok, it’s not just the job – I’m lazy as well) delivery seemed like a good idea.  They also offer free items for you to come and pick as well, at a farm that seems to be part amusement park, with a petting zoo, and fishing pond, and large play parks, and hayrides…

In any case, I figured I’ll at least take pictures of what I get, and perhaps even blog about how we end up experimenting with all of our new produce…