Sunday, July 25, 2010

What to do with your CSA part 7

Greek style Quinoa

Although date night was extraordinarily fun last night the food was heavy and I woke up feeling blah.  I wanted to make us a healthy and delicious lunch.  As I was flipping through my latest Saveur issue (Aug/ Sept 2010; the Greek issue) I came across Ladolemono, which is the Greek version of a lemon sauce.  With this sauce as inspiration I created a delicious meal packed with protein and delicious Greek flavor.

Greek Style Quinoa
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 eggplant ( from my garden) diced
8 baby carrots, diced
1 cucumber (from my garden) peeled, seeded, and diced
kalamata olives, handful which were quartered
8 oz feta cheese, divided
mint leaves cut into ribbons
2 c of quinoa, rinsed under water
4 c of homemade vege broth
 Ladolemono sauce ( recipe follows)

After rinsing the quinoa under water for about 1 min I placed into a saucepan with the broth.  I covered and brought to a boil on med-high heat.  Once it came to a boil, I lowered the heat to low and allowed it cook.

While the quinoa is cooking place your butternut squash, eggplant, and carrots into a pan with warm oil over med- high heat until the veges are browned and cooked through.  Remove from heat.

Once the quinoa is done cooking place it into a bowl.  Add the cooked veges, cucumber, olives, and 4 oz of the feta, crumbled.  Add 1/2 of the ladolemono sauce and toss to coat.  Place the quinoa on a plate and garnish with some crumbled feta and the mint leaves.  Delicious!

Ladolemono sauce
Again, this recipe is from the Saveur Aug/ Sept 2010 issue.  Super tart and good.

1/4 c fresh lemon juice ( thanks again Prietos for the lemons although this is the last of them)
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Place all of the ingredients into a jar and shake until combined.

What to do with your CSA part 6

Grilled Vege Sandwich

I love the summer veges.  They are so good and quite satisfying.  I have yet to grow tired of zucchini, summer squash, or eggplant; maybe I'm a weirdo.  I thought these sandwiches would make a hearty summer dinner which they did.  I've remade these with the same delicious results.  Feel free to substitute with any seasonal veges.  The pic is a bit yellow because the fluorescent lighting in the kitchen at night is dreadful, sorry.

Grilled Vege Sandwich
1 large eggplant, cut into thin slices
2 large zucchinis cut into medium thick slices
1 large patty pan sliced
baby carrots slice in half
bell peppers, seeded and sliced
onion, sliced
cooked bacon slices (optional)
2 small peaches pitted and sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 small package of blue cheese at room temperature
havarti cheese slices (Costco)
bread ( I prefer sour dough)

I grilled the veges on my electric grill, but feel free to grill outside.  Before being placed onto the grill the veges were placed in a large bowl and covered with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I tossed them in the oil and seasonings with my hands until they were well coated.  I grilled until the veges were tender but not overly done.  Once they are cooked place them in another bowl or platter.  Grill the peach slices.  I didn't coat the peach slices because I wanted their natural sugars to do the caramelizing and I didn't want them to taste like oil.  Once the peaches are done remove from heat and set aside.

Crumble the blue cheese into your stand mixer, and using the paddle mix the cheese until smooth and spreadable.  I decided to dice a peach and mix it into the smooth cheese.  I had it so I did it but this is not necessary.

Brush olive oil on your bread and place onto grill.  Cook for 2 min and flip over.  Add the havarti slices and grill until the havarti begins to melt.  Place onto a plate.  Add the blue cheese onto the non-havarti slice and spread using a spreader.  Now you're ready to top.

On the blue cheese side place your grilled peaches.  On the havarti side place your grilled veges how you'd like them.  Place the peach half onto the havarti half and slice in half.  Enjoy!

What to do with your CSA part 5

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a Clark staple during the summer.  I love how tasty these are.  I will also include the Peanut Sauce recipe that really makes these shine.  It's seriously the best sauce I've ever had and now you'll know it too.

Spring Rolls
1 package of spring roll wrappers
fine rice vermicelli noodles, cooked and cooled according to the package instructions
carrots, julienned
cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and julienned
green onions; only use the green parts, julienned
spinach chopped ( I used a custom salad mix that I made at the farmer's market )
cilantro leaves
vege chicken strips ( or real chicken if you prefer )
basil, mint, and purple basil cut into ribbons and mixed in a bowl together
1 bowl of warm water
kitchen towel

Start by soaking the wrapper in the bowl of warm water until softened but still able to keep its shape.  I place on plastic cutting board but you can place onto your clean counter top.  I take my kitchen towel and dab any excess water on the side that faces up.  Now you're ready to fill.

Start with your carrots and cucumber.  Don't put too much and be sure to place on the side closest to you.

Add the spinach (salad mix) and green onions.

Add the cilantro leaves, the basil - mint mixture, and top with a piece of soy chicken.

Add the rice noodles and roll it up like a burrito; tucking in the sides as you roll.  Be sure to place it seam down if you plan on cutting it.  Use a sharp knife and just press down onto the spring roll.  Place the roll onto a platter or plate.  Repeat until you have the desired amount of rolls.  Dip your roll into the peanut sauce before enjoying.

Hoisin-Peanut Dipping Sauce
 I found this recipe in Cooks Illustrated.  I love this sauce

1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/4 c creamy peanut butter ( I use and prefer the extra chunky)
1/4 c water, plus extra as needed
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Sriracha
2 tsp vege oil
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Place the vege oil into a pan over med heat.  Once warm, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Add more water if the sauce is too thick.

What to do with your CSA part 4


Because I had plenty of left overs from the tostadas I decided to make empanadas with them.  These are great because they are easy to make and you can freeze them to cook on another day.  I should have taken pictures of the steps, but I am going to go ahead and assume that you can read and follow directions.  As far as the fillings are concerned, the sky's the limit.  I also made some with chopped peaches tossed with homemade jam but didn't take pictures of them so didn't include.  Be creative!

Empanada Dough
I actually like to use a dough recipe from Cook's Illustrated for this.  It's easy to make with few ingredients.

18.75 oz of AP flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes and frozen for 10 min
1 1/4 c ice water
Filling of your choice, chilled
1 large beaten egg

In your food processor process the flour, sugar, and salt together until combined.  Scatter the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter resembles coarse crumbs, about 16 pulses.

Add some of the water and process; keep adding water and continue processing until the dough comes together.  Place in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make empanadas:  Flour your counter or work space slightly.  I like to keep the dough in the fridge and only work with one small piece at a time.  Pinch a piece of dough and roll out to 1/8" thick circle.  Place the filling into the half closest to you but don't overfill.  Add some water using your finger around the edges of the circle and bring the other half towards you until you form a half moon.  Use a fork to crimp the edges and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet until it's filled ( usually 6 to 8 empanadas).  Place in the fridge for 30 min and preheat your oven or place into your freezer and freeze for at least 8 hours then place into a Ziploc bag.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (have it preheat while empanadas are in the fridge) for at least 30 min.  Brush the empanadas with the beaten egg and cook for about 25 min switching and rotating your tray half way in between, or until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What to do with your CSA part 3


These yummy tostadas were full of summer veggie deliciousness and most importantly topped with grilled halloumi cheese.  They were simply marvelous.  Our tostadas were layered (in order) as such: beans, Mexican rice, meat and veges, fresh salsa, and grilled Halloumi cheese.  I also should mention that I chose to fry small flour tortillas instead of the standard corn tortilla.

Beans: I just used organic re fried beans because they were in the pantry and it saved me from having to make them from scratch.

Mexican rice: 1 onion diced, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 cups of long grain white rice, 1 can of organic tomato paste, 4 c water and salt to taste.  Cook the onion in pan until transparent over medium high heat, then add garlic and rice and cook until the rice starts to brown a bit. Add the tomato paste and water then season to taste.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for about 20 min or until liquid is evaporated.

Meat and Veges: 1 large patty pan diced (from our garden), 2 zucchinis diced, 1 large eggplant diced, 8 baby carrots diced, 4 yukon gold potatoes diced and pre-cooked, 1 x 12oz bag of morning star meal starters / crumbles, home made chili powder.  Cook the patty pan, zucchinis, egg plant, and carrots in pan with olive oil and salt until cooked but still crunchy.  Put in bowl and set aside.  Add the crumbles and cook in pan with olive oil until defrosted and cooked.  Add the cooked potatoes season with salt and add the chili powder to taste.  Add to the bowl of veges and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Fresh Salsa:  1 white onion diced, 2 jalapenos finely minced, 1 bunch of cilantro chopped (store bought), 4 to 5 early girl tomatoes diced, 2 nectarines diced (or other seasonal KMK fruit), the juice of 1 lemon, and salt to taste.  Combine all of the ingredients and season to taste.

Grilled Halloumi cheese:  I bought this amazing Greek cheese at Pita Kabob, but look for it at your favorite Mediterranean market.  I preheated my electric grill to med, sliced the cheese, drizzled it with olive oil, and  grilled each slice for about 2 min per side.  You'll get a nice crust on this slightly salty and creamy cheese.  Absolute heaven.


What to do with your CSA part 2


Muffins are a great way of using the fruit that you get in your CSA.  I've chosen the Lemon Cornmeal Blueberry Muffins because I used the corn from the box to make my own cornmeal, and I've chosen the Gingered Bran Fruit Muffins because I used CSA fruit.  These are both delicious for breakfast or dessert.  We had ours with homemade Mochas too which was super yummy.  You can candy your citrus peels, dehydrate your fruit to extend the life of it, and make your own cornmeal.  Once you have these things made you can enjoy them past the season through out the year.

Lemon Cornmeal Blueberry Muffins
These are essentially the cornmeal dessert that I posted not too long ago but instead of using the blueberry sauce, I opted to include the blueberries into the batter instead.

1 1/2 c (packed) powdered sugar
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice (you may need more)
candied lemon peel (optional)

1 1/2 c AP flour
1/3 c homemade corn meal
3/4 c sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
2 large eggs beaten lightly
2 large lemons zested
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter melted and cooled

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray or butter your 12 count muffin / cupcake pan and set aside.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and frozen blueberries in a bowl and set aside.  Combine the buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and butter in a bowl.  Add to the flour mixture and fold until just combined; DO NOT OVER MIX.

Spoon the batter in prepared muffin pan and bake in oven for 20 to 25 min or until golden brown and a toothpick placed in center comes out clean.  Place on a cooling rack for 5 min and remove the muffins.

Combine the glaze ingredients and add more lemon juice if too thick.  Top the muffins with the glaze and add the candied lemon peel before the glaze sets.

Gingered Bran Fruit Muffins
This is actually a revised version of a recipe that I found in my mom's Better Homes and Gardens.  I like that this recipe is simple and that you can use whatever fruit is in season.  It also lends itself to fresh or dehydrated fruit.

2 c AP flour
1 c packed brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c whole bran cereal
1 1/2 c whole raw milk
1 1/2 c chopped fresh or dehydrated fruit (seasonal fruit is always best; I used dehydrated KMK apricots)
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp almonds
candied lemon peels, diced
candied ginger, diced

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray or butter your 12 count muffin / cupcake pan and set aside.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt in a bowl, make a well in the middle, and set aside.

Combine the cereal and milk in a bowl and allow to sit 5 min.  Add the apricots ( or fruit of choice), eggs, and oil and stir to combine.  Add to the well of flour mixture and fold to combine.  Again, do not over mix.

Spoon mixture into your muffin pan and top with the almonds, lemon peels, and candied ginger.  Bake in the oven for 20 min or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Homemade Mochas
Fresh brewed coffee
Cocoa powder (Dutch processed preferred)
Raw milk

Place 1 Tbsp of the cocoa powder on the bottom of your coffee cup.  Top with coffee and fill cup half way.  Stir to combine.  Top with the milk and once again stir.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

What to do with your CSA part 1

Yellow Gazpacho with Fresh Relish

I get asked what do I do with my CSA, so in an effort to answer that I've decided to blog for a week with the meals that we make from our box.  I really enjoy being part of  The Farmer's Daughter CSA because I know my farmers, the food that I get is top notch and organic, and it allows me to be really creative in the kitchen.  All of the ingredients are organic unless otherwise noted.  This lovely soup was both our lunch and dinner which I served with sour dough havarti cheese toast.


Fresh Relish (Casa Clark original recipe)
2 early girl tomatoes, diced
2 carrots finely chopped
purple basil leaves, cut into ribbons
mint leaves, cut into ribbons
Kingsburg gold tomatoes, halved
diced red onion (this onion also goes into the gazpacho so don't use too much)
extra virgin olive oil

I placed all of the ingredients into a bowl, swirled with some extra virgin olive oil, and seasoned with salt to taste.  I didn't give you exact amounts because I didn't measure and just threw it all in.  You'll figure it out.

Yellow Gazpacho (Casa Clark original recipe)


I used what I had in the box and left overs from last week's box to make this.  I weighed the ingredients and am providing you with exact measurements of what went into the soup.  The pic is of the vege landscape before they were blended into creamy and refreshing goodness.

2 lb 3.5 oz of Carolina gold heirloom tomatoes, quartered
1 lb 3.5 oz purple bells, sliced
1 lb cucumbers (these were store bought)
1 red onion diced (the onion used in the relish; I hadn't used too much of it so threw it in)
2 cloves of garlic quartered
8 oz baby carrots
1 lb tomatillos husked, washed, and halved or quartered
9.2 oz apricots (weight with pits inside) pitted and halved
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

I used my blender for this because I have one that is awesome, but feel free to use a food processor.
I blended in batches and once I placed some of the veges into the blender I added a bit of olive oil and a splash of water to make the veges easier to blend.  Once they're blended pour them into a sieve over a bowl.  Fold the vege pulp until no more juice is extracted, repeat with the rest of the veges.  On your last batch be sure to blend for a full minute and just incorporate into the soup without straining.  Mix to combine.  Add the vinegar, lemon juice, and season to taste.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Place into bowls and top with the relish.  Enjoy!