May 2011 Archives

I’m a bit late getting this posted, but better late than never…

Here’s what was in our share this week:

  • 1 Bunch Green Kale
  • 1 Bag Spinach
  • 1 Bag Broccoli
  • 1 Bunch Green Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Bunch Red Scallions
  • 1 Bunch Oregano
  • 1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce
  • 1 Bag Spicy Lettuce Mix

We had the red leaf lettuce and spicy lettuce mix in a big salad on Thursday night, along with homemade croutons, the last of the radishes from last week, some parsley from last week, some oregno, and some scallaions, topped with a homemade balsamic vinegarette.

Friday night was grilled pizza — I used more oregano mixed in with the tomatoes. The rest of the oregano is hung up drying in bundles in the basement.

Saturday night was carne asada fajitas with homemade guac (and homemade margitas!). There were some scallions in there as well — we’ve got so many scallions at this point!

Tonight, Sunday night, we had beer can chicken along with the brocolli, lightly steamed, served with salt and pepper. It was great.

Tomorrow is slated to be sour creme enchilladas — more scallions used up, yay! — and we’ll probably finish off the last of the guacamole too. Tuesday will be grilled skirt steak over the romaine in a Caesar salad. Wednesday will be spinach salad and a chicken dish. Oh, and at some point, I plan to make kale chips — I was supposed to do that today, but didn’t get around to it.

(In the extremely unlikely event that you’re reading this, are interested in seeing this food in addition to reading about it, and don’t already follow me on Twitter, you should follow @genehack. I generally post pictures of the stuff I’ve cooked — here’s the salad, for example.)

Tuesdays can be a bit hectic around here — Ms8YearOld has a post-day-care activity with TheWife and Ms4YearOld, so they get home about an hour later than usual. That means Tuesday dinner has to be something relatively simple that can be known to satisfy everybody. Consequently, we eat a lot of freezer pasta on Tuesdays — it’s a bit of a cop out, but it satisfies the requirements. The trick is finding some way to make it interesting…

This week, I had leftover grilled sausages from the weekend and a lot of produce: dandelion and radish greens, some slicked up Shiitake and crimini mushrooms, a bunch of scallions, some garlic (there’s always garlic at our house), and about half a red onion.

First, I fried up a couple of slices of bacon in my cast iron skillet — and I fried them up pretty hard, much crispier than I normally would. (I wanted to get all the fat out of the bacon.) I pulled the bacon out onto a paper towel and tossed the dandelion and radish greens (already torn up into chunks), some chopped scallions, and some chopped onion into the grease. I stirred everything up real good then pulled the pan off the heat and covered it. Three minutes later, I dumped everything out into a salad bowl and crumbled the bacon over it. Gave it a good toss and sat it aside.

Next up, the sauce. I started with a jar of red sauce, to which I added about 4 good size cloves of garlic, minced; 2 leftover grilled sausages, sliced thin; a good amount of chopped red onion; and a bunch of sliced Shitaake and crimini mushrooms. Put that on some low heat and gave it an occasional stir while boiling the pasta up.

The kiddos got pasta tossed with butter; TheWife and I had the greens with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (4 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar plus oregano and thyme to taste.) and the pasta with sauce over.

Wilting the greens in the bacon grease really did cut the bitterness — they were actually less bitter than most radicchio. I worked off this recipe but as you can see above, went pretty far afield.

Here’s the salad, and here’s the pasta.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to lapse into a pasta coma for a bit…

We’ve subscribed to Sandy Spring CSA for vegetables, fruits, and herbs this year. Assuming I keep up with it, I’m going to post what we get each week as well as post on how we’re using our share.

TheWife picked up the first week’s share on the 11th, as I was in route back home from a visit to Toronto. We got the following:

  • 1 bunch white scallions
  • 1 bunch red scallions
  • 1 head romaine
  • 2 heads bok choy
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch French breakfast radishes
  • 1 bunch rhubarb
  • 1 bunch curly parsley
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1 package Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 package cremini mushrooms

We had the romaine in a Caesar salad on Thursday night, and it was excellent. (Update: Actually, we had one of the heads of bok choy; I fail at produce identification. I thought the veins on the leaves were a bit more pronounced and whiter than usual…) I used a modified version of this recipe — I’ll post with my modifications shortly.

Tonight we’re going to have a salad with the lettuce, radishes, red scallions, and mushrooms, along with burgers with parsley, red scallions, and garlic, topped with bacon, caramelized onions, and mushrooms.

Later in the week, we’ll have another Caesar salad (with chicken this time, I think), some pasta with the dandelion greens on the side, and a stir fry with mushrooms, the white scallions, and the rest of the bok choy — and that’ll take us up to Wednesday, at which point we’ll have another share delivery.

I’ve usually been making the market run on Sunday or Monday; since the CSA shares show up on Wednesday, I think I’m going to shift over to Thursdays for the market run, and do menu planning on a Thursay->Thursday cycle, instead of the Sunday->Sunday cycle we have been using. I think this week I’ll have to hit the market twice; hopefully this is a one time thing…