Monday, July 30, 2007

In This Week's Box August 1st

tomatillo_photoHello, in this week's box:

Tomatillos (this is a tomatillo photo)
Cebolla de Ribo Verde (little white onions)
Serrano Peppers
Romaine lettuce


OR Cauliflower
OR Artichokes
Poblano Peppers
(mildly spicy: for Wed)
OR Bell Peppers (sweet!) for Thurs & Fri

Here are some great
tomatillo recipes and ideas.

Some recipes recently submitted that will also be in this week's newsletter:

submitted by Doranne H:

Hi , the following recipe is from Orangette
I've also roasted the cauliflower in bigger pieces for about an hour.
It's simple but if you haven't tried roasted cauliflower you are missing out. Be sure to let it brown.

Caramelized Cauliflower
Adapted from Jim Dixon

1 head of cauliflower, white or green
Olive oil
Fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the head of cauliflower on a cutting board, and slice it top-down into ¼-inch slices, some of which will crumble. Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with plenty of olive oil and a bit of salt, spread it in a single layer on a heavy sheet pan (or two, if one looks crowded), and roast until golden brown and caramelized, turning bits and slices once or twice, about 25 minutes. Devour.


What Angela U. will do with this week's box:

For this week's box: The basil will go into pesto in the freezer. The tomatillos and onions (and maybe leeks) will go into some variation on chile verde. The serranos will be seeded and chopped and then frozen in ice cube trays with a little water and one pepper per cube for Indian food some time later. Romaine is my gilrs' favorite lettuce so it will make a couple salads if it is a large head - (Sorry, Lena, my girls like olive oil and balsamic best.)

Strawberries go in shortcake if I have time ahead, or a fool (sliced and slightly sweetened and then barely folded into whipped cream) or with chocolate fondue (Heat 2/3-3/4 cup of cream just til steaming and add 12oz chocolate - chips will do, gourmet if you have it on hand... Let the chocolate sit in the hot cream for a few minutes to soften, whisk smooth and add a splash of spirit or vanilla if you like. Dunk berries and anything else you fancy. Yummy!)

With the Cauliflower/Romanesco I would make a pasta with mustard sauce from Tassajara (recipe below). I will hope for poblano peppers to put either in a "Pastel de Maiz" from a freind's recipe or to stuff and broil - a take-off from a local restaurant.

Mustard butter pasta with broccoli from The Tassajara Recipe Book

Note - I don't tend to follow recipes too closely - I use them more for inspiration. The following is pretty much straight from the book.

5/8 cup butter, softened (or part olive oil)
4 Tblsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
2 Tblsp parsley, well minced
2 Tblsp chives, finely sliced or green onion, minced
Salt and Pepper
1 Tblsp oil
2 cups broccoli, cut into small flowerettes (or cauliflower or romanseco!)
3/4 pound pasta

Blend butter and mustard. Set aside.
Slice garlic and pound it with a mortar with a healthy pinch of salt. When the garlic is pulpy add the parley and chives (or onions) and pound a bit more to release the flaovrs. Blend this mixture into the mustard mixture with a few twists of black pepper.

Bring a large amount of water to a boil with the tablespoon of oil and a spoonful of salt. Add the pasta to the boiling water. If you are using fresh pasta, add the broccoli at the same time. If using dried pasta, add the broccoli for the last couple minutes of cooking. As soon as the pasta and broccoli are done, drain and put them in a 12" skillet allowing a bit of the cooking water to dribble in. Add the mustard mixture and, over moderate heat, toss the mixture until everything is evenly coated. Keep the heat low enough that the butter doesn't bubble or fry as that would change the flavor. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste and serve.

Pastel de maiz - this is a recipe I was taught "by feel" from a friend from Guadalajara.

10 ears of corn, cut from the cob and processed briefly in a food processor. You want it chopped but not pureed. (You can use frozen corn but you'll need to add some milk or cream to get the right consistency.)
5 eggs, beaten
~1 1/2 cups flour
~1/2 cup melted butter
salt, to taste
cheese, grated (monterey jack, pepper jack, cheddar...)
peppers, seeded and sliced thinly (she always used poblanos)

Mix everything but cheese and peppers in a large bowl. Add a bit of millk if the mixture seems dry. You are going for a slightly-firmer-than-custard-like finished product something like quiche filling. Pour about half of the mixture into a well greased baking dish and then add a layer of cheese and peppers . Repeat layers. Bake at 350 until nearly set in the middle and beginning to brown on top. Cover with foil if it seems to be browning too fast. Time will depend on the depth of your dish. You can also make 2-3 smaller pasteles which would need less baking time. My friend always serves this with chicken mole.

Stuffed Poblanos - -similar to a dish served at Pajaro Street Grill in Salinas

Make a mixture of ~ 2 parts grated sharp cheddar cheese, ~1 part raisins, coarsely chopped and `1 part slivered almonds. Cut generous caps off the stem end of poblano peppers, remove core, seeds and ribs, leaving peppers whole. Fill peppers with the cheese mixture and reattach "lids" with toothpicks. Broil or grill, turning to char all sides. Makes a great light dinner with a salad and maybe some rice. (If you cook them under a broiler, line the pan with foil for easier clean-up.)


Submitted by Eve Lynch, San Francisco
the following recipe is from Gourmet Magazine. I made it using leftover brown basmati rice and a lemon instead of an orange. It is refreshing and delicious. It may just be my new favorite way to use fennel. You have to try it!! To make it using leftover rice, use 3 cups of cooked rice, and toast the fennel seeds anyway, and add them to the rest of the ingredients. Very quick and easy. -Eve

FENNEL RICE SALAD (in case you still have your fennel bulb in your kitchen!)

The tang of citrus and the refreshing flavor of fennel give this side dish a lightness that other rice preparations just can't match.

1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup basmati rice
1 large navel orange
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb with fronds
2 large scallions, thinly sliced

Toast fennel seeds in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 2 minutes. Add water and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil, then cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Spread rice in a shallow baking pan and cool quickly by chilling, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate zest from orange into a large serving bowl and squeeze in juice (about 1/3 cup). Whisk in vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Chop 2 tablespoons fronds from fennel, then discard stalks. Quarter bulb lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise.

Stir fennel bulb and fronds into vinaigrette along with cooled rice, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings

Gourmet August 2007

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