Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Inspiration - Week #6

Week # 6:  potatoes, green garlic, yellow beans, carrots, red cabbage, broccoli, curly parsley, yellow summer squash

Howdy Featherstone Farm CSA members and other friends of Cook Out of the Box.  It is week # 6 and we have made it through the first lettuce season.  I enjoyed every minute of it and I hope you did too.  (I confess.  I hoarded some of the leaf lettuce from last week.  Washed and dried it well and bagged it and it is holding up nicely in my refrigerator.   Gave some to my Dad today for his chicken sandwich.  So I have still not quite said au revoir to lettuce.)

This week's box has lots of color - dusky purple red cabbage, bright orange carrots, bright yellow summer squash, pale yellow beans, light brown potatoes, sparkling green parsley, duller green broccoli and last but not least plump white bulbs of garlic.  We call green garlic "green" even though it is white - because it is still immature - new - inexperienced - hence "green".  I hope you feel artistic all week, working with these beautiful colors and shapes.

Here are some meal ideas -- as usual they are pretty simple,  not too heavy on the meat and designed to help you use up all the contents of your box with minimum effort and maximum enjoyment.   An asterisk means a recipe is below.

Summer squash casserole*; Steamed or roasted broccoli;  Cobbler or crisp made with your choice of fruit. 
I lived in Mississippi for a year many moons ago.  I ate a lot of squash casserole and watermelon.  Squash casserole in many forms was and still is popular all over the South. You can use any variety of summer squash.  If you have some buttered bread crumbs, the crispy topping is really nice.  But it is optional.  If you make cobbler you could try peach.  I have about given up on finding decent fresh peaches in stores - you could even use canned peaches for cobbler.  Kind of goes with the southern theme of the squash casserole.
To roast broccoli:  cut into 2 inch pieces, including stems.  Roast on oiled tray - 375 degrees about 20-25 minutes depending on how thick the pieces are.  A squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice is always nice on broccoli - whether steamed or roasted.

Cold carrot ginger orange soup* or simple salad with grated raw carrot, some fresh orange juice, a bit of honey or sugar,  oil and sherry vinegar); Pasta with garlic and oil*; French bread; baked custard (creme caramel if you are feeling ambitious)

Stir fried broccoli with ginger, garlic and oyster sauce (purchase where Asian sauces are found) (add meat or protein of choice.  Shitake mushrooms would be good to add if you have some); rice; fresh fruit and a cookie

Grilled, braised or roasted meat (pork chops would be good); Overnight cole slaw*; Boiled potatoes with parsley butter; Dark rye bread; Prunes poached in red wine (add a few cloves and piece of cinnamon stick and a twist of lemon)

Potato vegetable soup*; grilled cheese sandwich; Yellow bean salad*  
If you have extra salad, add a few cubes of cheese or meat or both and have it for lunch the next day.  You can even add leftover pasta or rice if you want a more substantial salad.

Summer squash casserole
1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 T. melted butter
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
2 t. sugar
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar or other cheese - optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley-  optional

Cook the squash in a small amount of boiling water until it is just tender - about 8-10 minutes.  Drain well.  (save cooking water for vegetable stock)  Combine the crumbs and melted butter - set aside half.  Mix all ingredients except the reserved buttered crumbs. Pour into a greased baking dish.  Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes - until the squash mixture is puffed and the crumbs are golden brown.

Cold carrot ginger orange soup
Peel, chop and boil about 3/4 pound carrots in a small amount of water until very soft and tender.   Cool.  Finely grate one t. fresh ginger.  Puree carrots, 1/2 cup cooking water, one cup fresh orange juice, the grated ginger and 2 t. sugar or honey.  Add some plain yogurt or buttermilk if desired. (Note - if you still have a few beets lying around you could cook and peel them and puree them along with the carrot.  If you are feeling very ambitious - make both beet and carrot puree and pour separately into two sides of each bowl.  Big color wallop!

Pasta with garlic
Finely mince garlic with a little coarse salt - one or two large cloves per serving.  Gently saute garlic in olive oil (about 2 T. per serving).  Cook and drain pasta, saving some cooking water.  Toss hot pasta with garlic and oil.  Add some cooking water if pasta is too dry.  Serve with a generous amount of finely chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan or other sharp grating cheese.  A few chopped toasted walnuts would be a lovely addition.

Overnight coleslaw
This recipe is from Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson.  I love this cookbook.  This link includes a great recipe for pork chops and German potato salad from the book.  They would be good with this salad.  http://www.upress.umn.edu/excerpts/Dooley.html
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 T. brown sugar (light or dark)
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 T caraway seeds, toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to tastse

1/2 head red or green cabbage (or combination) thinly sliced (Note from Peggy:  I would use the whole head in your box - it is not that big.  Use your judgment - you want a good proportion of cabbage to dressing)
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Combine the first five ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Toss with cabbage and onion.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Potato vegetable soup
Peel and chop about 1/2 cup onion and one clove garlic.   Scrub (and peel if desired)  and dice two cups potatoes and 1/2 cup carrot.  You can add 1/2 cup of diced celery if you have it around.  Saute vegetables in 2 T. butter or oil or combination until onions are soft.  Add 3 cups water or broth.  Add a handful or two or three of chopped fresh green or yellow beans or summer squash.  Add a bay leaf.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Can be served chunky or pureed.  (Don't put hot soup in a blender - the top will blow off. )  Add a little milk, cream or butter to the finished soup if desired.  Serve garnished with fresh parsley or chives.

Yellow bean salad
Steam or blanch beans until crisp tender.  Plunge in cold water to stop cooking.  Drain well.  Make simple vinaigrette - olive oil, vinegar, a little Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Mix beans with vinaigrette and a handful or two of chopped parsley.

Tomorrow: Dig In - Salt

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