Posts Tagged ‘Local Ingredients’

Almond Romano Pesto and a Nod to Pestos in General

Got herbs in your garden or CSA? Make pesto! There’s much room for creativity, it’s marvelous and versatile stuff, and stores for weeks in the refrigerator.

The Basics…

  • 1 Bunch of Leafy Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Arugula, Oregano, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp Nuts (Pine Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, etc.)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup hard cheese (Parmigiana, Romano, Asiago, etc.)

Almond Romano Pesto

  • 1 bunch Parsely
  • 1 Tbsp Almonds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese

Toss it all into the food processor and process until it becomes a paste. Step back and smell the herbs. Your whole house will now smell fresh and green. Happy sigh. Add more olive oil if it’s too thick. Store in a lidded jar with a layer of olive oil, which will help it keep its bright color. Use it on pastas, in sandwiches, and on bruschetta, which is an Italian-style toast.

20120531-181335.jpg

When you’re ready to use, scoop out what you need, making sure the layer of olive oil is still enough to cover.

20120531-181343.jpg

Advertisements

Grilled Cornbread Pudding A.K.A Corn in May: A Cautionary Tale

It was our Memorial Day BBQ. We thought we should grill some corn. It looked so tempting at the grocery store. Besides, it’s almost corn season and next month the early varieties will ripen locally. And really now, how bad could it be? Well, it was really that bad. Starchy and tough and we should have waited until July when we could purchase from our local farms. So instead of just chucking it all to the chickens, we thought we’d repurpose it in a corn bread with a pudding-like texture. And while it was quite tasty,  yes, it would taste better with in-season corn.

  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz. plain yogurt, homemade or store bought
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil plus 1 Tbsp butter for skillet
  • 2 cups corn kernels cut from grilled corn
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven or grill to 350F. Set a cast iron skillet on the grill or one the stovetop on low and melt 1 Tbsp butter. Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, honey, and melted butter or oil. Fold in the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and corn kernels until combined. Pour into the skillet. Grill for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

20120528-192122.jpg

20120528-192129.jpg

20120528-192137.jpg

CSA & Farmers’ Market: Pre-CSA #2

Surprise CSA Box: n/a

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  Asparagus, Salad Greens, Tatsoi, Strawberries, Fresh Goat Cheese, Bread, Steamers, Cheesecake

Mini Farm Harvest:  Rhubarb, Herbs

Within Budget:  No (Our Memorial Day party and holiday weekend guests pushed us over the weekly budget. D-oh!)

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

Saturday
Brunch:  Eggs Benedict, Fresh Fruit
Dinner:   Party!  Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb, Ribs, Steamers, Grilled Vegetables, Salad with Goat Cheese and Roasted Rhubarb, Cheesecake, Strawberry Cake

Sunday
Breakfast:  Mixed Berry Bundt
Sunday Dinner:  Going to a Beach BBQ!

Monday
Breakfast: Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Corned Beef, Potatoes, Cabbage

Tuesday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Greens and Beans and Pasta

Wednesday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Sherried Sardine Toast
Dinner:  Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, Cabbage, Toast

Thursday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Sherried Sardine Toast
Dinner:  Bolinhos de Bacalhau (Codfish Cakes), Esparregado (Portuguese Sautéed Greens)

Friday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  We’re Taking In or Going Out!

Breakfast Smoothie with Seasonal, Local Fruit

When eating for two, sometimes breakfast just doesn’t want to cooperate. Somehow, I’m almost always able to manage smoothies. This recipe was inspired by Alton Brown’s Buff Smoothie Recipe.

  • 8 oz. homemade yogurt or soymilk
  • 12 oz. of mixed local fruit in season or frozen during the season
  • handful of ice cubes (optional, but recommended if your fruit is warm)
  • fruit juice (optional to thin smoothie if the consistency is too thick)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxmeal or wheatgerm

Add all of your ingredients into a blender.  If you have large pieces of fruit, cutting them makes it easier for the blender blades o’ power to do their work.

Take everything for a power whirl on max power. If it’s too thick, add some juice.  Pour into a pint glass. Drink. Ahh.

20120521-070501.jpg

CSA & Farmers’ Market: Pre-CSA #1

Surprise CSA Box: n/a

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  Lettuce, tatsoi, bok choy, spinach, asparagus, strawberries, duck, farmhouse cheddar, baguette, cereal bread, chocolate croissant, and chocolate muffin

Mini Farm Harvest: Rhubarb, herbs

Within Budget: Yes

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

Saturday
Breakfast: Pancakes with Rhubarb Compote
Lunch: Grilled sardines, bread, salad
Dinner: Beer can duck, potatoes, grilled bok choy

Sunday
Breakfast: Yogurt, muesli, strawberries
Lunch:  Duck egg omelet with baby spinach, toast
Dinner:  Roast lamb, polenta, grilled asparagus

Monday
Breakfast: Farmhouse cheddar, toast, strawberries
Lunch:  Egg salad sandwich with greens
Dinner: Roast Pork, rice, sautéed tatsoi

Tuesday
Breakfast: Yogurt, muesli,  with Rhubarb Compote
Lunch:  Canned sardines, salad
Dinner:  Duck and mushroom (second day meal), polenta, salad

Wednesday
Breakfast: Farmhouse Cheddar, toast with rhubarb compote
Lunch:  Egg salad sandwich
Dinner:  Lamb curry with spinach (second day meal), rice

Thursday
Breakfast:  Waffles with Rhubarb Compote
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Grilled Pork Chops (second day meal), ravioli, salad

Friday
Breakfast:  Farmhouse Cheddar, toast with rhubarb compote
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:  Night off to take in or go out 🙂

Photos From This Week’s Kitchen Pantry

The week’s produce…

The week’s protein… (We had to supplement from the grocery store because not all vendors are coming to the market yet.)

20120512-104155.jpg

On of the vegetable farmers had some duck eggs and gave us two to try.  This will be a first.  I was amazed at the wax-like coating, which makes sense considering duck habitat.  It was so smooth and had this beautiful marbling that my camera refused to capture.  It was translucent in the sun like fine china.  Lovely.

20120512-104229.jpg

Our favorite cheese…

20120512-104258.jpg

And finally dessert…

Ps. The chocolate croissant didn’t make it home.

Rhubarb Compote with Honey, Maple Syrup, and Tarragon

Wandering the garden shortly after dawn with the chickens is perhaps an unusual way to start the weekend in suburbia and one that might receive some grumblings at that, but for me it’s heaven. It’s also a way to peruse the breakfast buffet. Hmm, I think I’ll choose some rhubarb. The chickens choose the leaf hoppers escaping off the rhubarb. We’re all happy.

20120512-071354.jpg

On the way inside, I eye the tarragon that overwintered in a pot by the door. Wouldn’t that be a nice combination? The tart from the rhubarb and delicate anise-like flavor of the tarragon in a naturally sweetened compote. Rhubarb is our only local “fruit” this time of year and will be perfect over our homemade breakfasts of yogurt, pancakes, or waffles.

20120512-071406.jpg

Rhubarb Compote with Honey, Maple Syrup, and Tarragon
  • Rhubarb stems, cut into 1/2-1″ slices, enough to fill a medium saucepan approximately 3/4 full
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey (or more to taste)
  • tarragon sprig (Optional)

Add the rhubarb and maple syrup to a medium saucepan.

20120512-071419.jpg

Bring rhubarb and maple syrup to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and tarragon.

20120512-071457.jpg

Allow to the compote to stand until just warm and serve over pancakes, waffles, or ice-cream or cool completely and serve over yogurt or spread on toast like jam. Store unused compote in the refrigerator. It will thicken when cooled. Remove tarragon sprig before serving.

20120512-114436.jpg

Homemade Yogurt: A Lesson in Patience and Slow Food

There was an unopened box lurking in our basement from ages ago. When it first appear, nobody was quite sure, but lurk it did.

Actually, it was from my bridal shower, which was many years and years ago. And it’s been lurking because I figured that yogurt would be complicated because there was this complicated-looking piece of uni-tasker specialty equipment. Ha! How wrong! It’s quite easy, but it does require some patience.

The last time we ordered cheese cultures from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company I also ordered some yogurt starter.  I mean, I knew I had this yogurt maker in my possession. I chose “Y5” because it was advertised as sweeter than traditional and contained more probiotics. Then in the tradition of yogurt things lurking, the starter, too, sat ignored in my freezer.  On a whim this weekend, I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and give homemade yogurt a try.

For the record, the directions that came with my yogurt maker said I didn’t need to heat the milk, so I ignored the directions written on the packet (Sorry, Ricki “The Cheese Queen” Carroll”) and made the quick dump-it-all-together and ignore it version.  Patience, hah!

Not surprisingly, attempt #1 didn’t work out so well.  Twelve hours later and the resulting fermenting broth was poured down the drain. I apologize O Cheese Queen, I should have listened to you! So I tried again following The Monarch’s Directions:

20120505-201543.jpg

That worked! So, thank you – all you economical homesteaders out there – you inspired me to open that box, wash the thing, plug it in, pour some starter powder into a quart of warmed local milk, and let it sit overnight. I don’t know what I was afraid of, but my goodness, talk about saving money on all those little containers of yogurt!

20120505-201556.jpg

Add the results of the Y5 experiment? Tasty yogurt! It was thick and creamy and pleasantly, mildly tangy.   I would say I have a happy new weekend yogurt-making routine.

20120508-070553.jpg

%d bloggers like this: