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2 nights in

I think my first two dinners with farm share veggies were a success! Monday we had the komatsuna, which I sauteed in olive oil with minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. I would recommend separating the white stalk from the green when cooking komatsuna, and throwing the whites in the pan on their own for the first five minutes or so. It only took about 10 minutes total to wilt down. Komatsuna is on the peppery side of greens, sort of like mustard or chicory, so it could probably be easily used in any recipe calling for either of those.

Last night we had kale and radishes, neither of which I've ever cooked before. I cooked some bacon, since I was using some in my pork chop stuffing anyways, and reserved some of the grease. Then I blanched my kale for about 7 minutes in salted boiling water - the color improved in the blanching water, so drain it when it turns a darker green. I broiled my chops, so I started all of this at about the same time. I mashed the kale a little to get out as much water as possible, just like you would with frozen spinach. In the meantime, I had cleaned and cut up my radishes (into pieces about the size of American fries), tossed some butter into my other saute pan, and minced a few cloves of garlic and part of a red onion. The radish pan got half the garlic and the radishes, which cooked on their own for about a minute with salt and pepper. I added a splash each of chicken stock and heavy cream, along with some dried tarragon (didn't have any fresh herbs yesterday). I covered it and let it cook for about 10 minutes total, adding some cajun seasoning towards the end as it seemed a little bland. Next time, I might wait to add the cream - it tasted fine, but I don't really like the idea of my dairy products boiling for all that time. I knew the kale wouldn't take long to finish, so when I flipped the pork chops, I added my onion to the bacon grease. After a minute or two I threw in the rest of the garlic and my blanched kale, and added a splash of chicken stock to this pan as well. With some black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the bacon added back in, this was great! The radishes actually were too - neither Monte nor I had ever eaten cooked radishes before, and this was an interesting way to fix them - Monte really liked them, apparently, so we'll use them again. Next time I'll make sure to use the radish greens as well - I checked, they're edible, they were just a little wilted last night. The whole dinner made for a good combination of flavors, which was good since both veggies were a little saucy. The bacon and onion in the kale complimented the bacon and scallion in my chops, and the cajun seasoning and cream sauce on the radishes went well with cajun seasoned, cheese stuffed pork chops.

We've had salads the last two nights as well. Monday I used some arugula and red leaf lettuce from my share, a little sliced red onion, some feta cheese, and half a can of mandarin oranges I found in the back of my cabinet. I made a dressing with apricot marmalade, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, a little lime juice, and salt and pepper. Yesterday I knew I was going to use the romaine, and I wound up making too much stuffing for my pork chops. I added the leftover mixture of shredded smoked gouda and fontina cheeses, bacon bits, and scallions to my romaine, along with sliced red onion and some defrosted frozen corn. I just used storebought ranch dressing, and it was still a little more interesting than an ordinary bagged salad.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and still spent $103, which was disappointing. I didn't get nearly as much produce as usual, but I still needed a few staples (onions, carrots), as well as some items specific to my menu for the week. I needed a lot of meat, since I've been steadily depleting my freezer over the last month or so, and that always drives up the bill. Add in a few condiments and some dairy products, and you get right back up to $100 with grocery prices as they are. It's also been about 9 days since I last went, and I won't go again until next Wednesday - if I'm getting more than a week out of $100, I think I'm doing pretty well.



Maura White

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November 2008
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