CSA Week #4

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This week’s share:
1 bunch Parsley
1 Green Boston
1 head Bok Choy
1 head Kolhrabi
1 lb. Squash
1 pc. Cucumber

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This was another green share. There was not much cooking this week since it was a short one with the holiday and our fishmonger took a vacation so no fish this week.

I made a bok choy dish using the baby bok choy from last week. I quartered it and sautéed it with sliced garlic and scallions until wilted. Then added some chicken stock and soy sauce. I let all of this cook until the bok choy was tender. At the end I made a thickener with some of the soy sauce and chicken stock and a bit of corn starch and added this to the pan to cook and thicken the sauce.

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I am always on the lookout for summer squash recipes and when a list showed up in my inbox the other day I knew I needed to try one. I decided on a baked version which I made into individual servings in my adorable mini cast iron skillets. You can find the recipe here. Some of my squash was not as tender as I had hoped. I also added minced garlic to the bottoms of the pans. To finish it I put it under the broiler to brown and crisp the top. It was tasty.

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CSA & CSF Week #3

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This week’s share:
1 bunch Basil
1 bunch Green Scallions
1 head Green Romaine
3 pcs. Baby Bok Choy
1 head Iceberg Lettuce
8 oz. Sugar Snap Peas

1 lb. Golden Tilefish

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That’s a lot of green this week!

Golden tilefish was one of the fish I first learned about, and loved, last year after receiving it in our CSF. It was great seeing it on the menu in one of the restaurants in my neighborhood. I decided to cook it in paper in the oven. I wrapped it up with spring onions, basil, salt and pepper, a little butter and a lot of lemon juice. It was delish!

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One thing I have been wanting to try for years is lettuce soup. This has been suggested by my CSA as an alternative to salad. I had three heads of lettuce in the fridge when I decided to finally try making soup. I started out sauteing spring onions, scallions and garlic in olive oil and a little butter and salt and pepper. Then I added in the lettuce. I used 1 head of green Boston lettuce, half a head of romaine and a handful of basil and cooked it down until it was wilted. After that, I added chicken stock, 3-4 cups, and simmered it for 20 minutes. Afterwards, I pureed it all and added about 1/2 cup heavy cream and seasoned with salt. I haven’t eaten a full bowl yet but the flavor and appearance for that matter reminds me of cream of broccoli soup.

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CSA & CSF Week #2

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It has been nice getting back into the routine of having and cooking vegetables every week. It was another good pickup.

The week’s share:
1 bunch Mint
1 head Red Boston
1 bunch greenhouse Carrots
1 head Green Boston
4 pcs. Garlic Scapes

1lb Monkfish

 

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I was very excited to see mint in our share. I don’t recall ever getting it before but more so I thought mojitos! This cocktail isn’t quite a mojito but it sure was refreshing drinking it in the park on a sunny afternoon.

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I was surprised to see monkfish again this week since we had it the week before as well. Luckily it is a great fish. I learned two things this week about monkfish. One, it is among the leanest fish. Two, it has a high moisture content so you need to salt it before cooking to draw the liquid out. This second one I learned the hard way. I followed this recipe from Food & Wine for the frying. I thought it was odd that you only breaded one side but I understood once I plated them. There was a pool of liquid under them on the plate. They still tasted good but it was a learning experience. I made a cilantro dipping sauce with mayo, garlic, lemon, a bit of sugar and a splash of vinegar.

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Again, we ate quite a few salads this week.

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CSA and CSF Week #1

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Last Tuesday was the first pickup of the CSA and CSF season. Many of you know what a CSA is but a CSF is not as well know. It stands for community-supported fishery. Every week when we pick up our farm fresh veggies we pick up a pound of local fish. It is great to get back into the routine of having fish every week. Between the extended winter and fact that we did not do a winter share it feels like it has been so long since last season. As you could tell by my lack of posts, I have not been cooking much, or at least I have not been cooking anything interesting. Having a fridge full of veggies really gets me motivated to cook.

This year I am switching up my blogging format. I plan to blog later in the week after I have cooked some meals using the vegetables and fish I received.

This weeks share:
1 bu cilantro
1 bu scallions
1 bu red romaine
1 head green oak lettuce
1 bu asparagus
1/2 pint strawberries

1 lb monkfish

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With the monkfish I made monkfish chowder which is also what I made last year when we got it. The chowder was so good the first time I didn’t want to mess with it. I made it by sauteing the scallions, garlic and a diced potato in butter and olive oil. Then I added chicken stock, brought to a boil, and reduced to a simmer. I added some frozen corn and a cup of heavy cream. Once it returned to a simmer I added the cut up monkfish. Seasoned with salt and pepper. This served 2 dinners and 2 lunches.

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We ate the strawberries for dessert. So good!

The next meal used the asparagus. My go-to way to cook asparagus is to roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple and easy. I wanted to do something different with this bunch. I knew I wanted to grill them but I wanted some sort of sauce to go along with them. I came across this recipe and it was amazing! What’s not to like, parmesan and hot sauce? We had these with a salad on the side.

Grilled Asparagus with Spicy Parmesan Sauce

And we had a few salads this week.

Roast Chicken

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Nothing says Sunday quite like roast chicken. It’s the ultimate one pot meal and can be reincarnated throughout the week. This Christmas I got a whole bunch of spices from one of my favorite Chicago area shops, The Spice House. I decided to use one of the spice blends from the poultry box to season the chicken, the Old World Central Street Seasoning. It’s a blend of many different herbs and spices with paprika giving it a lovely red color. I rubbed it all over the chicken, under the sink, on top of it and in the cavity. I roasted potatoes, carrots and some celery in the pan with the chicken. The chicken turned out great. The drippings also made a delicious gravy.

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Chicken dinner #2 consisted of enchiladas. I doctored up a jarred sauce with onions, garlic and come cumin. I had some leftover refried beans so I used them in the filling with the chicken. I rolled them up, covered them in sauce and half with cheese and baked them until bubbly.

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Chicken dinner #3 was chicken and gravy with different sides.

Three different meals, a couple chicken sandwiches and 2 quarts of chicken stock. I’d say that was a well used chicken!

CSA & CSF Week #23

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This is the final week of the CSA. I am not doing the winter share this year since it is basically a 7 week extension of the summer season and since 3 of those weeks are holidays I will not be around to use the food. I will miss it until June! The veggies ended with a bang, Brussels sprouts! The fish, not so much. The dreaded bluefish!

This week’s share:
1 bunch Red Radishes
1 head Broccoli
1 head Green Boston
1 stalk Brussels Sprouts
1 lb.Red Fingerling Potatoes
1 Arrowhead Cabbage
1 bunch Hakurei Turnips
2 pcs. Eggplant

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Last week I used the monkfish to make a chowder. Oh my god, it was so good! They don’t call it a poor man’s lobster for nothing. I followed this recipe with a couple modifications. I left out the bacon, I used a hot pepper instead of the bell pepper and used chicken stock instead of fish stock. It was so good. The non-fish eater went back for seconds!

CSA & CSF Week #21

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This week’s share looks a lot like fall. Sweet potatoes and squash! And orange cauliflower! I am looking forward to making a hearty soup with one of these veggies. For the fish share we got monkfish. That’s one ugly fish, hopefully it will taste better than it looks.

This week’s share:
1 bunch Parsley
1 bunch Red Romaine
1 head Bok Choy
1 Orange Cauliflower
1 lb. Kennebec Potatoes
1.5 lbs. Sweet Potatoes
1 Dumpling Squash
1 pc. Bell Pepper

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CSA & CSF Week #20

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Only 3 more weeks left of the season. The past few years my CSA has offered a winter share which was 6 huge shares every 3 weeks. This year they are offering an early winter share which is basically a 7 week extension of the regular season. I am not doing it this year since 3 of the weeks are holiday weeks and I do not see myself being able to use all the vegetables. I will miss it so I will have to make sure to hit the farmers market every week. This week we got a giant daikon radish. I always get intimidated by them but I think I made a good soup with them last year. We also got more of my favorite little lunchbox peppers! For fish we got striped bass. I thought we got this before but I think I was thinking of black sea bass. I will be poaching it in soy sauce tomorrow.

This week’s share:
1 head Green Romaine
1 head Broccoli
1 pc. Daikon Radish
1 lb. Red Fingerling Potatoes
1 lb. Large Tomatoes
8 oz. Lunch Box Peppers
3 pcs. Eggplants

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CSA & CSF Week #19

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I think this week may be the first week that we did not receive lettuce. I am not complaining. I want to move on to soup! One of my favorites showed up for the first time this season. I’ll say it again arrowhead cabbage, called Caraflex below, is the best cabbage ever! It is so tender and delicious. The fish share was less successful. We got skate this week. I have never had it but I did not love the texture. It was kind of stringy. The flavor however, was not bad.

This Week’s Share:
1 bunch Cilantro
1 bunch Carrots
3 heads Baby Bok Choy
1 bunch Radishes
1 Caraflex Cabbage
1/2 lb. Snap Beans
1/2 lb. Large Tomatoes
4 pcs. Chili Peppers

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You can find the recipe for the skate here.

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