Posts tagged ‘produce’

On CSA Boxes and Employment

With a new job comes new time commitments. No longer do I have the luxury of sitting for a couple hours in the morning with my tea, fresh and bright eyed, to write whatever strikes my fancy. Cut to my current reality: it is nighttime and I’m editing photos, watching Men’s Short Program Figure Skating and scratching my head for inspiration. Ah, there it is! (It was in Johnny Weir’s hot pink lace-up.) And to think that I don’t even start work full blast until Monday. What ever shall I do?

butternut squash, green garlic, pomelo, oranges, red top turnips, arugula, spinach, broccoli, apples, onion, lemons, cabbage

Since I haven’t had a chance to make and photograph something for a recipe, I thought I’d share a collection. Behold: some ideas and inspiration.  I’ve made several of these recipes with delicious results but a few are new recipes I’ve had bookmarked for awhile. They all feature the heavy hitter items from last week’s Eatwell CSA box.

Tangy Shredded Cabbage Salad– This is the 2nd recipe I’ve tried from this Smitten Kitchen post and boy, it is GOOD. Two thumbs up. It’s like a nice crisp, clean cole slaw that doesn’t suck. Bonus! Other Eatwell produce appearance by: lemons.

Patricia Yeo’s Candied Pomelo– I tried to make this. It sucked. But I still harbor hope that I could correctly candy pomelo peel and it’d be delicious.

101 Cookbooks’ Spinach Rice Gratin or Simply Recipe’s Spinach Ricotta Gnocci? I’m torn. Which one would you make?

Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash– This is a David Lebovitz recipe I’ve saved for a rainy day. Or a day with preserved lemons.
Winter Squash Risotto– A twofer! Butternut squash risotto is my FAVORITE way to eat that plentiful winter pesk.

Simplest Apple Tart– Should be named the Best Apple Tart. A complete home-run brunch recipe.

The Best Broccoli of Your Life– Adam of the Amateur Gourmet should’ve called this recipe Pretty Good Broccoli. I’m saving the Best of My Life title for whoever invents a method of cooking broccoli that doesn’t lead to farts.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies– I was a whisper away from making these Lottie + Doof cookies last night. Soon.

Roast Chicken with Turnips– Who doesn’t love a good roast chicken? Both residents of this Hipster Home do. I think even the Mr.’s Zuni Cafe couldn’t benefit from a little turnip roasting action.

Completely Elitist Orecchiette and Arugula Casserole– This recipe popped up tonight. Our grocery store has orecchiette featured in the bulk section and I’ve always bypassed it. No more.

If you’ve got any ideas for a FAST recipe featuring an item or two from this week’s box, TELL ME!

A Bountiful Showing + How to Eat an Orange

It’s been six weeks. SIX WEEKS. Does it feel that long? At some point during the CSA drought, someone (can’t remember who) said to me something (can’t remember what exactly) about me being a “girl obsessed with her CSA box.” I’m experiencing mixed feelings here, folks. Is that what you think I am? A women driven to obsessively chronicle the contents of her local farm’s gifts on a semi-weekly basis? Or perhaps I am a person attempting to improve my photography skills while sharing the delicious possibilities in a box of fruit and veggies. Either way, neither estimation is entirely off and I’ll happily continue this tradition with photos and the occasional recipe. Win all around! (Really? Obsessed? Don’t make me sound like a Beyonce movie!)

lemons, navel oranges, mandarin oranges, stir fry mix, dill, green onions, carrots, butternut squash, salad turnips, arugula

I’ll abstain from recipe sharing this week. Most of these items can be best enjoyed with a good scrub and chop. I WILL show you how to enjoy an orange without drips and minimum sticky fingers. My family calls it eating an orange “Florida Orange Style.” Thinking about it now, that name doesn’t even make sense. But the method does.

Winter inevitably evokes in me my favorite parts of growing up in the sunshine state. Everyone knew you didn’t buy oranges from the orchards until after a cold snap. That makes the oranges sweeter. And once that cold snap hits, I knew my after school snacks would show up in the form of an unlikely orange juice box (Sorta.)

How to eat an orange Florida Orange Style

What you’ll need:

  • 1 juicy orange, (I used navel from this week’s box)
  • a sharp knife
  • a sense of humor
  • if without, a child
  • if without a sense of humor or a child, someone else’s child

First give the orange a good scrub. You want clean skin.

Use the knife to cut around the stem. Angle your knife so that it cuts a cone and you have a little hat, removable from the fruit.

Carefully cut inside the orange without poking through the skin. You want to maximize juiciness.

You’ll want to enjoy it now so go ahead and grasp the orange with both hands, put it up to your face…

and SUCK! That’s right, I said SUCK. This is where the sense of humor comes in. Or the little kid. If you are too proud to suck on an orange, first of all you are missing out. Second of all, a little kid wins because that booger will get to enjoy a delicious treat. If I can do it, you can too. Just once. And if you figure the payoff isn’t worth sucking on an orange, fair enough.

Slurp, squeeze and suck until there is no juice left. At this point your lips are tingly from the acid in the peel. If you did it right, the orange skin has started to rip around the cut edges.

When you’re satisfied there is no more juice to be had, find the little rips around the hole and pull. Open that orange up, turn the skin inside out and chomp away.

When all is said and done, eating an orange Florida Orange Style leaves you with lightly sticky fingers, no drips and a full tummy. Ah, satisfaction.

How do you embarrassingly eat your favorite fruit or veggie?

The Holiday CSA Box

‘Tis the season for irregular CSA deliveries!

We’ve got a box of fruit and vegetables ready for consumption here at The Hipster Home but after this, there won’t be anything to share until January 14th. Ho’boy, that’s a long time.  I originally planned to share a recipe for chicken pot pie or baked eggs with this post today but I just realized that neither one of those feature an ingredient from this box. You, fine readers, get an IOU for one recipe.

apples, butternut squash, carrots, leeks, watermelon daikon radishes, celery, lettuce, sweet potatoes, bok choy, mandarins, spinach

How did this box fare the weekend?  For starts, the Mr. included some of the watermelon daikon radishes in a curry he whipped up last night. Surprise! They were REALLY GOOD. They were soft without being overly starchy like their brethren, the potato. Besides that, we consumed half the mandarins (an incredible and easy snack) and the lettuce was prep washed and ready to go.

Where do we go from here? First up is the a Eatwell recipe I cannot wait to try: Sweet Potato- Leek soup with Spicy Sausage. And then I’m going to make my first batch of stock. (Hm, or maybe I should reverse that so I can use my stock IN the soup?) With the carrots, celery, (radishes?) and cooked chicken parts I have saved in the freezer, it’s time to double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Have you ever made stock before? Any suggestions?

This Week’s Bounty

With this week’s box, I didn’t mince words. The goods came home, had some pictures taken of them and then VEGGIE DEATH. For a select few, mainly some bok choy, the lemon grass, and a few of the chilies, usage was imminent.

Bok Choy, tomatoes, summer squash, winter squash, basil, lemon grass, eggplant, onions, poblano peppers, bell peppers

What’d I make? A Frankenstein creation. It mixed what I was craving and a modified 101 Cookbooks recipe called A Luxurious and Deeply Aromatic Noodle Dish. Turned into a curry of sorts. With rice. It was very tasty but no, not perfect. This is a recipe that needs further tweaking. Good thing you use only half the paste you start with! I’ll update later with the results of a next attempt.

A Luxurious and Deeply Aromatic Noodle Rice Dish

From Nigel Slater, modified vegetarian version by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks, further adapted into a curry by Moi

For the spice paste:
Chilies – 4 or 5 small, hot red ones
Garlic – 2 or 3 small cloves
Ginger – a small lump, about the size of a walnut in its shell
Lemon grass – 2 or 3 plump stalks
Coriander seeds – a few
Coriander leaves – a few (hs note: cilantro for all you non-brits)
Ground tumeric – a teaspoon
vegetable oil – a little

For the broth:
Stock – vegetable, 500 ml
Coconut milk – 400ml (lite is ok)
1 medium bok choy, roughly chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 small potatoes, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, thickly chopped
A lime – just the juice
Soy sauce
Mint – a small handful of leaves

To finish:

Halve and seed the chilies. Peel the garlic. Peel and shred the ginger. Finely slice the tender, innermost leaves of the lemon grass. Grind the coriander seeds or crush them in a mortar. Blitz it all to a thick paste in a food processor with the coriander leaves and any well scrubbed roots, plus the turmeric. You may need a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to help it go round but add as little as you can.

Picture 8

Place a wok over moderate heat, add half the spice paste (keep the other half in the fridge for tomorrow) and fry it, moving it round the pan, for a minute or so, then pour in the stock, coconut milk, and a splash of soy sauce — let it come to the boil. Turn the heat down, add the vegetables from longest cooking time (potatoes) to shortest (bok choy leaves) allowing each to soften before adding the next. Add salt to taste.

Serve each portion with a ladle over 1 cup prepared rice in a bowl. Sprinkle with mint leaves to garnish.

Future modifications:

As you can see above, the finished product was REALLY soupy. I’d recommend omitting the stock and using only coconut milk OR halving this stock/coconut milk mixture. It may also require you dissolving a bit of corn starch in cold water and slowly adding to the broth, as thickening agent. I also found that with the addition of the vegetables and rice, it required QUITE a bit more salt.

Final verdict:

DELICIOUS! The curry base was absolutely incredible. Also note, I’m calling it a curry but I don’t really know if it was. It’s a spicy broth with cooked veggies over rice. Overall A+.

This Week’s Eatwell Box

It’s that time of the week! Wednesday means time for a delicious discovery.

So what did Eatwell put in our box for The Hipster Home? BEHOLD…

Tomatoes, poblano peppers, onions, summer squash, melon, basil, eggplant, grapes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, arugula

Now that we’re swiftly moving from summer to fall, it’s great to be on the receiving end of seasonal change. What used to be heavily tomatoes and basil, is now the remaining basil plant stalks and only one (!!! ONE!) type of tomato. Now we’re starting with the hard squashes, green leafy bits and heartier veggies like sweet potatoes.

So what’s in the back log from last week?  All the onions were used to feed my yolky addiction and the grapes made the perfect daytime snack. The tomatillos and tomatoes were used in a dinner I’ll be posting about soon but I’ve still got the eggplant, parlsey, summer squash, Red Kori Squash, cucumbers, one bell pepper and potatoes. Eep. Don’t worry, it shant got to waste!

The good news is that tonight we used another onion, some bell peppers and basil in a recipe rehab gone right. Stay tuned tomorrow for THE GREAT QUINOA CAPER

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