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Archive for September, 2009

This week’s menu (9/29)

No menu last week because I was in New York, but this week (ok, last Friday — I’m a bit behind), I got a box with baby eggplant, summer squash, beefsteak tomatoes, purslane, corn, serrano peppers, green chile peppers, bibb lettuce, arugula, and radishes. Here’s what’s on the menu.

Turkey sandwiches with last week’s pepper jelly, cheese, Bibb lettuce, and beefsteak tomato slices

Salad with cucumbers, Bibb lettuce, radishes, and tomato

Spaghetti with pasta sauce and eggplant (just saute the eggplant with salt, pepper, and a bit of fennel seed, stir in pasta sauce, heat, and serve over spaghetti)

Middle-Eastern stuffed zucchini (I modified the recipe slightly by cutting the zucchini into 3-4 inch chunks before I cored them. I also finely chopped the zucchini innards and added them to the lamb mixture.)

Cucumber salad with shallots, purslane and a lemon vinaigrette (Don’t know what purslane is? I didn’t either!)

Greek burgers (Without the aioli. Because mayo tastes like feet.)

Corn salad with peppers, cilantro, and a lime vinaigrette (Combine cooked corn with chopped peppers and cilantro. Whisk together lime juice, canola oil, salt, pepper, and a bit of honey and pour over salad. Can add diced red bell pepper if you have it.)

Shrimp and pine nut spaghetti with arugula (A Cooking Light October recipe, which isn’t online yet. I’ll link to it as soon as it’s posted.)

I’m just eating the pears out of hand, as they are juicy and delicious. Happy eating!

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This week’s menu

Every week I get a box of local produce from Greenling. It’s a fun challenge to try to find out what to make with the contents, so I figured I’d document what I come up with here in case anyone’s looking for new recipes. This week I got fresh edamame, black-eyed peas, oriental pears, shallots, eggplant, assorted hot peppers, okra, basil, lettuce, long beans, and green onions. Sadly, I forgot to refrigerate the peas so they are lost, but here’s what I plan to do with the rest of the produce.

Boiled edamame (boil pods for 10 minutes, then salt)

Quinoa and edamame salad (I’ll probably make it with bulgur, since that’s what I have.)

Brandy-flamed peppercorn steak (I used rum instead of brandy and served with roasted potatoes and long beans.)

Hot-pepper jelly (using all hot peppers instead of half hot and half red and green bell)

Pesto

Thai burgers with lettuce

Champagne-poached pears (instead of champagne, I used 1.5 bottles of Fall Creek chenin blanc)

Pickled okra (One of my favorite snacks ever. I made 3 pint jars of okra and processed them for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. They’ll be ready to eat in about 6 weeks, and since they’ve been processed, they can stay in the pantry, not the fridge.)

Spaghetti w/sauteed eggplant, shallots, and pasta sauce (I like many of the Classico varieties.)

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I realize I haven’t blogged since NIWeek. I spend so much time at the computer during work that sometimes I just need a break. Anyway, carnitas bring me back to the blog.

Carnitas literally means “little meats” and usually refers to braised, shredded pork. I’ve made Homesick Texan’s version many times, but wanted to find a way to make this during the week. Enter the crockpot.

I usually reserve the crock for things like stews, where everything is all mixed together. My concern with crockpot carnitas was that the meat would taste steamed instead of nice and crunchy. I managed to devise a way to get around this problem, by letting the meat cook in the crock till it’s done, then finishing it on the stovetop. The liquid cooks away and leaves you with deliciously tender meat with a crisp exterior. Mmmm.

Crockpot Carnitas

3 lb pork butt, cut into 2-in cubes
1 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice

Season pork w/salt and place in crock. Pour in juice (it helps the meat caramelize). Cook on low 10 hours.

Dump contents of crock (including juices) into a dutch oven and turn the burner on low. Let it simmer until most of the liquid is gone. I serve on tortillas with cilantro and tomatillo salsa.

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