Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday: Springtime standard

Roasted asparagus with a white bean salad with almond, scallions and dill.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/29/10

long pink Asian radishes

sweet cherries!

milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
buttermilk from Tonjes Farm Dairy
"Rambler" aged farmstead cheese from Tonjes Farm Dairy
whole wheat levain bread

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday: Left behind

Fried rice with bok choy, garlic chives and pink radishes.

Lizz was out of town for her college reunion, so I threw together an easy dinner which had the bonus of using up leftover rice: a quick stir-fry of day-old rice and fresh veggies, with a beaten egg mixed in to transform it into fried rice.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/26/10

On the way home from bar review, just picked up a bunch of bok choy from the Union Square Wednesday market.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday: A frittata for Caitlin (in spirit)

Broccoli rabe frittata.
We quickly blanched the broccoli rabe for this recipe before mixing it into the eggs and cheese and putting it in to bake.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/24/10

A little supplement from the Union Square Monday greenmarket:  green garlic, strawberries, and organic spelt bread from Bread Alone.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday: Tentacle tagine

Squid and chickpea tagine, served over couscous.

We modified this recipe from Paul Johnson's Fish Forever.  This was our first experience cooking squid at home, and we have deemed it a success.  Squid is tricky - it has a tendency to get too tough and chewy, because the proteins in the tissue can form tight bonds when it's cooked.  To compensate, Paul Johnson says you must either cook it extremely briefly over high heat (so that the tissue doesn't have enough time to toughen up) or for a very long time over low heat (so that it tightens, but then becomes soft again over a long period of cooking). 

This tagine, a North African stew, employs the second method, allowing the chopped squid to simmer until it is tender and has picked up the flavor of the spices in the tomato broth.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/23/10

Supplement from the Columbia market: red radishes, milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm, eggs, sun cheese from Raindance Farm, and cleaned squid.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/22/10

garlic chives
broccoli rabe
yellow potatoes
mixed lettuce
lamb's quarters

trefoil honey
beeswax lip balm (!  from the honey place, of course.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday: Cold cuke salad

Cucumber-dill-yogurt salad.

This was our improvised cool dinner for a rather hot evening.  We ate it with some crusty bread and Pawlet cheese, and followed up with strawberries.  It's quite similar to this soup, except we didn't bother with marination and didn't add quite as much liquid.

These "burpless" cucumbers had a funny gradient-like coloration.

Friday cat blogging, baghab edition

Oscar finally kicked the box habit, but sadly now he's into bags.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday: Asparagus pasta

Whole-wheat pasta with purple asparagus and Parmesan, tossed with lemon. 

After many weeks of being foiled by the early-morning greenmarket shoppers, we finally got our hands on some beautiful purple asparagus.

yes, asparagus too can be purple.

Elizabeth Schneider, in her Vegetable Book, claims that she has found purple asparagus to be uniformly good, and indeed we thought this bunch was particularly sweet and tasty.  It was good in this pasta, but if you happen to get your hands on some we recommend that you just roast it and eat it plain in order to experience its full flavor.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/20/10

Today's supplement: just milk from Ronnybrook Farm.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday: Yet another vegetable that can be purple, continued

Stir-fry of purple bok choy, tofu, and roasted cashews.

Bok choy (which you may also encounter as "pak choi" or other variations thereof) is yet another member of the illustrious brassica dynasty.  We think all the brassica go well with cashews, so we roasted a few and threw them in to this improvised stir-fry, which was also flavored with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. 

We couldn't let these particular bok choy go because they were purple:

We had never encountered this color before.  Like many purple veggies, these leaves shed their color into the dish during cooking.  As you can see up top, the tofu ended up a little worse (or maybe just weirder) for the wear. 

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/19/10

Today's supplement, from the Wednesday Union Square market: purple asparagus and purple bok choy, strawberries, and eggs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday: Tamago

Tamago (Japanese sweet omelet) with mizuna in sesame oil and soba noodles.

Mizuna is a type of mustard green which originated in China, but is most commonly found in Japanese cuisine.  Smaller leaves can be eaten raw, but large mizuna benefits from cooking, and - like other mustards - can stand up to braising or boiling.  We boiled this mizuna until tender, chopped it fine, and then tossed it with some good sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.

Tamago (just the Japanese word for egg) may be well-known to you as a type of nigiri sushi, but it also does well on its own.  We followed this recipe and it turned out delicious and light.  Don't be intimidated if you don't have a "tamago pan" - we just used a standard frying pan.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday: Skating along

Skate with brown butter, served with roasted asparagus and couscous.

A skate is a type of ray, and the cut seen here is skate fin.  It's sometimes sold with the cartilage layer still included, but this fillet had been cleaned for us by the good folks at Pura Vida Fisheries.  In this recipe we poached the fish in wine vinegar and water, and topped with with crushed capers and brown butter.  (Brown butter is just butter that is heated until it darkens.)  The skate was interesting - its texture was more like that of lobster than a normal fish.  It was a little rich...though of course that could be because we poured butter all over it.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/17/10

Big supplement today at the Monday Union Square market...

green garlic


organic whole wheat sourdough bread
local apple cider vinegar (the first time we've seen this!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/16/10

Just a mini-supplement from the Columbia greenmarket today: skate wing from Pura Vida Fisheries and milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm.

Sunday: Radical radishes

Braised heirloom radishes with moong dal on basmati rice.

These mixed heirloom radishes were too pretty not to buy: the bunch contained red, purple, pink and white small radishes, plus a few that were light brown and had a rough texture, like a "golden russet" apple.  We didn't realize until now that radishes are actually a spring vegetable.  To tone down their spiciness, we braised the radishes along with their tops, which were in good shape.  Balsamic vinegar is not a traditional Indian ingredient but this still worked well as a vegetable dish to pair with moong dal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday: Re-pesto

Sorrel-garlic chive pesto.

We've been making a lot of pestos, including one with sorrel, but this was another nice variation: we threw in garlic chives, instead of garlic or ramps.  As part of our pesto experimentation, we've just been substituting whatever allium we happened to have around the house for the standard garlic cloves.  So far they've all passed muster.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday: Emptying the winter larders

Braised celery root with chickpeas, almonds and saffron, served on basmati rice.

We supplemented this recipe with almonds, which we thought would pair well with the somewhat Mediterranean flavors of chickpea and saffron.  The saffron dyed everything a warm yellow.  These knobs of celeriac were some of our last overwintered vegetables.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday: Tap that bass

Black sea bass fillets braised with olive and lemon, served with roasted asparagus and brown rice.

This recipe comes from Paul Johnson's Fish Forever.  Like the Vegetable Book, it's both a comprehensive reference and a reliable recipe source.  We absolutely loved this dish, in which this very strongly-flavored fish is balanced by the acidic lemons and the salty bite of olives.  This is definitely one to make again.

As you can see, asparagus season is now in full swing, and we will be taking advantage of it while we can!

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/9/10

Today's supplement: milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm, spelt bread, and black sea bass fillets from Pura Vida.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/8/10

Lizz had an event today, so I did the marketing solo this morning.  For a change, I decided to hit up the Abington Square market, not too far from Union Square, which is where Bodhitree Farm goes on Saturdays.  If I keep following them around like this, I think they might begin suspecting that I'm a farm groupie.

garlic chives
mixed heirloom radishes

strawberries!!  (first of the year!)

eggs from Bodhitree Farm
Pawlet cow's milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday: Mac and cheese, Esq.

Friday cat blogging, affirmation edition

Oscar has finally found a bag that encapsulates his philosophy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday: Beet + goat cheese + X = tasty

Salad of beets, goat cheese, and wilted chickweed, served on quinoa.

We improvised this second use for chickweed: a simple sautee in olive oil with some garlic, to which we added pre-roasted beets.  We also crumbled in some goat cheese.  Beet + goat cheese + greens is a pretty standard combination which is easy to change up by throwing in seasonal foraged greens.

For leftovers the next day, we actually supplemented this dish with some sauteed left-over wild arugula we hadn't used yet. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday: Kinpira redux

Carrot-burdock kinpira with pan-fried tofu and rice.

Kinpira has already appeared on the blog: we're officially on the market for another burdock recipe, though this one is pretty great. 

In other burdock-related news, we were walking through the park the other day and realized that a few plants looked strangely familiar.  In fact, they looked just like the burdock tops we cooked recently.  As it turns out, burdock is growing all over the park!  We found several first-year plants, with their smaller, edible leaves, as well as a few second-year plants, which send up a huge stem and grow flowers and burrs.  One of them is about our height. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday: Escarole soup

White bean and escarole soup. 

We weren't quite sure what to do with escarole, but vegetable soups like this one are pretty foolproof.  Escarole, a type of chicory (which puts it in the daisy family), stands up well to braising or being thrown into soups.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday: Dinosaur food

 Baked monkfish with chive-topped boiled fiddlehead ferns and wild rice.

Fiddleheads are the curled-up young form of the ostrich fern.  In other countries, some other types of ferns are used as well, but apparently some of them are a little toxic.  There is just a brief window each year in which fiddleheads are available, so they are a special treat.  We thought they smelled very similar to asparagus, but the texture is a little firmer and they have their own unique taste.

The monkfish was dredged in flour and herbs, then browned in a pan, after which we added some stock and put the whole thing into the oven to bake.  Monkfish has an interesting lobster-like moist texture.

eating ferns makes you feel like a dinosaur

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/2/10

all-blue potatoes (overwintered)


monkfish fillets from Pura Vida Fisheries
Doolan goat cheese from Ardith Mae Farm

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday lunch: Sprout sandwich

Sandwich of sheep's milk cheese and mixed sprouts on sourdough bread.

These sprouts were very interesting. The buckwheat sprouts are the ones with bright pink stems - which isn't too surprising, considering that they're related to rhubarb (as well as sorrel, which shares its relatives' sour flavor). The darker purple sprouts were radish, and there may have been some pea shoots and other greens sprinkled throughout.

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/1/10

stinging nettles
wild arugula
mixed sprouts (buckwheat, radish, baby mustard, etc.)

milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
San Francisco sourdough from Our Daily Bread
Oldwick Shepherd sheep's milk cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery