Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday: Trouts and tarts

Rainbow trout baked with fennel, carrot and sweet peppers.

We improvised this bake to take advantage of the sweet, fatty flavor of upstate rainbow trout, which bears some resemblance to salmon.  (On the basis of that resemblance, we also added a generous amount of dill.)  We sauteed the vegetables with some onion before layering them over the fish in a casserole, and then baked it at 350F for about fifteen minutes.  We probably could have gotten away with a minute or two less - but this all depends on the size of the fish.

We also had a special dessert tonight: a red currant tart, cooked in the brand new ramekins we acquired thanks to Giselle's end-of-law-school Westlaw Points redemption extravaganza.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/30/10

Today's supplement, from the Union Square Wednesday greenmarket: eggs, three whole rainbow trout, sweet yellow and purple peppers, green and purple long beans (!), red raspberries, black raspberries, and red sweet cherries.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday: Spaghetti alla carbonara....sort of

"Spaghetti alla carbonara" with summer squash.

This recipe, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, substitutes summer squash and an onion for the bacon or pancetta that gives spaghetti alla carbonara its artery-clogging goodness. Never fear, cholesterol lovers: this recipe still calls for some eggs and Parmesan, so we trust it's not TOO healthy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday: Re-Roti


Warm black-eyed pea and golden chard salad, served with roti.

Elizabeth Schneider's Vegetables: From Amaranth to Zucchini attributes this recipe to Cyprus.  Chard leaves and stems are just simmered briefly and tossed with black-eyed peas, lemon juice, and olive oil.  We were enamored of the roti we made on Friday (why haven't we made it in so long??) so we made another short stack.  Roti is really not that hard:


Put 1 cup whole wheat flour into a bowl, and slowly add up to 1/2 cup water, mixing until the dough adheres and you can knead it.  Knead 7-8 minutes.  Then roll into a ball, put it back in the bowl, and cover with a damp cloth.  Leave it there for 1/2 hour to 3 hours.

Put a cast iron skillet on a medium flame to let it heat up.  Meanwhile, knead the dough again and then divide it into eight balls.  Roll each one out on a floured board until it's about five inches in diameter (it should be pretty thin).  Then place each roti directly on the skillet and within about 30 seconds it should start to puff up.  If this doesn't happen, the griddle probably isn't hot enough yet.  Flip the roti and let the other side cook about 30 seconds again.  Remove and gorge.

PS: this recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's Invitation to Indian Cooking, is technically for "chapati."  But that is apparently the same as roti.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/26/10

golden chard
Treviso radicchio
Rocambole garlic

sweet cherries
black raspberries
purple gooseberries
red currants

milk from Milk Thistle Farm
chocolate milk from Milk Thistle Farm

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday: Caldo Verde


Caldo verde, made with lamb's quarters.

"Caldo verde" is a Goan, Portuguese-influenced dish, which calls for kale along with the potatoes, but here we substituted lamb's quarters instead.  You basically simmer the vegetables together for a long time and then puree - the only seasoning is onion and a huge amount of garlic.  It had a very thick, viscous texture because of the starch of the new potatoes.

We also made fresh roti - an unleavened flat bread, cooked on a cast-iron skillet - as an accompaniment.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday: Barley salad

Pearl barley salad with summer squash and almonds.

This tasty grain salad actually included two types of summer squash: some left-over Cousas, as well as the shiny green "avocado" squash.  You can see the distinctly yellow flesh of the avocado squash in the picture above.  Up until now, we had really only used barley in soups, but we thought its chewy texture was nice here punctuated by crunchy red onions and toasted almonds.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/24/10

Today's supplement from the Columbia greenmarket: fava beans, "avocado" (or "Korean") squash, whole wheat sourdough bread from Buon Pane, milk and yogurt from Ronnybrook Farm, red sweet cherries and blueberries.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday: "Snow" peas?? In the middle of June? Take that, Al Gore!


 Stir-fry of purple snow peas, carrots, crimini mushroom and tofu, served over rice.

If you have vegetable odds and ends on hand, a stir fry is usually within reach.  We actually bought these beautiful purple snow peas in contemplation of a stir fry, so we picked up some mushrooms as well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday: Summer squash for a summer night

Yogurt with cousa squash.

In this World of the East recipe, Madhur Jaffrey directs you to cook shredded summer squash with onion and mustard seeds, and then stir the mixture into yogurt.  It's a bit like a large raita or a yogurt and cucumber soup - appropriate for a very hot day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday: Simmered flounder and kohlrabi

Simmered flounder with sauteed kohlrabi shreds and white rice.

This fish recipe comes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, although it was intended for a whole fish rather than a fillet.  Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar are brought to boil in a shallow skillet, then lowered to a simmer and the fish is added and cooked for ten minutes.  For the simplicity of the recipe, we actually thought this fish turned out beautifully - simmering on only one side of the fillet produced a pleasant "crust" of strong flavor.  The shredded kohlabi was just sauteed with a little ginger to serve as a crunchy foil.  It would probably have been a bit plain on its own, but it went well with the strongly sesame-flavored fish.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/20/10

A small supplement from the Columbia greenmarket: flounder from Pura Vida, strawberries, and purple kohlrabi.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday lunch: Saag story

Saag and hulled moong dal, served with basmati rice.
We're a little shocked that we haven't made saag for an entire year, since it's a classic and one of our favorite comfort foods.  It can take many forms: made with spinach (as we did here) or some other local greens; pureed or merely cooked down to a soft texture; studded with paneer, meat, or something more unconventional, like tofu.  This spinach had a particularly deep, rich flavor - it seemed to be a different variety than the usual one you find in salad mixes, as it had slightly lance-shaped, angular leaves.
Dessert was this beautiful bowl of black raspberries (not the same as blackberries), which are so soft and easily ruined in transit that they are hard to find in grocery stores, but are widely available at the farmer's market during this season:

Farmer's Market Haul, 6/19/10

lamb's quarters
red snow peas
new potatoes
multicolored carrots
Cousa squash
crimini mushrooms

black raspberries
Queen Anne cherries

milk from Milk Thistle Farm
yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
Russian Olive honey (apparently similar in taste to Tupelo honey, which is only made in Georgia and Florida)
more beeswax lip balm (good stuff!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/17/10

From the Columbia greenmarket: spinach, shelling peas, and cherries.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday: Twist and trout


Puntarella salad with smoked trout and lemon juice, served over quinoa.

We spiced up our normal puntarella salad by substituting smoked trout for the usual anchovy.  This truly delicious trout from Max Creek Hatchery comes in the form of a whole fish, which can be flaked into a salad or eaten over toast.  We highly recommend it to our New York readers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday: Mind your p(ea shoot)s and q(uiche)s


Pea shoot quiche.

You can make a quiche approximate a balanced meal by adding in a generous quantity of greens, as we did here.  You may want to precook any greens that will release liquid, so that they don't change the baking time.  Same goes for frittatas.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/9/10

Mini-supplement from Union Square Wednesday: cherries, eggs, and one packaged whole smoked trout from Max Creek Hatchery.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday: Gingery watercress-topped tofu


Gingery wild watercress-topped tofu.

This recipe comes from Elizabeth Schneider's Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini:  we simmered tofu slices in a mixture of dashi, soy sauce and sesame oil, and then set the tofu aside.  The cresses were tossed in a bowl with cornstarch and a little sugar, and then added to a skillet in which we had already fried ginger and scallion.  Finally we added the stock back in and allowed it to thicken, adding sesame seeds as a final touch.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday: Pea is for porgy


Pan-fried porgy, served with peas with mint.  

Fresh shelling peas are a refreshing treat at this time of year - they don't need much other than a very brief saute in butter, and here we added some fresh spearmint and a little sugar to play up their sweetness.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/6/10

Supplement from the Columbia market: porgy from Pura Vida Fisheries.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday: The other "C" word

Delfino cilantro pesto.

As we mentioned previously, we recently learned that the original pesto may in fact have been cilantro rather than basil.  When we picked up this lacy varietal of cilantro, we decided we'd try taking pesto back to its roots.

Otherwise, this is just a standard pesto with Parmesan, garlic, walnuts and a generous amount of olive oil.  Despite her cilantrophobia, Lizz gave this dish her seal of approval.

Farmer's Market Haul, 6/5/10

pea shoots
Delfino cilantro
kentucky spearmint
garlic scapes


milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday: An oldie but a goodie

Cucumber-purslane salad with chickpeas and pink radish. 
This is our first purslane of the season - we like to make this cool salad with it, dressed in some lemon juice and olive oil.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/4/10

From the Union Square market: wild watercress, shelling peas, and San Francisco sourdough bread.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday: Jackson Pollock soup

Chilled sorrel and spinach soup (with a little drizzled yogurt).

For this recipe, the greens are simmered together for about five minutes:

The sorrel turned a pretty olive-green color after a few minutes in the pot.

When the greens are soft, they are pureed.  Finally, the soup is reheated and thickened with a little cornstarch, and flavored with some nutmeg, lemon juice and a little zest.  As you can see above, we "decoratively" drizzled in a bit of yogurt to serve.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/3/10

Today's supplement: spinach, purslane, "burpless" cucumbers, eggs and cheddar cheese from Millport Dairy, milk and yogurt from Ronnybrook Farm, and strawberries.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday: Udon and fishballs


Sardine "meatball" soup with pink Asian radish, mibuna and udon noodles.

We found this recipe for a noodle soup with mibuna, which is apparently a characteristic vegetable of Kyoto, Japan.  The meatballs are made of chopped sardine (we used tinned, but fresh would probably have produced a better texture), flour, miso paste and ginger.  The vegetables are simmered in a dashi broth, and then the "meatballs" are added and simmered until they are warmed through.  The soup broth is finally flavored with a bit more miso.

Dashi is one of the basic ingredients in Japanese cuisine - it is a stock made of simmered seaweed and bonito fish flakes.  We purchased an "instant" dried dashi powder to save a little labor, but one of these days we should probably invest in the real ingredients.  For what it's worth, we had been making miso soup for years with just miso paste added to the water, and it REALLY is better with the dashi.