Monday, August 12, 2013

Locavores CSA, August 12, 2013

What's in the box?
Mill Creek Red Onions, Garlic of Kazakhstan,  Zukes and cukes, - last of, Naked Ned Kelly Squash, Peppers - all mild EXCEPT - Aji Amarillo (small and yellow and HOT), Eggplant, Potatoes,  Tomatillos, green beans, grapes, some parsnips, some beets, and tomatoes.

This weeks special gift - yet another kind of relish and dried tomatoes.


Also the first melons and a few okra came out of the field and into your boxes.   A few of you even got flowers.

Naked Ned Kelly Squash

This was bred by my good friend Ray of Australia.  Ned Kelly is a folk hero in Oz.  Go ahead look him up.  This has one TOUGH shell, so be careful cutting it.  Tastes lovely with a texture like sweet potatoes and the green seeds inside are Nearly Naked.  They are lovely roasted.  Put them in a dry frying pan, salt them and let them brown, stirring every now and them.  Don't let them burn.  I'm pretty sure Ray named this squash after Ned, because the skin is like armor.    We had ours roasted with nutmeg, salt and butter.  It was soo good that I'm going to eat another.  But this time, I have to save the seeds.  Those of you who are new this year, probably don't know that Leo Loves Naked Pumpkin Seeds.  The non-naked ones are like chewing pine cones.

I will come back and finish this post.  I just wanted to get it up before someone stuck one of those yellow Aji Amarillo's in their mouth.

More later.

Okay, I'm back  Tomatoes are coming in like gangbusters, so just as I'm out of cukes to make more pickles with, it's sauce season.  This year in the tomato genre I'm also going to try a new bruschetta recipe and of course salsa.  

Now that the grapes are here, I'm sure jelly is just around the corner.  This year I want to make a pepper jelly.  I've identified just the right pepper. 

Huancaína (wan-kay-eena) sauce/ Spicy Cheese Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 yellow aji amarillo chile peppers 
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 cups white farmer's cheese (queso freso)
  • 4 saltine crackers
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Remove seeds from yellow chile peppers and chop into 1 inch pieces.  Wear gloves and do not stick your finger in your eye! 
  2. Sauté onion, garlic, and chile peppers (okay, one chili is for wimps, I'm a wimp) in the oil until onion is softened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Place onion/chile mixture in a food processor or blender. Add evaporated milk and blend.
  4. Add cheese and crackers and blend until smooth. Sauce should be fairly thick. Thicken sauce with more saltines or thin sauce with milk if necessary.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
In South America they serve this on potatoes.  But I think this has nachos written all over it.  Bring on the guacamole.

Last week when we were at the library, Leo and I always cruise the new non-fiction stuff, and they had some cool new cookbooks.  I am always looking for new recipes and they had a pretty interesting Polish Cookbook and I brought home 2 new jam/jelly/syrup books AND a Jewish cookbook, as well as a dozen other interesting specimens.  I highly recommend the Field Guide to Radiation...very informative.

Anyway The New Jewish Table by the Gray's of Equinox Restaurant is really fun and last night I found a recipe for a lighter version of Ratatouille.  I'm a fiend for eggplant.  So since I have the same box you do, I basically used almost all of it last night to make this:

Quick Summer Squash Ratatouille

2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut into medium dice
2 garlic cloves
1 small eggplant (okay so the eggplant wasn't very small), peeled and cubed (1 inch)
1 Zuke, cubed (1 inch)
1 Yellow Squash, cubed (1 inch)
1 bell pepper cored and chopped (I used one green and one mini-red)
2 C. V-8 Juice (I used 1 cup of leftover spaghetti sauce with 1 cup vege broth)
1 T. Fresh Thyme (chopped)
2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 c. grated Gruyere...I didn't have any so I used 1 c. of grated parmesan cheese
garlic bread or garlic toast

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet I used a cast iron, you need a lid! Over medium heat stir in the onions  and garlic, cook 2 minutes until shiny.  Stir in the eggplant, cook for 3 minuets.  Stir in the squashes and peppers and tomatoes and cook 3-5 minutes till they are softened.  Add the juice and thyme, bring to a simmer.  Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.  Spoon over baked garlic bread or garlic toast, sprinkle with cheese and put it under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes till it's lightly browned.

Now, I was also out of bread, yes the baker did not show up to work this week, she was off canning.  So, I added 2 chopped potatoes just before bringing the whole thing to a simmer.  I topped it with cheese and served it as a side dish.  I think this would also be a great main dish if you added cooked Italian Sausages to it.  Actually the baker was fooling around with peach upside down cake, and Polish Cherry Cake. 

And now I'm going to go make a mini pizza and spoon ratatouille on top for lunch.  Yeah, Eggplant, it's what's for dinner.

Dinner and a movie?  $2.99 to rent at Amazon.  Have a nice week.  

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