Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 8

Today was the first pickup we’ve had in the thunderstorm. Thank goodness for a storage shed nearby that we could use as a pickup location!

Here’s what we received this week:

  • Fennel – The licorice taste of fennel is great in a salad. I like to thinly shave it and toss with some lettuce, parsley, bell pepper, radishes, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can also braise it with stock and white wine, but I prefer it fresh.
  • CabbageHomemade sauerkraut.
  • Basil and tomatoesCaprese sounds pretty good in this hot weather.
  • Cucumbers – I already ate one with some salt tonight. I’m going to eat at least another one of these that way, too. One of my favorite snacks. The other two I’ll probably make into dill pickles.
  • Eggplant, pepper, onion, zucchini, and cilantro – I want to make a maqluba, a middle eastern chicken and rice dish. Dinner in an Instant has an Instant Pot version I’ve been wanting to try.
  • Lettuce, greens, and tomatoes – As always, salads! I’ll spice it up this week with the fennel above.

Delicata Squash Frittata

This weekend I had seven delicata squash in my fridge. I love roasting them and topping them with brown butter and sage, but we can only eat that so much. I needed another option, so I started brainstorming: How can I use this for breakfast?

When I started thinking about the other things we have in the fridge, it hit me: Make a frittata! We have bacon, eggs, greens (a mixture of two kinds of kale and rainbow chard), and peppers. If I roast the squash first, it will be nice and soft instead of crunchy.

Delicata is a pain to peel because of the ridges and the skin is completely edible, so I decided to slice it into rings, cut out the seeds, and roast them with olive oil for 20 minutes at 400F before putting them on top of the frittata just after I pour the eggs in the pan. Finish off with some pecorino at the very end and you are good to go.

What I Did With My CSA Shares: Weeks 15-20

I’ve been a slacker and let six weeks of CSA posts stack up. For most of that time I was traveling either during the week, on the weekend, or both, so I just snapped photos and resolved to post about it later. After driving up to the Peace and Carrots Farm (our CSA provider) today for their Harvest Fest, I decided that I shouldn’t wait any longer.

Week 15

We used all of this except the potatoes in a giant salad that we took with us on road trip up to Maine. We tossed in some grilled chicken and were on our way! When we came home a week later, we used the potatoes in a breakfast skillet.

Week 16

We missed week 16 because we were up in Maine on vacation. I’m sure the veggies were gorgeous as always!

Week 17

The day we got this share we had to drive to Ohio for a birthday party, so we took one of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkins, the shishitos, and the jalape√Īos to my parents.

The rest:

  • Celeriac – I peeled it, chopped it, and put it in a veggie soup a few weeks later.
  • Garlic – We put it in the pantry with our large garlic store for winter!
  • Bell peppers ūüĆ∂- We put these in a veggie soup and cut up some for a breakfast skillet a few weeks later.
  • Broccoli ūü•¶ – We tossed the florets with olive oil and roasted them at 400F for 15 minutes, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and pecorino cheese afterward.
  • Radishes – We sliced these up and put them on chorizo potato tacos ūüĆģ.
  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin – We intended to roast this and save it for pies, scones, and bread, but it started to rot before we could get to it ūüėĒ

Week 18

The day we got this share we drove to Virginia for a wedding, so this stuff was promptly put in the fridge for use the following week.

  • Tatsoi – I chopped this up and added it to a veggie soup the following week.
  • Delicata Squash – Roasted and topped with brown butter and fried sage.
  • Brussels Sprouts – I roasted them at 400F for 20 minutes with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Peas – I chopped these up and added them to a big pot of veggie soup.
  • Spinach – We froze this to use later this year with creamed spinach or chickpea, spinach, and ginger stew.
  • Carrots – Chopped up and put in the veggie soup.
  • Garlic – We put it in the pantry with the rest to use this winter

Week 19

  • Cabbage – Chopped up and put in a large veggie soup.
  • Fennel – Chopped in half and simmered in the veggie soup broth before all the veggies were added. It is also pretty good braised in chicken broth and eaten as a side, or shaved and put in a salad.
  • Garlic – Saved in the pantry.
  • Hot Peppers ūüĆ∂ – Chopped up in tacos and breakfast skillets.
  • Spinach – We froze this to use later this year with creamed spinach or chickpea, spinach, and ginger stew.
  • Celeriac – We saved this and it will most likely get chopped up for a soup.
  • Yellow sweet peppers – We added three of these in a breakfast skillet and will probably freeze the other one with some other leftover peppers.
  • Brussels Sprouts – We are going to roast these in a little olive oil for 20 minutes at 400F and season with salt and pepper.
  • Kale – We have a bunch of greens, so we’ll probably make a big batch of greens saut√©ed with garlic and bacon.

Week 20

  • Delicata Squash – Roasted and topped with brown butter and fried sage. Or roasted and pur√©ed into a vegetable mash.
  • Jerusalem Artichokes – These are tricky. I’ve only had them once before and I didn’t like how I prepared them (as part of a veggie mash). I talked to the farmer today and she prefers to roast them whole, so that is what I’ll probably try this time.
  • Turnips – I like them roasted and I like them diced up in veggie soup. I’ll probably do half and half.
  • Radishes – We are making flank steak tomorrow, so I might slice these and add them to a guacamole or I might make some radish slaw.
  • Turnip Greens – See below.
  • Lacinato Kale – I’ll probably take a bunch of greens I have in the fridge and saute them with garlic and bacon. Maybe some peppers, too. Though I could take this kale and make a quick breakfast with it.
  • Jalape√Īos – I’ll probably add this to some guacamole and add them to other dishes to give some heat.
  • Spinach – I’ll probably make creamed spinach later this week.
  • Sweet Peppers – We’ll use some of these in a breakfast skillet, but then we’ll chop up the rest and freeze them for this winter.
  • Celeriac – We already have one of these in the fridge right now, so I’ll probably peel this one, dice it up, and freeze it for soup.

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Weeks 12 and 13

Week 12

  • Heirloom¬†tomatoes: We sliced these up for caprese salad with mozzarella and basil.
  • Regular¬†tomatoes: We combined some of these with¬†tomatoes from previous weeks and canned them for winter.
  • Green peppers: We ate these in breakfast skillets.
  • Jalape√Īos: We cut these up to put in cauliflower fried rice.
  • Green tiger¬†tomatoes: We put these in the corn, tomato, basil and Old Bay salad.
  • Cherry¬†tomatoes and lettuce: Salad!
  • Garlic: We saved this for later in the year.

Week 13

  • Bok Choy: I’ll saute this with some garlic as a side dish or include it in my next stir fry.
  • Shishito peppers: I’ll roast these and eat them with salt!
  • Parsley: I’ll probably roast some¬†potatoes and toss them with parsley and butter.
  • Green Peppers:¬†I put most of these in a tomatillo albondigas soup. Post coming soon. We’ll cut up and freeze the rest.
  • Jalapenos: I put most of these in a tomatillo albondigas soup. Post coming soon.
  • Green tiger¬†tomatoes:¬†I put these into a soup with lentils and eggplant.
  • Regular¬†tomatoes: I put these into a soup with lentils and eggplant.
  • Watermelon: We’ll cut it up and savor the end of summer.

What I‚Äôm Doing With My CSA Shares: Weeks 10 and 11

Week 10

  • Green Beans: Putting 1/4 of them in cauliflower rice and the rest we’ll steam and toss with butter and garlic.
  • Potatoes: We turned these beauties into a breakfast skillet.
  • Tomatillos: We’ll probably turn these into either a salsa or a stew this weekend. We’ll see.
  • Green Peppers: We put one into tacos and another into the aforementioned breakfast skillet. The other two will probably go into salads.
  • Heirloom tomatoes: We turned one into a glorious BLT and the second into a caprese salad.
  • Regular tomatoes: I cut up one for a taco salad. The other two will probably go into regular salads.
  • Cherry tomatoes: I cut each of these in half and made a quick pasta sauce (which we ate with Banza chickpea pasta) with onions, garlic, and oregano.
  • Yellow Squash: I’ll probably cut this up and add it to a big salad for a Friday picnic.
  • Green chiles: I added a few of these to tacos so far. The rest might go in the tomatillo salsa or stew.

Here is the BLT and breakfast skillet:

 

Week 11

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  • Onions – We used one for a breakfast skillet with potatoes and another in cauliflower rice.
  • Hot peppers – There are three different types here: Jalapeno (left), shishito (middle), and some unknown long green chiles (right). We used the 4 shishito in cauliflower rice.
  • Green tiger tomato – We’ll either use this for another caprese salad, or perhaps roasting with some garlic for a simple side dish.
  • Green peppers – We used one in a breakfast skillet and another in cauliflower rice. I’ll use the other two for similar things.
  • Garlic – We’ll probably save this, use up the garlic we have, then use this. It is a hardneck variety, so it will last a while.
  • Tomatoes – We put one in a corn and tomato salad with Old Bay. We’ll put the others in salad or roast them.
  • Not pictured: A beautiful heirloom tomato, just like last week. We made it into another caprese salad with our apartment-grown basil.

Four Hot Sauces that are Better than Sriracha

I consume a lot of hot sauce. It is rare that one of my meals¬†doesn’t have some sort of hot sauce on it.

Frank’s Red Hot and Sriracha are good. Both are widely available and pretty tasty. I actually have a bottle of Frank’s in my fridge right now. I had some yesterday!

That said, there are better hot sauces available. Here are four that I keep on hand and regularly consume:

ABC Sambal Extra Hot Pedas

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This stuff is what Sriracha could be. It is pretty spicy and delightfully garlicy. It keeps you coming back for more, despite how much it makes you sweat from the heat.

My friend Dusty Gulleson. He grew up eating this stuff in Indonesia and now buys it a case at a time and gets it shipped here to the US. I won’t eat any sort of asian food without it. I also eat it with eggs, hotdogs, potatoes, and the cauliflower rice we like to make.

The cheapest place I can find to buy it in the US is IndoFoodStore.com. You can also buy it in 3, 6, and 12 packs on Amazon. I’ve seen three different labels, which is kind of strange. But I’ll overlook it because this stuff is SO GOOD.

 

Chiligods Green Pepper Sauce

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When Amanda and I were out in Sonoma last year, we stopped at a little spot for breakfast. On each table they had a bottle of this stuff. I put some on my omelet and I was a changed man. I’d never had a green sauce that had a flavor like this: Savory, tangy, slightly acidic, citrus overtones, and some light heat. I asked the waitress where I could buy some of this around town and we drove straight over to a store she mentioned. I bought the last bottle on the shelf.

You can buy some from Sunsweet. The shipping is a little pricey, but this stuff is worth having around. Everyone needs a good green sauce in their rotation. I use it on eggs, tamales, and carnitas.

 

El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Kutbil-ik Mayan Style Habanero

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You’ve probably seen little bottles of red or green El Yucateco at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Those are good, but they also make an even hotter and tastier version called XXXtra Hot Kutbil-ik. They say it is a Mayan-style recipe.

I always underestimate how how this stuff is and inevitably overdo it. It walks the line between flavor and overwhelming heat, but I think it ultimately lands on the flavor side. The fruity aspect of Habaneros come out in this. When I need to add a lot of heat to something, I reach for this. Spreading a little dab across a burrito is enough. I eat it most with Mexican food. It is particularly good with huevos rancheros.

This stuff is available at most grocery stores. Look for the little Mayan guy on the bottle so that you don’t accidentally pick up the wrong El Yucateco. You can also get it on Amazon.

 

Spicy Chili Crisp

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This is the least spicy condiment on the list, but it is an indispensible part of any good hot sauce collection. It is a lot more savory than spicy due to the shallots and soy beans, but it does have a little heat. It also has a delightfully crunchy texture.

My friend Janet Bufton¬†posted about it on Facebook back in the winter and I’ve gone through a couple jars already. I love it in vegetable soup (Sickie soup), with steamed or stirfried vegetables, and with dumplings. I have two heaping spoonfuls minimum every time I open the jar.

You can buy this on Amazon, too. Better get at least two jars because you’re gonna love it.

 


 

What is your favorite hot sauce? I love suggestions, so drop them in the comments.

 

Salsa Verde Revisited

I looked back at my salsa verde post from last year and decided I could improve it. I tend to only make it once a year because that is when I get a big bunch of tomatillos in my CSA share. That¬†doesn’t leave much room for rapid feedback loops, but let’s see what we can do.

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Last year’s version was all done on the stovetop. That is a fine method and gets the job done, but it relies heavily on the taste of the raw ingredients and doesn’t develop them very much. Surely we can do better.

If you don’t care about how something looks at the end, one of the best ways to develop a greater depth of flavor in veggies is to roast them. Salsa verde ends up getting pureed anyway, so the appearance of the tomatillos and peppers doesn’t matter.

I roasted this batch for an hour at 350F. Some of the juice from the tomatillos carmelized on the pan (which I scraped up, of course!) and both the tomatillos, onions, and peppers took on a sweeter, richer flavor. The garlic had the best transformation, though. Instead of the sharp, pungent flavor of raw garlic, roasted garlic has a gentle nutty caramel characteristic to it. There is nothing like it.

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I scraped all of this off the pan and then pureed it in the food processor with some fresh oregano out of one of the window pots.

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Last year’s recipe used fresh cilantro, but I¬†didn’t have any on-hand and I didn’t want to go to the store on Labor Day. Oregano definitely doesn’t have the same flavor as cilantro, but it is delicious of its own accord. Cilantro isn’t essential to salsa verde and I think organo¬†works well with onions, peppers, and lime juice, so I used it instead. I think it turned out wonderfully.

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Breakfast Skillets

Breakfast skillets are the “Weekend Special” here at the Grimmett Apartment. Simple and delicious.

Breakfast Skillet

  • 1/2 lb of bacon, chopped
  • 3-4 potatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the bacon and fry it in a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove it from the skillet when it is crispy, but retain the grease. Put in the diced potatoes and start frying them in the bacon grease, still on medium high heat. Flip them over after 10 minutes, turn the heat down to medium, and add in the onion and hot pepper. Fry for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the bacon back in and sprinkle the paprika, salt, and pepper over the top. Turn the heat up to medium high again and cook for another 8 minutes to crisp everything up.

I like to eat this with soft soft-scrambled eggs, but it is great on its own, too. Wash it all down with a strong cup of black coffee.

Bacondiced potatoespeppers and onions

Variations include:

  • Sausage instead of bacon
  • Tossing in veggies you have left in the fridge that you don’t know what to do with
  • Leeks or green onions instead of regular onions
  • Adding kale
  • Adding cumin for an entirely different flavor

Breakfast Skillet

Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash is my favorite diner food. Some days though, you just want to hang out in the comfort of your apartment instead of trudging down to your local diner. You can probably make this brunch¬†staple better at home, anyway. Let’s get started.

Corned Beef Hash

  • 1.5 Tbsp bacon fat
  • 4-5 potatoes, depending on size
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 hot pepper, diced
  • 1/2 lb cooked corned beef, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the bacon fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat (you can sub olive oil if you don’t have any). Wash and cut the potatoes into a small dice and add to the skillet. Leaving the skin on is fine. Fry until the potatoes are fairly brown (~15 minutes), then mix¬†the diced onions, diced pepper, and chopped corned beef into the skillet. Season with the salt, paprika, and black pepper. Turn up to medium high heat and cook another 8-10 minutes, only flipping everything once with a spatula so that everything starts to get crispy.

Corned beef hash is best served with over-easy or slow-poached eggs, but is great by itself, too. Wash it down with some quality coffee and you are well on your way to a good day.

Most of the time I make this with leftover corned beef. I can’t think of a better way to use it.¬†I’m particular to curing my own corned beef, which is much easier than you think. If you want to try curing it yourself, Michael Ruhlman’s recipe is the one I recommend. If you are using a store-bought corned beef, mix up a batch of Ruhlman’s pickling spice (also at that URL) to cook it in. Better spices make a world of difference.

All the fancy home curing aside, I’ve also been known to cook up a batch of hash with half of a leftover sandwich from Carnegie Deli. Use what you have on hand. That’s the Cook Like Chuck way.

Corned Beef Hash in a Cast Iron Skillet Corned Beef Hash in a Cast Iron Skillet