As the week progressed and we gradually started to see the back of the refrigerator, the weather was still a blistering 90 degrees and humid. This presented a challenge for using up certain vegetables. For instance, we had a dire need to find a purpose for three enormous heads of cauliflower, but the dishes we were interested in cooking all involved turning on an oven, frying them in hot oil, or slathering them in cheese—all of which sounded terrible given the temperature outside. We decided to save the cauliflower for when it cooled off, and hoped they wouldn’t be sitting in the refrigerator until October.
There were still any number of other vegetables to be used up, including a cucumber, some broccoli, green beans, and potatoes, and various types of onions. We also still had sour cherries. It was so hot that no food sounded particularly appealing, but I decided that if I was going to eat at all it was probably going to be a cold soup. We found an avocado and cucumber soup on Serious Eats which was perfect for our purposes.
Avocado and Cucumber Soup
- Take 1 avocado, 1 diced cucumber, 2 chopped tomatillos, 1/4 cup of onion, 1 small seeded (or not…) serrano, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of water and blitz them in a food processor. Put 2 teaspoons of cilantro on top.
CSA vegetables used: cucumber, white onion
Other ingredients used: avocado, tomatillos, 1 serrano chile, salt, water, cilantro
Grilled Chicken and Green Bean Salad
Next up were the green beans. Andrew found a recipe for grilled green beans from Serious Eats, and we decided to make it along with a grilled chicken. Andrew made a miso chicken and we grilled the green beans, tossed them with thin sliced red bell pepper, and slathered them in a miso dressing. The miso dressing was made from 3 TB dark brown sugar, 2 TB soy sauce, 2 TB white miso, 1 TB rice vinegar, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/4 tsp ground white pepper.
CSA vegetables used: green beans
Other ingredients used: chicken, red peppers, rice, miso, brown sugar, white miso, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, white pepper
Having broken the rules and tentatively waded back into Ottolenghi with last week’s kohlrabi recipe without any dire consequences, we were primed to do it again. Andrew tentatively suggested Ottolenghi’s Surprise Tatin for the potatoes, and I took one look at the artful and lovely picture of the finished product and latched on to the idea. We had all sorts of other rationalizations, including: once we make this, it’ll be great to have leftovers. Also: it only has nine ingredients, so how long could it take? The answer turned out to be all of Andrew’s afternoon, not to mention trips to multiple grocery stories attempting to locate the correct type of puff pastry.
- Halve the tomatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put them in a 275 degree oven for 45 minutes until they are nice and dry.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 25 minutes and cut them into 1-inch thick disks.
- Saute the onions with oil and some salt for 10 minutes.
- Now it gets fun. Brush a 9-inch cake pan with oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Cook the 3 TB sugar and 2 TB butter on high heat until it’s caramelized. Pour the caramel into the cake pan and tilt it around so that it covers the bottom. Scatter 3 sprigs worth of oregano leaves on the bottom.
- Lay the potato slices close together at the bottom of the pan, cut side down. At this point, Andrew discovered that 1 LB of potatoes was not enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and had to return to step 2 and repeat.
- In the little gaps between the tomatoes, tuck in the onions and tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 5 oz of goat cheese, cut into slices and scattered over the top.
- Puff pastry time. Cut a disc of puff pastry 1 inch larger than the dimeter of the pan. Lay it over the tart and tuck in the edges down around the potatoes.
- At this point, if you’re exhausted and angry at the author, you can put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours and eat it later.
- Once it’s time to eat, bake the tatin in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and cook another 15 minutes. Then you remove it and let it sit for 2 minutes EXACTLY.
- This is the best part! Pull it out of the oven and stick an upside down plate on top. Now you “carefully but briskly” flip it over onto the plate and remove the pan.
CSA vegetables used: onions, potatoes
Other ingredients used: cherry tomatoes, sugar, butter, oregano, puff pastry sheets, goat cheese, salt, pepper.
As the most festive meal of the week, it seemed only fitting to cook a sour cherry pie to go along with the Surpise Tatin. Andrew has recently become enamored the baking column in Serious Eats written by Stella Parks, who goes by the pen name Bravetart. She had an old-fashioned dough recipe that he decided to try in place of his usual pie dough.
- Whisk together 8 ounces of flour, 1/2 ounce of sugar, and 4 grams of salt together in a bowl. Cut 2 sticks of butter into little 1/4 inch chunks and mix it all around. Then smoosh the butter with your fingers. Add 4 ounces of cold water.
- Roll the dough out into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle. Now you fold it up in a super complicated way that’s hard to get into without diagrams.
- Now you can roll it out and make a pie!
- To make the filling, take 2 lbs of pitted sour cherries, 1 ounce of lemon juice, 7 ounces of sugar, 3/4 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 1 1/2 ounces of tapioca starch and mix it together with a spatula. Pour it into the pie shell.
- Whisk 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 ounce of heavy cream, and a pinch of salt together and brush on top of the pie.
- Bake the pie in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees. Cover it loosely with silver foil and then bake another 15 minutes.
- The pie will have to cool pretty considerably before it solidifies enough to eat.
CSA vegetables used: sour cherries
Other ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, butter, lemon juices, tapioca starch, egg, heavy cream.
After a weekend that involved baking both a tatin and a pie, the next night we were looking for something that required little to no effort to cook. We found it in the form of this Serious Eats recipe, and once again pulled out the wok to stir-fry on the grill.
Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli and Oyster Sauce
- Take 1 LB of hanger steak, cut into 1/4 inch strips, 1 TB soy sauce, and 1 TB xiaoshing wine and combine in a bowl. Let marinade for a couple of hours in the refrigerator
- Combine another 1/4 cup of soy sauce, with 2 tsp corn starch and mix it all around. Add another 1/4 cup of xiaoshing wine, 1/3 cup of chicken stock, 1/4 cup of oyster sauce, 1 TB sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil.
- Mix 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, and 3 scallions in a bowl and set aside.
- Cut the broccoli into florets.
- Once the coals are good, start stir-frying. Beef goes in first, and is cooked for about 1 minute and then gets dumped in a bowl. Next in goes the broccoli, followed by the the garlic/ginger/scallion mixture and the sauce. At the end, the beef goes back in and everything gets stir-fried together.
CSA vegetables used: broccoli, spring onions
Other ingredients used: 1 lb hanger steak, soy sauce, xiaoshing wine, corn starch, chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger.
Next: Field Report, Weeks 5 & 6