Week 7: The Calm Before the Corn

The Week 7 box arrived at a moment in the summer crop cycle where it’s easy to become lured into a false sense of security. Spring is over and the massive quantities of leafy greens have dropped off, and the summer vegetables have started to arrive, but they are still cute and tiny. This week we had broccoli, cauliflower, baby Yukon potatoes, bok choy, red beets, carrots, raspberries, blueberries, summer squash, and English peas.

However, I was wary. I knew those beets and broccoli were only going to get bigger. In fact, there was likely a Napa cabbage sitting in the field right now with our name on it, growing larger and larger by the day, until it would at last break free and take up residence on the entire bottom shelf of our refrigerator.

We had made a curry pretty recently and neither of us exactly felt like it, but when I came across this recipe for Aloo Gobhi in Serious Eats that used the potatoes, the cauliflower, the peas, the carrots, and the onions, I couldn’t help myself.  Using 5 CSA vegetables in one dish is about as good as you can do without resorting to the black arts (or buying a $500 juicer).

Aloo Ghobi

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First, you make the masala. It’s 1 TB grated ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, a handful of cilantro, 1 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, a pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of cloves. You pour in a half a cup of water and puree it until it’s smooth.

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Next, you add 1 TB canola oil to a skillet and set it over medium heat. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Cook it for about a minute, and then add 1 thinly sliced onion and cook for another 8 minutes.

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Once the onions are soft, turn the heat up a bit and add a can of diced tomatoes (these were supposed to be fresh tomatoes, but we didn’t have any and I wasn’t about to buy any when we were about to be up to our ears in tomatoes). Then comes a handful of potatoes and some carrots. This cooks for 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are soft.

Once the potatoes are soft (it was closer to 25 minutes for me), the masala mixture goes in to the skillet along with 1/2 cup water and some cauliflower. Turn the heat to low and simmer for a while. At the very end, the peas and a handful of cilantro go in.

I ate it over rice with yogurt, and we had a giant container of leftovers for the next four days too.

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CSA ingredients used: cauliflower, peas, potatoes, onions, carrots

Other ingredients used: garlic, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, mustard seeds, a can of tomatoes.

With the next few night’s dinners taken care of, I decided to try to do something with the leftover currants from the previous week. In the index of the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, I found exactly one entry for currants, in the form of Oat and Currant Scones.

It should be clear to any regular reader of this blog that our interest in food is purely epicurean and we would never purposefully cook something healthy.  However, we are fans of the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book. I don’t tend to enjoy particularly sweet desserts, but I’ve found that I enjoy most of the recipes in this book. The only downside is that after cooking from it for a bit, you have about 12 different types of flour in the house.

Oat and Currant Scones

Per usual, this recipe had a vaguely ridiculous ingredient list, but we had accumulated everything on it for some previous purpose. I assembled white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, buttermilk, old-fashioned rolled oats, milk, vanilla, sugar, and oat flour. Oat flour, it turns out, is oatmeal that you put in the food processor for 30 seconds.

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The bourbon was not part of the recipe.

To get started, you preheat the over to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together 3 ounces of white whole wheat flour, 3 1/8 ounces all-purpose flour, 1 5/8 ounces oat flour, 1 3/4 ounces sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut 1 stick of butter into it until the texture resembles bread crumbs.

Then you add the currants and the oats and stir it around gently, trying not to smoosh the currants up too much.

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Mix together an egg, 4 ounces of buttermilk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Pour it quickly into the dry mixture and stir it around a bit.

Dump the dough out on a floured work surface (more floured than my work surface would be recommended…) and knead it a few times. Divide it in half, and then pat each half into a disk that’s about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Divide each circle into 6 wedges.

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Transfer then to the baking sheet, brush the tops with milk, and sprinkle some coarse sugar on the top. Bake them until they’re puffy and golden brown, about 22 minutes.

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CSA ingredients used: currants

Other ingredients used: white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, an egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, milk

Stir-Fried Sesame Bok Choy

By the end of the week, we’d used up almost everything except the boy choy. We made it as a side to go along with country-style pork chops. This recipe is from the New York Times.

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Prep the bok choy by cutting it into 2-inch pieces. Combine 1/4 inch chicken broth, 1 TB rice wine, 2 tsp soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp cornstarch and set it aside.

Heat the wok (we’ve been doing this on the grill; directly on the coals) and stir-fry 3 garlic cloves and a 1 inch piece of ginger for 10 seconds. Then add the bok choy, sprinkle with some salt and some sugar, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook another minute, then sprinkle with 2 tsp of sesame seeds and serve.

 

CSA ingredients used: bok choy

Other ingredients used: sesame seeds, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, rice wine, chicken broth

Next: Here comes the corn!

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