Archive | July 2013

July 26 weekly menu | summer table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, gourmet greens, lettuce, kale, onions, zucchini, turnips

What’s for Dinner?

Wow!  I received the four most mammoth Walla Walla sweet onions!  I can’t wait to put them to good use…on pizza, in dips, and yes, shaped like a ring (and not deep fried!).  And after some local Plate & Pitchfork fun this week, I’m inspired to try my hand at Korean…bibimbap!  If nothing else, it’s fun to say.  My table is overflowing with summer bounty…thank you Sauvie Island Organics!

Friday – grilled pizza fest

sweet onion pizza (Better Homes and Gardens)
gourmet greens with balsamic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, NYT)

Saturday – copy-cat Korean

pickled turnips (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 6 2012)
bibimbap – korean vegetable rice bowl (Gourmet)

Sunday –  raw genius

kale and raw veggie salad with goat cheese dressing (Vitaly Paley, Imperial)
grilled rib-eyes (Oprah)

Monday – mojito monday

blueberry mojito (New York Magazine)

roasted beet salad with red onion, poblano, & lime (Rick Bayless)
chicken, cilantro, & onion tacos

Tuesday – summer soup

carrot soup with cilantro cream (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog 2013 Wk. 9)
green salad (Ina Garten)
baguette

Wednesday –  sammies & chips

roasted beet, goat cheese, & avocado sandwiches (Serious Eats)
crudites & chips with sweet onion dip (Martha Stewart)

Thursday –  how sweet it is!

baked onion rings (Martha Stewart)
quinoa garden cakes (Whole Foods Market)
salad with peaches & feta (Cooking Light)

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Friday –   grilled pizza fest

sweet onion pizza (Better Homes and Gardens)
gourmet greens with balsamic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, NYT)

IMG_1084

Super fun, interactive, and delicious way to use those veggies –Pizza Night!  Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making. Friday is the perfect night for this, not only as an end-of-the-week celebration, but because I can literally pick and choose veggies off my table to top the pizzas!  This week, with these first Walla Walla sweets, I just have to make a simple caramelized onion pizza.  Add whatever else you like, but I guarantee it’ll be delicious even with just onions and a ricotta/mozzarella cheese combination.  I may add some sun dried tomatoes, and some oregano, basil, or parsley from the herb pots, but the sweet, farm fresh onions will star.  Given this heat, we’ll be grilling these outside, making four individual sized pies – two onions should be plenty for this.  This Serious Eats guide to grilled pizza seems pretty fool proof.  For a simpler version, grab your dough from Hot Lips, New Seasons, or nearly any favorite pizza place.  Add a simple green salad, and we’re set to kick off the weekend.

Other pizza combinations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
potato and rosemary 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper
shitake mushroom
leek, sundried tomato, and goat cheese
caramelized leek, mushroom and Italian sausage pizza
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 
pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and rosemary
dandelion greens, Italian sausage, and fontina cheese pizza
spinach and chive pizza
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
shaved asparagus & parmesan pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
fresh ricotta and red onion pizza

Saturday – copy-cat Korean

pickled carrots & turnips (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 6 2012)
bibimbap – korean vegetable rice bowl (Gourmet)

One of my very favorite summer events is an annual Plate & Pitchfork dinner.  It’s truly an amazing synthesis of local wine makers, chefs, and farmers; as the founder of the P&P states: “These fields are the foundation for the culinary collaborations that make Oregon healthy, sustainable, vibrant, and delicious.”  The vintners are masters of their craft, delivering a wide array of wines from our own Northwest grapes.  The chefs are truly in their element, having created an awe-inspiring menu with produce grown right where we sit.  And the farmers are literally right at home, the fields where they toil gorgeously surrounding us.  Every sip and bite at last week’s event was heavenly, but one dish just may stick with me forever.  It was masterfully created by chefs Johanna Ware from Smallwares, and Anthony Cafiero from Racion.  “Korean paella:  smoked halibut cheek, Gochujang sauce, steamed white rice, fried black rice, egg yolk with Maggi, charged and pickled blueberries, baby red onion,” perfectly pared with an Apolloni Vineyards Chardonnay.  Now normally, I’m pretty gung-ho, and will try to replicate just about anything (lots of flails, for sure).  I read this description, read it again, and one more time.  No way.  I was a bit overwhelmed at halibut cheek.  So, I’ll preserve the perfect memory, and instead just stay with the Korean theme, that has been so on my mind.  I’m going to make my first bibimbap!  I’ve heard of the dish before, but don’t think I understood that it was really just a Korean rice bowl featuring loads of seasonal veggies, a really yummy chili pepper sauce, and an egg.  I’ll use a bunch of my kale, instead of the spinach, carrots, zucchini, and some thinly julienned turnips (in place of mushrooms & sprouts).  I’m sensing that a key ingredient is the “gochujang” Korean hot pepper paste, and am confident I’ll find it in one of our many well-stocked markets – Uwajimaya for sure.  As a side, I’ll do the quick pickle on some carrots & turnips – these are really the best.  Salt, rice vinegar, and sugar – that, plus an hour of marinating, and you’ve got a delicious rendition of the yummy, crunchy salad served at many Asian restaurants.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a mandolin…by hand is fine.  So, unfortunately no Korean paella perfection, sitting amongst the berry bushes of Smith Berry Barn (from which the “charged and pickled blueberries” were garnered…).  But, on the plus side, my very first bibimbap – succeed or fail, it’ll be a home-cooked meal, inspired by amazing local talent and our good fortune of being surrounded by such abundance, with veggies freshly plucked from my own urban farm.

Sunday – raw genius

kale and raw veggie salad with goat cheese dressing (Vitaly Paley, Imperial)
grilled rib-eyes (Oprah)

The gorgeous lacinato kale this week reminded me of this amazing raw kale salad I stumbled upon once at Imperial restaurant in Portland.  I’ll try it with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo. The salad is brilliant – with kale as the base, it can so easily be seasonally modified to include many farm fresh favorites.  I’ll add carrots, zucchini, and maybe some grated raw beets.  I’m thinking the MagiMix (ultra-sonic food processor) is perfect for the job – shredded, grated, any small, thin version will work well coated with this divinely tangy goat cheese dressing.  Vitaly Paley was not a James Beard outstanding chef semifinalist for nothing! I think a super tasty accompaniment to a raw kale salad is a perfectly grilled steak.  I go back to this very simple marinade again and again – rosemary from the herb pot, and a delightful salty, sweet, and just a little bit spicy combo.

Monday –  mojito monday

blueberry mojito (New York Magazine)

roasted beet salad with red onion, poblano, & lime (Rick Bayless)
chicken, cilantro, & onion tacos

As Katherine describes wonderfully in the SIO farm blog, fresh cilantro with the root and full stems attached, is a special treat.  More vibrant, fresh, and longer-lasting than store-bought cilantro, there are just so many uses.  I go straight toward Mexican this week, with the Rick Bayless inspired beet salad.  Poblano chiles, manchego cheese, lime juice, cilantro…classic Mexican flavors that will take our beets deliciously in a south-of-the-border direction.  And some super simple tacos I go to again and again are these tasty minis, with the corn tortillas thrown on the grill to get them just a bit browned.  Saute lots of garlic and onion in some olive oil, then mix in some shredded chicken from a made-by-someone else roaster.  When everything’s hot, stir in a good bunch of chopped cilantro.  At the table, I just let people fill their own tacos with this yummy chicken/onion/cilantro mixture, some beans-of-choice from a can, and maybe a sprinkling of cotija Mexican cheese.  These tacos are really nothing like the traditional American version, stuffed to capacity, dripping with cheeses and sour cream – they are light and fresh and perfect minis for sampling an array of summer salsas while you sip a fresh and minty blueberry mojito!

Tuesday – summer soup

carrot soup with cilantro cream (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog 2013 Wk. 9)
green salad (Ina Garten)
baguette

Summer doesn’t really scream soup, but I do love to throw in a simple carrot soup occasionally.  It is just so very different from all of the autumn and winter soups that use carrots –   it is a gorgeous, vibrant orange color, and has an unmistakable, couldn’t-be-carrot-ier flavor.  I often make Alice Waters’ version, which I know has like two or three ingredients…mainly carrots.  This recipe posted by Katherine was reminiscent of this – farm fresh onions sauteed in butter, then the carrots with some veggie or chicken broth.  That’s it!  Cook, and puree with the magic immersion blender.  What’s going to make this one extra special is the addition of a dollop of cilantro cream!  Add a simple green salad, with a vinaigrette like this one from Ina.  Toss in whatever you have on hand or sounds good, but know that it’s probably just as good left alone, especially with greens, ultra flavorful and straight from the farm.  With a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside bakery baguette, we’re set for summer soup night.

Wednesday – sammies & chips

roasted beet, goat cheese, & avocado sandwiches (Serious Eats)
crudites & chips with sweet onion dip (Martha Stewart)

With our beets cooked and ready to roll, this sandwich night should be a breeze.  I’ll pick up a favorite bakery bread, and double the ingredients for four hungry sandwich eaters.  Slivered almonds add some crunchy and delicious protein, but there may be some of that chicken left from taco night.  If so, it would be right at home in these sammies as well.  With a platter of farm fresh crudites (carrots, turnips, cucumbers, & maybe even beets) to dip in this easy and crowd-pleasing onion dip, we’re set.  Oh, and of course, a bag of Ruffles.  Because, really, what is onion dip without just a few potato chips?

Thursday –  how sweet it is!

baked onion rings (Martha Stewart)
quinoa garden cakes (Whole Foods Market)
salad with peaches & feta (Cooking Light)

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned deep fried onion ring?!?  I love them!  And, I do make sure to visit Burgerville during their summer month or two of showcasing the local Walla Walla sweets, fried to golden (gargantuan) perfection.  It’s somehow different, and less guilt-inducing, if I don’t actually have to witness that deep fryer!  In fact, I often feel so blissfully unaware, I order them with a summer berry shake!  At home, I’m going to give this baked onion ring recipe by Martha a try.  In reading the reviews, I like the tip of separating the dry mixture into a few different bowls, so you don’t end up with a gloppy mess that you’re attempting to coat onions in. Martha calls for a mixture of flour and crushed cornflakes to dredge the rings in…sounds a bit odd, but I’ll give it a go.  Probably makes a nice crunch.  You could also use any combination of flour, bread crumbs, or panko (Japanese style bread crumbs).  And here we are at week three of homemade veggie burgers.  Last week’s Mark Bittman version, while simpler than the prior fava bean recipe, left me a bit bewildered.  The mixture was too thin and sticky to even contemplate patty-formation; I ended up heating a cast iron pan to HOT, oiling it well, dolloping in the veggie burger mix, flattening it out into shapes somewhat resembling patties, and then praying they wouldn’t stick.  Well, they did not stick, they did taste delicious, but my family offered me up the sage advice to never serve these to anyone I care to impress.  Not so pretty.  Oh well, try, try again.  This week, with these quinoa garden cakes.  With grated carrots, zucchini, and kale (I’ll substitute this for the spinach), they are the perfect pot pouri night meal.  Use what you’ve got left in the veggie drawer!  I’ll use the same cilantro-greek yogurt combination for the topper as I used for the carrot soup.  Add a quick green salad with some long-awaited plump, juicy peaches & farmer’s market cheese – I can assure you I’ll skip all of the fancy parts, just making a quick balsamic vinaigrette and using the peaches as is.  Hard to really improve on that!

“What the Kale?!?”

Don’t panic and get out the compost bin if all of the sudden you have a giant veggie delivery coming your way, and you still have a fridge full.  Here are a few suggestions for preserving the bounty!  (Soups and stews freeze wonderfully in those gallon zip lock freezer bags.)

Urban Farm Table

using your local bounty every day

Epicurious.com: New Recipes

using your local bounty every day

101 Cookbooks

using your local bounty every day

Cook With What You Have

Classes and resources for healthy, delicious, and quick meals

Sauvie Island Organics Farm Blog

using your local bounty every day

using your local bounty every day

Simply Recipes

using your local bounty every day

America's Test Kitchen

using your local bounty every day

smitten kitchen

Fearless cooking from a tiny NYC kitchen.

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The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

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