january 16 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, cabbage, collard greens, leeks, mushrooms

What’s for Dinner?

People are always asking me, ‘What the heck do you get in your CSA in the winter?!?” Have I mentioned the wonderful winter fruit that arrives each week? SO many varieties of tasty local apples and pears. These are not what I plan my dinners around, certainly, but sure do make a nice fruit salad at breakfast, a perfect snack, and an every-day lunch box treat. Not to mention regular dinner-time additions to salads. And PIES! But the mainstay CSA delivery is lots and lots of those gorgeous veggies – sometimes a little less kale and a little more cabbage or chard; sometimes a little less beets and a little more parsnips or celeriac. But the great thing is, we never feel like we’re eating the same thing over and over again. The veggie combinations and preparations are endless. This week, with inspiration from the New Seasons Market Flyer, I’m tossing a dash of zesty citrus into each dinner…a little bit of a de-winterizer in these dark January days.

Friday – portland pizza ‘fest, plus

olympic provisions salamitillamook & rogue creamery cheese
sliced apple & pear
baguette

beet, arugula, lemon gorgonzola salad (Bon Appetit)

pizza sampling…apizza scholls, ken’s artisan, dove vive

ruby jewel ice cream

Saturday – get your vitamin C 

fish tacos with cabbage slaw (The Kitchn)

blood orange margaritas (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

Sunday – pie day prep

mushroom marsala pasta bake (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

key lime pie (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

Monday – collard greens, for the hal-ib-ut

collard greens mineira (Serious Eats)
halibut with lemon butter (Giadda De Laurentiis, Food Network)
baguette

Tuesday – a little taste of sunshine

creamy polenta with braised greens & mushrooms (Patch.com)
orange sage pork chops

Wednesday – cabbage & curry

green curry chicken and cabbage with lime (BBC Good Food)
white rice

Thursday – sammie night

roasted beet, goat cheese, & citrus panini (Williams Sonoma)

_____________________________________________________

Friday – portland pizza ‘fest, plus

olympic provisions salami, tillamook & rogue creamery cheese
sliced hood river apple & pear
baguette

beet, arugula, lemon gorgonzola salad (Bon Appetit)

pizza sampling…apizza schollsken’s artisandove vive

ruby jewel ice cream

When you have a visitor in town from the other side of the country, it’s hard not to want to show them what Portland is all about. In one full-meal-swoop. So we’re taking Pizza Night to the local experts (and fan favorites,) and take-out to the extreme. We’ll start with some local specialty salami and cheeses, served alongside the amazing baguette I received from my CSA this week. With some thinly sliced apple and pear, these appetizers couldn’t be easier (or more delicious!). The one item I will make is this beet salad with a lemony vinaigrette. I’m glad to buy a bunch of pre-washed arugula, as beets and arugula are a match made in heaven. We’ll pick up pizza from our three local favs, and ice cream from one of the Portland masters. As a winter special, they’ve got a chèvre with roasted tangerine flavor…fits right in with my January citrus blitz! Add some Oregon pinot gris or pinot noir…who would want to live anywhere else?!?

Saturday – get your vitamin C

fish tacos with cabbage slaw (The Kitchn)

blood orange margaritas (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

Everyone loves taco night, and it’s extra special when it’s fish taco night! My heads of cabbage this week steered me right in this direction. This cabbage slaw is simple; I’ll skip the carrot and use olive oil instead of mayo, probably doubling the oil and lime juice, as I’ve got a lot of cabbage! You can also be sure I’ll forgo any massage, drain, squeeze steps here. More work, minimal difference. For the fish, any flakey white variety will work. Although the lightly crisped fish that this recipe creates is definitely worthwhile, if you shy away from the flour dredging and pan-frying, just cook the seasoned fish (salt, pepper, smoked paprika) in a cast iron pan on the stovetop. And I couldn’t resist this margarita recipe, considering blood oranges are in winter abundance. Enjoy them while they’re here!

Sunday – pie day prep

mushroom marsala pasta bake (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

key lime pie (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

I love the author’s new battle cry: “Long Live the Casserole Rethought with Minimally Processed Ingredients!” Generally a brilliant dinnertime solution, casseroles are often one-pan (or I make them such), are rich and satisfying, and make great lunchtime leftovers. When I eyed my mountains of mushrooms this week, I knew the timing was perfect for this marsala pasta bake. My leeks will work nicely, substituted for the onion. Any fun twirly-shaped pasta is cooked in an intense and rich wild mushroom sauce, surrounded by melty mozzarella, and covered in a crispy parmesan lid. I’ll definitely use a baking dish here…transferring from stovetop to oven to table is a concept every home cook invites. While the pasta is baking, I’ll get the citrus into tonight’s dinner by making a key lime pie. In the depths of winter, the fresh lime flavor is nearly like a ray of tropical sunshine. This pie has so few ingredients (graham cracker crust, lime juice, condensed milk, and eggs are the basics) and so little cooking time (I’d call it barely baked) it’s the perfect pie to try your hand at. Practice makes perfect, and another chance is right around the corner, with National Pie Die less than a week away.

Monday – collard greens, for the hal-ib-ut

collard greens mineira (Serious Eats)
halibut with lemon butter (Giadda De Laurentiis, Food Network)
baguette

Collard greens stay fresh and bright in this mineira dish – collards cut into thin ribbons, then barely cooked in a beautiful bacon flavor – just until they are vivid green and slightly wilted. With a sprinkling of lemon juice at the end, this dish is lightly bitter, perfectly tangy, bacon-ey bliss! I spotted Alaskan halibut on special this week at New Seasons; whenever I do, I try to weave it into my weekly meal plan…it’s just too good (and healthy) to skip. I’ll make this fish Monday night simple by skipping the fried shallot rings and serving it with just the zesty lemon butter.

Tuesday – a little taste of sunshine

creamy polenta with braised greens & mushrooms (Patch.com)
orange sage pork chops

This is what happens when you belong to a CSA. You think you’re getting kale in your box based on the farm predictions, then lo and behold there’s many giant bunches of collard greens instead. You just roll with it, masterminding something to replace the kale and citrus salad you’d been dreaming of. This creamy polenta will do so nicely, and be a perfect side to the made-by-someone-else orange sage pork chops (pre-made at New Seasons this week – just pop them in the oven.) With Bob’s Red Mill instant polenta, this will not be the intensive cooking endeavor described. Whip up the polenta, forgetting any fancy mascarpone; sauté the mushrooms and set aside; in the same pan, braise the greens. Done!

Wednesday – cabbage & curry

green curry chicken & cabbage with lime  (BBC Good Food)
white rice

I’ve got some New Moon green curry paste that was a gift straight from Singapore. What I don’t have is the called for potatoes and green beans in this recipe. Instead, I’ll sauté up one of my heads of thinly sliced cabbage, set it aside, and proceed with the rest. Once the chicken is cooked in the green curry sauce, I’ll add back in the cabbage, garnish with lime zest, and serve over any favorite Asian style white rice.

Thursday – sammie night

roasted beet, goat cheese, & citrus panini (Williams Sonoma)

I’m going back to a tried-and-true at our house. I’ll modify this Williams Sonoma classic, using chèvre as the cheese choice this week, and adding thinly sliced oranges to round out our sensational citrus-ey week. Lots of bakeries will have a nice walnut bread, but any hearty country bread will do. Forget the mayo, sprinkle with a little balsamic & evoo instead. Sliced chicken would fit right in on these sammies as well.

“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.)

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