Tag Archive | cilantro

August 3 weekly menu | summer table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, cilantro, corn, jalapeño, lettuce, mixed gourmet greens, potatoes, poblano peppers, sweet onion, red onion, tomatillos, tomatoes, zucchini

What’s for Dinner?

I’m absolutely loving my new summer CSA, Gathering Together Farm! The hidden agenda behind finding this gem of a veggie-grower had everything to do with a weekly trip to the wonderful Wednesday downtown farmer’s market. I hope many of you have discovered this virtual feast for the senses at Shemanski Park. When the first layer of my box this week revealed itself as a collage of cilantro, jalapeños, poblano peppers, and various types of onions, I knew I was in business for some serious Mexican meals! The large and fragrant bunch of farm fresh cilantro will come in quite handy in my belated National Tequila Day tribute, as well as in trying my hand at those famous Pok Pok Thai wings! The rest of the week is typical summer at its freshest and finest.

Wednesday –  nat’l tequila day (observed)

strawberry margaritas (Food Network)

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

Thursday – summer risotto

gourmet greens salad
risotto, with corn, tomatoes, & basil (Fine Cooking)
grilled salmon

Friday – pok pok inspired

thai tomato salad (Andy Ricker, The Wanderlust Kitchen)
hot wings with peanuts and cilantro (Andy Ricker, Epicurious)
coconut rice (Andy Ricker, Bon Appetite)

Saturday – gazpacho to share

classic gazpacho (Mark Bittman, New York Times)

Sunday – mexican, take #2

beans ‘n greens burritos (Mark Bittman, Food Matters)
tomatillo sauce (Food Network)

Monday – summer soup

quinoa chowder (Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

Tuesday –  sammie night

crudites, chips, &  sweet onion dip (Martha Stewart)
grilled summer squash & brie sandwiches (Whole Foods Market)

____________________________________________________

Wednesday nat’l tequila day (observed)

strawberry margaritas (Food Network)

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

Fresh cilantro, with the root and full stems attached, is a special treat. More vibrant, fragrant, and longer-lasting than store-bought cilantro, there are just so many uses. And just in time for a just-a-bit-late celebration of national tequila day! I’ll hit Mexican first this week, with this 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. In this recipe, I have had better success if I roast and peel the beets first…cook until they are just barely tender. Then proceed with the recipe,  roasting them along with the chiles. 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 chopped 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 (and for added kick, a chopped canned chipotle with a bit of sauce!). 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 for sampling an array of summer salsas while you sip a fresh, summer fruity margarita.

Thursday –  summer risotto

gourmet greens salad
risotto, with corn, tomatoes, & basil (Fine Cooking)
grilled salmon

I tend to forget about risotto during the summer months, maybe because of the stovetop time often required to get a just-right consistency. But, after seeing a version of this oh-so seasonal risotto on the Paley’s Place menu recently (darn, I was just there for fries and a cocktail!), I was questioning why I didn’t place it in my summertime repertoire! It really amounts to less than half an hour. I’ll use lots of my farm fresh corn, onions, tomatoes (of any kind!) and basil. The tomatoes and basil get combined sort of salad-like, then mixed in at the end to keep the tomatoes intact. Grill some fresh Pacific Northwest salmon, and your meal is complete. Just lightly brush with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs after cooking. Add the simplest of salads with mixed gourmet greens sprinkled lightly with red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Friday –   pok pok inspired

thai tomato salad (Andy Ricker, The Wanderlust Kitchen)
hot wings with peanut and cilantro (Andy Ricker, Epicurious)
coconut rice (Andy Ricker, Bon Appetite)

Truth be told, I’m headed to a mid-summer concert at the Oregon Zoo this night. I was disappointed to learn that they’d changed their “picnic rules”, now not allowing any outside food to be brought in. This was bad news for my use-all-the-veggies-you-can-every-night mission! The silver lining, I discovered, is that the zoo has recruited many local Portland restaurants and food carts to these concerts. And Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok is among them! I’m not sure what the offering will be there, but rest assured it will be out of this world Thai street food, and will surely include his famous hot wings. With my loads of cilantro and jalapeño this week, I’ll just have to squeeze this experiment in at home. In this version, there’s no messy frying…just quick roasting in a very hot oven. They are drizzled with a sweet and savory glaze, and rolled in a crunchy, spicy topping. A simple and seasonal accompaniment is this Thai tomato salad – minimal ingredients, featuring summer’s finest tomatoes, and bursting with flavors of lime, cilantro, chiles, and that undeniable Thai fish sauce. Some simple coconut rice will round out the meal nicely!

Saturday – gazpacho to share

classic gazpacho (Mark Bittman, New York Times)

Invited to a casual summer gathering, I’ve decided to bring all that represents simple, fresh, and straight-from-the-farm flavors…gazpacho.  If you’re selective about your recipe, and don’t get all fussy about tomato peels, seeds, etc., it’s a snap to make. All the ingredients, straight into the blender or food processor, chill, and garnish! In this Mark Bittman recipe, he fusses over nothing, tossing the whole veggies in the processor. Use day-old, crustless bread, and salt to taste. I’ll offer small bowls of chopped cucumber, red onion, and croutons for people to embellish their own. Summer at it’s finest!

Sunday – mexican, take #2

beans ‘n greens burritos (Mark Bittman, Food Matters)
tomatillo sauce (Food Network)

This is one of those very basic recipes that lends itself to all sorts of whims and wishes.  I’m short on sturdy greens this week (what?!?) so I’ll make my own veggie burrito concoction: poblano peppers, carrots, and onions. Slice them all thinly, drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake in a hot oven until lightly browned. This makes for a scrumptious Mexican combination. The goal is to end up with enough to stuff at least four of those giant tortillas wrapped up in a nice burrito package.  I’ll surely have chicken left from the week’s first go-around of Mexican, so anyone feels like going non-vegetarian, they can have at it. Finally, add whatever type of bean strikes your fancy.   A very special treat in this week’s veggie basket was tomatillos. Roasted and pureed, there’s nothing better in a fresh salsa or sauce. Add some chopped cilantro and red onion to the table for a wonderful garnishment.

Monday – summer soup

quinoa chowder (Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

With rain in the forecast, I thought it a good time to whip up a summer comfort. This is a unique quinoa recipe, in a light soup, rather than the traditional salad. I’ll double the recipe, knowing it will be a welcome lunchtime treat as well. This week’s potatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, and red torpedo onion (I’ll replace for scallions) have a perfect home in this ultra flavorful combination, only enhanced with pungent ground cumin.  Near the end of cooking, I would be inclined to mix in any thinly chopped green that I had on hand. Pass crumbled feta cheese, as well as chopped cilantro and hard boiled egg, at the table for diners to garnish their own chowder bowl.

Tuesday – sammie night

crudites, chips, &  sweet onion dip (Martha Stewart)
grilled summer squash & brie sandwiches (Whole Foods Market)

My sammie night as switched to Tuesdays, as it’s the perfect catch-all meal for those veggies still lingering in the refrigerator. I have real motivation to make room for Wednesday’s market hall! For dinner, what a great use for more of our zucchini (or summer squash of any type) – sandwiches! Use some thick slices of hearty bread, and the only work involved in this dinner is standing at the grill for a few minutes to lightly garlic & brown it, as well as the zucchini. Everyone can make their open-faced sandwich how they want it…brie, fontina, chèvre to start, getting it just a little melty. Then our squash, tomatoes, and whatever thinly sliced farm fresh greens you have. With a platter of farm fresh crudites (cucumbers, mini tomatoes from my yard, and whatever else my crisper offers up) to dip in this easy and crowd-pleasing onion dip, we’re set. Oh, and of course, a bag of Kettle Chips. Because, really, what is onion dip without just a few potato chips?

“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.

The WordPress.com Blog

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

%d bloggers like this: