Saturday, August 11, 2007

Week 10, 11, and 12: On Vacation!

That's right, the Mister and I are skipping out on three weeks of CSA veggies to travel around Japan and sweet home California! Our share will be adopted by some neighborly friends while we're away.

Meet you back here for Week 13.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Enchiladas Suizas

Of course the salsa verde was leading to this. It is my easy, lazy man's version; I bought a grilled chicken breast from my local deli, cooked just enough for two people in a toaster oven, and prepared the green salsa the night before (the most labor intensive part of the meal, perhaps).

6 corn tortillas
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
4-6 oz shredded asadero, Oaxaca, or Monterey Jack cheese
1 batch of salsa verde
sour cream and cilantro for garnish

Heat the tortillas directly on a burner if you have a gas stove, turning quickly. You can also fry the tortillas in a shallow pan of oil, just enough to soften them.

Spread a couple tablespoons of salsa on a foil-lined toaster oven pan. Fill each tortilla with shredded chicken, some cheese, and a small spoonful of salsa, then roll it up and place seam side down in the pan.

Cover rolled-up tortillas with remaining salsa (if you want the sauce to be rich and greasy the way it is in a restaurant, try mixing in a little vegetable oil). Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake in a 425-degree toaster oven for 5 minutes, or just until cheese is well-melted. Let them cool off a bit, then top with sour cream and cilantro.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Sure, the Poblano peppers could've been classically stuffed with cheese, then battered and fried to make chile rellenos. I chose to stuff mine with a mixture of cooked quinoa, black beans, chopped tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and jack cheese, seasoned with a bit of cumin and a lot of salt (you want the filling to be salty because the pepper itself sure ain't). I cooked the peppers over medium heat in a grill pan, turning them to char all sides, and covering them towards the end to cook everything through. You could also try this with seasoned rice, other mixed vegetables, and/or meat. Make sure to remove the seeds and inner white parts of the peppers before stuffing them, unless you want them to turn out really spicy.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Salsa Verde

Delicious with chips, or smothered on enchiladas.

5 tomatillos (about 1/2 lb), roughly chopped
1/4 c minced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced (remove seeds to cut down on heat)
a few squeezes of lime juice
a few sprigs of cilantro
salt to taste

Cook the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the tomatillos soften and turn army-ish green (about 15 minutes). Let the mixture cool, then blend in a food processor with remaining ingredients.

Week 9: Mexican-ish

When one receives a bundle of tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, poblano peppers, and tomatillos, one cannot help but decide to prepare something that resembles Mexican food.

The remaining eggplant, string beans, and zucchini were thrown into less-than-memorable stir-fries.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Zucchini Fritters

I thought about making zucchini bread or zucchini muffins, I really did. Though there are pounds and pounds of zucchini in my possession just screaming to be eaten, 90-degree heat with 90 percent humidity don't quite make for ideal baking conditions. Instead, I slaved over the stove for but 10 minutes to make zucchini fritters. They're kind of like latkes made from squash instead of potatoes. They're even good as cold leftovers.

3 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 egg
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
1 scallion stalk, chopped finely
olive or vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine 1/2 tsp salt with grated zucchini in a bowl. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then squeeze all the excess moisture out with your hands, or by rolling the grated zucchini in the middle of a clean dish towel and wringing it out using both hands.

Combine squeezed-out zucchini with remaining ingredients. Heat oil in a pan. Place small, flattened mounds of mixture in the pan; use about 2 Tbsp per patty. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Week 7 and 8: Colorful

The artfully arranged plate you see above includes red ace beets, provider string beans (neat names), and fresh dill from Week 7. I topped it off with a squeeze of orange juice, some chevre, and walnuts.

And check out these purplish bell peppers:

Week 8 also included some very sweet cherry tomatoes that I could've eaten au naturel. We also got some cilantro, spinach, scallions, and little red onions. I threw all these items together with black beans in the form of tacos.

And finally, here's a picture of a little guy who snuck into my apartment by hiding in some spinach.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cold Lunch: Cucumber Salad & Baba Ghanouj

Ah, the pleasures of brown-bagging it. Recent trips to San Francisco, evening outings, and oppressively hot and humid weather have left me with very little time and patience to fix dinners that go beyond "pasta with assorted CSA vegetables" and "throw something on a loaf of bread," let alone lunches that save me from the mediocrity of "how will $7 stop my stomach from growling today?"

This week, I decided that I had had enough stomach-wrenching Chinese food lunch specials, deli counter pasta salads, and cafeteria-grade burritos, and it was time for a change. It was time to drag myself out of that mire, if only for a day. I had a crisper drawer full of CSA vegetables and herbs, and it would be a shame to let them go to waste.

I grabbed a couple of cucumbers, chopped them up, threw them together with some feta cheese and fresh dill, and doused it all with some red wine vinegar.

I also made a small serving of baba ghanouj with the one eggplant I had. I pierced it all over with a fork, and roasted it in a 450 degree toaster oven for about 45 minutes. After letting it cool, I sliced it in half lengthwise and scooped out all of the cooked eggplant flesh with a spoon. Then I added about 1/2 tsp of tahini, a few squeezes of lemon juice, half a clove of minced garlic, and some salt. I mashed it together with a fork, and voilĂ , baba ghanouj.

With pita bread and hummus, the cucumber salad and baba ghanouj made a nice fresh workday lunch that makes it hard to go back to cheap pizza meals.