The last two weeks before Labor Day weekend were filled with cooking the grub from my Coonamessett CSA. In trying to soak in the last few days of Summer, I got behind in posting everything as it came, but here are the best dishes from weeks 11 and 12.
Green Goddess Dressing
This dressing has been popping up on menus everywhere, and it’s great! It’s like an herbed caesar dressing. I’ve been trying to create the perfect version and putting it on tons of different salads.
Here’s my best test kitchen recipe so far:
Blend together 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup fresh basil, 6 green onions (roots and tips discarded), 1/4 cup honey, and 1 egg yolk at room temp. Then add a tbsp of very hot water as the blender/processor is going. Then add 1 1/2 cups olive oil slowly as the blender is going.
You could go without the honey in the dressing above, but I think it’s a nice addition for making salads with bitter summer roots in them, like turnips or beets.
Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes with Dill Pickle Relish
This recipe from Food and Wine was strange and compelling. Pickles? Bacon? Fresh Tomatoes? Bacon on the grill recipes have been popping up everywhere and this is the one I started with, only to create a grease fire. Luckily I got the skewers off the grill before they burned, and was able to finish off the cooking on the broiler. These were so weird and delicious!
Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce
I’m lucky that my work neighbor is an avid fishermen. I get a number of “Just caught. Want a filet?” texts with pictures of striped bass he caught on the Cape Cod Canal during his lunch break or by boat over the weekend.
This catch I made some tacos with tomatillo sauce. First I roasted about 1/2 pound tomatillos until they started to crack, then I blended them with 1 large avocado, and the juice from 1 lime. I sliced the filets into smaller strips (about the size that would fit in a small taco). Then I dipped these in a mixture of 1/2 cup corn flour + 1 teaspoon onion powder + 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper + 1 teaspoon good salt. These were pan fried. Then they were added to tortillas and slathered with the sauce.
The first time I had enchiladas I was visiting a friend in New Mexico. It was her family’s recipe and it was possibly the most comforting (albeit fattening) food I’ve ever had for dinner. I remember being asked to add some sour cream around the tortillas in the pan. After dabbing some here and there, she said “no, use up that entire container” and put the rest in all over the tortillas before topping them with cheese and green chilies. Green Chilies are like the funfetti of New Mexican cooking. Soon after dinner, I completely zonked out in a sated state on the couch.
The tomatillos from Coonamessett reminded me of the green chilies, and I thought I’d try my hand in making a somewhat healthier enchilada recipe:
Boil an entire chicken. Then remove the meat from the bones and set aside. (I mean, I guess you could use breasts too, but I like getting a whole chicken because it's cheaper and you can use the left over broth for other things). Roast about 8oz of tomatillos and a few peppers (I used banana peppers, but you could use spicier ones if you prefer) for about 20 minutes, until the skins are starting to crack. Blend these (stems removed) in a food processor with ¼ cup red onion, juice from 1 lime, and 2 large avocados. Then add salt to taste. Add about ¼ of the salsa to a tall-rimmed baking sheet. Then add some chicken and queso blanko cheese to flour tortillas, making little burritos with the seam down in the pan. Cover all the nooks and crannies with the salsa, and whatever is left on top. Add a layer of more cheese, and extra avocado slices if you like. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
We have been getting so many squash and zucchini from the CSA! I found this to be a nice way to use them up as a packed lunch is to make a bunch of mason jar lasagnas with them. Just slice the squash really thin and let them sit out to push out some of the water. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together 15oz ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1 tbsp fresh basil, and 1 egg. Layer a spoonful of this into each mason jar, then a spoonful of your favorite pasta sauce (from a jar is fine!), then a slice of squash. Alternate until your jars are full. Then sprinkle on some extra mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes. After they cool, you can just add their lids and save them in the fridge.
I finally was able to make pickles without getting air bubbles in the jars! It all came down to pure patience. I poured the vinegar mixture in slowly. I tapped the jar and waited for all the bubbles to rise, and I did one re-pour when there were bubbles initially after adding the lid.
Here’s my latest pickle test kitchen recipe: 4 cups water + 1 cup apple cider + 3 cups regular cider for the liquid. Get this going at a boil. Slice the cucumbers and add them to clean jars (boil these in water ahead of time if you’re going to keep the pickles longer than a couple weeks). Add 1/2 tbsp dill weed + 1/2 dill seed + 1 teaspoon salt to each jar. Fill them slowly with the boiling liquid. Tap the sides to get out extra air. Seal with a lid.
My Staff Favorites from Food and Wine cook book came in the mail, and I’ve been turning lots of corners of recipes to try. One of them was this Potato Tarte Flambee recipe. I used potatoes from the farm, and subbed thyme for rosemary. It was great!
Frittata has been a goto breakfast menu item for me to get through the last few remaining items from the farm share. This time I used the potato greens and some onions. I’ve found that really you can use any cheese or vegetable to make a great frittata. Try this recipe and sub in any sautéed vegetable for the spinach, any cheese, and any milk product for the milk (cream, sour cream, or yogurt are fine).
Looking forward to another week!