poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


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CSA Update: 6/24/12

Apologies for being very late on this post. Here’s what we got in our Eatwell CSA box two Wednesdays ago:

strawberries
cherries
basil
mixed lettuce
Italian flat leaf parsley
chard
summer squash
red Russian kale
maturing garlic
beets
Wakefield cabbage
Colorado rose potatoes

The problem with posting so long after we got the box is that I hardly remember what we did with the produce. Thank goodness for photos — at least I have some evidence of what we cooked!

Fish tacos! with roasted potato “fries”

Recently, TC had a (self-described) transcendental experience involving fish tacos topped with cabbage slaw, so when he saw that we were getting cabbage, he suggested that we try to make some fish tacos. I thought this meal was hilarious because we took ONE item that we got in our CSA box and ended up building a whole meal around it. We used this recipe for the fish batter, which turned out pretty tasty. However, instead of deep-frying, we pan-fried the fish in a cast iron skillet. In addition to the cabbage, we chopped up cilantro, green onion, and red onion to use as toppings, along with hot sauce of course. We also roasted the potatoes (a.k.a. oven fries) and made a salad with the mixed greens (and beets too? I can’t remember). An eclectic combination but pretty darn good, nonetheless.

Ground pork and zucchini stir-fry

If you’ve been reading this blog, you might have picked up that I’m kinda obsessed with ground pork. I think it’s so tasty, especially in stir fries. We decided to make a potpourri stir fry — mostly ground pork and zucchini, but also all of the leftover veggies we had from the fish tacos, along with the maturing garlic. Again — quite an unexpected yet delicious mix of ingredients.

Breakfast tacos for lunch!

These breakfast tacos didn’t involve anything from our CSA box, but I thought that they looked mighty pretty so I wanted to share the photo with y’all. They featured refried beans, scrambled eggs, an improvised salsa (Roma tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime), and avocado.

Sadly, we let the kale go to waste before we could get to it. Otherwise, I think we did a pretty good job.

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this link party over at In Her Chucks!


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Chinese-style steamed fish with sweet soy sauce

Steamed fish covered in yummy sauce.

As promised, here is the recipe for the steamed fish that I mentioned in my last post. A note about the fish: any flaky fish will do. I used tilapia (above), but flounder, grouper, sea bass (if you can find an environmentally friendly source), or snapper are also good choices. Also, this dish is usually made with a whole fish (as the recipe calls for) but filets work too — though you won’t need to cut slits in filets, FYI. It’s a very easy recipe, and even easier if you have a gigantic steamer like I do. If you don’t, simply invert a heavy (preferably flat-bottomed bowl) in a large stock pot, fill the pot with 2 inches of water, and place a large colander on top of the inverted bowl. Voila! You have yourself a fish steamer.

Liz’s Yummy Steamed Fish Recipe

Ingredients:
1 fish or fish filets (at least 1 lb)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine (michiu)
1-2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp thinly sliced ginger
1/2 cup chopped green onions
6 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (more or less, to taste)
3 Tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Cut slits along the body of the fish on both sides. Marinate fish in cooking wine for 5-10 minutes. Flip fish over to marinate the other side for another 5-10 minutes.
  2. Steam the fish. For a 2 pound fish, steam for 7 minutes or until the meat starts to separate from the bone. Remove the fish from heat and transfer to a large plate.
  3. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, water, and chili garlic sauce together and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Fry ginger and green onion until brown and fragrant.
  5. Add soy and sugar mix to the ginger and green onion. As soon as sauce boils, pour over steamed fish.
  6. Garnish with long pieces of cilantro, if desired. Serve over rice.


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CSA Update: 4/24/12

Just as I was getting excited about getting less greens and root vegetables and more spring veggies, we got another full box of greens, radishes, and herbs. Here’s what we got last week:

dill
navel oranges
mixed lettuce
French breakfast or Easter egg radishes
spinach
stir-fry mix
yellow spring onions
green garlic
fennel
turnips
raisins

Perhaps a reflection of our waning enthusiasm, we’ve done a pretty poor job this time with using our CSA produce. That, combined with a hectic schedule prevented us from undertaking more time-consuming endeavors such as potato salad to make use of the dill.

It was not all a waste, however. TC’s mom and sister were a huge fan of the radishes, devouring them in less than 10 minutes, and his 18-month old nephew put away a good amount of the raisins. We also made a couple of new dishes, the first of which was a tomato, garlic, and potato frittata from the Gourmet cookbook. Frittata — never thought about it before, but it’s a cool word. Say it with me: FRIT-TA-TA.

Tomato, spring garlic, and potato frittata. This was one of the better looking servings.

Anyway, the only CSA ingredient we used for the frittata was the green garlic. Other ingredients included: eggs, parmesan cheese, basil, potatoes, grape tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This was my first frittata-making venture, and I was nervous about not using the right kind of pan. The recipe calls for finishing the frittata in the broiler, but I did not have a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. So instead, I tried my best to flip the thing in the pan. I was partially successful. Luckily, TC doesn’t really care as much about presentation as I do. We enjoyed our imperfect looking frittata with a good dose of hot sauce. Overall, I’d say it was pretty good, but we both agreed that it could’ve used more basil and also some minced jalapeno or Serrano peppers.

The other thing we made was roasted mahi mahi with fennel, olives, and orange from theKitchn. We were both exceedingly skeptical about this dish for different reasons. My concern was that I’ve never cooked fennel; TC’s worry was that he hates the taste of licorice. Luckily, the fennel was pretty easy to prepare (thanks to helpful youtube videos) and the licorice flavor was super mild. It was so mild, though, that the whole dish lacked any kind of flavor or spice. It didn’t help that I forgot to add the oregano. D’oh! I think this dish definitely has potential, but as it was, it was just so-so.

Roasted mahi mahi with a side of couscous.

Well, at least the CSA box helped us to accomplish one goal this week, which was to force us to try new things! What about you — anything new you’ve tried lately that was a great success or colossal failure?

p.s. If you can’t get enough of CSA goodies, check out this awesome link party organized by In Her Chucks where bloggers from around the country are posting about their CSA treats!

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