Saturday, June 28, 2008

Backyard Lunch

It was HOT today! I think it got up into the 90s, which is rare here. We decided to enjoy our lunch out in our very own backyard (in the shade).

So, what was on the menu? We had tamales (OMG, I totally blanked on what those were called for 30 seconds!!!), salad, raw carrots & sugar snap peas with almond butter, and roasted beets.

*chile & cheese tamales from Patty Pan Grill, purchased at the MLK/Union farmers' market.

*salad - chopped heart of romaine & baby bib lettuce, with pinenuts, and that Black Creek Buttery cheese from Estrella Family Creamery we had the other night, dressed in another one of Drew's All Natural dressings (I'm feeling too lazy to walk to the fridge to find the exact name off the bottle).

*raw baby carrots & sugar snap peas with almond butter - it is exactly as it sounds. I put out a few carrots and a few peas with a little dish of almond butter for dipping. That's pretty much all Vincent cared about for lunch (the almond butter, not the carrots or peas).

*roasted red baby beets - roasted with olive oil, s & p, peeled, chilled and eaten whole (the beet greens were eaten up a few nights ago).

Like I said, Vincent mostly liked the almond butter. He did take a few (tiny) bites of carrot, had half a tamale (which is the first time he actually seemed to like them out of 3 tries), and half of a beet. We, the parental units, loved the meal. All of our delicious veggies for this meal came from, you guessed it, Oxbow Farm!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pasta with wilted greens, Arugula & parsley salad, Roasted carrots

Last night's dinner was a bbq at a certain well known chef friend's house.

Here's tonight's meal:
*pasta - sauteed kale and beet greens with garlic and scallions, all from Oxbow Farm (we have their CSA this summer), and a touch of white wine vinegar, tossed into pasta, and finished with torn pieces of opal basil (from my small plant sitting on the kitchen window). Salted boiling water for the pasta, and salt & pepper for the greens, of course. Did not add anymore seasoning to the final dish.

*puttanesca sauce - from La Pasta, served on the side, to add as desired.

*salad - baby arugula from Willie Green's Organic Farm with whole flat leaf parsley (can't remember the name of the farm), with Black Creek Buttery cheese (see photo) from Estrella Family Creamery, dressed with Drew's All Natural Rosemary Balsamic vinaigrette (the last of our bottle), salt & pepper.
*roasted baby carrots - Also from Oxbow. Salt, pepper, olive oil, wrapped in foil and roasted at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.

*couple of potato rolls from Essential Baking Co. with EVOO & balsamic vinegar for dipping.

**Given the small amount of basil I used, I could've just omitted it. If I had more, then it may have been a nice addition, but it's hard to say from tonight's meal, since I couldn't taste it at all.

Although the cheese was softer than a parmesan, I felt that it was a nice alternative with it's rich, buttery flavor. The salad could've used some shallots and chives. DOH! I had some shallots I forgot about it, and I had extra scallions. Oh well.

I used a few store bought stuff for this meal, but it was mostly from our local farmers. Even though I bought the rolls at QFC, it's still local.

Everything tasted delicious. I could've gone without the puttanesca, but I had & didn't want it to go to waste.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grilled Beef Kabobs

*Kabobs - Thundering Hooves beef kabobs, zucchini, Vidalia onion, and orange bell pepper; marinated in leftover chimichurri sauce

*Romanesco - Oxbow Farm romanesco blanched in salted water

*Gnocchi - La Pasta gnocchi, drizzled with olive oil

One of the challenges of grilling in our house is timing. By the time David gets home from work, gets the grill going and we start grilling, it's pretty late. Today, I decided to start the grill myself. We use these mesquite briquettes that come in pretty large chunks. I didn't use as much as I see David normally uses, and I had a bit of tough time getting the fire starting. But, in the end, I succeeded, and I'm happy to report that less briquettes worked very well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gnocchi with Puttanesca

*Gnocchi - half of a box bought at MLK/Union farmers' market from La Pasta

*Puttanesca sauce - 1 cup of the sauce bought at same place as gnocchi

*Sauteed sugar snap peas & pea vines - snap peas from Alvarez Farm, pea vines from Oxbow Farm (both organic)
-cleaned peas & sliced them in half lengthwise
-picked leaves off vines, leaving the top tendrils attached, but discarding tougher bottom stems
-placed peas in one layer in saute pan, added water to cover 3/4 of the way up the side of the peas; olive oil, S&P; covered and cooked on high for a couple minutes until most of water evaporates. Added pea vines and sauteed another minute. Added a nug of herb butter.

Although my peas and pea vines tasted great, I was disappointed in how overcooked I let them get. I thought that adding enough water to cover 3/4 of the way up was too much. I think about 1/4 of the way, and add more water as needed, or cooking with the lid off. It was quite delicious nonetheless. And, the puttanesca was better that it was the first time I had it, and it was great with the gnocchi. Oh, and I finished the gnocchi/puttanesca dish with chopped parsley.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Carne Asada #1

*carne asada beef - this was purchased from Thundering Hooves; already thinly sliced pieces
-lime juice
-garlic, sliced
(allow to marinate for a couple of hours)
-grill (I used the George Foreman, which doesn't produce as nice of a result/flavor, but we didn't have time to fire up the charcoal grill)
-chopped meat into bite sized pieces (1/4" diced)

*Box of Spanish rice - follow instructions on the box

*Rice wraps (bought at Madison Market)

-scallions, minced
-parsley, minced
**can add any other herbs on hand
-extra virgin olive oil
-smoked paprika

**extras - sour cream, chopped romaine lettuce

Wrap everything up in a rice wrap and enjoy!