Sunday, August 31, 2014

Potato roast

Continuing the potato weekend theme: My sister-in-law visited recently and introduced me to Smitten Kitchen's crispy potato roast.

You start with four pounds of potatoes. Peel them and slice thinly. If you have a mandolin, use it; I don't, so I just cut the potato slices as thinly and as regularly as I could.

Be sure to put the oil on the bottom and sides of the casserole dish before you put the potatoes in. I didn't, and there was some sticking.
Here's the casserole after all of the potatoes have been stuffed into the casserole dish. (Seriously, I ended up jamming in a couple of the last small potatoes, unwilling to let any slices go unused.) Onions have been inserted between some of the potato slices, then salt and red pepper flakes were added. (Next time, I'd salt the dish more. We just sprinkled salt on. I wasn't paying attention to the recipe, as I had someone with me who was experienced with it.)
After an hour and fifteen minutes, thyme is added to the top of the baking dish.
Then you continue cooking until the tops are crispy, about another half hour in our case. We probably could have let the potatoes cook another 10-20 minutes to crisp more, but it was getting late. It ends up taking well over two hours from potato peeling to having the dish on the table, so be sure to start this much earlier than I did. That said, I'm not sure that I'd like the dish with more crisping. While the recipe describes the crispy pieces as being like potato chips, I found some of the crispy parts a bit more reminiscent of the dried out potato slices in a box mix of au gratin potatoes (which I definitely do not eat now, but did make as a child when eating with my parents).
Four pounds of potatoes sounds like a lot to me, but four adults made a pretty sizable dent in this dish. We had about 3 small potatoes worth of slices left, which we had as leftovers a few days later. I fried the eggs in some butter to crisp them up, then served with a couple of sous vide eggs.
Husband added some leftover brisket to his potatoes and eggs.
We ate the potatoes and eggs for dinner, not breakfast, because breakfast for dinner is a great treat for me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spanish tortilla

Continuing the potato weekend theme, I recently tried Food52's Spanish tortilla recipe. (Rather than copy it here, I'll leave it for you to click through to it.)

I started with 2 pounds of yukon gold potatoes...
...which I peeled and boiled for about 20 minutes. They then had to cool before slicing.
I sautéed an onion in olive oil. (In my opinion, the recipe uses too much oil. I'm going to reduce it next time.)
Here are the sliced potatoes going into the egg mixture...
...and after stirring...
...then poured into the cast iron pan. See the floating oil on top? Too much oil.
The recipe calls for parmesan cheese to be sprinkled on top. I think it would have been better mixed into the egg mixture. As it was, it could have been skipped, as you couldn't really taste it.
Here's the tortilla after removal from the pan...
...and after a few slices have been removed.
I ate it with some tomatoes and blue cheese. Husband had a steak as well.
The next time I make this recipe, I'd like to try sautéing some peppers (red or green) with the onions. It's not traditional, but I think it'd add some nice flavor.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Roasted potatoes with onion and rosemary

I am declaring this potato weekend, mostly because I've been making many potato dishes lately, but haven't been blogging them. So let's mark the end of summer with potatoes.

Here's an easy way to roast potatoes. Set your oven for 350-425 degrees. I usually will set it to whatever temperature is needed for other things going in the oven.

Wash and cube your potatoes. I used yukon gold this time.
Slice an onion. Chop some rosemary.
Put the potatoes, onions and rosemary in a baking pan. (In the background, you can see the zucchini sitting in salt for a zucchini frittata.)
Drizzle with olive oil, then add salt and pepper. Stir. Put in the oven.
Set a timer for 20 minutes. Take them out and stir.
And then for another 20 minutes.
Continue until they reach your desired level of doneness and browning. It usually takes an hour or so. After the first two 20 minute checks, I start to check every 10 minutes, then drop to every 5 minutes at the very end.

What's in the box, 8/28/14 edition

It's the last week of the summer share; the fall shares begin next week. The summer has gone by far too quickly! I know that the veggies don't understand the shift between summer and school year, so we'll get a few more weeks of summer veggies, but I know that the storage crops are on their way soon. (Cue theme from Jaws with respect to purple top turnips.)
In this week's box: red oak leaf lettuce, red peppers, yukon gold potatoes, salt and pepper cucumbers (the yellowish ones), persian cucumbers, broccoli, fairy tale eggplant, tomatoes, and arugula.
In the tomato supplement box: tomatoes. Three more weeks of tomatoes coming (farm email says it ends the week of 9/15). Then it's turnips and cabbage for the lot of us. It's time for an end of summer tomato binge.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Links: green beans, zucchini, and carrot soup

I saw a couple of recipes for green beans this week that look interesting. There haven't been green beans in the box yet this year, but I would think some are coming. If not, my mom has been offering me green beans from her garden, so I'll take her up on her offer.

Corn, zucchini, and chickpea fritters from the Wednesday Chef. Despite zucchini being in the past few boxes and the fact that I've bought more from a couple of farm stands, I don't think I've had my fill of zucchini yet this summer. I need to remedy that soon, before the season has passed.

Joy the Baker's vegan carrot soup, which uses cashews in place of cream. A few years ago, I tried a recipe of hers for a vegan mushroom soup that also used cashews that was very good. It's not quite soup season yet, as it's been very warm these past few days, but I know the fall is coming very quickly. (Anyone else hear the theme from Jaws in their head when they start thinking of the purple top turnips that are coming in the boxes as the weather gets cooler?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grilled cucumbers

As I wrote before, I recently read a recipe that included grilled cucumbers. We were grilling over the weekend, so I put on a couple of Persian cucumbers that were in last week's box. I picked two of the larger ones, cut them in half, then coated them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
I grilled them for 3-4 minutes per side. After cooking they still had some crunch.
I was surprised to find that the grilling made the cucumbers taste zucchini-like. I liked the grilled cucumbers and would grill them again. Husband has suggested that a bit of vinegar added post-grilling would be a good idea for next time.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Now it's summer!

Yesterday, I had an open faced tomato sandwich for lunch, something that I only have in the summer during tomato season.
I used rye bread this time, but most often use sourdough. Spread mayonnaise on the bread, then add the tomatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the tomatoes, then enjoy.

Also from yesterday:
My town had a fair that included banjo music, square dancing, kettle corn, and a shuttle to visit an alpaca farm. Together with the tomato sandwich, a very good summer day.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zucchini frittata

It's finally zucchini season. Zucchini frittata is great for any meal, warm or cold.

Start by grating the zucchini into a bowl. In the photos below, I used two large zucchini. You can use more or less, depending upon the size of the frittata that you want.

After the zucchini is grated, sprinkle salt on it (I used about 1 tsp for the two large zucchini), stir in the salt, and let the zucchini sit for at least a half hour to remove some of the zucchini's water.
After the grated zucchini has sat for a half hour or more, drain it. After draining, I usually put the strainer into a large bowl to allow more water to drain off.
Put 2 tsp olive oil into a large non-stick or cast iron pan, then add the zucchini.
Sauté the zucchini.
It will change color and reduce quite a bit. It'll take 10-15 minutes to get to this point.
Add 4-8 eggs (again, depending upon the size of the frittata you want), scrambled and seasoned with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt at this point, as there's already salt in the zucchini.
I start by stirring the eggs and zucchini, then let it finish cooking undisturbed to set into a frittata. If you're using a cast iron pan, you could finish it in the oven.
Then you need to flip it. Loosen the sides and under the frittata as much as possible. Put a large plate on the pan.
Set down the plate.
Remove the pan.
Oops. I didn't loosen the sides and bottom of the frittata well enough. But it's okay, it can be pieced back together.
Get the rest of the frittata from the pan...
...and put it into place.
See, it's like nothing ever happened. (Or it will be, once the edge of that plate is cleaned off.)
Usually, it comes out in one piece, except when the husband is taking photos.

Serve hot, warm, or cold. Sometimes I'll serve the frittata with a bit of olive oil drizzled over it.

Leftovers are great for breakfast or lunch.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yellow gazpacho

I make yellow gazpacho during the weeks of the extra tomato box, as we often get pints of orange cherry tomatoes as well as yellow plum tomatoes.

I think the original recipe for this yellow came from a farm newsletter. I usually don't use a recipe, but I noted the amounts I used so that I could put them here. I do recall that the original recipe called for significantly more olive oil than I end up using (1/4 cup seems like a lot of olive oil already), so my soup is likely thicker than the original recipe would be. If you would like it thinner, add a bit of water (do this at the end, so you don't accidentally thin it too much).

2 pints of orange cherry tomatoes and ~8 yellow plum tomatoes
1/4 cup of good olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
a bread end or two (stale bread is fine)
salt to taste

Makes about 4 cups

Wash the tomatoes. Put them into a blender or food processor. Cut the bread into cubes and add it to the tomatoes, along with the turmeric and olive oil. Blend until smooth.
Put the soup through a strainer.
You'll catch some seeds, larger breadcrumbs, and tomato skins. The photo below is shows what's caught in the strainer after using a Vitamix blender. With my food processor, I'd have more seeds and skins.
Here's the soup after straining.
I stored it in a mason jar to chill.
Then served it in glass to drink.
It's also good served in a bowl with some garlic croutons made from more of the stale bread you used when making the soup.

For my gluten free friends: I think the soup would be good even without the bread, but I haven't tried making it that way.