Oh, I got'cher Chairman, right here:
I win, just for that.
(Picture courtesy of friend who commented over drinks last night that he was expecting more Billie Joe from me this week. I won't name names. You know who you are.)
Well. What a week! After the ups and downs of the last episode, let me just tell you that seeing Billie Joe last Saturday, the same day Miss T. and I picked up our CSA boxes, must have triggered some major cooking mojo. Because, baby, this week was all about the ravishingly good. Or, at least, the not complete failure. In fact, the only negative for me this week was simply running out of time to use every ingredient; I still have fennel, sage leaves, and baby carrots in the fridge. But as for the other ingredients--mesclun mix, leaf lettuce, snow peas, sugar snap peas, pea shoots, kale, radishes, a hothouse cucumber, summer squash, and oregano, along with the purchase of sunflower sprouts, fresh trout and fresh currants--well, see for yourself:
There were many salads, most just standard-issue greens, sunflower sprouts, and sliced cucumber with homemade vinaigrette. A couple of exceptions included this salad, with smoked trout in a horseradish vinaigrette. Very, very nice.
Also this, a pea shoot salad with bacon and lime (because how can you go wrong with bacon??), and snow peas and radishes:
Served with grilled chicken, on the right, and on the left? A very clever use of radishes: a radish tortilla, using radishes instead of potatoes. it's an interesting dish--doesn't really taste like radishes at all. Very mild, but flavorful.
Then there was the stellar fresh trout dish:
Grilled trout with white beans and caper vinaigrette. In a tough competition, this narrowly takes the prize for best dish of the week. The beans were amazing--I'd make them again all by themselves. I used the mesclun mix, and the caper vinaigrette just ratcheted the whole thing up to a brand new level.
But this was close:
Pasta with peas, asparagus, lettuce, and prosciutto. I used the leaf lettuce as well as both shelled peas and pea pods. Holy cow. Also--a lot more prosciutto than the recipe calls for, because, well, all of the members of Casa Knit Think are very fond of prosciutto, and using a smaller amount would have lead to territorial battles of an epic nature at the dinner table. That probably made the dish saltier. Whatever. It was GOOD.
I'd never had these before:
Fresh currants. I'd only had dried. These were delicious. The vendor had several varieties available for sampling, and these were by far the most sour, and therefore, to me, the best. I ate most of them right out of the box. But I saved a few for this:
Top of plate, minted saffron rice with currants and pine nuts. I admit I'm the only one who liked it. But I thought it went especially well with the lamb loin chops, which use fresh herbs (including the oregano) and Dijon to create the most succulent lamb I've had in a very long time. Everyone at the table agreed on that--the lamb was a huge hit. The summer squash, which I boiled and dressed with Deborah Madison's champagne vinaigrette, elicited a so-so response from everyone, including me. But no one really cared, because the lamb? Amazing.
Finally, this little dish that thrilled me no end:
Marinated, baked feta with greens. I used the kale, as well as more of the oregano. This made a fabulous lunch for a couple of days (and it's really pretty easy), and it would make a fantastic first course too. A nice crunchy, chewy baguette completed the meal. The recipe notes that olives would be a good addition, and that's probably true, but I didn't miss them.
So, thanks, Billie Joe, for the entertainment, and the food. Feel free to stick around.