--and the Iron Chefettes are back, baby! On a sad note--can you believe summer is almost over, and the market will soon (sob) close for the season? Miss T. and I have been commiserating--and plotting. We have two more CSA boxes this year--but come January, the Chefettes will be back with a slightly changed format to tide us all over until next year's CSA kicks in.
Anyway. Another stellar box: sweet and hot peppers, onion, broccoli, green beans, garlic, tomatoes, and carrots. Much fun to be had, yes?
This was a recipe in our CSA newsletter--a garlicky sesame broccoli salad. Very simple. Mix red wine vinegar with kosher salt, toss with broccoli. Then heat some olive oil, add garlic and cumin, cook for a minute, and add sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour over broccoli and let sit for at least an hour. This was, surprisingly, a hit with everyone in the house; I was anticipating some rejection from the Teens, but they were agreeable too.
I've had a hankering for Indian food, ever since I attended the opening of Raghavan Iyer's restaurant OM. So, of course, I dug out his book 660 Curries and made Lilva Nu Shaak--Green Beans with Tomato. And mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cayenne, turmeric, and asafetida. Nummy. Well, except to the finicky Teens. They like their spicy food to involve animal protein.
Comfort food! Cabbage rolls! Stuffed with brown rice, onions, garlic, and ground chicken! Topped with tomatoes and broth! This is something I make every year--but this year, the Teens actually ate it. AND--Teen 1 ate the cabbage, not just the stuffing. Culinary progress is being made.
I had a blast with tomatoes this time. To be honest, I blew through the tomatoes in my box so fast that I ended up buying more from a local farmstand. So I don't know which of these dishes had CSA tomatoes and which had farmstand tomatoes. Does it matter? I didn't think so. I made some splendid tomato discoveries. Like this:
Someone Twittered about making this, and I snatched the idea and ran with it. Oh so simple: chop a big tomato, put it in a small skillet, heat it until it's releasing its juices and bubbling, then--ready? Ready??--crack an egg into the juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover and poach. Serve over polenta.
This. Is. So. Good. I may have had this multiple times recently. Breakfast, lunch. Who cares? It's fast, it's nutritious, and with good tomatoes like these? Out of this world, flavor-wise.
But then I read about this.
Looks boring, I know. But far from it. You just need some good, sturdy, chewy bread, bread that doesn't have a soft center. Slice it thick and grill the bread, just until it begins to look grilled. Then, quick as a wink, rub each piece with a cut piece of garlic, followed by a cut piece of tomato, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt--and once again? Moan-worthy. This too has made an appearance on more than one occasion recently.
But Ms. Knit Think, you might be saying, what about a Chairman? Oh! Silly me. Of course there's a Chairman.
Because this was the box where not only did I play with tomatoes, I played with tomatoes--and alkeehol.
Gorgeous! Except, um, for the flavor. I made Heirloom Tomatoes with Gin, Juniper, Basil, and Black Bread. Good in theory, but I used Tangueray gin, and you know what? Not a good choice. Much too strong, and bitter. A milder gin might have helped it.
I kept that in mind when I made this.
Tomato-Gin Soup. I used New Amsterdam gin, a much quieter choice, and this was pretty good too. I pureed it, so the Teens wouldn't pick out the veggie pieces. They ate it, but noted--loudly--that they prefer Campbell's.
Finally, I give you--the winner of the alcohol-laced tomato dishes.
Forgive the ugly picture. This is Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes with Pepper Salt. So easy--blanch the tomatoes just briefly, peel them and put them in a bowl. Then mix together vodka, white-wine vinegar, superfine sugar, and lemon zest, and pour over the tomatoes, letting sit for 30-60 minutes. Mix together some kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper, and dip the tomatoes in the salt mix--and eat. Yum. What a great appetizer this is.
All in all, another happy week at Chez Knit Think. What's cookin' in your kitchen?