Monday, June 29, 2009

this weekend's cooking projects

so this weekend, s and i made three food projects in one morning. each one was so quick and easy, but i didn't actually make them all. no problem. i will talk about them all anyway, as if i had more of a hand than may be technically true.

last weekend, we made some arugula pesto--arugula, sauteed garlic, almonds, parm, salt, pepper--and discovered the total genius that is the kitchenaid food mill attachment. it makes your pesto this lovely consistency where you don't have to add much, if any, olive oil, so the flavors themselves stand out really well. it doesn't puree like a food processor tends to, and you don't have to mess with it and add lots of liquid like you do with a blender. furthermore, you can apparently get attachments with it to make pasta noodles, though i don't have those yet, which would even make it more functional.

anyway, we decided to use that attachment again to make a different kind of pesto (which, with the aforementioned arugula pesto, and the garlic scape pesto my roommate m made on wednesday, makes 3 types of pesto made in one week in our house!), since when we were at the garden we noticed that there was a huge amount of communal cilantro. we picked several handfuls, and got some raw cashews from the store. sunday morning, it was pesto-making time. a few cubes of parm, a clove of elephant garlic, some overgrown chives from the garden that had gotten a little bit woody so weren't good for straight eating anymore, all into the food grinder! after everything was ground up--which, by the way, is so awesome to watch!--we mixed in a splash of the nice olive oil and a little salt, and we were done! cilantro pesto, mmmmmm.

food project #2 was preserving more sour cherries. shayn pitted and washed them, then we added some sugar and let them macerate. once the sugar was dissolved, we froze them in a tub. for some reason, they didn't freeze very quickly, so last night i put some of the cherry sauce over my froyo and it was AMAZING. the longer-term plan for the cherries, if i get final say, is a white chocolate-mascarpone tart, maybe with a graham cracker crust, maybe with an almond crust. but, it's nice being able to take them out and use them at will!

food project #3 is a result of stop #2 on waltham day on saturday, although it is technically on the watertown side of the waltham-watertown line. we went to russo's, the most amazing store on earth. it has the most incredible fruits and veggies, so much cheese, fresh pasta, a great (and not that expensive) salad bar, etc--i used to work two doors down from it and loved going there for lunch. they have a huge selection of produce at amazing prices, and one of the things we got there was a bag of key limes (probably ~15 of them?) for 88 cents. so, we decided to preserve them the way you would meyer lemons. i haven't really heard of doing this with limes. we will see what happens. but, random easy pickling project when you find nice cheap food? yes please. other purchases at russos--after getting a full bag of foods from the garden (mostly lettuce, kale, collards, kohlrabi, sage, cilantro, cherries) include the following: 3 lbs of brussel sprouts, a pkg of blueberries, 2 artichokes, 12 small hot peppers, 1.5 lbs of fava beans, and one other thing that i am currently forgetting because i know that we had 7 items, one too many for the express lane. total cost? $13.00!

last night, i made beet chips. also quick and easy. i sliced beets on the mandoline, tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper, and put in a single layer (i learned my lesson) on a baking sheet for 6-8 minutes. really, really good, and a nice way to eat a lot of beets (if, say, your csa is giving you so many of them but it seems like a funny time for beets since it is SUMMER NOT FALL and so you have to trick yrself into liking them)!

that was this week's easy projects. the photos weren't that exciting so i didn't include them. maybe i will go back later and change that.

RECOMMENDED DINNER (aka how i combined random stuff to eat last night):

  • raw kale salad (dinosaur kale, carrots, garlic scapes, chive vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper)
  • beet chips (see above)
  • whole wheat toast that m got a huge day-old bag of from city feed, with thinly sliced cheddar cheese (i used my veg peeler) and cilantro pesto
  • vanilla frozen yogurt with cherries

(this is best accompanied by season 1 of ANTM--who knew the whole season came as one rental from the library branch only 1.5 blocks away? it's okay to be in love with elyse, right? sure, she's only 20 then, but she's closer to my age now.)


Shayn said...

ginger snap crust, please!

Sparky said...

Eliz, I LOVE reading your blog.
:) Steph

Travis said...

I can't wait to try those beet chips. Great idea.

eliz said...

@shayn: MAYBE ginger snap crust. maybe 2 tarts? 1 gf and one not?
@steph: thanks! i am excited i am posting again!
@travis: this is my new go-to idea for extra csa veggies: make them into chips! last summer, it was: grate them and mix with eggs and ricotta for a light fritatta! put in a crust if you want! every year i get one more idea.