Thursday, September 1, 2011

week 15

Tomatoes Sweet Peppers Potatoes Summer Squash Garlic Leeks

Watermelon Green Beans Okra

Cucumber or Tomatillos

herb bag: Basil Arugula Parsley

September. The light through the trees falls at a different angle. Dry dry dry. Squirrels and Raccoons. New baby chicks. Summer Squash. Watermelon. I'll not go into the details – just sticking with recipes today! That's the basic form of life out here. The arugula is tender, so nice right now. Enjoy in salad, on pizza, in lasanga, maybe even as a garnish with the Vichissoise. Hmmmm.

This recipe works with whatever proportion of potatoes and okra you have on hand. Leave the okra whole in the skillet. This is wonderful served with a simple dal and chutney, plain yogurt or raita. A couple of wedges of fresh tomato and cucumber would add nice color and juice too. as well.

Bhindi Aloo (from Curries Without Worries)

1 lb fresh okra 1 lb potatoes cut like homefries

¾ c. oil 1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds

1 Tbsp. Ground cumin seeds ½ Tbsp ground turmeric

1 Tbsp. Garam Masala salt to taste

Wash and drain vegetables thoroughly. The okra, in particular, should be washed and drained well in advance so that it is completely dry when ready to be cooked. When the okra is competely dry, cut off and discard the stem ends. Heat the oil in a heavy wok or deep skillet for a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables. Stir fry for about five minutes. Add all the other ingredients and stir well. Lower heat to medium, cover, and cook until potatoes are okra are done; i.e. tender.

Potato Leek Soup, a.k.a. Vichissoise (from Nourishing Traditions)

3 leeks, peeled, cleaned chopped 2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp olive oil 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 cups stock several sprigs thyme, tied together

1 cup piima creame or crème fraiche sea salt and pepper

chives, green onion, or arugula for garnish

Saute leeks until soft in butter and olive oil. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and skim. Add thyme and simmer until all vegetales are soft. Let cool. Remove thyme. Puree soup with a handheld blender (or a potatoe masher :)). Chill well. Process in food processor in batches with piima cream until frothy. Season to taste. Serve in chilled soup bowls and garnish.

Indian Stuffed Peppers (from a blog called Mahanandi)

Potato Stuffing: Good quality potatoes - 3 or 6, Pressure-cook or boil them in water, until tender. Remove the skins, mash them to smooth paste. In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil, toast ¼ tsp each - mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Saute finely chopped pieces of one onion, 4 green chillies and a fistful of fresh peas. Add the mashed potato. Stir in salt, turmeric and one teaspoon of clove-cinnamon-cumin-coriander seed powder (garam masala). Mix them all well. Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes - That’s our potato stuffing.

Bell peppers (Capsicums):

Pick 6 small sized, fresh and firm peppers - any color (green, red, yellow or orange) combination is fine. This curry is all about appearance and size matters. Small sized capsicums are perfect for this curry. (The Carmen or long bull's horn pepper work good for this).

Cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and membranes inside and make a hollow. Fill them up with potato curry to the top.

In a big iron skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Place the stuffed bell peppers neatly in a circle and cook them covered on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them to sides in-between so that they could get brown evenly on all sides. (You could also cook these stuffed bell peppers in oven - baking at 375 F until they are soft and tender to touch.)

Peanut-Sesame Sauce:

Toast quarter cup each - peanuts and sesame seeds to golden color. Take them in a grinder, add 2 cloves and 2 one-inch pieces of cinnamon, half teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt and a tablespoon of tamarind juice and powdered jaggery (natural brown sugar). Grind them to smooth paste.

Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a big pan. Add the peanut-sesame sauce and about a half cup to one cup of water. Mix well. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Have a taste and adjust salt, sweet and sour levels to your liking.

Add the stuffed capsicums to the thickened sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat, covered. Serve with rice or with chapatis.

Doesn't that sound great??

Have a wonderful weekend – enjoy the harvest.

Best regards,

Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden

In a world of globalization we haven't worried about what's happening just down the road. Through the years and decades, we've gotten f uther and further from that train of thought. We don't even know where the station is anymore. We've accepted years of formless meats. Years of perfect fruits and vegetables. Years without a blemish. Years of accepting food without a history. Food without a story.”

~ Mark Sturges

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