Lots of changes this week with regards to food blogging. First of all, I'm going to quit fucking around with my Powershot. Too much trouble having a separate device, only to be rewarded with people gleefully telling me what a terrible photographer I am. I'll instead just use my iPhone and its pretentious Instagram function. So I can enjoy people bitching about that instead. With that in mind, I don't have any photographs this week, for reasons to boring to explain. Also, all the food is from last week; I did some cooking this week but was too busy to record it. But I had all of last week recorded, and didn't put it up because my mom was visiting, so it all works out.
With that in mind, here's a picture of the first strawberry to grow on my patio. Its demise came moments after the taking.
Second of all, my CSA starts this week! I leave to go fetch it in about half an hour. So I think this is an appropriate time to go more hardcore and return to the CSA blogging I did last year. (For n00bs, this is what a CSA is.) The CSA is both more exciting and challenging than the farmer's market, because I don't have any control over what I get. If a vegetable is unusual, I have to learn to use it. If there's an abundance of something, I have to get creative in using it all up. Last year, I really used the opportunity to expand my cooking skills. Stuff I never did before, especially baking, became routine. I learned to enjoy root vegetables and to make my own veggie burgers. So it's all very exciting. Last year, I had just a veggie share. (Technically, a half share, which is what you want for two people.) This year, I added eggs and fruit. There was also an option to buy flowers, but that's just stupid with my plant-munching monsters around.
By the way, if you like reading about food challenges and vegetarianism, GOOD magazine has been doing some awesome stuff. I like this challenge of people sending pictures of vegetarian lunches. You can gripe and flame and try like hell to claim that veggies eat nothing but crap, defensive carnivores, but the evidence against you is piling up.
So, with that in mind, the last installment of the pre-CSA blogging:
Asparagus and zucchini barley risotto
As mentioned before, I love making risotto with barley instead of rice. It’s chewier and heartier-tasting, but has more protein (what’s up, vegetarians?) and fiber (and people who like to poop?) And since I’m eating asparagus like nuts until the small season is over, I figured I had to go with the classic pairing. So I put some barley in my Dutch oven on the stove with veggie broth and wine. It takes longer than rice, it’s okay to start it before you do anything else. Then I chopped up some green onions and added them with garlic to it. Then I chopped up asparagus and zucchini, and because I had oodles of time, I roasted it in the oven instead of putting it directly into the barley mixture. Then I added thyme from the garden, salt, pepper, and lemon zest to the risotto. When it was done cooking, I mixed in the veggies and topped it off with Parmesan cheese.
Vegetarian, but could be made vegan with vegan wine and no cheese.
Memorial Day/Ingloriuous Basterds viewing
For Memorial Day, I thought it would be fun to watch my favorite war movie of recent years, Ingloriuous Basterds. I started with dessert, because it was easy to get out of the way. I made some Jello vanilla pudding, split it into four martini glasses, and put it in the fridge (covered with plastic). When the time came, it was served with strawberries from the farmer’s market and whipped cream.
Took some cooked pinto beans and made bean puree with some fresh parsley and cilantro from the garden, as well as cumin, salt, pepper, and veggie broth. Put it in the fridge, but rewarmed it before serving.
Cut up and salted some zucchini.
Dinner was, in honor of both the fine-looking escarole at the farmer’s market and the Italian jokes in the movie, I made white bean and escarole soup. I added thyme from the garden and the beans were cannelloni beans from the farmer’s market that were very fresh.
Once that was simmering, I used some green onion, the salted zucchini, two eggs, some cornstarch, and some bread crumbs and seasoning to make a mix. Like I said, I prefer to do this kind of stuff in the oven instead of on the stove for health and ease reasons, so I made some patties, which were baked instead of fried. I did wait to put them in until I put in the buttermilk biscuits.
And lastly, I made cornbread,
Served the fritters with the warmed-up bean spread on top.
While I did all this, I was lucky enough to be reading the script for Quentin Tarantino’s next movie. A real page-turner, and appropriate considering the movie we watched with this dinner.