Sunday, August 24, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 12: Steak Frites

This week we were able to create a favorite meal using only local ingredients. With pasture-fed beef from our local meat source and fingerling potatoes from our CSA we were on our way to a bistro classic. The steak was simply grilled then seasoned with salt and pepper. Nothing else was required, and it was divine. I sliced the potatoes, tossed them in some olive oil along with salt, pepper and some of our own rosemary then roasted them in the oven until they crisped up nicely. As good as fries, if not better. Our CSA also supplied some swiss chard which I steamed and some grape tomatoes which I tossed with some olive oil and herbs from our garden.

Though our meal was inspired by France, it didn't seem right to open a bottle of vin rouge. And we didn't have to. Instead we enjoyed a beautiful bottle of Finger Lakes' Merlot which complimented our meal perfectly without adding significantly to its overall mileage.

Friday, August 22, 2008

You say tomato...

We're having a lackluster tomato season it seems. We are getting tomatoes. Almost every day now I'm picking a few off the vines. But the vines themselves seem a little sickly, and for every red, ripe tomato I'm picking, there are tons more green ones left behind. Green tomatoes that don't seem to be going anywhere. Many have even shrunken and dropped. So much potential, wasted.

This picture here is the perfect example of what I mean. There's the beautiful red ripe tomato. Then there are its two companions: underripe, undernourished and underwhelming. Oh well.

We even ripped some plants out. The ones that obviously weren't going to make it. And in their place we planted lettuce. By the looks of things here, we're going into the lettuce business.

I'll be thinning things out this weekend. A job I loathe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 11: Eggplant

This week our box from the farm came with two eggplants. I peeled and sliced them up. Salted them to get the water out. Then dredged the slices in flour and lightly fried each one. Next I made a quick tomato sauce using CSA onions and garlic, plus a mix of our own tomatoes plus some from the farm. Finally I layered up the sauce, fried eggplant and slices of fresh mozzarella from our local Italian shop. This went into a hot oven until all was steamy and bubbly. It was a definite favorite. If I get more eggplant this week I believe I'll just have to do it all over again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 10: Sausage + Peppers

Week 10 already. Hard to believe. And I've gotten to that point in the season where I can't seem to manage to post anything but OLS updates. The garden is pretty much taking care of itself. The first tomato of the season came and went without any fanfare. Often when I find myself with the time to document something the sun has already set or it's raining.

But the meals keep on coming. This week we enjoyed a classic: sausage and peppers. Fresh tomato sauce from our CSA tomatoes. Onions and peppers also from the CSA. Sausage from our local meat source. Bread from NYC's Sullivan Street Bakery. And fresh mozzarella made by our neighborhood Italian deli.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 9: Fresh Tomato Sauce

If I had to choose a favorite meal, this might be it. Fresh tomato sauce. I could live on it all summer long.

We came home late one evening from a family picnic still a little hungry. As we rooted around the fridge for something to take the edge off, I realized that with just a little extra effort we could do better than that. A drizzle of oil in the pan. Some onions. Garlic. Tomatoes (of course). And basil. All from our CSA. And we had ourselves the freshest, tastiest, late-night supper ever. We served it over angel hair from our favorite Brooklyn pasta source. And it wasn't until midway through the meal that I realized I had myself an OLS submission.