Archive for August, 2007

plum cake time

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

We had a very nice weekend in Minneapolis but we came home to some fruit that needed to be taken care of. Last night I made some baked pears and I have enough left still for another big batch or some pear cake. I wanted to make the pear cake last night since I already had the oven on, but it was after 10 by the time the plum cake was done, so that was a no go. The plums were a little past what I like for eating, which meant they were perfect for plum cake. I had some cake flour that I wanted to use up, so I used that instead of AP flour and the results were totally different. Instead of a dense cake with the plum halves glistening on top, the cake rose above the plum halves.

Plum Cake

It’s pretty, but different. I’ll report back on how it tastes once I’ve tasted it.

you say tomato,

Friday, August 24th, 2007

I say tomato, tomato, tomato. 6 pounds of tomatoes this week! We’re going to the Minnesota State Fair this weekend and I didn’t think that the tomatoes would be in great shape by the time we got back, so I have two in my carry-on to take to Grandma’s house and 6 or so went in to the oven last night and became roasted tomato confit. I had a little on my eggs this morning. Very tasty. We ate two tomatoes for dinner last night with olive oil, good paisano bread from Zingermans and maldon sea salt. We had one giant yellow tomato and one smaller red tomato from my garden (the variety is escaping me right now). Both were fantastic.

2007 CSA Week 11 - Veg!

Roma Beans-1 pound
Summer Onions-2
Edamame-1 bunch
Slicing Tomatoes-6 pounds
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Lipstick Sweet Peppers-4
Basil-1 bunch
Beets-1 bunch

This week, pears are the main event in the fruit department. Luckily they’re pretty hard so I think they’ll still be ok when we get back. I think there will be too many to eat before they go bad, so I’ll probably have to do some pear-based baking.

2007 CSA Week 11 - Fruit!

Red Clapp Pears

sheri cooking > restaurant

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Last night I made:

  • gnocchi with sauteed eggplant, homemade tomato puree, diced heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil
  • swiss chard sauteed/steamed with garlic
  • steamed baby pattypan squash
  • Everything, especially the gnocchi, was amazingly delicious. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t. We had pasta alla Norma at Babbo the night before and my gnocchi dish was better.


    Thursday, August 16th, 2007
    Tomatillo Salsa
    Someone’s going to kill me for that title. We got more tomatillos in this week’s share but I still had half of last week’s tomatillos left, so I whipped up some tomatillo salsa last night after I got back from picking up the share. The first time I made tomatillo salsa I tried a recipe from epicurious that had lime juice and other things in it and it was way too watery. Yesterday I just put tomatillos, onions, cilantro and a little kosher salt in the food processor, processed until it was still chunky and it was much tastier and less runny.

    On with the rest! Week 10:

    2007 CSA Week 10 - Veggies

    Summer Squash-1 pound
    Lettuce-1 head
    Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1bunch
    Romano Beans-1 pound
    Cilantro-1 bunch
    Sungold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
    Lilac Peppers-2
    Slicing Tomatoes-2 pounds
    Orient Express Eggplant-2
    Sweet Onions-2
    Tomatillos-1 pound
    Fennel-1 head

    I finally have everything I need to make gazpacho (I have cukes leftover from last week) and I think I’ll whip up a batch tonight. The other thing I’m definitely going to make is gnocchi with sauteed eggplant, chopped tomato, and basil. We’ll just have to see with the rest.

    2007 CSA Week 10 - Fruit

    yellow peaches
    prune plums

    To eat the plums or make plum cake? These are tough decisions.

    2007 CSA Week 9

    Monday, August 13th, 2007

    I’m very excited about this week’s share. The ethereal flavor of the donut peaches is just too hard to put in to words. I did a lot of cooking yesterday, but first things first.

    2007 CSA Week 9 - Veggies
    Summer Squash-2 pounds
    Lettuce-1 head
    Provider String Beans-1 pound
    Cilantro-1 bunch
    Sungold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
    Pablano Peppers-4
    Slicing Tomatoes-2 pounds
    Orient Express Eggplant-2
    Scallions-1 bunch
    Tomatillos-1 pound

    2007 CSA Week 9 - Fruit
    donut peaches
    yellow peaches

    I haven’t baked anything with the peaches/nectarines so far. They’re just too delicious and I’m perfectly happy to eat them plain or in yogurt, without any pastry. The summer squash was all zucchini this week, which was just fine by me since I wanted to make more chocolate chip zucchini bread. I made a double batch of batter last night and baked it into 4 mini loaf pans and 1 large bundt pan. I still have all of this share’s cucumbers and one of last week’s left, so I’m a bit long on cucumbers right now. I ought to make some type of a salad out of them but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. For shabbat I made a vegetarian mexican fiesta. I made salsa fresca with heirloom tomatoes, cilantro, mini purplette onions from a previous week, and some kosher salt. I made tomatillo salsa by throwing tomatillos in the food processor along with garlic, onion, and cilantro. It was very tasty but I might try and drain it a little bit next time, as it was a little on the watery side. I chopped up some onion, lettuce, green peppers, and poblano peppers to serve with it all. We also had guacamole, black beans, rice, cheddar cheese, and tortillas to round out the yummyness.
    Sunday afternoon I made a good noodle salad with somen noodles tossed in a spicy peanut dressing, which I made from peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha, and a little sesame oil. To all that I added finely diced poblano peppers, green onions, julienned carrots, and diced garlic scapes. For dinner I served chopped arugula with balsamic vinaigrette and rough chopped tomatoes tossed with kosher salt and lots of fresh basil alongside grilled japanese eggplant. I halved the eggplant the long way, brushed the cut side with olive oil, and grilled for about 8 minutes per side. The eggplant were creamy and delicious.

    Now I’m tired and hungry!

    A busy week!

    Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

    Last week (and the beginning of this week) was very busy and I just wasn’t able to get the details of week 8 up. My apologies! Here’s CSA Week 8:

    2007 CSA Week 8 - Veggies

    Summer Squash-2 pounds
    Lettuce-1 head
    Mini Purplette Onions-1 bunch
    Provider String Beans-1 pound
    Red Ace Beets-1 bunch
    Perpetual Spinach-1 bunch
    Cilantro-1 bunch
    Sungold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
    Black Bell Eggplant-1

    What did we do with all that goodness? The eggplant went into a delicious pasta dish made with whole wheat rotelli, tomato sauce, diced eggplant , garlic scapes, and some zucchini from last week. The spinach and beet greens made for a delightful fritatta. We got a few salads out of the lettuce and the cukes topped sandwiches and made for good snacks. The pattypan squash was very good steamed in the microwave along with the mini onions.

    My mom was visiting last week and we discovered that beets are delightful when cooked in the microwave. It couldn’t be any easier. All you need to do is:
    wash the beets and trim the greens to about an inch above the top
    put the beets in a microwaveable container and cover with a lid
    microwave on high for 8 minutes
    let the beets sit in the microwave for 5 minutes
    if the beets are small, they might be done at this point. Take the beets out of the microwave and check them (poke with finger). If they’re not done, microwave for 3 minutes more and then let them sit in the microwave for 10 minutes.
    Peel and eat or chill.


    super delicious