Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CSA in the Kitchen

The ingredient that really caught my attention this week was the bok choy, so let's start there.  The types of dishes that usually call for this green are not what Grady and I are used to cooking (or eating) so this was a bit of an adventure for us!  After looking at what we had on hand, I decided to make a noodle stir-fry.

The great thing about stir-fry's is that you can throw in what you have - a big plus in CSA cooking!  For this dish I thinly sliced the thick ends of the bok choy and cut the leaves into strips.  I added small broccoli florets and some chopped green onions (please don't look back at how many weeks ago we received those!).  You could possibly also add sliced onions or even sweet peppers.

While I was waiting for the water for the noodles to boil, I cooked the veggies in a large pan over medium-high heat in a few tablespoons of sunflower oil (peanut would be ideal but we don't keep it on hand).  Once the greens were wilted and everything was soft - about 4 minutes - I removed them to a bowl.  The noodles I boiled for a few minutes, drained and tossed with a little more oil to keep them from sticking.  In the same large pan, I heated another tablespoon of oil and added 1.5 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste (or use 1/2 tablespoon each of minced fresh ginger and garlic).  After 15 seconds, I added in the noodles and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.  Saute this for another 4 minutes then combine with the veggies and you're ready to eat.

I was considering making a soup with the bok choy and if that suits your fancy, take a look at this recipe.  


Likely due to the transition to cooler weather, we were both feeling a bit sick on Sunday as we picked up our share.  Not wanting to put too much effort into cooking, but needing something filling and soothing, we stirred up a pot of comforting creamy chicken soup.

This soup uses a base of about 3 cups of homemade chicken stock and probably another 2 cups of water (we add the water because our stock is very flavorful and concentrated, if you're using canned you can use 5 cups).  Bring this to a boil and add in 1 cup of rice, which can be white or brown; reduce to a simmer and cover.

While the stock simmers, chop a carrot or two, some onions and celery if you have it - we even added thinly sliced garlic.  Saute these in some oil over medium-low heat until soft (about 15 minutes).  When the rice in your stock is cooked, add in the vegetables.  Alternatively, you could do the sauteing first in a large pot and then add the stock right on top to deglaze and then cook the rice, all in one pot.  Finally, mix in some chopped parsley (our herb of choice this week) and maybe some thyme?  We did.  To make it creamy, we simply added cream at the end.  If you'd like to skip the cream it will still be wonderful.  We also didn't have any chicken on hand but if you do, feel free to add it.

This soup was so satisfying to me that I ate two bowls of it for dinner and two again for lunch the next day.


Pickles again!  I believe this is at least the 3rd time we are talking about pickles.  I really can't take any responsibility for it.  It's all Grady and his love of sour condiments.  Rob and Christina had just the perfect sized cucumbers at the Logan Square market, so I guess it was just too hard to resist.  These are quick refrigerator Dill Pickles, another Well Preserved recipe.


Our beautiful, soon-to-be-gone tomatoes this week may be heading into a casserole of sorts.  I work for some excellent bakers/chefs at a pie company here in town and the savory chef has just created a Roasted Heirloom Tomato pie.  The pie is delicious and would be a perfect way to showcase these tomatoes, but I don't want to undertake crust making for a mid-week dinner, so here's what I'm thinking:

I will slice (or maybe just quarter?) the tomatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and also a decent amount of grated Parmesan cheese and basil.  I will layer this in a small (or whatever size looks like it will hold the amount I have) casserole dish with pre cooked white beans, such as Cannellini.  Likely, I will also add in some minced garlic and sauteed onions.  Breadcrumbs on top?  Then I will bake it in the oven at 350 for however long it takes ... 20 or 30 minutes, I'm guessing.

Sound good to you?  If so and you actually try to make this tomato bake or something like it, let me know how it goes!


Hope that everyone is enjoying these beautiful days!

~ Courtney and Grady

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