Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chiles Rellenos with Yellow Watermelon Salsa

Monday 23 September
We picked fourteen little peppers off our own poblano plants (here you see them with another miracle crop, our sweet stubby carrots, also just ready to pick) and roasted and skinned them for tonight's chiles rellenos

They got stuffed with a mix of colby and goat cheese seasoned with minced onion and fresh oregano, and then dipped in egg and rolled in seasoned cornmeal to be fried in two batches.

Served them on a yellow watermelon and tomatillo salsa doused with lime juice.  Pretty elegant, no?

Stir-Fried Pork with Green Beans

Sunday 22 September
We bought a big mess o' green beans from the Farmers' Market yesterday, and just had to cook them quickly, while they were still fresh and tender. 
Got out a packet of scrappy pork that we had frozen for such an occasion, cut the meat into scraps, marinated it in a spoonful of soy sauce and half that amount of shao xing wine, and seasoned with sugar, salt, and white pepper. 
Topped and tailed the beans (some of which got parboiled, with a few of our pole beans and a potato, for a different meal), and chopped some scallions into inch lengths, separating whites from greens.  Finally, minced a big clove of garlic (which went into the pork marinade) and an equal amount of ginger, and got out the hoisin sauce and sesame oil for final touches to our mise en place.
We stir-fried the ginger for a second, then the beans and a little salt until they were bright green, turned down the heat to let them simmer covered for a couple of minutes with a driblet of chicken broth, and set them aside.  Reheated the wok and stir-fried the pork on high heat until the pink was almost gone, then added the scallion whites, and lastly greens, to the stir-fry.  Re-added the beans, mixed up, and stir-fried a squeeze of hoisin in the center.  When it was hot and the right consistency, drizzled with sesame oil and served.
It tasted like what a Chinese mother would make at home, which is about what we were aiming for.

Whole Flounder with Garlicky Greens

Saturday 21 September
Luken's had good-looking whole flounder today for only S4.99/lb., so we got a biggish one to share. 

The recipe we found made it with a caper and tomato dressing that sounded, and eventually tasted, great.  But don't believe what they tell you about boning it easily - those bones cling to the flesh, which had to be scraped away in flaky piles.
We served it with some beet greens (from Thursday's beets) and rainbow chard from the yard, simply sautéed with garlic.  Tasted great, even if it looked like a bit of a fish-mish on the plate.

Pork Scaloppine al Marsala

Friday 20 September
We had some thin pork scaloppine from the freezer, so decided to make them the way Marcella Hazan makes scaloppine di vitello al Marsala.  Unfortunately, we followed her direction to dust with flour, which may work with larger veal scaloppine, but not with these little pork cutlets, which can't be overcooked or they'll turn to shoe leather.  Result: the coating was slimy rather than crisp, though the sauce made up for it a bit.  
On the side we had the last of the Spice Goddess pole beans.  Oh well, you can't hit a home run every time.

Salmon Steaks with Beets and Bombolini

Thursday 19 September
We had gotten a nice bunch of beets from Findlay Market, and at some point when the oven was on, roasted them, thinking to make a beet, feta and walnut salad, like one we had seen at Fresh Table.  We found a good recipe for that, but in the meantime, Holt had become entranced with a recipe for bombolini, little puffs filled with gorgonzola cheese.  

So we modified the beet recipe by making it with toasted walnuts and no feta, because of the cheese in the li'l' puffs.  Here's the recipe for them.  

Note that it needs about 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour.  The dough is a basic brioche and so it is very soft, slightly sticky, and pillowy.  

I'd make 'em even smaller (divide dough into 24) and experiment with fillings.

The beets were wonderfully enriched by the caramelized onions, and the savory bombolini were so good we ate them all, though really they would have served four at least.  

We had them with a very plain fried salmon steak, because all the other flavors were dancing around like crazy.