Sunday, August 19, 2007

One Local Summer 2007: Week Eight

Who could resist a soybean variety called "Beer Friend"? Not me.

Feeling like I need some cosmic brownie points, I decided I would post a whole bunch of local meals this week. I am THE cook and gardener and kitchen cleaner in this house. I work 45 hours a week, typically. I also do commute to work on Mondays and Fridays, and my commute is 40 minutes long, one way. So if people say "I don't have your kind of time to cook the way you do," I say bully.
Monday's dinner
Monday: This is a commute day, so I found some local-ish Indiana Amish egg pasta in the pantry and whipped up my favorite pasta dish with potatoes, beans, basil and garlic from the garden.
Tuesday's dinner
Tuesday: Family came for dinner, so I cooked a bit more than usual. Edamame (green soybeans) are now edible, and the variety I grew this year is called "Beer Friend," so I paired them with local Bell's beer. Menu was broccoli souffle, roasted beets, the edamame, cucumbers, and a sourdough boule.

Wednesday was the Forgot to Photograph It Day. Just as well because I make the ugliest tortillas you have ever seen! My new source for cornmeal is also a source for masa, I am most grateful. I made bean burritos with refried cranberry beans from the garden, served with lots of onions and salsa.

Thursday was our fifth anniversary, so we went out to dinner at a fabulous restaurant that features local food. All the food and the wine was harvested within 50 miles of their door. I had the Fruits and Vegetables entree: Cauliflower and garlic soup with curry oil, Yellow watermelon salad with pickled red onion, basil gelee and watercress, and their house-made fettuccini with beets and fennel in a goat cheese broth. Tom had Providence Farms wood-roasted chicken over bok choy and chanterelles in a mushroom jus with a poached egg on top. We split an apple-raspberry cobbler with local vanilla gelatto, and our wines, from Fenn Valley, were Meritage red, Desert Sunset rose, and a lovely sparkling riesling with dessert.

Friday's dinner
Friday was another Commute Day, so I made a simple tomato sauce from the tomatoes I was stewing on the stove to can (three days of no canning = a huge amount of tomatoes to can; gotta double up my time on the stove). To more of that Amish pasta, I added the sauce, and some mozzarella I made. I also caramelized some onions and overgrown green beans.
Saturday's dinner
Saturday we had more relatives come to dinner, so I made another broccoli souffle. (We're going nuts with all these eggs, frankly.) I roasted some carrots in brown butter with thyme. I've got some lovely shell beans now, so I served them with collards, onions and garlic and the pot likker. The green beans were a hit from Friday night, so I made more. I made a yogurt-honey-wheat bread. We had a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers (not shown).

Sunday, we're going to grandma's to eat, otherwise there'd be another meal to post!

Everything was local or garden- or chicken-produced, excepting salt, EVOO, butter and the milk that I made into yogurt and mozzarella.

8 comments:

Liz said...

Damn, El. You seriously rock.

Yum to all of it!

Nada said...

Not only is the food GOOD but you have ironed table linen too ;)

Inspiring!

El said...

Thanks, Liz.

Nada: as you know, if you stretch your wet linens when you dry them on the line, there's no need to iron! (But thanks for thinking I did.)

lucette said...

Broccoli souffle--why haven't I thought of that?

Gaile said...

I'd love to know where you've gotten your broccoli souffle recipe. it looks fantastic!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I am green with envy over your soybeans. I can't get the darn things to germinate... admittedly, I just followed the directions on the packet, though. Any tips? I swear I would rip out even more of my lawn if I could just grow more foodstuffs.

ps. Thanks for not letting us girls who work off the hook. I have a new "if El can do it, so can I" energy somehow.

El said...

Kim: I planted the soybeans pretty late (early June) in a bed prepped by green manures. You know, my germination rate was somewhat spotty, too; maybe 60%, whereas the adjacent haricot verts planted the same day were close to 90%. But the soys are really productive little puppies, with 30-40 pods per plant. Full sun, raised bed. (Get digging!)

Lucette and Gaile: Souffle is fairly standard around here, broccoli is coming out my ears now that I have picked the main heads so all those little baby side shoots are great chopped up in something like this.

The recipe is Deborah Madison's from her Veg Cooking for Everyone: it's the holy text in this house. It's a variation on her goat cheese souffle, substituting that cheese for cheddar and adding 2 t mustard to the bechamel sauce, along with about 1.5 cups of chopped/cooked onions/broccoli. Here goes:

Goat Cheese Souffle with Thyme
Butter plus 2T parmesan for the dish
1.25 c. milk, cream or veg stock
Aromatics: 1 bay leaf, several thyme sprigs, 2 thin onion slices
3T butter
3T flour
Salt and pepper
Pinch cayenne
4 egg yolks
1 c crumbled goat cheese like Bucheron
6 egg whites
Several plump thyme sprigs, leaves only

Preheat oven to 400*. Butter a 6 cup souffle dish or an 8 cup gratin dish and coat it with the parmesan. Heat milk with aromatics until it boils. Set it aside to steep 15 minutes, then strain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. When foamy, stir in flour and cook over low heat for several minutes. Whisk in the milk all at once and stir vigorously for a minute or so as it thickens, then add 3/4 teaspoon salt, a few twists of pepper and the cayenne. Remove from heat. Beat in the egg yolks one by one until well blended, then stir in the cheese. It will be lumpy; don't worry about getting it smooth.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form firm peaks, then stir a quarter of them into the base to lighten the mixture. Fold in the rest, transfer to prepared dish, then put in the center of the oven and lower the heat to 375*. Bake for 30 mins. until goldne and just a bit wobbly in the center. Remove, scatter thyme on the top, and serve immediately.

bon appetit!

Stacie said...

that is a ton of local food, dude! and I am jealous that Bells is your local beer...mmmmmm.....