Monday, March 30, 2009

Neverending Pork Shoulder and Week 11

The turnips didn't make it this week, but I did get to experiment with pea shoots. I realized that I've eaten them in the salad mix when we've gotten it, though they are also good steamed quickly with some sauteed ginger and garlic. When I cooked mine, I included about a cup of edamame and added soy sauce and sesame seeds at the end. Unfortunately I had to pour off most of the soy sauce because I had added too much, and the pea shoots were slightly overcooked, but it was still an enjoyable side dish.

I made a rosemary garlic sauce to put on the spinach and egg pasta from Week 9. It had strong flavors from its ingredients, but it didn't overwhelm the fresh noodles. We also got Italian dandelion greens that week, and I braised those in the same pot (my new Dutch oven!) as the pork shoulder.

Working from an Amanda Hesser recipe that I found online, I browned the 3-4 pound bone in pork shoulder in my Dutch oven. I took it out and sauteed diced carrots, onion, whole garlic cloves, rosemary, and parsley until they were soft.

The recipe called for red wine, but I love cooking with dry vermouth and used 1/2 cup of that to deglaze the pan instead. Next I added the pork back to the pot and covered it about a third of the way with water. It went into the 325 degree oven for several hours, and Davy and I turned and basted it every half hour. We didn't eat it until the next day, which the recipe said would make it even tastier.

When I reheated it in the oven, I just put the chopped dandelion greens right on top of the meat for 30-45 minutes at 300 degrees. We ate the pulled pork and greens over rice with the carrots and onions that had cooked with the meat. Everything was delicious and full of flavor, and the greens were still slightly tangy to offset the rich pork. After two nights of greens, pork, and rice, we started making pork nachos and quesadillas for some variation. There are still a few servings left, but I haven't gotten sick of it yet.

On Friday I made a roasted shrimp and broccoli dish that was simple and rewarding. I tossed the broccoli with cumin and coriander seeds, along with a few other ingredients, before adding the shrimp. The shrimp was flavored with lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper, and everything blended together nicely.

For the upcoming week, I ordered whole wheat fettuccine, eggs, more Italian dandelion greens, sunflower sprouts, and curly kale.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Belated Guinness Cake

I discovered the recipe for this Chocolate Stout Cake before St. Patrick's Day, but I didn't have a chance to make it for the 17th because I had just gotten back from a trip on Monday night. Luckily no one seemed to mind when I served it after a filling dinner at Buz and Ned's on Friday. It is a very moist, rich cake with deep flavors. The cake itself isn't overly sweet, nor is the chocolate ganache frosting, but they meld together to create a luscious dessert experience. Unfortunately the cake was gone so quickly that I forgot to take pictures.

I made half of the recipe and it was a normal 9", two layer sized cake. One of the interpretations I found said to make the cakes at least twenty-four hours before frosting, and I was able to do that. I also made the ganache the day before (three-quarters of what the original recipe asked for) and had to heat it on the stove before it was soft enough to spread. In addition, I sifted and stirred in 1.5-2 cups of confectioner's sugar to take the bittersweet edge off and give the frosting a little more volume. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome, but I might try to experiment in some other ways when I make this cake again.

On Thursday I'll be picking up turnips, pea shoots, a cucumber, and sweet potatoes from Edible Garden. I also have to post about the pork shoulder I made in my new Dutch oven. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Co-Op Week 10

I know I haven't been updating regularly, and I'm sorry for anyone who has been checking. I was out of town last week and didn't order anything from the co-op. Today I'm picking up fresh spinach and egg pasta, a cucumber, salad greens, and Italian dandelion. I should be posting entries about everything next week. Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Co-Op Week 8

You may or may not have noticed that I skipped Week 7. I decided to take a week off because we had a lot of vegetables around and I knew we had some dinners planned for the weekend. This week we'll resume with:

- a head of hydroponic bibb lettuce

- hubbard squash

- curly kale

- pumpkin ravioli