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Archive for May, 2011

Potato salad is a summer picnic staple, and it seems like there as many different kinds of salads as there are tastes. I’ve talked about my family’s potato salad and a different version I made for Memorial Day last year. I made another one this year. Actually, I initially made it to use up our CSA radishes last week, and made it again by request for a BBQ lunch I hosted this weekend. I did not use radishes the second time around. The CSA green onions also went into the salad.

Like the blue cheese potato salad from last year, this is different from the classic mayo-based version, but still has a traditional feel to it, thanks to the bit of mayo added to the yogurt dressing. It also gains extra flavor from roasting the potatoes, rather than boiling them. All of this results in a tangy, creamy, highly-flavored potato salad that makes a nice change from the usual.

Here’s what you do – adapted from “Roasted Radish and Potato Salad” from Food 52

The major changes I made include adding mayo to the yogurt dressing, using regular mustard seeds instead of black ones (could not find the black seeds), and omitting the radishes the second time I made the salad. If you omit the radishes, just add more potatoes.

Serves 2 to 3 – can be doubled at will

1 large Yukon gold potato, cut into bite sized pieces

8-10 radishes

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon black or regular mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon plain yogurt – I used low-fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon mayonnaise (could also use twice the yogurt and leave out the mayo)

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon sugar

Mix the lemon juice with the salt and sugar in a small bowl until dissolved. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine potatoes with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Toss evenly to coat. Transfer potatoes to a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 10 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, cut the radishes in half, or quarters for larger ones. Add radishes to the same bowl you mixed the potatoes, and also add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, some sea salt and pepper. Mix well.

Once the potatoes have roasted for 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently push potatoes to one side of pan, trying to keep the skins in-tact. Add radishes in a single layer to the other side.

(Picture above is after the vegetables were done cooking and I mixed them around on the pan)

Continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes or until potatoes and radishes are tender. After about the first five minutes, take out the pan and turn everything or shake the pan.  Start checking after ten minutes to ensure everything doesn’t overcook.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir with the oil. Cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Be careful, the mustard seeds will pop when heated. I used a splatter screen. You could also use a wooden spoon to shield the seeds. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Mix together the yogurt, mayo, green onions, mustard and cumin seeds. Add one and a half teaspoons of the lemon/salt/sugar mixture. Taste the dressing. Add more lemon juice mix if you’d like. I added almost all of the mixture to the dressing.

When the potatoes and radishes are done, remove pan from oven and allow vegetables to cool slightly. Transfer roasted radishes and potatoes to a bowl. Add yogurt mixture. Fold to combine. Cover salad and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to develop. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

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thai-style pork ribs

I’m back – with a new kitchen, new apartment, new roomate, and a CSA.

Wow – where did the last 3 weeks go? A lot has happened in the last few weeks. I packed up my old, single-living apartment, moved into my new, bigger, cohabitating/living-in-sin apartment, unpacked and put away everything  my kitchen, sent my patient bf out to pick up our new CSA, and cooked a few amazing things with our box o’ produce.

I’m borrowing an idea from my friend over at Vivid Greens. Every week throughout the winter, Molly wrote about the CSA (community-supported agriculture) share she received. She talked about what she received, how she used the produce, and even did a cost breakdown of what items in the share cost compared to similar items from the grocery store. Every week I will be receiving  a box of produce for two people. Additionally, every other week I’ll be receiving 3 lbs. of mystery meat. This started last Thursday with the following things: bok choy, green onions, strawberries, romaine lettuce, mixed salad greens, radishes, a rack of pork ribs, and pork chops. I don’t mean to steal Molly’s great blog idea, but for the next 6 months, the box of food I receive every week is going to be dictating and guiding what I cook. So it will be a major factor, if not THE deciding factor in the recipes I choose. So it is going to be making an appearance here regularly.

Chris and I, well, mostly me, have been nervous about this. Is it worth the money? Will we be able to use/consume/ cook all of the produce every week? Will we be able to quell the frequent urge to dine out? With all these questions, combined with the move, I was convinced my hair would turn gray trying to use/consume/cook everything. Also – as I mentioned in my post about my farmers’ market-induced anxiety, I have to find recipes and more elaborate methods of cooking things. Which finally brings me to the recipe for this post – Thai pork ribs with sauteed bok choy.

I’ve never cooked ribs before. But these were easy and delicious. I found the recipe after searching for pork spareribs on Epicurious. I found the recipe and then consulted my good chef friend, Andrew. He suggested the same recipe – so I knew I had a picked a winner.  I was also able to use several of  items from my CSA in this one meal: the green onions and pork ribs as well as the bok choy for a side dish. I don’t know much about how spareribs are butchered, but there were some smaller bony pieces amid the larger rib bones. I wasn’t sure how to deal with these – and also did not cut the ribs into riblets as the instructions stated. Honestly, I didn’t know how. They still came out well. We just had to eat around a few parts (sorry vegetarians).

Here’s the recipe for the Thai-Style Pork Spareribs, from Epicurious. The bok choy is below, from me!

1/2 cup sliced shallots

5 green onions, coarsely chopped

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced

4 large cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro including thin stems (and roots, if possible)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoons sugar

2 pounds pork spare ribs, cut by your butcher across the bone into 2- to 3-inch “racks,” each rack cut between the bones into individual 2- to 3-inch-long riblets [again – I did not do the next part and  left the ribs in-tact.]

1. Put everything except the pork in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a loose, finely chopped paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

2. Place ribs in a large dish. Thoroughly coat the ribs with the marinade, massaging the paste into the meat for a minute or so. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours or up to 5 hours in the refrigerator, tossing the ribs once or twice during this time.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the ribs out, bone-side down, on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until ribs are deeply colored and very tender but not yet falling from the bone, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve with brown rice and stir-fried bok choy, or another side of your choice.

Stir-fried Bok Choy

1 T. peanut oil

2 bunches of bok choy, thoroughly washed, trimmed, and thinly sliced

2 green onions, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 t. five spice powder

salt and pepper

soy sauce for serving

Put the peanut oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and green onions and stir for a minute. Then add the spice powder and stir again until fragrant.

Add the sliced bok choy with the water still clinging to the leaves from washing it. Stir and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with soy sauce if desired.

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