February 12, 2011
The Latest… There is just so much love in this box! Every ingredient, every ! pairing screams (ahem, I mean gently whispers) sweet nothings of LOVE. We wish you the very best, farm fresh, tickled pink, Valentines week of LOVE. Eat The ! LOVE. We have Fat Uncle Farms special Choco-Almond Pancake mix (breakfast in bed??), bright red strawberries, luscious dates from the desert, sweet smelling Lavender , Chamomile and Squash blossoms (what’s Valentines Day without some fresh flowers?), a candlelit dinner, long walks on the beach…well, maybe just a Filet Mignon and asparagus for that candle-lit dinner and Wild Salmon, because it’s WILD. Eat The Love, indeed. Every week that you receive this box and enjoy it’s contents with your family, you are placing your vote. Let me explain. This past Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to meet the Don himself at an event at USC curated by Evan Kleinman (of KCRW’s Good Food fame) and WOW did it do a few things. For starters, it scared the living daylights out of me, re-reminded me of things I can easily forget because of my Farmers Market Maven ways. The other thing it did was made me want to remind all of you (my captive audience) of what an important statement you are making by choosing to feed your families the way you do. All of the contents of your box, each week, are curated with so much care. We source only from small, local farmers and artisans who are lovers of food and lovers of their craft and most importantly take pride in what they do. They are driven to produce a high quality, clean, honest product because they know that that is what is best for you, best for the planet, the most sustainable and the most humane. Plus, it is what is unbeatably delectable! Did I tell you who my Don was? The one and only, Michael Pollan. I am sure you have already read his works, but if you have not, please do (start with Omnivore’s Dilemna). On Wednesday, he reminded us that every dollar you spend on food is your vote. A vote to clean up the system, or to let it continue on a path that will undoubtedly destroy our bodies and our planet. So, thank you. Sincerely. Your subscription to OBC sends a message, a very powerful one. If you do look up his work, look up “pink slime”…but please, do it after dinner. Stepping down from my soapbox for now and celebrating the positive. Let’s get to matters at hand…candle-lit dinners! Eat The Love, Shaheda, your Market Maven
BOX CONTENTS Fruits and Veggies ROOTS Candy Onions (Roots) Chili Fingerling Potatoes (Mike Dixon) Garlic (Santa Catarina) VEGGIES Asparagus (Life’s a Choke) Bok Choy (Amapola Ranch) Sugar Snap Peas (Rancho Cortez) Brussel Sprouts (Rancho Cortez) Cauliflower (Rancho Cortez) HERBS Lavendar (Earthtrine) Chamomile (Earthtrine) LEAFY GREENS Spring salad mix (Shepherd Farms) Braising Mix (the Garden of…)
FRUIT Murcott Manderines (Regier) Bacon Avocados (Rancho Santa Cecilia) Kiwis (Mallard Lake Ranch) Bananas (fair-trade) Navel Oranges (Friends) EXTRA FRUIT Tahoe Gold Tangerines (Friends) Cherimoya (Mud Creek) Haas Avocado (Mud Creek) Extra Oranges (Friends) Extra Kiwis (Mallard Lake Ranch) Meat & Eggs Filet Mignon (Rancho San Julian) Boneless Chicken Breasts (HFF) Ground Beef (RSJ)
DAIRY: Unsalted Butter (Spring Hill Dairy) Goat Chevre (Cypress Grove) or Cream Cheese (Sierra Nevada) NUTS, SEEDS, DRIED FRUIT: Bio-Dynamic Medjool, Kadrawi or Barhi Dates- Flying Disc Ranch Grain/ Pulse: Fat Uncle Farms Chocolate Almond Pancake Mix Regional Specialty& Fair Trade: Happy Valentines Day (Sweet Earth Chocolates) Conserve: Strawberry Balsamic Jam (Bona Dea) Catch of the Week! Wild Caught Sock-Eye Salmon (Janae’s Filets)
Woo the one(s) you love. Rancho San Julian, grass fed, lavender, Garlic and Herb Filet Mignon. Served with garlicky spears of asparagus and roasted chili fingerling potatoes. Tonight, there’s even dessert! Nothing says “I Love You” like steak and potatoes…and dessert. Classic flavors, classic meal. We are so lucky in California, if you start with beautiful ingredients (like you do), there is very little that needs to be done to enjoy an amazing, conscious meal. I like to add a few interesting things to really wake up your taste buds. Ingredients:
Meat: Filet Mignon, salted, room temp Pat of butter- room temp 1 tsp Lavendar- Chopped 2 tsp Garlic- crushed 2 tsp Tarragon –if you have it 2 tsp Rosemary- if you have it
Preheat oven to 400F.
Veg: Asparagus- 1/2” cut off end 2 cloves of garlic- sliced thin squeeze of lemon Fingerling potatoes- brushed Pat of butter Sweet: 1 cup of sliced strawberries 2 tbls sugar ! tsp lavender- chopped " cup Bona Dea strawberry jam Fat Uncle Pancake mix optional: 3 tbls grand marnier or brandy ricotta, whipped cream, cream cheese, yoghurt 2 pieces of sweet earth chocolate- melt
In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, garlic and softened butter. Tenderly rub this mixture into your salted, room temperature filet. Set aside. Sprinkle sliced strawberries with sugar, lavender and liquor (if using). Allow to macerate in the fridge. Make your pancake batter as directed, but add more liquid. The “crepe” batter should be runny but not watery. Place in the fridge. Set prepped asparagus spears on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Toss fingerlings with olive oil, salt and rosemary (if using). Lay out on another sheet of foil. Place both sheets of foil on a pan. All veggies should be in a single layer, uncovered and separate. Roast asparagus for about 10 minutes. Spears should be starting to crisp at the heads but still be bright green and tender crisp. Give them a good squeeze of lemon once you remove them from the oven. Depending on their size, the potatoes will take between 20-30 minutes. Once they are done (check with a fork), toss them with some fresh herbs and a small pat of softened butter. I really like using cast iron pans for meat. Lodge makes great ones (available at Target) at a very reasonable price. If you don’t have one, heat up your favorite skillet until it is way too hot to test. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil and a little butter into the pan (after it is hot). Sear your fillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how you like it and how thin the filet is. Remove from pan and allow to rest for about 5 minutes, if you can wait! Our dessert is a fun one, super versatile. Make your pancake batter as directed, but add more liquid. The “crepe” batter should be runny but not watery. Make your crepes on a non stick pans, melt a little butter into the pan, pour in batter (about a " cup) and swirl the pan around the coat the bottom. Let cook for about 30 seconds and then flip carefully with a flat spatula. The crepe will be done after 10 seconds. This takes practice, feel free to just make pancakes for a Sunday Valentines Breakfast if the thought of this scares you or just seems crazy after making dinner. If you were lucky enough to get cream cheese in your box, use that with the beautiful jam! Whichever you choose, crepe dessert or a pancake breakfast, the topping/ filling options are limitless. Strawberry jam/ ricotta (or whipped cream, etc) on the inside, maserated strawberries on top. Last weeks pistachios and dates inside, warm honey on top. Fairtrade bananas inside, a drizzle of melted chocolate outside. Yum!
Classic Clean Stir Fry | Orange marinated chicken, snap peas, bok choy. Served with Shredded Brussel Sprout and citrus salad. After last night’s indulgent feast, let’s pull something simpler together. Stir fries also say “I love you” just in a more subtle voice. This can be served over rice or noodles, or as is. Stir fries are the best way to use up odds and ends. It saves you from feeling guilty about waste. So, feel free to improvise! Ingredients:
Meat: Boneless chicken- cut into cubes 1 navel orange- juiced 3 cloves of garlic- crushed 2” of ginger- if you have itgrated 1 tsps of flour splash of soy sauce
For stir fries, the most important thing is to complete all the prep before you start cooking. The cooking part happens pretty fast.
Veg: Snap peas Bok choy- cut into pieces, stem and leaves in separate piles. ! an onion- chopped 3 cloves of garlic- sliced optional: sesame oil sesame seeds
Shred or slice the brussel sprouts thinly. Section the mandarin and a make a quick vinaigrette with olive oil, mandarin or lemon juice, salt and pepper. If using a nut oil, drizzle a small amount into the dressing. Taste. Don’t dress until ready to eat.
Salad: Brussel sprouts- sliced thin Mandarin- sectioned Juice of a mandarin Olive oil, salt, pepper Optional: Walnut or sesame oil Walnut or almond pieces
For this recipe, we’ll start with the chicken marinade. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken pieces. In a bowl, toss the chicken with flour (if using) to coat. Add in chopped garlic, ginger, soy sauce and orange juice. Allow to marinade.
Heat up a small amount of oil in a wok or skillet. Use an oil with a high burning point (like canola or grapeseed). Add in the chicken in batches to brown. Remove onto a plate. Add garlic to the oil. Add in vegetables in order of toughness, bok choy stems, onions, snap peas and then bok choy leaves. Stir around and then add chicken back into the wok to finish cooking. Vegetables should be crisp and vibrant in color. Drizzle with a little sesame oil (if using), a squeeze of mandarin juice and sesame seeds. Serve over rice or noodles. Toss the salad ingredients together and now you are ready to FEAST. How about some kiwis and sweet earth chocolate for dessert? Maybe a cup of relaxing Chamomile tea?
This weeks gift for new customers: Beautiful flowering almond blossoms from Earthtrine!
Rancho San Julian ground beef meatballs with a surprise. Comforting roasted cauliflower soup. Mixed Green Salad. We are going to make these meatballs in the oven. And they can definitely be made ahead and just rewarmed when you get hungry for them. Do you remember those Windrose smoked tomatoes we had a couple weeks ago? Dig them out, they’ll be delicious in the meatballs. Roasting the cauliflower first makes this soup way more delicious. It can be left chunky or blended smooth.
Meat: Ground beef 1 egg ! cup oats or breadcrumbs 1 onion- diced Cypress Hill Chevre- if you have it. 2-3 smoked tomatoes- chopped, waiting in a small bowl of olive oil. 4 cloves of garlic- crushed herbs- parsley, cilantro or mint optional: ! cup of grated Parmesan
Meanwhile, for the meatballs, combine all ingredients, EXCEPT goat cheese into a large bowl. Mix well, but don’t over mix. Use your hands, get in there! Form the meat mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball. Using your finger, create a little indentation for the goat cheese, if you have it. Stuff a small piece of goat cheese into the meat and then seal. Please on a cookie sheet and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking, you may want to shake the pan around so the meatballs are cooked evenly. The tops should be sizzling and brown and the meat should be cooked. These can be served with a piece of your favorite crusty toasted bread or on their own, with our soup and mixed green salad.
Veg: Soup! 1 onion- quartered cauliflower- pieced 6 cloves of garlic optional: carrots, celery- diced Chicken or vegetable stock Yoghurt or cream to taste Little bit of goat cheese Little bit of vinegar, if needed. Olive or walnut oil Salad: Mixed greens Avocado Vinaigrette with Mandarin- juice Olive oil Salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Prep all the soup vegetables. On a foil lined cookie sheet, lay out garlic cloves, cauliflower florets, and onion. Drizzle everything with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, Roast for 30-35 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
For the soup, once all the vegetables are roasted, remove them from the oven. In a pot, start to sauté some celery and carrot in a little pat of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Once they are soft, add in all the roasted vegetables. Warm through, add in stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes and then turn off heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is smooth. If ou do not have one, blend in batches in a freestanding blender. whisk in yoghurt or cream and then a little goat cheese. Taste and season. Taste and season. Add vinegar, only if needed. Serve with a drizzle of a good quality olive oil or your favorite walnut oil. Assemble salad. Serve the meatballs (SURPRISE goat cheese!) with a bowl of roasted cauliflower soup and a spring salad.
Breakfast in bed?? Sunday morning Valentine!
Healthy Family Farm Eggs poached in a nest of hearty winter greens. This is one of my favorite simple meals, maybe because it makes me feel like a winner at poaching eggs…hmmm. Or maybe because it is delicious, healthy, straightforward and loaded with nutrients. I like this meal served in a bowl of lovely chewy brown rice. And, of course, a soft oozing yolk. Ingredients:
Garlic- crushed Onion- diced Braising greens Red chili flakes Eggs- as many as you’d like to eat
Start with a flat bottomed skillet, one with a lid. Warm up some oil and add in the garlic and red chili flakes. Throw in the onions and cook until soft. Season with salt and black pepper. Add in the Garden of… Braising greens and stir around to combine flavors and season. Lower the heat and cover. After the greens have wilted down, using the back of a spoon, carefully make “nests” into the greens. Even more carefully, crack an egg into each of these nests. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tops of the eggs have set. To serve, fill your bowl with warm brown rice and scoop a heaping “nest” on top, greens and egg. If you’d like, squeeze some lemon juice onto the greens. Crack the yolk with your spoon and enjoy!
Pasta, Roasted brussel sprouts, goat cheese, baby zucchini. Topped with squash blossoms. Mixed green salad. The squash blossoms are just so beautiful and make a lovely presentation on top of just about anything. The warm roasted Brussels are a great pair with chewy pasta and sharp goat cheese. Ingredients:
Brussel sprouts- halved Asparagus, if you have any left. Goat cheese- if you have it Squash blossoms- separated Baby zucchini- separate from blossom- chopped in half. Pasta, wheat or white
Preheat oven to 400F. Toss Brussels and baby zucchini with olive oil and salt. Roast for about 30 minutes. If you still have asparagus, add that to roast that as well. Please note, you may use leftover roasted asparagus from our “fancy Steak dinner” in this meal. Just chop it up. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain, reserve some pasta liquid. Once the vegetables are roasted and starting to crisp up, toss everything together with the pasta, add the pasta water and goat cheese. Top with squash blossoms and serve. Don’t forget the salad.
Mixed green salad- your way.
Catch of the Week | Wild Caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, simply seared Wild salmon for a wild week! We are so excited to introduce Janae’s Filets. Janae is actually the fisherman’s wife (Rhymes with Filet). The fisherman is related to our favorite Fat Uncle (of almond fame!). Esteban (the Fat Uncle Fisherman) goes to Alaska and catches these babies himself, in the wild!! They are flash frozen in Alaska and brought here for you to enjoy. We actually bought these from Esteban himself. We are so excited to bring you this beautiful salmon. The practices of Esteban and Janae’s Filets align so perfectly with the ideals that we have at OBC and we are proud to support them. Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a piece of wild caught-with care salmon, as you know it is not available in California. Valentines Day- we all deserve a treat. I think the best way to enjoy this fish is seared, skin down on a blazing hot pan. Personally I like mine just cooked on the skin side for a couple minutes and then served with some lemon juice and course sea salt. Add some snap peas and rice and you have a lovely meal that highlights the sock-eye.