Monday, August 23, 2010

A Couple Good Recipes

Hi there! My name is Abby, and I'm a LFFC CSA member in Philadelphia. This is my first year participating in any kind of CSA, and I've loved the experience so far! Following are a couple of my favorite recipes I've used so far.

Fresh Corn Salsa

This is salsa in a very loose sense. I'm allergic to peppers and chilis, so I can't eat most prepackaged store-bought salsas. I used this as a filler in some taco wraps I made last week, and it was a smashing success. The fresh corn and tomatoes really make a difference.

1 ear fresh corn, shucked and cleaned
1 16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (feel free to use the equivalent in dried beans that you've soaked and cooked - I threw this together last minute so I didn't have time for the prep)
2 medium tomatoes, about 1/2" dice (You can dice larger or smaller, but I was trying to keep the size of the tomatoes relative to the corn and beans)
1 medium red or white onion, diced (I prefer red)
Juice of one lime
optional: 1 jalapeƱo or green pepper, diced small
optional: handful of fresh cilantro

Wrap the ear of corn pretty tight in plastic wrap, and microwave for four minutes. While that's cooking and then cooling, chop the rest of your veggies, tossing everything in a medium bowl as you go. When the corn has cooled enough that you can touch it without burning yourself, cut the kernels off the cob. I find it easiest with a medium sized paring knife; stand the cob on the larger end, and cut down from the top so the kernels fall onto your cutting board. I've seen another interesting way posted on various cooking blogs: using an angel food cake pan or bundt pan, right side up, stand the ear of corn in the center, using the tall center of the pan, and then as you cut away the kernels they fall into the bowl of the pan.

Once you have your corn and everything in the bowl, squeeze the lime juice over top, and toss to mix. This is great in tacos, or cook up some chicken or ground beef, spoon this over top and top with cheese and sour cream.

Tomato Sauce
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

The original recipe calls for canned peeled whole tomatoes, but I used fresh ones from the share and peeled them myself.

6 tomatoes, peeled*
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

Add tomatoes, butter and onion to a heavy bottomed pot over medium/medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium low, or enough to keep it at a slow simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally and crushing tomatoes against the side of the pan. Remove from heat, discard onion, and add salt to taste.

While you are certainly welcome to add herbs or seasonings to this, with the fresh tomatoes, I found that extra seasoning wasn't necessary. This made probably three to four cups of sauce (I didn't measure after I finished). I used some right away, and have some frozen to use later.

*easiest way to peel tomatoes! Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. While waiting on the water, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl nearby. When the water is boiling, score an X with a paring knife in the bottom of each tomato, and drop into boiling water for about 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drop immediately into the ice bath to halt the cooking process. After another 30 seconds or so, remove from the ice bath. The skin should peel away easily.

I didn't seed the tomatoes for the sauce, but you certainly could. After peeling, cut them in half, and squeeze gently over a bowl (or the garbage disposal) to remove seeds. scrape a little with your finger if need be.

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