Thursday, September 27, 2007

Steak Lettuce Wrap with Thai Salsa

This week I picked up my first bag of goodies from the CSA at Five Leaves Farm in Blythewood.

For those who may not have heard of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), it's a way for the public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. Win Win!

Although I won't normally have time to drive all the way out to the farm, I took my lunch hour on Wednesday and took a trip into another world .... from the harsh research park where I work, to horses and pasture land - beautiful and quiet. Ben was kind enough to take the time to introduce himself and I felt so bad that I had to take my produce and run and not stay for a tour.

But on to the loot!

I was thrilled to see the beautiful asian greens. The only one I was sure about was the baby bok choy, but the others were hiroshimana, fong-san cabbage, and shirona (not shown in the photo below).

Of course I immediately though stir-fry, but as I rinsed them, I nibbled on a piece here and there and I just couldn't wilt them to nothing. But how could I get C to eat raw cabbage? With spicy steak of course!

Our invention of the week (I think it's a keeper)...

Steak Lettuce Wrap with Thai Salsa

Click Here for Printable Recipe

1 pound sirloin steak

Bok Choy, Bibb Lettuce
Whatever you’ve got!

Thai Salsa:
1 tomato, minced
¼ cup onion, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoon beef bouillon
¼ Cup boiling water

Prepare Salsa
o In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside

Grill Steak
o Preheat grill to medium-high
o Drizzle a bit of olive oil on each side of steak and sprinkle with
salt and pepper.
o Grill for 6-8 minutes per side or until desired doneness
o Remove to cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
o Cut steak into thin slices or strips -preferably against the grain

Prepare Filling & Make Wraps
o Drop steak strips into salsa and allow to marinate for a few minutes (or as long as you can wait). Use lettuce leaves as you would a tortilla.

Thanks Again Ben & Kristen!

Five Leaves Farm
Community Supported Agriculture
632 Kinsler Rd; Blythewood SC 29016

Friday, September 21, 2007

Potato-Poblano Chowder

Fall is in the air.

When I started dicing the potatos and squash, this was going to be a poblano au gratin, but somwhere along the way, as the flavors came together it became clear the cheesy base should be thinned and it should become a chowder! Voila!

Click Here for Printable Recipe

Potato-Poblano Chowder
4-6 servings

2 poblano peppers, roasted and chopped
3 cups red potatoes, ½ inch dice
1 cup butternut squash, ½ inch dice
1/3 cup red onion, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 2T cold water
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar
salt, pepper

Roast Poblano
Place whole peppers on bbq grill set to medium-high. Turn the peppers as the sides char. Place the roasted peppers in a paper bag or bowl covered in plastic to cool. The steam will help the skin loosen. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, you can rub the skin off with your fingers. You may want to wear rubber gloves to handle the chilis. And be sure not to touch your eyes! Then carefully slit each chili up one side and remove the seeds. Chop and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°

In an oven safe bowl, combine potatoes, squash, onion, poblano pepper, and garlic. Set aside.

Create Base
In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in flour; whisk until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk and cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Add cheese and salt/pepper to taste.

Pour cheese base over potato mixture and stir well to combine. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Supernatural Brownies

C & I were invited to a friends house to watch the USC football game on pay-per-view over the weekend. Although I'm not a big USC fan, a football party is a great excuse to make some tasty snacks. I made my usual guacamole and salsa, but also a quick box-o-brownies. The brownies were a hit, but I hated to admit they were not my own. SSoooo, I decided I needed to find a good "from scratch" recipe.

After a long internet search on Sunday morning I found a recipe on NY Times online called SUPERNATURAL BROWNIES. Most recipes use adjectives like gooey or fudgey or super gooey and fudgey, but supernatural? How could I not give these a try.

I made a few slight alterations given what I had on hand, but they were mighty tasty.

Supernatural Brownies

Adapted from “Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers,” by Nick Malgieri (Morrow Cookbooks, 1998)

Click Here for Printable Version

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, more for pan and parchment paper
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Hershey's dark chocolate chips)
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, such as muscovado
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup whole walnuts, optional.

1. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.

2. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined. If using chopped walnuts, stir them in. Pour batter into prepared pan. If using whole walnuts, arrange on top of batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

breakfast on the fly

On weekend mornings I usually assume the role of sous chef since C is the the king of breakfast. At first it was just peppers and eggs (picture 1), but I kept chopping and C kept cooking... and before we knew it we had skillets going with peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic, eggs, and all sorts of good smells coming from the kitchen...