Saturday, June 11, 2011

CSA Dinner: Kale, Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Lettuce

The saltiness of the braised beef with the sweetness of the sweet potato is a perfect match.

First Course:
Red and green lettuce with thin sliced fennel, thin sliced red onions, and Parmesan cheese (balsamic vinegar optional).

Some notes:
  • I used about half a bulb of fennel for 2 salads. I like to dress them with the juice of half a lemon;
  • Make sure you wash your salad greens well. I like to rinse each leaf in cold water and let it soak for 5 minutes in a big bowl filled with water. After 5 minutes, I'll pull the leaves out and drain them in a colander. Don't dump the water into the colander because then the sand/dirt will just come with the lettuce instead of settling at the bottom of the bowl;

Beer braised beef short ribs served with sweet potato, parsnip and pear puree, and roasted kale and roasted zucchini and summer squash.

Braised beef short ribs:
  1. Coat the bottom of an oven safe pot with olive oil and place on medium high heat. When the pot is hot, brown your short ribs (~1 lb) on each side (I usually cut them into 2.5-3 in. pieces).
  2. Once brown pull the short ribs out, turn the heat to medium low and throw some fennel (1/2 bulb, in chunks), onion (1/2 medium yellow, in chunks), and carrots (2 medium length, in chunks) into the pot. Stir and cook until the onion is slightly translucent. Add in 3/4 a bottle of beer (I went with Harpoon Summer) and put the short ribs back in. Cover with aluminum foil or an oven safe lid and place in a 300­°F oven for 2.5 hrs, turning once an hour and half into cooking time.
  3. Then uncover the beef and continue in the oven for 30 more minutes.
  4. Heat up a pan (with a little bit of oil). When hot, place the beef into the pan along with about half a cup of the braising liquid mixed with 2 T of honey. Continuously baste the meat using a spoon until the meat looks shiny.
Roasted kale:
I borrowed this recipe from Whole Foods:

Roasted summer squash and zucchini:
  1. Slice 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash into 1/2 in thick slices (on a bias makes them look prettier!).
  2. Toss with 1 T olive oil, healthy pinch of salt and ground black pepper and 2 t of Italian seasoning.
  3. Spread on baking sheet and toss in oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.
Sweet potato, parsnip, and pear puree:
  1. Peel and cut 1 sweet potato, ~4 parsnips (should be equal in volume to sweet potato), and one pear.
  2. Toss into a large pot and cover with water. Cook until the vegetables are tender and a pairing knife goes through easily.
  3. Drain the vegetables reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid in the pot. Add 1 T of butter, 1/4 t of nutmeg, a pinch of kosher salt, and 1/2 t of truffle oil. Blench until smooth (I like using a hand blender for this).
  4. Salt to taste.

The end product? A delicious dinner:

No better way to top off dinner than with some Batch! ice cream for dessert! Joe and I are addicted to the Salted Caramel! So creamy and delicious! I must say I'm quite enjoying the CSA so far and have been eating a ton of veggies!