Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grasshoppers: Pickup Number 8

In this week's basket:
  • A Boston Butt pork roast
  • A bunch of basil
  • An eggplant
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 7 sweet red peppers
  • 10 small potatoes
  • 1 apple
  • 2 pears

So, I'm like, "Yikes!" Okay, for the basil, I know I can make a delicious pesto and maybe use it on salmon when broiling. Um, seven sweet red peppers? For starters, I'm using one of the red peppers along with 3 of the potatoes to make a roast veggie side to a cheeburger tonight. That still leaves me with six sweet red peppers to use in the next, say, week and a half. Holy Capsicum, Batman! How are we gonna get out of this? Tune in next week... same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

The eggplant, why not... more Eggplant Parmesan. Tomatoes... probably in a salad. The apple and pear will be consumed as snacks at work.

Truth to tell, meat is accumulating in my freezer. I guess I didn't realize how little meat I ate on a regular basis. A pork roast kinda screams for a potato and a green vegetable side. But I still have a huge amount of ham and some hamburger in the freezer.

I love that my CSA keeps me on my toes with regards to cooking. Settling into a dreary routine simply is not feasible.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Corn Boats

Hey, this looks fun! Thanks to Grasshoppers Distributions for the recipe.

  • 4 ears corn with husks
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 2 T chopped cilantro or parsley

  1. Remove tough outer leaves of husks and discard. Pull remaining husks back over the stem end, remove silk and cut corn cob off, leaving husks and stem end attached. Reserve 2-3 husks for later use.
  2. Cut corn off cobs
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or heat grill to medium high heat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and sweet potato; cook until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in corn, chili powder, salt and hot pepper sauce. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cilantro; remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
  5. Spoon about 1 cup vegetable mixture into each husk.
  6. Using a strip of the reserved husk or kitchen twine, tie the husks to enclose the filling. Trim excess husk 1/2 to 3/4 inch from ties.
  7. Place boats on a cookie sheet and bake until heated through and husks are beginning to brown, about 12-15 minutes. If grilling, place on grill over direct heat and turn 1/4 turn every few minutes to prevent burning. Remove when all sides are lightly browned.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jack Fry's Tuna

This is the recipe that was printed in our "local" newspaper (if you can call a Gannett-owned newspaper "local") back when people read "newspapers".


  • 2 cups French green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup beef or veal stock
  • 2 cups port wine
  • About 1/2 cup cracked (not ground) black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 2 6-ounce yellow fin tuna steaks
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil 


  1. Cook lentils according to package directions until they are soft and only slightly chewy. Set aside.
  2. In a separate pan, heat olive oil over medium temperature until it shimmers. \
  3. Add carrots, onion, green pepper and celery. Cook until vegetables are softened and have browned edges (about 8 minutes).
  4. Stir in sherry vinegar and cooked lentils.
  5. Continue to cook until warmed through (about 12 minutes). Set aside.
  1. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add carrots, onions and celery; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft.
  3. Remove cover, increase heat to medium-high and add stock.
  4. Bring stock to a boil, then stir in port.
  5. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  1. Mix pepper and salt in a rimmed plate.
  2. Press tuna steaks into mixture, coating all sides. Discard remaining salt and pepper
  3. In a sauté pan, heat oil until it shimmers.
  4. Add tuna and sear about 2 minutes on one side; 1 minute on the other.
  5. Remove from heat and serve at once over lentils, topped with port wine sauce.

Needless to say, I tweaked the recipe a bit to conform to my preferences. For example, I used a lot more olive oil than was called for, and I used a lot less salt. I also used Sangiovese wine rather than port because, doh!, I didn't pay enough attention to what I was doing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

By popular demand, here is my recipe for Shrimp and Grits. It's a lot of work, folks, but the finished product is delectable. And it's an excellent dish to bring to a potluck if you want to knock the socks off some folk.


  • 1 cup uncooked grits (not instant grits)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Shrimp & Gravy
  • 1 T butter
  • 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, uncooked, shelled
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup chicken stock, cooled
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dash Tabasco
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan combine the grits, garlic, stock and whipping cream.
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a low boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer stirring frequently, until grits are creamy - about 10 minute.
  4. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to lowest setting (or remove from fire if preparing for potluck).
 Shrimp & Gravy
  1. In a large skillet, melt 1 T butter.
  2. Sauté bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan, leaving grease.
  3. Sauté shrimp about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
  4. Add onions, celery, and green pepper. Sauté until tender.
  5. Combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup chicken stock (cool or room temperature). Mix well and set aside.
  6. Increase heat to high. Add white wine and cook until evaporated.
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining chicken stock, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer 3 minutes.
  8. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Stir.
  9. Add cornstarch/stock mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  10. If serving immediately, return shrimp to gravy and simmer 2 minutes. Spoon gravy over warm grits.