Well Stocked

June 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Rob Gardner

Moments away from hitting the publish button on Friday, I stopped blogging to watch the storm from my Western exposure office window.  Moments after that, ComEd put blogging to rest for the day.  Unlike those on the other side of my block, we had power by Saturday.  By Saturday, though, my inchoate post talking about what I like, that is talking about upcoming meal preparations, had gone moot as I spent a good amount of time making said preparations.  I made more local food yesterday, and my wife added some dishes too.  Now, we find ourselves very well stocked.

I strongly believe that the most difficult aspect of eating local is the cooking local.  Cooking takes time.  Cooking local takes more time as beets need to be peeled or kohlrabi leaves de-stemmed.  Many (nay most) of us do not have the luxury to spend hours cooking each day.  Therefore, it makes sense to work in spurts stocking up.  Here’s what’s around now.

Beets part 1 – From the Eli’s Cheesecake Market last Thursday, I bought two big bunches of beets, greens included.  Beet greens taste and cook pretty much like spinach or chard.  The only caveat to taking advantage of your beet gift is that beet greens go bad quick.  Also, there are almost always gritty, so wash well.  Like chard, the stems are perfectly edible, but like chard, separate the stems to give them a few more minutes of cooking.  I braised the beet greens with some sliced Spring onions.  I took all the greens out, leaving some of the onions behind.  I frizzed the rest of the onions as a topping.

Beets part 2 – Roasted and dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper for skordalia (see below).

Carrots – Peeled and cooked about five carrots, with a shallot clove (also peeled) and a segment of habanero (from freezer) in boiling water until soft.  Mashed and added cumin and coriander seeds and a bit of Aleppo pepper.  Finished with olive oil, parsley.

Kohlrabi greens – Originally I planned on making the greens dish above with the beets and the kohlrabi.  The beets gave up so much greens that I figure why use the kohlrabi now.  They’ll last and the cabbage family flavor of the kohlrabi tastes a bit different anyways.  Still, they are washed and stemmed.

Skordalia – To match the beets, my wife made skordalia or garlic puree from old Yukon gold potatoes and young garlic.

Grilled asparagus – With a spicy tahini dressing

Wheatberries – Truth be told, anytime my wife enters the kitchen, the Local Family leaves well stocked.  Last week’s wheatberry pilaf morphed into this week’s wheatberry salad with preserved lemon.

Lamb liver – Oddly enough no one but I touched the grilled, chopped lamb’s liver served at room temperature with lemon and parsley. 

Leg of lamb steak, goat medallions, goat spareribs – Is it odd that the goat spareribs all went at our Father’s Day repasse.  The lamb steak got eaten too, but a few goat medallions remain.

Hamburger, roast chicken – This were made for those we feared would fear the goat and lamb.  Instead, we have much left.

Lettuces – As my mother noted, the lettuces heads are huge this year, and we have huge heads of romaine and butter.  We expect to have big salad with the leftover roast chicken.

Pasta w/bacon and peas – This should have been last week’s spaghetti pie, but this and that limited our options. 

It should be a good week of eating for the Local Family, with most of the work done.