Look What’s On the Menu This Monday

December 7, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Eat Local Later Thanks to Our Four Season Tomato Mountain CSA


I thought it made sense to drain the frozen peppers that came in the Tomato Mountain* CSA box last week. Then my wife was saying how she was telling her customers to use the melting juice. ┬áMan did I feel like an idiot putting these on a strainer. On the other hand, I’m smart enough to be part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) that provides me with frozen, fire roasted peppers in Ecember. Even without juice, they made a nearly exact replica of summer’s finest marinated peppers. I’ve froze pepper strips before. Thawed, they’re flaccid, only good for dishes where you would cook the peppers anyways like a frittata or pasta sauce. Now, fire roast them and then freeze them, well now we’re talking. Chris, the Chief Farmer at Tomato Mountain was talking up his new fire roaster in last week’s newsletter, how it enabled him to put up extra peppers during their peak season. I’m hoping there’s enough they come in every box this winter.

The other dish I want to talk about on Menu Monday is one more my daughter’s handiwork, although I will say it was overall, my idea. We’ve gotten tons of small, white, Japanese “hakuri” turnips in the boxes this fall. A mild turnip, they are great for salads and pickles as well as roasting. Still, with all the turnips we’ve had, more ideas are necessary. Enter my great friend Tamar. Remember, Chapter One, “How to Boil Water,” and as she says, “it’s hard to improve on the technology of the pot or the boil.” Oddly, in this chapter she does not instruct on how to boil and egg. So, let me quickly telly you as I make excellent boiled eggs. You put your eggs in a pot, cover with cold water–some would say only add enough water to cover–I think it makes not difference the amount of water, it’ll just take longer if you have more water–you let the water come to a boil. Stop. Turn off the heat. Watch the clock. Ten minutes later you eggs are done. FYI, I used to do the prick thing, but I’ve found out they come out just as good without punching a hole. It’s all a matter of not over-cooking. There were two things that made this egg boiling very Tamar, well three if you count the fact that anytime you boil anything you’re adding money to her karma account, but the other things were salsa verde and those turnips. Chapter One does conclude with a salsa verde recipe, Tamar noting that half the fun of boiling things is to have an excuse to eat salsa verde. Having already made salsa verde, the hard boiled eggs were done as that excuse. Also, the other thing, those turnips. I had decided to make a mash and I could not stand the idea of boiling water to cook the turnips for the mash and getting just one mere use out of said boil. Granted I had to get the temperature back up, after letting the eggs idle but the gist of the everlasting pot stood.

Once the turnips were soft, my daughter ran them through a ricer. The boiled turnips threw off a lot of water. We could have tossed that water, but I had the brilliant idea that the water contained a lot of turnip flavor, turnip juice if you may. We put the riced turnips and the turnip water in a pan on high heat, stirring a lot to prevent burning. I figured we were saving flavor this way, no? Once dry and fluffy, she incorporated a mustard butter she had made ages ago. I highly recommend this dish, regardless of how many turnips you’ve been getting.

*Wife works for Tomato Mountain