Thursday, March 4, 2010

How long does it have to live in my freezer before it's local?

On most of the food we froze over the summer, we have passed the 6-month mark that is usually given for freezer-freshness.  Luckily an early March week like this, when Spring taunts us with snowbells then covers them in an icy glaze, is perfect for sweeping the bottom of the chest for any remainders of our Summer and Fall gardens and markets.  Renee and I have turned up green beans, fruit and berries, greens, and pesto.  Not only does that make for sorely missed local color on the dining table, it leaves us with almost nothing to shop for, almost nothing to pay for, and very little to prep!  A perfect time, we thought, to take on the labor-intensive experiment of stuffed artichokes--I'd like to say it's because they're not local that we're not actually including that recipe here, but actually they just came out rather badly.  But everything that really was local and freezer-seasonal (and simple) was delish, so here goes.

Baked Monkfish

Rub 1.5 lbs monkfish tail filets on all sides with a mixture of 1.5 tsp. fleur de sel or coarse salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder.  Lay on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes (until flakey and white all the way through).  Serve with a butter dip made of: 1 T fresh or dried chives, finely cut (Keja actually has 2-inch chive stubs in the garden already, but Renee, one block North, is in another zone) and 1 T lime juice stirred into 4 T melted butter

Warm Potato Pesto Salad

Peel and cube 6 small potatoes.  Steam for about 15 minutes, until just cooked through.  Set aside in a bowl and in the same steamer, steam 4 cups frozen green beans for about 10 minutes until warmed through.  Toss together with 1-2 cups thawed pesto

Blueberry Honey Sorbet

In a large pot, over low heat, heat 2 lbs. frozen blueberries until bubbling.  Let them bubble gently for a while (at least 10-15 minutes) so that the skins soften so much that they will blend into a perfect mush.  Take off heat and pour into a blender.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then blend on low until smooth (being careful to lift lid slightly to let heat escape).  When the berries are smooth, add 1/3 cup honey and blend to mix well.  Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to machine instructions.