Friday, July 30, 2010

Local News, Gazpacho, and Creamed Corn

First, we are delighted to announce that our blog is being picked up by Somerville Local First (it's local and seasonal, so don't worry), a hip, in-the-moment organization that is bringing awareness to the public about supporting local businesses. It's right up our alley, and we're psyched to be a part of their new local blogging forum.

Second, the CSA has kicked into high gear, and Keja was away so I was getting her share, too! What to do, you ask? Gazpacho. My kids were delighted. Actually, they can't stand it, but, House Rule 42 indicates that we will serve gazpacho until they say they like it, so we've been having it daily.

I'm not even going to give you a recipe, but instead, general guidelines, because the joyful thing about gazpacho is that you can put almost anything in it and it will taste good. Because of the immense amount of greens we're getting, our gazpachos of late have been deep green, rather than the more common tomato-based red.

You will either need a food processor, blender, or incredible patience and a sharp knife. I am going to assume you are using a food processor or blender, so if you are not, just chop everything as tiny as possible.

Wash all ingredients first, and chop any large ones into 2 to 3 inch chunks for easier blending.

We have been using the following:

tomatoes
lettuce
cucumbers
peppers of any color
garlic cloves
scallions
onions
beet greens
chard
kale
cilantro
basil
carrots

Blend until smooth. Once it's blended, add salt and pepper to taste. Add a TBSP or so of lemon juice and a TBSP or so of apple cider vinegar. Drizzle in 2 to 3 TBSP olive oil. Taste as you go along. Add more salt or pepper or garlic, etc., as needed. We have found that it's hard to add too much onion and garlic. Something about the mix takes away the sharpness and leaves only a lovely essence.

Make this at least a few hours in advance so it can chill. Lately, we've been making large batches and storing in mason jars in the fridge for up to 5 days, making for easy lunches.

We serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt and topped with croutons. When garlic scapes were in season, we topped it with crisply sautéed scapes, too.

Croutons

Whenever we have a heel of bread, we cut it into cubes and throw it into the freezer.

In a cast iron frying pan, add a TBSP olive oil over low heat. When it is hot, add 1 to 2 cups bread cubes and stir around to evenly cover with oil.

Sprinkle with the following: salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, or other spices of your choosing. Stir occasionally, until croutons are crispy and dry, ~ 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake them. Toss cube with oil and spices and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 until crispy. I avoid this method in the summer to keep the house cooler.


Creamed Corn

Our CSA had lovely young corn last week. Oddly, my children don't like corn on the cob much, so it stayed in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. I finally decided to make creamed corn.

1 TBSP olive oil
10 ears corn, kernels cut off cob
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. pepper
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-low heat.

Add corn and stir frequently for 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper.

Add half and half and turn to low and cook for ~20 minutes until half and half has reduced, thickened, and become a bit sticky. Stir every 5 minutes or so.

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Add more salt and pepper if needed.