Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life is Good. Harvest.

Iowa has been fortunate enough to be experiencing a true Indian summer. It's been very cold in the morning, but rising to the mid 60's during the day.
I'm constantly drawn outside. Despite the encroaching dawn and dusk, I've been squeezing as much outside-time as possible these last few days.
These efforts include revitalizing trips to the farmer's market, where more and more delicious eats appear every time I go. Before I share my haul with you, a visit from the nephew. He has finally become really fun to have over. He's older and better behaved than he was a year ago, and he's become so sweet.

He likes to play Gone Fishing with Uncle Timmy.

This is his monster that lives at my house. He's sleeping.

Playing at the park around the corner.

Ice cream in a cone, of course.

Breakfast at Deluxe.

Two cool dudes in jammies.

Thank goodness for living in farm country. I got this entire spread for around $20, and I purchased everything from the person who grew it. There's some standard stuff like the red peppers, sweet white onions, and cherry tomatoes. I also got some slightly unusual stuff, including tomatillos and celeriac. The award for most adorable easily goes to those little carrots. So CUTE.

(Doesn't celeriac look like a human heart?)

So, what did I make of this pile of fresh vegetable goodness?


Chicken Tomatillo Soup

This idea is outright stolen from New Pioneer Coop

start with three chicken breasts. Shred em. (you've seen these guys, right?)

(It is possible to have browning this nice and a thoroughly cooked breast, with the right technique)

In the pan you browned the chicken in, sauté 2 cups tomatillos and 1 small onion.

Once these are translucent, deglaze with 1/3 c. dry white wine. Add a few cups of chicken stock, some lime juice, and two cans of coconut milk.

**DO NOT buy your coconut milk in the organic section of your grocery store. Go to an Asian grocer, or look in the Asian section of your mega mart. The coconut milk from the organic section of my Hy Vee is around $1.75. This coconut milk was 70 cents.**

This stuff is the nectar of the gods. It is SO high in fat, but its taste is remarkable. It pairs extremely well with herbs, especially basil, meats, and vegetables. (Think CURRY) I really can't get enough of it. The tart green tomatillos and bright lime juice really perk up the rich coconut milk.

Reduce to the consistency you want, toss in the chicken, top with some basil, and eat.

The only shot I've got is of the soup cooking away behind tomorrow's post, Pumpkin Risotto. :)

Next up, those purty baby carrots.

All peeled.

Glazed Baby Carrots

This would work equally well with those pre-peeled baby carrots.

A glaze is really just a thin syrup, i.e. mostly melted sugar.

I've really been in the fall mindset lately, so these spices have been on my mind: cloves (LOTS), cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and ginger. A sweet spiced glaze is a great treatment for sweet savory baby carrots. Grinding the spices just before cooking really improves their flavor. And yes, all spice is actually a berry. It just tastes like a mix of spices. mmmmmm.....

Melt 6 tbsp. of butter in a pan.
Add 1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. each cloves, fresh cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, fresh ground all spice, and ground ginger.

Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are beginning to soften.

Uncover and reduce the glaze until it just coats the carrots. Yum.

The story of the rest of that haul, and that of a pie pumpkin, is soon to come. :)
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Well that looks just plain delightful! Farmers' markets can be tough this time of year, but once I learned to just dive in to the root vegetables, it got *much* better! There's a great celery root & wild rice chowder recipe in Deborah Madison's Local Flavors cookbook (all about cooking from farmers' markets) that is delicious. I think I'm going to have to track down some carrots and try that recipe of yours tonight!

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