Thursday, July 24, 2008

What David Did with the July 15th Box Contents

David and his family did amazing things this week. See below.
Michelle -

The CSA box was a huge success. Marina, Jensen, and I had a blast with it. Adding in some potatoes from Marina's own garden, we ended up making the Leek & Potato Soup (yum!), the Tangy Mustard Coleslaw (redubbed the chopped cabbage salad since Jensen is predisposed to dislike coleslaw), and the Szechuan Noodles (though the People's Republic of China would have us spell it "Sichuan Noodles").

Since this was my first time with a CSA box, I was struck by how much food there was in the box. One box really represented most of the vegetable intake for the week in my household. We augmented with homegrown potatoes, carrots, garlic, and store bought animal proteins and Chinese noodles. But otherwise, there was a HUGE amount of delicious food in the box.

The Leek & Potato Soup was a cinch. The recipe was straightforward and the soup delicious. As it heats up, the aroma fills the air and evokes New England comfort stews without the beef. Leftovers heat up well too, so is easy to take into the office the next day for lunch. The only improvement I'd suggest to the recipe is to add some celeriac, sage, or rosemary to add some nuance to the flavor.

The Tangy Mustard Coleslaw was also very easy to make, provided you have a food processor. The Cuisinart dispatched the cabbage quickly. The sauce was surprisingly refreshing. It was key to avoid the watery, mayonnaise sauce that so often plagues uninventive coleslaw. Still, I think that it would have been nice to add shredded carrots, red cabbage, almond slivers or even matchsticks of tofu or chicken to provide additional flavors, color and texture.

The Szechuan Noodles were a little more effort in terms of prepping each ingredient, then cooking for the right amount of time in the wok. But, the ingredient mix was very nice. We doubled the veggie content and felt that we could've done even more since the eaters in my household wanted those textures, flavors and nutrition, rather than a bowl full of noodles. I think the sauce could've stood a little more thickness, perhaps by adding some peanut sauce. Otherwise, this was a dish to do again and again.

I'll send you three pics, one of the before ingredients, the second of the Szechuan Noodles prep, and the third of the three dishes we made on the initial night. Subsequently, we then made a red lettuce and nectarine salad, creamed bok choy, and grilled peppers. More yum!


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