Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 243-256 LocalrootZ Project (September 6-19, 2010)

What a wonderful summer it has been and less than a week till autumn is officially here !  The last of the gardens bounties are being harvested and preserved; the bed have been upturned and once the tomatoes have exhuasted themselves of production it will all be tilled limed and covered with straw and leaves for next season... I have planted a few kale seedlings, with the intention of seeing just how well my coldframe will retain the heat the sun will possess as the winter looms on the horizon.  Cassi and I have been enjoying cooking with the abdundant resources provided from our gardens as well as the great local farms that share their goods a few times a week at the local farmers market... below you will find some highlights of the last few weeks of the LocalrootZ Project !

Our hot pepper harvest from the rooftop garden... Cayenne, Thai hots, jalapeno and a sweet red which variety is escaping me at the moment !

With the first pie pumpkins making their way onto the scene it seemed only appropriate to whipp up a apple pumkin crisp for our local dessert of the week!

Its quite simple... just halve the pumpkin and scrape the seeds and guts into a strainer, save the seeds and roast them for a nice garnish or snack.  Bake the pumpkins till flesh becomes soft enough to scoop from the skin.  Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl and beat with 2 eggs and a 1/4 cup of yogurt... sweeten to taste using honey/maple syrup or a combination of the two... pour this mixture over a casserole dish of raw peeled and sliced apples... top with a butter/oat/honey mixture and bake at 375˚ for 30-45 minutes.  And there you have it... I will do a step by step photo presentation on this recipe in the future because this is a classic stand bye for a local dessert as we head into the colder months !
On a Monday Cassi and I decided with all these tomatoes and sauces that we had to make some pasta for the coming week... away we went rolling and combining Sparrow Farm eggs with Aroostook county stoneground whole wheat flour... I found sifting it helps pull out some of the grittier pieces in the flour.

We choose to roll it and cut it as fettucine because it holds its shape better under storage... spaghetti tends to crumble after a few days in the fridge.
Our first pasta dish was smothered in a roasted eggplant tomato sauce I made on Saturday and topped it with some echo ridge Romano cheese and garden herbs (basil,oregano,sage)
It was delicious with a glass of Bartlett's Coastal red wine...
the next night we stuck with the winning combination but added some fresh picked sungolds as a garnish...

with the remainder of the pasta Cassi pleaded for a homemade mac n cheese with the fettuccine being the mac and the cheese being a sauce consisting of raw goat milk, swallowtail butter with a block of manchego and some other local cheese ends kicking around the fridge... topped with some Mother oven bread crumbs...yes I still have 2 and a half loaves of that legendary bread !  It made a wonderful dish that lasted us well through the end of our week.

Tasting better every night....

After so much pasta it was time for some lean protein and some fresh veggies...

Pan Fried Cusk with Curried Cauliflower
And another tomato sauce takes shape....
As you see the poblanos pushed it int the spicy tomato spectrum...
the sauce simmers for a couple hours before completion.

the farmers market and garden harvests for this week...
so many hot peppers I had to start drying some out.
some wonderful goodies including brussel sprouts !
a little open face breakfast sandwich for breakfast...
mmm apple cider is back on the scene also !
so much corn on the cob, poblano peppers and sungold tomatoes turned into a wonderful meal.  The peppers are stuffed with browned local tempeh, various local cheeses and corn.
We don't make a habit of eating swordfish but when its caught locally of the coast of Maine and the price is right we will splurge for a couple servings a year... so good with a side of brussel sprouts !
and with a bit of leftover swordfish we made another Indian inspired dish the next day....
Curried Cauliflower and swordfish with spicy poblano tomato sauce and fresh cilantro... so good !

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 232-245 LocalrootZ Project (August 23- September 5, 2010)

Im back... did you miss me?  It has been a wild last couple weeks as the summer winds down with yet another heatwave... we certainly got our warm weather in this year.  Anyhow, things have been rolling along with a sushi "slip-up" this past week due to such hot hot temperatures and a kitchen that was toppin of into the 100˚'s.  One thing this weather is really good for is growing tomatoes !

We have been harvesting close to a quart of sungolds a day and the brandywines have really started ripening up on the vine these past couple weeks.  Check it out....

and some more bounties from our garden as well as our wonderful friendly farmers from the Deering Oaks Farmer's Market !
Frying peppers, shallots, peaches and so much more !
Buttercup Squash !
Pie Pumpkin, melons, pears, apples...

And here is some of what we have been eating as of late...

Garlic Sauteed Shrimp
over Arugula
w/ pesto goat cheese sauce
slice of garlic Aroostook wheat

Breakfast Sandwich
(egg, manchego, asiago, lacinato kale, peppers, fresh brandywine tomato,shallots)
Herb Roasted Red Potatoes

Breakfast Sandwich Pt 2
(mustard greens, garlic, shallots, colored peppers, manchego cheese, egg)

We have been really enjoying these breakfast sandwiches as well as the bee's oatmeal bread that one of the farms...its escaping me at the moment sells at the Saturday market !

Now some of the real highlights of late...

Homemade Lobster Rolls

Ok so here are all my secrets... the biggest one is our cheating from the "local" bread by using Luna bread from Miccucci's.  The things is... I wanted to make these the best they could be after shelling out $12 on lobster and there really isn't any 100% local bread available right now except for the usual sandwich bread suspects... regardless there are more local tricks I used in this recipe so I should talk more about these rather than those... you following me !

Ok so Cassi and I will not eat mayonnaise, yeah I know how to make it and thats where the problem lies... Gross.  Anyway, these rolls started off with 3 chix lobsters boiled and shucked... I then sauteed the meat for a moment in a garlic butter.  In the food processor I pureed two large peeled and seeded cucumbers from our garden, along with the cucumber I tossed in a  small orange mohwak pepper. Then I added a 1/4 cup goat cheese and creme fraiche.  Blend those ingredients to a smooth consistency while adding some salt and fresh dill to taste.  Finally when the "sauce" was ready I added some coarsley chopped celery to add a little crunch and texture to the dish. From here just toss the lobster together with the sauce and serve over a bed of arugula... Trust me this is an amazing way of preparing a lobster roll ina gourmet style !

Eggplant Lasagna

 the ingredients for the sauce...
with the sauce simmering it was time to prep the eggplant...
slice lengthwise, soak in egg/milk dust with cornmeal and brown in a pan of sunflower oil and butter
the eggplant slightly browned using paper towels to soak up the extra oil
now comes the assembly...
layer eggplant, layer goat/ricotta/romano mixture, layer of sauce
Repeat, repeat, repeat..
 then bake it in the oven at 375˚ for half hour to an hour...
Finish the dish off with some thinly sliced swallowtail mozzarella
with some garden basil chopped and garnished...
First course...
Cold Beet & Arugula Salad
w/ pesto cider vinaigrette
and crumbled goat cheese

the pan ended up lasting us for four days... four easy meals that reheated in 15 minutes under the oven while making a little garlic toast side and some fresh sliced and salted brandywine tomatoes never hurt  neither !

Welp thats all for now folks... Ill keep trying to make more regular posts as the year winds out... only 120 days to go !
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