From the Market: Week 5

gluten-free

Right off the bat, I’ll admit that yes, I cheated a little here. Asparagus hasn’t been seen at the Ringwood Farmers’ Market for the past two weeks, but 1) I had a craving and 2) didn’t it make for a pretty — if slightly pornographic — shot?

Because I operate under the assumption that pretty much everything is better when topped with a fried or poached egg (especially the super-fresh ones we get from Nina), I went with a variation on a shaved asparagus salad from the pages of Food & Wine for Sunday’s lunch:

The ricotta salata I substituted for the Parmesan was creamy and subtle, but I think I’ll try the recipe as written next time for even more of a punch.

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Because I eat yogurt with fruit every weekday for breakfast, I like to change things up a little on weekends, so we had gluten-free pancakes before hitting the market Saturday morning. I’m still playing around with flour combinations for breads and pie crust, but this pancake recipe was perfect as written. (By the way, I have no plans to turn this into a blog about dietary restrictions, but if you’re looking into a gluten-free diet, I highly recommend the Gluten-Free Girl blog. It’s an amazing resource.)

But back to the pancakes. I cooked them in only about 1/2 teaspoon of butter each, but they were so rich-tasting and slightly sweet on their own that they only needed a dollop of the raspberry jam I picked up recently from B&B Jams to put them over the top.

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I didn’t really load up on fresh vegetables this weekend because I went overboard last week and still had quite a bit hanging around in my vegetable drawers. I’ve been on a leftover kick all week long, but only yesterday did I finally get around to using up the last bit of the smoked beef tongue (courtesy of Snoep Winkel Farm) I made last weekend. Of course, on that first day, we had it in tacos as we always do, but during the week it made appearances sliced on crackers with Dijon mustard or just nibbled out of hand straight from the cutting board.

But my plan for Saturday’s lunch included my latest favorite way to use leftover bits of meat and vegetables: Vietnamese bun, a refreshing salad served with cold rice noodles, and the perfect thing on a hot summer day.

This was made entirely with odds and ends from the refrigerator: Tatsoi, cabbage, carrots, red bell peppers, radishes, green onions, basil and cilantro, all tossed with a sweet-sour-salty-spicy dressing, funky with fish sauce and garlic. And hit with a lot of Sriracha, naturally. I’ve found that if you get the sauce right (I used the one from this Vietnamese Chicken Salad), the rest of the salad just falls into place.

It’s been a migraine-y day for me, so I have nothing more to offer at the moment, but I’m hoping to get around to an apricot & goat’s milk frozen yogurt sometime this week. Hope you have a great one!

recipes after the jump

Continue reading “From the Market: Week 5”

Are you ready for some football (-shaped nuggets of deliciosity)?

It’s strictly coincidence that I made gnudi on the NFL’s opening weekend. (A quick note to the league: Many thanks for kicking off the season with The Hochuli last Thursday night! Your female fan base was pleased, I assure you.) You see, I had planned to revisit the egg yolk ravioli I made a few months ago, only with sheep’s milk ricotta per cook eat FRET‘s suggestion, but with all of the excess moisture in the air I decided not to test my pasta-making skills in such a hostile environment. So gnudi it was! And what a happy turn of events, really.

Cuz, wow. Good stuff.

All of the recipes I found online were variations on the same basic theme — ricotta, parmiggiano-reggiano, an egg, and some flour. I figured I could work on proportions to taste, so I just winged it from there. How can you go wrong with a bowl of sheep’s milk ricotta?

Turns out, you really can’t.

I tasted as I mixed the ingredients together, adding a little more grated cheese here, some salt and pepper there to offset the addition of flour, then rolled a tablespoon of the mixture at a time into little footballish-shaped dumplings before rolling them lightly in flour. They cooked in almost no time — about 5 minutes or so in a pot of simmering, salted water. I took them out shortly after they rose to the surface and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate while I was getting the sauce and garnishes together.

To start, I browned walnut pieces in a small pan with about 1/2 tablespoon of butter, then put the walnuts aside on a cutting board to cool. They seemed a little bland at this point, so I sprinkled them liberally with salt & black pepper and um … ate about half of them before the rest of the dish was even finished. Highly recommended.

After washing the pan (and my delicious buttery, salty fingers), I added about two tablespoons of butter and fried the sage leaves just as soon as the butter had melted and started to sizzle. By the time they were done the butter had started to brown, so I added the gnudi to the pan and cooked them for a minute or two on each side, until they’d developed a thin crust and smelled heavenly. A quick spritz of lemon juice brightened the flavors just enough so the dish didn’t feel as heavy or rich as it really was.

I only cooked six of the 30 or so gnudi I made, so I froze the uncooked ones on a baking sheet before transferring them to a plastic storage bag. Now we’ll have plenty for leftovers when we want them again, which should be in about 24 hours or so.

Of course, what I really need to do is get to The Spotted Pig to try the real deal even though mine will inevitably suffer in comparison. Hey, I’m willing to take my lumps; it’s the only way to learn.