Hello CSA Shareholders!
Like you, I receive a weekly CSA box. As a professional chef, I approach the box with plans to turn everything in the box into a week’s meals. I want to share these ideas and plans with the CSA audience in hopes that it can inspire you when making your own dinner plans, lunch boxes, and menus for the week. Sometimes, there is a vegetable that might stump you, and sometimes there is repetition, and you might run out of ideas on how to approach a certain item. I think this blog will address both of these situations.
I will provide a menu that details how I have used each item in the box. This menu will be accompanied by a brief explanation of how I made each dish or what I paired with the vegetables. I leave my “recipes” vague with just a little direction provided. I feel like this is the best way to help people become independent cooks that feel comfortable transforming raw ingredients into delicious meals.
-Chef Katie Grebow
This week’s menu inspired by & created from Suzie’s CSA box:
- Watermelon gelato
- Tritip steak with santa maria rub, sweet peppers, quinoa, and avocado-green garlic sauce
- Ventresca tuna niçoise salad- lettuces, wax beans, tomatoes, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, capers, anchovies, basil vinaigrette
- Cucumber, heirloom melon, sheep’s milk feta salad with torn mint, banyuls vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil
- Thin crust pizza with faux meatballs, hot peppers and shaved onions
- Chicken fricassee with carrots, peas, mushrooms, and egg noodles
- Wild king salmon with basil salsa verde, marinated kale, and baby yams
An explanation of the menu with loose directions follows.
This is a little complicated. Gelato is different from sorbet in that it has some yolks and cream so it is richer than sorbet, but it has significantly less yolks and cream than ice cream, so it still seems fresh and vibrant.
Here is an actual recipe:
Purée the flesh of a small watermelon (the size we receive in the box is perfect) in a blender, add 1 tbl of lemon juice. Heat 5 oz. corn syrup in a pot. Beat 6 yolks with 1/3 cup sugar until thick and add to corn syrup until warm, turn heat off. Whip 1/3 cup cream until soft peaks. Beat 4 egg whites with a tbl of sugar until soft peaks. Fold watermelon purée, egg yolk/ corn syrup mixture, whipped cream, and meringue (egg whites) together. Freeze in ice cream maker.
Tritip steak with santa maria rub, sweet peppers, quinoa, and avocado-green garlic sauce
When I saw the sweet pepper mix I received this week, I thought the nardello, corno di toro, & pimentos would go perfectly with santa maria style tritip steak. I will slowly stew the sliced peppers in olive oil over very low heat for a while- maybe half an hour, adding water if necessary so they don’t burn. I will toss them with quinoa when finished and serve with the grilled steak. And a sauce made of avocado pureed with lemon juice, olive oil, and green garlic will be the final touch.
Ventresca tuna niçoise salad- lettuces, wax beans, tomatoes, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, capers, anchovies, basil vinaigrette
A classic niçoise salad is a perfect way to showcase the wax beans of the summer and beautiful ripe tomatoes. I like to use fancy tuna canned in olive oil, if you can find canned ventresca, which is tuna belly, you will be amazed at how succulent and delicious this product is. Tuna canned in olive oil needs no other dressing like mayonnaise as it is perfect the way it is. Make a simple vinaigrette, 3:1 oil to vinegar, but add an egg yolk and a large handful of basil leaves, and you will have a creamy basil dressing to coat the lettuces. Around the lettuce, add cooked potato slices, hard-boiled egg, raw or blanched beans, sliced tomato, olives, capers, and anchovies if you like.
Cucumber, heirloom melon, sheep’s milk feta salad with torn mint, banyuls vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil
The combination of melon & cucumber is perfect as they are very similar plants. I like to pair them together when the interesting heirloom varieties of melon start showing up. Add a nice Bulgarian, Israeli, or French sheep’s milk feta, some good quality vinegar, like banyuls, extra virgin olive oil, & some torn mint leaves. You could make this salad with or without lettuce.
Thin crust pizza with faux meatballs, hot peppers and shaved onions
A quick dinner can be made out of a prepared pizza dough. Instead of using regular meatballs, sometimes I like to use faux meatballs, sliced and placed on top of the dough with sauce and cheese. Then I will slice some of the hot peppers and these cute little onions thinly on a mandolin and scatter around the pizza.
Chicken fricassee with carrots, peas, mushrooms, and egg noodles
Chicken fricassee is an old-school dish that Julia Child made famous in this country. It is much easier to make that one might think. Dice some onions, sauté them in butter, add flour, whisk. Add some white wine, then some chicken broth, and now add some chicken, dark or white meat. While the chicken cooks in the broth mixture, peel some carrots and slice some mushrooms. Remove the chicken from the pan and put the vegetables- carrots, peas, & mushrooms in the sauce. Once the vegetables are tender, finish the sauce by adding a little bit of the warm sauce to a bowl with an egg yolk or 2 depending on how much you have made. You need to temper the sauce into the egg yolks, by adding a little at a time until the egg yolk is mixed with quite a bit of the warm sauce, then add the egg mixture back to the pan of warm sauce and whisk together. Add a little cream if you wish or you may skip this part, then add a few drops of lemon juice and nutmeg, season with salt. Serve the chicken, vegetables, and sauce over egg noodles.
Wild king salmon with basil salsa verde, marinated kale, and baby yams
Wild king salmon pairs nicely with a salsa verde, Italian-style, with diced onion, garlic, capers, chopped basil & parsley, Dijon, vinegar, & olive oil. Chop some kale roughly and drizzle the salsa verde over the kale & salmon. Serve with roasted baby yams.
Chef Katie Grebow has been an integral part of the San Diego culinary scene for the last decade. She developed a reputation for her rustic farm to table cooking style while serving as the Executive Chef at the beloved Cafe Chloe from 2003 until 2014. She was honored with a nomination the Chef’s Hall of Fame of San Diego in 2014. Katie has a real interest in the meaning of Slow Food, cooking seasonally and locally, while minding the environment and bodily health. With a background in art history, Katie demonstrates this interest by producing culturally authentic dishes. She is now providing private chef services to clients, maintaining the same level of authenticity and sophistication. She specializes in creating multi-course menus for intimate gatherings. She provides personal chef services of meal preparation and delivery based on farm fresh ingredients. Her in-home cooking classes are a unique affair, being simultaneously entertaining and educational. Chef Katie truly enjoys the work she does, and that translates into a delicious experience for her guests.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or visit her website: www.chefkatiegrebow.com.