Well Dined

25Jul/110

CSA Week 9


Lots of good stuff this week!
Cantaloupe
Peaches
Plums
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Bell peppers
Corn
Cucumbers
Squash
Zucchini
Kale

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Chicken Tacos with Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa


These tacos are the epitome of summer - fresh, bright, full of flavor.


I started making the salsa by cutting the bell peppers and tomatoes in half. I added an onion and a pound of tomatillos from the store. You can certainly throw in some jalapenos if you like.


I roasted the vegetables at 400 degrees until they were nicely charred. After they had cooled a bit, I pulled the skin off - that way they still have that charred flavor, but not the tough bits of skin.


I roasted the corn in the oven as well - reduce the heat to 350 degrees and place the corn (inside the husk) directly on the rack, cook for 30 minutes. When it has cooled, you can pull the husk off - it is actually easier to remove once the corn is cooked. This is a good method if you do not have a grill and don't like boiling your corn.


I pureed the roasted vegetables in the blender, then added the corn (cut from the cob), lots of lime juice, and a little cumin.


I filled tortillas with shredded rotisserie chicken, slices of avocado, and the tomatillo salsa.


Later, I added avocado and parsley (I hate cilantro) to the salsa and pureed it with a stick blender.


This made it creamier and more decadent. Eat with chips, top chicken or steak with it, use as a salad dressing, this salsa is really versatile and tastes like the peak of summer.

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Creamy and Lemony Ravioli with Squash
I was skeptical about this recipe at first - I didn't think the sauce would have much flavor and I didn't see how the squash would incorporate with the ravioli. But oh-my-goodness am I a believer now! This dish is creamy and rich, but the vibrant lemon makes it feel lighter. The squash is the perfect balance to the cheesy ravioli. This is a fantastic dish for all seasons! It's super quick and easy to make, too!


Start by slicing a shallot, a yellow squash, and a zucchini thinly. Saute the vegetables in a skillet until soft.


Add cream and tons of lemon zest to the vegetables and cook until the sauce starts to thicken.


Toss with cooked ravioli and top with lots of chives and Parmesan and you're done!

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Plum Upside-Down Cake


I was so excited to receive these little beauties in the crate because I had been wanting to try this recipe for quite awhile.


This cake is incredibly moist and just a little bit dense. The plum topping is luscious and sweet.


Start by cutting the plums into wedges - I recommend 1/4ths because they cook down quite a bit. Toss the wedges with sugar.


Add the plums to melted butter and cook until the sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes syrupy.


Line a 10 inch cake pan with parchment paper and arrange the plums on it. My plums cooked down to almost nothing - so my "arranging" involved pouring the whole thing into the pan.


Meanwhile, make the cake batter. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.


Gradually add in a mixture of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the batter into the pan over the plums. It is a thick batter, so it will take a bit of work to get it evened out without stirring up the plums into the batter.


Bake until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for an hour, then turn out onto a plate and enjoy the sight (and taste) of your beautiful cake.

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Creamy and Lemony Ravioli with Squash
Adapted from Real Simple
Serves 4

20 oz cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 summer squash (zucchini and/or yellow squash; about 1 1⁄2 pounds total), thinly sliced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cream and lemon zest and cook until the vegetables are tender and the cream is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the squash mixture, Parmesan, 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pasta and toss gently to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Serve sprinkled with the chives and additional Parmesan.

Plum Upside-Down Cake
adapted from http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/plum-upside-down-cake-00000000017219/index.html

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan, at room temperature
8 firm, ripe plums, each cut into 4 wedges
1/2 cup plus 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350° F. Butter a 10-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the plums and 1/2 cup of the sugar and cook, tossing, until the sugar dissolves and the juices from the plums become syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange the plums in the cake pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting from the outside. Spoon any pan juices over the top.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of the butter and 1 1/3 cups of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour the batter over the plums and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Place a large plate over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate.

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