gourmet at home

I have wanted to join a CSA for a while, and starting a new home seemed like the appropriate time — so we’ve been getting delicious farm-fresh deliveries for a few months now. I’ve realized it’s probably not as cost effective as buying groceries at the supermarket, but I like that the box contents are local, organic, and always a surprise! It inspires me to cook and try new things, and there’s often stuff in the box that I’d never choose at the store…like this guy:

???

Turns out it’s Romanesco broccoli, and it inspired the following delicious and surprisingly easy weeknight meal. Portions are for two (hungry) people.

First, preheat the oven to 400. (I found it very satisfying to bake everything in the oven at the same time and same temperature.)

roasted crazy cauliflower with tumeric and cumin
adapted from Food and Wine

  • 1 head Romanesco cauliflower (or regular cauliflower, if you’re suuuuuuper borrrrring), cut into florets
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • handful of fresh chopped mint
  • handful of fresh chopped cilantro

Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with enough olive oil to evenly coat the pieces; add the cumin, tumeric, red pepper, salt, and lemon juice and toss it around until it’s all coated and oily and spicy. Spread onto a baking sheet (lined with tinfoil, if you desire, for easy cleanup) in one layer and bake until tender, about 30 minutes, turning/redistributing it halfway through. Toss roasted cauliflower with mint and cilantro and serve!

roasted potatoes

  • about a pound of whatever kind of potatoes you have/like, chopped into bite-sized pieces (ours were ruby crescent fingerling potatoes, halved longways)
  • salt
  • fresh-cracked black pepper
  • olive oil

Toss the potatoes with enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle on some salt, crack some black pepper, and keep tossing until everything is distributed. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet (lined with tinfoil, if you desire, for easy cleanup) in one layer and bake until tender, about 30 minutes, turning/redistributing them halfway through. Serve!

stuffed chicken with goat cheese and herbs
adapted from Real Simple

  • 4 chicken thighs (around or just under 1 pound; you could also use breasts if you like them better; you also might have better results if you flatten the chicken pieces a bit)
  • 2 oz. goat cheese (or feta…or gorgonzola…or bleu, depending on your taste)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle goat cheese, mint, and cilantro on chicken pieces and roll them up, fastening each with a toothpick (or a few toothpicks, depending on your rolling skills and the shape of the chicken pieces). Heat some oil in an oven-safe pan (this one works great) and cook the chicken, seam side up, for 3 or 4 minutes, until browned. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve!

And why not have a little refreshment??

lemon-mint julep
(makes one drink)

  • handful of mint leaves
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • crushed ice
  • splash of lemon juce

Muddle mint leaves with sugar, bourbon, and crushed ice. Add a splash of lemon and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

And if you’re still not satisfied…

pear crisp
adapted from Pioneer Woman
(makes 4 servings)

  • 2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced (PW recommends bosc, ours were d’anjou)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2T cold butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350. Combine pears and granulated sugar in a loaf pan or other small casserole. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Cut in butter using a pastry blender (or two knives, or a fork, or your fingers). Sprinkle topping over pears. Bake for about 30 minutes.

And finally. . .watch Downton Abbey and enter food coma with great satisfaction.

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