last night we received our first produce delivery from kretschmann farm of the season. june through november, every tuesday is iron chef pittsburgh. i have no idea what produce to expect--we just get a big old wooden crate of stuff and i try to cobble a meal out of it the best i can, because if i can't use any of it that very night, the refrigerator will explode. no way it can hold everything. then tuesday night and wednesday i figure out menus to use up whatever we received.
so yesterday's haul was great. the most gorgeous, deep red strawberries i've ever had the pleasure of tasting. we sampled a few, then i washed, hulled, and froze the rest to use in smoothies. thought about making ice cream or sorbet, but we hardly need any of that in the house, and WOW did i have the most flavorful, fragrant smoothie this morning for breakfast (and a snack).
second were two big bags of lettuces. those will keep coming for many weeks of the summer--we always have a hard time keeping up with those. salad every night. but they're good.
third were lots of herbs. i haven't even looked to see what all was in there, but i know i saw rosemary. i'll use those later in the week--priority is using up the stuff that spoils fast.
fourth was a big loaf of seven-grain bread from one of their friends' bakeries. we don't get those most weeks, but love it when we do.
fifth was a bag of spinach. a pain to pick out the other stuff that gets accidentally picked in with the spinach, but healthy and we love spinach.
next was garlic chives, complete with the little flowers still on them, and a big bunch of radishes. and last was a bunch of rhubarb.
so last night i made a spinach gratin, sort of--melted some butter, mixed in some grainy dijon mustard, sauteed some chunks of the bread, and cooled that, then mixed in a five-ounce package of reduced-fat feta i had in the fridge. then i stemmed, picked over, washed, and wilted the spinach, then let that drain while i melted some more butter and sauteed the bunch of chives (chopped, no flowers!) and added some soy milk and more mustard. added the spinach back into the cream mixture, tossed that up and let it cook a bit, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and put it into a shallow casserole topped with the bread crumb-cheese mixture. baked that for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, and we had that with salad for a mild dinner. would have been nice to have a little meat (some turkey kielbasa would have been a nice lean, salty counterpoint to spinach, bringing out the saltiness of the feta while adding some moisture without fat). but we didn't have any in the house, and that's iron chef tuesday :)
today i had a chance to regroup and stop at the store on the way home, so i have an actual menu planned. tonight is pork tenderloin with a rhubarb-raisin chutney; we can serve the chutney over other meats later in the week. the chutney is just brown sugar, cider vinegar, water, ginger, lemon peel, and cinnamon boiled then simmered, then rhubarb and raisins (it'd be currants if i didn't have raisins already in the house in abundance) boiled in the mixture and simmered some more. that easy. and the tenderloin is just seasoned and grilled--we just grill on our griddler, so setup is as easy as preheating an oven or pan, and cleanup is as easy as putting dishes in the dishwasher. gotta love that. grill the tenderloin until my probe thermometer tells me it's finished, let it rest about 10 minutes while i heat up a side dish, and slice it up and plate it all. what could be easier than that? yum.
and another night i'll serve the radishes sliced thinly on sandwiches made with carrot-basil muffins. i'd planned to make those as a side tonight, but my head is splitting, so we'll have a leftover side dish, no problem. gotta love leftovers. those'll be good with chicken tenderloins or turkey tenderloins grilled another night (both also bought today) with one or two of the herbs we got, maybe with a little lemon juice or evoo on top. also yum.
okay, now i've made myself hungry enough to get up and actually cook :) that's a good thing.