January was an ambitious month for us in terms of our CSA Cooking. I had a number of evenings off, and I had some great ideas with multi-dish dinners, and so we really went for broke. Here is the wrap-up of our CSA meals that we made in the remainder of January.
Occasionally (and more in the winter), we get cheese as one of our CSA box items. Since we already get 2 pounds of cheese for each Cheese of the Month delivery, it can be a challenge to use all of it. I got a recipe for cheesy potatoes, and so I used some of our Buttercup Cheese from Hidden Hills Dairy in addition to the mozzarella the recipe called for. (Potatoes and cheese from our CSA.)
I cut back a bit on the sour cream and olive oil in this recipe for roasted mozzarella potatoes, but otherwise stuck to the directions. The result was a creamy, wonderfully tender potato side dish. If (more like when) I make this again, I think I will add some garlic, but otherwise, it was spot-on.
Still working through that bag of apples, I made Martha Stewart’s pork chops with apples and onions. (Apples & onions from our CSA, pork chops from Marty’s Market.)
Together (and with a side salad from the butter lettuce we received in our farm share), this was a great cold weather dinner, and it was pretty easy to coordinate the timing of both dishes in the kitchen.
Next, I decided to put together some Asian-inspired dishes for dinner one night. I have a go-to recipe when we get watermelon radishes in our CSA: watermelon radish and carrot salad with sesame vinaigrette. Flavorful and easy to whip together. (Carrot and watermelon radishes from our CSA.)
We had gotten some garlic, onions, and fresh ginger in our CSA as well, so I made another Martha Stewart recipe, basmati rice with onion & ginger. (I used jasmine rice because that’s what I had on hand, but I think they could be used interchangeably for this recipe.)
Finally, we had a TON of apple butter, so I searched for a recipe that would let it shine. I came up with this citrus-apple butter glazed shrimp recipe from the Tide & Thyme blog.
Unfortunately, the shrimp was the low point of the meal. I don’t know if I did something wrong in my cooking, but the apple butter sauce was much less like a glaze and much more like a soup. Also, it was SO citrus-y, but cutting it with a hearty serving of soy sauce or tamari really improved the flavor. I did make this on the stove, so perhaps we’ll give it another go on the grill in the summer, because the idea seems great (and we always have an overabundance of apple butter in the house).
Friends of ours just had a baby the second week of January, and I signed up to do a Meal Train delivery for them. (If you are unfamiliar, it’s where you sign up to cook a meal for the family of the newborn to help take some chores off of their plate.) My mum and I got together and made this vegetarian stuffed cabbage as one of the dishes. (Cabbage, onions, & carrots from our CSA.)
I also had a nice butternut squash, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make my favorite butternut squash soup recipe for our friends as well. (Squash, carrots, and onion from our CSA; we substituted veggie broth for chicken broth as the new mama is a vegetarian.)
This makes a HUGE amount of soup, so there was more than enough for us to share and enjoy at home. A perfect lunch is a cup of the butternut squash soup alongside Trader Joe’s brioche toasts topped with goat cheese and Penn’s Corner hot pepper jelly. The goat cheese is from our CSA as well, from River View Dairy.
In keeping with the ethnic food theme, I decided to make a Spanish dinner that would help me utilize the can of chopped tomatoes we received. I started out with a recipe for Spanish rice. (Tomatoes, carrot, onion, & garlic from our CSA.)
With luck, the jar of tomatoes was just enough to stretch between the Spanish rice and an Eating Well recipe for the patatas-bravas-inspired crispy potatoes with spicy tomato sauce. (Tomatoes and garlic from our CSA.)
I found directions on a Facebook post somewhere of how to best prepare chuletas fritas (pan fried pork chops), and that completed the three-dish dinner. This was a bit time-intensive, but it was very worth it.
Finally, we closed out the month with a vegetarian two-parter. First up, we had a whole lot of kale and a handful of beets, so I made a roasted beet salad with kale. Since I only had a few beets, I also added some sweet potatoes that I’d had from an earlier CSA box. I omitted the almonds from the recipe, but I crumbled some of the previously mentioned goat cheese over top, and it was amazing. (Kale, beets, sweet potato, and goat cheese from our CSA.)
And for the final dish, I took on another ingredient that we get so much of and I can never seem to put to use: dilly beans. I made a dilly bean potato salad from Bon Appétit magazine. This was AMAZING. I don’t even like dilly beans, but it gave the potato salad (which honestly turned out more like chunky mashed potatoes) this dazzling bite. Ours was served without the hardboiled eggs shown, because when I cracked the shells, it turned out that they were soft-boiled and really only very slightly so, so I just left them out. (Potatoes, shallots, eggs, and dilly beans from our CSA.)
So that’s where we ended January! I’m really proud of our cooking efforts, and our efforts to reduce food waste, as well. We’ll be back with more recipes as February progresses!