We’re back in the swing of things with the Farmers’ Market and beautiful green garlic is in season for just a few weeks. Here’s an absolutely delightful recipe that I’ve had bookmarked for two years and finally got a chance to try – and I’m happy to report that Chez Pim’s Shrimp Stir Fry with Green Garlic was worth the wait.
I will admit — living several hours inland in North Carolina, in the mental bubble that is graduate school, I didn’t pay attention to the Hurricane Sandy warnings. In fact, it was just a few days before it hit that the severity of the issue even registered to me, when I was talking with a neighbor who recommended I finish my yard work before “the rains get real bad.” Wait, what?!
My mom has always maintained that she’s not a great homemaker, she’s just a lazy one. So she’s perfected her own blend of simple, tasty, and efficient meals, as well as little tricks she consistently does around the home to reduce her housework load. My mom always “tut-tuts” at me and my inefficient messes, but some of her desire for simplicity has definitely rubbed off on me — sometimes I think this blog should be renamed “easy things Lin dreams up because she’s a lazy/tired/busy/poor grad student.” And fortunately for us, laziness does not mean un-deliciousness! (Let the internets learn that I’m definitely not an English grad student…)
Just checked the Brinkley Farm website (my CSA provider), and they’ve updated with a short video from the Southern Foodways Alliance interviewing owner Michael Brinkley, third generation North Carolina farmer (and the nicest guy, ever!).
I used to gauge if I wanted to plant a new product if daddy shook his head and said “What in the hell is this?” then it was gonna do pretty good.
Click here for more short videos documenting Southern farmers, restaurants, and other food-related items.
Meals lately have been a blur of experimentation. The CSA has allowed me to enjoy vegetables that I wouldn’t normally look twice at — such as winter acorn squash. These beauties come in both orange and green hulled versions, with a beautiful crinkled hull.
Kale became a major player in my food intake this year — especially in the spring, when it was so easy to get fresh and local.
There’s really not much I can think of to say about this — it was simple to put together, a little more daring than I normally dare to tread, and nice and spicy (the way I like it!). Great as part of a simple supper: two garlic brats, some roasted radishes, and the kale.
Spicy Kale with Walnuts
Serves 2-3 as a side
- 1 pound of kale, torn into pieces, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of water to boil and lightly blanch kale — approximately 4-5 minutes.
- While water boils or kale cooks, lightly toast walnuts and oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add diced onion and garlic, and increase heat to medium/medium high while sauteing, allowing onion to soften
- Thoroughly drain cooked kale in a colander, and add to walnut and onion mixture. Add crushed red pepper and saute for a minute, allowing flavors to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Continuing on my expansion of simple cooking techniques, I decided to try two relatively new-for-me things: oven-roasting and browning butter.
A story I remember fondly from my childhood involved some Chinese monks who wanted to reduce the aggression of their king so he would be a more equitable ruler. They developed a mock meat that tasted so good the king never knew the difference, and after a year, he became more placable through reduced meat consumption. Whether this story is true or not, it gave me quite the soft spot for traditional Chinese meat analogues such as the “mock duck” or “gluten chicken” that occasionally made an appearance on our home menu.