Posts Tagged ‘Eggplant’

CSA2 Week #8

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 by virginia

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We were in Hilton Head for a long weekend and ended up staying an extra half day when our flight was cancelled due to weather here in NY. At least we had great weather down there, lots of sun, though it was pretty hot and humid. I sat by the pool while Josh golfed in the morning. Not a bad way to spend a few days. Now we’re back and have lots of work to catch up on before we head off on our next trip, next week.

Josh picked up the share this week, which was another heavy load. This week our share contents included:

Cucumbers – 1.75 lbs
Tomatoes – 1.9 lbs
Squash – 1.5 lbs
Greens – 1 lb
Beets – 0.75 lbs
Purslane – 0.4 lbs
Eggplant – 1.75 lbs
Peppers – 1.25 lbs
Melon – 1 each
Basil – 0.2 lbs

Kale, purslane, eggplant, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, squash, peppers, basil, melon on top

This was the first week that we got tomatoes, and they’re pretty ripe. I’m sure we’ll get more in the next few weeks, and while these are standard red tomatoes, I can’t wait for the heirlooms to come in. I’m not sure if we’ll make a gazpacho with these, or just pair them simply with the gorgeous basil leaves we got.

For the greens, only kale was available, which is always fine by me. We also got some more purslane, which I’m still not sure is the best way to prepare. There’s also a wonky looking yellow melon, which I don’t know if it’s sweet or savory. I guess we’ll just have to cut into it to find out!

As usual, we got more squash and cucumbers, as well as a bunch more peppers. I’ve also got a big supply of eggplant now, though Claire’s idea of baba ganoush is definitely up my alley. I love smokey eggplant dip, and the few recipes I’ve looked up look pretty simple to make. We just don’t have much time to use up all our veggies, since we’ll be away for a week and a half starting next Wednesday. I’m pickling cucumbers as I write!

CSA2 Week #7

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 by virginia

It was a pretty hectic CSA Wednesday for me, as Josh was out of town and I had a work function to attend at 5:30. I ended up running out of my office at 3 to pick up the share, then running back to work right afterward. It was also tough because our share was so HEAVY this week, though the farm reports warn us that shares later on in the season will be smaller because things are ripening so fast right now due to the warm weather. This week our share contents included:

Cucumbers  Р2.5 lbs
Squash – 2 lbs
Greens – 1 lb
Eggplant – 1 lb
Peppers – 3 each
Purslane – 1/2 lb
Basil – 1/3 lb
Watermelon – 1 each
Dandelion – 1/3 lb
Tomatillos – 0.4 lbs
Beans – 2/3 lb
Corn – 2 each

Ruby chard, dandelion, squash, beans, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, watermelon, cucumbers, basil, corn, purslane

There were two new items for the season this week – corn and tomatillos. We got corn last year, but the tomatillos are brand new to us. I’d love to make a salsa verde with them, but we really don’t have a whole lot to work with. I can’t wait to try them out though, and experience their tanginess.

For the greens, we got ruby chard again. Beautiful stems though, so I’m excited. The leafy portion we’ll probably mix with dandelion and either eat them sauteed with garlic, or mixed into a spaghetti carbonara.

For the beans, I picked ordinary string¬† beans rather than yellow or green pole beans. I prefer the tender crispiness of string beans. I’m not sure what to do with the squash and eggplant, since we get those fairly often. Maybe mix them with the peppers for a nice ratatouille? I might also try to stuff the peppers, since we still have a few from last week to use up.

As for the basil, I have a batch of pesto already in the freezer, since we’ll be away this weekend and then for the next two weekends after. Hopefully another batch will keep just as well. With regard to the purslane, we ate a simple salad of purslane and parsley greens mixed with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil. Refreshing and delicious. It’s a bit intense, so a little goes a long way. The purslane has a nice lemony flavor to it. It’s a great accompaniment to something rich – try it out! Lots of omega-3s are just a bonus.

CSA2 Week #6

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by virginia

Josh was in charge of picking up our CSA share this week, which was good because there was A LOT of stuff. I guess the warm weather has really rushed the ripening of a lot of the vegetables. Even so, I was pretty happy to see so much variety in addition to the quantity. This week our share included:

Squash – 2.75 lbs
Cucumbers – 2 lbs
Peppers – 0.8 lbs
Eggplant – 0.8 lbs
Basil – 0.5 lbs
Lettuce – 1 each
Greens – 1 lb
Purslane – 0.33 lbs
Beans – 0.6 lbs
Pole Beans – 0.75 lbs
Parsley – 0.15 lbs

Cucumbers, basil, string beans, collards, pole beans, peppers, lettuce, eggplant, parsley, purslane, squash

It’s the first time that we’ve received purslane, and I’m curious about it. I’ll have to do some research on how it should be prepared – anyone have any ideas? I’m also intrigued by the purple string beans, though I suspect they probably taste like regular string beans.¬† Supposedly they turn green when cooked; that seems pretty cool.

I plan on turning the cucumbers into Chinese style garlic pickles, which are delicious and super quick to make. As for the squash, I foresee some zucchini pancakes with smoked salmon and sous vide eggs – one of my favorite brunch dishes.

I was disappointed again that we didn’t get kale for greens, but collards make good chips as well. I’m not sure how to prepare the eggplants though, which are the thin Japanese style. Maybe in some sort of garlic sauce? So many possibilities, too little time. We’ll have to make a good dent in the veggies this week though, as Josh will be on a business trip next week and then we’re off to Hilton Head for a long weekend. We did a decent job cleaning out the fridge last week so we’re almost all caught up on our veggie shares, finally!

Sake Bar Hagi

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 by virginia

Sake Bar Hagi is sort of like a Japanese tapas restaurant that’s been written up about in numerous papers and magazines and was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. It’s in midtown so it draws the happy hour crowd, and it’s a great place for pitchers of beer and lots of little snacks. It’s important to get there early though because the place really fills up quickly. Josh and I had been there once after work and really enjoyed it so one Sunday night when it was just us and Josh’s parents, we suggested trying to get in for dinner.

The restaurant is located downstairs below street level but it’s a pretty large and bright space. The tables are kind of cramped together though, and it does get a bit noisy. We had to wait for about half an hour before we could get a table. Fortunately the waiting area wasn’t crowded and we were able to sit on some benches while we waited.

After we were seated an ordered a pitcher of beer, we set about perusing the extensive menu. There are so many different options to choose from, it was almost a bit daunting. There were the usual Japanese appetizers, like gyoza and edamame, different types of yakitori, as well as some more unusual offerings.

We started out with an avocado salad, which was pretty standard. It featured a good portion of sliced avocado on top of iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, tomatoes, and asparagus. The ginger dressing was flavorful and not too sweet.

Avocado salad

We also got a yakitori set that included skewers of chicken meatballs, chicken, garlic, pork belly, and beef. The meatballs were a bit bland but the other meats were well seasoned and had good barbecue flavor.

Assorted yakitori

Agedashi tofu is something that we always order when we’re at a Japanese restaurant, and this version was pretty good. It’s deep fried tofu that’s silky on the inside sitting in flavorful broth, topped with grated daikon, bonito flakes, and shredded seaweed. It’s a good mix of textures and flavors.

Agedashi tofu

The bonito sashimi was one of our favorites of the evening. It was served with citrus soy sauce and topped with chopped scallions, fried garlic chips, and thinly shaved daikon. The fish was a gorgeous deep red color and tasted fresh. The combination was light and refreshing.

Bonito sashimi

The tatsu age, or Japanese fried chicken, was light and crispy on the outside, though I think there may have been a bit too much breading. Still, the chicken was pretty juicy and all it needed was a squeeze of lemon over the top.

Tatsu age (fried chicken)

An interesting dish we ordered was grilled clams topped with scallions. They were big and juicy, not too chewy, with lots of briny flavor. We just shot them straight from the shells, making sure to drink up all the delicious liquid.

Grilled clams

Another one of my favorite dishes was a grilled eggplant topped with miso sauce. The sauce was nicely caramelized on top, and it had sweet, slightly smokey flavor. The eggplant had a creamy texture and wasn’t bitter.

Grilled eggplant

I had high hopes for the grilled yellowtail collar as it’s usually a tender, luscious part of the fish. This version, unfortunately, was a bit dry and really bland. There was no seasoning or sauce on it, and even after we squeezed lemon over the top, it was pretty flavorless.

Grilled yellowtail collar

We got an order of gyozas filled with pork, which were decently pan fried and brown on the bottom, but flavor-wise they were just meh. These were probably the frozen pre-made kind, and not great ones at that.

Pan fried gyozas

Much to Alice’s dismay, Josh and I shared a yakitori of chicken skin. Crispy on the outside, slightly chewy, well seasoned, and very flavorful, we thought these were pretty fantastic. Probably not great for our cholesterol, but we only had one bite each.

Chicken skin yakitori

We got an order of shiitake mushrooms, which were topped with lots of bonito flakes. They had a meaty texture but were kind of plain, and I probably wouldn’t order these again.

Shiitake mushrooms

I enjoyed the fried octopus balls (takoyaki), which was kind of like eating an octopus doughnut. The balls had a light, slightly chewy texture and were filled with little chunks of octopus.

Fried octopus balls (takoyaki)

I wanted to try a grilled rice ball (onigiri) filled with spicy cod roe. I’ve eaten regular rice balls before but never the grilled kind. The rice on the outside was browned a crispy, and the spicy cod roe filling was definitely spicy. I just wish there was a bit more filling, and that it was more evenly dispersed throughout the middle of the rice ball. Otherwise it was pretty good.

Grilled spicy cod roe onigiri (rice ball)

Last, and definitely least, we got a yaki udon with chicken. It’s pan fried udon noodles but the sauce they used was cloyingly sweet and gloppy. There was so much sauce that it totally overpowered everything on the plate, so that was all we tasted. It was probably the worst yaki udon I’ve ever eaten, and it was a disappointing way to finish our meal.

Yaki udon

Even though the yaki udon was terrible, the rest of our meal was pretty good. They have a nice variety of yakitori, and I liked being able to try all the different skewers of meat. The fried items were all served fresh right from the fryer, which meant they were hot and crispy, as they should be. I think the best part of Sake Bar Hagi is the extensive menu and getting to try lots of different things. Most plates are small but shareable, and we washed them down with cheap pitchers of Sapporo. It’s definitely a great happy hour spot, though if you plan on being there for a while, you have to keep ordering food and drinks, otherwise the servers will tell you that other people are waiting for a table. It does get crowded but it’s got a nice low key vibe. I highly recommend checking it out.

Sake Bar Hagi
152 West 49th St. between 6th and 7th Ave.
New York, NY

CSA Week #9

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 by virginia

It’s week #9 of our CSA share, and we’re really starting to feel overwhelmed! Our fridge is absolutely jam packed with vegetables and fruits right now, and we’re scrambling to eat everything before they spoil. Not to mention we’re going away Friday for a long weekend, and when we come back next week, it’ll be time to pick up yet another batch of vegetables/fruits.

No, I’m not really complaining. I love having so many different kinds of produce on hand, and we’re having a great time experimenting with things that we’ve never cooked before. We’ve already made two new recipes tonight, which I’ll talk about more shortly. This week our vegetable share contents included:

Squash – 1 1/2 lbs
Cucumber – 2 lbs
Eggplant – 1 each
Asian Melon – 1 each
Carrots – 1 lb
Napa Cabbage – 1 each
Tomato – 1 lb

Squash, asian melon (in the back), eggplant, napa cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes in the middle

I combined the cucumbers from this week and the larger ones from last week to make Julia Child’s famous baked cucumbers recipe (I mistakenly said braised cucumbers earlier!). Definitely an interesting outcome, which I’ll be posting about soon. We also made a gorgeous ratatouille with some of the squash and the eggplant we got last week. Yet something else to post about!

Fruit-wise, our share this week included:

Peaches – 2 1/2 lbs
Apricots – 1 pint
Plums – 1 pint

Plums, apricots, peaches in the back

We got four decently sized peaches, but I don’t think it was 2 1/2 lbs worth, so perhaps they changed it but I didn’t notice. Oh well, not a big deal. We have an insane amount of apricots and plums in our fridge, so I think we’ll be taking a bunch with us on vacation. I can take fruit if we’re flying domestically, right?

Also, if anyone knows what an asian melon is, or how to cook it, please let me know!

CSA Week #8

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by virginia

It was a hectic CSA Wednesday for me, as Josh is currently in Las Vegas and I had a softball game right after work so I had to run out and pick up our share during the day. It was really hot out and I was a sweaty mess by the time I got back to my office, but I didn’t want to take the chance that I wouldn’t get back from the game in time to get our veggies and fruit.

This week our share did match what was sent in the email, and I was happy to see cucumbers on the list. Our vegetable contents this week included:

Squash – 2 lbs
Fava Beans – 1 lb
Carrots – 1 lb
Cucumber – 3 lbs
Eggplant – 1 each
Greens – 1/2 lb
Beets – 3 each

Cucumbers, fava beans, carrots, eggplant, kale, beets, squash

The greens this week was kale once again, and I look forward to making more kale chips. I also plan on making ratatouille with the squash and eggplant, something that I’ve never tried before. And of course, braised cucumbers, because I want to see what all the fuss is about!

We got lots of fruit this week as well, and our fridge is just bursting at the seams right now. We’ve actually found a great use for most of the plums we’ve been getting, making a really wonderful plum salsa that I’ll be posting about. This week our fruit share included:

Shiro Plums – 1 1/2 lbs
Apricots – 1 quart
Blueberries – 2 pints

Shiro plums, blueberries, apricots

I don’t know the difference between Shiro plums and sugar plums, since they look very similar. Maybe they taste different? We’ll see. And two pints of blueberries doesn’t sound like a lot but I feel like we have an abundance of them right now. Josh wants me to bake a pie so maybe I’ll consider doing that, or just making a big batch of blueberry pancakes. The possibilities are endless!