Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the Menu This Week

One thing on the menu all week: lettuces picked from my AeroGarden. This is my first kit of lettuces (previous kits were all herbs) and I'm loving it. We've had several great salads already and it's so fun to watch the greens replenish themselves after harvesting - it's usually only 2-3 days before I can pick another big bowl of tender leaves.

The week started slowly in the kitchen. I never made it shopping yesterday and was under the weather over the weekend. But now the fridge is stocked and I know what we're going to eat all week. And, as usual, I'm pretty excited about all of it.

For one, it's chanterelle season - one of my favorites. If you've not cooked chanterelles before I recommend starting pretty much immediately. They're not grown locally, so I can't get them at the Green City Market. I got mine at the Saturday market in my neighborhood. Anyway, ask at your market or grocery store. They look and taste like autumn. I like to clean them off with a damp paper towel, slice them and saute them in a smidgen of olive oil along with a pinch of chili flakes and a whole garlic clove. You could add white wine for a nice pasta sauce, or scatter them on a pizza and top with fontina, or make the risotto I've got planned.

Just tonight we enjoyed Grilled Pepper-Sugared Salmon with Artichokes and a Fall Salad. We had these gorgeous jumbo artichokes and some great Coho salmon dusted with Mendocino Seasoning Sand. I just love a good blended seasoning and this one, received as a gift, is really lovely on salmon. It's sweet and peppery. A little goes a very long way. If you want to try to recreate the flavor, start with about about two teaspoons of brown sugar, fresh ground pepper, and some kosher salt. Maybe add some lemon zest. Mix it all together, taste and adjust to your liking. Sprinkle sparingly on salmon and grill.

Also this week: Buffalo Burgers with Corn on the Cob and Avocado Salad - kind of a summery meal but it works since peppers and corn are still abundant at the market. I'm hopeful that Bennison's will bring burger buns to market tomorrow since I forgot to add them to my shopping list. Let's see, there's Spanish Omelet with Seatown Salad, Asian Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Rice, Flank Steak Fajitas with Spanish Rice and Guacamole, and something we've not had in quite awhile: Gnocchi with Basil Pomodoro and Grana Padano. For this, I'll just add very thin sliced basil to my standard pomodoro sauce, and stir it into the gnocchi with lots of grated Grana - my favorite Parmesan. Mmmm. I think I'll make that one tomorrow.

It's been cold this week and the warmth of spices and comfort of deep colors is very much intentional. Hope you're staying warm wherever this finds you.

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