Monthly Archives: February 2011

Leek

February 25, 2011Leave a comment

WINTER 2011. LEEK. 02.25.11

Some flavors just naturally pair well – apples and cinnamon, maple and pork, rhubarb and strawberries, apricot and almond. And of course, leeks and butter. You’ve never heard of leeks and butter? Yeah, me neither. I typically associate leeks with potato, but what I did not realize is that the duo is often held together by a lot of cream, butter, oil or in some cases, pastry. So I’ll say it upfront and consider yourself warned – this week of menus includes a little more butter than you are used to seeing here at Weekly Greens. It only dawned on me while making the shopping list that a pat here and a pat there adds up to a stick over the course of the week. In some cases, you can easily substitute olive oil and I’ve said so where that’s the case. But for the most part, butter adds a critical flavor component (as is the case with the gnocchi, where the butter first browns to give the dish a nutty flavor). I’ve rounded out the menus with a load of seasonal vegetables and a few terrific vegetarian meals. Savor the velvety textures and rich flavors of this week’s dishes, have a glass of wine and run or walk an extra mile or two here or there (but not necessarily in that order).

Leek Lists

February 25, 2011Comments Off on Leek Lists
Produce

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

5 large leeks

1 yellow onion

1 sweet potato

1/2 pound sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)

4 parsnips

4 carrots

1 pound precut butternut squash

6 shallots

2 cups baby spinach

Fresh thyme

Fresh parsley

Fresh mint

Fresh chives

Meat / Fish

1-1/2 pounds sea bass filets

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 slices Proscuitto

Dairy/Refrigerator/Freezer

1 stick unsalted butter

Parmesan cheese

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

6 eggs

Creme fraiche

2-10 oz. packages frozen peas

Pantry Staples

Dry vermouth

Chicken stock

Whole wheat panko

1 pound whole wheat gnocchi

Note: List does not include “weekend splurge” ingredients.

 

Blood Orange

February 18, 20112 Comments

WINTER 2011. BLOOD ORANGE. 02.18.11

Fans of the sitcom Seinfeld may remember an episode in which Kramer loses his sense of taste and misses the two-week window “Mackinaw peaches” are in season. These very special peaches (which, by the way, are fictitious), supposedly superior to any other peach variety, were apparently worth the 50-week wait. Blood oranges fall into the same camp in some ways. They are only available for a short time each year, they can be tricky to find (try Whole Foods) and they are distinctly superior to any navel or valencia I’ve ever met. I will admit to having become a bit carried away with photographing them. They are just so beautiful. If I were a fashion photographer instead of an amateur with a penchant for food porn, this would be the equivalent of shooting a Gisele Bunchen portrait. Like any true beauty, their looks are only enhanced by their inner goodness – sweet, a little tart and just a hint of deep red berry. No, I didn’t just call Gisele Bunchen a tart. Never!

So why has something so lovely – I’m talking about the oranges, people  – been given a name that conjures guts and perhaps even violence? No clue, but I can tell you that after I juiced a small pile of them by hand, my counter looked like it could use police tape. Sticky, red juice dripped from my knife and ran in a suspicious line down the counter. The juiced halves laid like limp, slain corpses littered about the cutting board. Enjoying the sweet juice even made me feel a bit guilty. Sort of. If I were you, I’d pick up a bundle of these while you can. Use some for the recipes this week, then keep the rest around for snacking. Next week we return from fantasyland with a prim and proper vegetable boasting versatility, but lacking the sex a-peel (sorry, couldn’t resist) of this week’s star.

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