Monthly Archives: May 2013

Farm Box Day

Southwest QuinoaHere’s what we did with : Maui sweet onions/ carrots/ Romaneso cauliflower/ zucchini/ sun drop summer squash/ gourmet globe summer squash/ celery/green cabbage/ oregano/ cilantro/ bok choy/ spinach/ red & yellow sweet peppers/ lacinto kale/cucumber/red grapefruit:

Mole Roasted Chicken with Southwestern Quiona and Lentil Pilaf

Lemongrass Scallion Turkey Meatballs with Asian Stir Fry, Cabbage Cups and Red Pepper Chile Grapefruit Sauce

Mexican Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Avocado

Penne Pasta Puttenesca with Spinach & Romanesco Calilflower

Caulilflower and Cilantro


I’d been roasting, roasting and roasting cauliflower, it was time for a change. So I made this Spanish “rice” with black beans, and created a new favorite.

Spanish “Rice” with Black Beans

Serves 4

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, cut into a small dice

1 cup diced onion

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 head of  cauliflower, approximately 1 pound, stem, outer leaves and core removed, grated in a cheese grater or passed through the grating blade of a food processor

1 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes (or use fire-roasted tomatoes)

1/2 cup homemade or good quality prepared chicken stock

1 15-ounce can organic black beans, rinsed and drained

Salt & pepper

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add garlic, chile and onion. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin and coriander, cooking for 30 seconds to toast, then add the cauliflower, stirring to incorporate the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes with juices, chicken stock and beans, then season again to taste. Cover with a slightly cracked lid and cook for about 2-4 minutes, until cauliflower is slightly tender. Fold in the cilantro and serve.


Green Cabbage & Cilantro

For 15 years, I worked almost every Sunday in a restaurant, rising early after a crushing Saturday night in the same said restaurant, weary to the bone. Sunday morning diners don’t particularly understand the concept of bone-weary restauranteurs, they are aggressive and cranky, demanding to rise above the mob for immediate coffee service.

Sunday on the Boat2

This is my Sunday now. Except it doesn’t always look like this. Sometimes I walk down to the fish market, and never without a tad of flirtation with the plastic-aproned fishmonger, my Sunday looks like this:

mussels with cabbage and cilantro

cilantro and cabbageOr perhaps this. Just add cabbage and cilantro from the farm box, possibly a chilled glass of wine, and you’re on your way to a perfect Sunday.

Mussels, Clams and Cockles with Green Cabbage, Cilantro and Coconut Curry

Serves 4

1 can coconut milk

2 garlic cloves, grated

1-inch section of peeled, fresh ginger, cut into slices

1-2 tablespoons green curry paste

4 cups of shredded cabbage

Small bunch of cilantro stems and leaves

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

3 pounds live shellfish, such as mussels, clams or cockels

Juice and zest of one lime

In a Dutch oven or skillet with a fitted lid, heat 2 tablespoons of  the fat cap of the coconut milk (when you open the can, there is a thick layer of coconut oil that has risen to the top.) Reserve the remaining coconut milk. Add the garlic and ginger, heating until fragrant, about a minute, then add the curry paste, cabbage and half of the cilantro stems and leaves. Cook until the cabbage starts to wilt, then add the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce and shellfish. Cover the pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (liquid should still be moving) and cook the shellfish for about 3 minutes. Use a large spoon or ladle to stir the bottom layer of shellfish to the top, and cover again, continuing to cook until the shellfish starts to open. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and zest. Eat immediately, discarding any shellfish that didn’t open.


Maui Onion, Carrots, Broccoli, Celery, Cilantro

stir frySimplicity requires finesse, a lesson I learned from my best friend’s ex boyfriend’s Chinese father about stir frying. In collaborating on vegetable stir fry, I was ready to throw everything into a hot wok, when he stopped me, organizing everything into neat categories designed to make the most of the vegetables, creating the perfect balance of crunchy and tender. First come the aromatics: ginger, onion, garlic quickly flashed in smoking hot vegetable oil until fragrant, then the most firm vegetables, such as celery and carrots, stirred quickly to sear. Next the medium-firm veggies, like peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, and last, the tender greens like spinach, bok choy and cabbage. At last, a quick toss in a seasoned liquid. With this blueprint, you can adapt to any farm box delivery or cooler drawer, and even add in protein like browned tofu, shrimp or chicken.

Brown the tofu well, then pull out of the pan before adding the vegetables.

Brown the tofu well, then pull out of the pan before adding the vegetables.

Farm Box Stir Fry with Organic Super Firm Tofu and Brown Rice

Serves 6

For the stir fry sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 pinch red chile flakes

For the stir fry:

1/2 pound of super-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

vegetable oil

1-inch knob ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup green onion, minced

1 cup firm vegetables, such as Maui onion, carrots, celery, chard stems

1 cup semi-firm vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms

1 cup soft vegetables like spinach, chard leaves, bok choy, cilantro, cabbage

Mix the stir fry sauce, and use half to marinate the tofu cubes for 30 minutes. Drain the tofu, reserving the sauce, and pat the tofu with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Heat a wok or large skillet until very hot, then add vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu and brown until golden, then remove from the pan onto a paper towel to drain.

Add additional oil if needed, and cook the ginger, garlic and onion, stirring very quickly to prevent burning. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the firm vegetables, continuing to stir. Cook the firm vegetables for about a minute, until they turn brightly colored and start to sweat, then add the semi-firm vegetables. Stir to combine and cook for an additional minute. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for another minute, stirring to combine, then add the stir fry sauce and the tofu. Stir to completely coat the tofu and vegetables, then serve.