Monday, June 13, 2011

Asian Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Slaw

What does one do with beautiful heads of cabbage recently harvested from the hoop house?

First, Cabbage Soup, and yesterday, Asian Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Slaw, courtesy of Cathy at Wives with Knives.

Cathy states that one of the nice things about this recipe is that there are no set rules. Add a little more of one thing, less of another. Barbecued pork can be substituted for the shrimp, use cashews instead of peanuts, add pineapple instead of mango. There were only a few changes I made, but mostly followed her recipe.

And it is delicious! ... crisp, some sweetness, a little kick, and full of wonderful flavors and healthy ingredients.

Asian Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Slaw
adapted from Cathy at Wives with Knives

6 cups shredded cabbage (about a 2.2 lb fresh cabbage head)
1 carrot, julienned
3 fresh radishes, thinly sliced
2 young green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 - 1 cup fresh young Kale leaves, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 pound shrimp, cooked (I grilled them lightly)
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 avocados, peeled and diced

Note: I combined all the above ingredients (except for the avocados) and refrigerated for several hours; prior to serving, the avocados and the dressing were added. The cooked shrimp were grilled slightly; fresh young Kale from the garden was added, and since I did not have chili garlic sauce, I used that which I had on hand, the chili paste.

Asian Vinaigrette Dressing

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
juice of l lime
2 tablespoons honey (raw and unfiltered local honey)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (or to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh Asian chili paste (or chili garlic sauce)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup oil

Combine all ingredients except oil. Slowly whisk in oil.

This is one we will make again. Thanks, Cathy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cabbage Soup

Harvested from the hoop house this past week were Carrot Nantes, Cauliflower Graffiti and several more heads of cabbage, Stonehead and an early Golden Acre, plus some Kale which is now in the outside raised beds. And since we have frozen tomatoes from last year's garden, what should a person do? The garden gives you cabbage... make cabbage soup.

Cabbage Soup from Diana's kitchen

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground hot (or sweet) Italian sausage
1 medium to large onion (about 2 cups), chopped or sliced
3-4 stalks of celery (about 2 cups) chopped
1 head of fennel (about 2 cups), sliced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 carrots, sliced/diced
3 cups diced tomatoes (frozen tomatoes from the garden)
2 large heads of cabbage (5-6 pounds), coarsely chopped
2 (32 oz) containers of chicken broth
Kale, chopped

Heat olive oil in an extra large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add ground hot sausage and cook until slightly browned. Add chopped onion, celery, (fennel), garlic, touch of salt and pepper and saute over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, heat through and simmer for 45 minutes. Add more broth and salt and pepper if needed. If you like more broth, add additional liquid, but we like it without too much. A few minutes before it is done, add kale and heat through. Simple, quick and oh so yummy.

Note: This makes a large quantity of soup, but it makes sense to do so since we enjoy having several meals of it and then freezing the remainder in quart containers for later use. Fennel was omitted this time since it was not available in the garden. And remember that cabbage cooks down so the raw quantity will be greatly reduced when cooked, one-third to one-half. Additionally, since we had local fresh ground pork, it was used in lieu of the hot Italian sausage. Since we like the spicy flavor, I added 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/2 - 1 teaspoon fennel seed to the browned pork.

... and now I see some Cole slaw in our future.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yesterday's Foggy Morning

The month of May brought us continued rain and coolness with temperatures ranging mainly in the mid-fifties to the low 60's. Yesterday we awoke to a 42° (F) foggy morning and an optimistic high forecast of 71. (Be sure to enlarge for I do love the fog in the landscape.)

Had you been here you could have lent a hand: rigging a device of PVC to roll up the opposite sides of the hoop house in order for the heat to escape during high daytime temperatures; pulling more weeds; harvesting two more heads of Cabbage 'Stonehead' and one beautiful Cauliflower 'Graffiti' from the hoop house; planting some cannas; transplanting more of the tomatoes from containers to the outside garden... oh yes, and some beans. In fact you could have been entertained by witnessing two people who overdid it and nearly had to drag themselves inside.

Today, a high of 83, and no, you will not find us working in that. However, with this cool 52 degree morning, a few hours outside seems to be in order.

"Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education", Mark Twain said.