Thursday, September 13, 2012

CSA Adventures: Tomatillo chicken stew


There has been a distinct dearth of cooking posts on this blog lately (and by lately, I mean...months). I've also been really bad at keeping up with the stuff I've been doing with the veggies I've gotten from my CSA this season; heck, I haven't even really been taking pictures of the last few shares or the food I've made from them. But this week I got tomatillos*! Aren't they pretty? I don't think I've ever eaten tomatillos before (at least, that I know of) and definitely had never cooked with them, so started off with suggestions on Flickr to make salsa. Of course, that would have left me with a lot of salsa and no I did a little digging around the internet and came across several recipes for chili verde in all its variations. Sounds good to me!


Tomatillos are easy to prepare--just take off the papery husks and give them a rinse (the tomatillos themselves turn out to be strangely sticky!) You can make salsa verde with raw tomatillos, but most recipes that I came across suggested roasting them first, so I did the same.

Roasted tomatillos

I also added a jalapeno and a couple of cloves of garlic (yes, all from the CSA) and left them under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Timing will vary based on your broiler, so check after 5 minutes and see if it needs some more time. Let cool off for a couple of minutes (mostly so you don't burn yourself!) and then transfer the tomatillos, de-skinned garlic, and jalapenos to a blender or food processor. If you are a cilantro lover, you can also add a couple of handfuls of cilantro. Pulse until everything is uniform.

Tomatillo sauce

Isn't it pretty? Season with a little salt and some lime juice. You could just use this as a dip for chips, or you can use this as the basis for a stew, which is what I went with, and it's just a couple of extra steps. I followed this recipe from Simply Recipes, except that I left out the ground coriander (don't have any) and added additional cilantro.

Tomatillo chicken stew

And here it is, just before I demolished it. The jalapeno turned out to be SUPER spicy, so I added a bit of sour cream to help tame the heat. This would be great over rice or with tortillas...but I just ate it as is. I'm saving room for the barbecue that I'm about to go eat! Woohoo! Until next time! In the meantime, maybe you're interested in seeing some of my other CSA Adventures.

 *Heh, my spellchecker doesn't recognize "tomatillos" and keeps suggesting "automatism" instead.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pig Island!

Pig Island

Ok, wow--I had this whole post written up on Pig Island but Blogger seems to have eaten it. GREAT! First post in 2 months and it disappears into the ether! Sigh. Well, anyway, to sum up in a more concise manner, I attended Pig Island (with thanks to the organizers for the press passes!) over Labor Day weekend; you may be able to guess from their (cute!) logo and name that this is an extremely pork-centric event. Apologies to any vegetarians/vegans; you may want to skip this one! On with the pictures:

Pulled pork sandwich & coleslaw

Pulled pork sandwich from Dinosaur BBQ, one of my favorite places. True story--back when I was in college in upstate NY, we used to drive specifically to Syracuse to eat at Dinosaur. I'm glad there's one within walking distance of my apartment now!

Pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork sandwich from John Brown Smokehouse. I liked the pickled veggies on this one a lot.

Pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork sandwich (are you sensing a theme here?) from the Waterfront Ale House, home of lousy food and an ugly owner. Hey, they said it, not me! And in fact, it's not true. The food was pretty good. (Can't say one way or the other about the owner, though!) Maybe this is a good time to mention that all 80+ pigs were sourced from local farms.

Grilled pork belly with peaches, arugula, and tiny croutons

Another of my favorites; grilled pork belly with peaches and arugula from Edi & the Wolf. The tiny croutons were awesome.

BBQ collar with grilled peaches & pickled cabbage

Barbecued pork collar with grilled peaches and pickled cabbage from Mangalitsa. Another fave!


There were pig heads everywhere. Apparently there was a vegetarian stand somewhere, but I never saw it!

Roasted pork with triticale

Roasted pork with triticale from Bobolink Farm. They also very kindly gave me a whole bunch of pig cracklings which were deeelicious.

Porchetta and beans

Porchetta and stewed beans, from Betto. You can see a few more photos here. I'll tell you--this event came the day after an epic lunch at Eleven Madison Park (a subject for another post), and I was not planning to eat as much as I did. But apparently I can't resist the smell of grilling pig! Very glad we attended, and next time I will be prepared and bring a blanket so I can take a nap afterwards.