Sunday, December 19, 2010

December FM: pinks, greens & golds!

We bought 5lbs of fresh shrimp, heads intact and caught that morning, for, if I remember right, $8 total.  Peeled, we ended up with a robust 2lbs of succulent meat.  (Our local grocer(s) sell the same peeled product, frozen, for $7.99 per lb, so we got one pound free).

However, I also made stock with the heads and shells, using a little leftover sugar pumpkin, leeks, onion, celery (all of which came from local farms), parsley (the very last from my garden) and a couple bay leaves.

Yield: just over a gallon (one more jar was left out of the picture) of crystal clear*, intoxicating shrimp stock to be used for a special bisque for our New Year's Eve party.  I'll serve it in small sippers, garnished with some of those delectable shrimp (which, yes, are now in the freezer, but that's no problem at all).
*The key to producing a consomme style stock is to avoid boiling it.  Skim off impurities after initially coming to a near boil, then just let it barely simmer.  I used all the heads and shells from the 5lbs of shrimp, and ~4 qts of cold water, and simmered for an hour.
 This market's take home list:

Animal Kingdom
fresh cod
fresh shrimp
fresh scallops (our first scallops since...last winter?)
various heritage and traditional breed pork products
fresh chicken, whole and legs
2 dozen eggs
quark (traditional, old style cottage cheese)
camembert cheese
2 kinds of goat cheese

Plant Kingdom
arugula (really beautifully done by Garen...)
beans (dried, 6 kinds: Bumblebee, Peregion, Black Coco, Jacob's Cattle, Soldier, and "heirloom soup")
buttercup squash
butternut squash
garlic scape pesto
potatoes (4 kinds)
sweet potato!!! (Farmer Dave's)
turnip (small, white "tokyo"--perfect for braising)

Phew!  That was a lot of luggin'!  Good thing the hubby joined me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Puree of Sunchoke and Cauliflower Soup

Twenty-seven degrees out here in NH, and I've got a pot of sunchoke and cauliflower soup that I cooked up last night, and fougasse from Beach Pea.  Need I say more?  :)  The inspiration for this soup came from an old Food and Wine recipe that you can find online here.  A quick note about sunchokes: they don't need to be peeled but they do need to be rinsed, particularly between the knobs where dirt collects.

Cauliflower from Heron Pond Farm and sunchokes from Wake Robin Farm (thyme from my garden)

This could not be an easier soup to make from local and homemade ingredients.  Chop, drop and simmer...puree, season and serve!  I brighten my version with either apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar.  Blue cheese, or any aged goat cheese, would be delectable as a garnish on this soup.

Sure does look like fish chowder!

Quick puree with my 2nd favorite kitchen tool...

...results in this finished bowl of goodness!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Colors of Early December

 With a package of New Roots Farm chorizo in the freezer, a large butternut squash from Charlie and Ann at Stone Wall Farm, and a bunch of leeks from Brookford Farm, it was time to indulge in one of our favorite winter meals: risotto!

Chorizo, Leek & Butternut Risotto