Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Down on the farm

Chris and I signed up for a community supported agriculture share from Winslow's Home this year. Each week, I drive down to the shop, which is like an old-fashioned general store on Delmar, and pick up a bag of herbs and veggies. It's nice knowing exactly where they were grown (at a farm in Augusta, Mo.) and how (organically). We've had some excellent salads, with crisp, fresh from the ground carrots and leafy greens.

We got perfect peonies, lovely lavendar and interesting herbs.

Most weeks I get an e-mail ahead of time letting me know what I'm getting and that's a good thing, because I often don't recognize what's in the bag, and even if I do, I'm not sure how to eat it. I've learned that radishes are interesting and especially delicious with butter. I've tried adding lavender to food (cooked with potatos, yum). This past week, I tried sorrel, which is zippy and lemony and adds an extra something special to a salad.
It's nice to try new things and search for fun recipes. But there's all this pressure to make sure I use Everything From the CSA!!! Like it's worse, somehow to waste these vegetables, which are special and expensive and beautiful (unlike the zucchini that I bought from Trader Joe's last week, forgot to eat and is now shriveled at the bottom of the fridge).

So by today, a full five days after I picked up my CSA share, I still had some swiss chard, chives, baby garlic and radish tops left to eat. What to make?
I turned to my favorite food blogger for inspiration and found this recipe for creamed chard. I threw in the radish tops with them and substituted the baby garlic for the onions.
Then, I put together some pan fried tilapia and called it dinner. Here's the recipe I invented. It wasn't mushy because I hate mushy, fried fish.

Pan Fried Tilapia
serves 2

2 tilapia filets
1/3 cup corn meal
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
1/3 cup olive oil

Prepping the fish: preferably, buy the fish fresh, take it home and cook immediately. If you live in the Midwest, most of your fish comes frozen, so remember to take it out of the freezer before you go to work.
If you forget to do this, remember to take it out of the freezer when you get home from work, at the very least.
Cooking the fish:
Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a pan on the stove. While it's heating, stir together the corn meal, whole wheat flour and seasonings. Spread mixture onto a plate and place the clean, thawed fish on top. Press corn meal/flour mixture on both sides of the fish. Place fish into the hot oil and fry until brown on one side; then flip.

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