On the theory that with none of us travelling regularly for work anymore, that we are lazy creatures who nonetheless like fresh consumable plant things, and that having several weeks in the summer best described as OMG ALL THE SQUASH, we signed up for CSA box this summer. For those of you not in the trendy local food scene, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you pay ahead of time for a summer’s worth of produce, and then every week a farm drops off a box full of whatever’s fresh that week, leaving you with the sacred mission to consume it all before it goes to waste. Truly, this is a challenge we can meet.
First week in, we’re already behind. We get deliveries on Wednesday and here we are Tuesday with a completely untouched bag of arugula. And a lot of cilantro. And we didn’t really start on the radishes until yesterday.
That’s not the point. What is the point is what I did on Saturday to both put a dent in our produce, and get me dinner faster than the 4+ my original plan of pot roast was going to take
That is a plate of ground chicken. I threw a package of chicken thighs into a food processor with a roughly chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic, a dash of salt, and some “Chicken curry” seasoning mix I found in the spice cupboard. Then I processed it until it looked like ground up chicken, and sauteed it in a cast iron skillet. It took two batches. That was okay – I was juggling several things and having multiple batches just meant my timing wasn’t utterly borked.
Among the things I was juggling was boiling broth for Israeli couscous, and chopping up the last snow turnip, plus all the turnip greens. I didn’t do anything special to the couscous – it was most there as a starchy filler. I cooked the turnip in the same skillet I’d done the chicken in, with the added bonus of pouring all the juice from the chicken plate back into the skillet. I’ve never cooked a turnip before, but quick research indicated they’re tasty raw or cooked, so I wasn’t too worried about undercooking. The greens I threw into the same skillet again (I loathe doing dishes) and seasoned with a dash of vinegar (hey, it’s good on beet greens!).
As unimpressive as this bowl looks, this turned out to be the runaway best part of the dish. I threw some soy sauce into a bowl. Then, because this is how we roll, some sriracha. Then a bit of honey. Some vinegar. Fish sauce. I think that’s everything? Really, I tossed in whatever looked good in that particular cabinet. This was the last thing I had to do before eating, and I’d spent all day running from hither and yon with clients who want a hobby farm. I was hungry.
This was rather extraordinarily too much food for two people, which was all I had for dinner on Saturday night. That’s about 1/3 of that kind of lettuce we got in our CSA box last Wednesday. It was the right amount for feeding two people. The turnip was also portioned correctly. There was too much chicken, couscous and sauce.This is what the wrap looked like assembled. Actually, this is the only wrap that looked that nice, since most of the lettuce leaves were too small or torn to make good wraps. But this one, let me assure you, was mega-tasty.
On its own, the chicken mixture was a bit bland – I should have added more curry seasoning and also probably tossed in a bit of soy sauce (and maybe a dash of vinegar, for consistency). However, when I put away the leftovers, I just poured the sauce over the chicken. That was brilliance prompted by laziness, and the leftover chicken is much, much improved over the original iteration.
I predict lots of pictures of vegetables coming up.