Peas + Cream = Soup

This pea soup is made of just two ingredients: sugar snap peas and "half and half." That's if you don't count salt and water as real ingredients, and I don't. So: I put about three cups of whole pea pods, 1/4 cup of water, and a sprinkle of salt in a 2 qt saucepan, covered it, brought the water to a boil and steamed the peas for about two minutes. Then I added enough half and half to almost cover the peas, brought it to a simmer, and cooked for just about a minute before removing the whole thing from the heat. I whirred it with an immersion blender, and voila! Soup for two! Because I love the fancy touches, I put a blob of pea shoots on top for a garnish, but that third ingredient was a flourish I didn't really need.

A quick note about half and half: When you make a soup of only two ingredients, they both have to be great in order for the soup to be great. I used half and half from Milk Thistle, which is an organic dairy that doesn't homogenize their milk. The half and half literally has half cream floating on top, and it's delicious.

I find commercial (or so-called regular) half and half to be a sort of weird product. It has been homogenized at incredibly high pressure, and it can taste kind of "cooked".

If you have access to cream from grass-fed cows, by all means, splurge, and make your own half and half by adding equal parts milk and cream. Read more...

Shark Part III: Brunch

Pictured: poached eggs, fried polenta, shredded smoked shark, green lettuce, husband's torso.

Shopping list:
eggs, Arcadian farms
polenta, Wild Hive
shark, Blue Moon
lettuce, S.&S.O. farm

grand total ingredient cost per plate: $3.15. Yay, farmer breakfast. Read more...

Shark Part II

Do you ever think of shark as budget meat? Tonight's dinner(not pictured, due to dark dining room lighting), a shark fillet with a cherry salsa and Boston lettuce salad, was my farmers' market on a budget dinner, feeding two people for $10. Shark is a very moist, mild, lovely white fish/meat, and usually costs between $6.50-$8 a pound. Seven ounces per person is a perfectly adequate portion, making shark one of the cheaper meats out there. Shark bargain!

To make:

Marinate the shark fillet in 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, and 1 ounce chopped red onion for at least 1 hour and as long as overnight. Slice cherries, remove pits, and combine with ¼ cup chopped cilantro, ½ tablespoon white vinegar, 2 ounces chopped red onions, salt and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Rinse, tear, and dry the Boston lettuce. Toss with very thinly sliced red onion, salt, splash of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon. Remove excess marinade from shark fillet, divide into 2 even pieces, and broil at 500 degrees for 6 minutes, until crisped at the edges and flaky throughout. Serve fish immediately with salsa on top and salad on the side. Serves two. Read more...

Already Made

This lazy lunch required not only no cooking, but also no chopping, assembling, or thought of any kind. All I did was rinse the radishes and curly green lettuce before I nestled on the couch with this plate of: French breakfast radishes, salt for dipping, a blob of curly green lettuce, some hunks of Consider Bardwell (I'm obsessed!) cheese called Equinox and a little bit of smoked shark. Yeah, I said it. Smoked shark. Once again the smoked fish offering from Blue Moon is exceptional, and I'm thinking of trying a shark brandade with this mild, white, salty fish.

But for now I'm working on getting my administrative/paperworky work taken care of, so I'll happily tuck into this food that requires nothing of me. It's salty and creamy, spicy and crisp, and better than all that, it's already made. Read more...

Subway Sandwich...

It kind of irks me that Subway is touting its sandwiches as a health food. They are as mass produced as any other fast food. Are you looking at that sandwich photo and thinking it looks pretty delicious and fresh? That's not Subway. That's an artisanal, local, seasonal sandwich that costs 25% less than its Subway counterpart.

I made the sandwich above as part of an Affordable Greenmarket project, highlighting affordable food that can be made from local ingredients. This sandwich is made from all Greenmarket ingredients: a ciabatta roll from Bread Alone ($1), purple radishes from Phillips farm ($.33 for 3), curly green lettuce from Kernan farm ($.20 for a quarter of a head), and a gorgeous washed rind cheese from Consider Bardwell, Dorset ($18 a pound, but only $1.70 for an ounce and a half). Grand total for my sandwich? $3.23

Compare that with the Subway sandwich below, an item off Subway's most inexpensive menu, the BMT, which rings in at $4.29. Commercially farmed everything. Icky bread.

You may be saying, okay, but the Subway sandwich is already made. True. But I was able to assemble my sandwich directly at the market, in less than five minutes, in less time than it takes to buy a fast food sandwich. So take heart. As we're all trying to figure out how to spend as little as possible while keeping good experiences in our lives, the lush, lovely sandwich is in your grasp. Read more...

Best. Two. Dollar. Purchase. Ever.

This slab of smoked bluefish from Blue Moon farm cost exactly two dollars. Their fresh fish is always impeccable, but the smoked bluefish, wow! It tastes a lot like a smoked salmon, as both salmon and bluefish are pretty oily fish and benefit a lot from smoking. But this guy is superfresh when it gets the treatment. And it cost two dollars! Read more...