It seems almost unbelievable, but there really are only two more weeks of Lagusta’s Lusciousness until we go on our annual sabbatical! I’ll be off to my sweetheart’s father’s house on an island in the middle of the Pacific (I know, I know, I am the luckiest girl in the world) where I’ll spend a few weeks getting caught up on paperwork (hello, taxes!) and projects–and of course swimming in the clear blue sea, hiking up to the sky, and reading endless novels. Sous chef Stephanie will be off on her Culinary Institute of America externship to a very lucky restaurant for a few months, and sous chef Maresa will be working on a foodie business idea of her own I’m excited to announce to you soon!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have two weeks of glorious meals. Here’s what’s on the menu for this week:
- Korean barbecued tempeh with bok choy and rice noodles: This dish is slightly fiery, and has lush, clean Korean flavors: miso, chilies, and nice cooling rice noodles to calm everything down.
- Sautéed butternut squash with garlic, ginger, and warm spices
- Feijoada (Brazilian rice and beans) with seasonal vegetables: Pronounced feh-jh-wada, this traditionally super-duper meaty dish is the national dish of Brazil. It’s filled with spices, orange zest, rice and beans, tomatoes, and more.
- Garlicky kale
- Smoked refried beans with salsa fresca: once one of my clients said my frijoles refritos were “the best thing I’ve ever put on a spoon.” It’s true, they are quite lovely, indeed. I always explain to everyone that “refried” doesn’t mean “cooked with tons and tons of oil,” (though that’s often the case, sigh), but “well-cooked.”
- Spanish rice: a laid-back foil to the luxurious beans.
- Soup: Shiitake soup with soba noodles and carrot stars: just the thing if you’re under the weather!
- Salad dressing: ginger maple lime dressing
It’s the week before the week of Thanksgiving, which means we’re in high gear over here. A couple bits of business:
- We’re all filled up for Thanksgiving orders, thanks to everyone who ordered!
- I probably won’t get a chance to post the weekly food photos for last week and this week until after Thanksgiving.
- If you’re in the Hudson Valley, you might have heard about the tragic fire at Evolutionary Organics/Conuco Farm. EO is my dear pal Kira’s farm, she’s an amazing person and a brilliant farmer. Here’s a note she recently wrote about an auction to benefit reconstruction.
So – I do believe that by now you all have heard there was a fire a little over two weeks ago that burned down a barn. Insurance is not going to cover any of what Hector or I lost in the fire, and it won’t come near covering what the other two people lost in the fire either.
With a little help from our market friends in Brooklyn, we are throwing together a bad ass auction to raise money to get the farms back on track. The auction will take place December 10th at a place called the Commons in Brooklyn. A little along the line of holiday shopping with purpose. If any of you have a useful, interesting, or cool item or service you wish to donate to the auction we would be more grateful than you can imagine. Every little bit helps! Ideas of items to auction off are also much appreciated. We are trying to put together the list of items by the end of the month so we can arrange pick-ups and all the other details that it will take to pull this off. You can contact me by email or phone at 845-417-1543. Thanks for even thinking on this. Kira (evolutionary organics).
- Here’s another blog post that has more info on the fire and donation efforts, and Kira’s email address is email@example.com if you want to contact her directly.
That’s all from me. Have a great holiday if we don’t talk before then!
not this week, next week!
Chocolate orders for Thanksgiving tables are heating up and we’re busy worker bees around here, so I’ll make this short and sweet: here are the meals for this week!
(OK, that almost rhymed.)
- Coconut curried tempeh with greens
- Marinated tofu salad with sesame dressing, sesame seeds, and Chinese cabbage: with a lemony/sesame oil, tangy dressing, this is addictive.
- Three bean chili with fresh vegetable toppings: yeah, it won an award. Not that I’m bragging or anything. First place though!
- Southwestern succotash with fresh chilies, peppers, and corn
- Seitan and mushroom stroganoff
- Steamed seasonal vegetables with rose petal-infused sea salt, and a light pomegranate dressing.
- Soup: S’chee (Russian cabbage soup): sort of like borscht, only a million times more awesome.
- Salad dressing: Fresh Italian dressing: that kind of dressing you crave from when you were a kid, only…a million times more awesome.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I have a new item for the General Store: the same grapeseed oil we use at LL HQ. The brand name is Salute Santé, (they’re a great eco-friendly company!) and it’s available in 33 oz tins. It’s a great, mild-flavored oil that we use instead of olive oil when we don’t want the heaviness, full-bodied flavor, and low smoke point of extra virgin olive oil. It’s light and great for pan-frying or even deep frying. It’s $15 per 33 oz tin (do an internet search: this is a ridiculous deal!!!), and I only have a case of 6, so let me know ASAP if you’d like one!
The slogan of those goji berries (used in last week’s XO sauce dish) just knocks me out. I like to think about gojis winning some giant popularity contest of all the millions of berries in the Himalayas.
- Artichoke, olive, and preserved lemon tagine with chermoula and harissa sauces: I know I say this all the time, but seriously, this is one of the tastiest meals ever. It’s a bit of a tzimmes (a big deal): it’s a nice bright Moroccan stew plus a light bright pesto-like charmoula sauce plus a laboriously homemade spicy (and bright!) harissa sauce—but it’s so, so worth it. I’m so in love with this harissa that I make ten cups of it at a time and freeze it in small containers to use as a hot sauce for all my personal meals for the next four months, until this dish comes on the menu again.
- Tzimmes (glazed carrot coins) with ginger, lemon, and cinnamon: unlike the tagine, this tzimmes is not much of a tzimmes. It’s a sweet and simple side dish that’s easy to eat and easy to love: carrot coins sauteed until lightly cooked and lightly glazed, with paper thin lemon slices cutting the slight sweetness.
- Gourmet sloppy joes with homemade focaccia: from-scratch super fancy sloppy joes (with lots of cleverly disguised greens cooked in), plus homemade bread!
- Heirloom lettuces and roasted carrots with pink peppercorn-garlic-tarragon ranch dressing: I think I have a hot lead on a special salad mix from farmer Pete for this salad…exciting!
- Wide rice noodles with Southeast Asian pesto, smoked tofu, and fresh broccoli and red peppers: a Southeast Asian pesto meal–YES.
- Grapefruit and beet salad: Does this sound like a weird combination? Honestly, I’ve been making this salad for the past ten years, so I no longer see it. All I see is a perfect match: sweet-tart grapefruit to balance earthy-sweet beets, plus a wine vinaigrette and thyme. Hello, lunchtime!
- Soup: Portuguese kale and potato soup: Honest, earthy, deep, stick-to-your-ribs soup.
- Salad dressing: Sesame-shiitake dressing: which I personally could eat with soba noodles all day long.
First of all, LOOK AT THIS TATSOI!! It was a triple-headed tatsoi, grown by our pals Erin & Sam at Second Wind CSA, and I was lucky enough to get it in my CSA box because I so fawned over the photo of it Erin posted to the CSA Facebook page. It is possibly the most photographed tatsoi in the entire Hudson Valley this fall. OK, probably ever. How's that for a perfect blending of technology and farming?
Sous chef Stephanie was the Ellen Page character from Hard Candy for Halloween!!!
How perfect was she? (Yep, we’re pretty fierce feminists around Lagusta’s Luscious HQ).
And if Stephanie is holding a giant produce item, Maresa is holding something in front of her eyes--heirloom carrots, in this case. Themes we have, I tell you!
And we did make some food too--cider-glazed turnips and apples with sage and tempeh bacon, anyone?
I just ate this meal for dinner tonight! So delicious: Cuban-style black beans with coconut rice and tostones (fried plaintains)
This broccoli raab from Taliaferro Farms was super green and leafy--no florets! It was baby broccoli raab.
We quickly stir-fried it with shoyu, sherry, garlic vinegar, red chilies, and masses of ginger--both fresh ginger root and crystallized ginger.
A heart-stoppingly glorious cauliflower from the New Paltz farmer's market.
I couldn't resist buying these edible bachelor button flowers from Phillies Bridge Farm, knowing a hard frost was coming that would wipe them all out.
And colcannon: mashed potatoes with seared scallions and leeks, plus roasted vegetables and cider gravy.
The results of the election were pretty much dreadful (though hooray to the New York Green Party for snapping up ballot status!), but at least there was some serious comfort food to get us through a week sorely needing comfort. Onward, friends.