Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greenling Quickfire Round 10

Tonight's Greenling Surprise Me item was Watermelon radish! I love this veggie and pick them up any time I see them at farmers's markets or at the grocery.

Round and encased in a pale green, thin skin, the watermelon radish has pinkish-red flesh, with a mild, sweet flavor.  

I love to pickle these radishes, but since I had already used that approach with the breakfast radishes on a previous challenge I opted to take a different approach. I once had a really great radish tempura. So why not deep fry them and make chips?
 This week I also decided to switch up my beverage selection from wine to beer. And since this is Top Chef Texas - I opened up a few of my favorite Texas beers.

Texas has so many great brews to choose from but Shiner is almost always at the top of my list as a great Texas standard. 

Their Holiday Cheer seasonal is a fantastic mix of peaches and pecans and always a winter favorite in my house. The bottles are labeled with a cute gift tag and make great gifts.
 Back to tonight's dish. I decided to tap into one of my favorite secret ingredients to finish off the radish chips. 

Truffle salt

This amazing jar is filled with some of my favorite spice ever. I picked up the jar based on a foodie recommendation at Central Market from my favorite resident foodie Mimi. 

She made duck fat fried potatoes with this salt and I've used it on every chip made in my house since.

 To go with the chips I pulled out a giant loaf of sourdough bread from my Greenling farmstead box.

Sweetish Hill makes some of the most fantastic baked goods ever. This bread is no exception.

I also had some leftover lobster tail in my fridge from last night's dinner of trufled lobster mac and cheese - sometimes I really love my fridge :)

As a native New Englander these ingredients can only mean one thing - Lobster Roll!
 My basic lobster roll recipe has a slight twist of Sriracha - then again, most of my recipes have that same twist. I must go through a bottle or more of this stuff a month.

I also added some chopped sweet onion, a tiny bit of fresh mayo, chopped celery, salt and pepper.

Mixed all of that up with the lobster meat in a small bowl and then topped off the amazing sourdough, and squeezed a bit of fesh lime on top of the lobster meat mixture,
 The result?

Possibly one of my new favorite dinners of all time. My daughter downed hers in record time and asked for seconds.

Luckily greenling sent two gigantic watermelon radishes and we had an entire pile of chips to finish off (which we did)

The watermelon radish chip was absolutely fantastic - slightly sweet and super savory.
I'm now watching Top Chef and it's Restaurant Wars! One of my favorite episodes each season.

Paul Qui is making roasted pork belly - OMG yum!

My favorite beer to pair with pork belly? Texas's own Real Ale Lost Gold IPA

Cheers to all the cheftestants!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Greenling Quickfire Round 8-9

So once again a holiday interferes with my Top Chef Quickfire Greenling Challenge - well sort of. I spent the holidays in Dallas, TX this year. And as of Dec 2011 there was no Greenling service in the DFW area. So I had to drive my box of fresh awesomeness to my amazing hosts's house to make my weekly dish. I used the russet potatoes and local kale to make my family's favorite passed down recipe for Portuguese Kale Soup - and sure enough Emeril announces that would be his family pass down favorite the same night on episode 8. I nearly died :)

My gracious hosts are vegetarian so I made a modified version with Soyrizo - and it was a hit!  And then upon my return I was thrilled to see Greenling is starting service to DFW in 2012! Score!!!  

 My other distraction for the holidays would be my baking obsession. After baking over 1600 cookies, I embarked on the red velvet birthday cake to end all red velvet birthday cakes. 

This tower is made of red velvet thumbprint cookies, red velvet Krispy Kreme doughnuts, red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cake balls spiked with Peppermint schnapps and topped in a red velvet whoopie pie. 

Oh and yes, those are chocolate mustaches decorating the cake. Why? Because Why not? And the birthday girl deserved an awesome cake :) 
So back to tonight's challenge. In my Greenling box tonight I got a bag of turnips.

At first I was all "YAY turnips" as I love turnips, then I realized I had never cooked them. Ever.  So I sat and stared at them for a while.

Then I reconsidered the whole challenge thing and thought about skipping tonight.

Then I opened a bottle of wine from the fridge and stared at the turnips some more and then poured some more wine... 
 So turnips were just not inspiring me, so I did what I do with most things I don't really know what to do with.

I added butter.

I chopped and peeled them and added to a sauce pan and poured some more wine while I tried to figure out what to do with this vegetable that was stumping me. Then I turned to the rest of my Greenling box and I figured it out!

I had an awesome corn and blackbean salsa as well as some amazing looking southwest tortillas in there. A turnip burrito was in order!

I decided to spice them up with sea salt, cumin, and a pinch of celery salt for good measure and Ta-Da! Instant Yum!

 The finished product, a fantastic veggie burrito alternative (usually bean and cheese in my house) and instant hit with my daughter. She finished hers and was asking for seconds before I even got halfway through my own.

Who knew turnips would be such an interesting and challenging ingredient for me?

I enjoyed the challenge and enjoyed tonight's episode as well. Especially with Paul Qui taking yet another win. Way to go Paul!  He's up to $35,000 in winnings. I'd love to see him take it all! Uchi and Uchiko are two of my most favorite places in the country. I need a bacon steakie fix!

And with that I'm going to relax and enjoy the rest of my evening. Cheers to all the Top Chef contestants and to Greenling for adding the new DFW service!

And like my wine glass, Everything is Bigger in Texas!