From CSA 2k8
  • lots of peppers!
  • celery
  • turnips
  • broccoli
  • apples
  • pears
  • carrots
  • onion
  • radishes
  • eggs
  • mesclun


so we went to the indian grocery store…

  • caramel-apple ice cream with toasted oat bits
  • kerala-style avocado relish, which I shall call indian guacamole [660]
  • braised lamb with turnip greens [660]
  • one of two dishes that involve cabbage and plantain, or more brussery (Scott’s vote is for the latter) [660]
  • bell peppers with onions, potatoes, and mustard seeds [660]
  • collard greens in moong palak [660]
  • methi roti for the freezer


lots to do

we used half the pumpkin for pumpkin flan, we devoured the delicious beans, and the beef went in the delicious chichilo negro mentioned below. That leaves a lot of vegetable though. Here are some ideas.
  • [660] coconut-smothered pigeon peas with pumpkin, arrachay uttu sambhar
  • broiled eggplant with polenta
  • eggplant confit, or maybe a lasagne? Hm.
  • [660] nutty-tart bell peppers with peanuts, mirchi nu shaak (two peppers still get chopped up for the freezer)
  • macaroni and cheese with salami; braised collard greens
  • we have lots of beets. ice cream? ravioli? risotto?
  • roasted beet and bekana salad
  • cabbage, apple, and caraway soup

csa week 20

From CSA 2k8
  • pumpkin (not in box)
  • onion
  • [three sisters] black beans
  • garlic
  • onions
  • 2 eggplants
  • concord grapes
  • red cabbage
  • turnips
  • collard greens
  • green peppers
  • bekana
  • carrots
  • 2 acorn squashes
  • beef


diana kennedy on avocado leaves

The dried leaves are quickly toasted over a bare flame — they send off a wonderful fragrance. If you don’t have any available, you can always prevail upon friends who do in other parts of the country to send them, as they will keep for several months dried.


patatas a la riojana

my very favorite potato chorizo soup, recipe given before (in 2005) probably made once every month or two… now has a picture.
Patas a la riojana

chichilo negro

While paging independently at different times through Kennedy’s Art, Alex, Nick, and Sebastian – at least in my memory – all noted with interest this recipe for Oaxacan Black Beef Stew.

Chichilo negro is a dramatic stew of meat an vegetables in a fragrant and complex black sauce, redolent of black chiles and toasted avocado leaves. It is one of the more important of the Seven Moles of Oaxaca and prepared in the villages of the Central Valley on festive occasions instead of the much heavier black Oaxacan mole. In the past it was always made with the black, bulbous, thin-skinned chilhuacle negro, which in recent years have become scarcer and very expensive, so chiles guajillos, charred black, are now often used.

This is Mexican food at its most exotic!

Chichilo is best served in shallow bowls—meat, vegetables, and plenty of sauce, with the final touch (as if that were necessary) of rajas con limon (page 359). Some black beans cooked de olla (page 179) and corn tortillas accompany this dish, whichis not, surprisingly, very picante.

The Meat

  • 1½ pounds beef ribs or brisket, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small head of garlic, scored around the middle
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly sliced
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 pound boneless stewing pork, cut into 2-inch pieces

The Vegetables

  • 1 large chayote (about ¾ pound), peeled and cut into strips with core and seed
  • 6 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into halves
  • 1 chile pasilla de Mexico
  • 18 chiles chilhuacles negros or guajillos
  • 3 medium (about ½ lb) tomatoes
  • 3 large (about ¼ lb) tomate verde/tomatillo, approximately
  • 12 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered
  • the seeds from the chiles
  • 2 dried corn tortillas
  • 1 scant tablespoon dried oregano, Oaxacan if possible
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 whole allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • pinch of cumin seed
  • 3 tablespoons lard
  • ½ pound prepared corn tortilla masa (page 8)
  • 8 fresh or dried avocado leaves
  • sea salt to taste

Aside: the Chayote (Sechium edule)


I’ve never cooked one of these before, so I'm excited for it. I bought a big spiky one, you know, just to make life more interesting.

The chayote, sometimes called a vegetable pear, is indegenous to Mexico and has been cultivated by the Indians for centuries; they gave it a Nahuatl name, chayutli.

Several varieties are grown in Mexico: small cream-colored ones, dark and light green ones with porcupinelike prickles, and then the light green, smoother variety, puckered at both ends, that is found in most Latin American markets in the US.

Only when the last variety is very tender and freshly picked can the skin be eaten; otherwise it should be discarded. But the seed, or flat almond, inside is a delicacy.

The chayote is a perennial climbing plant that grows profusely over the tall trees in my orchard, but it can be trained over a wire frame or cama when grown commercially. The tuberous root is edible and delicious, but it should be left to experts to dig it up without disturbing the reproductive part of the root system on which the following year's growth depends. The root, called camote de chayote, chinchayote, or chintestle, depending on the region, is boiled and eaten by itself or made into fritters and has a pleasant, earthy taste rather like that of the Jerusalem artichoke (Kennedy, p.147).



  • monday: brussery, methi lobhia, radishes+greens, besan roti, ice cream
  • tuesday: potato-chorizo soup, bread
  • wednesday: halibut with nick and sebastian in stl
  • thursday: rajma, delicious kohlrabi




a box of fall

From CSA 2k8
  • kohlrabi
  • parlsey root (not a parsnip!)
  • concord grapes
  • apples
  • red onion
  • beets
  • sweet potatoes
  • red peppers
  • green peppers


Next year should be very exciting for those of us who study the ECJ: 13 appointments!

another jerk chicken place to try

View Larger Map D’s Irie Kitchen. calls itself the best in chicago.


indian jewish pastries

this is so for Scott: golden pastry half-moons filled with coconut, pistachio nuts and raisins, and scented with cardamom and nutmeg.

omelet pan

I was recently frustrated by excessive stickiness and uneven heating of a cheap (part of some dumb set) omelet pan, and managed to score a replacement, a calphalon commercial nonstick one at tj maxx for $30. I haven’t made any eggs on it yet, but my same predicament was had by the excellent food scientist Harold McGee, except he had the funds to experiment.


Linux-Based E-Voting In Brazil

from /. … what I don’t get is why even the netherlands goes to the crazy step of banning electronic voting instead of requiring an open-source device. It seems like “cheap” for Brazil required a free OS, a nice market-based approach for a giant developing country.


a wine to remember

The Vesevo 2004 Aglianico Beneventano is a dark ruby purple and offers a complex nose of black cherry, spice and cassis aromas. On the palate it exhibits rich extracted black fruit flavors, with smoke, leather, and mushrooms notes. Aged in barrique for six months, the big and seductive beauty has all the assets of a superb wine with great balance and ripe gripping tannins. A terrific wine at a great price.

I had the 2005 on a recommandation at the Wine Merchant in St Louis (we walked around the store looking at the $10–15 range and he hit all my usual favorites like Luzón and Juan Gil from Spain and NQN from Argentina). Perhaps more leather than mushroom but definitely my kind of earthiness and still a lot of concentrated fruit. I had it with beet ravioli, which played nicely off the earthy qualities. The first sip is a big burst of Italian-ness. I’ll be finishing it tomorrow at lunch with my favorite tuscan beans and tomatoes.


varieties of capitalism

a naming exercise

two bits on trains

amtrak authorization; metaphor for candidates. According to Wikipedia, “During the Shinkansen's 44-year, nearly 7 billion passenger history, there have been no passenger fatalities due to derailments or collisions (including earthquakes and typhoons).”



From CSA 2k8
  • two enormous red bell peppers (risotto!)
  • parsnips (not in box, but I am really craving this)
  • spaghetti squash (Scott: “The texture is more like rice noodles or bean thread noodles than spaghetti…”)
  • celery root
  • cabbage
  • sweet potatoes (not in box)
  • [Nichols] garlic
  • pears
  • tomatoes (not in box)
  • onions
  • $1 of river valley mushrooms
  • radishes

What, no RR?

I am surprised Republican politicians here don’t just rename themselves “Ronald Reagan.” In Brazil, no fewer than six have changed their names to Barack Obama.