Friday, October 3, 2008

Meat and mushrooms

I think I'm in love. We got our first week's half share from the CSA we joined: dried oyster mushrooms, arugula, blossoming basil, flowers, a pound of ground lamb, and over a pound of pork chops. In the future, squash, dark leafys, more lamb and pork, chicken, duck, turkey, and goat. The animals eat the byproducts of local tofu and biodynamic bread, and the mushrooms growing on the farm.

The farmer? Young, cute (not that that matters, of course), and completely passionate about food, especially, our favorite, lamb. Recipes in the first newsletter include lamb and spinach meatballs baked in cream of mushroom soup made from the dried mushrooms above. It sounds good, but I'm thinking kofte. We'll see.

The pork chops, however, are destined for the garlic lemongrass marinade we have in the freezer and a quick turn on the grill. The picture below is the same, eaten last weekend, made with some Niman Ranch pork from Trader Joe's and served with udon noodles, carrots, and red peppers with peanut sauce. (Did you know you can get fresh udon from Costco? I didn't. We refreshed it in boiling water for a couple seconds and had nearly instant udon.) We cut thick chops in half horizontally to make thinner cuts--it was easy to do after popping the chops in the freezer about a half hour.

The peanut sauce and marinade for this meal were made ahead, so it came together in about 10 minutes, not counting the family time in the backyard around the grill. And that doesn't count really--just an excuse to be outside drinking gin and tonics and eating watermelon just one more time before the rain descends on Northern California and our thoughts turn towards stews and braises and next week's meats...

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