Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Locovorious Feast

We're still getting over our respiratory ailments, so we had a very lazy day today --at lunchtime FT whipped up some cucumber sandwiches and we took them, some cheese and early apples from the farm market to the recreational area down the road for a simple picnic, and to let the dogs romp.

For supper I retrieved some forgotten veal steaks from the basement freezer -- I am trying to use up my embarrassing meat hoard before the big move -- and marinated them in a mixture of leftover white wine, olive oil, garlic, lemon thyme and rosemary.

Meanwhile I made up a potato salad inspired by a photo I'd seen in a magazine some time ago. I had a small bag of lovely little purple "Caribe" potatoes from the food coop -- actually the family that makes our weekly CSA flower arrangements also grow these and other heirloom potatoes; I had some green beans from a local Amish family produce stand where we buy a lot of veggies; I had some food coop lentils. I boiled the potatoes in their jackets while I cooked the lentils. I cut and steamed the green beans. I mixed these together while they were still quite warm -- I'd say I had about a pound of the potatoes, skinned and sliced, one cup of lentils or so and an equal amount of green beans. To this I added maybe a quarter cup of finely diced sweet onion; about a quarter cup of unreconstituted sundried tomato slices; a small garlic clove finely chopped; and about a half bottle of white balsamic dressing I happened to find in the pantry. I let this soak into the vegetables for about 15 minutes; I did a taste test and decided that the salad needed more tang, so I splashed some of our own balsamic vinegar into the mixture. I added some kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.

I grilled the marinated steaks on a little Grand Gourmet tabletop barrel grill/smoker that FT got on sale for an incredible $16.

The steak was okay -- I don't know what the butcher was thinking when he cut them, which is maybe why I got them on sale at our local butcher shop -- but the salad rocked. It was absolutely fabulous. We ate it all. The only thing I'd do differently next time is whip up our own olive-oil-and-balsamic-vinegar dressing instead of using the bottled kind. But you have to put it together while it's warm, to get all that flavor-melding action going.

Sidebar: I'm also trying to use up my wine stash before the move; we tried a pinot noir from Ciccone Winery, owned by Madonna's dad up in the Leelanau Peninsula, with our meal. FT absolutely hated it. I didn't, but it's not my favorite wine; there was a pleasant earthiness to it (which is why I guess they always say to drink pinot noir with mushroom dishes) but otherwise not a lot of there there. So I guess we'll be making something in a red-wine marinade in the near future.


zorra said...

The lentils were an interesting touch!

Deb said...

Your recipe postings always make me hungry! You have another career option as a food critic :)

Alternately, if you ever want to move to NH and become a personal chef, I'd welcome you!

chartreuseova said...

I've gotta try that salad. Never mixed with lentils with potatoes or green beans before...too bad we ate our CSA green beans yesterday. Now I'll probably have to wait until after our next delivery on Thur.

But it sounds yummy.

southernbooklover said...

Great recipe! Maybe it's time for you to write a cookbook.