Posts Tagged ‘CSA

03
Aug
10

corn and tomato tart

salad and tart

Last night, J-P and I swapped chores: he did the overdue laundry, I made a fancy dinner.

I got the recipe online a few years ago, probably after looking at yet another week’s delivery of CSA corn and tomatoes with a mixture of delight and despair. I’ve made it enough times at this point that it didn’t matter last night that I couldn’t find my printed recipe and couldn’t be bothered with looking it up online again. Here’s what I did:

  • Before work, take a bag of pie crust scraps from the freezer and put them in the fridge to thaw.
  • After work, roll out enough dough to form a 9-inch or so round.
  • Put the rolled dough back in the fridge; the rest goes back in the freezer.
  • Heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Heat some olive oil in a large pan.
  • Slice 3/4 of a large yellow onion, chop half a yellow bell pepper, and chop one small jalapeño.
  • Cook those in the olive oil with some salt until they are soft and sweet.
  • Slice the kernels off three ears of corn.
  • Add the corn to the pan and cook briefly, then let vegetables cool.
  • Slice one medium-large tomato.
  • Grate some cheese in the gruyère range. Last night I used an idiazabal.
  • Beat an egg with a little salt. (Are those veggies cooled yet?)
  • Dust a flat cookie sheet (no sides–I turn mine over for this) with cornmeal.
  • Put the crust on the cookie sheet.
  • Pile the corn-onion-pepper mixture (as much as you can fit) in the middle of the crust, leaving an inch or so bare around the edge. (Reserve the rest of the filling, or make less in the first place.)
  • Put tomato slices on top and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Pinch up the edges of the crust, then brush exposed crust with egg and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  • Bake about 40 minutes.
  • Top with fresh black pepper and serve.

The original recipe calls for a crust from a softer dough that contains cornmeal, but using what I had with a tactical dusting of cornmeal gave a pleasantly crunchy result. The original lacks peppers but has basil; we had peppers and lacked basil. The change gave just the tiniest hint of bite, not enough to mess with the tart’s otherwise delicate flavor.

The inside bottom crust came out a little damp from the huge pile of vegetables I put on top. Next time, I will poke holes in the bottom (it also inflated a bit), brush it with egg before adding the filling, and put a layer of tomato slices in the bottom before adding the corn-onion mixture.

Note that the filling is very loose and won’t hold together when the tart is cut. I don’t find it a problem, but if you do, I can think of two fixes. One, use less filling and hope the cheese on top acts as a binder. Two, add some beaten egg to the filling.

23
Apr
10

East Austin urban farms tour

On April 11, I took a tour of four East Austin urban farms. At Boggy Creek, the grande dame of East Austin farms, I asked Carol Ann whether her eggs vary by season, and she said no–Austin grows yummy things for chickens to eat year-round, and in fact, winter’s cole crops make “fabulous” eggs. Carol Ann also protects her chickens from predators by stringing solar-powered red LEDs on their coop’s fencing. She says the lights make possums, raccoons, and other pests think “somebody else is already in there doing the job.”

At Boggy Creek I also learned about Treaty Oak Platinum Rum, which the tablers said is distilled in Austin from molasses processed in Texas from Texas-grown sugarcane, and available at Spec’s. They claim their rum is unique in its local sourcing and production, but a Google search turned up three other rums that may rival it. Railean Rum is distilled near Houston from “Gulf Coast” (though perhaps not Texan?) molasses and will be on the market July 1. And Texas-based Au Naturel Spirits distills two rums, also not yet on the market, under the Temptryst label: Cherrywood and Mesquite. No word on the source of Temptryst’s molasses–and no word from any of the companies about who works the cane fields, or under what conditions.

At Hausbar Farm, which supplies all of the eggs for East Side Cafe, I saw Jim Hightower roaming the grounds. At Shady Lane, I admired the clever use of spare parts from the Yellow Bicycle Project, especially this bamboo chicken tractor with a bicycle wheel:

But my favorite story of the day belonged to Springdale Farm, which the owners of Texas Trees and Landscape founded about a year and a half ago as their business began to suffer from the recession. The urban farm would give owners and employees alike something to do and, they hoped, a new revenue stream. In fact, the farm had to expand due to its success in selling its produce through a farm stand, CSAs, and contracts with local chefs. Although they at first feared that Boggy Creek would see them as interlopers, Carol Ann was happy to be their mentor, and sales at both farms have been brisk. Said a friend of the owners, “There’s a market here that just really wants this.”

And despite my strong misgivings about the disconnect between urban farmers and most farm workers, the phrase “my soul feels fed” crossed my mind and wouldn’t leave as I walked between Springdale and Hausbar, pausing to block a runaway soccer ball and kick it back to the kids playing with it in the street.

More pictures here.


Also, a belated thanks to Mission Local for yesterday’s link to Stuff White People Like.