Gourmet

It is CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) season finally, and on Thursday we received our first 2008 share of organic vegetables from Lancaster Farm Fresh: baby salad greens, spinach, radishes, mushrooms, and asparagus. We are splitting the share with another family, and we gave up romaine (there was only one head in the share) but gained the full complement of asparagus in exchange. The large quantity of salad greens means we are eating salad with every dinner, because we will almost assuredly get more salad greens next week. Fruit shares start later this month…I’m hoping for strawberries! I’m also very much looking forward to a succession of peaches, watermelons, and finally apples at the end of the season. Last year we enjoyed new potatoes, an abundance of heirloom tomatoes, and more fresh corn than we could eat, and we are hoping for an equally abundant season this year!

Cooking with local food feels virtuous and tastes delicious. The shorter the distance the food travels from farm to table, the lower the carbon emissions from the transport and the fresher (and yummier) the food. So what are we cooking up with our bounty?

Friday night we had Jeanne Lemlin’s Fettucine with Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce (from her book Quick Vegetarian Pleasures) and a side salad. Tonight we are planning to make calzones with spinach and mushrooms, and a side salad.

But it is this morning’s breakfast that is referred to in the title. Recipe details follow.

Yesterday my wonderful husband made a batch of English muffins. I split one and toasted it. I spread both halves with herb butter, placed a layer of chopped French breakfast radishes on that, and added some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then I topped each half with a fried egg, cooked sunny-side up but placed upside-down on the muffin halves, with the yolk broken and running over the radishes. A little more salt and pepper, and I was ready to dig in.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm.

It was not pretty enough to take a photo, but I wish I could give you taste-o-vision over the internet. If I had a restaurant this would be on the brunch menu.

English muffins

1 pkg active dry yeast
1.5 cups lukewarm water
2 tbs sugar
4 cups flour
0.5 cup dry milk powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tbs soft butter or margarine
1.5 tsp salt
white cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in half a cup of lukewarm water. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup water, sugar, 2 cups of flour, and milk powder. Add yeast mixture and beat well. Add egg, butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Stir until the dough cleans the bowl. Spread the remaining flour on a board, turn out the dough onto it, and knead for 10 minutes. Return the dough to a greased bowl and let rise until doubled.

Turn out the dough on the floured board and pat out to almost the desired thickness. Sprinkile well with cornmeal and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut carefully with sharp cutter. Put on sheets of waxed paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled.

Bake on an ungreased griddle with temperature a little lower than that used for pancakes, 7 to 8 minutes for browning each side.

Herb butter (adapted from Guy Clark at Fork & Knife)

1/2 pkg cream cheese or neufchâtel cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 clove garlic, put through a garlic press
fresh chives, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
(you may substitute whatever herbs you have available—these were what I have growing on the deck currently)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Let cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. Add all remaining ingredients and combine with fork. Pack into a ramekin or custard cup and refrigerate until firm.

2 Responses to “Gourmet”

  1. E.C. Says:

    Just this morning I was eating an English muffin and wondering if I could make better ones myself. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. little sister Says:

    yeah, I’m going to have to try to make those too! I’ve never even thought of making my own english muffins before!

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