Teaching and Cooking: Need an emulsifier

So….a few weeks ago, after bemoaning a vinaigrette that didn’t turn out in the way that I’d hoped,  Jeff educated me about the value of emulsifiers.

Suffice it to say…when working a full-time job (a new one at that), and attempting to be a (non-awful) part-time professor for the first time, and trying to keep up with cooking the CSA foods, and the blog….an emulsifier is needed. I’m not sure at this point what it will be….(maybe other urban family members writing in my stead for a few months!??!?!?)…..but without one, this space will become awfully meager….at least until January.

Our recent pick-ups have looked something like this….

this one is actually a couple of weeks old...our most recent pick up included more tomatoes, additional cabbage and some spicy peppers

This one is actually a couple of weeks old…our most recent pick up included more tomatoes, multiple spicy peppers and lots of broccoli.

We had an urban family dinner which resulted in these delights….

Polish Cabbage Noodles: (I think there is an official Polish name for them, but I wasn't raised with it) This is essentially cabbage and onion sauteed in butter, garlic, salt, pepper and caraway seeds added to egg noodles (I used gf pasta) and sour cream stirred in at the last minute (I substituted plain greek yogurt).

Polish Cabbage Noodles: (I think there is an official Polish name for them, but I wasn’t raised with it) This is essentially (CSA) cabbage and onion sauteed in butter, garlic, salt, pepper and caraway seeds added to egg noodles (I used gf pasta) and sour cream stirred in at the last minute (I substituted plain greek yogurt).

Tomatoes and summer squash, gutted and stuffed with rice, sausage and cheese.

(CSA )Tomatoes and (CSA) summer squash, stuffed with rice, sausage and cheese.

Eggplant and veggies curry with red rice blend

(CSA) Eggplant and (CSA) veggie curry served with a red rice blend

Some other uses for late summer veggies….from my meals this week….

Broccoli, napa, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, siracha, rice noodles. Simple. Perfect.

(CSA) Broccoli, (CSA) napa, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, siracha, rice noodles. Simple. Perfect.

Summer squash and zucchini are aplenty at this time of year, and I usually need some variety...in this dish I sliced them super thin (while raw) and tossed them with peapods, gf orzo, olive oil and vinegar, and added some herbed goat cheese just before serving.

(CSA) Summer squash and (CSA) zucchini are aplenty at this time of year, and I usually need some variety…in this dish I sliced them super thin (while raw) and tossed them with pea pods, gf orzo, olive oil and vinegar, and added some herbed goat cheese just before serving.

By this time of year I;m struggling with greens...this is my kale, chard, beet greens, green onion and garlic sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper and processed, and added to scrambled eggs...perfect for at-work breakfast.

By this time of year I’m struggling with greens…this is my (CSA) kale, (CSA) chard, (CSA) beet greens, (CSA) green onion and garlic sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper and processed, and added to scrambled eggs…perfect for at-work breakfast.

Pico...the perfect way to use sub=par tomatoes and the jalapenos we're getting. Also great on the aforementioned eggs.

Pico…the perfect way to use sub-par (CSA) tomatoes and the (CSA) jalapenos we’re getting. Also great on the aforementioned eggs.

Panzanella: A favorite end of the summer meal....roasted garlic, kalamatas, (CSA) arugula, basil, (CSA) heirloom tomatoes, (CSA) bell peppers, and toasted gf bread tossed in an emulsified(!) vinaigrette, with mozzarella and prosciutto.

Panzanella: A favorite end of the summer meal….roasted garlic, kalamatas, (CSA) arugula, basil, (CSA) heirloom tomatoes, (CSA) bell peppers, and toasted gf bread tossed in an emulsified(!) vinaigrette, with mozzarella and prosciutto.

Bibimbap at Home

It all started a few months ago when I opened my mail box, found a Bon Appetit, and engaged my monthly ritual…pouring a big glass of wine and slowly turning each page…reading, observing, examining, imagining. I love this day, this ritual, every month. As soon as I finished I walked next door, turned to the ‘Bibimbap at Home‘ spread and handed it to Jeff, as he had recently had it at our favorite neighborhood bar and couldn’t stop raving about it. We decided we needed to do Bibimbap Urban Family Style.

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I decided to attempt to make some spring rolls because an appetizer sounded nice, and because we have been receiving two (CSA) cabbages a week for about a month now, and I’m running out of ideas of what to do with them! I followed a Thai recipe for spring rolls, using rice wrappers (so they are gf!), and a cabbage-onion-carrot-ginger filling. I processed the filling…I should have shredded it. I will make this adjustment for next time.

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Bibimbap is perfect for a potluck, and for varying levels of comfort with cooking, because the toppings are both simple and complex…we had enoki mushrooms, siracha sprouts, fried tofu, sesame (CSA) carrots, scallion slaw, marinated portobellos, (CSA) zuchinni, garlicky (CSA) greens, bulgolgi beef and gochujang…a wonderfully spicy-sweet, pepper-date spread which made everything taste phenomenal, and paired well with a slightly sweet white from South Africa that I happened to be drinking that evening (while flooded with memories of my beloved Stellenbosch).  Jeff and Danielle made a vat of kimchi,…another nice use for the (CSA) napa that we’ve been receiving nearly weekly for a couple of months. We opted not to make fried eggs for the party, but I want to be sure to include them next time.

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IMG_1485As always happens at the end of our get-togethers, we looked around at one another and asked, “Why don’t we do this more often?” We decided that we are committed to doing so…so, more corporate cooking adventures to come. I only wish that I could accurately represent in words the aura created on such nights… old friends, good conversation, strong drink and the creeping crisp breeze, sneaking into our windows as the sun sets…all at once a welcomed refreshment and  a reminiscent beacon…of summers end.