I didn’t make it to the market yesterday, despite my enthusiasm and best intentions! Sometimes life gets in the way, and between my allergies, a sinus infection, and parked car accident (our parked car was hit by a Baltimore City public works vehicle…more info TBA), my farmer’s market trip fell by the wayside.
Luckily, we’re well stocked on local produce from our awesome One Straw Farm CSA and backyard garden that is finally starting to hit its summer stride. A good meal really is my favorite cure for all that ails me, and Jake cooked up a few great meals this weekend.
If you have a little time to stock your pantry, start your week off with my Green Tomato Salsa for snacking with chips. I used sweet summer carrots and our first chiles to make chilero this weekend, a Central American fermented carrot condiment. Cultures for Health has a great recipe you should make for topping salads, tacos, and rice bowls!
Make an easy dinner of Alton Brown’s Creamed Corn – Jake made this for us Saturday night and it was delicious! Add a bit of white cooking wine and smoked paprika to this recipe for extra depth of flavor. Jake also made some beautiful whole wheat dinner rolls and we had creamed corn, rolls, and quick pickles; it came together quickly. The creamed corn is incredibly filling but still bright from fresh summer corn. It’s kept well in the fridge and it’s a great side for other dishes.
Another stellar summer dish I love to make is Tomato Pie – another very filling meal! Making a pie is always a bit of work but this is hearty while being bright from the pleasant acid of the tomatoes. It keeps well and goes a long way in the leftovers department!
Sometime this week, you should also make time for a bit more of a project. Make this Savory Crêpe Cake (below) with summer zucchini and fresh goat cheese – in Baltimore, Charlottetown Farm’s goat cheese is the best!. Jake put this together for brunch this weekend, but it would be fantastic for dinner as well-it’s on our leftover menu tonight! This was a really delicious dish, with a perfect balance of textures and flavors. It slices well and keeps well in the fridge – enjoy this warm right after you first make it and as a cool leftover on the hot summer days ahead. Treat yourself to a savory cake!
As always, when asked for his crêpe recipe, Jake replied with, “you know, a little of this, a little of that,” and as for instructions I received, “well, you just make crêpes!” After finally teasing out his ingredients, Jake also mentioned in passing that David Lebovitz has a good buckwheat crêpe recipe – these instructions are copied below and his recipe works well instead, especially if you don’t often have kefir in the fridge. Jake also used shallots and zucchini as fillings (it’s high summer squash season here in Baltimore), but I’m sure many veggies would be delicious – greens, mushrooms, squashes, or grated carrots are all worth a try. Just make sure to sweat the veggies in advance!
Gather for Crêpe Batter
- 2 cups milk kefir
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp honey
Gather for Crêpe Filling
- 2 shallots
- 3 small zucchini
- 1 tbsp herbes de Provence
- olive oil
- black pepper, salt
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 oz pecorino romano
- 4 oz yogurt
- a few sprigs each fresh rosemary, mint, and sage (1/2 tsp each dried)
- a big handful of basil stems
- Combine all the crêpe ingredients in a blender and process until incorporated and smooth. Keep the mixture in the blender, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. Reblend for a moment before beginning to cook. Meanwhile, prepare the crêpe fillings.
- Peel and finely dice the shallot. Grate the zucchini on a box grater. Add both to a skillet with a large splash of olive oil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they have lost their water and are starting to brown. Season with the herbes de Provence, a shake of black pepper and salt, and the white wine vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning – this should taste savory and fairly acidic to balance with the creamy cheeses. Remove from heat.
- Pick the herbs, removing any wilted leaves and hard stems. Mince the rosemary, mint, and sage and chop or chiffonade the basil. Stir these herbs in with the cooked vegetables.
- Grate the pecorino romano finely on a microplaner. Combine the pecorino romano, goat cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt in a bowl and stir together with a spatula to blend evenly.
- Now, begin to assemble the crepes. From David Lebovitz:
Heat a 8- to 9-inch skillet on the stovetop. You can use a real crêpe pan that’s been seasoned, but I use a Tefal non-stick skillet which works great.Drop a tiny piece of butter or neutral oil in the hot pan and wipe it around with a paper towel. (I only do this for the first crêpe.)
Lift the pan and pour 1/4 cup of the batter in the middle of the hot skillet, swirling the pan to distribute the batter quickly and evenly. The pan shouldn’t be too hot or too cold: the batter should start cooking within a few seconds, giving you just enough time to swirl it. It may take a couple of crêpes for you to get your rhythm.
After about a minute, run a non-stick spatula around the underside of the rim of the crêpe, then flip the crêpe over. I grasp the crêpe with my fingers, but you’re not me (…consider yourself lucky!) and I’m not you. So use the spatula if you wish.
Let the crêpe cook on the flip side for about 30 seconds, then slide it out onto a dinner plate. Repeat, cooking the crêpes with the remaining batter, stirring the batter every so often as you go.
- Lay your first crêpe on a dinner plate and start another cooking. While it cooks, work on the fillings: spread a small portion of the cheese mixture around the crêpe with a spatula, then top with a small portion of the vegetable mixture. By the time you have done this, your next crêpe should be ready. Continue layering until you have no crêpes or fillings left, and finish the crêpe cake with a crêpe on top. The cake will be warm; serve immediately!
Want more Baltimore Buy Local Challenge recipes and favorites? Read my posts from each day of Buy Local week! What are your favorite Baltimore farmers and summer recipes?