This day is back to business. Summer is over, for me. Preparations for the coming academic year fill the next two weeks. Day shortens and night begins to linger. Easy mornings and lazy afternoons become early alarm clocks and evening preparations for the following day. The farmers, however, are at their apex. Now is a time to blend old flavors with fresh. Primordia Farm Food Hub, Echo Hill and Dietrich's are at the table.
Dietrich's Meats has been around since 1957, in its current form since 1975. It is a local butcher down the road from us that raises the meats they offer. One of our favorites from there is the smoked capon. (My all time fave is their liverwurst, but that is another story.) If you are unfamiliar with the capon, it is a gelded rooster, raise for a higher body fat than other chicken. Dietrich's smoked capon produces one of the most delicious stocks you will make. It always feel like I am cheating when I use the stock, but I quickly get over it.
The stock is simply mirepoix, the bones and skin. Sweat the mirepoix, add bones and skin, cover with water. Keep covered at a low simmer for an hour. I always let mine sit out over night. This lets the flavor develop, and you really do want that. The next day, I bring it back up to a simmer for a few minutes, strain and contain. Easy peasy.
The recipe that follows is my first attempt to sequence the cooking process. This is one of the keys to a meal with multiple courses. I would very much appreciate feedback on the read, and also on results if you try the recipe.
I worked from the color green for the recipe that follows, toward a balance of fresh, citrus and smokey. My most sincere tips: 1) Read through the recipe in its entirety. 2) Mise en place. Prepare and measure all ingredients before beginning. (Except the microplaned garlic in the sweet potatoes. That can be done on the fly.)
Split Peas with Long Grain Rice and Vegetables
Caramelized Red Onion with Caraway Seeds
2 Medium Red Onions: Halved and Sliced Very Thin
2tsp Caraway Seeds
4tbls Sunflower Oil
Useful Item: 10in Cast Iron Skillet
On medium heat: Heat skillet to smoke. Add oil and butter. Add caraway seeds and heat until one pops. Add Red onion, and lower heat to medium-low. Cook until translucent, then turn heat up to medium-high. Adding an additional 1tbls butter, if needed, cook onions until just crispy.
Place onions in large, flat serving bowl, or large, lipped platter.
Let skillet rest until time to cook shishito.
Skillet Seared Shishito
4-6tbls Olive Oil: Enough to fully coat and extra for the pan.
1tsp Lemongrass: Lightly Crushed
Pinch of Ancho Powder
1 Lime: Zest. Juice. Separated.
In medium bowl: Place shishito in bowl. Add oil, lemongrass, s&p. Mix to coat well.
Cook Shishito at end, after peas and rice are done. Add ancho powder and lime zest after taking shishito off heat
Roasted Peach Tomatoes
1qt Yellow Peach Tomatoes (I will find out their actual name, that is just what I know them as.)
1/4c Olive Oil
Useful Items: Glass Baking Dish or Pie Plate
Place tomatoes in bowl. Cover with oil. Sprinkle with s&p, and mix to coat well. Let rest.
Cook tomatoes while peas and rice are cooking. Tomatoes and potatoes can be cooked simultaneously one on top one on bottom, alternating position when needed. Potato recipe below.
Begin split peas, recipe below.
When time to cook: Place tomatoes top side up in glass baking dish, and pour in remaining oil from bowl.
In oven at 425 degrees F, with shelves at very bottom and top: Place tomatoes on bottom shelf. Cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to top shelf, and cook until skins have burst and are lightly charred, about 8-10 minutes.
With a wide spoon: Scoop out tomatoes and place in large, flat serving bowl. Pour liquid from tomatoes atop.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
3 Large Sweet Potatoes (I really have to keep my scale out on my prep island.): Cubed
1/3c Sunflower, Grapeseed, and Olive Oil ( Or just equal parts)
2 Cloves Garlic: Microplaned
1tsp Dried Lemongrass: Crushed Lightly
Pinch of Chili Flakes
1/2 Lime: Zest and juice
Useful Items: Microplane, Baking Sheet
Place cubed sweet potatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl or 2c liquid measuring cup: Mix together oil, lemongrass, chili flakes, and lime. Pour over sweet potatoes. Coat potatoes well, and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
Begin split peas.
While potatoes are resting, set oven to 425 degrees F, and place shelves at second to top rungs and bottom rung.
Roast potatoes and tomatoes while peas and rice are cooking. Potatoes and tomatoes can be cooked simultaneously, one on top one on bottom, alternating position when needed.
When ready to roast: Brush baking sheet with oil, then pour sweet potatoes and dressing onto baking sheet. Potatoes must be in a single layer. Use an additional sheet, if necessary.
If potatoes require two sheets, cook tomatoes first, then potatoes. The tomatoes can sit in the serving bowl.
If cooking with tomatoes: Cook on top for 10 minutes. Transfer to bottom shelf to cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until soft, well browned and crisped.
Pour into serving bowl or wide lipped platter with onions, and tomatoes.
2tbls Grapeseed Oil
2 Leeks: Sliced thin, crosswise
4 Cloves Garlic
1tsp Dried Tarragon: Lightly Crushed
1c Split Green Peas: Rinsed and Drained
3c Smoked Capon Stock
Useful Items: Pressure cooker
If not using a pressure cooker, cook peas according to stove top directions until creamy. Begin with softened leeks, garlic, and tarragon.
Heat pot of pressure cooker over medium heat to bring it up to temp. Add oil, butter, and leeks. Cook leeks until softened.
While leeks are cooking, place 2c water in small pot for rice, cover, and place on heat to bring to boil.
Add garlic. Sweat leeks and garlic for another minute, then add tarragon. Cook for another minute, to bring out the tarragon, then add split peas. Mix well and cook two minutes, or so, to lightly toast the peas.
Add stock. Mix and bring to a gentle boil. Stir well before placing pressure cooker top on. Top set at high: Bring up to temp, then cook for 12 minutes.
While peas are cooking, begin rice.
Allow peas to depressurize naturally. The split peas should be thick and very creamy. S&P to taste. let rest in pressure cooker. If serving at table: Pour into a large serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
Long Grain White Rice
1c Long Grain White Rice
2c Liquid: 1c Smoked Capon Stock, 1c Water
1tsp Dried Tarragon: Lightly Crushed
1/2tsp Dried Lemongrass: Lightly Crushed
Olive Oil: For sheen and the nutty flavor. Just a wee bit at end.
1/2 Lime: Zest and Juice
In small pot: Bring liquid, tarragon and lemongrass to boil.
Add rice, stirring a few times in the first few minutes of cooking. If using an electric top: Cover and cook until just done. Turn off heat and allow rice to finish cooking, covered, on burner.
Take off heat, and mix in olive oil and lime. S&P to taste. Cover and let rest while you cook the shishito. If serving at the table: Pour into warmed covered serving dish.
Time to cook the Shishito!
In skillet from onions: Place skillet on cold burner. Turn heat to medium-high. (This will happen fast, so have shishito and lime juice next to you, ready to place in skillet) As it begins to warm: Use a spatula or spoon to move around leftover onion goodness. When it has fully warmed, but not burned: Add 1/2 the lime juice, and pour shishito and all remaining oil from the bowl into pan. Allow shishito to sit to cook and char: You will be turning the peppers, not stirring. When they have started to char, but before they are finished, add remaining lime juice. They are done when they have softened, plumped up (You will see them expand and burst. It is so cool.) and they have a nice char to them. This only takes a few minutes. Their color will also soften from a vivid green to chartreuse. Remove from heat and dust with lime zest and ancho powder. Mix well, coating the peppers and warming the powder and zest.
If serving at table: Pour into large serving bowl with onions, tomatoes, and potatoes.
To plate: Place a ladle of split peas in bottom of bowl. Place rice in center, top with onions. Place 2-3 peppers on opposite sides, with potatoes and tomato on opposite sides. Finish with a spoonful of veg gravy from serving bowl, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Mix all leftovers together. The next day, serve with Bragg's and Sriracha. Super yummy.