Friday, March 8, 2013

What was dinner?

Creole crepinettes, grilledI indeed cooked the 2 pork-and-beef Creole crepinettes, plus made 5 small burgers from the ground applewood bacon burger. The mistake was in trying to grill them--way too much fat, so I had lots of flare-ups and things were generally a little charred. I really like the grilled taste, but I think future bacon burgers or crepinettes will have to be pan-fried or oven-broiled.

The crepinettes were good but not great--not much Creole spice was evident, though the rosemary sprig tucked under the caul gave some flavor. The grind was rather fine, and I think it suffered in contrast to the bacon burger which just had a better mouth feel. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for bacon. :)

Applewood bacon burgers Creole crepinettes

Pine Street Market CSA, first two months

Meat CSA month 1
This was the January box:
two packages of smoked pork spareribs, prepared with a dry rub
1 lb. applewood smoked bacon
lamb shoulder roast
pork, beef, and lamb meatballs
2 whiskey brined pork steaks
4 links of smoked country sausages
unlabelled beef steak (maybe a boneless rib steak--it was very good)

I don't have pictures of month 2. I took 'em...but there was no card in the camera. :(  They included a note saying the month was focused on quick and easy dinners (there's a note with a partial listing of stuff in the box each month, sort of a blend of "how to cook" and recipes for some of the items).

Here's what I remember:
Lamb roulade stuffed with spinach, red bell pepper, feta
Meatloaf in a foil pan, ready to bake
Beef kabobs, marinated and with veggies ready to be skewered and grilled
Porchetta, also ready for the oven
1 lb. bacon
bacon ends
smoked sausages
dry-cured pancetta
1 lb. Gum Creek Farms ground beef
1 lb. applewood bacon burger
a pate of sorts, which I think was a lamb/smoked pork rillettes--there was a pork rillettes in the meat case today, and it was similar

February had a sort of mix-up, and the initial box I picked up was short (not that I had noticed, personally). Early in the afternoon I got an email saying they had a packing fail, and would deliver the remainder if I would email or call with my address by 2:30. Sure enough, someone showed up and handed over an insulated grocery bag with the rest of the haul. The bag was for me to keep, too. (The usual packing is a cardboard box with foil-backed styrofoam lining, plus ice packs. I take it back to them the next month for them to re-use...maybe they do, maybe they don't. But it's better than me trying to recycle the mixed materials...)

Notes on the concept so far: I'm getting more lamb than I want, being a person who typically eats lamb once every couple of years. I don't dislike it, but it's not a favorite. Even in the blends like the pork/lamb/beef meatball mix come across as 'lamb', perhaps because I *don't* eat it often. The bacon is superb. I don't need to eat a pound of bacon a month, but can always pass the excess to my sister-in-law next door. I liked the 'quick meals' concept, but it's too much arriving fresh and ready to cook for my one-person household, and only some of the items are interesting to the folks next door for possible sharing.

The porchetta was shared next door, and was a winner. I enjoyed the meatloaf--made a barbeque sauce for it that I use on my standard beef meatloaf, but this one had enough interesting spice to not need it. No one wanted to share that one, with or without sauce, however. Sister-in-law joined me in trying the lamb roulade cooked as they recommended with white beans and aromatics, but neither of us wanted a second serving because, well, lamb.

I do need to work on what's in the freezer, though this weekend I'll be cooking things fresh from the March box. Tucked away from January and February are a whiskey brined pork steak, the ground beef, a pack of ground bacon burger, pancetta, the lamb shoulder roast, and bacon.

Meat CSA

Dear me, poor neglected food blog. It's not alone--work and Life in general got pretty hectic, so LJ and Facebook reading and even some email lists got pushed aside, and I may never catch up on the more active RSS feeds. LJ at least got some reflected posts as I tweeted through a Walt Disney World Food & Wine Festival visit in October, a family trip to Italy over Christmas, and back to WDW in January with friends, but somehow the food posts I constructed in my head never made it here. I'm going to try to do better.

In January I joined a CSA of sorts: a carnivorous CSA, specifically. It's an experiment by Pine Street Market in Avondale Estates, an butcher shop that specializes in artisan meats. They're known for their applewood smoked bacon, and a number of sausages and cured meats. They don't promise that all their meat is locally sourced, but they do work with a local farm that raises pigs drug-free on pasture for some amount of their meat.

The CSA boxes have been heavy on pork with some lamb and beef. This is a shift from my usual non-poultry meat purchases, which tend to be mostly beef, some pork, and almost no lamb. I'm a little at risk of being overwhelmed by meat, but then January and February had a good bit of travel and thus less home cooking. Travel has been abruptly stopped with the budget sequestration, so I'm going to make an effort to use the current box plus the leftovers from January and February this month.

DSCN9480The March pickup was today, and here's what was in my box:
1 lb. applewood smoked bacon
8 oz. applewood bacon ends
Pork Sausages:
Irish bangers (4, ~14 oz.)
Spiced pear sausage (4, 1 lb)
Mettwurst sausage (4, 1 lb)
4 oz. tasso ham
1 lb 6 oz pork belly ribs
1 lb country (pork) sausage
1 lb applewood bacon burger (ground pork)
1 lb parmesan lamb meatball mix (lamb and pork)
3 cider brined pork chops (oddly cut, 2 boneless and one bone-in, bone-in one is large and very irregularly cut)
2 "Creole crepinettes"--pork and beef sausage patties wrapped in caul

For dinner I think I'll cook the two crepinettes, plus make burgers from the applewood bacon burger and pan-fry them all. Or maybe grill them--the challah is a little behind schedule, so I might not want to be juggling baking bread and grilling burgers.