Thursday, June 04, 2009

Something to eat if it's summer where you are. Bitches. [RECIPES]

So, not that I'm *really* complaining, because I don't super love the MEGA HEAT of summer all the time, but it's supposed to thunderstorm today and, frankly, it's a little cool for Summer.

According to our weather dude, the Super Tan and Semi-Spicy Steve Paulson who is clearly getting bored with traditional suit attire given his flouncy purple tie the other day, we are in the middle of some sort of low pressure situation which means whatever shit is blowing around over the Pacific is just going to sweep into the Bay Area and give us conditions we usually call, "Winter".

OK, so he didn't call the weather system, "shit", but I kinda did when it meant it was going to be raining when I was planning to be outside FOREVER on my new patio and amongst my very enthusiastically growing vegetables.

But whatever. I suppose rain is a good thing since we're in a perma-drought and we're doing our damnedest to put off mandatory rationing.

The horror of mandatory rationing and not being able to WATER YOUR SIDEWALKS LIKE IDIOTS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! It's too much.


I had planned to do some amount of new recipe trying during my break around here, and since it was scheduled to be summer when I started compiling these recipes, I had set aside one that seemed perfect for MEGA HOT SUMMER weather.

But then it was 70 degrees yesterday, which is dandy since it meant none of us in this unA/Ced house were to face the unrelenting roasting that comes as a result of normal 90+ degree June days, but it also made it seem silly to be making a cold dinner while wearing a sweatshirt.

What to do?

Why, make a warm dessert to accompany my cold dinner and have cocktails to rationalize my behavior, of course!

And since I still had a good amount of cherries left from the ice cream making and a new cobbler topping recipe from Dig up there in Montana, it didn't take too much mind-bending to put together the evening's menu.

Because that's what I do with time off, I plan menus because I'm a loser. SORRY, I LIKE THIS STUFF.

So, whatever, for those of you living through true summer heat or in the market for a cold dinner that's YUM and also uses a lot of vegetables and is great as leftovers and won't heat the living daylights out of your house or self while you make it, might I suggest a lovely chicken salad chock full of every damn thing we had in the house and then a few more things that we decided will go into it next time?

Yes, I think I will suggest it.

Finny's Chicken Salad with a Whole Lot of Stuff in it
Adapted from our farmshare's recipe for Debbie's Chicken Salad with Mei Qing (or Bok) Choi
My changes in BOLD

2 shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 T garlic powder
6 diced mei qing choi (or bok choi)
1 diced green onion 1 Diced green garlic 1/2 cup Chopped walnuts
1 handful of Maytag blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup plumped dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds (try TJ's for these)
1 avocado, diced*
3 slices of bacon, crisped and crumbled*
* Denotes ingredients we'll use NEXT time

1/4 cup of walnut oil
Zest from a whole orange
½ t honey
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T mayo
Salt and pepper to taste

To make
To save your poor self and house from unnecessary heating up - crockpot this chicken while you're at work. Or in the yard eating ice cream. Whatever.

Coat your breasts (HAAAAA) with salt, pepper and garlic powder and set it in your crockpot at 300 degrees first thing in the morning. When you get back to the chicken later in the day (I'm estimating about 6-8 hours, here), remove your breasts (HAAAA) to a large bowl and shred that chicken until you can shred no more. It's not that hard, I just like to play up the drama. Set aside.

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake furiously until you no longer hold ill will against the neighbors who water their sidewalks. ASSHOLES!

OK, I should have spent more time shaking the jar.

Toss chicken, choi, nuts, cheese, cranberries, bacon and avocado with the dressing then serve with some nice fresh sourdough as you preheat the oven for dessert.

Allow me to introduce you to Mei Qing Choi. It's a favorite of our farmshare and one of this year's Mystery Vegetables. Until now.

This is green garlic and green onion co-mingling in a green bowl. I guess I'm not one for contrast.

This is Maytag blue cheese and it is worth whatever price you have to pay. Even if Whole Foods wants your arms and legs in exchange for a wedge. Just pay it and get on with your life.
Chicken shreds up super easy after a day crocking in the pot. Or you could buy one of those Devil pre-cooked chickens at the grocery, but why? Look at all the plastic. Waste.
I always pile my salad ingredients like this before I mix. Because I like to admire the perfect piles. Because I'm a psycho.
The dressing didn't look *right* to me, but don't worry, it definitely tastes *right*.
And now for dessert...

The Hob Cobbler
Topping recipe by Dig
Filling recipe by Finny

Two pints of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
Juice from 1/2 Meyer lemon
1/3 cup of sugar

2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup milk

To make
In an 8x8 glass baking dish, mix your cherries, lemon juice and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and let macerate on your counter for a couple hours. Try not to watch - that's called being a Peeping Tom and I hear it's a crime. Just saying.

Meanwhile, make Dig's cobbler topping and put it in the fridge until your cherries are done with their naughtiness.

Preheat the oven to 375 (like I said to do at the end of the salad recipe. You remember.)

Pat the topping down on top of the cherries which are all nice and level in the bottom of your glass dish (right?) and slam it in the oven for about 45 mins, or until nice and golden on top. If you time it right, it can bake while you have dinner and then, by the time you're done with dishes and have gone outside to admire the corn, your dessert will be ready to eat in front of the latest episode of Deadliest Catch.

Oh that Mike Rowe, I could eat him for dessert, but we won't get into that.

Slice and serve, preferably either next to or beneath some Fresh Cherry Vanilla Chip Ice Cream.

Bubba said he definitely wanted his ice cream on the side because he's a communist.

I wanted mine on top because I'm right. Obviously.


  1. Did you ever see the Dirty Jobs where Mikey has to rip out some sheep balls with his teeth? That's some good television, right there. (And NO, I have never done that myself.) (But it's sad that people would really wonder that about me.)

  2. That all looks very delicious!

  3. LMAO I'll have my dessert communist style please. That all looks GREAT!

    I LOOOVE bok choi - been growing it for years. LOVE the stuff in stir fries or soups.

  4. Yummy! Chicken salad, cobbler, and homemade ice cream -- priceless!

  5. Gotta love the stealthy cucumber! I once had a squash plant grow 10 feet up a tree that was a few feet from our garden. That sure made harvesting an exciting time. I wish I had taken photos of the squash tree!


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