Thursday, June 30, 2011

Notes from Nikki-Chinese Snow Peas and Red Haven Pork Chops

Just in case you still have not consumed all your vegetables from this week's share, here are two great meal ideas from Nikki. If the idea of pork chops interests you, the farmstand will be open tomorrow (Friday) from 2-7PM and you still have time to make an order with Red Haven Farm. You can download an order form from the Inverbrook website. I will also have flowers and a few vegetables available for purchase, perfect for your 4th of July gathering. Speaking of the 4th of July, I will have normal Monday CSA pick up on the 4th. Enjoy the holiday weekend.

Chinese Snow Peas
Our family just loves peas. Sugar snap, snow, shelling... divine! We can't get enough! The peas from our Inverbrook share the past few weeks are to die for. So sweet, so crisp. I don't like to mess with them too much. Truth be told, they usually don't make it home as my four kids devour them on the way.
I hope you enjoy the following recipe. Simple as can be. Just snow peas (sugar snaps will also work) tossed in an Asian inspired dressing. Perfect on a hot day.


Snow peas (or sugar snaps), trimmed
2 T tamari or shoyu
1 T honey
1 T rice vinegar
1 T toasted sesame oil
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
1 small glove garlic, smashed and minced (or 1 chopped garlic scape, both are optional)

1. Whisk together the tamari, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic. Taste and adjust to your liking.
2. Toss the dressing with the peas and serve.

Grilled Red Haven Farm Pork Loin Chops with Roasted Carrots and Fennel

For those of you who are meat eaters, I sincerely hope you have taken advantage of ordering from Red Haven Farm. Their grass-fed, pastured meats are every bit as delicious as they are nutritious. Last night I grilled up a batch of their bone-in pork loin chops. They turned out so juicy and flavorful. I served them with a quick roasted baby carrot and fennel salad. Delicious! Of course, the salad could certainly be enjoyed without the pork chops for the non-pork-eating folks out there. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Red Haven Farm pork loin chops (we grilled 6 of them)
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves fresh, uncured garlic (cured is fine too)
Several sprigs of thyme plus about 1 T of leaves, sprigs soaked in water for several minutes
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

2-4 baby fennel bulbs and stems (depending on size and your liking for fennel), trimmed and roughly chopped
2 bunches baby carrots (3-4 dozen, depending on size), bottoms trimmed, tops removed minus about an inch of stem
3-4 peeled and sliced shallots (optional... I wished I had had them on hand; the dish was still delicious without them)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Handful of chopped parsley leaves

For the chops:
1. Preheat the grill to medium/high.
3. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, and thyme leaves. Allow the mixture to sit for a bit while you season the chops with sea salt and pepper, and while you're waiting for the grill to heat up.
2. Rub the olive oil/garlic/thyme mixture into one side of the chops.
3. Top each chop with a couple sprigs of the soaked thyme (these will steam and smoke during the grilling process... fantastic!).
4. Grill the chops, seasoned side up, over medium/high heat for about 3-5 minutes (depending on the size of your chops and your grill temperature variance), with the grill top down.
5. Remove the thyme sprigs and flip the chops, grilling for another 3-5 minutes.
6. Remove from the grill and allow to cool for a bit before serving.

For the roasted carrot and fennel salad:
(*Note-If you are grilling the pork chops in addition to making the salad, you should get your carrots and fennel into the oven before you put the chops on the grill.)
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Toss the fennel, carrots, shallots (if using), olive oil, sea salt, and pepper together, and spread out on a baking sheet.
3. Roast, shaking the pan once in a while, until the larger carrots are just tender (the fennel will be nice and toasty), about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your carrots. The smaller ones will be well-done. Totally okay, and quite tasty. :-)
4. Toss with the parsley and serve. (Serves 4-6 as a side dish.)

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