Thursday, September 07, 2006

Free Range at the Range

A future step taken for my 100 Mile Diet today, I threw in some winter veggies seedlings into the garden. I had a bunch that I grew from seed saved from last year and a few 6-packs of seedlings that I picked up from Long Lake nurseries. They had a table of winter veggies that included lettuce, spinach, kale and spinach, cabbage, brocolli and, of course, brussel sprouts. I know that by mid-February, I'll be sick and tired eating kale, but right now I'm dancing-my-ass-off excited about having another winter veggie garden. I had already thrown in some sea soil and tidied up the raised beds a few days ago, so it took all over 15 mins to put them in. Here's one I had a few years back in Port Alberni:

It's the middle of November in that picture. You're just going to have to take my word for it.

So I did a bit of postering around Downtown Nanaimo in preparation for the upcoming 100 Mile Diet Challenge Week. I ran into a friend who told me about an organic chicken and turkey farmer on Jinglepot Road with a very interesting story to tell. I'm thinking the next challenge for me will have to be a 100 Mile Diet Thanksgiving!

I'm still flying solo at the dinner table. DH will be back tomorrow. I like cooking for myself. It's a chance to experiment even more so than I usually do. To play with different texture and flavours that I normally wouldn't try if I was cooking for others. It's one thing if I end up eating toast for dinner because my radish and cranberry soup experiment didn't quite work out, it's another thing to make others do so.

However, it was past 9pm when I realized that I was hungry. I realized that I was hungry because I hadn't eaten dinner. I was also tired and not up to playing Iron Chef so figured I'd do a kitchen sink fritatta. Basically bits and pieces of stuff thrown into a fritatta. It's my way of doing some fridge housecleaning. I way of getting rid of leftovers gathering in random bowls and containers and bits of fresh ingredients that aren't enough to make something one their own. In a way it is a form of experimenting since often the most unlikely combinations end up together. I once did a kitchen sink fritatta with green beans in fermented black bean sauce, grilled chorizo sausage, greek salad and hummous that was surprisingly good. Unfortunately, I've never had that combination of leftovers since.

Here's what I had for leftovers: roasted corn (from dinner last night), small chunk of steak already cooked that I've been having as my main meat this week, blanched green beans, boiled beets. And I had some fresh bits: small bunch of swiss chard, bits of Hilary's Red Dawn cheese, red onion and basil. Yes, all of it grown within 100 miles.

So I sauted up the onion, then threw in the roasted corn, the chard, and the last of the steak (sliced thinly). As those ingredients heated up on medium-high heat, I beated a couple of local free-range eggs with some of the basil and a bit of water. To cut basil quickly, just stack the leaves, fold over lengthwise and cut directly into the bowl. The egg mixture went into the pan. Once almost completely cooked, I grated the rest of the Red Dawn cheese over the top of the eggs and pop it right under a waiting hot broiler until the cheese caramelized. I mixed the beets and beans together with a dash of balsamic vinegar and some dijon mustard for a salad.

It was great. The sweet roasted corn played nice counterpoint to the 'greeness' of the chard. The steak offered some interesting texture and flavour. I think cutting it thin was the key. Thick slices would have muddied up the texture. The Red Dawn cheese worked really well. It's mild enough that it doesn't dominate but it still has a presence. It helped bring out the sweetness of the corn.

I was going to take a picture but I was too hungry :P

Now I gotta go hunt for dessert.

Happy Eating!

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