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  • September 22nd, 2011

This week, enjoy mexican food with a side of seedless watermelon, preserve some fresh herbs, enjoy a dish made with okra, a light side of summer squashes, a desert of acorn squash.  This time of year is really neat. You think the garden is puttering out and there are still all kinds of great things you can do with the Harvest of the week!  We’ve slowed our sales to wholesale buyers to keep this “good stuff” in the hands of our CSA.  Late season items may not all be beautiful to some vendors, but those of us who appreciate whole foods for what they are—it’s fantastic!  Enjoy your meals this week!



Fajita Marinade  (can get prepared or make it homemade)

1 & 1/2 pound beef boneless top sirloin steak, 1-1/2 inches thick

12 flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches in diameter)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, sliced

2 medium green or red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips

1 jar (8 ounces) picante sauce (1 cup)

1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

1-1/2 cups Guacamole (page  23) or prepared guacamole

3/4 cup sour cream

Make fajita marinade in small bowl.  Remove fat from beef.  Pierce beef with fork in several places.  Place beef in resealable plastic food-storage bag or shallow glass or plastic dish.  Pour marinade over beef; turn beef to coat with marinade.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours, turning beef occasionally.  Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil.  Heat in oven about 15 minutes or until warm.  Remove tortillas from oven; keep wrapped.  Set oven control to broil.  Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade.  Place beef on rack in broiler pan.  (For easy cleanup, line broiler pan with aluminum foil before placing beef on rack.)  Broil beef with top about 3 inches from heat about 8 minutes or until brown.  Turn; brush beef with marinade.. Broil 7 to 8 minutes longer for medium-rare to medium.  Discard any remaining marinade.  While beef is broiling, heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook onions and bell peppers in oil 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender.  Cut beef across grain into very thin slices.   For each fajita,  place a few slices of beef, some of the onion mixture, 1 heaping teaspoonful each picante sauce adn cheese, about 2 tablespoons guacamole and 1 tablespoon sour cream on center of tortilla.  Fold 1 end of tortilla up about 1 inch over filling; fold right at left sides over folded end, overlapping.   Fold remaining end down.  What a hit!!


1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients in shallow glass or plastic dish or resealable plastic food-storage bag.   Add meat and turn to coat.  Over dish or seal bag and refrigerate, turning meat occassionally.


2 jalapeno chiles

2 ripe large avacados (if firm when you purchase, sit on counter for a few days until softer)

2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped chilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Remove stems, seeds and membranes from chilies, chop.  Cut avocados lengthwise in half; remove pit and peel.  Mash avocados.  Mix chiles, avocados and remaining ingredients in a glass or plastic bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to blend flavors.  Excellent!!   (Betty Crocker cookbook)


Jalapeno Poppers

jalapeno peppers

cream cheese

smokey bacon

Split peppers lenghtwise and remove seeds.  Fill to the top with cream cheese.  Wrap with a half slice of bacon.   Place on baking pan lined with tin foil for easy clean up.  Bake at 350 degrees until bacon is crisp.  (Tomato Shed Cafe, Charleston, SC)

Caution: DO NOT touch your eyes or any sensitive areas before removing your gloves and washing your hands.  Please wear disposable gloves when working with hot peppers!!

Note:   Slick shiny jalapeno peppers are generally not as “hot” as those with duller skins and stretch marks.  It’s not fool proof, but a good indicator of the “heat” factor.  The membrane holding the seed is the “hot” part of the pepper, so if you want jalapenos without heat, remove ALL the membrane and seeds.


Jalapeno Slaw

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 (10-ounce) bag of angel hair coleslaw mix  (or finely shred 1/2 half of a cabbage)

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

In medium bowl, combine everything.  Cover and chill up to 2 hours.    This is a really good addition to chicken tacos, garnished with a little sour cream and cheese.

(adapted from Paula Deen’s Best Dishes, August 2010)


Green Tomato Relish

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

about 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

about 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds green tomatoes, quartered and seeded

1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

In a small sauce pan, combine vinegar and brown sugar; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  In medium bowl, combine vinegar mixture, mustard seed, celery salt, black pepper, and red pepper.  Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.   In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse tomatoes and onion until coarsely chopped.   Drain tomato mixture thoroughly through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding liquid.  Add tomato mixture to vinegar mixture, stirring well to combine.   Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.   Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

(this is 1/2 of the portion amounts provided by Paula Deen’s recipe)

Green Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced ham, chopped

1 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 tbs. chopped garlic (2 cloves)

1 bay leaf

2 pounds of green unripe tomatoes, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

2 cups water

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

sour cream

Heat oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook ham, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add scallions, garlic, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are tender and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.   Add tomatoes, broth, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, partially covered, until tomatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.  Discard bay leaf and season soup with salt and pepper.  Top with a dallop of sour cream.

(Tomato Shed Cafe, Charleston, SC)


Squash Hushpuppies

1 cup grated squash

1 egg, beaten

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

cornmeal, enough to thicken

oil for frying

Mix together squash, egg, onion and flour.  Add enough cornemal to thicken mixture.  Spoon into deep fryer and cook until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.  Serve hot with fish, chili, green salads, etc.


Mediterranean Salsa

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 ripe tomato

1 red onion

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup black olives

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes

garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Dice zucchini, squash, tomato and onion.  Put in medium bowl.  Chop olives and sundried tomatoes and add to mixture.   Toss with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cool in refrigerator to let flavors meld.  This accompanies grilled salmon very well when you bring it to room temperature prior to topping salmon.


Shrimp and Okra

1 large onion, chopped

5 cup sliced okra

1 stick margarine

1-2 pounds small raw shrimp, peeled


Saute okra and onion in margarine until they start to get tender.  Add shrimp and simmer until the okra is done.  Slightly thicken juice with flour.  Serve over rice.


Baked Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup of butter, diced

6 tablespoons of firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash in shallow baking pan, cut side down. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until tender. Turn cut side up, season with salt and pepper, dot with butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes more.  (Also good if you have any pecans or walnuts to add prior to baking!).  This is almost too good to not be a dessert!!

The neat thing about acorn squash is that you can use as decor for weeks until you are ready to eat, or if you just can’t wait, go ahead and bake one up tonight.  They are SO good!  We also like to just add butter and maple syrup.  You are in for a great surprise if this is your first time to enjoy winter squash.



How to preserve sage?

To freeze, just rinse and pat dry the whole leaves, then put them in a resealable freezer bag. There is no need to thaw before using. This maintains the flavor a bit more than drying it.


How to preserve thyme?

To freeze, just rinse and blot dry with a paper towel.  Put in a zip-lock bag and freeze for a few weeks.  Then, go back and roll a rolling-pin over the bag, watch many of the herb petals fall off.  Here you can keep whole, or dice up and put into a canning jar with a tight lid, label and put back in your freezer to use the same as you would fresh herbs.  Remember, when a recipe calls for dried, you would need twice the amount of fresh (or frozen).


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