I know this isn’t a blog about cooking, but this month has been all about cooking for me, and I love it. Usually when I go to the grocery store, I have meals in mind and I buy the necessary ingredients. During local month, I’ve been venturing out, getting whatever looks good or intriguing.
Thursdays are “fresh fish day” at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square. I bought haddock, yellow carrots, and collard greens. Then I went to the farmers’ market in Kendall (loved it) and bought little red potatoes (with the dirt still on them!) and homemade honey pesto. I also ate some homemade local burnt sugar ice cream. It was heavenly. I made an awesome meal with my findings: haddock with honey pesto, roasted yellow carrots and onions, sauteed collard greens, and scalloped red potatoes. So fresh, so lovely.
I’ve been yearning for fish tacos all month, so I stepped outside the local boundaries a bit. I bought catfish at the South Boston fish market, a lime and an avocado (not local!), fresh tortillas at Fresh Tortillas (the Asian Mexican restaurant in Southie… they made them right in front of me… fantastic), and, ready for this? I got a head of cabbage, 2 ears of corn, 4 tomatoes (2 heirloom), an onion, an eggplant, and a jalapeno pepper for $4.50 at the Southie farmers’ market. My eyeballs almost popped out of my head when the guy told me how much it cost. So cheap! I mixed my own Cajun seasoning since I didn’t want to buy the pre-made one (equal parts salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, celery salt, garlic powder, and onion flakes) and rubbed the catfish with it, then pan-cooked it in olive oil. I roasted the jalapeno pepper to make it a little milder and mixed it with onion and tomato for a simple pico de gallo. Shred the cabbage, mush the avocado, slice the lime, heat the tortillas… I also like to make a hot sauce mixture which may sound gross but it’s delicious with the tacos: a couple of spoonfuls of mayo with a whole bunch of hot sauce (I’m partial to Cholula). I love condiments, what can I say? Then assemble the tacos! Tortilla, Cajun catfish, hot mayo, avocado, cabbage, pico de gallo, spritz of lime, side of corn on the cob… soo good. I’m really impressed with the tortillas from Fresh Tortillas. I’m sure their ingredients aren’t local, but the novelty of having them cook them right in front of my face is really special. Made with Asian/Mexican love!
Yesterday I sliced my little eggplant and laid it out in a casserole dish with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Baked it at 375 for about 35 min probably. Then I layered eggplant slices with sliced heirloom tomato (a green and pinkish red one) and drizzled the stack with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I cannot even believe how tasty it was. My mind was blown. The simple flavors melded together into one gorgeous, magical taste. I sound like I’m being dramatic, but it really was a phenomenal little meal.
And today! I had leftovers from the tacos, so I made corn/avocado salad. One ear of corn (cooked and cut off the cob), half an avocado (cubed), a small red tomato (diced), a handful of shredded cabbage, the juice from 3 lime wedges, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. I ate it with a heated leftover tortilla, and it was so good! Once again, simple, but incredibly tasty. The tomato was quite possibly the best tomato I’ve ever eaten, and I bought it for probably about 25 cents at the Southie farmers’ market.
Speaking of tomatoes! My plant finally has a few little green babies growing. They are only the size of dimes right now, but they’re undeniable! Also – I signed up today for the Dogma box from Boston Organics. My sister is moving in tomorrow (yay!!) so we’re going to share the local produce delivery. I ordered extra carrots to put my new juicer to good use.
I love eating local food. I don’t want to stop. So I won’t.