I am in Los Angeles this week for work, and Lisl's probably going to be too busy to post much, so we'll have to settle for pictures from the weekend up in the Catskill mountains.
Other than the chili, it was a weekend of small plates, mostly vegetarian. Gill's farm is still producing a wide range of produce, with cauliflower, lots of fresh beans, and hot peppers added to the mix.
Lima Beans & Pancetta
This is a very simple side dish: shell the lima beans and place the beans into a pot of boiling water. Simmer for 8 minutes then drain in a colander and cool by running cold water over the beans. If you have time, remove the skins from the larger beans: quickly pinch the skin at the indent of the bean (where it was connected to the pod), then gently squeeze the bean out of the skin from the other side (the curve).
Chop up pancetta into 1/2 inch chunks (or desired size). Heat up a dash of olive oil in a pan, and saute the pancetta over medium heat until it just starts to brown. Lower heat, add a tablespoon or so of butter, and add the lima beans. Gently stir and cook it all together for a few more minutes, then serve with some freshly ground pepper.
Who says prep means being stuck in a kitchen! I took the fresh lima beans up the hillside to shell them under a tree.
Our dog Ellie kept me company, carefully watching the antics of Lisl and Audrey as they washed the car. Ingredients to that latter effort included: soap, water, hose, sponges, buckets, and a fair amount of 3-yr-old squealing and giggles.
The view over my head
Eggplant, Mint and Caper Salad
The other small dish I tried for that meal was an eggplant, mint and caper salad spotted on Smitten Kitchen (follow that link for the recipe at Smitten Kitchen). I had to try this recipe because I love all three of those ingredients, but had *no* idea if I would like it all together.
The end result was surprising and interesting, and got a thumbs up from both Lisl and I. Like Smitten Kitchen, we used long, thin eggplants rather than the big dark ones you typically find in a supermarket.
My notes: keep a careful eye as you broil the eggplant, because mine was cooked a lot faster than the minutes in SK's recipe and your oven is probably slightly different too. I also think next time I do it, I'll slice the eggplant more like 1/3 inch thick rather than 1/4 inch.
13 hours ago