Sunday, March 11, 2012

This is What Will Happen When I Lose Chopped...

So, first off, can I say that I am super excited for the Local Farmer Open House at the Urban Ecology Center.  As a reminder it is next Saturday, one week from today, St. Patrick's Day, from 11:00am-4:00pm at the Urban Ecology Center: located at Riverside Park.  1500 E. Park Place, Milwaukee, WI, 53211.  For those of you familiar with the Eastside of Milwaukee, this is the park right next to/behind Riverside High School.

I've had a few people come up to me and say "oh, I thought this event was by invite only - just for super cool bloggers and other Milwaukee food people.  Absolutely not!  You can (and should) go!  It's not necessary to change your lifestyle and only eat local foods to eat some local foods.  Local foods are good.  They taste better.  They are fresher.  They save the environment by not getting shipped two and fro from factory farm to warehouse to grocery store.  If you have any interest in learning how to work local food into your diet, this is the event to go to.

I will be there all five hours.  So, if you know me, we can hang out.  If you don't know me, we could hang out too, and you could be like "hey I read your blog."  And I would be like "that's so cool, man... wait... how do you know what I look like..." and then it would get creepy.  So probably don't do that if you don't know me.

Anyway, I've been working on my list of questions for the CSA people.  At one point it was up to 20+ questions, which is too much, so I think I've got it narrowed down to this:
  1. Where is your pick-up location or locations and day/days?
  2. If there multiple times/locations, can I switch? (for example, if it's usually Saturday, and I'm going to be out of town, can I pick up Thursday instead?
  3. Can someone else pick up my basket for me?
  4. Does your CSA basket contain anything not produce (honey, eggs, chicken, etc.)?
  5. Do you give any options for CSA members to get large quantities of produce for canning?
  6.  Is there any chance my basket could contain blueberries?
  7. Should I just not bother planting zucchini?  
  8. Do you offer any sort of payment plan?
  9. Do you offer worker's shares?
For those of you who don't know, worker's shares are a way of getting a discount on your CSA by going and working at the farm.  I don't think this is something I have time for, but it's good to know.

So show up!  It's going to be a good time.  Fun is mandatory!

Moving on...

I wrapped up my week long episode of Chopped in the same way that I imagine I would if I were actually on chopped.  "Uhh...  wow.  None of this stuff makes sense together.  I'm putting it on a pizza!"  Or in pasta.  But OMG, don't put red onions on it, or Scott will throw a shit fit!

I might watch too much Chopped.  It's fine.  I can quit whenever I want.

So I made a pizza.  And, I'm warning you up front, it's going to sound terrifying and awful.  But it wasn't.  It was neither terrifying nor awful.  In fact, it was tasty.  Which just goes to further my belief that you can take anything, put it on a tasty crust, smother it in cheese, and it would end up delicious.  And I'm pretty sure you don't even need the crust part.

So, not nasty.  Really good,  Keep an open mind:

Turkey Pesto Pizza with Pickled Beets and Fennel
(Really.  Not gross.  Promise.) 

  • 1 crust worth of pizza dough (I like to buy pre-made, frozen dough from the bakery and keep it in the freezer.  Then just thaw it out in the fridge the day before you want to cook it.) (I used whole wheat, because that's what I had.)
  • 1/4 cup pre-made pesto (I made a whole batch at the end of the season last year.  It saves really well in the freezer.)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pre-cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup pickled beets
  • 3 tbsp pickled fennel
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Pre-heat the oven and a pizza stone to 425 degrees.  While it's pre-heating, make sure all the other ingredients are in bite size pieces (shred your cheese and junk like that).  Also, mix together the pesto and olive oil.  Once the oven and pizza stone are hot, roll out the pizza dough, using corn meal to prevent it from sticking.  Sprinkle corn meal over the pizza stone, and place the crust on the stone and back into the oven.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust (touching the stone) is just starting to get crusty.  Flip the crust and bake for another 10 minutes.  Spread the pesto on the crust, top with turkey, beets, fennel and feta, then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.  Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is lightly browned.

Obviously, you can substitute just about anything for anything in this recipe, because this recipe is pretty much nonsense.

Go to the Local Farmer's Open House.  Then engage in nonsense.  It's a good way to live.

1 comment:

  1. You're so brave. When I cook, I want a recipe that someone, somewhere has tried out and said is good. And there's always a chance that I won't like it, but I know nothing about trying things out. Recently, after making recipe about 10 times, I finally tried throwing in some spices to see if I could make it a bit better. And it was. To my surprise. :) I'm so not brave!