Those of you who come from families of more than one person know, it can be a difficult thing to prepare a meal that everyone enjoys. In my house we shoot for four out of five--if only one kid thinks it's kind of sick, we are in business.
Therefore, when I whipped up this meal last week and everyone ate it, my first thought was that I needed to share it with you. The meal also fit other important criteria:
1. It was a piece of cake to make.
2. It used mostly fresh, local, Market ingredients.
Drumroll, please... I give you Slow-Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup and Corn-Tomato Salad. (You can also throw in a loaf of Market artisan bread or make your own at home.)
Slow-Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup
1 lb beef stew chunks (available from any of our meat vendors)
1 cup of beef or chicken broth
1-1/2 to 2 cups sliced cabbage
3 big tomatoes, chopped in chunks
2 carrots, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Throw everything in the cooker and cook on Low 6-8 hours, or High 4 hours. Just before serving, add:
1 cup frozen peas (just before serving)
1/4 to 1/2 cup orzo, cooked (see note on pots below)
The broth is nummy--perfect to blot up with good bread, and the meat just melts.
Of course I forgot to take a picture until I'd eaten the last of it the next day.
I did remember, however, to photograph the salad:
|Pretty, and tastes even better!|
Corn-Tomato Salad (my variation on this Food Network salad)
2 ears of fresh Market corn (DO NOT use storebought or frozen! Everything depends on the corn.)
2 big tomatoes, chopped
2 cups of green beans, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil, slivered (DO NOT use dried)
1/4 to 1/2 cup mild cheese, cubed (I was out of Market cheese and had to use shredded mozzarella)
1-1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Now here's the trick with the pots: bring one big pot of water to a boil. Throw in the two ears of corn and cook for ONLY TWO MINUTES. Take them out with tongs and throw in the green beans. Cook the green beans until crisp-tender, anywhere from 4-6 minutes, and fish them out with a slotted spoon. In the still-boiling water, pour in your orzo for the Beef Vegetable Soup and cook according to package directions.
One pot of water, three things cooked, minimal clean-up!
After the vegetables are cooked, combine all ingredients and toss.
This is the only salad my girls have ever asked for seconds of, and I plan on buying more corn so we can have it again before the season ends. Everything has to be fresh, fresh, fresh for the full effect. Fresh mozzarella from Samish Bay would be delicious in this, or their Queso Fresco. Tieton's feta could also work, if you wanted a tangy contrast to the sweet corn.
And finally, on an unrelated note, I have two P.S.es:
1. For fans of the crinkly variety of spinach, I found it at Hedlin! More crunch, less furry-teeth-sensation.
2. And, if you've missed the usual Asian pear harvest from Rockridge Orchards, I stumbled upon some at Tiny's Organic.
There you have it! See you all at the Market this week.