Sunday, August 24, 2008


At the northern end of the Belmont Farmers market one of the Asian farmers had peanuts. These are as easy as brocolli to cook.

Rinse to get the mud off.
Place in the 7" round pot in the summer position and cook for an hour.
Let cool, shell and eat.

For variety place some shelled nuts back in the pot but without the lid. Salt, dust chili powder like Cayenne and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive, or sunflower, or any vegetable oil. Cook for 40 minutes (without the pot lid!) in the summer position and serve.

Jackfruit seeds

At the San Carlos Farmers Market one of the farmers had mangos, jackfruit, and various kinds of small bananas and other exotic fruits grown in Palmdale, the desert east of LA . I bought a tiny segment of jackfruit. The fruit was delicious and the glue that gets on the hands difficult to remove. This glue was also not disolvable in water. It had to be rubbed off the knife.

The fruit encases a large seed.

Wash the seeds then put them in the solar oven for an hour. After they have cooled cut them in half and shelled the outer layer. Salt and serve. They have the texture of peanuts and the taste of a potato. In India they used in curries.

The mangoes and bananas were delicious too. The fruit table was located near the southern end of the market on the west side.

Chard with corn

Tie the bunch together, then cut the leaves about 1" in width. As you get down to the stalks cut the leaves about 1/8" in width. Discard stalks. Wash and rinse carefully then place in the 7" round or 5" oval pot.

Cut half a red onion thin and place on top.
Shred one large dried poblano or guajillo chille and place on top.
Chop leaves of one small twig oregano fine and place on top.
Drizzle two tablespoons olive oil on top.

In the other pot place one cleaned cob of summer corn.

Cook for an hour and a half in the summer position.
Cut and scrape the corn off the cob and add to the chard.
Top with one tablespoon lemon and one tablespoon white wine vinegar. Salt and then pepper generously and mix well before serving. Will stay to serve at room temp as a starter.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

cherry tomato pasta salad

This is a fun tasty light pasta salad for a summer evening.
Pasta is complicated and time intensive to cook in the solar oven.

One pint cherry tomatoes each cut in half.
One tablespoon olive oil.
One table spoon balsamic vinear.
Three tablespoons basil cut fine and chopped.
Salt to taste.

In one 7" pot combine
One red onion chopped small.
One large garlic clove cut fine or crushed.
Olive oil.
Salt to taste.

In the other 7" pot put three cups water.

Place the solar oven in the summer position.
After half an hour remove the onion/garlic and combine with the cherry tomatoes.

Add 6 oz small elbow or gamine pasta to the pot and return to the oven with the water.
After a half hour put the hot pasta in the now hot water. Stir and leave in the oven in the summer position for twenty minutes. Unlike other things in a solar oven DON'T leave it longer without checking since the pasta will overcook.
Remove and drain and combine with cherry tomato/onions.

Chop half a head romaine lettuce thin and small and combine.

Two tablespoons olive oil, one tablespoon white wine vinegar, and one tablespoon lemon.
Salt to taste.
Pour over pasta and mix.
Shred cheese to taste.

Optional: add broccoli or cube cut ham as desired and mix.
Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Red pepper, poblano chile antipasta with corn

Calderon's table was overflowing with produce and I couldn't resist the big red ultra sweet peppers and the small dark poblano chiles. The poblanos will get bigger over the next six weeks as the summer goes by, and then they will get redder and sweeter. Yum.

Toss one red pepper, one corn cob, and two poblanos into the 7" round pot and cook in the summer position for 100 minutes.

Trim and core the peppers then cut into small half inch squares.
Remove the kernels from cob and then scrape it to get the kernel centers.
Chop half an average red onion small.
Chop a handful of basil small or slivered. Should be flowering the garden. Use the flowers and pods too.
Juice of one lemon (trees should be full), equal part white wine or fruit vinegar, equal part olive oil.
Mix and salt to taste.

Eat with a soft bread that has a crust.

fresh corn salsa and factory processing

Whole Foods meat recall shows the problems with organics and other foods getting integrated into the factory food price reduction models. These problems are characteristic of large processing problem and date back to the birth of cheap energy and mechanized agriculture. The early response was pasteurization which was sold as a medical advance when in reality it was only a means to clean milk dirtied by process and maintain factory margins.

The farmers market on the other hand allows small batch processing which reduces the likelihood of contamination. The recent recall on tomatoes that was changed to Jalapenos from Mexico is a simila case in point.

Summer markets abound with produce. Calderon had a selection on Sunday that allowed me to buy from only one vendor. Given that they are closest to us this was way past cool.

The salsa is similar to a salsa cruda.

One large tomato chopped small.
Four spring onions chopped small.
Handfull of cilantro chopped small.
Half of a sweet white corn, kernels removed (run a knife down the cob) and then scrape the cob with the back of the knife to remove the sweet kernel centers.
One poblano or jalapeno chopped tiny seeds an all to your taste.
Juice of one avergae size lemon.

Mix and salt and eat with chips or tortilla.