Friday, June 25, 2010

75%(ish) Farmers' Market Meal

Grilled snapper with mango salsa, black beans, squash and bell peppers

Last Tuesday I stopped at the Culver City Farmers' Market on my way home, with no list or specific items in mind. I love how ingredients sometimes come together perfectly of their own accord. On days like this I usually weave a path through the market, eyeing what new produce is available this week and munching on free samples. I take a look at the seafood board, scanning the list for good deals. The fish guy is one of my favorite market people- New York accent, really friendly and helpful, always joking around with the French cheese guy(whose wares unfortunately I can rarely afford). Having decided on the snapper, I stroll around and pick up other stuff- Rainier cherries, onions and garlic, Yukon Gold potatoes, some salad greens. It turns out the greens people are getting pretty tired of the guy who plays kids' reggae right in front of their booth every week. Fair enough, but it does seem to keep the kids occupied and in one spot so I don't have to trip over them.

For the above-pictured meal, this is what I picked up at the market:

Fresh snapper: $7/pound; I spent $5.50 on enough for 2 people
Squash and bell peppers: one bag of each for $3 total
Onions, garlic, cilantro: a couple dollars
Mandarin oranges: 5lb sack for ~$5

Non-market additions: black beans(canned, ~$1) and mango(from our little local Latin market, ~$1).

No real recipe, as usual, but here's a quick breakdown, in order of how things were prepared:

Grilled Snapper with Mango Salsa and Veggies

-Mango salsa: chop mango, onions, garlic, cilantro, chile if desired; mix together, add salt and pepper, let it marinate in the fridge while you prepare everything else.
-Black beans: sautee onions, peppers, and garlic; add beans(I used canned) and broth or water and seasonings(cumin, bay leaves, etc), simmer indefinitely; just make sure to check the water level so they don't dry out.
-Squash and peppers: slice, add salt and pepper(and chili powder if desired), sautee in olive oil for a few minutes. I like to keep veggies crunchy, for flavor and nutrition.
-Snapper: remove bones if you can, rub with chili powder, grill on a hot cast iron skillet to taste, no more than 8 or so minutes. Taste a little piece to check done-ness. With fish, you never want to overcook it! Undercook ALWAYS. Raw fish isn't just for sushi, don't fear it!

1 comment:

colour me auburn said...

I love Farmer's Markets- There's only one in Galveston which sells out of the good produce within 15 min of being open. It is quite small but still good. We do have fresh seafood markets, though, and those are my favorite. I just hope the oil doesn't put them out of business!