Filed under: Dark Days
In a typical week we might eat meat three times; I think my Dark Days posts tend to skew to the meatier end of the spectrum, and this post is definitely in that category. This week I managed two Dark Days dinners: steak and potatoes (and kale), and stuffed cabbage, and these were the two meat dinners we will eat this week. Many of our other dinners are largely local ingredients, but will have a major component (like dried pasta or rice) that doesn’t count. We’ve made significant strides toward a mostly local diet, but we’re far from perfect, and I can live with that.
I generally spend Sundays getting ready for the week ahead: prepping dinners, doing laundry, finishing up whatever projects I’ve started on Saturday. One bonus of this (particularly in these dark days of winter) is that I’m working on dinners when there is actually enough light for photos. The bigger bonus (and the real reason I do so much prep on Sundays) is that I can walk in the door from work at 6:30 and we can be eating by 7:00 most nights, and still eating high quality, fresh food.
The elk steak, mashed potatoes and celery root, and kale salad were Sunday’s dinner. The kale salad is one of my favorite ways to eat kale (second only to kale mac and cheese, with more kale than pasta, which, incidentally, is what we had for dinner last night: lacinato and red kale from Full Circle, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, Twin Brooks milk, homemade breadcrumbs – and boxed pasta, making it one of those almost local but not quite dinners). Anyway, that kale salad (because who would have thought raw kale would be so delicious?): the kale is de-stemmed and then very finely sliced, tossed with a garlicky dressing, and then topped with breadcrumbs. It makes a great side for a heavier meal (it showed up at Thanksgiving and was a welcome jolt of light and healthy), and was perfect with this dinner. Celery root mixed with the potatoes make the BEST mashed potatoes, hands down. And the elk steak was outstanding.
The stuffed cabbage is basically this recipe, though I made it with wild rice and skipped the parsnips since I didn’t have any, and the tomato paste since I didn’t have any local tomato paste. It’s in the oven as I type this (and I only am able to type this now because my amazing husband did all of the dishes from the last two days just before I got home from work so I have a few minutes of unexpected time…only 9 more days to a working dishwasher), and can’t be done soon enough. I can’t wait. That’s an odd thing to say about stuffed cabbage, I think.
Sources for this week’s dinners:
Steak and potatoes:
Elk backstrap from the freezer (last year’s elk)
Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Yukon gold potatoes, celery root, and lacinato kale from Full Circle Farm, Carnation, WA
Homemade breadcrumbs (flour from Fairhaven, honey from Sequim, not-local yeast and salt)
Garlic from Filaree Garlic Farm, Okanogan, WA
1998 Trey Marie Trutina Red Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley, WA
Exceptions: salt, pepper, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice (basically, the dressing for the kale)
Savoy cabbage, carrots, and celery from Full Circle Farm
Onion from Andersen Organics, Othello, WA, by way of Full Circle box
Garlic from Filaree
Ground elk from the freezer (last year′s elk)
Wild rice I brought home from Minnesota (I am embarrassed to admit how old this rice is – suffice to say it should have been eaten more than one year ago – but it still tasted good and this was the last of it)
Tomatoes grown at Tonnemaker Hill Farm, Royal City, WA
Exceptions: olive oil, salt, pepper
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