Dark Days Eat Local — Week IV

Ok, this was what I was hoping to make when I signed up for this challenge!

Friday night featured pan-fried cornmeal-breaded perch with steamed kohlrabi and fennel, and whole wheat oatmeal bread. The bread was the only disappointment…it was dense and crusty and honey-sweet Friday night, but by Saturday morning…have any of you read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books? I have made dwarven battle bread. It’s sweet enough that I should be able to slice it into strips or chunks and use it for biscotti.

Pan-Fried Perch with Cornmeal Breading
Perch fillets (from the part of the Atlantic near here, sustainably harvested as far as we can tell)
Cornmeal (Wood Prairie Farm, in Maine)
Salt and pepper (not local)
Oil (not local)

Pour a little cornmeal onto a plate, and mix with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper!). If you are only doing a few fillets, it may waste less cornmeal to just sprinkle it over the fish and then sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Heat a pan-frying amount of oil in a skillet, then add the fish. Fry on both sides until the cornmeal is nicely browned. If the fish needs a few more minutes, pour in a little water and cover. When fish is done, fry uncovered for another minute or so until the fish is crispy and the house has been nicely suffused with the smell of frying fish.

Kohlrabi and Fennel with Tarragon
Kohlrabi (CSA)
Fennel bulb (CSA)
Butter (Maine)
Tarragon (not local)
Salt (not local)

Chop kohlrabi and fennel into small cubes. Melt butter in a skillet, add tarragon, then add in vegetables. Fry for a few seconds, then add in enough water to cover vegetables halfway. Cover and steam until done, stirring periodically and adding more water as necessary. Add salt to taste. (I actually made this first, then re-used the pan for the fish.)

Dwarven Battle Bread
Whole wheat flour (Wood Prairie Farm)
Cooked oatmeal (Wood Prairie Farm)
Yeast (not local)
Oil (not local)
Honey (local organic apiary)
Salt (not local)

Mix ingredients together using amounts from the recipe from the back of the King Arthur Flour package (which generally makes very very good bread!), adding approximately one cup of freshly-made oatmeal. Pour the hot oatmeal in on top of the yeast, killing it. (At least, I assume that’s what happened). Knead until you have formed a stiff, gritty dough, adding more flour or water as necessary. Let rise for 1 hour. Form into four thick disks, let rise for another hour. Bake at 375 degrees until browned and toasty. Eat immediately unless intending to use it for combat purposes.

There was also grape juice, which was not local. As far as I can tell, Welch’s may actually use local concord grapes, but they’re not organic. So I’m going with the non-local organic stuff for now. If anyone knows of a local organic-or-equivalent concord grape juice company in New England, please let me know! (Or juice from any other kind of grapes, for that matter, but concords are the ones that generally grow around here).

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