I spent last week apartment hunting, job hunting, and Green Flamingo-ing. The fruit of my labor in the apartment department (heehee, it rhymes) is a ridiculously cheap studio just around the block from my present amazing location. Now, I know that being culinary types yourselves, you probably see the word studio and think, "Uh-oh." But this one boasts a kitchen area- complete with appliances- that may have more counter space than my current house. So even though I'm garage-selling off about three quarters of my life before the second of next month, I couldn't be happier. My only two stipulations were must be located in a low-traffic area where I can let my cat outside and must have a workable kitchen. This pad has both those covered, and at such a low price that I instantly looked at my husband after seeing it and said, "We'd be idiots not to do this."
In the Green Flamingo department (aw man, that one doesn't rhyme!), we finished digging our aquaponics pond- affectionately dubbed The Hole- this past weekend. I hope to have pics up on Doveland Farm later today. I will also have more shots from the New Smyrna Beach Farmers' Market, where Liz and Mary of Green Flamingo sell both raw vegetables and canned specialties like the pickled okra at the top of this page.
But for now, to pursue an aspect that is more specifically cooking-related, here is the Green Flamingo kitchen...
...in which we made this:
It's a spicy pasta dish with fresh-caught sheepshead and veggies grown on the premises. My husband's and my Sunday morning fishing trip yielded nothing big enough to eat, so we obtained the sheepshead from a local seafood co-op. Seagoing meats are my favorites, and though I don't normally eat fish for environmental reasons, I will eagerly make an exception if it's locally and sustainable caught.
Macaroni el Diablo with Sheepshead and Broccoli Rabe
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 habanero pepper, de-seeded and chopped
8-10 large leaves of broccoli rabe, roughly chopped
3 sheepshead fillets, cut into bite-sized chunks
6 servings dried macaroni
1 24-oz can unsalted tomato puree
Salt, pepper, and dried Italian herb mix to taste
Salt and pepper the sheepshead chunks and set aside.
Cook macaroni according to package instructions and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and habanero. Saute about five minutes or until the onion is translucent. Toward the end of cooking time (when you have about a minute left to go), add salt, pepper, and Italian herbs to taste.
Add broccoli rabe and continue sauteing until it has wilted. As before, add salt, pepper, and herbs toward the end of cooking time.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the sheepshead and cover to cook, stirring only occasionally so that the chunks don't fall apart.
Add the tomato puree and macaroni. Stir. Let it warm through for a couple minutes, then stir again and taste for salt, pepper, and herb content. Add a little more if needed. Let simmer fifteen minutes. Serves 6.
This has been dubbed a Chickenless Chick Cooperative recipe, as the ingredients (other than the sheepshead and butter) were suggested, gathered, and in large part cooked by Green Flamingo intern Steve. The reconstituting of the macaroni can be attributed to my great sport of a husband, so turns out all I did was come up with the idea for "spicy tomato-y fish pasta thingie" and do the prep work. A valiant team effort with superb results.
Who else is excited about Turkey Day?! I'll be spending it with friends here in Orlando. What are your plans?
Beat the eggs. Whip the cream. Show no mercy.