Hello from Pennsylvania! Dandy Prof here. About two months ago, I left behind my beloved Brooklyn (and my beloved BFF, editrix of this here blog, with whom I shared a kitchen for seven years), for the suburban climes of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Now, I have never lived in the suburbs before, and it’s taking some getting used to. So, I find myself doing things I *never* did in NYC, like going for morning jogs, hiking up small mountains, and drinking coffee at the Starbucks in the local Target (fun times!).
However! One of the things I have most enjoyed about this move has been access to lovely local produce, with plenty of farmers markets, and a biweekly Autumn CSA share.
Aside from supporting local farmers, what I most love about farmers markets and CSAs is how they force you to cook and bake with what’s in season. And, upon being faced with week after week of potatoes and kale, this kind of food consumption also forces you to get creative. Last week I found myself with a fridge full of locally grown eggs, beets, carrots, bok choy, lettuce, and tomato. One meal I made out of this was a modified bibimbap, with red rice topped with a fried egg, thinly sliced beef, scallions, cilantro, gomasio, and the following slaw:
Beet-carrot-bok choy slaw
Shred beets and carrots by hand or in a food processor. If you’ve got bok choy (you can also use any type of cabbage), chop it up in small pieces, toss with salt, and let sit in a colander for about ten minutes. Press out the excess water, then toss it in a bowl with the beets and carrots. Throw in some sesame oil, rice vinegar, and finely chopped ginger and garlic. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
One person can only eat so much bibimbap. But I still had leftover slaw! I also had a loaf of sourdough and a catfish fillet from the farmers’ market. Meal number 2: Asian-inspired po boy.
“Asian” catfish po boy
Blend some mayo with cilantro, scallions, and the juice of half a lime.
Prepare catfish by soaking it briefly in milk (I used kefir because I’m the child of hippies and that’s what I had on hand. You can also use buttermilk).
Catfish po boys are traditionally coated in cornmeal, but because this is Asian-inflected, I mixed panko crumbs with some flour and my own spice blend I use for dry rubs. I don’t remember proportions, but you can probably get away with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne. Dip your catfish in this mixture until it is fully coated, and then fry in neutral oil until cooked.
Assemble your sandwich! Mayo on both sides of the bread. Fried catfish. Lettuce. Tomato. And don’t forget your slaw.