The farmers' markets are open, the garden is starting to take off, the One Local Summer challenge has begun, and we were ready to cook last night!!
We decided to go with ropa vieja, a Cuban dish that's one of Husband's favorites (before I go any further, let me confess - if I ever I say "we" cooked, it's really "he" cooked - I'm not great in the kitchen, but my husband LOVES and I mean truly, really LOVES to cook - so he's our chef, which would make me our official taster, applauder of efforts, and consumer of fabulous cuisine...) -
Anyway, so we (=he) made ropa vieja, which is basically beef (flank steak), pressure-cooked until it's tender, shredded, and then cooked further in garlicky tomato sauce. YUM! And on the side, we had spinach salad with cherry tomatoes. We eat a lot of Cuban dishes, as Husband's family is from Cuba, and it's his favorite cooking style.
The flank steak was from Pinewoods Yankee farm, in Lee, NH. We get almost all of our beef from them - their cows are happy, and humanely raised (the rest of our beef (as well as our Thanksgiving turkey!) we get from a little farm in Deerfield, NH - they also raise happy, grass-fed cows). The tomato sauce was from our freezer - we made a bunch last year with tomatoes from the farmers' markets as well as from a little farm down the road from us, and we're working on finishing it up (and we're looking forward to making more when this year's tomatoes start!).
The sofrito (the base for the dish) was made from cherry tomatoes from the UNH tomato plants now growing in our backyard, garlic powder from Two Sisters in Canterbury, NH, and onion greens from our own garden (normally he'd use a white onion, but those aren't available locally yet, so we improvised with the greens), plus two non-local ingredients (olive oil and a little dry white cooking wine).
The spinach for the salad was from Wake Robin farm, purchased from this week's Durham farmers' market, and again we used the UNH cherry tomatoes on top.
Husband notes that typically we have black beans with the ropa vieja - but we're waiting on this year's green peppers, onions, and more tomatoes before we can make those as a truly local meal. When we do make the black bean dish, we use dried black beans from Meadow's Mirth in Stratham. Again - YUM!!