Emo Eggplants Winning Smackdown Dishes

Grand Street CSA’s own Emo Eggplants, Dan & Caroline, cooked their way to Smackdown glory in Just Food’s first ever CSA Smackdown Final on January 5, 2013!! It was a great afternoon of local food. Thanks to Dan & Caroline for providing details on their winning dishes – innovative but simple takes on local, cold-weather vegetables. Check out Just Food’s Smackdown Page for a full recap. Scroll down to find out about Grand Street CSA’s 2013 season.

Grand Street CSA’s Top Chefs
Dan & Caroline’s winning dish at the September 30th qualifying event
    Delicata Squash Donuts with Kale and Red Cabbage Fall Slaw
  • Delicata squash was sliced into rings, dipped in egg, coated in cornmeal and fried crispy golden brown.  A small ring of onion and a small slice of poblano pepper were prepared in the same way to accompany the squash.
  • For the slaw, kale and red cabbage were sliced into thin strips and marinated and tossed in a dressing made from olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, diced jalapeno pepper with the seeds removed, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cauliflower florets were added for color, texture, and flavor.
 The 2013 Great CSA Smackdown Winner
Reconstructionist Latkes with Apples and Honey and Kale Salad

The two different latkes are a reconstructed take on traditional Jewish potato pancakes. 

  • Shredded potato, kohlrabi and carrot seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed with egg were fried in olive oil and topped with diced apples (with the skin on) that had been sauteed in butter and honey.
  • Shredded potato, bok choy, broccoli rabe, and garlic were mixed with egg and a liberal amount of pecorino romano cheese and fried in olive oil to form the second latke.  
  • The latkes were served with a raw kale salad dressed in olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, siracha, salt, pepper, and pecorino romano cheese to taste.

Marinated Asian Kale Salad

As recollected by Frank Schmidt and Nancy Lasher

Kale – Tuscan is best but any will do – washed, destemmed, and thinly shredded
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
5 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I use low sodium)
1 Tbsp Sugar (other sweeteners fine like agave)
½ Tbsp Minced Ginger
½ Tbsp Minced Garlic
Red Pepper Flakes or Sriracha
Toasted Sesame Seeds

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a jar and mix well. This can be made a day or so in advance.

One to two hours before serving, mix kale and dressing in a big bowl. Stir to coat all kale pieces. Dressing should cover all the kale and have a few tablespoons in the bottom. Stir every 10-15 minutes to make sure dressing coats and wilts the kale. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. Enjoy.

Note: The flavors are all very strong in this recipe. Feel free to increase or reduce any ingredient according to taste. If it’s too strong, increase the rice wine vinegar and/or add a tablespoon or two of water to the dressing before mixing.