I haven’t been blogging about our work at South Maui Sustainability with the Kihei Elementary School Garden as much as I should have. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last year, and even got written up in The Huffington Post by Lorna Sass, who was here on vacation.
As of yesterday, the School Garden is almost finished. I don’t believe we actually got three truckloads of compost distributed, and still have a few small areas to do. This has been such an amazing project. I’m thinking it would be fun to make yellow catsup from our very sweet tomatoes for the kids at the school next harvest day.
In the meantime, we decided to dine on some of the tomatoes, basil and arugula I brought home yesterday. I also grabbed some parsley from my own garden to add to the meal. We’ve been doing our best to be locavores even though it’s tough to do on an island. We’re hoping our new Whole Foods Market will help.
Peter, my husband and personal chef (Shhh! He doesn’t like to be called that…) has recently been putting his knife skills to good use and saving us money by buying whole tenderloin beef cuts from Costco and trimming them himself. It’s much more economical than buying the steaks separately, and with what’s going on in the beef industry, if we’re going to eat beef at all, we feel we should make it count.
A single tenderloin usually yields six or seven nice filet mignons and a chateaubriand roast, and the chain meat can be used in a number of ways, such as stews or stir-frys, or in last night’s case, a meat sauce for our pasta. Not a bad investment for roughly $50.
Here’s Peter’s Pasta with Tomato and Meat Sauce recipe for last night’s meal:
1 large onion diced fine (we used a Hawaii-grown onion from Costco)
1 celery stalk diced fine
1 carrot diced fine
Roughly 1 pound of chain meat from the tenderloin chopped into small pieces
About a dozen of the tomatoes I brought home from the School Garden
A handful of basil leaves chopped, also from the School Garden
A handful of parsley leaves, chopped, from my garden
Several cloves of garlic (we love garlic)
Salt and pepper
A few drops of lemon juice
Core the tomatoes and place them on a sheet pan. Place the pan under a low broiler until you hear a slight sizzle. This caramelizes and softens them slightly. Don’t let them char.
Put the tomatoes into a food processor along with any juices in the sheet pan, throw in the garlic cloves and some of the basil and parsley. Pulse until chopped fine, but not into a puree.
Sear the meat in a large pan over medium high heat with some olive oil (regular, not extra virgin) and a little salt and pepper, remove and set aside.
Sauté the diced onion, celery and carrot in the same pan with a little salt and pepper until nicely caramelized, then add the meat and the processed tomatoes.
Reduce the heat to simmer, cover with a splatter screen (so you don’t end up having to clean tomato off all the surrounding horizontal surfaces) set a timer and go watch TV or something for about 30 minutes.
When the liquid is mostly (but not completely) cooked off, the sauce is ready. Turn the heat off, chop up the rest of the basil and parsley and mix it in. Add a few drops of lemon juice to tighten up the flavors. Check the seasoning.
We served our mostly locavore dinner over whole wheat spaghetti with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Our salad was a combination of the lettuce we got from our Kula Fields delivery and the arugula from the School Garden, served with a few sprinkles of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and some fresh ground black pepper.