Agriculture, Food

Cooking MALTed

May 13, 2020

Isabel French of MALT’s communications team is learning new skills as we shelter in place. Need some recipe inspiration for all those food items you’ve been ordering direct from MALT farmers and ranchers? If the answer is yes, read on.

I’m no chef, nor do I bake. At best I’d describe myself as an assembler of ingredients. Yes, in my view, an avocado and lettuce leaves and a hard-boiled egg together make a salad. And sautéed tomatoes and ground beef constitute a pasta sauce. But COVID-19 and the associated shelter-in-place orders are beginning to change that for me.

In addition to (finally!) signing up for a local CSA and ordering as much of our family’s food directly from MALT ranches as I possibly can, I’ve also — thanks to a friend — happened upon a cookbook seemingly written for people just like me: Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman.

Alison’s cooking is more savory than sweet, which is just my speed, and thankfully requires zero mincing, as I do not mince. And I’m happy to report that I’ve yet to find a recipe that requires more than 15–20 minutes of prep. In other words, her cookbook is a dream come true for me, an assembler of ingredients at heart.

Here’s what I’ve managed so far:

Soy-Braised Brisket with Caramelized Honey and Garlic

Our household is obsessed with this recipe! More beef noodle bowl than it is the classic brisket recipe, the fresh herb salad is what makes it for me. I used Stemple Creek Ranch brisket, McEvoy Ranch honey, spring onions and mint from our Bounty Box that I picked up at the Marin Farmers’ Market, and cilantro from our own garden. Yum!

Citrus Chicken Rested in Herbs

Our fridge was on the empty side when I cobbled this dinner together, but this chicken recipe is a new favorite. It’s tangy, savory, delicious — and easy. I used lemons from my neighbor’s tree, cilantro and oregano from our garden, and a Rossotti Ranch chicken that Julie Rossotti delivered right to our Petaluma doorstep on her way to the post office.

Spiced and Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Potatos

If you’re like me and have never ever used fennel seeds in your own kitchen, this recipe will make you a convert. These ribs are a rich, perfectly-spiced and zesty delight. I used Stemple Creek Ranch short ribs, lemons from the neighbor’s tree (again!), and we paired the dish with barely-broiled asparagus and a huge green salad.

Happy cooking, all!