Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dark Days Challenge Week 3 - Comfort Food

Today was a really dreary day, not that cold, but it rained endlessly. The day demanded comfort food for dinner, and my local finds obliged. Tonight's Dark Day Challenge menu: ZaZa burgers (known elsewhere as hamburger steaks with onion gravy), mashed potatoes, and roasted butternut, garlic and broccoli. Our hamburger steaks are called Zaza burgers after my mom, ZaZa to her grandchildren. Along with rice and LaSueur peas, it was the standard dinner she cooked for them when the boys visited her as toddlers.

The ground beef was locally raised, grass fed and purchased at Earthfare. Earthfare also carries the local milk and butter I used in the mashed potatoes. It really surprises me that Earthfare doesn't carry much in the way of local fruits and vegetables. The potatoes, broccoli, butternut, and garlic came from the Bare Essentials Natural Market. I bought the onions at the Watauga County Holiday Farmer's Market.

My non-local foods were salt and pepper, olive oil, flour, and beef broth. The ZaZa burgers are a dish DH cooks and I didn't realize that beef broth was an ingredient. I'm sure that is something I can create as a local product in the future. I had been wondering about whether bread from our local bakery would "count" or if I would need to find flour and become a bread baker if I wanted to have bread as part of a Dark Days meal. This was the subject of a discussion on the Dark Days list this week, and I'm not sure a consensus was reached. I did a little searching this afternoon to see what I could find in the way of North Carolina mills. That's definitely something I'll be checking out in the future.


sam said...

I picked up our share of a side of beef over the weekend, but haven't had time to cook any of it, let alone blog about it! We have about 20 lbs of ground beef in the freezer, so I'll have to try Zaza burgers with gravy - sounds like something we all would like.

Sharon said...

Your photos look great. How do you roast broccoli? Does it take the same time as the squash?

Lynn said...

Thanks -- taking pictures of your dinner almost every day for a month definitely improves your food photography skills. The kids prefer broccoli roasted so we do that a lot -- just toss it in olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and roast at 375-400 for about 20 minutes. I put the butternut in about 10 minutes before that and added garlic for about the last 10.