Week 11 - A vote for fresh and simple

[Posted by Ruth]
Fair warning, I'm climbing up on my soapbox.  I settled down with my coffee this morning and read in the New York Times that "The I Hate to Cook Book" by Peg Bracken is being reissued.  For those of you too young to remember, this book came out in the 1960s and all of our mothers had it.  Bracken, the precursor to Sandra Lee, advocated dumping cans of salty, condensed soups in recipes and, like Sandra Lee, using ready made, processed foods as 'shortcuts' wherever possible.  

What really annoyed me about the article was that it stated that "...the organic, locavore movement may get the most attention, many home cooks still care more about budget and convenience."  Give me a break!  Especially in this current economy, I care deeply about budget.  In fact it's what I wake up and think about at 3 a.m.  And, I'm certainly not against things being convenient.  I just don't think I have to dump a can of soup over something to achieve this.  

Now that we're half way through our CSA, I'm completely convinced that we are saving a significant amount of money and eating better.  It doesn't have to be a trade-off.  Good quality, fresh ingredients, simply prepared trump processed, over salted, 'convenience' food any day.

Oven Roasted Steak Fries
5 or 6 very fresh, medium potatoes
olive oil to coat
salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 400
Scrub potatoes but leave the peels on.  Cut them in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 4 thick steak fries.
Place in baking pan (a heavy jelly roll pan is great here) and toss with plenty of olive oil.  The potatoes should be well coated and there should be some extra oil in the pan.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn slices over and sprinkle other side with salt as well.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Turn slices over and roast for another 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

That's it.  No cans to open, no unpronounceable chemicals, little or no work on my part.  We had them with some grilled eggplant and some chicken. Because they were so very fresh, the potatoes were absolutely delicious.  Seemed pretty convenient to me.

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