Wednesday, June 20, 2007
At last night's Tuesday night market, we picked up a mixed flat of cherries, strawberries, gooseberries, red and yellow raspberries, and some boysenberries to boot. I think the mulberries come later in the season. The possibilities are endless, but I like either fresh berries by themselves, with some yogurt, or with barely sweetened home made whip cream. A quick dessert that you can whip up as the mood strikes.
Also at the market was a guy selling game meats (from a ranch in Bend). He had waterbuffalo, bison, elk, and even yak in a number of different cuts. I was most tempted by the elk ribeyes. The elk stew meat started at around $7.50/lb, which isn't too unreasonable, considering the limited market. There might be some Viking food in there somewhere.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
At the Sunday market in Hillsboro this weekend I scored some really nice gai lan ("Chinese broccoli") and some snow pea tendrils. The latter are the stalks that peas grow on, after you take the peas off. They have a very nice flavor, and stir fry well. I stir fried both of the above greens with a little ginger and garlic, some oyster sauce, a little dark soy sauce, and some Chinese rice wine. Just before the sauce went on, I threw in some fresh chow mein noodles I picked up at New Seasons. Quick, easy, and very tasty. So exciting to see fresh veggies coming in.
There's a great blog dedicated to building your own backyard tandoor in an oil drum. Not only is this a cool project, but his food looks great.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I'm experimenting with Hawaiian/Polynesian food a bit, so Saturday night I made some kalbi ribs (not strictly Polynesian, I know, but popular in Hawaii) and a melange of taro, onions and plantains baked in pineapple juice, olive oil and ginger. I was very happy with the results, and it all went excellently well with kimchee. :) We also had some frozen laulau from Uwajimaya. It's one of my new favorite dishes, and I need to try making it from scratch. It's pork and butterfish wrapped in taro leaves and steamed. Extra good. Sunday morning saw a good Hawaiian breakfast of linguica, rice and fried eggs (scrambled for the girl).
Sunday dinner was my new favorite burger recipe, half beef, half pork, seasoned with pepper and alder smoked salt from Whole Foods. The smoked salt makes all the difference. Served up with authentic kosher pickles, and some locally made barbeque sauce we scored at the farmer's market. Good eating. And the local snap peas are coming in, also a welcome addition. Yay produce!
Friday, June 01, 2007
having dined two nights in a row on fresh corn, asparagus, and apricots/nectarines, I'm all revved up for produce season. We should start seeing more and more at the farmer's markets very soon. It takes a while way up North here, but I'm particularly looking forward to berry season. The last few years, our farmer's market has had mulberries, blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries (red and green), black and red raspberries, etc. Nothing better for breakfast with a little yogurt or cereal.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I've been having lots of fun with fermentation lately, thanks to some very cool books like Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats and Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods. I'm on my second batch of fermented beans, and the 3-4 batch of sauerkraut now.
This morning it all came together in a fine breakfast. I took a "hand made" corn tortilla from Trader Joe's, heated it up with some cheddar cheese, then layered on some of the fermented beans (made with pinto beans and garlic this time), some cortida (Latin American-style sauerkraut), some pickled jalapenos, and some piima cream. Simple, fast, and oh-so-tasty.
Next up... I've got some gingered carrots and some turnips and beets bubbling their way toward pickle-hood on top of my fridge. A few more days until they are ready.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
In my ongoing quest to reproduce the flat bread unearthed in grave finds at Birka and other locations, this weekend I got to try baking them in an earthen oven. I'll post pictures soon, but until then, a brief summary.
The oven was constructed by some friends of mine last fall. It's made from adobe, and is a dome shape about 4 feet in diameter and 2.5 - 3 feet high, with a smoke hole at the top, and an opening in the side just big enough to admit a metal baker's peel.
We fired the oven for probably 2-3 hours before any bread went in. For the first loaves, which were more modern sourdough loaves, we left some of the coals at the back of the oven, and put the bread in at the front. This left the oven way too hot, and the loaves blackened pretty seriously before they were done all the way through. For my flatbread, I scraped out the rest of the coals, and relied on the heat of the oven walls.
I used several different recipes, but the one that worked best was 1/2 whole grain barley flour, 1/4 oat flour, and 1/4 green pea flour, plus about 1/2 tsp of salt. I made a stiff dough using buttermilk, and left the dough unrefrigerated overnight to sour (it didn't, much). The dough was shaped into two flat "loaves", each about 8" in diameter, and 1" high. The surface was pricked with a knife before baking, to increase the surface area of the top crust and encourage drying.
The loaves went into the oven, and backed for probably around 20 minutes. As the oven cooled a bit, subsequent batches took slightly longer to firm up.
The result was quite good, with a crisp crust, and a nice texture. Not light, more like a heavy scone or batter bread in consistency. It went excellently well with some simple soft cheese and dried fruit.
I'll have some pictures up, hopefully this evening. I got pictures of the whole process.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
For this morning's breakfast I tried the "Viking breakfast" that I put together as part of the "Viking bachelor food" experiment. I didn't actually get to implement it over the weekend, as much of the food I'd set aside for the weekend ended up spending said weekend in the fridge in my office, not coming with me to the event. Very sad.
Anyway, this morning I lined up
- A thick slice of the "IKEA bread", more properly "ragbrod", very coarse grained and hearty wheat and rye bread
- two slices of gjetost cheese, a sweet cheese made from caramelized whey
- a hard boiled egg (I settled for chicken, not having any puffins around)
- a pile of home made sauerkraut
- two nice fat pieces of pickled herring with onions (sooooo good)
It made an excellent breakfast, and really got the day off to a fine (and fishy) start. Easy, portable, and very satisfying. I'll definitely be packing this stuff along to events this summer.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I had some little fingerling potatoes that I needed to use up (nice yellow ones) and decided to pair them with some purple kale and some lovely Pacific cod (wild caught in Alaska).
I oven roasted the potatoes with some salt and olive oil at about 400 until tender, and chopped them roughly. Separately, I sauteed some onion and garlic in olive oil, then added the chopped purple curly kale until it was all tender, and added that to the potatoes.
To finish up, I fried the cod in coconut oil until it was cooked through and lightly browned, then broke it up and mixed with the veggies, then at the last minute added some lemon-infused olive oil, sel gris, and some Balinese "long pepper", which has a very nice floral, peppery scent.
The result was a big hit with the whole family. The soft cod contrasted nicely with the tender-but-firm kale. Vikki suggested that next time I serve the potatoes on the side, largely because I was a bit off on my ratios, and the dish ended up a bit potato-heavy. Maybe only half the bag of fingerlings next time...
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