Friday, 27 February 2009
I’ve been doing some thinking this week about Viking-appropriate breakfast foods. My favorite breakfast at events is still dark bread with cheese, fish, kraut and hard boiled eggs, but there’s only so many times you can eat that, and some people fear fish. So…
Roasted barley flour + skyr: mix some roasted barley flour into skyr or non-fat yogurt, then top with honey (if desired, roasted barley flour is pretty sweet) and fruit, preferably berries.
Fried oatmeal: leftover steel cut oats cooled in a pan, sliced and fried in butter/lard/bacon grease/whatever. Would be good with butter and honey, or savory with bacon/sausage or fish (kippers maybe).
Scrambled eggs with dill and smoked salmon + some dark bread
Monday, 10 March 2008
I let my piima culture die over the winter, which made me sad. I have remedied the situation however, and now have not only a new healthy piima culture but some fil mjolk as well. I haven't tasted the fil mjolk yet, but it sets up very nicely at room temperature, and has a much sharper "buttermilky" smell than the piima. Both are room temperature "yogurt" cultures that come originally from Scandinavia. I also made some skyr last week, which didn't work out particularly well. I think I left it too long at too high a temperature, so it was very grainy and sour. It did produce some nice whey though, that will see it's way into lactic acid pickles over the next little while. I just finished some sauerkraut and some fermented bean paste before the whey was done, and they soured much more slowly than the ones using whey I made last year. I left some of the whey out to see how sour it will get. I'm itching to try some of the traditional Icelandic whey pickles, but need good sour whey (syra or mysa in Icelandic I think) to make it work.
I'm recovereing from a wintertime slump into too much prepared food and cooking a lot. It's so much fun to try new stuff. I managed to dehydrate a batch of Ethiopian berbere over the weekend, so it will hopefully keep longer and take up less space that way. I want to experiment with adding some to green pea flour for "instant" backpacking food. I think it should work pretty well. Only one way to find out...
Thursday, 06 December 2007
Yesterday I was reading an article on the NY Times about Hanukkah recipes, and
decided to whip up some latkes for dinner, since even picky eater girl loves a
good latke. I grated a couple of sweet potatoes, salt, pepper and cinnamon
(Vietnamese cassia) and mixed with 3 eggs and maybe 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.
They fried up beautifully on the cast iron griddle, and were a big hit as
usual. I like the sweet potato better than standard for these, as they are
easier to cook and the sweetness works well with the cottage
Anyway, I had hit upon this plan relatively early in the day,
and was wondering what to make to go with them, when I remembered the forlorn
can of pickled beets in my pantry at home. Borscht! Vikki favors a good cold
borscht, so I made it so. I tossed two small diced yellow Finn potatoes and
about 5 cloves of garlic into 3 or so cups of chicken broth, and cooked until
the potato was soft, then cooled it down with ice. When it was cool I added the
juice from the pickled beets, as well as the beets themselves (chopped), salt,
pepper and the juice of one lemon, as well as about 4 more cloves chopped raw
garlic, and some fresh dill. To serve, I added some sour cream (low fat) and
some homemade sauerkraut which was very chunky and crunchy. I'll definitely be
doing this one again. It was fantastic. Sweet, sour, crunchy, beety goodness
with just enough bite from the garlic. When we were first married, we lived up
stairs from a nice Russian lady who really liked Vikki and was always bringing
her food. This was a lot like I remember her cold borscht, only hers was
clear. I used Pacific Foods organic chicken broth which was not clear, and I'm
not much for the skimming. But the flavor was pretty close, I think. If only I
could find some good dark rye...
Tuesday, 04 December 2007
I love leftovers. There are an infinite range of possibilities for reusing stuff. I surveyed the fridge last night, and decided to kill two leftover birds with one stone. I took the last of the kahlua pork and some leftover greens cooked in coconut milk and used them to stuff enchiladas. I drained the greens, and filled each enchilada with some pork and greens, rolled them up, and topped them with some Tex-Mex style red chile gravy. Basically instead of the New Mexico style red chile and water enchilada sauce, this is more like standard gravy (begun with a roux and everything) with lots of red chile, cumin and garlic. To top it off I (or rather the 9 year old) grated a bit of Tillamook extra-vintage white cheddar, which proved just the thing. 30 minutes at 350° and all was good. They were a bit hit, and I'll definitely be playing with the chile gravy some more. It would be just the thing for a good CFS.
Monday, 03 December 2007
I had some leftover kahlua pork, so decided to try some kahlua pig and cabbage, which is basically just that. Leftover pork with cabbage and onions in a little chicken broth. Very easy, a great way to stretch leftovers, and just the thing to go with kimchi. I had some from the store that was getting a little old, and yesterday I made up two big batches of napa kimchi with some nice locally grown napa cabbages I scored at Uwajimaya. Since I was in the mood I hacked up the cabbage I didn't throw in with the pork and made a batch of sauerkraut too. It's always nice to have a few crocks of something bubbling on the counter top.
I also had my first taste of full-on poi this weekend. I've cooked and mashed taro a bunch of times, but never had official poi until I found some at the store this weekend. It's certainly bland, but it went really well with the pork and cabbage, and is very filling. And supposedly it's really good for you. Plus, there's something just plain cool about purple food.
Thursday, 29 November 2007
...unless you happen to be veggie, of cource. :)
Vikki has declared a
Tiki Christmas this year, so I decided to start practicing for Christmas dinner
and made my first batch of kahlua pork last night. It worked out super well. A
while back I got gifted this "indoor BBQ" which is basically a big-ass crock pot
designed to hold ribs. That seemed like the perfect vehicle for
experimentation. I got a super-cheap pork picnic roast which came in two
pieces. I wrapped each piece in foil after slathering with a little liquid
smoke and Hawaiian red salt, then tossed in the cooker, turned on low, before I
left for work in the morning. By dinner time, the pork was completely falling
apart, just like it's supposed to be, and turned out very tasty. Served with
some rice and greens (spinach and mustard greens) cooked in coconut milk with
some totatoes and Hawaiian salt. Mmmm. The only thing that would have made it
better is if I'd had some ti leaves lying around. You are supposed to wrap the
pork in ti leaves before the foil, but Uwajimaya is far from here, and I had to
make do without.
For XMas, I'm thinking of applying the same principle
to a turkey instead of pork (since it's Christmas, after all) with maybe some
mashed taro and sweet potatoes with pineapple. And maybe the same greens but
made with taro leaves (which are super good, and available at Uwajimaya) instead
of the supermarket greens. Hmmm. I'll need to come up with some genre
appropriate dessert too. Possibly involving coconut. The flaming bananas
Foster with coconut icecream at the Luau the other day was pretty awesome...
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Last weekend I made some Viking-style snacks for another SCA vigil, and tried some new stuff this time. I made a big batch of skyr, and needed to make use of it, so I mixed some skyr with honey, then added some little dried prunes and hazelnuts fried in butter. This worked out really nicely, and includes ingredients common in the archeological record. It was quite good with the barley flat bread. I'm thinking it would be even better filling the barley pancakes. Hmm.
The other new one was some oatcakes, which were just butter, honey, oatflour and rolled oats (and maybe a bit too much salt). Baked until cookie like. They were a lot like simple (salty) oatmeal cookies. Good with herring.
Thursday, 05 July 2007
I just got a copy of the recently released
Sippin' Safari: In Search of the Great "Lost" Tropical Drink Recipes... and the People Behind Them
and it's proving to be quite an excellent book. Jeff "Beachbum" Berry has authored three previous books on Tiki drinks ( Beachbum Berry's Grog Log, Beachbum Berry's Intoxica!, and Beachbum Berry's Taboo Table) and the food that goes with them, and this is his finest work to date.
In his quest to recover the lost art of the faux tropical drink, he's done a truly amazing amount of legwork and research. Sippin' Safari is as much a work of history as it is a drink book. Mr. Berry tracked down an interviewed a number of famous (in the right circles) waiters and bartenders from the old tiki bars and gotten their recipes first hand, doing some detective work along the way. There's a whole chapter on tracking down the Zombie recipe (which I still haven't tried, as it takes a bit of prep), tracking down leads and referencing a copy of a 1937 bartenders notebook. Cool stuff, both from the tiki and research perspectives.
The book is filled with pictures of classic tiki bars, old drink menus, the bartenders and their families, and other interesting details surrounding the original 30s-70's tiki scene.
If you are into tiki, history, or both, this is well worth the read.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
being a recently converted Tiki enthusiast, I've been experimenting with a number of fine Tiki drinks, including the Mai Tai. It's hard to go too wrong with a decently made Mai Tai, but there's still room for both error and improvement. After checking out some of the advice on Tiki Central, last night I tried one with fresh Key lime juice (instead of fresh Meyer lime) and homemade Orgeat (made to this recipe) instead of the commercial Torani stuff. The improvement was quite noticeable, and even Vikki liked it (she's not generally a Mai Tai fan). The Key lime juice was sweeter, and less bitter, and the homemade Orgeat was less sweet, and not so artificially almondy. So altogether:
2 oz. Appleton Estate Jamaican rum
1.5 oz. Key lime juice
.75 oz. Bols Curacao (the only brand I could find)
.5 oz. orgeat
.5 Malibu coconut rum (not traditional, perhaps, but a very nice addition)
Thursday, 21 June 2007
I hit on a winner last night. Even the picky girl liked it. She went back for thirds, even, which pretty much never happens with her unless dinner consists of mac & cheese or snickers bars.
On a large piece on tinfoil, I laid down a thick layer of baby spinach leaves, and on top of that sliced tomato.
Next came a couple of mahi mahi fillets from Trader Joe's (where the prices for frozen fish are super-reasonable). On top of the fish I sprinkled some red Hawaiian salt, and about half a can of thick coconut milk. Chopped onions over the whole thing.
Sealed it up in foil, and baked at 375° for around 40 minutes. After it came out of the oven, I topped it with sliced avocado. Served up with some fried rice with Chinese sausage and sugar snap peas.
Totally a meal I'd do again, especially after the kid's reaction.
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