Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blog Moved

Thanks for stopping by!

I'll now be posting all food-related posts over at The Kitchen Chronicles so please come over and read there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hello Summer!


It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I'll try to resume again. I'm busy with my main blog, but am excited to start cooking with fresh produce again. We've decided to try shopping at the farmer's market this year, as opposed to a CSA (which makes me wonder if I need to rename this blog!). We'll see how it goes!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bourdain, Eat Your Heart Out

Ohmygawdyouguys. Huz made the best freaking dinner last night which was perfect, perfect I say!, for an icy wintery night. I neglected to take any pictures, as I was too busy slurping down the hot, slightly sweet, oniony, porky goodness of the stew, so here's the stock photo from epicurious for you to drool over.

As I ate this I pinned for a bacon old-fashioned, but we don't have any bacon-infused bourbon. Just my luck, when I arrived at some friend's for gamenight I was offered a bacon old-fashioned when I walked in their door! Talk about a perfect piggy-infused evening. Anthony Bourdain would have been proud (and jealous).

Speaking of piggy, I'm reading Julie Powell's (of "Julie and Julia" book and movie fame) new book "Cleaving" and it has to be one of the most difficult, yet can't-stop-reading books I've met. She's an apprentice butcher and talks at length about the not-so-niceties of animal guts, bones, fat, sinew, etc. as well as the not-so-niceties of a failing marriage and extramarital affairs (including anonymous sex - what happened to the girl I identified with so well with* in the last book?!).

*Not that I loved the last book, because I didn't, but I identified with Julie's love of food, disdain for her 9-5, and her marriage because, like Huz and I, she got married young and survived it - or at least I thought she did.

Anyway, back to the goodness of my pork dinner. Note to Tennesseans: apparently there are more perverse liquor laws here than I knew. Not only can you not buy wine in the grocery store (and then you have to buy wine and beer at separate liquor stores due to alcohol content), but you also can't buy beer (or hard cider, as the recipe calls for) before noon on a Sunday. Because God wouldn't have that. Oh, no. So, Huz subbed beer we had at home for the cider and some bourbon for the brandy.

Go forth and enjoy you some piggy!

Pork Stew with Hard Cider, Pearl Onions, and Potatoes

(From Bon Appetit, February 2010)
  • 30 1-inch-diameter pearl onions (from two 10-ounce bags)
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon (preferably applewood-smoked), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt) or boneless country ribs, external fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsnips
  • 6 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Calvados (apple brandy; optional)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 12-ounce bottle hard apple cider*
  • 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled baby red potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter), scrubbed, halved
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
Cook onions in large saucepan of boiling salted water 2 minutes; transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Peel onions; set aside.

Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until lightly browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle pork shoulder with coarse salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Working in 2 batches, add pork to same pot and cook until browned, about 7 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to large bowl. Reduce heat to medium; add shallots and parsnips. Cover pot and cook until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 teaspoons sage; stir 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup Calvados, if using; cook until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add broth, cider, reserved bacon, and pork with any accumulated juices. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pork is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Add potatoes and pearl onions to stew; cover and cook until vegetables are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Add apples; cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Spoon fat from surface of juices, if necessary. Stir butter and flour in small bowl to form paste; add to pot and whisk to blend. Stir in mustard, 2 teaspoons sage, and 1 tablespoon Calvados, if using. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Stew can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Simmer stew over medium heat to rewarm before serving.

Divide stew among bowls, sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sage, and serve.

* Alcoholic apple cider; available in the liquor department of most supermarkets and at liquor stores.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some fall dinners to make again

This "Nearly Cheeseless Pasata Casserole" was fantastic. I will definitely make it again but next time I'll either cut the squash (I used pumpkin) really small, or I'll cook them in the boiling water with the pasta the whole time, because they were undercooked. Despite this, the flavor was good, it wasn't terribly high in fat, and the contrasting textures - soft pasta and squash with the flavorful crunch of toasted almonds - was awesome.

Another dish I made this week, which also used the pumpkins we are getting from the CSA of late, was this hearty Bean and Winter Squash Mole.

Bean and Squash Mole

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

I started the day off right with the making of vegan pumpkin pancakes for my daughter who has food allergies. These were hard to flip, but tasted fantastic.

Adapted from

* 1/2 cup canned puréed pumpkin
* 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
* 1/2 cup unbleached flour
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or sprinkle cinnamon, allspice and ginger haphazardly like I did)
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 3/4 cup plain or vanilla soymilk

Combine the pumpkin with the dry ingredients.

Mix water, oil, and soymilk and add to pumpkin mixture. Beat just until smooth.

Heat griddle or frying pan and oil lightly. Use about 1/4-cup of batter for each pancake; cook until bubbles appear, then turn. Remove when pancakes are golden and slightly firm to the touch.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Simple, Fresh Dinner With An Amazing Blueberry Sorbet for Desert


The basket was ample this week, so I made an easy, farm-fresh dinner to highlight some of the components.

These zuchini and corn tacos were simple and used a lot of the squash and corn we have at hand. I used some chili powder to give it some zest and topped it with feta cheese for a good finish.

Dessert was even better. We've been purchasing blueberries for a month and have collected several large bags of them in the freezer. Wanting to try something new, even though I'm typically not a sorbet fan, I whipped up some Blueberry Basil Sorbet and was very pleased. It's delicious, fresh and has a nice herbal bite to it.


Blueberry Basil Sorbet (adapted from epicurious)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups fresh-picked blueberries, rinsed and patted dry (or frozen which eliminates the need to refrigerate for 4 hours)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TBS light corn syrup
1 TBS chopped fresh basil

In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Let cool for 15 minutes.

In a blender, purée the blueberries with the syrup, lemon juice, and basil until very smooth (you may need to divide this into several batches if your blender is not extra-large). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve for a smoother texture. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. (Unnecessary if using frozen berries.)

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Add the corn syrup during the last 2 to 3 minutes of churning. Store, tightly covered, in the freezer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bowl of Noodles

Comfort is a bowl of noodles studded with farm fresh paddy pan squash, swiss chard, bacon, onion, currents and parmasan cheese. The warm weight of the bowl in your hand soon becomes a tasteful pleasure on your tongue and then becomes a warm weight in your stomach.

I'm referring to yet another dinner made by my husband. I love him for who he is and I love him for cooking for me and our daughter.