Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A recipe from the archives and stuff that you probably don't care about


This is my old kitchen in California. You probably can see that we had been entertaining. We don't use that many dishes by ourselves. I miss this kitchen even though it isn't half as good as the kitchen I have now. I loved this kitchen because it was the epicenter for our whole living space.

Home home home

I could stand at the stove and see this.


I miss my small (way smaller than now) vegetable garden where the vegetables really grew and didn't wither and die because it was either torrential rain in the summer or sweltering hot.


I miss cooking for my family (Hi Annie, I miss you)


I miss thinking it was cool when it hailed. I had never seen 5 feet of snow and I wasn't missing anything there.


I miss my old backyard.


I miss my old backyard.

I miss my chair in the corner.

2020 Pacific

I just miss the house all together. Although it was not a very comfortable house at all. It was 1300 sq feet AND it didn't have ONE closet.

Evan at graduation

I miss my family (Hi Ev)

thanksgiving 008

I miss Lily. She was our first Saint Bernard. She died on the way out to our new home (which isn't new anymore).


I miss my old Yarn Shop. Uh, wait...no I don't.

my girl

I really miss Lily.

carniverous plants

I miss my carniverous plants. Ok, maybe I should stop here. It may be going a little overboard.

One more one more...


I miss my miniature cow.


So this is what we had for dinner last night. I can't talk about the Headcheese and going to go get pig heads. Ok, I can tell you that we went and got a pig head this last weekend, but that is all I can tell you.


We have been eating healthy salmon and beans and chard. Whoo Hoo!


Will make my mother happy but makes for some pretty boring blogging.


There may have been a "Steak sighting" this weekend as well.


So it is time for "From Out of the Archives". I pulled out a recipe from my collection from the 80's. I think I am going to give it a try tonight because I don't even remember it.

Chickpea-Lemon Chicken Stew

1 whole chicken
3tbsp veg oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp eah salt and pepper
1-2 qts chicken stock
1- 15oz cn chickpeas
Juice of 2 lemons

Truss chicken. In dutch oven heat oil to med-high. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add 1 tsp turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook 1 more minute. Rub chicken w/remaining turmeric. Add chicken to the pot and sear on all sides until golden yellow. Add enough stock to cover chicken. Add chickpeas and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 1.5 hours.

NOTE: I don't know where I got this because it is in my writing. I am pretty sure I have never tried it. I am going to use 2 cans of chickpeas because 1 can seems like it will get lost. Wish me luck. I will let you know.


I miss my family.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

A little bit of this and that and a Goat Cheese surprise


Most Fridays after work I go visit two farms that I buy my vegetables and meat from. One is Spring Dell Farm which sells about anything you could want. The other Spring Brook Farm also has vegetables and meat but the store is filled with antiques and adorable stuff which usually distracts me way too much. I like the diary items at Spring Brook. I also belong to this farm. Next year I am going with Spring Dell. Anyhow, on this Friday I got some just picked vegetables and I couldn't resist baby onions for the grill. I also scored a Tri-Tip which isn't easy to find in these parts. They know I am from California when I ask for it.


This was our dinner on Saturday night. Nothing fancy on the Tri-Tip. Just the Santa Maria type stuff.


Ms. Dog was not getting her hopes up that we would share.


The next morning we were on a BBQ mission. We were smoking a turkey breast for lunches, a pork butt for pulled pork for Matt, Margie, and Sam; and bacon. We were all out of bacon. This bacon had been soaked in Jim Beam for 3 days and then cured. It was ready for the smoker.


I started some homemade hamburger buns for the pulled pork.


I started making an appetizer because it needed to sit in the refrig. I chose this one because it is a favorite and also because I figured it was good for the Goaterie Month that I have been taking part in. This is a recipe that a friend posted on rec.food.cooking (which for you youngins was a newsgroup on Usenet. This was before the Internets). Susan Hattie Steinsapir wrote this recipe. Susan could always make me laugh with her sharp tongue and her sense of humor. Susan passed away in 1996. It was a great loss to the universe. This always goes over big at parties and I can't tell you how many times I have made it.


There is nothing tricky about it. I even used store bought pesto this time around (I shouldn't have because I didn't end up liking it but oh well)


Hattie's Goat Cheese Torta with Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes is my secret weapon for when I don't know what else to do.


Meantime hamburger buns were done.


Bacon came out of the smoker and smelled amazing.


Torta was served after we swam for a few hours.

We waited and waited for the pork to be done for our pulled pork sandwiches. It took longer than expected. It also did not come out as "fall apart" as I would have liked. It still tasted great though (I love you Dr. Food and you did a good job. You can't help it if the meat doesn't fall apart. You did everything right. I am not dissing your pork. Oops, that doesn't sound good.)


Finally it was done! Matts expressive hands in the shot once again (look at the finesse. Only professional hand modelers can do this so do not try it in your own home)

Ok, so once again I didn't get shots of the finished pulled pork sandwich. Oh well. I don't get paid for this you know.


She never judges me...

Hattie's Goat Cheese Torta with Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Susan Hattie Steinsapir

6 oz goat cheese
4 oz cream cheese
Garlic, peeled, smushed, and chopped (I usually put in lots and more, at least 8 cloves. It's up to you.)
1/2 cup pesto (at least)
1/2 cup chopped up fine oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, including 1 - 2 tsp of the marinade
Decorate with fresh herbs, such as branches of thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and sliced baguettes.
Mix goat cheese and cream cheese, add the garlic. Check the taste. Add salt and black pepper if you want.

Line a small glass bowl (about 2 - 3 cups) with plastic wrap. Put about 1/3 of the goat cheese mix into the bowl. Top this with the pesto. Put another 1/3 of the goat cheese mix on top of this. Put the sundried tomatoes on this. Top with the rest of the cheese. Put plastic wrap over the top of this. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to four days.

To serve, invert bowl on a serving dish. Carefully remove the plastic wrap. Serve with baguettes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Geoduck walks into a bar...


I have to say that sometimes even *I* think I have gone off the deep end. So when the Nudie Foodies site mentioned winning a Geoduck I raised my hand. What was I thinking? I was thinking that it would be fun to have a Geoduck delivered to me in the mail. I was thinking that maybe they tasted good. I was thinking that it would be a hysterical picture of me holding this really obscene looking mollusk. Maybe I wasn't thinking at all.

So imagine my surprise when Salty Seattle wrote me to tell me that *I* had won. I have to say that I was in shock. I didn't really expect to win it. So, now to break the news to Dr. Food.

Me: "Honey, I won a Geoduck and I sorta have to pose with it for a picture and cook something with it"

Dr Food: Oh, I could tell you had something to tell me. THAT was it?

Me: Yep. I am sorry.

So, the Geoduck arrived. My heart started beating faster, my palms got sweaty, I tweeted to my seafood peeps about my new acquisition. I searched the internet for recipes. I thought of poses that wouldn't make my family disown me if they ever saw the picture of me with the Geoduck. I thought of pictures that would not get me fired from my job. I started to worry. I am old. I really shouldn't be doing this. Then something came to mind. Something that I always think of when I think "I shouldn't do that"... why not? Why not have fun? Why not keep an open mind and trying something new?

Ok, so the geoduck arrived and I ripped open the box. Inside was a well wraped geoduck. I unwrapped and this is what I found.


It didn't take long to think that maybe I was out of my league. Self doubt started taking over and I had to talk myself down:

Inside Me: You are a complete idiot. What made you do this? Are you so needy that you have to resort to Geoducks for attention?

Outside Me: Shut up shut up shut up {fingers in ears}

Inside Me: You idiot, you can still hear me because I am the inside of your brain. What made you do this?

Outside Me: I dunno, I am an idiot.


So, this in no way is my fault that this Mollusk looks like this. Hell, I have handled many disgusting things up until now and haven't been embarrassed to share. This one was a bit rough.


So the moment of truth came when I decided to start cutting Mr Geo up for dinner. First words out of my mouth to Dr Food were "Honey, can you make me a Manhattan?"

(some images my appear smaller than in real life)

I started to follow the instructions that I found on the Internet. My pal on Twitter (Thanks Jon) tried to talk me through it. Also I want to stop here and thank my new BFF Marx Foods for giving me my new friend "Geo". Justin you are the best! You really are. Last but not least I love you Linda. You always make me laugh. You are the Saltiest. I mean that in a loving way.


So the instructions were to cut away shell on either side of the um..."Siphon thingy" This was easy to do.


Ooops blurry there. Taking pictures was the least of my problems or maybe it was the "liquid courage" that made for a blurry snapshot.


I loved how this looked. I kept saying to Dr. Food "Is it edible"? He kept saying "Don't know". I kept saying "You think we should eat it"? He kept saying "I don't know". I finally stuck me finger in it and when green bile came out I took that as my answer.


So here we had the meat. BUT WAIT! There is more...


We dunked in hot water for 10 seconds and then ice water so that the um...cover thingy, skin? came off.


This is what we had to work with.


To my complete surprise this piece of seafood amazed me. It had the sweetest most clean ocean smell that I have ever smelled in seafood. Floods of emotion from memories flashing through my head. Made me practically tear up. I am being completely serious here. You see, the beach was a huge part of my life. So was fishing with my family and well, lots of things. Ok, didn't mean to get emotional and all serious. Afterall we are talking about seafood that looks like a penis.


This is what it came down to. I was off and running and ready to cook. At this point I was excited to be eating this. I was told that the siphon could be eaten as sashimi (known as mirugai in sushi bars). I would have had no problem with that but Dr. Food and I decided that it might be best to try this in a sushi bar).


So out into the garden for a little thyme.


Just call me "Edward Potato Hands" I grate potatoes at lightening speed.


Mixed with green onions and some horseradish, dijon mustard, sour cream.


Brown it up and there you have it. Geoduck Hash. It was amazing. It makes me crave another Geoduck. Maybe if I do something else obnoxious and crazy someone will give me another one. It is my new favorite food.


The recipe that I decided to make wasn't something that I created. I didn't want to mess around with an ingredient that was so "special" and that I didn't know what it taste like. I kept it simple for my first experience.

and finally...

To Annie: I am sorry that I sent you that picture of me with the Geoduck. Mommy didn't mean to scar you for life. I didn't post it.

Geoduck Hash

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1 t. dried thyme
1 1/2 cups coarsely ground geoduck meat
1 cup sliced green onions, including some of the green
1/2 cup mixed chopped bell peppers
3 cups peeled, coarsely grated russet potatoes
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Slivered green onion, minced cilantro and lemon wedges, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, mustard, horseradish, salt and pepper, lemon zest and thyme; mix until evenly combined.
2. Add clams, green onions, bell pepper and potatoes. Stir mixture until all ingredients are lightly coated with the sour cream mixture.
3. Add the olive oil to a heated, large nonstick skillet. Add the hash to the pan, cover and cook over med. heat for 7-10 min, or until hash begins to brown on the bottom.
4. Turn it over. Cook, uncovered, on the second side until browned on the bottom, 5-7 min.
5. Turn hash out onto serving platter, garnish with minced cilantro and slivers of onion and put lemon wedges around edge.
Ashley's Recommendations: You can make smaller individual hash cakes also, which are easier to flip and serve.

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