I'm in limbo trying to get ready to leave for Tex . Johnny's boy in hosp, and trying to leave by next Wed . . May have to just go by Lindas house to pick up fall plants to put out on the coast . The boy will be ok . Just going to have to make up his mind to take better care of his diabetic diet .
A big pot of chili sounds good , or a big pan of sausage and jalapeno cornbread . Meal in one .
Tam: Trust me, it's fabulous! I had exceptionally good organic smoked bacon, which I think added a LOT.
Butternut Squash Chowder
From the Abingdon Farmer’s Market near me, when a culinary school had a booth...
1/2 pound smoked bacon, diced small
1/2 cup onion, diced small
2 tablespoons garlic peeled and minced
1/2 cup celery. Diced small
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced medium
1/2 cup flour
1 bay leaf
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced medium
1 cup sweet potatoes peeled and diced medium
3 cups chicken stock (I used canned chicken broth)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauce pot with 1 tablespoon of oil, render the bacon on low heat until crispy.
Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic bay leaf and sweat for 5-10 minutes. Do not brown vegetables.
Season with salt and pepper. Add flour to make the roux, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add squash, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers and thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes or until squash and sweet potatoes are tender. Use a stick blender and mash about half the vegetables for a creamier soup, optional.
Add heavy cream and simmer for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Variations: You can add corn, shellfish, tomatoes or any other vegetable you like. (I wouldn’t… it’s fabulous as it is!)
That butternut squash chowder looks really good. Tam, would you like my recipe for squash and mushroom lasagne? I made it once and it was wonderful; I'll make it again this winter. We served it as a main dish when we had another couple over, had it once ourselves, and brought the leftovers to a friend's house as a side dish.
Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Lasagna
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds assorted mushrooms (chanterelle, oyster, shiitake, portobello), coarsely chopped into small pieces
-- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons minced parsley
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf
2 sage leaves
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup reserved porcini soaking liquid
-- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cups 1/2-inch diced butternut squash
1/2 cup fruity white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
-- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound fresh pasta sheets, boiled for 2-3 minutes if package requires
11/3 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-- Fried sage leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the mushrooms: In a small bowl, cover the porcinis with 3/4 cup hot water. Let soak for about 15 minutes, then strain, reserving 1/2 cup of the porcini liquid for the bechamel. Chop the porcinis and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil until hot but not smoking, and add the garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant, then add half of the mushroom mixture, including the porcinis. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are softened and slightly browned. Season to taste and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms, then add to the reserved mushrooms and mix well. Add the parsley, toss to combine, and set aside.
For the bechamel: in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk with the garlic, bay leaf and sage leaves until just about to boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for about 20 minutes, to infuse the milk.
After the milk has been sitting for about 15 minutes, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the flour all at once. Whisk for about 3 minutes, until the flour is completely combined with the butter. Pour the milk through a strainer into the roux, add the porcini liquid and heat the sauce slowly, letting it simmer and whisking often, until the sauce has thickened, about 20-25 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and set aside.
For the squash: In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and the squash all at once and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and the squash is starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and let cook until completely evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. If at this point, the squash is still not cooked, add 1/2 cup of warm water and cook until evaporated and squash is softened, repeating as necessary. Season to taste and stir in the minced sage. Set aside.
For assembly: Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup bechamel in the bottom of the dish and spread evenly. Cover with pasta sheets, cutting as necessary so that 1 layer of pasta fits uniformly. Pour another 1/2 cup of bechamel, then layer with 3/4 cup of the mushroom mixture and 1 cup of the squash mixture. Sprinkle over 1/3 cup of the Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Repeat two more times the exact same way, then cover with another layer of pasta. Spread the remaining bechamel over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.
Cover loosely with foil, and cook in the 350° oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook until bubbly and golden, about 15-20 minutes more.
Let stand for about 15-20 minutes before serving.
For a more festive look, garnish with fried sage leaves. (You can use uncooked sage leaves and add them during the last 15-20 minutes of baking.)
Per serving: 460 calories, 19 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 23 g fat (10 g saturated), 81 mg cholesterol, 295 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.
Course: Main Dish
Yields: Serves 8-10
Hi everyone. I'm a lurker here from time to time. Darius, I think I'll have to try that butternut squash chowder one of these days. Sounds delish! This summer I made summer squash and corn chowder several times, so this will be something for the fall and winter season.
Hi, Martha... glad to see you here! I am actually thinking to make that butternut chowder for our Thanksgiving get-together. I made a cheddar corn chowder for the RU this summer and it seemed to go over well.
I'm back and it's good to be here. Been trying to catch up on the threads. This year was a difficult fast. Still a bit woozy. I think I didn't drink enough water going into the fast on Tuesday and I was too sick to eat much of anything by sundown Wednesday. I'm feeling so much better now but thought I was going to pass out during services yesterday afternoon. After being in synagogue and starting the fast the night before last, and there all day yesterday, we did not break fast until sundown.
We have brisket that was made pre-holiday and will be eating some tonight. I am still not very hungry.
I haven't fasted since I was a teenager; it's too hard for me to go without food. Sounds like it didn't work very well for you this year, Laurel; sorry to hear about that!
We are heading for France for about three weeks shortly, so we're up to our eyeballs in last minute chores and preparations! So much to do to get the place ready for the fall and winter before we leave. We'll have someone there taking care of things, but we can't expect them to deal with any major crises so we're trying to crisis-proof the place as much as possible! We pulled the docks and boat in, DH has made his fall wine, and we butchered 18 cockerels the other day. We had planned to leave them in with the rest of the chickens while we were away so they'd put on an extra one or two pounds, but we discovered that they were piling up just inside the automatic door and were forcing some of the hens to stay outside overnight, so they had to go.
I made braciole with brown gravy and egg noodles last night; haven't felt like any real gourmet efforts with everything else that needs to be done!
Don't feel guilty G G . It's take out or snacks the last few days before our trip for the winter . When I get the kitchen cleaned and all the dry groceries packed , don't even think of dragging something out to eat .By the time I get the plants wintered in , packed , things I'm taking to leave there , fridge cleaned out , freezer food separated to carry or to leave (last minute job ), dogs bathed ,then I can sit back and let him pack into cargo trailer .Who's cooking ? Not Me .
End of this month, Laurel. We're visiting two sets of friends and I'm bringing pharmaceuticals and goodies from King Arthur for one, and a pepperoni and some other stuff for another. It usually takes us several days to decompress once we get there, though; there's so much work involved in getting the place ready, like Digger says, and ours is only for a few weeks!
My tomatoes have succumbed to early blight, all except the currant type and some volunteers. We still have peppers but not that many.
G G , we're down to leaving for sure next Wed morning . I have to stop by my mothers grave for a visit , in Farmerville La . Probably Thursday afternoon . That will put us in Houston sometime Fri . It might be best to leave the plants on the porch . We have our numbers to keep in touch . If I see it's Sat , I'll call in time to see if you'll be around .
This has been a real hassle the last three weeks . So easy to come through Mobile . I also have a sister I haven't talked to in 22 years , I doubt if she will make the trip from N Little Rock to see me , but am trying to play it cool . Just bear with me , please . I sure would like to see you all . If all else fails , we might be able to make a trip to Houston when the pecan harvest comes in . Kill two birds with one stone . I'll give you a call sometime Friday to see if we can touch base , love to see you , and Johnny wants a hug .
dinner tonight: SIL is meat (DD doesn't do cooking VP for ATT and works late) making grilled chicken breast.
I am Vegetable: Potatoe slalad, no mayo. Garnished with scallions. I don't incorporate fresh onions when I know there will be left over as the onion is not a good choice for 2nd day. And fresh string beans in Tomato
(we still get fresh at the farm) and canned garbanzola. They love this combo. Make salad with this combo too.
tidbit: we get 'Ramapo Tomato" at one of the farmers stands. it is so delicious.
It was introduced by Rutgers University as the perfect NJ Tomato.And it is.
However it moved away from the sommercial growing window, but interest is rekindled through Rutgers efforts and perhaps it will show up in many supermarkets????Somehow I remember reading that the seeds were actually brought back from Israel and regrowing has started..
I gorged on several BLT sandwiches for dinner. It hit me that the last tomatoes are coming off the vine so it'll be a long wait for my next one. I love the Kellogs Breakfast tomato. Delicous, prolific and tough. The bacon was from a local meat processor who makes wonderful lean (for bacon) nitrate free bacon.
Tam, I think there's no such thing as "nitrate-free bacon"... most processors that claim nitrate-free use celery juice instead, which is high in nitrates (and of varying/unknown amounts of nitrates depending on the celery).
I cure my own bacon, and prefer to use the commercial "pink salt" because it has a known (measured) amount of nitrate. Besides, nitrates are found in most of all the veggies we eat!
ps, I'm NOT trying to start an argument, LOL, just voicing my opinion. BLT's sound good with either choice of bacon!
Oh no! I did not know that Darius! I'll have to investigate. I've read that nitrates are now thought to play a part in Alzheimer's. As it breaker down the blood/brain barrier to allow deleterious chemicals into the brain. And Alzheimer's runs in my family. At least I don't have it often!
Actually, any bacon that is not cured is nitrate free. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods carry uncured bacon. Does it taste like "bacon"? No, bit it is nitrate free. If you otherwise don't have cured meats as your primary protein source I don't see the issue with nitrates. As Darius says, they are a part of the food we ingest. Now that we have all learned recently that the rice we eat may contain high levels of arsenic are we giving up rice? We'll also have to give up apples and other fruits/veggies with a propensity to take up arsenic from the soil.
We had a veggie soup made with saved beef stock(s) last night. One of the stocks contained smoked meat so the flavor was fantastic. Even though we know smoking is carcinogenic we love to live on the edge. :>) There was grilled corn, garden mustard, soybeans and other interesting goodies, both fresh and freezer ferreted, contained within. I also cooked a huge batch of short grain brown rice earlier in the day and made a mound of rice in the middle of each soup bowl before adding soup. I've got lots of brow rice to use during the week. Tonight we are having homemade pizzas and a Greek salad.
my Sister in law still has a old old fridge converted in a smoker and this bacon from this contraption is nitrate free and very flavorfull as she uses garlic in the brining part of ham/beacon. also smoles homemade hungarian sausage...OMG I am time dating myself - I am ANCIENT
Interestingly, it appears uncured is the same deal Laurel. Found a few citations including a Cook's Illustrated article from 2010.
But I also found in my quick research (as in 30min at most) vegetables contain nitrates as well. There is probably a difference between nitrates in veggies vs what we get in processed & cured meats but that's for another day. :-)
I am going to try fermenting garlic. I'll try it in humus I think.
Dinner for us was a ny strip cooked by a chef on a 1400 btu flame. It was extremely tasty. The fact we walked most of 5th avenue and crisscrossed the southern half of central park might have made the food taste wonderful, too. Tomorrow we will visit wall street and the 911 memorial then catch a broadway show.
Terry, sounds like you girls are having lots of fun despite the weather. Eating NY strips while in NY is, well, so NY (though you could have eaten Delmonicos). You could even eat Delmonicos at Delmonicos.
Helene, I told SO about the fridge smoker which led to reminiscing when fisheries would smoke marlin, etc. dockside on Miami beach/S. Miami. Well to clarify what you meant about "dating myself", it was when fridges were all metal. Since I recall, it must date me as well. I recall that was around the time I had pet trilobites.
We are dining on previously made and frozen empanadas topped with fresh tomato sauce and cotija cheese, a chopped salad and sauteed Mexican zucchini. I can't tell a difference in their flavor but they are often less expensive at our market. They are shorter and fatter than regular zucchini. The theme here is to winnow down the larder(s) before Thanksgiving though we are strongly weighing going to D.C. for the holiday.
Pork shoulders were $1.19 a lb this week at Kroger. An 11 pounder landed in my basket. I trimmed out the fat while butchering four pounds from the blade for lean sausage. Ground and made sixteen, Southern style, breakfast sausage, 1/4 pound patties (that's too many adjectives, I know but I eliminated the "large" lol). We eat them one at a time with big salads, either on giant homemade biscuits or tortas, for dinner so that's eight meals. The remaining butt got messaged with salt, pepper, garden oregano, cumin, garden garlic and chipotle in adobo and spent the night in the crockpot. I woke at 1:30 a.m. to unbelievable aromas wafting up the staircase. The crockpot contents got packaged into four containers for pulled pork burritos. Three went to the freezer.
We had cheeses and artisinal bread, garden tomatoes and pickled beans and cucumbers with olives last night. I'm making carne asada con papas tonight. We won't eat since we had Thai for lunch but I had to cook the meat. I had yellow curry and coconut milk vegetables and SO had Panang curry chicken.
I used red lentils for the squash, chicken pea lentil stew I made a week or two ago and green lentils for the squash & lentil stew today. Like Celene, I've never met a lentil I didn't like. I actually had never really eaten them before a couple years ago.
Hopefully you'll recuperate and enjoy some healthier fare soon Celene!
We love all sorts of lentils and pulses. I prefer the ones that maintain some shape, like brown or green, unless eating them for starters or sides like hummus. I have trouble making a main course out of split pulses that become homogenous.
I had spaghetti squash with a ground beef / spaghetti sauce. Not bad. A side of steamed broccoli. I'm trying to get off wheat since reading about "Wheat Belly" written by a cardiologist.
I woudn't swear his theory and research is dead-on, but I CAN say I haven't had any leg cramps at night since I gave up wheat 2 weeks ago. Leg cramps are not even addressed in most of the reports/studies, it's just something I have noticed. Plus, I have lost 6 pounds, which is nice but not nearly enough!
Darius - I love spaghetti squash with sauce! I feel like I can eat as much as I want and know its just all goodness.
And now I know pulses are the "seeds" from legumous plants. Thanks Laurel. I have tahini but have not made hummus in ages. May try a few variants and set up a tasting with some friends. Any excuse to get together is a good one in my book. :-)
Susan - I hope you have some fun planned for your BD tomorrow!
I am off to Maypop shortly. Time to start winterizing. Need to finish house chores here first. We will have two sausages on tortas and a salad for a quick dinner tonight.
Tam, any of the split dals (lentils, peas or beans) where the outer hull is removed are considered pulses. Yellow or red split lentils make a great hummus-type spread. You can experiment with adding a tad of coconut milk, lime or lemon grass and curry powder. You can use ground toasted almonds instead of tahini here.
Made it to Maypop but we have a first here. SO left the weekend's food sitting on the garage floor. Two cooler bags worth. We are in separate corners right now. There's plenty of food in storage but the thought of the throw away is aggravating. Dinner will now be linguini and home canned meat sauce. There are tons of Marconi peppers in every stage in the garden and the onions were packed separately. I've got an array of olives, carrots and celery along with refrigerator cucumber pickles for a fresh veggie.
Roasted a couple buckets of Anaheims and some sweet red peppers yesterday, roasted "tag-end" of the ripe tomatoes today, looking for some box flats or lids to spread out green tomatoes in the garage. One more bucket tonight of peppers. Supper will be a couple of small eggplants as eggplant parm, tomato sauce on it and some broccoli. We hauled in all the planters we want to rescue, frost tonight, 26 degrees tomorrow night. We'll see how the late planting of cabbage and broccoli plants fare, but for the most part garden is done for the year.
Are y'all getting a cold snap in Kansas? It looked like you might on the snippet of national news I caught a couple nights ago. We are sitting down for a couple minutes after a day in soho, and a trip up to the empire state observatory. Then we will be making our way to the theater district for an 8 show of Mamma Mia. Our mid afternoon cupcake break will have to hold us until after the show. I dragged Swimmer Girl thru Sur la table today. Only fair since I traipsed thru boutiques and Bloomingdales with her, right? Tomorrow we head home. Surely I will remember how to operate a stove and coffee maker when we get back :-)
How did you know? B&J's "Everything But The...". Hmm. Actually the curry was so simple and satisfying. It was chock full of fresh veggies and just a tad of chicken. Some might object to that small amount of meat. Indian curries often include potatoes, peas, garbanzos or lentils. This had no starchy veggies, just the jasmine rice mold in the center. I can still taste the lemon grass note.
I spent two days hauling furniture, etc. from our bedroom and was up at five to get an early start on cleaning the carpets. It took all morning. We left for Maypop when that chore was finished. The house was so cold when we arrived, I opened all the doors to warm the house and bundled up. It will be nice to have a fire tonight.
A veggie chowder (corn, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms) is under way. Maybe we'll have cups of soup and sandwiches or maybe a big bowl topped with cheese and corn chips.
We've been eating leftovers all week. I stuffed 15 peppers from the garden and should do another batch but Dh says we have enough. The freezer is full of roasted peppers. I hate throwing out good food!
Baked apple with honey for dessert was wonderful!
The local food pantry
The local soup kitchen
Boys and Girls Clubs
After school programs
Wherever the homeless huddle
Day care programs
The trash can...
gymgirl - were those suggestions for my excess peppers? I may just slice them up and fry them with onions and freeze. Its a good 40min drive to the food bank (ea way) & I work fulltime. I wish they were closer!
I dug my Belgian endive roots today and prep'd them for storage. About Dec. I'll pull out a few at a time into the light and have fresh Belgian endive in 3-4 weeks. I didn't plant many, as this is a trial, but if all 15 roots grow, I'll have endive for several winter months.
Today is my favorite handy guy's birthday. He spent the day trying to figure out why we have little water at the cottage. Such a special man. The spring is fine, as is the cistern (holding tank). He replaced a gunked-up switch on the pressure tank up at the house. Lowes is not exactly around the corner here. Everything is good but still we can't get water for more than a few minutes. It's definitely a break in the line. We turn the water on for a few minutes to do dishes and flush toilets and then turn of the pump so we don't burn it out. The water line runs several hundred yards down to the spring. He found a wet spot but can't locate the water line after digging a five foot long trench, two feet deep. All this on that bad hip. Must be kismet that he had a steroid injection this past week (fortunately not one from those bad batches). I had a special b'day dinner planned. Given the situation we are going here and probably having catfish. http://www.hawgwildbbq.com/hawgwildbbq/menu.html
Here, you can't give prepackaged food to shelters or pantries. Isn't that absurd? I know why...adulterated food. I don't know what kind of monster would do that, but clearly it's necessary to prevent it.
I bring a basket of leftovers and leave it on the counter at work, they generally go home with someone.
I used to do that Celene but I work at home now and my colleagues are in Ca. I tried leaving them on the counter here at home but there were no takers. :-)
Neighbors... only a couple we know and I'm not inclined to offer them the peppers. I offered them to a number of my friends. I will encourage my DH to drive them to the food bank tomorrow. If not, they will go to the chickens. I'm off to Pitts for a long weekend learning more about rock gardening, touring Phipps Conservatory & a nearby state park.
Laurel, I will store the roots in the dark, and when I want a few to grow, I'll transfer them to another holding container in low light. I may need tode==research that part a bit more, esp. since this is my firat attempt.
Phooee on a possible water line break. I know how frustrating hat can be...
You are such an inspiration, Celene, what with being so motivated. Or is it that you're trying to stay warm now that the weather is turning?
Water is still mostly down. Forget about getting someone out here. Hunting season has opened.
We had never tried Hawg Wild BBQ. It was pretty good. Great hush puppies. After reviewing the menu I opted for the veggie platter. SO had the catfish dinner.
I am going to attempt Brunswick stew since it is a one pot deal. I have leftover pork shoulder, home canned BBQ sauce, dry limas soaking, onions, corn and potatoes. I took one of two cast iron skillet corn breads out of the freezer to go with the stew.
Tomorrow we are making up last month's canceled date with friends at the Atlanta Fish Market.
Cool cornbread covered with a light weight cotton tea towel. If bread is made in cast iron, like mine, remove before cooling and cool on a rack. Otherwise it will taste like iron. When cool, wrap bread in plastic wrap and over wrap in heavy duty foil. Chill bread to avoid creating condensation due to difference in bread temp and freezer temp. This is important. When ready to use it is preferable to defrost overnight in fridge, especially if the weather is warm. Again, to avoid condensation. Condensation = dry interior + wet, gooey surface. Remove plastic wrap and use heavy duty foil to warm. Warm in oven 325-350 degrees about 20-25 minutes. Leave wrapped until ready to serve.
I experimented with several methods after not finding any online advice before DD's wedding weekend hoedown. Works perfectly.
This week was greens harvesting week. Lots of freezing and lots of eating. We had:
Bronzed chicken, colcannon (with kale), and corn on the cob
Pork chops cooked with a collards sauce, and parsleyed potatoes
Fish on chard with mustard sauce and tomatoes
Callaloo (a stew of pork, chard (instead of callaloo), kale, okra and habanero pepper) over rice
Caldo Verde (a stew of beef shin, kale, onions and kidney beans)
Steak with kale, tomato, potato melange
We don't usually eat this much meat in a week, but it felt like a festival... go overboard.
I made a good but simple vegetable soup last night, in a chicken stock base. The veggies were cubed acorn squash, a small can of garbanzos, a pint of tomatoes and a pack of frozen chopped spinach... all started in a bath of onions and carrots slightly cooked in a bit of olive oil. The soup needed a pan of cornbread but I was pooped.
Darius, thanks for the sympathy. I recall when you were having water issues. Not fun. We found the wet area and the line but can't find the break. Hopefully the water guy will come next Thurs. and backhoe the line. Meanwhile we made it back to Atlanta and a warm shower just in time to go out on the town.
We started last evening at the new home of friends, a thirteenth floor city condo. Quite the digs. We had wine and hors d'oeuvres and enjoyed sunset views from the balcony of both city skyline and the mountains. Instead of The Atlanta Fish Market, we ended up at restaurant Portofino. There are several small dining rooms and a large patio. The patio was jammed and noisy so we opted for a dining room. I had a short rib, pasta and veggie dish in agrodulce, new on the menu. SO had seafood and fennel stew. The male component of the toney couple seated across from us used his menu to adjust the ceiling lighting and had the sommelier running back and forth with wines to taste followed by verbose wine commentary over Perrier. He sent back his dinner after eating a healthy portion. They comped his meal. On the way out he smiled and announced to the surrounding tables that management knew them well. You bet!
The above experience has prompted me to make hot dogs for dinner. I need a humbling experience.
Let me dig around for notes. DM me so I stay on course. I'm all over the place these days.
I looked on line and then did my own thing. I made a lot for the slow roasted deli beef we did for the wedding weekend. People noticed right away that the mustard was not the usual and raved. It tastes like it's got horseradish in it without the horseradish. We still have leftovers after giving some away. I had about a cup's worth of brown mustard seed and then thought I needed more so used whatever was in the house. The mix worked out perfectly. It was about 1/3rd yellow to 2/3rds brown. It needs to spend some time in the food processor and looks watery at first but then the seeds swell, it grows and grows and thickens overnight. I'll be hard pressed to ever buy store mustard again regardless of the brand. Mutard seeds are pretty cheap at our international market. I can easily see making my own Dijon style or any other for that matter.
We are feeling very accomplished here. Up at dark-thirty and off to pick up the second of three food pick ups for redistribution this week. We stopped by the courthouse to vote on the way back and now I'm making yogurt for the week. Youngest son is supposed to stop by later for a visit. I am going to recycle some produce aka make soup. Dinner awaits inspiration. Maybe if I can see into that fridge better something will occur to me.
Some advance meal planning and cooking here in Atlanta is necessary because we still have water issues at Maypop and need to return at the end of the week. Hopefully the break will get fixed shortly. I've been unable to garden or water flower baskets there. We also can't shower. The laundry is piling up.
Linda , I use the recipe on the liquid sure gell pack . I grind seeds and all for a "bite" and use about six times the jalapenos called for .I may have a pint here , if so will bring it by in April . Hugs all ,
Meat loaf tonight .Saltwater trout last night and fish sandwiches for lunch today from leftovers .
Linda - you'll be happy to hear I used all the peppers! One had gone bad but the rest were still good. I stuffed them using my roasted tomato sauce, rice and ground beef. I'll pack 'em up for my dad. :-)
I also made a turkey, veggie & mushroom pasta with pesto. Yum!
I do make my own jalapeno jelly and habanero jelly. It's easy, and it doesn't have dayglo food coloring.
The slaw--no recipe needed. About 2 parts sliced cabbage, 2 parts julienned apple, 1 part coarsely shredded carrot, 1/2 part thinly sliced onion, 1 part sliced celery, 1 part chopped toasted pecans. Dress with: a little mayo, lemon juice, grated fresh ginger, poppy seeds. Toss with the vegetables.
I've got a pot of brown rice cooking in chicken stock and herbs. There are grilled onions, peppers, asparagus and eggplants in the fridge. I made a big batch of Madras curry powder this morning and have the fresh yogurt I made two days ago. Sounding like a curry chicken and veggie pilaf.
Chili for tonight..Got beans cooked (black, Pinto and Kidney) and ready to go into the meat and tomato mixture..Will get simmered until whenever we get ready to eat..along with pimiento & cheese sandwiches..
Gymgirl, I first learned to cook rice when I lived in a Cuban barrio (ghetto) in Miami. They boiled/steamed rice, using a piece of brown paper bag to cover the rice. No way I'd use a chemical-laden brown paper bag today!
I bought a rice cooker from a Japanese store about 40 years ago, and it's similar but not quite like the rice cooker/steamers sold today. I think it makes pretty good rice.
The pilaf ended up being more Greek than Indian. SO grilled skirt steak. I sliced it thin and added it to the top of the rice. Also added the previously grilled veggies, a bunch of garden cherry tomatoes (still getting tomatoes here) and a pint of last year's home canned tomatoes. Big drizzle of olive oil. That got baked in a paella pan until the rice had a brown crust on the bottom. I added crumbled feta and fresh cilantro leaves when it came out of the oven. We could have used some guests for dinner.
Our water man keeps delaying which is leaving us on call here in Atlanta. Very frustrating not being able to make plans day after day. He says maybe tomorrow. It's the height of fall leaf season and Octoberfest up there. The wineries do a lot of promoting and then there are the fall arts and crafts pre-holiday festivals. We are dreading having to make the trip during the weekend. The traffic is a nightmare.
A big salad is on the menu tonight. Made it first thing this morning. Maybe I'll repurpose leftovers.
I meant to report on the Einkorn pasta... Yes, a little nuttier. However one thing I did notice... the cooking pot afterwards. Y'know how pasta always leaves a slight film of starch around the pot? The Einkorn pasta had NONE.
Terry, I knew I'd bumped into some nutritional plus for celery recently. I'm not sure this mentions what I found... maybe one of those small weird things. Anyway, I'm a confident believer in the notion that EVERY natural found has something valuable for our diet, even if we haven't discovered it yet.
Darius, what do you think the lack of a starch residue indicates? Is that a plus or a minus?
LAS I agree about the nutrition in natural foods. To that end I found five pounds of popcorn in the pantry today that is so old it won't pop and decided grind some of it in the coffee mill. That didn't work out so I moved on to cooking it. Six hours later I had very starchy corn with a thick hull. Not good for soup but it had softened. On to the food processor, some salt, pepper, herbs, three eggs and ricotta cheese, then into the fridge. I am going to try the batter as an Italian style hush puppy. Hope something good comes of this because I've got about four and a half pounds of popcorn left. :>)
Mushrooms are now on the superfood list and celery gets high marks too
We're still eating left overs. I'm gonna freeze what's left tonight and cook a chicken I got today. Its a beautiful free range chicken a friend got from a farm in Lancaster county. Never frozen. Hopefully as good as it looks.
Tam, are you far from Lancaster? I will be in D.C. for Thanksgiving and am planning on going to Lancaster during my visit. It would probably be that Friday or Saturday. I do some quilting and want to check out some sources there. Also want to visit the area since it's been years.
That would be great! I'll keep you posted. Early warning...we are big huggers. First I have to get a trip to and from Miami under my belt along with hosting a meet and greet in central Florida with orchid growing DGers.
Terry...I need a DG "Ambassador At Large" T-shirt. Speak to management, will 'ya?
So...the guys who hunted on my farm got a deer each, and gave me some venison loin steaks, and some hamburger as a thank-you. I will make hamburgers grilled with some balsamic onions and mushrooms with the hamburger, I've been schooled on that already :) For the loin steaks, I want to just wrap them in applewood bacon and grill--will that be okay? Hasselback potatoes and grilled veg skewers as a side okay?? I have no idea what venison tastes like, it doesn't smell good to me, that makes it harder to figure out what might taste good alongside.
Celene, if it's not too late, I love venison steaks cooked in a very hot pan with butter, a bit of teryaki sauce, and some mushrooms. We do it fairly rare and it's very tender and flavorful that way. But DH just shoots does and then hangs them for a week, so I'm sure that helps.
We just got back from almost three weeks in France, and you can imagine the meals we had there. Lots of charcuterie, duck, crevettes, sanglier (wild boar) and so forth. Sheer heaven! We also had a great time visiting friends, going to a museum of prehistory, touring the countryside, and I took lots of pictures, some of which may end up as inspiration for paintings. We also went to a goose farm to see what gavage (feeding extra grain to geese and ducks to create foie gras) looked like, and drove to the Mediterranean to visit Port-Vendres with its lovely fishing boats, and had huge pots of moules marinière with frîtes.
A funny thing happened on the plane going back, when they handed out the menus. Choices for the plats chaud (main dish) were boulettes de dinde et de boeuf au jus (beef and turkey meatballs) or parmentier de canard (duck parmentier - it's like shepherd's pie but with duck, and I had been planning to get some at the marché in Mirepoix but the man who sells it wasn't there on when we went on Monday). A very chatty woman sitting across from us looked at her options and sneered to the people sitting next to her, "Who gets on a plane to eat DUCK?" The three of them had the meatballs.
Yes, this was Air France. I went out of my way to book through them, because as soon as you board you feel you're in France, and the food is so much better than Delta, which was the other airline we took to Paris, in 2010.
I have a great mail-order source for duck, AND duck confit, if you're interested. Maple Leaf Farms has a great deal on that.
Oh, Penzey's will put a hurt on me every time I go. There's one locally.
DH is still a little too flu-ish to want venison steaks. I made homemade chicken soup, I roasted the chicken parts early with some bones and vegetable chunks I'd frozen, then made stock while I made candles all day, when I was finished, the stock was finished and making the soup was quick after that. He spent all day directing traffic at a football game while he was sick, ugh.
Welcome home, Leslie. Bet you are full of cooking inspiration after this trip. Sounds wonderful.
Darius, we'd love for you to meet us in Lancaster as well. As for Penzey's, we have one within two miles of the Atlanta house. I went there once, when it first opened, spun around the store and walked out. Frankly, we have several international markets that sell the same things and much more at a lower cost. The turnover of the products in the mkts. is high because of our large ethnic communities so spices are really fresh. Now that Penzey's carry salts I compared and found our neighborhood Whole Foods has a better selection at lower prices too. I'm sure Penzey's fills a niche with their blends, etc., but not for me. We have Patel Bros., which is a chain (one located in Fairfax), the Buford Hgwy. Farmers Mkt., Dakalb Mkt, and Harry's, which was a farmer's mkt. bought out by Whole Foods. Our Penzeys is located next to Trader Joes, Party City, Pier One and a French bakery so I'd think they have a perfect demographic.
I buy most of my spices from the bulk jars in the natural food stores, and grow a lot of my own herbs as I'm sure most of us do. Having said that, Penzey's French Thyme is far tastier than what I grow.
I miss the luxury of all the food shopping in Atlanta! There are a few ethnic shops in Charlottesville, and in Blacksburg so I always have a list ready when I make a trip.
Laurel, I'd love to meet in Lancaster, but it's not feasible. I have a planned trip the week before for what's becoming an annual early Thanksgiving weekend in a cabin on the Parkway.
Darius, I just clipped the last of the oregano and thyme and I tie it in bundles and roll it between my hands when I need it. But if I run out, Penzey's is the nicest I've found. Especially for rosemary, because I can't overwinter a rosemary plant to save my life.
I'm doing a lot of prep cooking for the week...chicken stock/soup, getting ready to make my venison steaks, chopping a whole celery head to freeze (my CSA gave it to me, it was not the freshest and a little beaten up, but fine for soup or anything cooked), making tomato basil soup with the not-so-pretty tomatoes that I have left.
I cooked down come chicken parts for stock this morning, and put some pinto beans in to soak. I've a yen for "soup beans and cornbread"! Won't happen tonight, though. I'm tuckered out from fence paintings so supper will be something quick and easy.
I used to do that with the oregano and thyme, Celene. Now I dry them for several weeks and strip the leaves off the stems. I've found if they dry too long the stems become brittle and break with the leaves but then there are stems in the food. There seems to be a window of opportunity in getting those leaves off easily. As for rosemary, even here in the mountains I have huge rosemary shrubs. If I bend an outer branch and bury it, then anchor it with a rock, I'll have a new one in progress come spring.
I had a pound of cubed, lean trimmings from a pork shoulder. Part of the shoulder became sausage and part became two small roasts. These trimmings became soup. It's pretty chilly in them thar hills. I can't get enough soup (or tea). That's what I was going to add about Penzeys. If they also had tea I'd love it. We have tea shops here but not around the corner.
For dinner tonight I wanted to cook one of the cockerels we butchered before we went to France. So I got it out of the freezer last night and put it in an insulated container with fresh water. By morning it was thawed, and since I freeze them with salt, it was also well-brined. I cut it up and put it in the crockpot with frozen artichokes, lemon juice, Trader Joe's cream of portobello mushroom soup, some dried cèpes, garlic, rosemary, some Bénédicta creamy garlic sauce, and some chicken broth and cooked it for about seven hours, adding some chopped spinach near the end. It was really good over risotto, and the chicken was very tender.
Linda, I dry-brine, which just means that I sprinkle the chicken fairly liberally with kosher salt before freezing it in a plastic bag. Then when I thaw I just put the whole thing in an insulated cooler, in water, and it's nice and plump and ready for the oven in about 8 hours. I have friends who add spices or herbs to the salt, but I prefer to decide right before I cook it what flavorings I want to add.
Darius, the Penzey's coupons are slapped right on the outside of the cover, can't miss em Recently they offered a price reduction on their double strength vanilla. A lot of times they give samples of their blends, which I will take because I generally don't buy them and it's an opportunity to try something different. Since they list all the ingredients, it isn't hard to duplicate if you find one you like. Another good buy there is the Kosher Salt. Our supermarkets seem to stock those little one lb. containers or smaller, and if you do a fair amount of brining, it doesn't go far.
I'm always interested in how the Costcos in different communities carry different products. Our Costco carries a wide selection of imported cheeses and expands the line during the holidays. They have already brought in an extra case for cheese. We have a large Kosher foods section and the store is very stocked with specialty foods for the Jewish holidays. They have Kosher salt available in three pound boxes year around on the regular spice and condiment aisle. We also have a sizable selection of prime meats. Daughter's Costco does not have the prime meat, cheese or fish selections we have but she can get several varieties of beans in bulk. When we go to Miami we notice the store near the house has many Cuban specialties and fresh Atlantic (Florida) fish.
Morton's Canning and Pickling Salt is exactly the same as their Kosher salt (larger crystal size and no additives) just with a different package, and usually cheaper. I buy it in 4 pound boxes from a nearby Amish store, less expensive than the grocers stores. I don't see a price on the box I have open, but I'm thinking it's just a couple of bucks for a box... I think I pay more than that for their ice cream salt, which is just crappy rock salt, not food grade. (The Amish store doesn't carry it. I probably should buy a 50 pound bag from a farm store.)
Laurel, the closest Costco is in Winston-Salem. I've only been in one, and only once, and that was in Marietta on a visit years after I had moved away. I envy the selection(s) you have!
How do you use fennel seeds? I let mine go to seed this year, although I did cut a bunch of the flowers at their peak for fennel pollen. That's a new spice/herb for me.
Darius, I use fennel the way Celene does with meats but usually don't grind it. I also love the flavor and fragrance in bread and rolls, in egg dishes (like quiche). I used the flowers (pollen) this summer in a take on Waldorf salad, but instead a chicken salad, for DD's wedding weekend.
I just roasted some orange cauliflower tossed with a little olive oil, ground coriander, cardamom & cumin. The squeezed fresh lemon on it. And it was delicious! One of my favorite things. (almost as good as chocolate)
I love fennel in anything. One of my coworkers is French, she makes a country dish from Nice that has sliced fennel baked in a bechamel, it's very nice and I don't even LIKE bechamel very much. I like it sliced with apples or cabbage in slaw, sauteed lightly with a little white wine, and I use the seed in tomato sauce for pasta and spice rubs. I also love the Indian candy coated fennel seed that is a digestive/breath freshener.
I'm getting to like fennel more. Back in the Dark Ages I only had it in Italian sausage and didn't like it (could have een the sausage, not the fennel)... but tastes change. This year was the first time I grew bulbing fennel, and I like it a lot.
The dried and semi-dried seeds I'm pulling off the seed heads have a lovely fragrance.
I cut the umbels on mine and arranged them in a vase. They look nice dried and I can use them as needed.
The Grillmaster is grilling hanger steaks and I am doing something with potatoes. Probably will make rosti which was featured in this month's Saveur. Been years since I made it. Also going to saute carrots, broccoli, & onions.
Here is the article http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Rosti I confess the plan includes making this a guilty pleasure. I've got lots of fresh rosemary to use and left over applewood bacon drippings to sub for the lard. That and major meat all in one night. Might even use drippings to saute the veggies. Naughty me.