fredrikegerman: (hat)
And with apologies to [ profile] mathhobbit for stealing her "things I make with the farmshare" title.

We had a mess of turnips and beets with their greens. What to do with all that ere it goes all wilty? Why, make a pilaf with the quinoa that [ profile] desireearmfeldt bought! It turns out quinoa makes a fantastic pilaf, and you can cook it up in a rice cooker. This is great, because I find quinoa on its own kind of oppressive.

I ran across this big bottle of dregs from my Berliner Weiße sitting in the fridge. Could I use that to deglaze a frying pan, and substitute it for broth? Why yes, yes I could.

Recipe-ish thingy )
fredrikegerman: (Default)
Yes, it's cooking time again. Today I made a particularly successful... Fettucine with mushrooms and shallots. )
fredrikegerman: (work)
Two recent recipe successes indicate (in part) the benefits of injecting a bit of umame goodness into western cooking.

For those of you who haven't been keeping track, umame is the recently-discovered fifth flavor. I don't use MSG (which triggers it), but I do think of things like Shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce---along, of course, with regular old meat---as having umame goodness. The other themes here: sauteeing leeks and using evaporated skim milk as a cream substitute.

Cream of Leek and Potato Soup )

Leek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tart )
fredrikegerman: (Default)
Updated with pictures!

Today was the latest edition of the Iron Chef contest at work. The basic format is this: two lists of ingredients are nominated, roughly savory and sweet. At 4PM the day before they are fed into a goofy Java program. Everyone gets together in a conference room, and the program is run, gradually crossing out ingredients from each list until one of each remains. The next day the contestants bring in dishes which use one or both of the ingredients. There are points for presentation, flavor, creativity, and so on.

Read more... )

The winning entry was from my old manager, who made asparagus creme brulee. Yes, it tasted of asparagus. And it was indeed yummy. Crazy stuff. Another entrant serenaded the judges with a goofy version of "Feliz Navidad" with judge-specific lyrics. Asparagus with cheese and balsamic vinegar was torched at the table (to melt the cheese without overcooking the asparagus). The white asparagus and salmon salad with caramel vinaigrette was nummy. And the asparagus and caramel sauce smoothies were just wierd.

I'm no longer iron chef! Yay!
fredrikegerman: (Default)
Round about June I posted a successful pasta sauce in which I oven-braised fennel with red wine and herbs, roasting garlic and sausage above. This gave a much better fennel flavor than cooking it in the sauce or sauteing seems to yield.

Friday I decided to give it another shot, this time with half (or more) of a farmshare cabbage. Yep, a pasta sauce with cabbage. Really, I'll do most anything to avoid making boiled dinner. And this came out pretty well.

Revised: I left out the eggplant!

The recipe )

Tried another oven-braising experiment sometime this summer, but I can't remember what I was trying to make except that it was mostly a failure. This recipe seems to turn on the layer of sausage on top, effectively basting the veggies underneath. Any suggestions of meatless methods welcomed (alternative meats, like "just use bacon" or "try ox tails", are OK too but less tricky).

Speaking of ox tails, I haven't put my Iron Chef caribbean-style oxtail and squash soup recipe up here yet, have I?
fredrikegerman: (Default)
Farm share season started this week! Huzzah! Of course, June is the Month of a thousand lettuces. I was never a big salad fan before we started doing farm share. I've mostly made my peace with it.

Ubiquitous in southern France is the salad with chevré toasts and lardons. Here's one version of our take on it.

Read more... )
fredrikegerman: (Default)
Brining (especially of pork chops) has become very fashionable these days. McGee assures us that this is because our meat is leaner than it used to be, and this helps to compensate. He also gives the proportions of salt for getting different levels of softening.

Brining usually calls for 24 hours; I did it in more like 12, but I think the pork chops I got were rather less thick than gourmet cookbooks assume. They were the thickest center-cut chops I saw at the grocery store...

Looked at a couple of recipes and realized that it involved making this really tasting looking brine which would be too salty for anything else. What to do? Cook something that doesn't mind salt, of course, then toss just the liquidy part and keep the herbs and spices!

Recipe )

Result: quite yummy. The potato doesn't get salty if you pull it out of the brine when the brine boils, and the oven roast slows the cooking so the centers really get sweet. The residual spices make it all taste yummy. The brined pork chops were tender and divine. A notable success all round, I think. If only there had been more leftovers! Next time if I have more advanced prep time I'll try doing a big hunk of pork and several days in the fridge.
fredrikegerman: (Default)
Particularly successful pasta sauce today. Slow-cooking is always best, but this time I made the sauce in two parts to attempt to match the cooking technique to the ingredient. Mostly, I didn't want to slow-cook the fennel bulb in the tomato sauce, as it doesn't taste of anything if you do that. So I oven-braised it instead.

Recipe )

Result: Fennel tastes fennel-y, sauce tastes saucy, garlic is kinda roasted, and it generally came out really well. Don't munch on the little peppers if you have issues with that sort of thing.


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