Month: August 2008

Buffalo burgers with smoked gouda

Yeesh, it took me a week to post this dinner I made last weekend! I woulda done it earlier, I swear, but these photos are pretty bad. I was too busy enjoying a perfect day to bother with things like Sensitivity and Exposure. Bah, who […]

Chicken croquette salad with lemon-yogurt dressing

Last night my Very Special Friend Jason came over for what will (hopefully) be a weekly Project Runway dinner date. The darling brought a jug of decadent 2% milk (for drinking, I’m a skim girl) and two dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies for us to […]

Omnivore’s 100

I bet Andrew at Very Good Taste wishes he had ads on his blog now, because his Omnivore’s 100 has gone completely viral.

Here are the instructions:
1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4. Optional extra: Post a comment here linking to your results.

The Very Good Taste Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (I’m also counting alligator, since I think North American crocs are mostly endangered?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp (at a Thai restaurant in Brooklyn)
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (uh, doy)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (I love head cheese on a banh mi!)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (best part of good jerk)
27. Dulce de leche (straight from the can cures PMS!)
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I’ve never had cognac straight)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo (in New Orleans, no less!)
40. Oxtail (to be fair, this goes into phở broth, but I’ve also braised them a few times)
41. Curried goat (on my honeymoon in Fiji)
42. Whole insects (not intentionally, although I do count crawfish and lobster in the same vein)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (the wedding gift I gave Scott)
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear (in a margarita in Cave Junction, Oregon)
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle (ja, gut)
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (12% ABV Belgians ftw! I passed out drunk in the daytime from it.)
59. Poutine (I reckon this alone is worth a trip to Quebec.)
60. Carob chips (from the hippie days)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (Kaopectate! My mom gave it to me when I was a kid.)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (not really that great, to be honest)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (beignets also in New Orleans, at Cafe Du Monde, the other two at fairs in town. Never had a funnel cake, though.)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (we have some absinthe that was a gift a couple years ago, but haven’t opened it yet)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (I hit a pheasant with my windshield once and tried to claim it, but it got sucked into a culvert. Sad.)
76. Baijiu (I’m counting this with Korean soju and Japanese shochu, of which I have consumed many a bottle)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (I still crave the cherry ones sometimes)
78. Snail (Scott and I shared a plate of escargots the night he proposed)
79. Lapsang souchong (I used to have a major tea fetish)
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum (I make and love both tom yum gai and tom yum goong – favorite under-the-weather food!)
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky (one of my Asian favorite snacks, along with cracker peanuts and Hello Panda)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef (the real shit, in Tokyo!)
86. Hare (although I know there’s a Scotch hare that’s way different, I’m counting this with rabbit – since I also eat the liver and kidneys, I think I earned it)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse (almost tried horse sashimi in Japan, but wanted octopus more)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (doy vey)
97. Lobster Thermidor (I wish! This, oysters Rockefeller and clams casino are the rich old fart shellfish trifecta)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

78% – not bad! I’m still young, I can easily knock the rest off these of the list, and then some. I would also like to see tongue or tripe (or other not-sweetbreads offal) on this list.

You can kind of tell Andrew is from the UK, because so many of the “exotic” items on his list are Indian or are regional to the US (and would therefore seem exotic to non-Americans?). I never say “never” but I think if dog or cat were on the menu, I’d have to pause. I feel incredibly closed-minded admitting that.

I’ve eaten raw chicken, mentaiko (marinated cod roe), and food that I dumpster-dove. We all have moments where we were a little nervous, but went for it anyway. We were rewarded with the exhilaration of having built upon our own Curriculum Vitae, whether intentionally (acting on adventurous feelings at a taco cart) or circumstantially (not being able to read Katakana while on your Japanese vacation). At least once, I’d like you to order “whatever is your favorite thing to eat here” (ask your server for this) in a foreign restaurant. You can thank me later.

Ham and eggs with corn pudding and fried tomato

What to do with leftover corn and roasted poblano pudding: slice into thick slabs and brown in a pan with some good country ham and the garden’s first brandywine tomatoes. This was brunch on Saturday, but I wanted to share before it slipped my mind. […]

Green melon pickle (midori-no suikazuke)

I made this up. I don’t even know if it’s a thing. But I harvested a green watermelon, only in its infancy, and peeled, seeded, sliced and pickled it. And it was fucking good. Let me back up. I was in the garden, and the […]

Corn and roasted poblano pudding with calabacitas and mole chicken

This is just a quick post to get in my five for the week. I spent the afternoon at the river at Sauvie Island with Scott, picking blackberries, drinking a beer with our toes in the river, and then picking up some nice produce at Kruger’s Farm Market. I’ll tell you all about it later, but right now I’m full of delicious burgers and want to watch a DVD and have a cocktail, and not blog. I do wanna tell you about what I did with all those lovely chiles I showed you the other day, though, real quick.

So, it turns out that making chile rellenos from peppers the size of walnuts is a fool’s errand. Instead, after I roasted the poblanos,* I decided to use them in the corn pudding. And hot damn! Am I ever glad I did. The corn pudding was so simple – just sautéed onion, garlic and corn with diced, roasted poblanos mixed with a couple beaten eggs, a splash of cream, a little blue cornmeal and a couple handfuls of grated cheese (jack and sharp cheddar). Bake in a buttered souffle until golden and set. So good scooped onto a plate with some summer squash confetti. Or sliced and browned in a pan with a thick slab of ham and some fried tomato for breakfast (I’ll tell about that later, too).

*anchos are the dried form of poblanos, I forgot that on Thursday’s post.

For the calabacitas (Mexican summer squash vegetable dish), I sautéed diced pattypan and yellow crookneck squash with some of my Royal Burgundy beans (they got a bit big and needed a chop), diced red bell pepper, chopped green olives and chopped dried cherries. Add some cumin and cinnamon, salt and pepper and it’s a thing. Kind of like a vegetarian/healthy empanada filling. Oh snap, I am totally going to make this into an low-cal empanada, Ben!

The salty olives and sweet cherries really brighten up. It looks kinda like circus barf, but it was really good.

I had some chicken thighs that I simmered in a poaching liquid spiked with achiote, Mexican oregano, garlic, dried shallot and bay leaf. Then I shredded it and soaked it with mole I pulled from the freezer (from the venison tenderloin that I cooked for Norm). This busy plate looks a tranny mess, but good lord it was tasty. Add a basket of warm, soft, flour tortillas and a basic Argentinian Malbec (we had Don Miguel Gascón 2007 – the chocolate covered cherry is a no-brainer with the mole, but not too serious for the bright veg medley) .

When it rains, it pours

A couple days of rain, and my garden looks like it got ass-up drunk and got in a knife fight with some Clackamas County bitch. Today it dried up enough for me to examine the damage and pick over the ruins. My tomatoes are still […]

Strozzapreti with ham and radicchio di Treviso

I decided I wanted to not go to the store for anything, and just eat from the pantry. “Walk my talk” and all that. I had a head of radicchio di Treviso (truly, the handsomest of all endive relatives) that was getting a bit wilty, […]

Espresso ice cream

And introducing my favorite apron. I’ve had this little beaute since I was in college, and I used to love wearing it to work during my four+ years as a barista.

Oh, man, I was a good barista. I hate to admit it now, but I used to love to look down my nose at people who ordered abominations of the brew. A hazelnut mocha, or worse, a fucking sugar-free vanilla, decaf breve with whipped cream(?) was met with contempt thicker than treacle. I brought that same pride and “if you can’t do it awesome, then why the fuck do it at all” work ethic to the machine every day. I adjusted my grind for changes in barometric pressure and humidity. Anything less than a quarter-inch of crema went down the drain (or into a mocha, which is a 13-year-old coffee drinker’s teething ring and not what Real Coffee Drinkers drink). One time I even had an Italian man come in (a real-life Italian!), order a doppio, and he did that kissing his fingertips thing and said “bellisima!” upon tasting the delicate perfection of my shots. Swoon!

I still drink my espresso straight, with just a hit of sugar and maybe a little splash of cream. For cooking, though, I use instant espresso. Oh, if I had the Cadillac of espresso machines – a La Pavoni – well sure, I’d pour a couple shots. But this is just ice cream, folks. Just be sure and use a good instant espresso (I like Medaglia D’Oro) for the best flavor.

I tweaked a basic ice cream recipe (I call it a “blank”, because you can use this recipe for probably any ice cream and it’s rich and delicious) as follows: 2.5 cups heavy whipping cream, 0.5 cups water, 6 egg yolks, 0.5-0.75 cups sugar. Heat the cream, sugar and water until just to a boil, add 3 or 4 (or 6) tablespoons of powdered espresso, a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla.

Pull the cream off the heat and temper the eggs (this means slowly and deliberately incorporate the egg yolks and cream, while avoiding the terrible mistake of turning your dessert into an omelette). I’d advise you watch a video of this being done a few times, and maybe practice on a crème brûlée once or twice if you’re nervous. Return the cream/yolk mixture to the heat and gently (I mean GENTLY!) heat the custard until it’s thick and coats the back of a spoon. Seriously, you’ve come this far, why would you go and fuck it up by aggressively heating this up? It’s your newborn baby. You wouldn’t boil your newborn baby, would you?

If you’re very fussy like me, you’ll pass this newborn custard through a fine-mesh sieve or some cheesecloth before you chill it. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to get it from custard to ice cream (usually some type of “chill for at least three hours in the fridge, run it through the machine until it’s like soft-serve, then harden off in the freezer for a few hours or until you cannot possibly stand it any more”). Your patience will be rewarded.

Gilding the (Voodoo)lily is spooning warm dulce de leche over the top. Now that’s a toe-curl, darlings. I bet this would also make a pretty righteous brown cow with some Manhattan Special, if you can get it, or just in a float with some cream soda.

Happy as a Clam v. 2.0

When clams are fresh, as are these littlenecks that we picked up on our way from the beach yesterday, all they need is a quick steam over a bath of white wine, shallot and garlic… …and a loaf of crusty baguette with good Danish butter. […]