Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Three Stone Hearth included this little song in their weekly newsletter. Now this is a song I can relate to -one that passionately waxes poetic about good food. I love the lilt you can hear in the "Yes you did.." line. Makes me wanna be Irish. And eat a big pile of Colcannon. Or at least mashed potatoes with cream and butter...
Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?
Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot?
Sunday, March 07, 2010
1 large sweet potato
1/2 red onion, chopped small
A large cereal bowlful of greens, chopped fine
Fat for sauteeing (such as butter or bacon grease)
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
Chevre - a goodly amount
Sea salt - a 1/2 tsp each for greens and custard mixture
Freshly ground pepper
I sauteed the onion and the pile of greens - dandelion and kale
mainly - while I baked a large sweet potato. I cracked 8 eggs into a
mixing bowl with 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk, then added the peeled
sweet potato, sea salt and ground pepper, and took the immersion
blender to it to mix it till frothy (a blender would work fine).
Filled buttered muffin cups with a layer of the sauteed greens, then
topped off with the custard mixture up to maybe 1/4 inch from the top.
Then! I plopped generous spoonfuls of chevre into the center of each.
Baked at 350 until golden and firm. They came out all puffed up and
beautiful, but quickly fell as any other puffed egg thing does. Still
delicious!! I have an earthenware muffin cup dish with extra-large
cups. I'd say it would've been 8 regular-sized muffins.
But then there was a lot of the custard left over. So I poured it into
buttered (cast iron) mini-muffin cups that baked up to look and taste
just like popovers! With a really nice sweetness and color from the
sweet potato. A pat of butter that inevitably slid down the piping hot
muffin onto my fingers just meant that they were literally finger-
And both were a hit with the adults as well as the wee one of the
house, so they score extra stars.
In the future I might either use fewer eggs to make fewer muffins,
or saute' more greens to fill all the muffins. But as it was, I
enjoyed having some more meal-like muffins and some treat-like ones.
Experiment amongst yourselves and get back with me.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
It has been such fun for me to have this lovely email conversation with you while you were gone.! As much as I look forward to your return, I will miss the ritual it has become to write you a letter as I'm nursing Jali to sleep at night. You have been an inspiring and gentle muse. In the kitchen, as well, not a meal gets prepared for which I'm not thinking about how I will report to you about it: "yes, greens again," or: "I bet I wouldn't be cooking yet another hotdog if Austin were here," or, the best: "I should save some of this so Austin can try it.!" I actually did jar up and freeze some soup I made that I thought was extra tasty, but I think Sealion ended up taking it to work for lunch...
So, one last food report:
What happens when Tiffanie uses her discipline to avoid eating a delectable white-flour biscuit at Venus yesterday??She gets to eat a Whole Batch of homemade sprouted spelt biscuits at home!! I win! I followed the recipe in The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters (my gift to myself the time we ate a Chez Panisse dinner!), which calls for 3/4 cup heavy cream (!) as the liquid, and used sprouted spelt for the flour. I think I rolled them too thin, however I employed the technique I learned from Porsche and Misa to just barely mix the ingredients, and then fold it a few times, to create a flakey crispy pastry essentially. They could've been a pie crust - and that's a compliment.! Last night Sealion was off-kilter after getting home from a nightshift, so he wasn't hungry. I did something uncharacteristic of our meals here at the Pope house - I just made biscuits. And I had a big bowl of baked apples that I happened to cook that afternoon to take advantage of the end of the season at the farmers' market - "cosmetically challenged" apples. So one by one I spread butter on biscuit and perched a baked apple quarter on top. Hello? Better than apple pie. Austin, it was so good. What's almost as good as having fresh biscuits and butter and baked apples for dinner? Having leftovers for breakfast! I scored.
The other night I made an impromptu Indian dish that rocked. If you lean toward Asian in your cooking, I go for Indian these days. I love the artful way they prepare spices.. And I love the rich, slow-cooked sauces. It was coconut curry with potatoes and sweet potatoes. Anjali scarfed it down despite it being pretty heavy on the cayenne. I was pleasantly surprised.
Ok! I imagine you'll actually be home by the time you read this, but I just wanted to be in this space one more time.
Monday, March 01, 2010
And now on to the recipe.
Last night I had a craving for comforting Indian-style creamy sauce. I had in my cabinet:
a large sweet potato,
two small white potatoes,
a large onion,
and a jar of coconut milk.
I also had brown rice.
Fennel seeds, and
So I put the brown rice, water, and a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pot to cook, following the instructions on the package (takes an hour). I chopped the onion into pieces about as big as my thumbnail, and cut the potatoes into slices about the width of my pinky, and then quartered the bigger slices. I put a couple tablespoons of butter in a cast iron Dutch oven and turned the heat to medium-low. For time's sake, I threw all the veggies in at once. Then I bathed my daughter (you can skip this step; it's optional (-; ). Since they were on a pretty low heat, I didn't worry, and just glanced in to see them steaming every now and then. When Anjali was dry and in her favorite handed-down bubblegum pink bathrobe (which, in reference to your blog, Randi, I never would've kept if she hadn't dragged it from the bag and insisted I zip it up on her and then wouldn't take off for two days), I turned up the heat to medium, stirred the veggies, and stirred in: a tsp seasalt, a tsp cumin, a tsp coriander, a tsp powdered ginger, a tsp turmeric, a 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, and ... a thorough sprinkle of cayenne (less than 1/8 tsp). I let these cook for about five minutes and then poured in a can of coconut milk (don't use "lite" - use the real deal! Delicious *and* good for you!!). I brought it up to an enthusiastic simmer and put the lid on. Stirring occasionally, I let this cook until the potatoes were tender. At the end I added about 1/3 pound of ground lamb that I had seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned in a skillet with butter. But this could be a delicious and filling vegetarian meal, easily. You could even add some canned chick peas during the simmer, and/or a couple handfuls of chopped greens such as kale.