Category Archives: Food

Canning Bonanza

Sorry for the lapse.  There’s a lot to catch you all up on.  I’ll start with what’s been going on in the kitchen. We recently had a pickling bonanza.  We made some dill pickles and we canned 10 pints of roma tomatoes from our garden. Here are some highlights.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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Orange and Lemon Marmalade

Despite the odd winter that we’ve had, there has been plenty of citrus around.  I wanted to preserve some of it, and marmalade seemed to be the perfect way to do it.  I’m feeling a bit lazy, so I’m not gonna type up the recipe but will show you the basic process through photos. I will say that if you are inspired to make it, it’s in a cookbook called Canning for a New Generation…an awesome resource for canning with great modern recipes.  I definitely recommend it!

You start by zesting several oranges with a veggie peeler. You then julienne the zest into marmalde-sized pieces.

Section the oranges using a sharp paring knife. Save the pith, skin and seeds and place in little cheesecloth pouches.

Throw the sectioned oranges, a diced lemon, julienned zest, sugar, water and the pouches in a pot.  Boil until the zest is tender then take the pouches out. Simmer until the mixture has a nice jelly texture. You can test this by placing a small amount of the marmalade on a freezing cold plate.  If it’s ready to be canned, the marmalade will crinkle when pushed with a finger. Place the marmalade in sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace and boiling for 5 minutes to process.

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Kombucha

We love Kombucha, especially G.T. Kombucha’s Trilogy flavor. To our delight, we saw a make-your-own kombucha tea kit at the co-op and we couldn’t resist.  Part of me is a bit grossed out, but if this is successful, that’s a lot of money we’ll save.  The process is pretty straightforward.

The kit comes with instructions, tea, sugar and a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) sitting in kombucha.

All you do is boil a gallon of water…

steep some tea in it, add a cup of sugar…

pour the tea in a clean non-metal container and let it cool to room temp.

Once the tea is cool enough, you pour the SCOBY along with the kombucha and cover with cheesecloth.

Now, we’ve left it in a warm place and we’ll get to taste it in 7 days.  It’s supposed to get fizzier and tarter as the days go by, and you can let it go for 30 days even.  When the kombucha has developed to your liking, you can add fresh fruit juices to it, sweeten it, water it down or drink it straight. Apparently, the SCOBY is reusable and it’ll grow in size. You just store it with a cup of kombucha in a closed jar until you’re ready to start the process all over again.  If this turns out well, we may have SCOBYs for any of you that are interested!

Pickle and his rabbit toy were a big help in making the Kombucha.

As were Greg and Dwight.

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Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tortas

I love tortas, and when I saw this Rick Bayless version of a Torta in this month’s Food and Wine magazine, I had to try it. Here are some photos from the process, and the adapted recipe is at the bottom.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tortas

adapted from Food and Wine
2 heads of garlic, cloves peeled and lightly smashed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1/2 pound trumpet mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 crusty rolls, split
3 cups packed arugula leaves
1 cup prepared tomato salsa
1/2 pound soft goat cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Put the garlic in a small, deep baking dish and toss with the olive oil, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bake until the garlic is soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

2. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Combine all of the mushrooms in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and toss with the roasted garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 35 minutes longer, until the mushrooms are tender and golden. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

3. Scrape some of the bread out of the center of the rolls and set the rolls on a large baking sheet, cut sides up. Spread the mushrooms over the rolls and bake for about 5 minutes to crisp the rolls. Spread the arugula and salsa on one half of the rolls and the goat cheese on the other half. Close the sandwiches and bake for about 5 minutes, until hot and crisp. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

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Fondue

To continue with the theme of Christmas gifts, Greg’s sister got us a fondue pot.  We made a pretty basic cheddar cheese fondue and stuffed ourselves silly with bread and bratwurst.  We’ll definitely be using the pot again soon…thanks Anne!

 

And, just because…here are more pics of the dogs.

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Green Smoothie

I’ve been curious about green smoothies for a while.  Can something that resembles The Swamp Thing actually be tasty?  I love all the ingredients separately, but do they actually blend well together? So this weekend, instead of continuing my wondering, I decided to take the plunge.  I improv’d the recipe, but basically I put 60% fruit and 40% greens in it. And , to my surprise, it was very tasty and quite filling.  For all of you out there who are also wondering, join me…you won’t be disappointed.

Green Smoothie

Makes 3-4 servings

2 bananas, peeled
1 cup blueberries
1/2 apple roughly chopped
1/2-1 cup spinach
1/2-1 cup kale (lacinato will work better than the other kind)
2-3 cups water depending on how thick you want it

Blend all your ingredients together. Add more fruit if you want more sweetness in your smoothie.

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Korean Burritos

You may think that the whole Korean-Mexican thing is just a fad ready to give way to the next big thing.  If so, then you haven’t tried it.  It is amazing…though I may be a bit biased by my Korean roots.  This Christmas, I was the recipient of many incredible and thoughtful gifts including a subscription to Lucky Peach, which I’ve been eyeing since its first issue. If you have not heard of this magazine yet, it is a quarterly collaboration between McSweeney’s, David Chang of Momfuku and Anthony Bourdain.  It’s full of good food and good writing.  This issue has a great article on kimchi and different ways to eat it (i.e. in Korean Burritos).

The prep is easy but requires a full day at home.  You start with a good quality pork shoulder.

Roast it at 250 for 6 hours until you get it crispy on the outside and super tender on the inside.

While the meat is roasting, caramelize the onions for 30-40 minutes…

quick pickle some cukes in salt and sugar…

and puree your kimchi.  If you don’t have a constant supply of kimchi from your Korean mother or you don’t feel like making some on your own (which, by the way, is a lot easier than it seems), make sure to buy it from your local Korean market.  While I am a very strong supporter of our local co-op, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy kimchi from them.  We made this mistake once, and both Greg and I actually ended up spitting it out…and if you know us at all, you know that spitting food out is extremely rare for either of us.  It was a very weird sauerkraut/chili pepper concoction.

Korean Burritos

adapted from Lucky Peach

3 lbs pork shoulder
2 cucumbers
1 cup shelled edamame
2 cups cooked white rice
2 large yellow onions
1/2 cup kimchi, pureed. Alternatively, you can just chop it up into bite-sized pieces.
Large tortillas

Salt
Sugar
Pepper
Olive oil
Butter
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha

1. For the pork shoulder, preheat your oven to 250. Season your pork with some black pepper and 1T each of salt and sugar. Place in a roasting pan, and cook uncovered for 6 hours. Baste every hour or so with its own juices. After the 6 hours, let rest on the counter for 30 minutes then shred with forks.

2. For the caramelized onions, slice the onion and cut into thin slices. Heat 1Tbsp each of olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and let it cook for a couple of minutes before stirring. Then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned.

3. For the quick pickled cucumbers, cut the cukes into thin slices. Season with 1/2 Tbsp each of salt and sugar, toss and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

4. When you’re ready to make your burritos, warm the tortillas for 2 minutes in the oven. Spread 1/2 Tbsp or more of the hoisin on the tortilla, then add 2-3 Tbsp of the rice, a handful of the edamame, cucumbers, roasted onions ad pulled pork. Add the kimchi. Roll it up and enjoy. Use sriracha as desired.

Cooking is more fun with our new iHome speaker!

Now some gratuitous dog pics.  We’ve been practicing a lot of yoga at home lately thanks to Yogaglo, and the dogs love to join in. Here’s Pickle in Downward Facing Dog.

And here, they’re both enjoying the benefits of Savasana!

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Christmas 2011

Chunky's worst nightmare

We just had a great Christmas, and wanted to share some photos from my NEW Canon 60D!! Both families made it out to Sacramento and there was lots of eating and dogs and gift opening. It was a great Christmas, and we couldn’t have asked for more!

Lounging

Alice and Pickle fall asleep

One of our many gifts!

I don't think my mom stopped cooking the whole time!

Andrew and me making sourdough bread

The 3 Musketeers ready for a trip to the marsh

Sophia with her cookie

Eunice unwrapping gifts

Max with one of his gifts

Pickle takes it all in

Dwight looking pensive

Greg and his new iPad

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