Sunday, May 31, 2009
A slab of pork ribs baked in a poblano tomato sauce served with grilled vidalia onions and potato tortitas or potato cake. If you like your meal just a little more spicy than the rather mild poblano can deliver then there's the Sweet Sour sauce that is served with the ribs. Comprised mostly of pickled jalapeno chiles it will certainly wake your tongue up.
While I might have been reluctant at first to try and make authentic Mexican food in the end I'm very glad that I pushed outside my comfort zone and tried something new. Thanks goes to Dani at Gardening Under the Florida Sun for suggesting this week's theme.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Do you make your own tortillas? Think your local Mexican greasy spoon is your go-to guilty pleasure? Have a secret green salsa recipe you want to share? Take a little trip south of the Border for this week's Dim Sum Sunday and don't forget to come back here and share.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Luckily I live close to a place where my wurst hunger can be fed. Werner's sits on a little corner in Mission, Kansas. Inside you'll find a wide assortment of German and Scandinavian products not to mention some excellent butchers. I had many sausages to choose from but finally narrowed it down to 5. From left to right, above, we have the basic long hot dog, the Cheddar Bier Brat, the Polish, a Knockwurst and the intriguing German style Brat. Just the smell of them alone, waiting in the fridge for Sunday, was intoxicating.I thought about what else I wanted with my sausages. At first I considered German styled potato salad but when I saw Vidalia onions at the store I decided to make onion straws. I've never been a fan of the thick, heavily breaded onion rings you find in so many restaurants. I decided to fry up a batch of the thinly sliced, barely dusted onion rings my mom used to make for us as kids. The results? All were excellent, the Cheddar and Polish were packed with flavor and spice. But it was the German style Brat that made me wish I had bought more than one. A mild sausage lacking the kick of the others but also allowing the actual flavors of the pork and veal take center stage. It was incredibly different from the flavor injected, salt laden vacuum packed hot dogs that we consume so many of every summer. It was delicious. And why not, I had taken the suggestion of Susan of 29 Black Street and made up a batch of Fruit Chili Sauce to put on that mild sausage. Sadly Werner's is not open on Sunday's or else I would have stocked up on more of those lovely sausages before my grill had a chance to cool off.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Dim Sum Sunday rookie Dani at Gardening under the Florida Sun turned these beautiful veggies into...
...into this yummy quiche.
Billjac at Tinkering with Dinner goes with 5 ingredients or less with Gravlax
Buzzkill not only gives us a Cucumber Garden Salad...
...but throws in his new garden as well.
Nice to see folks getting down and dirty with their food.
This week's theme is the Thrill of the Grill and I'll kick in an extra day for the Memorial Day holiday. Now get out there and roast your wienie.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
verb (used with object)
1. to gather slowly and laboriously, bit by bit.
2. to gather (grain or the like) after the reapers or regular gatherers.
3. to learn, discover, or find out, usually little by little or slowly.
verb (used without object)
4. to collect or gather anything little by little or slowly.
5. to gather what is left by reapers.
Free for the taking. The email popped up in my mailbox the morning after a night of heavy persistent rain. A farm market 30 miles west not only got the rain but had also been hit by hail. Their asparagus fields had survived but the hail had made the remaining stalks unsuitable for sale. However. If you didn't mind a little pocked marked asparagus, you could have as much as you could pick up. I quickly did the math. $2.99 a pound for grocery store asparagus or as much as I could pick for the price of a short road trip? I slapped on my mudders and pointed my little car west.The fields were at their end of their season. John, the cheerful man shuttling folks back and forth to the fields explained that we could take whatever we found, stalks lying on the ground, small tips just starting to emerge, take it all because it was just going to be plowed under the next day. Armed with my little green grocery basket I went to work. I thought more people would be out gathering the bounty but I toiled alone in my field while this man worked the field next to me. No matter, it was a beautiful day and the birds were chattering to one another in their secret bird language songs. It was better than any Ipod music I could jammed into my ears.Picking the stalks was not as easy as one would imagine. You're searching for green stalks in a green field. Nor is it a physically easy. The stalks are low to the ground and you've got to bend to get to them. I got into a rhythm once I did spot the stalks, stoop, snap, rise, crouch, snap and rise again. Slowly my basket started to fill.Happily not everything was crushed by hail. This was one of the many lady bugs I saw as I picked. A good sign of a nice healthy field. Stoop, snap, rise, stoop, snap, rise.My knees and back starting speaking to me as I continued my gleaning. "Don't you think it's time to stop?" they urged, "You have plenty of asparagus." The cheapskate side of my brain shouted them down. "FREE, it's FREE, just keep picking." I tried to distract myself with all the things I would do with my bounty. A majority of it would be blanched and vacuumed sealed to go into the freezer. The tender little tips I had made sure to also pick were destined to become pickles. The best and most tender stalks would go into my Dim Sum Sunday dish.With my basket finally full, I walked back up to the market store to say thanks for the gift and perhaps see what else might make the trip back home.While there was no sign saying how much they were, I'm betting they were as free as the asparagus.Did I mention we got a lot of rain? I drove home happy. My body ached, my nails had a fine line of soil beneath them and my jeans were tatooed with that wonderful black soil.
I hadn't planned to use asparagus for my Dim Sum dinner. I had a totally different dished planned. Even now there's a beautiful pork loin in the fridge still waiting for me. But this was just too good to pass up. I decided to blanch and stir fry my green treasure in Sambal Sauce. I only made half the amount and instead of shrimp paste I used anchovies crushed into a paste. I added a couple of Panko fried Soft Shell crabs to complete my Spring to the Extreme dish.The asparagus couldn't have been more tender and fresh. The spicy sweet peanut sauce danced through both the salty brine of the crab and the distinctive flavor of the asparagus. It was a beautiful marriage of flavors that made all the hard work and pain very much worth the effort. And while I was very sorry for the farmer's loss I was very thankful for his generosity that allowed me such a wealth of goodness.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This week's Dim Sum Sunday theme is How Does Your Garden Grow.
Do you have a garden? Perhaps one of those legendary Florida gardens, flush with vegetables and herbs year round? Or are you more like me, a container garden of herbs and tomatoes? Or do you just have garden envy, dreaming of all the lovely squash dishes you could make if only you had an acre or two? If it's any or all of those things, or even something completely different, please participate in our weekly food meme - "Dim Sum Sunday". Each week, a theme will be given. The participants will use the theme (from the literal to the avant-garde) when creating their Sunday suppers the following week. Then, just take a picture or two of the meal, and tell us all about it. Does it have to be home cooking? Not necessarily - you can go out, eat in, or even go to a friends house...as long as your post reflects the theme in original (you don't have to be a professional photographer) pictures of your dinner, and personal stories (and recipes and how-tos if you choose...)!
Be sure to come here and leave a comment that links back to your blog to let us know your post is up!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Of course there are also specials and new dishes to try. This is a roll of shrimp paste wrapped with sheet of seaweed, the ends capped with sesame seeds and deep fried. I hope this one makes the permanent menu because it's very good.Did you save room for dessert? Egg Custard Tart or Steamed Sweet Creams buns perhaps? Get your favorite early from the dessert cart because there's no guarantee your favorite will be still be there once the cart finally comes back around to your table.
Whatever your mom likes, make sure she enjoys her favorite for Mother's Day.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
In the category of Television Food Show, National and local, the wonderful Lidia Matticchio Bastianich won with her show, Lidia's Italy: Sweet Napoli, seen on PBS channels nationally.
My hometown newspaper, The Washington Post took home the Newspaper Food Section award for their excellent writing and beautiful graphics. In the category of Website Focusing on Food, Beverage, Restaurants, or Nutrition, Epicurious beat out some wickedcompetition in Chow.com and Gourmet.com to take the prize.
Sadly there is no category for Top Pimp because someone I know would have been a shoo in.