4th of July Roundup

Here are some ideas for how to spend the 4th. Everything will include a common theme ingredient.

For a hint think sauce.

Pulled Pork

More barbecue sauce is always a good idea

More barbecue sauce is always a good idea

Chicken

So good hot or cold

So good hot or cold

Cornbread

This pan uses a lot of grease but the results are worth it

This pan uses a lot of grease but the results are worth it

Calzones

Putting hot pockets to shame

Putting hot pockets to shame

Beans

Beans beans they 're good for the heart

Beans beans they ‘re good for the heart

 

 

Posted in Food, Grilling/Smoking | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

In Our Kitchen: Pickling, Garlic and Eggs

The title may seem confusing if you do not understand the use of a comma.

Yes, the shelf is set to fit canning jars

Yes, the shelf is set to fit canning jars

I spent an entire afternoon canning 36 large jars of pickles. Go here for the recipe.This happened because when I bought the 20 lbs of cucumbers from the farmer in the morning he just eyeballed the amount. Turns out he sold 35 lbs to me instead. After weighing out all the produce I realized I needed another case of jars and two more gallons of vinegar. It looks like all my trading this year will be in pickles, which is a good thing since the weather really is affecting the fruit so I am not swimming in extra jam right now.

Almost all the bulbs are the same size

Almost all the bulbs are the same size

Speaking of the weather the garlic finally was ready to harvest.  The empty space it left is already being fought over by the squash and sweet potato vines. After braiding the garlic, I like to let it hang for at least a month before using any, but since I used all the remaining garlic from last year in the copious amount of pickles I may have to break that rule a little.

The hot pad is looking forward to a slice

The hot pad is looking forward to a slice

We had a little leftover salmon and I thought what better use than in a light breakfast souffle. Of course I overslept so breakfast turned into brunch. Yipee Bloody Marys and Mimosas.

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.

Posted in Garden, How to, Rants, Things in Jars | Tagged | 5 Comments

Sunday Suppers: The Summer Sandwich Edition

Nothing says summer like a fresh tomato, especially when it’s between two toasty slices of bread. This week’s Sunday Suppers is an ode to the summer sandwich that glorious handheld bit of heaven whose time is way too short.

Eggplant and Tomato Sandwiches with Pesto and Feta

Mmmmmmmmmm sandwich

Mmmmmmmmmm sandwich

Grilled Balsamic Chicken Caprese Sandwich

That sandwich is my hero

That sandwich is my hero

Portabella and Avocado Sandwiches

No meat you say

No meat you say

Grilled Cheese with Peaches and Brie

There it is

There it is

Deviled Egg Sandwiches

What a dainty little finger sandwich

What a dainty little finger sandwich

And the penultimate summer sandwich…. the pulled pork sandwich

More barbecue sauce is always a good idea

More barbecue sauce is always a good idea

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Pork | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Glazed Tofu

Sorghum is the secret stuff

Sorghum is the secret stuff

This is a simple and tasty way to cook tofu. If sorghum is unavailable then honey can be used.

Glazed Tofu

  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sorghum
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic chili sauce
  • 2-3 dashes sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Wrap tofu in a kitchen towel and place in between 2 plates. Place a 10 lb weight on top and press for 30 minutes. Unwrap tofu and slice into square bite sized pieces. Mix all other ingredients together except vegetable oil. Heat oil over medium high in a large frying pan and fry tofu on each side until browned, about 4 minutes a side. Turn heat down to medium low and add sauce. Cook tofu flipping once until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes more. Serve tofu with sauce drizzled on top.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Summer Eats

Summer may come at the same time each year, but summer weather down here almost always arrives by mid Spring. Here are some of our favorite summer eats — heavy on the tomatoes, corn, zucchini and peppers.

Roasted Tomato Pasta

Glass bowls, the bane of a food blogger's existence

Glass bowls, the bane of a food blogger’s existence

Grilled Shrimp and Polenta with Peaches and Peppers

Throw that shrimp on the barbie

Throw that shrimp on the barbie

Stuffed Chicken with Squash and Tomatoes

Brighter than the sun, almost

Brighter than the sun, almost

Black Bean Salad with Cucumber and Tomato

Peering through the underbrush the great bean salad appears on the horizon

Peering through the underbrush the great bean salad appears on the horizon

Cherry Tomatoes with Herb Vinaigrette

This is finger food

This is finger food

Fried Green Tomatoes

Shoot for golden, not blackened.

Shoot for golden, not blackened.

Panzanella Salad

It's as close to vegetarian as I get

It’s as close to vegetarian as I get

Corn Pudding

This is too hearty for dessert

This is too hearty for dessert

Orzo-Stuffed Zucchini

I tip my hat to you sir

I tip my hat to you sir

Tomato and Squash Bake

That is a slice of heaven or wherever you hang your hat spiritually

That is a slice of heaven or wherever you hang your hat spiritually

Don’t forget dessert!

Posted in Appetizers, Chicken, Dessert, Dinner, Food | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fermented Pineapple

There is a lot of tasty life going on in there

There is a lot of tasty life going on in there

This authentic Mexican drink comes from the same region that brought the world tequila and is called Tepache. It is relatively simple to make and with pineapples on sale it is hard to find a valid excuse not to have a bucket of this going constantly.The final product is a fruit flavored golden beverage that is really refreshing.

You will need a glass or ceramic jar that holds 5 liters of liquid and has a tight seal on the lid. Any light colored full flavored beer will work, but I find a hefewiezen or triple work best. To make this the old fashioned way omit the beer and let it ferment for at least 1 week after adding the sugar.

Tepache

  • 1 large or 2 small pineapples
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 1 stick canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  •  10 1/2 cups water
  • 1 lb packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups golden beer

Wash the pineapple well. Cut off the top and bottom and discard. Cut the rest of the fruit into small chunks, including the skin and core and place in the container. Combine the whole spices in a mortar and roughly crush. Add spices to the pineapple and stir well. Add 8 cups of water, stir well again and seal. Place jar in a warm spot that gets direct sunlight and let sit for 3 days. Check to see if bubbles are forming on the third day. If so continue, if not wait another day. Combine sugar and remaining water in a pan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer until sugar dissolves then let cool to room temperature. Add sugar and beer to pineapple and stir well. Seal well and return to warm spot. Let ferment 3 days longer and check. The mix should have a strong smell of fermentation and appear bubbly throughout. If not, let ferment longer. If ready strain mixture through cheesecloth pressing all juice from pineapple chunks into a clean pitcher. Refrigerate until cold and serve over ice.

 

Posted in Mexican, Recipes, Spirits | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Massaman Curry

Cinnamon stick optional

Cinnamon stick optional

This curry is more in line with Indian food than Thai due to the sweetness of the sauce and the use of potato. Regardless it is very tasty.

Authentically this is made with cheap beef cubes, but chicken thighs work very well also. Use roasted unsalted peanuts with the shells and paper skins removed. Massaman curry paste can be found in any decent Asian or Indian food market. I like the Maesri line of curry pastes.

Massaman Curry

  • 4  chicken thighs or 1 lb stew beef cut into medium sized bites
  • 2 14oz cans coconut milk (not low fat)
  • 3 tbsp Massaman curry paste
  •  2 lbs potatoes skinned and cut into medium dice
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime

Scoop thick cream from the top of coconut milk and set aside. Pour remaining milk into a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a low simmer, add meat and cook partially covered for 30-40 minutes stirring often. In another pan heat coconut cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add curry paste and continue to simmer until sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes more. Pour curry paste into pan with meat. Add everything else but the peanuts and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more over very low heat. Add peanuts and cook another 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Posted in Beef, Chicken, Dinner, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments