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

Summer Sips

That is a nice looking peach

The Peach Bourbon Fizz meets our summer drink criteria perfectly

Summer is just around the corner for many of you. It arrived for us about to weeks ago, which is pretty late for these parts. What makes a good summer drink? Well it helps to have lots of fruit and words like fizz or smash in the title. And bourbon. Bourbon can make you forget it’s summer if you drink enough of it. Or at least make summer more tolerable. (We’d like to enter into evidence the blackberry mint julep.)

Blackberry Thyme Martini (see also blackberry gin and tonics, blackberry spritzers)

It is summer now

It is summer now

Rosemary lemonade (also check out lemonade with mint and honey, mint limeade and Lynchburg lemonade)

spirits117

Blueberry Bramble (also check out our midnight martinis)

Stone cold baby

Stone cold baby

White Sangria

spirits106

Fig Manhattans

I need to plant a fig tree

I need to plant a fig tree

Watermelon and Wine Spritzers (Also try watermelon limeade, watermelon mimosas, watermelon coolers or watermelon margaritas)

We remembered to take the picture first this time

We remembered to take the picture first this time

The Smokey Peach (see also peach margaritas, peach daiquiris with mint, bellinis)

It's like an adult slurpee

It’s like an adult slurpee

And summer just wouldn’t be summer without a nice glass of tea.

Bourbon Iced Teas

Such an ad for country time

Such an ad for country time

 

Posted in Food, Spirits | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vichyssoise

The cream is the secret

The cream is the secret

This is a fairly simple soup to make, but it does require a couple hours to chill so plan ahead.

Vichyssoise

  • 2 lbs potatoes skinned and diced small
  • 4 large leeks cleaned and finely sliced, about 6 cups
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6-8 garlic scapes chopped fine
  • Salt/pepper

Combine potatoes, leeks, broth and wine in a large stock pot and cook at a low simmer until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes. Using an immersion blender or food mill process until smooth. Pass soup through a fine mesh sieve, then return to pot and add 1 cup cream and scapes and season with salt and pepper. Bring back to a simmer and cook 10 minutes then remove from heat and chill. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the soup to prevent skin from forming. Beat remaining cream until thick but peaks do not form. Stir a tbsp of cream into each bowl of soup.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Recipes, Soups, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Pork Chops with Cherries

Nice colors

Nice colors

The scapes have finally arrived and this is a great way to use them. The sauce cooks very fast and the end result is fancy and tasty.

If there are no scapes then a combination of green onions and garlic will work but not nearly as well.

Pork Chops with a Cherry Sauce

  • 4 pork loin chops 1 1/2″ thick
  • 6 leaves basil cut into thin ribbons
  • 6-8 garlic scapes chopped into small rings
  • 1/4 lb cherries hulled and quartered
  • 2 oz sambuca
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Nutmeg
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt/pepper

Season the pork chops with salt, peppers and nutmeg on both sides and let stand for 15 minutes. In a frying pan large enough to hold all the meat in one layer melt half the butter over medium high heat. Cook pork on both sides until almost done, about 4 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate and add remaining butter. Turn heat down to medium low and saute the scapes until soft. Add cherries and basil and deglaze pan with juice as the cherries saute. Cook until everything begins to brown then add sambuca. Mix well then return pork and any juices back to pan. Warm meat in sauce as it to thickens. Serve immediately.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Garden, Italian, Pork, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments