Sunday, October 23, 2016

Soup Spoon Season is here!

At the beginning of Summer this year I noticed that all of a sudden instead of being out of soup spoons I was suddenly out of salad forks. Well now it's Soup Spoon Season again - and I'm excited! I made this Potato Corn Chowder the other day - the last of this season's corn and I had a few sweet red peppers left so I added them and it was delicious! This picture kind of sucks as I didn't stop to take a one while it was hot - this is the little bit leftover - which I will be warming up today.
And since it is the last of the tomato season I also made a few fried green tomatoes - just so the Forks don't get jealous ; 0

A few ripe tomatoes, leftover foccacia and a bit of soup - mixing the seasons!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Get some Salmon - while the getting is good!

Well, the price of salmon has dropped so I've been making a few special dishes... This first one was from Sunset Magazine - a "slow" roasted curry salmon - so in the recipe it roasts for 9 min? what on earth is slow about that? anyway - I did it my way so here you go.

Quick Roasted Salmon serves 2 with leftovers

1/2 pound of fresh salmon skinless and cut into 1 inch cubes (remove any bones)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (like the Colemans)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Curry powder
1 small shallot thinly sliced
couple tablespoons olive oil
1 tomato chopped into cubes
2 ears corn - cut off the cob
lemon juice

In a bowl toss the mustard powder, curry and salt with the salmon (If you are trying to get kids to eat this try using just salt and pepper - for Mindy ; ) Then toss the rest - shallot, olive oil, tomato and corn into the bowl and spread in one layer on a baking sheet - I have these great little ones that fit in my fancy toaster oven that are non-stick - and roast at 375 degrees for about 10 min. Remove from oven and give it a skwirt of lemon juice - serve on rice or quinoa. Delicious!

Earlier in this month I made these Salmon Cakes since I had some homemade mayonnaise laying around- and they were delish along side some roasted beets and lima beans - yum. So I decided to grab some more salmon (while the getting is good) and made some more cakes for the freezer - Haven't cooked them up yet - but assuming they will be good - just saute a bit longer when you take them out.

Salmon Cakes - make 6

about a pound of skinless salmon filet - cut into large cubes and freeze for about 30 min
1 small sweet red pepper
1 green onion
1/4 cup panko
1/4 salt and a few grinds of pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular)
about 1/4 cup mayo (if you have some homemade laying around - lucky you - but not required : 0
1 tablespoon lemon juice
olive oil and butter to fry it up

In a small food processor whiz up the red pepper and onion until finely chopped then remove to a mixing bowl. Next add your slightly frozen salmon and pulse until finely chopped - chunky but not mush. Put that in the bowl too and the panko crumbs along with seasoning, mayo and juice and mix. With your hands form them into small patties and keep refrigerated or frozen until ready to fry them up. Heat a large frying pan and add a bit of oil and a bit of butter and fry the patties until golden brown about 3 min a side. I liked them plain but they would make a nice salmon burger if you wanted a bun with other fixings like more mayo, tomatoes and lettuce.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Don't leave the garden unattended

Yes, it's September now - but as you know we went to Mexico in August and learned this lesson. Don't leave your garden unattended in August. We came back to these zucchini - no I didn't use them. They got composted. How is that possible in one week?!? Seriously you can't turn your back on these things! And the piles of tomatoes that along with a heavy workload of my day job (bookkeeping) I had to make sauce. Oh well - next year we will stay home and go in November!
HOLY shit tomatoes!
tomato pie
This Tomato Pie recipe was given to me by my friend Mindy by someone named Catherine Perkins, I adapted- YUM!

Tomato Pie serves 2 greedy people

1 pie crust (I cheated and used one from Downtown Creamery and Bakery)
1 ball fresh mozzarella
2 large ripe tomatoes (I used our Carbons and another yellow and red one I can't think of the name! - just use meaty ones)
Olive oil, salt and pepper and basil

Line a tart pan with the pie dough - I used my removable bottom one - and line with parchment, fill with baking beans and par bake at 350 degrees for about 15 min. Remove and let cool slightly. Chop/shred the mozzarella and sprinkle around the bottom of the tart. Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and blot dry on paper towels then place in the tart pan. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper then back at 375 degrees for about 30 min or until bubbly. Remove from pan and sprinkle with basil. 
And can I tell you how exciting this was?! MY tomatoes and MY okra - that's right - we grew them both - ok, not the red onions - but they will be planted next year! Okra Salad happiness. 

Post Note: last night I made 2 savory pie/tarts like above - one was freeform with potatoes and mozzarella the other was a variation on the tomato except instead of cheese I did a layer of caramelized onions - holy shit that was good! 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Goodbye to Mexico - see you again soon!

On our only full day in Zihuatanejo I asked our hotel clerk about a cooking class and he gave me the name of two lovely ladies - both called Ita (mother and daughter) and when I arrived at their little restaurant mama Ita put a basket in my arms and marched us off to the mercado where we shopped for our meal - It was great to be able to go there with her - she speaks English much better than my Spanish and everywhere we went I was asking her "? como se dice..." especially about the wide variety of fruits that I had never seen before - They had Nanche and some other spiky one called rambutan... but the hilarious one was when I asked about the name for a zucchini and she said "Succhini?" and I said - no en espanol? "oh - calabacin!" we laughed as I said - I know what a zucchini looks like - just not the word in Spanish! Anyway - her lovely talented daughter Ita then proceeded to show me how to make a tomato tomatillo salad, a traditional ceviche with marlin and a chili relleno with a creamy white sauce made out of pecans, almonds, cinnamon and Philly Cream Cheese - now that was funny too as she asked me "do you know what this is?" I laughed and said - "Do YOU know what this is?" Philadelphia is in the US! Anyway - it was super fun and delicious. Que Rico! And she even taught me how to say  "no me gusta cilantro!" Richard showed up at the end of our class and got to share the meal with me - thank you so much to the two Itas! I will be back.
Lovely ladies Itas
Chili Relleno

Just another day at the beach
Now as for this below - I don't know what it is about ham sandwiches - but we were stuck in the airport on our way home - flight delayed and the airport personnel passed out these ham sandwiches to all the passengers on our way to our airplane... which cracked me up because when we got stuck in Argentina that was the only thing they gave us there for 8 hours! "not another fucking ham sandwich!"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Part 2 Zihuatanejo - more than just a Shawshank reference!

Our next stop was Zihuatanejo - and yes the only time I had ever heard of it before was from the movie Shawshank Redemption - which is tragic because the place is beautiful! We stayed in an awesome hotel on a cliff right above the beach called Hotel Aura del Mar and I will be going back! The restaurant on the beach called Bistro del Mar was amazing - if a little fancier than our last place - but not too fancy which is good. This was Richard's first night's dinner - Polpo - or Octopus - it was so tender and sweet - cooked in paprika with some potatoes underneath.
Polpo for dinner
View from our balcony!
Finally a cappuccino and bread!
We laughed so hard when they brought us bread for breakfast the next day since it had been 5 days since we had any bread (only tortillas in La Saladita) and a cappuccino - which was my first coffee in 5 days! Breadlessness aside - I LOVE a good Mexican breakfast and these Huevos divorciados are my new favorites - translation Divorced Eggs - 2 eggs on top of tortillas one with a red sauce and the other a green tomatillo sauce - LOVE the Divorciados - don't even have to get a divorce to enjoy them ; 0 going to have to find my favorite recipe for this...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Part 1 La Playa Saladita - surf spot

Yes we just got back from a little surf break down in Mexico - had a lovely time - a bit too hot but Rich got some lovely lefts in some warm water - 88 degrees if you can believe that! And of course had some wonderful food. We stayed in a nice place on the beach called La Chuparosa - and had the run of the place to ourselves - I basically stayed in the pool the majority of the time as it was the coolest spot - including skinny dipping every evening! Then we ate every meal at the restaurant next to our hotel called Illeanet's - where for 5 days we had the same meals (except for one lobster day)- Lunch/brunch I had scrambled eggs, beans, tortillas and avocados and Rich had shrimp tacos. Then for dinner we had whole crispy fried red snapper (fantastic!) and more shrimp - with beans, rice and tortillas. And cold cerveza of course. 
Eating Lobster on the beach
Coconut heads will roll ; )
I was so hot (and a bit distracted with the flies) that I didn't get any shots of our whole fish! Oh well, next time. Next stop - Zihuatanejo!

Post Note - thanks to Debbie our new friend for the great video of Richard! Hope to see you again!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tomatoes! Red and Green options

Ok, I don't mean to brag - and if I did it would be on what a great job my hubby has done with our garden because I have tomatoes coming out my ears! It's really hard to tell from this shot - but they are HUGE - the Heirloom type is called Carbon and they are dark red and wonderful - really meaty with a thin skin and great tomato taste. I've been eating them alone and this last week I made a large pot of tomato soup - boy are we going to be in heaven with OUR tomato soup and grilled cheese this winter! Also this weekend I decided a few fried green tomatoes would be a nice change of pace - and they were great along with a few little padrones...And then I saw the little leftover (after canning the rest) jar of my pepper jelly and thought - I bet that would be pretty tasty on one of those tomatoes - and hell yeah it was! This pepper jelly was even more special because I used Piment d'Espelette peppers from Mary and Bert at the Healdsburg Farmer's market - spicy and warm - they are delicious in this!