Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Citrus New Year

This is what we are having to celebrate the New Year --yukon gold potatoes, red onion, endive lettuce, ham,ruby red grapefuit in a bourbon-mustard dressing. Hot citrus is hot!

Winter time is citrus time...
making supremes

And general information on citrus

wine recommendation --fume blanc or Sauvignon Blanc

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jerusalem Artichoke or sunchoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is very high in iron. It is a good winter vegetable
This is a list of recipes from

But the most sought after answer and least asked question is why are they also called fartichokes and what can be done about it. This article from the Garden Web addresses the painful reality of eating sunchokes.

These are Jerusalem Artichokes from the Santa Rosa, Ca farmers market. But they are available all over North America this time of year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thomas Jefferson and Mac and Cheese

It seems there is some disagreement as to whether Jefferson brought mac and cheese to America. Whoever did it --good job! My mac and cheese has the kale/spinach puree and spicy pickled tomatoes in it. The pickled tomatoes are from my garden and a simple prep of rice wine vinegar, a little olive oil, cayanne pepper, cumin, mustard and jalapeno peppers, chopped rind of meyer lemon. Mix it all together and heat up and then let sit overnight.

Jefferson may not have brought mac and cheese to America but he did have wine with most meals. I think a nice zin with the mac and cheese would do the trick

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Budda's Hand

"Buddha's Hand from ideas in food

BuddhashandconfitureWe saw the Buddha's Hand in Fairway and for a change I was the one throwing caution and price tags to the wind by adding the fruit to our cart. It's an interesting citrus, known for its extraordinarily fragrant skin and for the fact that the pith is not supposed to be bitter. I've always wanted to play with it and so I jumped at the opportunity.

The first incarnation was this citrus confit. I used a mandolin to thinly slice the fruit. Then I blanched it to remove any lingering trace of bitterness in the pitch. I have to say though that the Buddha's hand lived up to its reputation for sweet, juicy pith. The bitter aftertaste was minimal and pleasant, although since we were using it for a dessert I blanched it anyway. Then I cooked it down with a pinch of salt in just enough 1:1 simple syrup to cover the slices. Once it was tender and translucent I took it off the heat and added a cinnamon stick for that extra something. The cooked Buddha's Hand was delicious, fragrant and melting, with an ethereal flavor that lingered on the palate and made you wish for just a little bit more. We paired it with chocolate and olives. There's still half a hand left, who knows what we'll do next."

Other folks are not so kind and suggest it is more of a novelty suitable for a centerpiece or aromatic.

Greens and Citrus

The Santa Rosa Famers Market is full of greens and citrus. Citrus is perfect for this season...bright and flavorful against the dreary winter. I made a puree..or jam or whatever using kale, spinach,parsley, apple, meyer lemon, jalapeno pepper and garlic which can be used any number of ways.

First I roasted the garlic in 1/4 c olive oil--then sauteed the kale, parsley, apple, jalapeno and spinach in the oil with a cup of water...10 minutes covered and ten uncovered. Add the juice and skinned sections of one meyer lemon. Puree in a blender or food processor. It's good just spread on bread or as a pizza topping. Also good as a pasta sauce.

Even more Santa Rosa Farmers Market

Santa Rosa Farmer's Market 12/27/2009 more

Santa Rosa Farmer's Market 12/27/2009

Monday, December 22, 2008

Heaven and Earth

This is a great dish for winter and while this version uses bacon..almost anything including soy with work..just in the proper form.
It's basically, mashed potatoes, apples sauce and bacon for a little added umph!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meat as a condiment - broccoli soup

Broccoli soup made with white beans, jack cheese,a tiny bit of chicken, beef and chicken stock and to give it some depth chipotle peppers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Meat as a Condiment

The minimalist weighed in on this subject as did Chef Mary Jo McMillin

It's about moving meat from the center of the plate and making it a side dish or to add flavoring.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meat and Fish are seasonal too!

Fish and meat have seasons just as vegetables do.

This is another list.

Kitchen Basics
Seasonal Buys at the Meat Market

You may have noticed during the summer months that roasts, stew meat and short ribs were priced at a more reasonable price than in the seasons just past. By the same token you'll notice, now that we're firmly in winter's grips, steak prices have dropped by 50% or more. Why? Because meat, especially beef cuts are seasonal purchases. The cuts we crave at present (roasts, stew meats, and short ribs) are in higher demand with cold weather. Steaks, which are primarily served grilled are no longer 'in season'. Luckily, in the South, we can grill nearly year round. We take full advantage of steak being bargain priced.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vegetable Pave ala Thomas Jefferson

Vegetable paves are easy and reheat well. I made mine with turnips, potatoes and collard greens and for something extra a layer of chicken just for flavoring. This is a good explanation of the concept.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

last tomato update

Almost the end of the year..and still eating tomatoes from my they with a breakfast pizza

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

lentil soup inside the box

I'm making soup for a neighbor's daughter who is recuperating from surgery...something light but tasty. I have bok choy, turnips, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes. I sauteed the turnips and potatoes in olive oil, same for the lentils...combined everything and added a two cups of water and some corn and put in the oven for 45 minutes. For a finish I added just a bit of cooked chicken as a condiment and heated it through.

I also made a caramelized onion, blue cheese and apple tart.