Archive for ‘Coffee’

March 25, 2011

Persephone’s Cocina | Lamb Chili

This is as close to elegant as a bowl of chili can get – it’s more appropriate for date night than for game night.  The lamb mellows beautifully after some time on the stove, the texture is velvety and tender, and the flavor is at once comforting and surprising.  This recipe makes use of some bold and non-traditional spicing, and the payoff is extraordinary.  The black cardamom provides a smoky warmth, the fenugreek a little burnt maple.  Pair these with the traditional cumin, chili powder and coffee, and the result is wonderful.  Its stunning, brick-red color is worth making it alone.  It’s a refined chili with a faint, almost-Persian echo.  Serve it over tamales, with some homemade cornbread, or simply with some sour cream.  It’s easy, and it’s a star.

Chile de Cordero, Serves 2

2 strips bacon, chopped

1/2 pound ground lamb

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January 30, 2011

Hangover Cure | Migas

Do not get the wrong idea: Persephone is not hung over.  She doesn’t get hung over.  Let’s just get that straight first.  But I do know that this is a malady that occasionally affects those fashionable folks who enjoy a nice meal with a few (extra) glasses of wine.

A sturdy, spicy breakfast lunch the next morning midday with a good strong bit of coffee is just what Persephone thinks you need, if you’re one of those fashionable folks.  And the refreshing thing about this is that you can be as creative as you like (or as creative as your refrigerator allows). The only basics you need are pork, eggs and tortillas.

For the migas this morning, it was a mash-up between a Spanish version that’s heavy on the pork products and the Tex-Mex version that’s heavy on the tortillas.  Typically the Spanish version uses breadcrumbs, but we have nine zillion corn tortillas in the fridge so there you have it.

To get started, I fried up some chorizo that was sliced into thick chunks, and a few slices of bacon that had been chopped into five or six pieces.  While this was frying over slowish heat, I soaked some corn tortillas in water that was seasoned with salt, some slices of jalapeno, and smashed garlic.  I also chopped up a couple of tiny potatoes and some fennel tops that we had in the fridge.  I whisked a couple of eggs together and added in a handful of watercress that was feeling lonely.   When the bacon and chorizo was just about crisp, I drained the tortillas and dried them then sliced them into thin strips.  I tipped in the tortillas, potatoes and fennel and let it cook a few minutes until most had crisped a bit (not too much, mind you) then added in the eggs and cress.  Stir and cook until the eggs are the consistency you like then divide into bowls and top with a bit of chopped cilantro.

This is pretty seasonal right now, but certainly in the warmer months, you might add tomatoes or kernels of  summer corn instead of the fennel and potatoes.  There’s also a plethora of cheese choices you can add to this everything from cojita and queso fresco (my favorite) to the shredded four cheese blends you get at the store (not so much my favorite, but entirely do-able).

Make sure you set a bottle of sriracha on the table for those that need a bit more help waking up and facing the day.

Playlist included Help, I’m Alive, by Metric.

January 16, 2011

Breakfast Tacos, San Antonio Style

I grew up eating breakfast tacos.  Notice I did not refer to these as breakfast “burritos.”  You won’t find vegetables in these.  They are not some sort of fancy omelet in a flour tortilla.  They are typically leftovers and eggs wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.  They usually consist of some combination of the following : Meat (carnitas, chorizo, bacon, brisket, carne guisada), beans (usually refried), cheese (usually grated cheddar), potatoes, and eggs (scrambled).

In San Antonio, where I spent my early years, breakfast tacos are more popular than donuts.  There are places you can pick up a dozen for work (you’ll always get brownie points for this).  My favorite little taco place (read: hole in the wall) has housemade flour tortillas and a seemingly endless variety of fillings for your taco.  My favorite: bean, egg and bacon.

Thousand Oaks Breakfast Tacos

Refried Beans (mine were pinto, that I pureed, then reheated in bacon drippings and seasoned with chili powder and ground cumin)

Scrambled Eggs (I used Holistic Acres)

Slices of meaty fried bacon (mine was Neuske’s)

Small (not burrito sized, y’all) flour tortillas (I heat mine directly over my gas burners on the stove. Use tongs if you must, but I’ve got asbestos fingers and do it by touch, flipping and rotating until they bubble).

Assemble your taco with a base of beans, a spoonful of egg and a slice of bacon.  Fold in half as you would a soft taco.  Nothing more complicated than that.  Serve with hot sauce or pico de gallo.  This morning I didn’t have salsa so I used Sriracha for the heat.

Playlist included Give Back the Key to My Heart, by San Antonio boy, Doug Sahm.

 

November 27, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | Silver Bridge Coffee

I have enjoyed Silver Bridge Coffee since earlier this year.  I sampled it at Whole Foods and was smitten.  I’m a sucker for a really good flavored coffee.  And Silver Bridge has some great ones.  Right now I’ve been drinking the Pumpkin Spice.  If I’m not careful I can go through a whole carafe.

I recently met Lorraine Walker, owner of Silver Bridge, at the Dublin Whole Foods when she was sampling her coffee for people.  She had a line three deep when I walked up.  It’s wonderful to talk with her because she is so passionate about her business.  Lorraine is a proponent of fresh, small batch roasting. “Coffee is an agricultural product that should be roasted and brewed fresh. The difference between fresh roasted coffee and the stuff in the can or gourmet coffee at the store is like the difference between eating a strawberry shipped in from the West Coast or picking one fresh from your garden.”

In addition to being passionate about quality and freshness, Lorraine is also a champion of other women-owned and -run businesses.  Which is why she stocks several varieties of Cafe Femenino.  The Café Femenino Coffee Project is a social program for women coffee producers in rural communities around the world.  Additionally, Lorraine charitably donates a portion of  her sales from these coffees to support the homeless women and children at Amethyst.

Great story, right?  I know!  And the coffee is really, really tasty.  Silver Bridge gift packages would make perfect holiday gifts, 12 ounce packages make great hostess gifts.  Locals here in Columbus can pick up Silver Bridge at either Whole Foods or the Hills Market.  And for non-locals, she has a complete selection online.

Today’s giveaway includes a Silver Bridge travel mug, one 12 ounce bag of whole bean Dominican Republic Cafe Femenino, and one 12 ounce bag of ground Caramel Creme.  

To win, either write in the comments section of this post how you take your coffee, or send me a tweet with the same information.  Entries end November 28th at noon EST.  Full giveaway rules can be found here.  Good luck!

November 26, 2010

The Official Persephone’s Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide

The turkey coma is fading, the leftover turkey carcass is simmering on the stove for stock, and now you can start thinking about what to do about your holiday gifts.  ‘Tis the season to be giving!  Perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member that loves all things food, or all things Ohio or all things fabulous. 

Persephone is here with a trusty list that’s sure to have them smiling.  Here are some of the things that will be wrapped and given to our nearest and dearest this year, whether it’s under a tree or lovingly pressed into the welcoming hands of a hostess with a houseful of merrymakers.

For the Baker

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November 24, 2010

Presents from Persephone’s Kitchen | A Week of Giveaways

I’m so excited for you, dear reader.  Persephone has presents.  Surprises for you on the terrace! 

I’ve written about a few of my favorite things and now, they are here, in my Kitchen, waiting to be given away.  Beginning this Friday, I’ll be doing a giveaway a day for a week.  The kind folks at The Olive Orchard, North Market Spices, Ltd., Dine Originals Columbus, Silver Bridge Coffee and David Tanis (yes, really!) all gave me things that they knew I loved and thought you’d love, too.  (You will!)

I’ll be putting up a gift guide tomorrow with great suggestions for the foodie that we all have in our lives, then I’ll start giving away gifts from the list beginning Black Friday.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter.  I’ll be tweeting when each giveaway starts.  Good luck!

November 13, 2010

Dine Originals Week | Pistacia Vera

Why don’t I live in German Village again?  Seriously.  I think I’ll just move there to be closer to Pistacia Vera.  I will, of course, gain 35 pounds over the course of a week or two because I would be there every. day. Three times a day.

I knew the pastries were good.  I’ve had them before.  The coffee is hot and strong and delicious from Cafe Brioso.  And the shop is so lovely and light and minimalist.  I know all these things.  But today, there was something magical about the perfectly arranged platter of six (!!) lovingly crafted sweets, my tasty Americano and a November day when it’s almost 70 and you can sit in the pretty little side courtyard and close your eyes and imagine you’re in Paris.  I close my eyes and imagine that Cherub is behaving herself, too.  But, alas, I’m a dreamer at heart.

The $10 menu, specially designed for Dine Originals Week included left row, bottom to top: fruit pates (black currant champagne and orange ginger), a mocha praline jaconde, and a mouth-watering cashew caramel.  On the right, two of their famous Parisian macarons (a pumpkin and a maple walnut), their Florentine and the pear ginger frangipan.  I swooned over the cashew caramel.  This has risen to the tip-top of my holiday gift list.  People would kiss you if you sent them a box of these babies.  Which you can

The true beauty of Pistacia Vera is that you can get these creative and inspiring bites, along with tremendous coffee for the same price as your typical afternoon chain coffee stop.  So get thee to German Village for an unpretentious little break.  And when you do, make sure to invite me along.  You know I’m game.

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