Archive for ‘Cucumber’

August 23, 2011

A Quick Pickle | Szechuan and Dill

These are my first pickles.

I thank sites like Hounds in the Kitchen and Food in Jars for giving me the nudge in the direction of preserving and pickling.

What is it about these methods that seem so daunting?  Perhaps it is that you hear stories of the six thousand pints that your grandmother used to make at one sitting. (Who has time?)  Perhaps it’s the old stories that it won’t keep as well as you hope.  Fear mongers.  Truly folks, don’t listen.  You can put up just a few pints at a time, in two hours or less.

And the satisfaction of a pickle from a cucumber you grew or just picked up at a farmers’ market is like nothing else.

I made up my own pickling spice, because I think things can be a bit boring if you go the conventional route.  I like a bit of extra spice.  I also kicked in some fresh ginger in some and a massive quantity of garlic as well.  They turned out crispy and salty and kind of awesome.

PK Szechuan Dill Pickling Spice

1 t caraway seeds

1 T corriander seeds

1 t cumin seeds

1 t celery seeds

5 cloves

10 juniper berries

8 green cardamom pods

1 T black peppercorns

1 T Szechuan peppercorns

2 T dill seed

Lightly crush all larger spices, especially the cardamom pods and juniper berries.  Use in quantities as your pickle recipe advises.

Playlist included My Heart Skips a Beat by The Secret Sisters.

 

May 30, 2011

Holiday Weekend | Greek Mezedes

This started with my current obsession, which is oddly and plainly, roasting potatoes.

From which rose a lovely collection of small plates that we passed and shared over a couple of glasses of wine. Well, Cherub didn’t have any wine.

It was all easily pulled together a Monday night on a long weekend, Memorial Day here in America and Bank Holiday for those across the pond.  It’s a leisurely way to enjoy a meal or entertain.   It’s basically the more familiar tapas only with Mediterranean flair.  In fact many a Greek meal begins and ends entirely with mezedes.

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January 27, 2011

Monday Night Brunch | Pork Belly Bibimbap

I recently followed a debate/skirmish happening in the Atlanta area between a restaurant critic and some local chefs.  Let’s just say the chefs carried the day.  One wonderful chef who responded quite eloquently was Ron Eyester, or The Angry Chef of Rosebud in the ATL.  I discovered, not only is he tremendous in an argument, but he’s doing something fun at his restaurant: Monday Night Brunch.  Well, why on earth not, I asked myself?

So here’s Persephone’s version.  It’s a Korean, Seoul-food classic called Bibimbap.  With braised pork belly, a completely naked salad and a beautiful sunny side up egg on top, it’s a well-balanced dish that’s colorful, light, fresh and fun.  It’s bacon and eggs, kids, just with some Far Eastern flair.  So grab a Bloody Mary and some coffee and you’re good to go all night long.

Pork Belly Bibimbap

1 1.25 lb pork belly, seasoned with salt and pepper (There’s lots of fat, so you’ll only wind up with about 1/2 – 2/3 lbs of meat)

For the Marinade:

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 thumb of ginger, roughly chopped

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November 10, 2010

Get That Baby in the Kitchen | Homemade Hummus

 

Cherub, 3 (and a half now! she’ll tell you), was a big helper in the kitchen tonight.  And as a result, she totally nom’ed her dinner.  It didn’t hurt that one of her favorite things to eat is hummus anyway.  We made some homemade tonight since we had leftover chickpeas from last night’s dinner.  I served her hummus with some sumac-dusted salmon topped with a greek yogurt and cucumber sauce and warm flat bread.  Even with the “help” from Cherub, dinner was made and on the table in 30 minutes.  It was a fun evening in Persephone’s Kitchen.  Lots of love.  You could taste it in the food, too.

Cherub’s Hummus

1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and minced

1 small bunch of watercress, tough stems removed

1 1/2 T butter

1 T olive oil

3 c cooked chickpeas (you could use rinsed canned, but it’s easy-peasy to start with dry, just takes a little time)

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August 31, 2010

Soup and Sandwich for Two

Feel like you’ve spent your entire life in the customer service line?  Tired of being fed the robotic, ubiquitous and industrial tomato soup with grilled processed cheese?  Then give today’s lunch menu a go with someone you love.  This light and tasty combo is vegetarian friendly and takes advantage of two peak late-summer crops.  Its slightly adventurous and playful, but won’t alienate lovers of the S&S tradition.  C’mon, Robots need love too…

Chilled Cantaloupe “Soup”

½ cantaloupe, seeded and cut into chunks

¼ c. heavy cream, sprinkle of sugar, drop of vanilla – combined and lightly whipped

Puree the cantaloupe in a blender or food processor, divide between two bowls.  Drizzle with the cream (you won’t need all of it).

Marinated Cucumber “Sandwich”

½ large cucumber, peeled

3 chive stalks and 6 mint leaves, chopped

Mirin, rice wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, pinch of salt, splash of olive oil

2 slices thin white bread

1 T. Boursin

Using a vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of cucumber from the length of the cucumber stopping when the seeds are reached.  In a bowl toss together the cucumber ribbons, chive, mint, Mirin, vinegar, sugar, salt and olive oil.  Spread the Boursin thinly over the two slices of bread, divide the cucumber mixture between the two slices.

Playlist included Dan Mangan’s Robots (Robots need love, too.  They want to be loved by you.)

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