August 10, 2012
It’s the time of year where just about anything your heart desires is available fresh and local here in Ohio. Farmer’s market tables groan under the weight of melons, zucchini, tomatoes, peaches. Oh the loveliness.
Local Matters (whose mission is to transform the food system in central Ohio to be more secure, prosperous, just and delicious) hosts Local Foods Week every year. This year they have so many events from tastings to picnics to special local foods week tours. It’s kind of a party with produce all week. Which is awesome.
Cooking with local produce is my personal favorite thing to do this week.
But it’s summer, too, and if you ask me, that means cooking should be just barely above a simmer. If you’re in the house, lightly sauteed or not cooked at all are methods I can stand behind.
read more »
July 12, 2012
We just got back from vacation in Georgia. It’s such a great state with so many people committed to delicious food fresh off the farm. My kind of place, really. And to be honest, they make some mean fried chicken.
While I was there I couldn’t help but do some canning of some fresh Georgia peaches. I basically followed this method for canning the teeny ten pounds I had into four quart jars. In some of the jarred peaches I packed in some fresh basil,
read more »
October 24, 2011
It’s simply the best of the last of the garden. Eight ears of the last of the sweet corn. Cobs scraped completely clean, releasing all that sweet corn “milk.” I think it’s what makes this soup special.
But perhaps, too, it’s that I added in the last few peppers still standing on my counter. Another handful of tomatoes that were picked green in the back garden, but managed to ripen despite that deep insult. And green onions picked up at the farmer’s market. Plus two palmfuls of teeny purple potatoes (that were a growing experiment by me) from a more experienced gardener friend. Generous pinches of fresh thyme from the terracotta pot on the patio. Twists of pepper. A blessing of salt.
Poach a few shrimp in the hot soup to make it more substantial. Or some smoked haddock would be perfectly at home. Or if you have leftovers, top bowls of soup with a crumbled a link of andouille and some sauteed shrimp for a take on a gumbo. That’s what I’m going to do.
Corn Milk Soup, serves 6 to 8
4 strips bacon, sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
read more »
October 2, 2011
I haven’t made a whole lot of pork lately. I’ve been swooning over spice-rubbed chicken, braising all manner of cuts beef, and grilling plenty of fish. I think pork needs its due. I am a big fan, particularly of bacon and pork belly. It must be the fat. But what about the old standby favorites? I think I’ve been shying away from cuts like pork chops and fresh hams simply because, at first blush, seem kind of mundane.
Enter brining. A great primer, including a simple ratio, from Cooks Illustrated can be found here. But in a nutshell, this technique of soaking in a salt, sugar and spice “stock,” really livens up the flavor of the more lean cuts of pork and bumps up the much needed moisture. It doesn’t require any silly flavor injectors and it’s foolproof. Adjust the flavors and seasonings as you wish and you’ll have a dinner either as familiar or exotic as you want it to be. Add in some locally and thoughtfully raised pork, mine was from Curly Tail Organic Farm, and the noble pig doesn’t get much better than this.
Basic Brine, make 1 quart per pound of meat
1 qt water
read more »
September 23, 2011
My friends and I have been kind of fawning over Sean Brock, chef and owner of Husk and McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina. Add to that that he was a James Beard Award winner in 2010. And Bon Appetit named Husk best new restaurant this year. Sean lives and breathes local. And he’s just so cute.
And he loves pugs.
I am smitten.
I was so happy to see that he was featured in September’s Southern Living and that he gave up some great recipes. I made his Lowcountry Shrimp-and-Okra Pilau for dinner tonight. Fabulousness in a bowl, really. Plus, Cherub’s first experience with okra was a successful one thanks to this recipe. I used some local Schmidt’s Bahama Mama smoked sausage as well as the okra I picked up at the Worthington Farmer’s Market. Don’t be afraid. Okra is delicious, even when unadorned and not fried.
While you do simmer this dish for about 30 minutes in the middle, you can use that time to clean up the kitchen. Because who has time to cook? You do.
Wine pairing: Chateau Bonnet 2009 Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon – Muscadelle.
Playlist included Police Dog Blues, by Hugh Laurie.
September 22, 2011
Every so often you run across a recipe that begs to be made just as is, such as Spanish maestro José Andrés’s recipe for gazpacho. Not a more perfect dish than this can be found to send summer off into its nine month hiatus. Celebrate all that we are losing before the clock strikes 5:05 a.m. tomorrow. Well, perhaps this post is a bit late for that, but rustle up some of these ingredients this weekend for a quick, albeit belated, goodbye.
I used some gorgeous, juicy yellow tomatoes from a Green B.E.A.N. Delivery box along with peppers and cucumbers from my back yard. All gone now.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Playlist included Quiet Town, by Josh Rouse.
September 3, 2011
The quick and dirty version of a Saturday dinner:
Because I made a veal stock today (with lovely bones from Bluescreek Farm Meats), it meant that there was quite a bit of tasty meat left on the bones after the stock was all said and done. It was dropped into the quick tomato sauce, that I seem to make quite a bit here in the summer. (It’s just now about time for the last of those tasty orbs. Get them fresh while you still can.) This was poured over some homemade tagliatelle.
Served alongside for sopping up all the extra tomato-y goodness was a bit of rosemary focaccia: (1 1/4 c all purpose flour, 1 large sprig fresh rosemary finely chopped, 3/4 t salt, 1 package dried yeast, 1/2 c water all dumped into a bread machine for kneading, then allowed to rise in a covered and very generously olive-oiled bowl for about an hour an a half; punched down on a baking tray and allowed to rise once again for about 30 minutes and then drizzled with more olive oil and torn rosemary, salt and grated parm; baked at 400F for about 25 minutes). A simpler, no knead version is here.
Playlist included Misery, by New Jersey’s Big Troubles. How is it that My Bloody Valentine is now retro? Are we that old? Le sigh.