Archive for ‘Ohio’

March 28, 2012

Risotto of the Week | Spring Broad Bean and Foraged Dandelion

I returned home after a lengthy trip to Texas to find spring had sprung: the daffodils were spent and the ferns unfurling.  Nestled amongst said ferns on the shady side of the porch were dandelions, just emerged, with slender leaves and nary a flower in sight.

Which of course meant they are at their peak for eating.

Tonight’s dinner involved a return to cooking with a risotto.  Included were the fruits of my garden weeding – young dandelion leaves – and broad beans, another early spring arrival.

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March 17, 2012

It’s Not Just for St. Patrick’s | Scratch Corned Beef

When we visited our farmer friend Dick Jensen a few weeks ago for maple tapping, we picked up some of his lovingly raised and delicious grass-fed beef.  We blew through the short ribs (I still owe you some posts on those, two ways) but we also bought a brisket with the full intention of having it as corned beef.

And everyone loves it for St. Patrick’s Day.  But consider it as something you could make anytime.  It makes enough for leftovers for a couple of days.  Turn it into amazing sandwiches with a little Russian dressing and coleslaw.  Add some leftover potatoes that you par boiled and then roasted in fat and turn it into hash.  This is not your out of the can variety.

It’s worth the effort.

There is a bit of wiggle room just how long you choose to brine your brisket. 

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March 10, 2012

Quick Deliciousness | Walnut Aillade

ImageThis is the most marvelous thing to put on top of pasta, fish, crispy duck breasts, wild rice.  Oh goodness.  It’s good on anything.  I’m planning on putting it on top of some eggs and cream cheese and bagels from The Bagel Tree tomorrow morning.

It is many times like this that I feel very much like Nigella Lawson in the final few shots of her television program, greedily going through the fridge, late at night, slathering spicy spreads on whatever it is that she cooked that day.  But you know, the woman really knows how to cobble together a bite.

And I do, too, if I do say so myself.

This little spread will work wonderfully on lots of things.  And it comes together with just a few ingredients and a fast whiz in the food processor.  Moments, really.

Walnut Aillade, makes enough to sauce a dinner for three or four, plus a bit for late night slathering of snacks

1/2 c walnuts

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February 16, 2012

Mix This | Georgian ‘Curry’ Mix

ImageIn Georgian cooking, Khmeli Suneli is a spice mix that can be used as a dry rub or as an enhancement to soups and stews. It is essentially a curry, since it’s just a mix of spices.  You can choose to use all dried ingredients, or include some fresh, if you have it or it’s in season.

I used this in a mixed braise with lamb and short ribs (expect a post about that soon).  But it would also be great mixed with some olive oil and bread crumbs as an herb crust on chicken or fish.  Or sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon once you’ve sweated down some onions as a base for soup.

It’s fragrant, beautiful stuff, with forgiving measurements.

Persephone’s Khmeli Suneli

Mix equal parts dried of (I used a tablespoon each):

Whole fenugreek seeds

Bay leaf (I used 2 huge ones)

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February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday | Tapping Maples at Flying J

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Playlist included Mr. Sun, by Kina Granis.

January 29, 2012

Moms’ Recipes from All Over the World | Taste of OSU

This past Friday was the 2012 Taste of OSU.  Hosted by the OSU’s Office of International Affairs, the event brings some 4,000 guests to the Union to experience food and culture from all over the world.  More than 30 student groups provide the recipes, do the cooking and share a bit from their home countries.  Even more share cultural performances, from dragon dances to Bollywood showstoppers.

I love this event because people from all over the world who have joined the OSU family, come together to cook food that says, “this is what it tastes like in my country,” “this is what my mom makes on my birthday,” “this is the food that we have when we celebrate.”  These are moms’ recipes.  Moms that may be many thousands of miles away.  But at this event, it’s a chance to share a taste of something that reminds these students of home.  Proust’s madeline.

I had the good fortune to be asked to judge.  I was very excited.  Not only would I get a chance to sample a good variety of the entries from the 30 plus international student groups, but I got a chance to see some of the recipes.  Imagine my delight at being able to peruse the Russian Club’s beef stroganoff and blinis!  The Thai Student Association’s Green Curry Chicken!  The Somali Students Association’s rice!

The six finalists were the Russian Club, the Somali Students Association, Habesha Student Organization, Lebanese Student Association, the Organization of Arab Students and the Sri Lankan Student Association.  They all produced delicious dishes.

But the standout for us was the Habesha Student Organization.  And they won it with their lentils.  I scooped up some lentils with injera bread.  My eyes lit up.  This is something special.  Savory, perfectly seasoned.  Delicious.  Greedily, I flipped through the half-inch thick book of recipes.  Searching, searching.  I found the list of ingredients.

Crestfallen, I knew in a moment that there were not just three ingredients in that amazing lentil dish.

I knew Mom didn’t share her secret spices this time.  She didn’t share what makes her lentils better than anyone else’s.  Because sometimes, you have to grow up with her to be given the secret.  But if anyone asks her what makes it so special, I’m sure she’d smile and tell you it’s love.

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October 24, 2011

Final Harvest | Corn Milk Soup

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

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