Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pretty Colors

I think this is a pretty dish and pretty cool that the vegetables were harvested from the garden.  Our garden used to be our front lawn - GRASS - which we permacultured into a rich soil to grow food! Delightful results.  Purple cauliflower steamed lightly and then added to the sauted shallots and chard.   Next I added chopped kalamata olives, cooked pasta, salt, pepper, a dash more olive oil and I ate it up.  I liked it and felt sassy cause I grew the vegetables.  I will really be sassy when I grow olives in Seattle.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

More from the NYT

Butter Chicken is not a low calorie meal. I rarely order it due to how rich it is.

August 26th I read the following recipe in the New York Times and realized life is too short to miss out on the "General Tso's of Indian Food", as Sam Sifton refers to this dish.  I made it last night and highly recommend this recipe.

"Butter chicken is the General Tso’s of Indian food, a great, ever-evolving, cross-continental dish found in Delhi, London, New York, Perth and most points in between. In its purest form, it is yogurt-and-spice-marinated chicken dressed in a velvety red bath comprising butter, onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with garam masala, cumin and turmeric, with a cinnamon tang. This version was adapted from one a young kitchen hand at the restaurant Attica, in Melbourne, Australia, made for staff meal, and that the photographer Per-Anders Jorgensen included in "Eating With the Chefs," his collection of photographs of top restaurants around the world. It is wildly luxurious. Serve with basmati rice and mango chutney, with papadums or naan if you can find them, with extra rice if you cannot."

TOTAL TIME 1 hour 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone
1/4 pound unsalted butter
4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable or canola oil
 • 2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
2 red chiles, like Anaheim, or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
Kosher salt to taste
2/3 cup chicken stock, low-sodium or homemade
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed.

1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).

2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.

3. Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chiles and salt, and cook until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Add the almonds, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

 YIELD 6 servings

 The article by Sam Sifton, published 8/24/2014 New York Times Dining & Wine.

Just One More

I wonder, did I drink as much alcohol when I was young as I do now? Now that I am 58? No.

I crave beer brewed near where I live in Seattle. I salivate for hops. My beer of choice, India Pale Ales, IPA'S. I enjoy the social side of breweries.

I enjoy wine too, Washington State bordeaux style blends. There are over 600 wineries in our state.
Now the cocktail revival attracts my palette. I stay busy visiting bars and restaurants, enjoying the creativity of small businesses. Do I worry that I consume more alcohol than is healthy for me? Yes.

I want to share Mark Bittman's article "The Drinker's Manifesto" published in the New York Times August 26, 2014 with you. I like his take on the subject. Hope you find it interesting as well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Harvest Is On!

For dinner last night I tossed chopped plum tomatoes, diced garlic, olive oil, salt, and basil in a cast iron pan and roasted the sauce for 15 minutes, outside on the gas grill. I closed the grill lid and kept the temperature around 475 degrees.

While fifteen minutes is not long enough to caramelize tomatoes, the end result was sweet and fresh. No I did not skin or de-seed the tomatoes. I finished it off by mixing in a few ounces of goat cheese for a creamy tomato finish. Wait! I also threw in one chopped cayenne pepper for heat, before I roasted it; all vegetable ingredients from the front lawn garden!

 To accompany the pasta I made a kale salad, cutting the greens in thin strips. I added diced grilled patty pan squash, chopped raw almonds, and dressed it with a balsamic vinaigrette. (Gardening rocks!) My sweetheart and I ate dinner outside, thrilled at our efforts and harvest. Next, grilled plums from the plum tree!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Spanish Booty

Feast your eyes on my booty - go ahead - zoom on it with a magnifying glass to read the labels, take notes take notes; then book a flight to Barcelona.

A month ago today (May 2nd) I landed in Barcelona at 8 a.m, (11 p.m Seattle time) took the bus to Placa Catalunya and walked to my hotel in the rain. Unable to check in until noon, I set out on foot joining the sea of umbrellas, humming Porsche taxis and the Barcelona vibs. I picked up on the Roman vibrations and noticed - whatever my pleasure for breakfast - I was never far from it.
Cafe cortado, cerveca cortado - eggs with squid calms or potatoes pastries meat cheese and bread. Along the narrow streets of stone, Bars and Cafes are tucked in seemingly everywhere.

I headed to Las Ramblas and beelined it to the Bar Pinotxo in the Mercat de La Boqueria. Yes I'd watched Anthony Bourdain pig out at this bar and knew it was my kind of place.

Still a tad early for the throng that frequents the place I landed a seat and pulled up between two locals. The guys on my left were drinking Cava and the man next to me, Estrella Damm, the popular Spanish lager.
I piped in with a "cerveca por favor" just as a steaming plate of meat and potatoes landed in front of my beer drinking neighbor.

"Looks good" I said and ordered the same.

Man was I content - drinking my beer - taking in the sites and sounds and wow, here's my steaming hot stew. Taking my first bite I realized I was about to eat something I'd never eaten before and ahhh I am not an adventuresome eater.

This was not pork stew and the potatoes - weren't .... rather they were cubes of fat or an animal part unknown to me AND it was all sticky, a sticky Catalan stew...perhaps wild boar but I didn't ask because I feared I'd hear the dreaded "tongue".
And I truly do respect the practice of eating the whole animal but I am not used to it and don't like certain textures. - It's true, the Sassy Omnivore is texture sassy so my food adventures in Spain are not a rich and educational tale.

I did so want to eat the stew to warm my body and soul but slink-ed away to another bar, Kiosko Univeral, for a plate of roasted vegetables swimming in olive oil oil oil olive oil and topped with salt, lots of salt. Baby artichokes, mushrooms of all kinds - asparagus onions and crusty bread. "Welcome to Spain", I shouted as I toasted the market with my Estrella Damm and called for ham and cheese. I passed on the after-meal coffee and liqueur and made my way back to the hotel to dry off warm up and sleep.

The next day I went back to Bar Pinxoto and ordered what turned out to be my favorite market meal - baby clams tossed in a wok-like pan with a lot of olive oil. It went like this and was a quick cook - once the clams opened the cook poured in a couple of eggs, flipped and stirred it around to cook the eggs, plated it, salted it and served it to me. Delicious. Here they and I - are.

And a few other Market dishes

Razor Calms

Look here I am with Scampi.

And back at Bar Pinxoto for a lentil seafood salad with, yes, olive oil and salt.

Now back to my Spanish Booty...the chocolate bar from the Museu de la Xocolata delighted me soon after my return with it's rich dark flavor and creamy dreamy texture. Tasted exactly like the hot chocolat I'd had in the Museu lobby. God was it good. And what a place !!! This neighborhood in Barcelona, La Ribera, on a Sunny Sunday Morning!

More on The Booty...
one bottle of olive oil is gone, the Cortijo De Suerte Alta and it went fast, for good reason, we were drinking it by the shot. Well, some of us ... Those lost in their senses.
After generations of production, this family business began Organic Farming in 1996 and in 2006 they built an award winning mill, recognized for it's environmental design.

My booty my booty I just can't stop thinking about my Spanish booty which has not been recognized for it's environmental design but it has been recognized.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm taking this safari...

If you enjoy traveling and eating - a lot .. check out Paul Croughton's Tapas Safari.

Yes I am going to Spain and have signed up for his tour! He is a hoot and I learned a new word... "There’s always one that packs unprovoked heat, stinging the gums and making you gurn".

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pho Binh in Lake City

Vietnamese food at Pho Binh in Lake City Way Washington is pretty darn good and as close to the real thing as you can get, from my house. From my house it's a four mile journey for a delicious bowl of Pho, a juicy Banh Mi sandwich or a lovely bowl of Bun with fresh basil and crisped shallots on top.

The restaurant is a couple of blocks north of Fred Meyers, on the same side of the street. It comes up fast and sits next to a used car lot. Nothing fancy about the place but lot's of good ju ju ambiance...bamboo and potted plants - lots of ceramic stuff...a big ship with dragons at the bow, and a big big Buddha. They've done it right...been there for 6 years and I thank them. So does my friend who yesterday ate TWO pork Banh Mi right after the other.

Hours: Monday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

13310 Lake City Way NE Seattle WA 98125