Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just Back From Sonoma County

A gorgeous drive through Washington, Oregon and down the coast of California on
highway one into Marin County. Only ate 5 meals out in 8 days and they were memorable, especially the tuna poached in olive oil ! New to me but not to certified chefs.

The restaurant, All Seasons Bistro, in Calistoga CA and the poached tuna...served with a red pepper sauce, cilantro rice and asparagus. The fish was cooked through, moist and incredibly delicious, a hint of olive oil in every bite.

Better yet was the unusual pizza I had at the Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland Oregon. The crust, baked in a wood fired oven, exceptional, thin and flavor full...looked like it had some whole wheat flour in it...

Topped with

whole roasted cloves of garlic
feta cheese
kalamata olives
thin slices of red onion

That's all.

SO good..light..and the garlic, sweet sweet sweet.

When it landed in front of me I was taken aback, expecting melted red grease and yes I knew what I ordered but it looked like no other pizza I'd been served. God it was good. Roasted whole cloves of garlic nestled in feta cheese along side kalamata olives and red onions.
Not a lot of any one ingredient.
Very light, satisfying and healthy.

A fun place too with a rack of magazines, a shelf of board games and boxes of kids toys. Located in a large old building you walk into a cozy bar which leads past the open kitchen into a grand room with two floors of seating, large windows and doors leading to patio dining.

They are open late.
We got in around 9:15 and the place was packed - people coming in for tables the whole time we were there. Ashland was out on a Thursday night and people were was a room full of talking laughing happy white people. And that's the way it was, this Thursday night in April.

I ate a lot of garlic in one sitting and plan on perfecting this dish to serve at home.

Speaking of garlic I just used up my last bulb from the 2007 summer harvest. This year I am planting more because I want enough to last until the next harvest.

Eat Local Ballard is this Tuesday night, 5th annual and I don't have a ticket !!!! Any one have an extra ??

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cucumber with Feta Cheese and Mint

Always a pot-luck hit this Greek salad is easy and swims in my favorite ingredient, olive oil.

The recipe is from the highly acclaimed cookbook
....The Foods Of Greece, by Aglaia Kremezi.


Cut a cucumber into thin crosswise slices.
Place the slices around the edge of shallow wide bowl or plater.
Sprinkle with the feta cheese and mint.

Whisk the oil and lemon juice with salt and pepper to make a ladolemono (vinaigrette made with lemon juice.)

Pour over the cheese and toss, serving immediately.

1 large cucumber
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

I serve this with heated pita bread or Ak-mak crackers. It lasts a long time in the frig and goes nicely along side lamb, beef or chicken.

It is a hit. Eaters want the recipe ! The cookbook is absolutely gorgeous, photographs by Martin Brigdale.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sheepnose Pimento

Elephant Heart Plum
Moon and Stars Watermelon
Marrowfat Bean
Gualjillo Honey

These may be a few of my favorite foods thanks to the Slow Food project, Ark of Taste which "aims to rediscover and catalogue forgotten flavors, documenting excellent food products that are in danger of disappearing." The list of endangered foods reads like poetry.

How about the Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter Tomato....the U.S.A. could use a bushel or two of those babies right about now.

I stumbled on the Ark of Taste while cruising the Local Harvest web site...a great resource for farmers and city folks alike .... it is all about connecting the eater with the source. Check it out, especially if you are planning a trip - the site has a great search engine that connects to restaurants cooking with locally produced foods, as well as a wealth of additional information about our country's food sources.

Hot for the local I have joined the Chefs Collaborative. Another educational and inspiring group. Look for a chapter in your region and consider joining.