Thursday, April 28, 2005

grow your own

Here's a few resources with information on growing your own:

Growing Guides

Citrus from seed:


Asian Vegetable Seeds:
Burpee: http://www.burpee.comHeirloom Seeds:
Thompson & Morgan:

Monday, April 18, 2005

dress it up

Had a delicious dinner at my friend Chris' parent's house. Chris' mom Lily made an excellent meal which included:

Mixed Green Salad with cucumbers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and Lily's special dressing (recipe follows)
Roast Beef with gravy and Green Beans
Potato Salad
Chicken Bake with cheese and broccoli
Mochi, sorbet "cake", fresh strawberries and fresh pineapple for dessert

Lily's Salad Dressing
Fantastically full of flavor, I imagine it would go great with chicken too. Don't know the quantities, so it will require some experimentation to get the proportions right.

Olive Oil
Fresh finely chopped garlic
Fresh Lemon juice
Dijon Mustard

Thursday, April 14, 2005

clouds of mushrooms

Last week has been an excellent week for cooking. Made Chicken with Calvados from the "Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook" by Sharon Kramis which Beckey gave to me a few months ago, along with Rosemary Roasted potatoes, and it was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend that book.

Bought 3 lbs of mushrooms from Costco, so I had to decide what to do with them all. So I improvised the following dish, and it turned out delicious. If you don't love mushrooms, this is not the dish for you.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Prosciutto in Thyme-Cream Sauce

1/2 lb. farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped, or 1/4 cup yellow onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp. prosciutto, finely chopped
10 large fresh mushrooms, washed & sliced 1/8-1/4" thick (your regular "white" mushrooms)
1 tbsp. paprika
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper

In a large pot, start bringing water to a boil, and add salt to water.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat, and add shallots, garlic, and prosciutto, and saute for 30 seconds. Then turn heat to high, add mushrooms, thyme sprigs, oregano, and paprika to pan and saute for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. The mushrooms will release a lot of water while cooking, but it will evaporate. Once mushroom "water" has evaporated, turn off heat.

Once pasta is cooked, drain pasta and add to skillet. Heat at high heat and stir mushroom/pasta mixture for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, then add cream and stir. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Will refridgerate and re-heat nicely as well.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

freedom soup

Wow, haven't posted here in a while. Not a whole lot of focused cooking going on, plenty of eating though.

I must say that I've become really interested in eating soup lately. Made some French Onion Soup recently, had some chicken soup last night. Soup tastes good and is good for you. The healing powers of certain soups are really amazing.

French Onion Soup
Remember all of the ridiculousness about "freedom fries" when France didn't support the war in Iraq? This is a slight modification of the French Onion soup recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. The most notable addition is use of beef stock instead of water. This gives the soup the rich texture you normally associate with French Onion soup.

French Onion Soup
Serves 8
Prep time: 40 minutes

4 yellow onions, medium
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 liter of beef stock (preferably organic/free range, low or no sodium)
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
8 round or oblong slices of french baguette
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Slice the onions into thin rings (1/8") using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Melt butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add onions. Saute onions, adjusting the heat so that they don't burn, until soft and golden in color over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with pepper, add sugar and flour, and cook for additional 3 minutes.

Next add entire quantity of beef stock, raise heat to high and bring soup to boil. Meanwhile, grate parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings (salt & pepper) to taste. Turn oven broiler on to prepare for last step.

Ladle soup into small heat-safe bowls. Add baguette slice to each bowl, and sprinkle with 1/8 cup parmesan cheese, and put bowls under oven broiler. Watching carefully, broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted & bubbly. Carefully remove bowls from oven and serve.