Posted on August 10th, 2011 No comments
My farmers’ market bags this week
First, my camera seems to be out of commission so I have scoured the archives instead of taking pictures at the market today.
I have been out of town the last few weeks and eating other peoples’ cooking. Add to that the fact that summer produce is at its peak, I got a bit carried away today at the Farmers’ Market. I had two very full and heavy bags! My refrigerator is full and now I have to be on top of things so that none of it goes to waste. I thought I would go through my purchases with you and my plans for them.
I am hungry for fruit this week. I bought strawberries which honestly will probably just be eaten as is. I am surprised I didn’t eat all of them already! Windmill Farms of Live Oak has the best berries I have ever eaten! Yum.
I bought plums, a new to me variety called Yummy Giants and yes, they are. They are for a cooking trade with a friend and will become hand pies.
I bought lacinato kale, basil, cilantro, and cucumbers from Route 1 Farms. I ate some of the kale tonight with green beans also gotten at the market from Mell-o-dee Ranch, from whom I also got some eggs, corn, and blackberries. The eggs are going into some homemade mayonnaise amongst some other things. Basil and Cilantro will become pesto, which I have written about here. Cucumbers are being combined with lemons from my tree to become soda. ( a future blog post there) The corn is being pickled tomorrow, based on a variety of recipes I found on the internet. ( also, a future blog post, provided I get my camera working!) Blackberries will be blended with some kefir tomorrow morning for a smoothie.
I treated myself to some raw cream from Claravale Dairy. I am lactose intolerant but occasionally I put raw cream in my coffee substitute drink in the morning and it doesn’t seem to affect me in the same mucus-y way that pasteurized dairy does. We are so lucky here in this part of California to have this dairy . Almost daily, I read on the internet stories of raw milk dairies being raided, shut down by the FDA. Please educate yourself on this subject and support your small local dairies.
I came home with a nice sized newly “processed” pasture raised chicken and a small bag of chicken feet from Fogline Farms in Soquel, Ca. I will roast the chicken and have enough for probably 4 meals. I am likely to eat the legs and thighs as is. I will make some chicken and fig salad from the breast. Then, the carcass and some of the feet will be turned into delicious chicken bone broth. That, in turn, will go in the freezer for future use.
I also got carrots and radishes which will go into salad and just for munching. Thanks, Blue Heron Farm.
A bottle of Mint Cooler from Creative Cultures rounded out my purchases. After momentarily forgetting where my car was parked and having to carry those heavy bags a few more blocks than planned, it gave me a boost for sure!
Please use the comment section to share what you have gotten recently at your farmers’ market.
Posted on July 5th, 2011 1 comment
I am not sure when it started but a few well known food bloggers had a conversation about pie and soon #pieday was created. It is a day for food bloggers, food lovers, cooks and chefs to make a pie, take a picture of it, post it on Facebook, Twitter, write a blog post about it. I can’t imagine very many people in our culture anyway who don’t like pie. This event has become a pretty big phenomenon. If you use either Facebook or Twitter I encourage you to go and explore the huge world of pie. Go here for the Facebook event page. Go to twitter and do a search using #pieday ( the “hashtag” is what enables you to see ALL the tweets that have to do with pieday)
I love savory pie. And I have been craving meat, so I created a savory Carnivore Cottage Pie. I wish I could give credit to the blogger from whom I got the crust recipe but the link is long gone. so, thank you, faceless Paleo diet practitioner. The crust is the only part I really have a recipe for. It would have been better had I had a recipe for the rest as I forgot to put some eggs into the filling which would have held it together nicely. Instead, it fell out of the lovely crust. Tasted good, yes, but not so pretty for a photo! As with all my recipes, improvisation is the name of the game and this could have almost infinite combinations of ingredients.
Carnivore Cottage Pie
5 c.organic almond meal/flour
4 T. cold organic butter, cut into small pieces
2 organic eggs ( please use ones from pastured chickens)
1 tsp. salt
I used a small onion and a couple cloves of garlic which I sauteed in some leftover bacon fat. Use what oil/butter combination you prefer. I added about 3/4 lb. of turkey sausage, and a couple big handfuls of beet greens, salt, pepper, some Penzey’s Summer in Paris seasoning. This is a good time to use leftover veggies. I had thought of putting mushrooms in, but forgot!
Place almond meal and salt into the food processor. Pulse in the pieces of butter. Add eggs and mix until it comes into a ball. Dump onto a piece of parchment paper, wrap, and cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. This dough is pretty fragile before baking. Divide into two balls and roll carefully into circles for your pie pan. I used a deep dish baking dish and pushed the dough carefully up the sides.I put a few slices of pork pate over the dough and sort of spread it around. Add the cooked filling which you have mixed with a couple of eggs. Cover with the other rolled out crust and gently press the edges together.
Bake at 350º in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes. Yummy!
Posted on June 26th, 2011 3 comments
Goodness from the food processor
I have been experimenting a lot lately with pesto. I have long loved the Italian classic sauce . It is quite yummy on noodles, potatoes, vegetables, and meat. I am not very tolerant of dairy so didn’t indulge in pesto too often. Last year a friend suggested that I try making it with miso instead of the parmesan cheese. Why not ? It has that good salty umami flavor plus it provides some probiotic fermented goodness. That led me to experiment with making other changes.
What are the basic ingredients of pesto? Let’s take them one by one and make a list of substitutes/variations.
green herb – Classic pesto is made with basil. This is a summer herb, so what can we do the rest of the year ? Here in Central coastal California, we have farmers’ markets year round so I just go and see what is available. In the fall and winter you can use arugula, parsley, spinach. In the spring comes dandelion greens, sorrel, fava greens. Summer herbs are cilantro, basil, as well as many of those other herbs continue to be available. Try some nasturtium leaves ( just a few as the taste is pretty strong, but good for you). See what else you can find that you might like. Watercress ? try it.
garlic – For a party once which had a tropical theme, I made a Hawaiian style “pesto” with ginger instead of garlic. ( The other ingredients were cilantro, macadamia nuts, olive oil, and a bit of sesame oil). I usually stick with the garlic, but experiment!
nuts- Classic ingredient is pine nuts. Lately, they are ridiculously expensive so thinking of options is good. Walnuts are so good for you, high in the good omega oils so mostly now I use those. Try other nuts for interesting flavors.
oil – Again, the classic choice is olive oil. Other oils such as hemp and flax oils can be added for more nutrition.
cheese – Now I always sub miso for the cheese. I like the dark aged kind the best but you might like the milder flavor. If you also are intolerant of dairy, please do not use soy cheeses. They are so over processed and really have no nutritional value and in fact all that processed soy may be harmful.
I don’t measure things in this recipe really. I just add things until they look or taste right. Trust your instincts.
Pesto with room for improvisation
1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight and drained
2 bunches of herbs ( my latest was a bunch of basil – I stripped the leaves off and didn’t use the big stems, and cilantro)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 big Tablespoon of miso
1/2 – 1 cup of oil ( mostly olive plus a few Tablespoons of hemp and flax oil)
First, process the nuts in the food processor. Add the other ingredients ( you may need to add one bunch of greens at a time, process it so there is room for the next bunch, depending on how big the bowl of your processor is). Add a few Tablespoons of water if you feel it needs thinning. Taste and decide if it needs more oil, maybe some pepper or some other herb. Not salty enough ? add some more miso.
This recipe is really just a framework and is the perfect opportunity for experimenting and improvising. Please use the comment area and let me know how you like your pesto.