Showing posts from April, 2011

Beef, Black Bean, and Chorizo Chili

Okay, so it's not the season for chili, but I just wanted another meal I could throw in the slow cooker and call it a day.  So, while the sun is shining and the daffodils are finishing their blooms, I am packing the All-Clad with beans and sausage and chiles and tucking in to a bowl laden with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions.

Growing up, I found that chili and/or nachos signified the weekend.  On Saturdays at my dad's house in northern Illinois, we would make a giant tray of nachos or a pot of chili and he would turn on a baseball or football or (rarely) basketball game.  Dad would settle into the couch, and I would sit on the floor, picking black olives off the nachos or adding cheddar cheese to my chili.  Inevitably, he would fall asleep, and I would pick up my homework.  But about five minutes before the end of a game, he would jerk awake, tussle my hair, chastise me for not watching the game, and pretend that he was watching it all along.  Neither of us were …

Soba with Grilled Asparagus and Sea Scallops with Sweet Miso Sauce

Well, hello there spring.  Nice to see you.

Asparagus practically shouts spring.

Growing up, I was not a fan of asparagus.  I actually have a very vivid memory of eating asparagus soup at my aunt and uncle's house in Utah.  The last one left at the table, I was not allowed to watch television or read a book until I had finished my soup, but I thought the taste was bitter.  What person would like this soup?  In my eight-year-old mind, I was convinced that everyone else must have politely suffered through the soup just so they could get up from the table.  But no one was fooling me.  And I refused to eat it.   I am not sure if my father came to rescue me after everyone had gone to the living room or if I just dumped the soup into the garbage disposal.  All I know is that I most certainly did not eat it.

I understand now that my pre-pubescent palate was hardly refined.  I like to remind myself that children have considerably more taste buds than the adult quota of (approximately) 10…

Blue-Ribbon Carrot Cake, American Food

Here we are with the third in an at-least-four-part series on the quest for the best carrot cake.  I know I have one more cookbook with a carrot cake recipe, and I might have more.  In this third entry I think we may have found a winner--a blue-ribbon winner, in fact.

Many of you may have extra carrots from the recent leporid visit--if only I had a few deviled egg recipes to help you out.  However, if you happen to have a couple of carrots left over, this may be the recipe to try.  Around here, Easter is a complicated holiday.  I, a lapsed Catholic.  The husband, a Jew.  Both of us, committed to reading, at least, this David Sedaris essay.
According to Evan Jones (the author of the cookbook), this recipe comes to us straight from the Guadalupe County Fair in Seguin, Texas, in the late 1960s and from the files of one Viola Schlicting, who changed her German carrot-nut bread into cake and won a blue ribbon.  Well, thank you, Viola, for I would argue this is the best recipe we have goin…

Family Feast April 2011

April 16, 2011 Richmond
Prosciutto and Melon
Red Peppers in Balsamic Vinegar
Olives Cipollini Onions
Herbed Mushrooms

Osso Buco Peas and Pancetta Pasta

Strawberry Shortcake
Belgian Chocolates

Red Swiss Chard with Ginger

Today I have been working on carrot cake for tonight's book club (posting tomorrow perhaps), but I also needed to eat some chard.  Keeping up with the CSA box is sometimes hard work.  That's a lot of vegetables.  But Jacques Pepin's swiss chard with ginger (and garlic and jalapenos) is pretty darned tasty.  I do think that even more ginger (and garlic and jalapenos) would be even better (so I added more below).

This is pretty simple.  Pretty basic.  Pretty tasty.  And, ain't it pretty?

Now, simply, I just need to go grade the rest of those papers.

One Year Ago: Olive Paste and Blue Cheese Canape/ Creamed Blue Cheese with Brandy
------------- Red Swiss Chard with Ginger Adapted from  Jacques Pepin's Table
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Ingredients:   1 1/4 pounds red Swiss chard
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 - 3ounces  piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped (2-4 tablespoons)
1 small jalapeno pepper, s…

Pulled Pork

Mostly, I just felt like using the slow cooker.  That, and I needed to spend the day away from the house in order to get these papers graded.  It's amazing the number of things that can distract me from grading papers.

Let's talk pulled pork though, shall we?  Pulled pork has as many advantages as there are recipes to make it.  Advantages to pulled pork are that it's great food for a crowd (just double your recipe.  Triple it, even.  Or you could literally go whole hog).  It takes all day to cook, but it's one you can walk away from if you have a slow cooker but it's more traditional if you smoke the meat outdoors.  And it is oh so tasty.

Recipes for pulled pork are just as various.  People get rather emotional about this subject.  Now some people swear by dry rubs.  Others swear by brining the pig.  However, I married a former-Kansan, and that means BBQ is almost always wet.  What's the difference?  Well Memphis BBQ uses a dry spice rub before hand--usually c…

Carrot Cake, Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food

I certainly did not mean to be away from the blog for this long, but then the spring sprung, and well, it appears that it got away from me.

But, sigh, we're on spring break right now, which means I can get caught up.

But before I catch you up on the second round of carrot cake (and I have another round planned for later this week), let me get you caught up on the most exciting things.

I decided to run a race.

Now for some of you, this means nothing.  You are superstars.  You run marathons in your free time.  You laugh at half marathons.  But I am not that person.  About a year ago, I professed loudly and proudly that I did not like to run.  But in January, I purchased new kicks, and I got myself out there so I could participate in the Oakland Relay (which encourages four non-overachievers to band together to run separate legs of the race).  Let's be clear here, we were near the back of the pack.  Times meant nothing.  But I ran a 10k.  And I literally said to the guy manning …