Posts made in August, 2015

Recollection

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in New | 0 comments

Paris

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August 1997

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Just Tomatoes

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Pizza | 1 comment

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Ty and Britton launched a headlong kitchen renovation and have moved to an immaculate practical food venue within their garage.  Mixing vintage home, modern camp with husky rolling tool cabinets and power implements seems so firehouse chic. I lovingly call their quarters the Great Hall.

Fortunately, a slew of their garden tomatoes were gifted to us just as the last of our tomatoes grew to be soup.

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As a first responder, I placed about 2 pounds of the San Marzano-like variety in a dry heavy-bottomed pot with salt only;

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planning to watch over them as they began to sweat and luxuriate in their own juices.

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When they began to break apart, I tasted and added more salt and a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acid.

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Down the line, I used an immersion blender to meld the tomatoes.

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Uncovering the pot and reducing the heat to barely a simmer, allowed the sauce to condense and thicken with a hand full of fresh basil leaves.

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In the end, two 7-ounce portions of deep red, flavor-packed homemade pizza sauce came to be. (Enough for four pizzas).  I could have eaten it all—right there one spoonful at a time.

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But, it was pizza night after church— Wild Boar Sausage Pizza with Mozzarella and Goat Cheese.

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Little Green Churches and Peppers

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 5 comments

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Normally, this weekend would find us in the Carson Valley; traveling up California Hwy. 395, past a pale green church of my childhood, and drought cast Mono Lake.

Our post-Ironman week was less than typical.

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Hence, we are home turning over flagging remnants of overgrown August herbs, drooping sunflowers, a plethora of scarlet blistering shishito peppers,

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and various colored bells, discovering another garden dinner in the doing.

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My mother often made stuffed bell peppers, which began with blanched, whole peppers full of ground beef, bread crumbs, bacon, and raw Minute Rice which magically cooked the tiny white bits as they bathed in bubbling stewed tomatoes topped with American cheese.  Sixty years later, my sister and I reminisced about those delicious packages of meatloaf and buttery new potatoes side by side.

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Nowadays, peppers are bottle green, sweet, red or purple, black beauties.

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I arrange hollow halves in a skillet like puzzle pieces which assures me they will nestle without tipping.  Fillings change with the seasons, brown rice and black beans or quinoa and herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the moment, I am constructing peppers filled with Farro, the ancient Roman grain touting a nutty earthy bite similar to barley.  I used the whole grain, which some call to soak overnight; Conversely, I cooked 1 cup covered with water (like cooking pasta) for 30 minutes until  still slightly chewy before draining.

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Onion seasoned and sautéed with garlic and crushed red pepper offered aromatic notes;

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then chopped parsley and

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Kalamata olives dotted with cherry tomatoes roundly completed it.

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Use each pepper half as a scoop and fill one by one so you don’t mess up the pattern; cover and save for later.

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Or, fill the skillet halfway with low sodium tomato juice (I use Trader Joes Garden Patch) and bring to a simmer.

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Cover and cook until the peppers are tender, basting now and then with the juices, about 30 minutes depending on their size.  Remove the cover and simmer until the juices thicken.  If you like a crown of cheese, top with feta, fresh mozzarella or burrata and turn off the heat.  Let stand until the cheese is slightly melted.

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Set an extra place for Mom.

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Fancy Haystacks

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Desserts | 1 comment

Recall when chow mien noodles, melted chocolate or heaven forbid butterscotch morsels were transformed into no-bake ‘Haystacks’?  I remember them as Halloween treats.

Well, Ina is back and on her celebrity-studded TV show, kicking off her shoes to hang with Jennifer Garner, she somehow updated  those tired little heaps into mounds of crispy chocolate cheer-worthy English Chocolate Crisps. Expensive chocolate is melted and tossed with corn flakes and dried cranberries.  That’s it--really.  Ina’s way or the highway was challenged this time not from disrespect for the Barefoot Contessa, but man, I have less expensive chocolate.

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The chocolate is a combination of milk and bittersweet in random amounts totaling 12 ¾ ounces. Most of the chocolate is melted in a microwave in 30-second blasts and tempered at the finish with the remaining chocolate. I'm quite sure .80 ounces might be still in the bowl.

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I accomplished the same thing over a pot of simmering water.

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Pour the smooth melted chocolate over 3 cups of corn flakes tossing gently before folding in 1/3 cup dried cranberries.

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I used chopped dried cherries because they added a sweet dark note and because they seemed over-the-pond posh.

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Pile the mixture into 8 mounds and set aside.

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Chilling works faster.

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My family loved them.

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Cheers to a modern new-fangled kitchen--coming soon!

 

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Moments

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in New | 1 comment

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"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it

for a few minutes, including you."

--Anne Lamott

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