Monday, May 30, 2011

Smoked Shoulder

So yohboh cooked a large pork shoulder for 18 hours in his Kamodo Joe.
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We have many pounds of smoked pork. There is a spice rub on it that yohboh created. It has brown sugar, cayenne, chili powder, cumin and other things I do not know about.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm bringing pasta salad back

I was reading on Bon Appetit (the one with Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover) that pasta salad is dead. Why? It is the perfect thing for cookouts. It is chilled and if done well it is quite good. Let's bring it back!

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Easy Pasta Salad

2 cloves of garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pecorino cheese
Salt
Pepper

8 ounces pasta
1 cup frozen peas

Cook your pasta according to your directions. While it is cooking, take a mixing bowl and add the first eight ingredients and let it sit while the water is coming to a boil and to cook the pasta.

When the pasta is ready, put the frozen peas in the colander that you will drain the pasta in. Drain the pasta. The heat of the pasta and water will cook your peas. Add the hot drained pasta and peas to the olive oil mixture. Toss to coat.

Makes enough for three people with some leftovers for the following day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pizza Night

So here are the four pizzas that we made for pizza night. They are made with whole wheat pizza crust. I made them extra thin because I was hoping they were going to be grilled but that did not happen. I would have taken pictures of them cooked, but I was hungry.

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This is a pesto pizza with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and regular mozzarella.


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This is asparagus, fava bean pizza with ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella and pecorino cheese.  There is a layer of garlic oil. 


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This is yohboh's pizza.  Garlic oil, hot sausage,  red pepper, onion, mozzarella cheese and fresh oregano. 


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This was my favorite of the night.  Red onion, Parmesan and goat's cheese, dried chopped figs and cracked black pepper with a layer of plain olive oil underneath.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Open Faced Sandwiches

It is really hot of late in the Deep South. So I am eating open faced sandwiches like

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Multi grain peasant bread with goat cheese, blanched fava beans and pepper.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Homemade Play doh

I really hate the smell of play doh. So I made some homemade stuff. Instead of food coloring, I used Kool Aid packets--the ten cent ones without the sugar. This blue play doh smelled like raspberries (why is the fake blue the designated color of raspberries?) which is infinitely better than that awful plastic smell.

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Homemade Play Doh

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup of salt(don't use the kosher, you want plain iodized salt)
2T vegetable oil
4 packets of Kool Aid
1 cup of water

Combine all ingredients together and let your kid play with it outside. It will keep if wrapped in plastic for long enough for you to get grossed out by the debris in it then toss it and make some more.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taco Loco

Sometimes, all you want is fake white Mexican cheese.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Fava Beans

Our garden is progressing. We planted some fava beans a few months ago and I harvested enough to eat. Shucking fava beans makes me feel like an Italian grandmother in the best possible way.

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Fresh fava beans need to be blanched, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. And with a nice Chianti.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Perfect Picnic Food

Yohboh says that the perfect picnic food is kimbop.

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I could not agree more.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rib Roast

So our dear friend Durty came by with a rib roast he had aged.

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Isn't that just the best?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Swiss Chard Tart

I really enjoy Cooking Channel. Lately, I have been watching French Food at Home's Laura Calder. She is like the Canadian Giada deLaurentis. And I really like her kitchen. Especially her sink the size of a cow trough.

A few days ago she made a Savory Swiss Chard Tart. This recipe intrigued me because I have a lot of Swiss Chard in my garden and was looking for a new way to eat it. Being minjenah, I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand as well as I did not make a crust because pie crust is something I did not want to make.

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Swiss Chard Tart adapted from Laura Calder
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 large bunch of Swiss Chard, stems removed and finely chopped, leaves sliced into ribbons

4 eggs
1 cup of Greek Yogurt

2 handfuls of Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 handful of golden raisins
1 handful of toasted pecans


Preheat your oven to 350.

In a large skillet, saute the bacon until all the fat renders out and the bacon is nicely crisped. Add the garlic and onions and saute until they are cooked down and golden brown. Add the Swiss Chard stems and continue to cook until the stems are tender(this took a while- I stabbed them with a fork and decided they were done when I could easily do the stabbing). Add the leaves of Swiss Chard until they are wilted (this part went quickly).

Take the skillet off the heat to cool. Grease an 8 x 8 casserole. While the Swiss Chard mixture is cooling, beat the eggs and the Greek Yogurt until well combined. Season liberally with salt and pepper. This would be an ideal time to toast the pecans as well.

After the Swiss Chard mixture is cool to the touch, add the cheese, the pecans and the raisins. Pour this into your casserole and pour the eggs on top. Shake the casserole a bit to fill up the gaps. Put in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.

Serve with a mixed green salad.

The thing I liked the best about this was actually the thing I though I would dislike- the raisins. The raisins added a nice sweet counterpoint against all the bacon and cheese.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lobster Bisque

When you have six lobster carcasses left from Mother's Day, you make lobster bisque. This recipe is not really good for you but I only make it after I have lobster at home which is once a year, really.

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Lobster Bisque (this is a multi step overnight recipe)

Six lobster carcasses, picked of all the meat
1T olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1 rib of celery minced

Roast the lobster carcasses in the oven at 350 for about an hour. Turn off the oven and let the carcasses cool. Chop up the shells into 2 inch chunks. Saute the veggies in the olive oil in the biggest pot you have. Let them get really good and carmelized. Add the shell chunks and saute until the pot smells lobster-y. Cover with water and let simmer for a long time. How long? Until when you pick up a lobster shell chunk with a pair of tongs and crush it, it is crumbly. This took about six hours.

Strain the liquid and refrigerate it overnight. Discard all the solids, they have given all they can give. Thank them for their noble service and throw them away. I ended up with 16 cups of stock. You can freeze it here and do the rest of this later.

The following morning, take your lobster stock, because that is what you made, and put it in a pot and let it simmer until it reduces to one quarter of what you had originally. This took a while, but I have no idea how long, but I would say about six hours. You can also freeze it here.

Alright now it is time to make the bisque (see what I mean about I make this at MOST once a year?)

4 tablespoons of butter
4 roma tomatoes, deseeded and all the liquid stuff taken out and then chopped
2 shallots, finely minced
1/4 cup of flour

4 cups super concentrated lobster stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dry sherry

Chunks of leftover lobster meat

Take the butter and melt it in ANOTHER pot (so this is the third pot I have dirtied making this soup- I am normally a one pot girl) add the tomato and shallots and let it cook until the tomatoes have broken down and it looks like pink gruel. Add the flour and stir it for a few minutes to get it cooked and lose that yucky raw flour taste. Add the lobster stock and let it come to a boil. Puree it with a stick or real blender. Add the heavy cream and the sherry.

When serving, put a few chunks of the lobster meat in the bowl. I also suggest a bit more sherry. It rounds out the flavor nicely.

Made enough for three adults and two children to have for dinner as well as two of the adults for lunch the following day.

The actual bisque does not really freeze well.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Trifle

I make this every Mother's Day. My late grandmother in law LOVED this and would eat it after the meal, standing up, from the serving spoon. She was a sweet and polite Southern lady so it was rare to see her be greedy.

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Berry Trifle

1 12 ounce pound cake
2 pints fresh red berries
1 small jar raspberry preserves
1/2 cup port or creme de cassis or rum or your other favorite liqueur
One big box vanilla instant pudding mix (should make three cups of pudding)
2 cups milk
Whipped cream

Microwave the raspberries, preserves and port for 90 seconds in a microwave safe bowl.

Make the instant pudding (yes you can make custard from scratch if you want but this is good too!) using only two cups of milk.

Slice the cake about 1/2 inch think (I say about a fingertip width thick)

In a pretty glass bowl, put a layer of pound cake then top with the 1/2 the raspberry mixture. Top with half the pudding. Repeat with the pound cake, raspberries and pudding. Top with whipped cream. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Done! A delicious and lazy dessert. No cooking! Just assembling!

I think it makes 8-12 servings.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Dinner (or Lunch really)

Yohboh made six lobsters for Mother's Day.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Garden Update

So I got these seeds for this lettuce. We put them in the ground and they have flourished. It is called Leaf Lettuce Gentilina. I have no idea why I bought these seeds but they have made a fine lettuce for salads and sandwiches.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fancy Sandwiches

This is an open faced cucumber and smoked salmon sandwich. Basically, it is a cucumber sandwich with smoked salmon. I really like it with lots of cracked black pepper.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Not cooking

I am in a bit of a funk about cooking. I have been sick and hurt the past few weeks so I have not been feeling it. So for dinner we had Chicago dogs.

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