Saturday, November 26, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
It's holiday entertaining time, kids, and it's time to share with you the most ridiculous deviled egg recipe I've ever made. Thank you, Neely's.
1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Dash hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko crumbs
Peanut oil for frying
Add the eggs to a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit in the water for 14 minutes.
Peel the eggs and slice lengthwise. Remove the yolks to a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon zest, chives, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Mash the yolks together with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Fill the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, add 1 cup of flour and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat the eggs, in a third bowl, add 1 cup of panko.
Dip the eggs into the flour, then the egg and finally into the panko. Gently put the eggs into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Green Bee Soda. Moxie. Allen's Coffee Brandy. Maine Root. Allagash. Urban Farm Fermentory Cider. Peak Organic Brewing. There are more than enough locally produced beverages to choose from, say, if you were going to include it in a recipe. Which is exactly what was asked of us this month for our 'O-Rama' assignment. Now, being as smart as I am, I went with probably one of the more obscure beverages in the Maine line up: Pumpkin Pie Soda from Maine Root.
The seasonal offering started appearing on shelves about a month ago and will probably be around for another few weeks. It's definitely one of the odder drinks that I've had in my life. It's an orangish hue, the only defining 'Pumpkin' thing about it (there's no actual pumpkin in it, mind you, just 'spices') because the flavor is more akin to some bastardized Dr. Pepper bred with a root beer. Actually, describing it like that makes it sound more appealing than it really is. It's just straight out weird to me.
Now, why, if I'm so turned off by the flavor, did I not choose something else? Because, it was there. And it was mocking me from the corner of my kitchen. It was purchased for my nephew, who at 15, loves it (take THAT into consideration when you wonder who buys something like this). I, however, am a lazy aunt who never got around to mailing it. So, it's a choice of convenience.
For a while I was stumped for a recipe, even asking some friends what they would do with it. Then came a moment of clarity in one of the oddest of ways. In a not-quite-sober moment of thought, I wondered: WWPDD?
What Would Paula Deen Do?
Because if anyone would willingly choose to cook with an ingredient like this, it would be her. And her recipe would be one of epic bat shit craziness. However, she has not cooked with something as odd as this, but she comes close in doing a few recipes for Coca Cola. Neither option, nor any of the suggestions I had from people really appealed to me. So, I turned back to the internet and started searching for "Soda and Beef braise." Eureka! Not long into my search I came across this recipe, that turned into a variation of this one:
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
2 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon espresso (or any finely ground coffee bean)
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 head of garlic, lightly crush and peel all the cloves
2 cans Coca-Cola (2.5 cups)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels. Let them come to room temperature. Meanwhile combine the cocoa powder, espresso, all-spice, salt and pepper. Transfer "spice" mix to a plate, coat each short rib on all sides with the spice mix, shake off any excess. Over medium-high heat brown the short ribs in the canola oil (~4-5 minutes per side). Transfer to a clean plate.
Add a little fresh oil to the Dutch oven and saute the garlic over medium heat until it begins to brown and soften. Add the Coca-Cola, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the Dutch oven, be sure to scrape up any brown bits. Return the short ribs to the Dutch oven, bring to a boil, cover and cook in the oven at 350 for 2 hours.
Remove the short ribs from the Dutch oven and let rest. Place the Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat, strain out the garlic with a slotted spoon and reduce the cola sauce by half, salt to taste. When the short ribs have rested for at least 5 minutes, remove the bones, slice off the layer of fat on the bone side and serve with the sauce.
I was skeptical from the beginning, but was extremely pleased by the results. When the soda reduced, it added a nice molasses touch to the broth and toned down the high sodium content. Served with some mashed Swedish Peanut Potatoes, from Green Spark Farm, the Missus and I enjoyed a wonderfully comforting meal.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Look, it's a post that's not about Portland! And, what is this? It's a work related trip to Burlington that I don't have to shell out a cent for? Stop. It. Now.
If I travel more than once a year for work, I feel like a shorter, rounder Samantha Brown. It's a bit sad but a reality of not having a job that necessitates much travel. So, the trip out 302 with a co-worker, taking the scenic route to Burlington through The White Mountains and Frogtown Hollow.. Uh.. Sorry, I was thinking about Emmet Otter there for a moment. But, yea, the ride out was great and I had forgotten how beautiful traveling out that way was. If you're not pressed for time and it's not the middle of January, I highly recommend this route through the Northeast Kingdom into western Vermont.
We headed straight into town when we arrived, as my co-worker had never been to Burlington, and spent an hour or so on Church Street, poking around at Urban Outfitters and grabbing a latte at Uncommon Grounds. Before we headed to our hotel, to meet up with the others in the group for dinner, we made a quick stop into The City Market/Onion River Co-Op to check it out. It gave me needs and feelings of jealousy. Why don't we have a Co-Op like this in Portland? Granted, I know we have more than enough markets but this was the best of everything in a surprisingly sizable space. It even puts to shame the Honest Weight Co-Op that I frequented back in Albany. After food trucks, can we make THIS happen, Portland?
But, enough of my pipe dreams. Let's talk about dinner. Imagine if you will that Novare Res and 50 Local, in Kennebunk, had a love child. Go ahead, picture it. That's The Farmhouse Tap and Grill in Burlington. They put as much thought and pride into their beer list as they do their food and they don't shy from letting you know what local farms supplied it.
Dotted around the room were chalkboards listing all of the farms that the restaurant used to compose its menu. I smiled at seeing familiar cheese makers like Lazy Lady, Jasper Hill and Spring Brook Farm on the boards. Call me a 'Locawhore', or whatever you may choose, but I respect restaurants that openly acknowledge the area farms that bring the food to the table. Just don't take it to Portlandia levels and I think you'll be alright.
To start the meal, the three carnivores at the table settled on a charcuterie board of Bresaola, Local Chicken Liver Pate and Duck Rillette.
The board was served with some whole grain mustard, grilled Red Hen bread and house pickles. It was a very lovely, well rounded board, but the true stand out for me was the pate. Pink hued, rich and slightly sweet, it made me miss the charcuterie that District offered when they first opened. I actually liked the recipe so much that I contacted the restaurant for it. Consider that a first.
The Bresaola, paper thin and barely salty, melted away in one bite and was topped with a fruity Arbequina olive oil. The rillette was a bit off for me, though. I found the texture a bit dry and the gaminess of the meat a little less enjoyable next to the other selections. Luckily there was enough of those to make me not feel so bad about passing on the rillette.
The entree, a pair of corn griddle cakes topped with roasted mushrooms, sauteed kale and buttermilk vinaigrette, seemed like vegetarian atonement for having the appetizer that I did.
Truthfully, it was ordered in haste and I did think about changing my order. I'm glad that I didn't, though, because the savory pancakes were delicious. The cakes were cornmeal based, with a bit of sweetness, that went really well with the earthiness, acidity and bitterness of the other components. I was in love on the first bite, though the generous portion did fill me up quickly, leaving a small pile of uneaten kale in my wake.
I, personally, can't speak on the cred of the beer list, but my co-workers seemed very happy at the endless choices. I did, however, have a very tasty root beer. But, let's just admit it, I did kind of feel like a kid pretending at a table of adults.
The Missus and I are planning our own trip for sometime next spring--maybe for my 35th--and I am definitely going to make another trip back.
Friday, November 04, 2011
A friend on Serious Eats pointed this out to me the other day and I thought I would pass this along to any of my readers that wouldn't mind the chance to play with some free game. The Rouge Poulet is pretty fantastic, I have to say.
The contest ends this Sunday (November 6th), so get your comments in.