Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Not your usual French dip sandwich

We roasted a center-cut chuck roast to rare, trimmed and sliced it very thin. I made a rich beef broth with fresh roasted peeled poblano chile strips and diced jalapeno. Simmered the meat in the broth for a bit. Put jack cheese on the bottom of a roll and sliced beef on top, with some of the chiles. Cup of now-spicy broth on the side for dipping. Yum!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chocolate and hazelnuts, yum!

Testing, testing...

Yes, I am still testing recipes for Cook's Illustrated magazine. The most recent one was a doozy: French pastry. I've never thought myself to be patient enough to "do" pastry, but this one turned out quite well. I suspect you'll see this recipe in the magazine around the end of the year.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Peaches, peaches everywhere

Donut peaches cooking with tapioca, just about ready to go into a sugar cookie tart shell. We get dozens of donut peaches in our CSA basket. I find that fresh they are a bit weak in flavor, so concentrating them in a tart maximizes flavor. And, as you can see, they keep their shape and color perfectly.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yes, I know I've been MIA

To tell the truth I am getting overwhelmed with emails and facebooks and tweets and texting and blogs. So something had to give. I am just going to accept that I don't be putting as much energy into this as I used to. After all, it is clear that I'm not going to be making a living doing this. And, anyway, I just started a "cottage" business crocheting and sewing bags for sale on etsy.com. I'm very proud of myself for being able to add the code to this blog for the Etsy button it now sports.

So, enough to do!

But absence here does not mean I haven't been cooking, of course! Most interesting in the past few months is a Meyer lemon and ginger marmalade I made and canned. Lots of work zesting a dozen lemons and peeling and grating ginger but the end was worth the means. I'll make that again. Great on gingerbread, pork, and seafood.

Other highlights this winter have been Dungeness crab turnovers and bacon jam. That bacon jam is killer in a Monte Cristo sandwich, by the way.

Oh, and Happy New Year! I just know it is going to be great.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Some summer adventures

Dang, all this social media stuff is VERY hard to keep up with! I tweet, I FB, I try to blog, I email...and sometimes I have time to sleep. Oh well.

Some notes about things I've been doing:

Quick puff pastry from Nick Malgeri's "How to Bake" is da bomb. I made great peach turnovers with it. Tossed the peach slices (unpeeled, even) in brown sugar and tapioca. I may never buy puff pastry again.
(But my husband will, for some reason.)

Crab stock + chopped mushrooms + heavy cream = mushroom crab bisque, a wonderful thing. Add some "dumplings" made from the Mascarpone Crab Cakes recipe in "I Love Crabcakes" by Tom Douglas, and you have a great meal.

An Aerogarden is a wonderful thing for having a few fresh leaves of greens with everything. Just need a bit of French Dijon vinaigrette, so easy to throw together. Then serve alongside or on top of most any savory dish.

Sear diver scallops, deglaze and flame pan with brandy, add some heavy cream and reduce drastically. Pour juices off of scallops back into pan, add a bit more brandy, reduce again and serve over the scallops. Be sure to have a lot of scallops, you will want more.

I am going to be selling crocheted shopping bags and quilted brocade totes online later this year. I make them myself, am a bit worried that it will cut into my cooking time. As I tweeted today, maybe I should combine my passions and make/sell cooking bags. I will post here when I actually turn on the sales and where you can find them on Etsy. (It will be ShellysBags.)

I still love fresh roasted beets with blue cheese. I think I was ahead of the curve on this, by a very long time. I was eating blue cheese dressing on salad bar beets when I was a kid. Liked red onions with them, too, for the texture I think. Of course, I didn't grok that way back when.

If you're in Seattle and haven't been to Blueacre Seafood, what are you waiting for?'

I used a dried mix for making mint chutney as a seasoning rub for lamb shanks. Worth doing again.


Time to get ready to go to the baseball game. I'll try to be better about this, really I will!

Friday, July 09, 2010

I really haven't been gone...

...I've just been a bit overwhelmed with posting on FB and tweeting and email groups. It sure doesn't mean I haven't been cooking! I have also been spending time crocheting, sewing, and learning how to knit. And then, there was the trip to Barcelona...the market was amazing, as you can see:





























Our CSA farm basket started just a couple of weeks ago. Already I've made arugula pesto and pickled Walla Walla sweet onions. Romaine lettuce with tiny Oregon pink shrimp. Mustard braised with homemade bacon. Roasted French breakfast radishes and bok choy.  This week I made corn tortillas to go with the pork I cooked in cumin broth and turned into carnitas. Yum. Add a bit of Mexican fresh cheese and some chopped sweet onions, and it is heavenly.

For not-so-local stuff I butterflied chicken breasts and stuffed with prosciutto, minced sage, and fresh mozz. Breaded in panko and baked them on a rack, so the bottom got as crispy as the top.  Sauteed greens with that.

Tomorrow I need to go up to the market to get some fish to cook with the fennel bulbs we got this week. Probably a bit of halibut, maybe halibut cheeks en papillote with fennel and greens. And then there's the summer squash. Five of those, a lot for the two of us. I will probably cut them into 1/2" cubes, salt and drain them, and saute them with onions. If the corn looks good I can add some of that to the pan, too. And I just remembered I have fresh poblanos, too, and they are great with that mix. Looks like fancy calabacitas is on the menu for the weekend.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Spicy cookies

This one is copyright 2010 Vivian Johnsen (just for the record )

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

1 stick Mexican cinnamon
2 chiles de arbol
4 C sugar cookie mix
6 T water
2 T honey
6 T cocoa

Grind cinnamon and chiles together until fine. Add 1 T of the mix to a mixer with the rest of the ingredients. Combine the rest of the cinnamon/chile mix with 3 T of sugar and set aside. Form the dough into 1" balls and flatten slightly into the sugar mixture. Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes.