Naked Tomatoes

DSC_0507

A customer of ours generously gave us some lovely tomatoes. Gorgeous things with amazing colors and shapes. I cut them up and stuck them on a plate. I could have stopped there. My basil was whining so I chopped some up and added a bit of salt, pepper and vinegar from down the road. A bit of a coldy chill in the fridge and this should be a nice treat with the lettuce they brought over.

DSC_0514

Advertisements

Chile Relleno Surprise

20130819-171609.jpg

Surprise! It’s not actually chile relleno, but rather a lovely layered relleno pie to the tune of my fav Puebla dish. And probably the only Puebla dish I’m aware of.

20130819-171620.jpg

I saw these gorgeous peppers that spoke to me. I wasn’t sure where to go with them. Stuffed with cheese in an eggy mess was the first thing that came to mind.

20130819-171509.jpg

You ever skin a pepper? It’s very simple.
– A quick roast on a pan ( I used some lard. That’s how I roll. ).
– After ten minutes of hot heat oven action, sweat it in a bag. — Prepare some cheese or chop something while you wait some minutes.
– Pull one out and peel off the skin. It’s very thin. Like a Kimono bursted.
– You are left with soft, silky peppers.

20130819-203414.jpg

With last night’s mushies and green beans, I layered like this in a lard coated loaf pan:

– pepper
– mushie bean mix
– zuch
– roughly mixed egg
– cheese, easy going melty stuff

: rinse and repeat

The last layer is pepper followed by cheese

I cooked in an average oven until browny and melty.

Cheese:
If in France, a young Gouda and/or Comte

Otherwise, Jack or Moz

Cheesy Poofs, Cheesy Flops

20130619-163317.jpg

I loves me some cheesy poofs. My super bargain oven makes cheesy poofs like nobody’s bidness. Though if your batter is runny, you will most certainly make cheesy flops thus setting up your evening for sadness and despair. Nobody wants a cheesy flop. Sure, they taste okay, but the crunch and fluff of a proper cheesy poof makes giggles happen.

20130619-163353.jpg

I use the Saveur recipe which works perfectly if you pay attention to a few things.

1) runny batter makes flops. Add more flour.

2) salt and pepper and then salt and pepper again. It makes a difference

3) oven is set to super hot, but not too hot. My oven runs hot. Too hot, too quick and you get a flop. Hot and steady ( like my men ) and you will arrive at poofdom.

Recipe is :

115g butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
Sal n Pepe
1c flour
4 eggs
1c melty cheese

Make a roux
Add eggs one at a time
Add cheese

Spoon on a pan
Top with milk and cheese

Cook until poofy
Happy happy joy joy

Garlic!

20130611-180647.jpg

I remembered to plant garlic in the autumn. I found time to keep it free of weeds. Now, I get to enjoy my efforts. This garlic is going into a little zuch, tom, fennel number to be served with big arse pork leg. My iPhone touch screen smells lovely.

What Do You Do With Three Small Potatoes?

20130420-200306.jpg

Duck confit in the oven, I wonder if these three potatoes will come together. I support the terrine of people who believe that you can gratin ( say that ” grah – ten ” ) darn near anything.

But three, small potatoes? Not likely. But wait, I have mushrooms. I have aromatics. Let’s see what forty minutes covered in thick cream snuggled in an average oven does.

20130420-201811.jpg

Also added was half of a small onion. The other half would have joined the dish were it not for some butter fingers that failed to catch the little guy after it was halved. Wipe well your fingers after buttering your crock.

In this gratin:

Three small potatoes
Six everyday mushrooms
Two small cloves of garlic
Half a small onion sautéd in duck fat
Some celery also sautéd in duck fat
Pinch of fresh thyme
Salt
Pep
Heavy creme

Butter a small terrine, add the goods and cover in creme. Bake for thirty or forty minutes in a 150C oven.

Have a glass if wine. Chat with your husband or cat or friends. Check. When it’s smoodgie and submits to a poke with a fork … Pull it out and dig in.

Three potatoes were well received. A few more weeks now for the new ones to harvest.

Oh Brussels Sprout

20130209-131937.jpg

Whole, you are dead to me. Sure, you are a veg so I suppose you think that you are already dead, but you are that much deader to me should you arrive on my plate entier.

20130209-132004.jpg

My friend, we’ll call him “Josh,” tipped me off to the chopping of the sprout. It was a hot, little number that involved bacon-y bits and pine nuts. One bite and I enjoyed an old vegetable enemy with new vegetable potential.

You can treat a chopped Brussels sprout like any run-of-the-mill cabbage. But when you cook them, you MUST sing. Sing from the heart. The lyrics. The meaning. Your struggles. Other people’s struggles. Love. Quand On N’a [beat] Que L’amour.

20130209-141152.jpg

Veal Epaule
Fried egg on top
Brussels Sprout ditty that I call “Fanette” – onions, garlic, sprouts, pine nuts bubbled in duck fat.

Fats:
Lard
Duck fat
Butter

Yeah, That’s Right Stir-Fry Bee-Y

20130205-190826.jpg

Stir-fry tonight. Long-day-short, we love veggies and there’s nothing more spectacular than onion-ginger-garlic trifecta in hot, bubbly lard. Oh and some veal scraps tossed in for good measure.

20130205-191149.jpg

With a little veal leftover for breaky, I think we’ve made the most of this good doctor.

Garlic
Onions
Ginger

Broccoli
Red peppers
Mushrooms

Veal tendron
Veal escalope

Fish sauce
Soy sauce
Hot pepper paste

Enough is never enough.

Guess What I’m Making

20130201-160310.jpg

Despite the 16 and 17 C degree weather we’ve had, it’s still winter. I’ve been a lazy soup dragon and slacked on delivering that warm broth that keeps you warm and fueled for our workload as beef farmers.

At last, I remembered to keep my steak bones and makes some beef stock.

Onions + Beef Broth = French Onion Soup.

With these cold, stone Gascon houses, you can understand why one would keep a pot of warm broth on the woodburner. So tonight and lunch tomorrow, we have soup.

I use a Saveur recipe “Soupe a l’Oignon Gratinee” that has never failed me. I leave out the flour and the crouton. Though, the crouton is definitely missed. But with a huge selection of Comte and Gruyere, I’m fortunate to keep that authentic flavor alive. Don’t use any other cheese. First, it must be Gruyere. Failing that, aged Comte. But under no circumstances should you use any other melty cheese. Just cool the soup and take a field trip for the right cheese.

Colby != Gruyere

Frites, Steak Implied

20130118-131450.jpg

My daughter, Lucy, LOVES steak frites. Since we have our fair share of steaky, beefy yum at our hands, steak frites is a dish we are familiar with.

These babies were “mo-jo”-ed. Which means sliced in half and then cut into thick wedges. They were then smathered ( I know, not a word, but they were smothered and smacked ) with lard that was melted briefly in a small copper pot. Then in a high oven to bubble and crisp. I turned down after they were well on their way and got the steak going. While the steak rests, the chips finish up, get out of their lard bath and dust up all salty like.

And we eat. And we let steak juices meet frites fluff. And you dream of the cheese and cappuccino to follow.