Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Drippy Taco Debut

Our debut vending our Banana Leaf Roasted Pork Tacos aka 'The Drippy Taco.'
We had a lot of fun and help from Kate's family selling these little beauties to the great crowd at mazomanie's Gandy Dancer Bluegrass Festival.
It was a beautiful day, and a great venue for a very family friendly event with excellent music.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pâte̒ Recipe

For attendees of the Weston A. Price Foundation meeting this evening, and anyone looking for a nice summer meal treat.

Our Pâte̒ Recipe
y = 2 regular or ~5 mini pâte̒ 
2#    Ground Pork
2#    Chicken Liver and Chicken Hearts (total)
1#    Bacon, finely minced ( mince while very cold or partially frozen to facilitate the process)
3 oz  Crushed Garlic
1.25 oz Salt
1/4 oz Cognac, Brandy, Armagnac, whichever you are fortunate enough to have.

Points of Departure
6 oz  Dried Fig, chopped
6 oz  Golden raisins
2T    Fennel Seed, toasted, whole
10    Juniper Berries
3T    Black Peppercorns
1T    Corriander
      - combine and grind juniper, black pepper, and corriander

This is a rustic pate for busy people.  It is fast to prepare, forgiving in its recipe, and easy to thaw.  It reminds me of the pâte̒ I was given by my host family in Bornholm, Denmark for breakfast.  I still prefer it for breakfast. I keep it simple and do not wrap in fat or bacon, or weigh them down.  I do like the effect of the water bath, however.

Reserve the ground pork.
Grind the hearts in a food processor to nearly a paste.  Ditto the livers and add with minced bacon to the pork.  Add the remaining ingredients and fold all together nicely. Use whichever spices, dried fruits, toasted nuts etc. that you like.
Take a little bit and cook it briefly and taste it.  Adjust the seasoning accordingly, especially the salt. Is it delicious ?  Can you taste the other flavors?  Are they in concert with each other? No? Add more salt. Cook and taste again. How about now? No? Add more salt.  Again.  Ahh, there it is.  Excellent.  This IS NOT an optional step.  You are this far in now so do it right and nail the seasoning, do you really want to choke down 5# of bland pâte̒? 
Load into loaf pans and bake at 325 for 1.5 - 2 hours.  You may also use a water bath, or not, your choice. You may weight the cooling pates down, or not, your choice.  
A water bath and weighing will yield a finer textured, fancier, more evenly colored product.  Omitting them will yield a more rustic product.
Cool and remove the pate from the tins.  Wrap and enjoy within 10 days or freeze for future enjoyment.
I like to use mini loaf pans and to put a bunch of these into the freezer at a go.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sometimes The Bear Eats You...

Well the spaghetti and meatballs came out pretty well.  I like those organic semolina noodles from Bionature, it’s a good noodle that also makes a fine Lo Mein.

I am not as positive about the Carrot dish.  The flavor is fine but the consistency is not what I targeted.  Just goes to show what happens when you follow the directions in a cookbook with pretty pictures rather than trusting your own hard won instincts.  But it is fine, I know.  I hope you enjoy the contrast of the kamut berries in the rice salad, and the delightful flavor of roasted cauliflower too.

In big news – next week we are expecting to begin finally getting orders of Snug Haven Spinach.  It has been unavailable so far as production has been small and very limited, that is why we have had to make do with California organic lettuce.  I’ll be very happy to make the switch


Enjoy your meals!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Kasha and Radish idea comes from The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian by Sally Butcher, and I plan on trying more of her recipes.  I like the earthiness of Kasha with the bright crunch of radish.  The red misato radish is from Tipi Produce, and the Diakon is some of the last of our from the Tree Farm.  Pick up some misato, or rose heart, radish from the coop.  Sliced and dipped in soy sauce they make a great crunchy-salty snack that is not potato chips.  They are also great shredded in homemade sushi – a very cool vegetable.

The kugel is a savory turn on a traditional sweet dish in which hoodles are cooked in a custard.  I bake them in a water bath, with which I imagine all cooks have a love-hate relationship.  I love how effective they are at protecting delicate dishes like custard, and hate how difficult they are to manage from getting all the baking dishes in to baking plans, to extracting finished dishes from heavy, tippy, pans of scalding hot water. I was hoping there would be a leftover kugel, I’m curious how the combo of golden turnip, leek, and melted cabbage all comes together with the noodles, Yuppie Hill Eggs, and organic dairy.

The Parsnip soup is one of our favorites, I hope you like it too.  You have no idea how long it can take to peel 3 pounds of garlic.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Soup and Salad

The Matzoh ball soup is by request, and I hope you like it because we will feature it again in April for the Passover Menu.  The broth is chick pea both and entirely vegetarian.  There is a little bit of golden turnip in the soup as well as some parsnip, which I positively love in chicken soup, and together they have given the soup a very sweet flavor.
Salad: so we have had to use California organic greens all winter.  This will hopefully end soon. I have been in contact over the past month with Bill Warner of Snug Haven Farm and will get us some great winter spinach soon.  The very grey fall limited the early season growth and most of the local spinach growers are cutting small harvests for their CSA and market.  One guy at the market would not sell me more than 2 pounds.  I wanted 15.  In any event, change is on the wind, right?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tomato Man

The tomato bisque is another example of a soup rich in body and flavor, but without any dairy.  Well, almost none.  I used some butter to sautee the mire poix.  The butter softens the edges of a potentially acidic soup and lends a very nice fragrance to it as well.  But most of the body comes from baby lima beans – cool trick huh?  Some pretty dried tomatoes from our garden and jars of canned puree bring that summer flavor together in full effect.  The secret sweetening ingredient is some frozen sweet corn!

After a fair bit of trial, error, and shuffling I have settled on our tomato supplier.  His name is Rodney Denu and he owns Brookside Gardens here in the Village of Mazomanie.  The operation is mainly wholesale vegetables that get shipped out, as far as I can tell, but he also operates a self check-out vegetable ‘garage’ that residents frequent during the summer months.  There are baskets of produce from green beans to eggplant lined up on tables. Against the back wall a bushel baskets with the names of those placed orders on the cork board Rodney checks when he gets home from his days at the construction site.

No, the produce is not organic, but the tomatoes are usually not sprayed after fruit set I’m told and I carefully wash the hundreds of pounds of tomatoes I process nonetheless.  Actually, half of this year’s haul of toms are organic.  I found them so disappointing I had to process and label them separately.  I use them in small quantities paired with Rodney’s to cover their shortcomings.  The organic tomatoes also represent a minor betrayal to me: I had cancelled an order to Rodney to accept these organic tomatoes from a different farm, because they were organic. Never again.  We have our tomato man, members - and no trivial matter since we handle over half a ton of tomatoes each year. Rodney is personable, helpful, honest, reliable, and a neighbor.  His tomatoes have been of excellent quality and his prices fair.  So is organic important?  Yes it truly is, but it does not trump all.

Enjoy your meals!