meatless meatballs roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce

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archive for January 2012

stuff it (and then fry it)

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Recipe: fried stuffed olives

On rare occasion Kaweah gets weird and needy at night and this is one of those nights. She’s demanding my attention right now (pawing at me, resting her chin on my lap, shoving her nose under my forearm so I can’t type). This happens whenever one of us is on travel. Jeremy used to think it only happened when I was away because I’m her alpha, but it’s clear that she doesn’t like it when Jeremy is on travel either. This post will have to be quick.

I tried a recipe on Tuesday and liked it so much that I had it jump the queue to share with you. The first time I had this dish was last April in Seattle at Black Bottle. Fried olives with remoulade sauce. Salty? Check! Crunchy? Check! Bite-size? Check! It’s kinda like olive-katsu, but not really.

pitted spanish olives, goat cheese, eggs, flour, panko crumbs, parmesan

Make the remoulade sauce first because it requires a few hours of mellowing out in the refrigerator which is plenty of time to prepare the olives. The remoulade involves gathering a bunch of ingredients:

creole seasoning, mayo, pickle juice, horseradish, paprika, tabasco, garlic, mustard

mashing up a clove of garlic

placing all of the remoulade ingredients in a bowl

and stirring it together

pretty color

**Jump for more butter**

pros and congee

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Recipe: chicken congee

Is everyone back into the groove now? Holidays are over and all of the new calendars are up for 2012. I’m chomping at the bit to get this party started: things to do, places to go, people to see. There’s been more emphasis on the first two, but hopefully I’ll remedy the third one this week. I’ve been getting my physical and digital houses in order here (still not done, not by a long shot). How did the weekend treat you guys? Mine went a little like this:

we started with a nice show at sunrise

it only took me 6 months to get to our new ikea

It’s a bit of a haul from our house to the new (well, new to me) Ikea in Centennial, Colorado – just under 90 minutes. But hey, that’s better than a 9-hour drive to Salt Lake City, Utah. I think of Ikea as the OCD adult amusement park. They even provide sofas, beds, and a restaurant because you’re basically going to be there long enough for your body to require sustenance and rest as you try to find your way out of the store. If it sounds like I hate Ikea, I do not. It’s just that I am occasionally distracted from our seek and destroy shopping mission. Jeremy will have to come and fetch me from the children’s section or he’ll find me standing mesmerized in front of the colorful lamps and lights. And if the “we’re only going to be there for an hour or two”-trip-turned-7-hour-adventure wasn’t enough, you get to spend as much time assembling everything when you get home. But now we have clever Swedish storage for all of our junk!

did i mention it finally snowed? (why yes, we skied it)

and a hot bowl of ramen to warm up après ski

Mmmm noodles. I am a noodle girl. Every now and again I’ll wonder if I’m a rice girl, but no – I am true to the noodle. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my rice. Now that we’re acting like winter again, it’s the perfect time to be making congee, jook, or xi fan – Chinese rice porridge. I like my mom’s chicken congee.

start with short grain rice

My parents used to make congee on the weekends for breakfast when I was growing up. It is a savory porridge which might explain why I have never been a huge fan of sweet breakfasts. In college, I’d make the basic rice porridge when I wasn’t feeling well because it was neutral and settled my stomach. These days I make my mom’s chicken congee because I love the ginger. I called them up last week to verify the recipe in my head with the recipe in their heads.

rice, chicken, ginger, green onions

i like to make my own chicken broth in my pressure cooker

Mom is so cute when I tell her I have a question about a recipe. She’s eager to help out and to make sure I do it right. Thing is, when they see that it’s me calling, they put me on speaker phone. So as soon as Mom starts to share her method, Dad butts in and says, “Let me tell you how to do it the right way…” See, Dad is just as eager to explain how he does it. It happens practically every time and I try my hardest not to laugh, but it’s really entertaining and a little insane to get a recipe from them. Most of my recipes are a marriage of the two versions and I think that’s a good thing. Whenever I eat these family foods, I feel a little tug in my heart.

wash the rice

add water to the rice and cook until mushy

add chicken broth when the porridge is thick

**Jump for more butter**

we need to chill

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Recipe: pink grapefruit-champagne sorbet

Where I live is notorious for its winter winds. And by winter, I mean autumn, winter, and spring. Our NOAA forecasts gusts up to 45 mph as “breezy”. Up to 70 mph is “windy” and beyond is finally granted “very windy”. There was a pretty severe wind storm back in mid November… the one that clocked 115 mph at Breckenridge. I never found out what it was in our town, likely exceeding 100. Over the past few months as we’ve hiked, walked, and skied around our local mountains, Jeremy and I have seen evidence of that storm’s passing again and again. Mostly, it’s in the form of windfall: rooted, topped, or split trees. Not just dead trees, but plenty of healthy, large pines.

one of the smaller examples, trailside

It bums me out because I love trees. The wind here can be so oppressive, violent, and depressing. For me, I guess it’s depressing because when it’s “very windy” it usually means changing whatever outdoor plans we had. I’ll curse it more often than not, but it’s also responsible for some amazing atmospheric displays. Sitting just a few miles east of the Continental Divide, we get a lot of orographic clouds overhead.

lenticulars along a huge wave cloud paralleling the rockies

A lot of times, the winds will come when there is a big temperature swing like going from 40°F to 15°F or the other way around. So far, we’ve had some wind but mostly sunshine and warmth. It’s not that I’m unappreciative, but… I’m unappreciative.

the snow is crapping out – we need more pow

Okay, it’s not ALL bad. Had it been our typical single digits the other night, I might not have been as willing to stand outside scoping out the Quadrantids meteor shower in the lonely hours between moonset and sunrise. 20°F is all right by me.


the brightest one of the night (that i saw)

Weather has such an influence over my food moods and this ridiculous (and completely unnecessary) heat wave in Colorado has me downing salads, cold noodles, citrus, and now… sorbet. You’d think it was summer.

all you need is some bubbly, grapefruit, and sugar

juice the grapefruit

**Jump for more butter**