Sunday, May 30, 2010

Scientific Conclusion: Anything Can Be Sauteed

Why do I love olive oil so much? And how is it even better with tiny spring onions in it or fresh mashed garlic?

I only know I love it and will fling most any food stuff into it, stir it with a wooden spoon and dump it in a bowl.

Today, I made a gorgeous fat lasagna with mushrooms, four cheeses, spinach from the garden. Now, I don't eat that much pasta so I was scouting around for something for Mommy's supper.

I sauteed a sweet potato in OO, added some mushes, threw in a few fresh snow peas from the garden and topped it all off with a ton of spinach.

Holy moly, it was yummy. I scattered some mozz on top and it melted into the hot spinach.

Yep, it was heaven in a bowl.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Big Healthy Food

There is something about the in-coming harvest from the back garden that inspires me to cook new, odd or interesting combinations of things.

Yesterday, we had some pan-roasted sweet potatoes and lightly-steamed broccoli. Big plates of it, with some rich slices of roasted-pepper focaccia and pear chutney.

It was filling and delicious.

Today I made a stew of green beans, diced tomatoes, hominy and fresh spinach from the garden. It smelled so good while it was slowly slowly slowly cooking that I was inspired to make a cake of corn bread. I even had some buttermilk, which makes it even better.

It is almost like autumn around here with this rich food. We're also having very cool nights here in the southern Highlands and this seems like such a delicious way to honor the last of the cool before summer weather hits.

Cornbread. Spinach. Hominy.

When was the last time you had hominy? Have you ever? This wasn't fresh-made--it came from a can. But the texture was as I remember--soft, yet firm.

What are you all eating these days? Strawberries? Salad greens? Spring onions?

O, goodness, I love spring onions.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Greens. Grrrrreeeens!

The dry and freezing winter did a number on the seedlings I had hoped would turn into lush wintered-over greens. Due to gardener error--or incompetence, to be honest--this dream of green did not materialize this year.

And yet...and yet...

There are random, free-range collards, kale and chards that have sprung up in the tidy beds that now contain brussels sprouts and spinach. These edible beauties rise proudly about the other greens, showing their disdain for plants that didn't face the ferocity of a mountain winter.

It's almost a shame to eat them. But they are delicious in their terrible strength. And the seeds from these survivers? As strong as strong can be. Warrior greens.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It was the Preakness today, and we had these odd burgers

My friend the chicka-fisha-terian was up for a visit and I got some of that odd turkey bacon for breakfast. I made fresh biscuits, and we had eggs.

So there was this odd turkey bacon left over--honestly, it was organic and all, but not terribly good (though it was terribly salty). I came back from an author event at the bookstore and decided to make turkey burgers while we watched Race Two of the Triple Crown.

Here was the delicious combo--juicy ground turket burger, slowly cooked in olive oil. It was served on a thin roll with goat cheese, fresh romaine from the garden, and some Duke's mayo. And fake bacon.

Rather tender and wonderful. I could have served it with apple cole slaw but I was too hungry to wait.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Banana Pudding et cetera

I used to do a lot of experimenting with the basic idea of banana pudding. Is banana pudding a Southern delicacy? It is often found at potlucks and family reunions here in the Southland. And the folks who make it often have their own special take on this homeliest of sweets.

An African-American friend makes hers with Pepperidge Farm cookies, the ones with the chess figure on the front. A Low Country friend insists that one only use instant pudding. Another friend, with roots in the Deep South, insists on homemade pudding, rich in egg and heavy cream.

Among my experiments was a basic deep dish layered dessert with vanilla wafers, strawberries and chocolate pudding, with merigue on top and chocolate curls on top of that.

I am thinking of this today because we have a bag of slightly stale madeleines and they are destined for a pudding. Possibly tomorrow.

Ramps have been achieved, by the way. I feared I was too late but the plucky folks at the Farmers Market had some. They will be cooked in some fashion tomorrow.

And I'm thinking of planting some, too. I'll let you know how that goes.

So, what did you drink for Derby Day? I made some simple syrup for juleps but we gulped down Maywine instead. A light Pinot Grigio with the requisite sweet woodruff, with sunken strawberries in the bottom of the glass.