What do granola and cocktails have in common? Nothing. I’d like to change that. The artisanal food explosion and just general food awareness have given us some new ways of watering our mouths. The past few years have proven to … Continue reading
You know that feeling when you come across an object or a place that resonates with you in an almost indescribable way? It could also stem from an encounter with a stranger or entering a room that feels like home. About six months ago I stumbled upon a blog that embodies that feeling for me. 101 Cookbooks: A Recipe Journal by Heidi Swanson, is largely about food, but in her simple discussion of food she incorporates gorgeous photography which amounts to a shared aesthetic; hints at her approach to cooking and buying ingredients; and every so often sends out an inspiring list of links she has gathered over the course of a few weeks. Her blogging style is inspiring to me because she shares only that which is true for her, and sometimes that means sending a recipe or an idea that is very understated. Simplicity is key. I’ll admit, I don’t always love the recipes, other times I swoon over them, but that’s not the point. We don’t always have time to make grand feasts for our families, or have a fabulous dinner party every other Saturday night. Sometimes we just have to throw together what’s in the fridge for sustenance and be okay with it.
This week Heidi sent a link to an article that everyone who has a kitchen in their home (yes, that’s you!) and enjoys a home cooked meal every now and again (also you!), should take a moment to read. The article was originally featured on Gilt Taste, an indulgent website to say the least, and is all about moving away from the sacred ‘recipe’ and into a place of using our creative minds and intuitions to gather the good ingredients we already have in our refrigerators and pantries, and create a meal from there. It’s kind of like those decide your own ending books, except with cooking! This is something a few very special people in my life have taught me to do over the last couple of years, but it is still a work in progress. Alas, I encourage you to, dare I say it, stop reading the blogs and magazines for tons of recipes you’ll never remember, and just start playing around with what you’ve already got. I promise, what you have is more than enough.
And lastly, here is my first attempt to gather some noteworthy blogs for you reading and obviously, eating pleasure. (Click on the listings for the link).
I am probably the last person you will ever catch taking part in a fad diet, and don’t worry, this post isn’t really about dieting. However, I heard part of a recent report on NPR discussing the Mediterranean Diet: whole grains, fish, plenty of vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fruit. Who doesn’t want to eat that for every meal and further, how could you not feel healthy if you ate delicious combinations of those foods everyday? I’d be happy and healthy as a clam if I consistently ate like that…and according to this New York Times story, so would the people of the Mediterranean. As it turns out, they aspire to eat french fries and other assorted junk just about as much as we do.
But, a girl can still dream. So, this morning I made my breakfast with a nod to that warm, salty, ocean breezy place where I like to believe people still eat like the ancient Cretans.
What’s on my plate: lightly toasted Kalamata olive bread smothered with tahina sauce, and topped with a fried egg and sliced tomato; arugula, cucumbers and Castelvetrano olives. Drizzle olive oil, a wedge of lemon, salt and pepper over everything.
Thank you all for your gracious support of My Food to You! I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to know that when I post my tidbits someone out there is taking even the tiniest bit of pleasure in reading about it. On that note, many of you asked about the photo at the top of the page so I thought I’d share this recipe made last year for a challenge I participated in while working at Rick’s Picks. The story goes something like this…
Phat Beets Deviled Eggs
My personal mission when accepting the Eat Local Challenge was to use a Rick’s Pick product as more than an element in my forthcoming dish—I wanted whatever lucky pickled product I chose to be the center of attention. Of course, spotlighting the fresh produce at the greenmarket was of equal importance both personally and for the purposes of the challenge. After mulling over several ideas, including a Mexican tomato salad with Handy Corn thrown in for color, and several Smokra situations, Phat Beet Deviled Eggs was the clear answer. Updated takes on classic finger foods (think pigs-in-a-blanket with homemade ketchup and fried truffled mac n’ cheese balls) have been in vogue for some time, but I’m sure these fuchsia beauties have yet to show up at a dinner party lately.
Here is what you need:
1 dozen eggs
8 slices Rick’s Picks Phat Beets
approx. 2 Tbsp. Phat Beets brine
2 oz. chevre
5 sprigs of chives
salt and pepper
Here is how you do it:
1. Put the eggs in a large pot. Fill with cold water until the eggs are covered. Once the water hits a rolling boil, lower flame to medium-low and let the eggs boil for 11 minutes. In the meantime, fill a medium sized bowl with water and ice. Once the eggs are done cooking, drain from the pot and place in the coldwater bath for approximately 10 minutes.
2. Drain the cold water from the bowl and peel the eggs. Rinse the peeled eggs in cool water to remove any shell residue, and lightly pat with a paper towel to dry.
3. Slice the eggs in half, lengthwise, and remove the yolks; set yolks aside. Place the halved egg whites on a large flat serving platter; set aside.
4. Now, for the colorful part—in a food processor, blend 8 slices of Phat Beets and 2 tablespoons of Phat Beet brine at high speed until fairly smooth (a few small chunks of beets remaining is ideal).
5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pureed beets, chevre, and 6 egg yolks. Mix until even and all yolks and chunks of chevre have been incorporated. The mixture should be a smooth dark pink color. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Thinly slice the whites of the scallions and add to the mixture after everything else has been sufficiently combined. Gently stir the mixture, being careful not to smash the scallions.
7. To fill the eggs you need to make a makeshift pastry bag. In a quart size Ziploc bag, spoon the mixture in with a rubber spatula and force to one of the bottom corners. Cut a small piece off the bottom corner of the bag. Gently squeeze the mixture into each egg, filling the entire hole generously.
8. Finely mince the chives and neatly garnish each egg.
So long to your mother’s mayonnaise-y deviled eggs!
And last, but certainly not least, huge props and thanks to Sam, whose creative culinary mind not only conceived this recipe, but was my steadfast partner in creating the gems you see in these pictures. I could not have done it without him!
Last week I was at Lucky’s Market in North Boulder, perusing the gorgeous exclusively-organic produce section, when I came across a little sign for Padron Peppers that suggested frying them up in olive oil with a little sea salt. Really anything with olive oil and sea salt is heaven in my book, and I was in the mood to take on a little kitchen experiment action, so I grabbed a few. Here’s where it gets interesting. While I thought I grabbed Padron Peppers, which look like the little green guys below, I actually grabbed Cherry Peppers, the red mamas even further below. Whole different ball game I discovered after my first bite. Hence the title of this entry… Anyhow, the same recipe and cooking instructions can, and should, be applied to Padrons. Cherry peppers are not for the faint of heart, but, they make for nice pictures so I hope you enjoy!
I’m calling them Cherry Pepper Poppers.
What you will need: Padron peppers, olive oil, sea salt, deep frying pan, splatter cover, metal tongs.
-Rinse off and pat dry peppers
-In a deep frying pan, add approximately 1/3 inch of olive oil
-Turn burner to medium heat to warm up the oil.
-Before the oil gets too hot, add the peppers and cover the pan with the splatter cover.
-As the oil starts to work its way into the skin of the peppers they will start to crackle and pop (sometimes loudly).
-Once you see the skin start to blister, with the metal tongs turn the peppers so that all sides get equal oil time.
-After about 8-10 minutes, peppers should look blistery and dark. Remove from heat with tongs and place on a plate.
-Sprinkle sea salt on top and let cool a bit before digging in.
After years of cooking countless meals and exchanging recipes with my friends, I realized I wanted (and needed) a “formal” place to keep track of what I make. At the same time, I figured I would share it with friends and perhaps some eventual random followers. My Food to You is a space to play, make lists, and post my amateur photos so I remember what a dish looked like, and maybe someday it will turn into a proper online recipe exchange…but one step at a time.
A bit about me: I am not a professional cook, photographer, or writer, but I am highly skilled at the following: wandering through grocery store aisles; obsessing about amazing but mostly horrible food packaging; and discovering new food recipes and making them my own. I like to take a little from here and a bit from there and see what happens. Trust me, it’s way more fun than following a recipe and you start to develop an intuition about cooking over time.
My first post will be up next…!