Just had to share this one from my friend Nandini, over at her Goan Imports Wiki – incredible stuff – simple, versatile, delicious, and gorgeous – Couldn’t ask for more!
Our friend Nandini owns Goan Imports, a wealth of recipes, insights, as well as wonderful ingredients and supplies from this truly fascinating culture. Goan food reflects a fascinating blend of Indian and Portuguese cooking traditions. The results are bold, subtle, and complex – And delicious!
Nandini just posted this wonderful Tomato Chutney recipe – we thought this was not only a must make, but a must share. Enjoy, and make sure you head over to her blog and dig right in – There’s much, much more there to get excited about.
Check out this wonderful post by my Sis, Ann Lovejoy its full of great house made tips for making healthy and amazing goodies.
And do follow the link to the fabulous story of the Japanese photographer who took some absolutely heartwarming pics of her Grandma and Grandma’s cat.
If this isn’t what holidays are for, then I don’t know what…
Happy Solstice to you all – it’s all warmer and brighter from here on!
I’ve written here on the FIFO principle before; standing for First In, First Out, it’s a core concept to adopt in any kitchen. FIFO is critical to food safety, and the best way to reduce waste in your kitchen.
This weekend, I was cooking at my Sister’s, when… Well, I’ll just let her tell the story – Check it out here.
It looked good though, didn’t it?
Green Gardening with Ann Lovejoy – If you’re not following her already, ya aughta!
Award winning Northwest gardening author Ann Lovejoy, (AKA, my Big Sis), writes a wonderful and highly useful blog, hosted over at our friend Alice Doyle’s Loghouse Plants website. It’s a regular delight, full of sage gardening advice and fabulous recipes, with emphasis on vegetarian fare, growing your own, and local sourcing.
Check it out here, and subscribe by email so you never miss a post.
I found about Chef Cheryl, who lives and cooks down in Florida, through our friend Nandini at Goan Imports. Cheryl has a great blog full of food centered on the sea, of course, as well as fun stuff to do when you find yourself down her way.
Check out We Graze Together, a wonderful food blog share Cheryl started recently, filled with folks you’ll definitely want to check out. I’ve been wading through the participants, and am finding a wealth of great folks and food. Trust me when I promise that you’ll enjoy it as much as I am.
Big thanks to Cheryl for adding us, and definitely check these sites out!
Check out this hilarious post from The Kitchn, (which is an amazing site, btw). It’s not only howlingly funny, it’s so, so true.
It may come as a surprise to some that a lot of artists like to cook, but it shouldn’t. Be they painter, writer, instrument maker, sculptor, or musician, many of them not only cook, but cook well. Cooking, good cooking, is done with heart and soul, as much or more than it is with hands and brains – This is natural to artists, who are driven to express themselves, often in more than one vein. Guitarist Extraordinaire Ken Bonfield is one of these. As with a number of other fine folk, I met Ken through Facebook; over the years of interacting there, we’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. I think we were introduced because he plays guitars and I build them; over time, I’ve become aware that he has a genuine passion for food, and that he express that dang near as well as he plays a harp guitar.
If you’re a fan of great music, inspired playing, and what may be a somewhat unusual instrument to many, you simply need to become familiar with Ken’s music. He’s been playing all around this country for over two decades, at festivals, concert series, and on seven albums of his own. He composes and plays with great passion, love, and expression. He is technically brilliant as a player, truly as gifted as one can be; in an age where fingers style playing has become a predictable warren of percussive and flashy tricks, everything I’ve heard Ken play has clearly been marinating in heart, passion, and deep thought before it’s been sounded. I would argue that he’s one of the absolute best harp guitar players I’ve ever heard, on par with Muriel Anderson, with whom he just so happens to be playing this weekend in his home town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. I love that he pays tribute to cool instruments like the harp and baritone guitars with much of his music; its just a bit more outside the box and above the average picker. He calls these his “chamber ensemble” of instruments, mostly made by Master Luthier Al Caruth. If you’re a player and want to improve, know that Ken also teaches quite often, through an ongoing series of workshops and master classes.
As I mentioned, the guy can also cook! Recently, he posted this cool little trick for peeling fresh garlic. That lead to his posting of his deservedly legendary 132 Clove Garlic Soup, which, with Ken’s blessing, I’m reposting here.
Note on the peeling trick – it does indeed work quite nicely, but know that it also bruises the garlic to a notable degree, so only shake what you’re going to use fairly quickly.
Ken’s 132-Clove Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese, (Adapted from Bon Appetit’s 1999 44-clove garlic soup)
78 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 1/2 cups sliced onions
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
54 garlic cloves, peeled
8 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
8 lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 78 garlic cloves in a glass baking dish. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add roasted garlic and 54 peeled raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth.
Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer.
Season with salt and pepper.
Divide grated cheese among bowls and ladle soup over.
Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.
(Serve with some Ken Bonfield acoustic joy.)
Thats Goan, as in, Goa state, located in the south western part of the Indian Subcontinent. My friend Nandini owns and operates the goanwiki website, a paean to all the wonderful stuff that come from that stunningly lovely corner of the world. She’s an engineer, a marketing guru, and a multi-lingual incredible chef to boot.
Goa, while thoroughly Indian, has deep Portuguese roots than infuse the culture, and especially the food of the region. Goa is the smallest, and one of the least populated states in India; Otis immensely popular with tourists for its beaches that border the Arabian Sea, as well as its rich flora and fauna. The Portuguese influence is certainly noted in the name of the largest Goan city, Vasco da Gama, named for the legendary explorer, and in the city of Margao, where it’s notable in architecture as well. Claimed by the Portuguese in the late 16th century, Goa remained a holding until it was annexed by India in 1961.
Nadini’s post are redolent with the spices and unique recipes brought to fruition by the blending of Indian and Portuguese cuisines. Even this deceptively simple pork and bean dish takes on a whole new slant.
In the late 1970s, I went to work in the woods, on Washington State's Olympic Penninsula. This began a seven year stretch of wildland firefighting interspersed with more or less regularly attended winter and spring quarters at the University of Washington's College of Forest Resources. For varying stretches during those years, I lived in trailers, World War Two era shacks, tents, and a couple of log cabins. In addition to working for the forest and park services, there were a couple of logging stints, setting chokers and chasing around Forks, mostly high lining. Whenever I could, I was mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing, fishing for trout, steelhead and salmon, hunting deer and elk, and foraging, mostly for mushrooms. Were I to pick the top three meals I've ever eaten, like the protagonist of Langdon Cook's, The Mushroom Hunters, I would say they were meals I cooked in the woods or on the beach, and all three included wild mushrooms. Specifically, there were chanterelles, chicken of the woods, and black trumpets, combined with salmon, elk, and trout, respectively. Other than that, there was salt, pepper, butter, and olive oil. The settings for those meals, a beach off La Push, shoreside on Lake Crescent, and on the bank of Goodman Creek, certainly contributed to the magic, but the fact remains that wild food, freshly caught and gathered, and simply seasoned, was the heart of the matter.
Langdon Cook's marvelous book brought those meals back to mind for me, some thirty years after the fact. Great books do that; they ignite passions, or rekindle old ones. The Mushroom Hunters is such a book, a must read, a page burner, in fact.
If you're not yet familiar with Cook, this young northwest writer and wild food lecturer won the 2014 Pacific Northwest Book Award for The Mushroom Hunters; he's also written Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager, which I've got on the way. He has the gift, like Rowan Jacobsen and John Geirach, of leaving you wanting more. Reading The Mushroom Hunters revived that old passion in me, frankly. I still fish, hunt, camp, and hike, but for God knows what reason, I'd stopped foraging, and that makes no sense. Our property here on Lummi Bay is rife with edibles, and there are many, many more an easy drive and hike away. Monica and I are going to get back into the woods; I really miss fresh watercress, miners lettuce, and mushrooms…
In 1998, I was frequenting La Conner Chef extraordinaire Thomas Palmer's restaurant. One night he stopped by the table and, after a brief chat, asked what we were eating. When we allowed that we hadn't decided yet, he uttered those magic words, “Let me cook for you,” and he did. I don't recall the whole meal right off hand, but I do remember the fresh wild mushroom appetizer, simply sautéed in butter, deglazed with a splash of white wine and seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. We happily fought over the last bites. Wild mushrooms add an unmatchable, solid base note to so many dishes. It's that thing you can't quite place but gotta have; wild, earthy, deep, whatever you want to call it. I've spent too many years letting somebody else bring them to me; it's time to go back in.
The Mushroom Hunters follows denizens of the commercial wild mushroom trade here in Washington and up and down the Pacific Coast. Like Cook himself, it's as much about the passions of cooking and the outdoors as it is about the mushroom trade. A good writer accurately recounts a place, an experience, a thing; a great one puts you there. After reading Cooks magnum opus, (so far, that is; I've no doubt he's just getting warmed up), I bought updated foraging and mushroom guides and cleaned the climbing gear out of my trusty day pack.
Followers here know I'm not one for faint praise. If Langdon Cook got me this fired up, he'll do so for you as well. Go get his books, and check him out on his website, where you can keep abreast of what he's got cooking, including appearances and classes.