Month: March 2011

The Online Bake Sale For Japan

Once again we’re putting our esteem non-baking talents to work for a good cause! We have teamed up with Sabrina at The Tomato Tart to supply goodies for the online bake sale.As you already know… the confidence in my baking skills are down around the three-year-old level, so I won’t be auctioning off any muffins, cookies, cakes, bread…or the like. We have agreed to offer another pack of the glasee oranges with a special addition. This go-around we have added a Pint Jar of our very tasty Minneola Marmalade  in addition to the   Clementines in Syrup and Regular Plain Glasee Clementines The Bake Sale will be on March 30th!  So if you are around, please stop in…meet the bakers (and a couple of non-bakers)…and see what we’re auctioning off….  (it wouldn’t hurt if you made a bid, either…) Thanks! Toby @ Plate Fodder

Wa Sabbi! – Marx Foods Challenge Entry – Number 4

I’ve been walking around the house saying “Waa  Sabbi!” for a week now. It has long ceased to be funny to anyone but me. When Marx Foods announced that I’d be in the final round of the challenge, I was elated. We would each be receiving a perishable ingredient to utilize in our final entries. I imagined a lot of possibilities… I wasn’t expecting this… These are fresh Mazuma Wasabi rhizomes. A hotter and less “bitey” version that the typical Durama Wasabi that is more commonly used in sushi and sashimi preparations. I thought about using it in a savory rub… too common. Then as a salad… just too odd… Then as a reworked tuna tartar kind of thing…  way too artsy for me… Doing a little (OK, a lot) of research, I read where, when paired with fruits and herbs, wasabi can brighten and heighten the flavors of the accompanying seasonings. I thought I could bounce the bitey-ness off of a cream base and temper the heat a little. I finally decided on cocktail …

Bad Moon Rising

The Super Moon and a Couple of Moon Wings Humor me… click the play button while you read. I’m by no means an alarmist.. nor do I wish to make light of the recent events in Christchurch and Japan. My thoughts, prayers and support go out to the people of  New Zealand and Japan.Three weeks ago, when I began compiling my thoughts for this post, I imagined this would be a humorous post with moon pies, moon cakes, Brussels Sprouts (they’re planning on growing them on the moon) and my friend Sun’s, Moon Wings. Even as late as last Sunday, experts disavowed any logic that the upcoming Lunar Perigee would have any discernible effect on the earth other than”slightly higher” tides and and a spectacular full moon on the 19th (It should appear 15% larger).I, like most people, watched in horror as the images came flooding in… the devastation of the massive quake and the carnage of the resulting tsunami. I sat slack-jawed as a home movie depicted the total destruction of a small village …

Persimmon Gingerbread Muffins

Back in January when the last ditches of the holidays were at the market, I bought a Hachiya persimmon. I considered making a persimmon pudding… a persimmon BBQ sauce… a persimmon vinaigrette…  until I peeled and tasted it. I had eaten persimmons as a kid. The property in Marietta where I grew up had a native persimmon tree. Every fall we would scrounge through the leaves looking for those soft, date-like fruits. Scraping the sticky fragrant fruit off the pod, we’d crack the almond shaped seed with our teeth to see the prize. Unlike Hachiya persimmons, American persimmons have a large – semi firm pit in the center. If the pit is split open, there between the halves would be the beginning of a new persimmon tree. These new sprouts would look like silver settings…. sometimes you would get a knife and fork…sometimes just a spoon… and on very rare occasions.. a full set…knife, fork, spoon. I’m still not entirely sure if we ate them because of the fruit..or just to see what was inside. …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Potato Tart

My dad used to tell a story of when he was in the Army during the Korean War. In basic training, a friend of his had been assigned to KP, and it was his job to  peel the potatoes for the days meal. They used one of the mechanical potato peelers in the kitchen. It was a large washing machine looking affair that would tumble the potatoes around inside a large bin equipped with little blades. Typically the  process would run for 30 seconds… or so.. and you could fish out the perfect white ovals – devoid of peel. His friend had loaded up the machine with spuds and turned it on….. then promptly got involved in something else. It seems either he wasn’t told…or he wasn’t paying attention when he was told – that the machine was only to operate 30 seconds. It ran for 30 minutes. He had reduced 200lbs of potatoes to a gallon bucket of spud marbles. He wasn’t allowed back in the kitchen… I could eat potatoes every day. Maybe …

Chicken & Waffle Redux

This is my Third Round Entry for the Marx Foods Ridiculously Delicious Challenge. The rules for round 3 are as follows: “For Stage 3 the 15 top vote-getters will “make over” the recipe of their choice from any of the other 15 top vote-getters, except their own. In their post, they must also specify which recipe would have been their second choice for a makeover.The contestants whose recipes are the 8 most made over will advance to the next round. (to be clear, by making over someone’s dish, you are voting for them to advance to the next round).  Also, two of the contestants who did the best job making over their chosen recipe will also advance to the next round (as judged by Marx Foods). If there is a tie in the number of times a recipe is made over, or if fewer than 8 recipes are chosen to be made over, the tally of “second choice” comments will be used to determine additional contestants. If there are still fewer than 8, Marx Foods …

Test Kitchen Six – Challenge Fodder

When we last left our hero….. As you may remember, thanks to the great people that voted for me in the last round of the Marx Foods Challenge, I’ve made it through to the 3rd round. The goal was to re-create one of the other competitors entries – still using the odd basket of ingredients provided by Marx Foods. In addition, I have to say which other entry I would remake as a secondary option. I came up with 2 of the entries that I wanted to redo. The Tepin Chili Chicken and Waffles and the Creamy Coconut Coconut Bread Pudding with Cherries. Since I wasn’t able to pick one over the other in a theoretical sense, I chose to make both and decide which one I would submit based on appearance and taste. Although both turned out well in visual and technique, … based on taste, it was a no-brainer. The Chicken~Waffle Redux will be the main entry, and the Bread Pudding rework will be the alternative choice. The entry post will be coming …

Waste Not ~ Want Not

After working up the marmalade from last week, I had a ton (well, okay…it was a couple of cups) of expressed orange pulp left over. It’s a curse, but I’ve never been one to throw scraps away. My mom always trained us to use as much of a vegetable as possible, then save the scraps for stock. It wasn’t a terribly new thing to do, as chef’s have been saving cast-offs for stocks and seasonings for eons. So I would dutifully keep a Tupperware or baggie in the freezer and add the potato peelings, carrot shavings, onion skins (wilted radish and limp cucumber) to the bag for use in some future stock. At my first real hotel job, I worked with a chef that kept a large 30 gallon trash can in the freezer. I’d do my inventories… and look at the can.  “Don’t worry about what’s in the can” the chef would say. “But… what is it?” “It’s the Magic Meat Barrel” he would say casually… and leave it at that. The hotel had …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Chickpea Soup

Looking back over some of the Simple Dinners I’ve done, I realize what I consider simple may not mean the same to someone else. Simple doesn’t always refer to  “open a couple of cans – and dinner’s on the table in 5 minutes”… although it can. When I tag a  post as simple, I’m either referring to the preparation (easy to make), the time involved (that “ready in 15 minutes” thing), that I utilized whatever was in the fridge and I didn’t have to go shopping for that particular meal… (which is always a bonus). I even consider recipes as simple if I am talking about comfort foods and uncomplicated flavors. Sausage & Kraut is a simple meal.. but if I have you fermenting your own cabbage and grinding your own sausage…it’s just not terribly easy. Then there are times, like today, where I am making use of common ingredients like canned or pre-prepared foods to cut down on steps – case in point, Chickpea Soup. This soup take 5 minutes to assemble and 30 …

An Overnight Sensation

Some of you may know I have a sister… … this is her. (tiny, isn’t she) Since we were kids, Melinda has always been my closest confidant… my biggest critic.. and my sounding board. She is my favorite person in the world. So, when I got the box of ingredients for the recent food challenge, my first instinct was to call Melinda and pick her brain for ideas. (You see… even though she isn’t in the food field, she is just as talented as me… if not more. And Nobody loves food more than her.) One of the things she suggested was overnight oatmeal. My color palled. I don’t do oatmeal… it’s a textural thing. She went on to explain that it was  slow cooked oats with dried fruit.. (I still wasn’t warming to the idea.) I suggested that she send me the recipe and I would take a look at it. She did, I made it..and you know….. it’s pretty damned tasty! So in honor of my sister, I am including her email to …