Month: August 2012

The Sandwich Diaries – Brats and Grilled Onions

Oh, you know you want one…. I could give you the big, rambling story of how I used to make these huddled over a fire, with some homily on the goods and evils of prepackaged sausages…. but you really don’t care. you just want  this… okay, maybe not so much but, definitely… I hear ya… I’m not insensitive.. really… Right then.. Brats and Grilled Onions on Parmesan Toast Serves 4 Ingredients   Saute over medium heat until they look like… THIS!   Pop them in a 350 oven until golden, toasty and brown   When cooked, slice them on the diagonal in 1/4″ slices   Spread a little spicy mustard, then pile on the sausage and onions

Simple Dinner Sunday – Pork Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce

I’ve never been one of those shoppers with a rigid grocery list. Sticking to a list, ticking off every little thing so you stay within $.50 of your budgeted grocery allowance just doesn’t work for me. I like the thrill of the economical buy. And, I do like a bargain. Reference the… 6 packs of ox tail for $1.95 a pack 1/2 bushel of okra for eight bucks family pack of 1.5 pound fryers (really, really tiny chickens) for 89 cents each industrial-sized bag of frozen chopped spinach… So, just imagine the joy of unearthing a 1 lb pack of “Cubed Pork Cutlets” for $1.35. I was over the moon happy. Really… Until, I got them home… Here’s the thing with cubed meat. Cubing is a process intended to break up the relatively tough muscle in bad cuts of meat. The protein feeds into the whacka-chopper, and it smashes 1/4″ divots into the slab of toughness. Top Round, Eye of Round, Brisket, Vein Strips – all good candidates for the cubing mawl… Pork? not so much. Pork, …

Baleful Bounty – Frittering My Life Away

For those of you keeping vigil… Yes, I did an okra fritter back early last February. But –  With the bounty of okra I snagged from the Okra Man, and my own voluminous production… we need to repeat some things.. and the okra fritters were / are something that warrant a second look. The first time around, being winter and all, I used frozen okra. Which in the grand scope of things has a few benefits over fresh. (a) The freezing breaks down the cell structure a bit and allows for quicker cooking, and (b), freezing seems to cut back on all that slime production and general liquid some.  And while still the best fritter thingy I’ve made to date, I wanted to see how fresh out of the garden okra would fare. First off, I’ve sliced the okra THIN – 1/8″, which offsets the concern of cooking time. I’ve also cut back the original liquids by 1/4 cup to account for the ever present slime, and added extra flavors – (Not everyone loves the taste of okra …

One From Column “A” – Five Spice Asian Eggplant

I’m only marginally ashamed to admit it – I buy grocery store sushi. Why? It’s brainless food. It’s a quick dinner without all the muss and fuss of actually getting in there and whooping up a tasty and healthy meal… but … I only bought one pack without really looking at what I bought, and in it were 8 pieces of brown rice California Roll and 4 pieces of brown rice Salmon Nigiri. I thought I picked up something with a better selection for two people. Which still puts me in the kitchen – cooking. Poking around in the fridge looking for something to augment tonight’s dinner with, I came across my “bounty” of Asian eggplant from the garden – all three of them. The eggplants have been a cruel joke all season as my plants are only giving up the goods (that’s one) every couple of weeks or so, and trying to find something to do with  a single, small, skinny aubergine is next to impossible… and, by the time I have enough to do something with, the …

I’ve got your Sticky Cake… Right Here

Okay.. I didn’t actually watch the UK Summer Olympics. I was pretty much Twittered into a stupor by the time the first event concluded. (and… I’m not really a “hit the ball and drag Harry” kind of guy…) But I was stoked about it being there. Because, I expected the airwaves to be inundated with Cuisine of Britain programming. I didn’t see any.. well, I take that back. There was one program produced back in 2000 aimed at convincing the world that the UK wasn’t all Bangers and Mash. Which is kinda sad, because I particularly like bangers… and mash.   That really left me with no other option than to go about looking for my own little culinary excursion. I found my first stop with Fiona Maclean (don’t you just love her name!) over at London Unattached. Fiona made Parkin! Now, I’ve had parkin a couple of times before (read that as a lot) as my across the street neighbor in Savannah was always making it and inviting me over for tea. Actually, I worked with her estranged husband and she …

Party with a Pretty Dress – Epilogue

It was a beautiful day… The End. Let me back up a bit The morning after the last wedding post, I get a message: “Where’s the end of the story?” “You’re not going to leave us there in sub-zero temps and gale force winds, are you?”“What about the cake? The desserts? The Midnight Breakfast…..” Actually, I fully intended to come back and do the last who ha on the wedding. Only, my fridge was awash in wedding food… and I’d kinda crispy crittered myself on the marathon cooking jag… and Jane was already tired of eating things she really didn’t want. … so I waited a week before I even started to think about this last trip to the beach. And then I got involved in fifteen other things. But before I get to my own contributions, I’m all for paying it forward. I want to acknowledge some of the other people and things that came together in just a great big ball of good karma to make this event such a success. Photos –  http://www.dianedouglass.com/ The above …

Baleful Bounty – A whole lotta somethin’ going on…

Whether it’s been the ungodly heat, the unpredictable rainy spells, bugs, fungi, bugs, vermin in the bales or bugs… I know – I said that 3 times.. But, I’m really trying to grow organically – and the bugs are carrying  the garden away… Passive insecticides and things made out of marigolds just isn’t doing the job. Anyway –  I’ve lost 2 tomato plants. I should restate that… I lost two tomato plants AFTER they were full of green tomatoes. Which meant I had to harvest a 1/2 bushel of green tomatoes. In the narrow scheme of things, it doesn’t exactly sound like such a bad thing… except this week they all started to ripen – concurrently. On top of that, the 2 remaining healthy plants are also kicking out the red globes eight to the bar. I’m awash in maters… and unfortunately… okra… This is 1/2 (half) of the okra I got from the Okra Man I’ve told you guys about the Okra Man before. Out on a drive with Jane today, we headed towards Ellijay …

Copper River Salmon – Poked and Prodded, The Big Thaw, Part 2

You remember last week when I grilled that Tequila and Lemongrass Salmon? well…. Tequila & Lemongrass Salmon That was only part of the story. There was supposed to be  crispy salmon tacos, ancho roasted salmon and salmon skewers to go along with it for just this glutton-fest of frozen salmon. Only, I spent the morning cleaning two bedrooms, a bathroom, did a little gardening, took a nap, spent an hour in a fog because I took an afternoon nap, mopped the house, made the tequila glaze, and took another nap (leave me alone, I’ve been suffering with a sinus infection)… and then, I was beat… and tired… and didn’t want to do anything except grill a big ole’ piece of salmon. Which left me either lying to you about the other stuff… or going out and buying more salmon to do the other stuff. I got around to it yesterday. Crispy Salmon Tacos When Copper River sent us this last box o’ joy, they suggested we make tacos with it. Honestly? I wasn’t all that …

Navigating the Rut

I know it’s inevitable, we get wrapped up in the day-to-day of our lives and really just stop thinking about certain things. We get up, dress, work, drive… We roam around in a fog doing things automatically… and we make rationalizations for it. That sandwich shop you’ve eaten a turkey on rye every day for the last two weeks – I’m busy, it’s my Go To lunch (and you’ve got a little lettuce on your chin… again…) That you pull on the same yoga pants and sweat shirt when you walk in the door –  they’re my Go To lounge wear (never mind they’re thread-bare and you look like a hobo) That you’ve worn the same suit as long as anyone can remember – It’s classic… and besides, it’s my Go To suit (the padded shoulders do make you look taller) … your go to dinner, you can make with your eyes closed … that go to restaurant, that serves a little bit of everything so no one has to think … the go to market, you instinctively …

Curb Market Crawl – Diggin’ for Gold

Dahlonega = Gold (in case you didn’t know.) Did you know… the gold topped dome of the Georgia State Capital is from Dahlonega Gold? Home of the first major gold rush in the United States, Dahlonega is nestled in the Georgia foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. As a child breezing through the countryside on family excursions – familiar sights tracked past the car window at 50 mph –  chicken houses, truck farms, cattle and cornfields all tucked away neatly in every little holler and hillock. Even though growing up in Marietta was far from urban sprawl, it was refreshing and peaceful to ride through the country, wondering what was going on down that little valley, or imagining life  among the stacks of out-building and chicken houses that dotted the rolling hills around Dahlonega. That child’s eye view of my now home has always influenced what my adult eye should be seeing. I guess I expected it to always remain the same. Unfortunately, as with so many rural areas, the small farms are disappearing. Where I once …