Month: September 2012

The Sandwich Diaries – Beans on Toast

While it’s not a traditional sandwich in the sense that a Reuben or a Club is a sandwich – meat or goodies slapped between 2 or more slices of heaven – but, IF we’re going to consider open faced thingys like a Hot Brown or a Tuna Melt one, then it has to apply to Beans on Toast as well. And no… there’s no real mystery here, it’s pork and beans  – – – on toast. Back about a month ago, Marx Foods had a quick down and dirty little contest on their Facebook page to guess what a particular flower was: it’s a potato flower I guessed right, and for that, Marx Foods sent me a little goody bag of pantry staples as the prize. In it, I got some of these: They’re Mayacoba Beans – Also known as Canary beans, Mayacobas are a pale yellow, dense meat with a thin skin, which makes them a perfect candidate for slow cooking. Their other outstanding quality is that they contain none of the voluminous gas producing qualities of any …

Rope ’em up, Ride ’em Out – Okra Round Up

Yeah, you can say it… “I’m one of those Pod People…“ I get positively gooey when anyone just mentions okra, and I’m quite possibly one of the .005% of the okra eating population that even likes it boiled. (the 1/2 bushel last month should have been a dead give away.) So it isn’t any wonder I’ve got a couple of tickers set to key in when something new in the world of  O.K.R.A. hits the inter-verse-web-o-matic. Sometimes I’m thrilled, and sometimes… just sometimes, I’m a tad miffed. Like the person the other day that suggested lightly coating overly long pieces of okra in coarse polenta and sauteing it in olive oil for “a minute”…. .. it made pretty pictures . … but . . Now, I’m smart enough to know that okra lightly cooked – is still raw. And raw okra isn’t something most people want to eat….. Hell, it isn’t even something I want to eat (and I do love me some okra). If okra were meant to be eaten uncooked, you’d be finding it on every …

It’s Apple Season! – Peanut Butter / Caramel Tarte Tatin

Burt’s Farm – Dawsonville (just past Amicolola Falls) You know it’s Fall when you feel even the slightest dip in the morning temperatures. The air has that crispness you just don’t get any other time of the year. The sourwood trees begin to redden, the forests begin their pre-leaf settling in preparation for the onslaught of the new covering, and you see the never-ending caravan of cars from the low-lands hitting the mountains. Yes, it’s a bit early for leaf lookers, but that’s not why they are here. It’s the pumpkins and apples. The seemingly never-ending supply of pumpkins from Burt’s Farm beckons them in and hooks them. And, it’s the apple barns that suck them deeper still into the rolling hills. They spend the weekend, loading up their carriages with that perfect globe to carve… and apples…. ohhh, the apples. I have to admit, I can’t resist apple season, either. For the families that work so very hard every year preparing the orchards, tending and caring for their trees to bring one of nature’s most perfect bounties – …

Copper River Salmon – Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon or “Silver” Salmon are the smaller, less fatty variety of Alaskan Salmon – typically weighing in at 6 to 12 pounds at capture. They are easily identifiable by the thinly skinned silver side panels and the dark bluish fins and top. They will spend between 2 to 3 years feasting on the ocean bounty before returning to the Copper River area to spawn. And, once the hormones start kicking in and they enter fresh water, they transform to look like THIS! The mouth becomes decidedly hooked and the color flushes brilliant reds…. I know some guys like that…. c r e e p y… But we’re dealing with the silver guys… As I’ve said, Coho Salmon are somewhat less fatty then Sockeye or King, which in turn gives them a much milder salmon-y flavor – and have been marketed as the “Salmon for people that don’t like salmon.” And like their bigger, behemoth cousins, the skin is entirely edible and somewhat less tough then the fattier fish. A little about salads… I love a good salad. And while I may dabble in deconstructed, …

Weight of the World on my Lamb Shoulder…

Steaks… There’s a bit of contention when it comes to lamb shoulder steaks. There are those who believe that you should only braise them because the connective tissue – bone – and general condition of the musculature make them an unlikely candidate for anything short of 3 hours in a stew. … And then there are people like me that spit in the fan of naysayers, and fire up the grill every time. You can usually find shoulder (or Blade ) steaks in the fast sell section at the butcher shop. The double bone and (in my area) the fact that it’s lamb makes them somewhat undesirable… meaning – you can usually pick up a one pound 1″ thick steak for somewhere around $5.50 – which is a pretty good deal, considering it’s, you know… lamb, and beats the bejeezus out of $19.95 a pound for chops. If you can’t seem to find shoulder steaks at your market, pick up a good meaty shoulder roast and have your butcher cut it into decent 1″ chops for you. (most …

Pie Envy – building a better pie – Take That!

It all started with this recipe: Granny Butterworth’s Peanut Butter Pie 3 oz Cream Cheese (softened)3/4 c. Sifted XXX Sugar1/2 cup Peanut Butter2 Tbsp Milk1 Smaller Container of Cool Whip1 8 in Graham Cracker Crust Pie Shell Beat Cream Cheese & Sugar together til fluffy. Add PB & Milk til smooth. Fold Cool Whip into mixture. Pour into Crust. Chill 5-6 hours. Top with Chopped Peanuts. You can store in freezer to help it set more … and some relatively small minded bitchiness on my part. I wont go into it again… but you can follow it back >> here << and get the Chocolate Chess part of the recipe. The thing was to elevate that pie to something better, something Gluten and Dairy Free, and really… something to blow that old pie out of the pie plate. The crust is really the trickiest part of the recipe as most gluten free pie crusts are either scads long in the ingredients, a small fortune in materials, or actually just don’t work very well at all. Even when you have …

Baleful Bounty – Dairy-Free Cheesy Enchiladas Verdes

You know, it’s funny how something so seemingly insignificant can set things in motion… The other day I was just window shopping the canned food aisle at the market….  really..  okay,  I was after a can of Pork and Beans,  but it was for research, you know… o–kay,  I wanted beans on toast… but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, there was a girl rifling around in the ethnic section, shoving cans around and digging to the back of the stack, when she knocked a can on the floor. I casually picked it up and looked at the label as I replaced it on the shelf. It was a can of Green Enchilada Sauce… “huh”, I thought. “Enchilada Sauce.” Then, in a split of a split second. as I passed the end cap, I remembered I had bought a package of this : the other day, thinking I could use it as a substitute for Pepper Jack on a sandwich.  (FYI) You can’t. It’s too sticky, and too much like garlicky , peppery paste – and …

Copper River Salmon – SWAG and Stuff and Such…

It’s Coho Season! And while I’ve already gotten my big Bag ‘O Fish from Copper River Salmon to play with, both of us here at Turtle Creek  are battling a severe allergy season  and subsequently have been in the dumps a bit. I just haven’t had the desire to cast in … so to speak. So, We’ll be getting to the exciting, tasty, sexy, Coho next week. Until then, I’ve got some SWAG to give away to get you in the mood for that last fire up on the grill. In with our fish shipments, occasionally there are additional goodies tucked in-between. I’ve held 2 of them back to give away. 1 – Emeril’s Alder Plank Smoker set up,  and  1 – Little tin of Slammin’ Salmon Rub (really… that’s its name…) from Summit Spice and Tea Company. I’m making it a package deal so you can season up a great slab of Coho, smoke it up, and impress all your friends. So, if you want it… you gotta fight for it…. and I’m only doing it on the …

OLÉ! – kinda…

Ideally, there should be a bit of a travel story depicting my drunken body staggering into some dirty backwater, iguana-crawling, cha-cha playing, peeling concrete floored cantina somewhere down in the backwoods of the Yucatan Peninsula where I first had Chilaquiles. But that would be a fib. The drunkenness, staggering and crawling are probably correct – but I have no recollection of that event, .. sir… No, I first had them a great deal closer. In fact, right across the street from my old house in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta. Not exactly South of the Border… but it was South-ish of Buckhead…a bit. Chilaquiles are, for lack of a better word, a kind of Mexican casserole. They are traditionally made with left over (and preferably stale) tortilla chips, simmered in salsa, and cooked with either eggs or left-over chicken. It’s comfort food plus – like Mexico City Chicken and Dumplings… or Jalisco Mac n Cheese… or Tijuana Tetrazzini… or. .. . you get the picture. My take on that Deep South classic is a little lighter than the traditional. Since …

Pie Envy – Building a Better Pie (Stage One)

I    felt    cheated. Color me petty,  you can say that’s at the very core of the quest to build a better pie. but I did… Cheated… … and I’m not even going to feel bad about saying it. It all began a couple of days ago on my cousin’s birthday… and with a status update, “My wife made me Granny B’s Peanut Butter Pie for my birthday!” he says.. I smiled a little inside. I know from the happiness and joy that comes out of home-baked goods… and family memories. Casually, I flipped open the well worn and slightly rusted recipe box with the garish Pennsylvania Dutch motif that houses the family recipes. My fingers ticking over the dog eared tabs to the “PIE” section. Granted, it was a little selfish of me. I was happy for him… of course I was. But, I wanted to share in that memory. I wanted the clouds to clear and be right there with him tasting that pie. But… “huh… no peanut butter pie in the …