eor: (curry)
So the coincidence of a few people coming over, few days off, and a sudden burst of inspiration, I went on a cooking jag. It turned out to be a perfect storm for food prep. It all finished up just in time last night.

It was an interesting challenge a variety of dietary restrictions came into play and I wanted to provide things that everyone could eat. The majority of the dishes are vegan, the three exceptions are obvious. I replaced all calls for butter and ghee with canola oil.

the menu )

My favorite dish of the night was E's lemon cornmeal cake.

I doubt I'll ever end up making this many dishes for a single meal again. But I'm happy I added a couple of chutneys to the repertoire and I have some ideas for tofu curry. Plus, we have leftovers for the rest of the week.
eor: (Default)
In an effort to use up some of the huge amount of ginger I bought on Saturday at the Thai market, I made Quick Lemon Ginger Marmalade. It's badly misnamed. I mean the cooking doesn't take long, but the prep is killer.

The details )

With the peppers, the steam, the grating of litte pieces of finger ginger, the lemon, and more steam, my hands are not very happy at the moment. I think I'll stop with the cooking for tonight.

My taste tester got home. It took a minute for her to process the first sample. Her assessment, it has bite. It's good. It has bite. I tasted it as well. I like it. I don't think it's all that bitey, but maybe I just got a mild bit.

Reminds of the chilli contest judge joke that's floated around in email forever... )
eor: (Default)
I finally cracked open the first jar of Dilly Beans to see how they tasted. Of the 5 batches, batch #2 was the base batch (every other batch is one ingredient variation away from it) so I tried it first. On first tasting [livejournal.com profile] derien was favorable, but my first thought was "kind of bland, too little other taste means too much vinegar taste." I think perhaps it was just a bad moment for me. In subsequent tastings I've been more happy with them. The vinegar is a little strong for my taste, but the remainder of the flavors are quite balanced. I'll be interested to see what the other batches taste like. #1 has black peppercorns which were absent from the rest of the batches. #3,4,5 each double one of the spices (dill,red pepper flakes, garlic).

Even though I feel they are a little under in the flavor, I still rate this batch as a success. They're easy to eat and still have retained a bit of crisp texture in spite of the pickling. They aren't the be all and end all, but they're better than three quarters of the commercial jars I've had. There may be improvements to come, but as is it was worth the work.
eor: (Default)
Today I made a batch of pickled peppers. The recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is called "Pickled Hot Peppers". It calls for 6 cups of banana peppers, 4 cups of jalepeno peppers, and 1 cup of serrano peppers. Banana peppers are pretty mild and I didn't have any anyway. So I did 6 cups of jalepeno peppers, nearly 4 cups of little thai hot peppers, then topped off the last cup with some serranos and a few other stray hot peppers from the garden. I also added a couple of baby ancho peppers just as a surprise bit of mellowness. While cutting the jalepenos I put a little nick in my left pinky finger with the knife. While cutting the thai hots I reached another level of consciousness through pain. This will not be a pickle for the faint of heart.

details )

Made 5 full pints for me with 1/2 a jar of peppers left over for a quick stovetop saute. There was enough liquid that if I had another cup of peppers it would have made 6 pints.

Now to wait a month and see if they turned out alright.
eor: (Default)
On Sunday I was trying to get mass amounts of things done and ended by cooking "Spirited Blueberries" out of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar dissolved in 2 cups of water then cooked with 12 cups of berries for 5 minutes. This mixture is then divided in seven 8 oz jars with a tablespoon of rum in each, but since we were a bit short on berries, we only came up with 6 jars worth. The leftover sauce, without rum, was served when we got done and got rave reviews. We haven't tried the sauce yet, but I imagine it will be really good. The berries were the sweetest, most tasty blueberries any of us have ever encountered. They defy adjectives. They were also free!
eor: (Default)
We went to the farmer's market in Portland this weekend. It was packed with vegetable goodness. We mostly restrained ourselves, but I insisted on buying [livejournal.com profile] derien a pint of wild blueberries. They were tiny little things, which if you know anything about blueberries, bigger is certainly not better. Upon sampling they were declared the perfect berry. We also got some spuds, which are quite good in their own right. We also bought some wax beans because they were so pretty. Then for the big leap I bought twelve pounds of green beans for canning. And this my friends is what we call a segue.

Today, while [livejournal.com profile] derien drove north to visit relatives, I started making Dilly Beans. It's a fairly simple recipe, but the cleaning and cutting that many beans takes forever. I ended up canning five batches of beans, 6 pints per batch with one pint missing from the last batch because I didn't have another jar. Actually, I ran out to the store after two batches to get another dozen jars and more vinegar. Each batch is a slight variation on the recipe, increasing one item from the base to see what will taste best. I used dill and garlic from our garden. I started at 1pm and finished cleaning up about 7pm.

I really hope these turn out well. I won't know for a while. I have to wait at least two weeks before tasting them and really should wait 4-6 weeks. But if they do turn out well, I'll have a lot of tasty treats for fall and winter. I will probably try to crack at least one of them before the bean harvesting season is over, so if they don't work I can make another go of it with fresh beans.
eor: (Default)
Today I went out and gathered goodies from the garden. The biggest endeavor was harvesting 2/3 of the garlic that had been planted last fall. The leaves had gone brown and that's a sign they need to be pulled. I think I timed it pretty well because only one bulb was obviously overripe and splitting. The yield was mixed with some big beautiful bulbs, some tiny, a the majority somewhere in between. Perhaps better soil would have helped. They are sitting to dry now. I didn't count them, but it's a fair haul for something that is mostly set it and forget it.

I also brought in a half dozen leaves of lettuce, a colander full of bush beans, and a bowl full of small carrots. That's all the carrots from one of my short rows that I planted. I'm not entirely happy with the yield, but they are so unbelievably sweet and tasty! Makes me dream of fields of waving carrots like Bugs Bunny dying of starvation. Our bush beans are also tasty, we had some on Sunday night (I think). The yellow ones are particularly sweet and sunny tasting.

The snow peas still aren't showing any enthusiasm. Sad, I was looking forward to fresh steamed snow peas this year.

food

Jul. 6th, 2010 08:27 pm
eor: (Default)
Well, I've finally got around to writing up the two radish recipes we tried, oh, about a month ago: Radish Curry and Radish Top Soup

I was pleasantly surprised by the soup. It sill needs a little something more, but I actually liked it! The curry was good too, though I didn't pay it the attention it deserved while preparing it and didn't have all the ingredients. I'm sure it could be much better than it was, but it was still pretty good.

I really like the fact that these are designed to use the tops of the radishes which are such a large chunk of greens that might otherwise go to waste.
eor: (curry)
"The house is jumping supper is up,
curried goat in a paper cup." -- Jethro Tull "Last Man at the Party"

Not your typical traditional Christmas Eve fare, but almost a tradition in our house: garlic chutney, baby red chili potatoes, beef curry, garlic pappadums, and basmati rice. Just half an hour of cooking more to go. Nothing new this time, I'm not up to new creations today, just old standards.
eor: (curry)
This weekend I've tried out some new veggie recipes. On Saturday, I made a veggie curry (my own invention) served with rice and garlic chutney. The rice was a bit of carb overkill, but it was a nice bland balance to the meal. On Sunday, I made a meal of sides with potatoes with red chillies, corn on the cob, dill carrots (my own invention), and rice. I'm very happy with how both new dishes turned out.

Oh, last weekend I tried out a glazed carrot recipe and fried mixed root veggies.
eor: (curry)
Sometimes I forget just how good it feels to gorge myself on homemade curry. It is such a pleasant thing to rediscover; like a fifteen minute continuous toe curling culinary orgasm.

Today's variation was a beef potato curry, which had cooked for close to two hours, garlic chutney, and black pepper pappadums.

Madras

Jul. 8th, 2007 05:14 pm
eor: (Default)
This has been a cooking weekend. Yesterday I made pappadums, garlic chutney, and jar derived tandoori style chicken. [livejournal.com profile] derien didn't like the chicken because it had too much vinegar, so I get to eat all the leftovers.

Today I'm going to try to create a new recipe for Madras style beef. I know, it's not technically Madras anymore, but I will always know that particular hot rich flavor as Madras regardless of what the city in southern India is named. I've never been able to create just the flavor I want from scratch. Maybe it'll turn out right tonight.
eor: (Default)
Since [livejournal.com profile] cyberquail led the way and told me how, today I tried my hand at making paneer. My first batch came out quite well despite the fact that I didn't quite get the milk to a full boil. It was very close though and if I'd let it boil my pot wouldn't have been big enough.

Recipe: )

Makes a fist sized chunk of cheese.

Tonight it'll be pakoras.
eor: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] cyberquail left this morning. It was a short but very pleasant visit involving much good food. For those who would like the rundown )

It was a wonderful visit, too short but that is the nature of good visits.

Today I've done very little despite the fact I had the day off and was up early. All I've really accomplished is getting three loads of dishes washed and reading 150 pages of Carpe Jugulum.
eor: (Default)
The fried garlic chutney is cooling. The oil is heating to cook the pappadums. And I'm doing the pappadum dance, which involves using the stainless steel tongs, which make grabbing a hot pappad soooo much easier, like castanets.

Few people know it, but the line originally went:
And on the the seventh day God said, "I could use a curry. And there was curry. And it was good."

success

Apr. 19th, 2006 07:31 pm
eor: (Default)
Last night's creations were a hit. The potatoes were hot, which surprised both of us, but very flavorful. The chicken was milder than I expected, but with a different (almost korma) flavor that worked quite well and had a lot of depth to it. The spuds make excellent leftovers and were quite yummy for lunch today. The chicken is much better fresh than as leftovers, but was passable after the microwave treatment. I have updated my recipe page for both: the chicken and the spuds.

I want to make them both again. Like tonight.

avoidance

Apr. 18th, 2006 06:40 pm
eor: (Default)
I realized today, as I said to myself, "oh, I'm exhausted, but I'll get up and...", that I'm practicing avoidance. I'm using perpetual motion to avoid stopping. Stopping to think. Stopping to feel. It's not a bad short term tactic, but eventually I'm going to fall over. I could really stand to have someone distract me, but there aren't any available candidates so I'll settle for being hyper productive for now.

My hands smell like garlic and ginger. I'm going to try to put together a chicken in hot red sauce dish with kashmiri influences tonight and a side of baby potatoes in with red chilis. To cover it any mistakes I'll also have basmati and pappadums.

I don't have a food icon! What's wrong with me?
eor: (excited)
... for tomorrow we die of intestinal lymphoma.

I had a brief chat with the gastro doc today. For the next four to six weeks I will be off my Gluten-free diet. If it makes me sick enough, I'll have a diagnosis of some sort. If it doesn't, cheap food will be back in my diet. I am looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

Now the most pressing issue is what should I have to eat first? Oh, a world of choices are spread before me. I don't think there are enough meals in a single month to sample all the potentially poisonous possibilities. (I'm all about alliteration.)

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