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Tarbell’s knockoff

Mark Tarbell and Tarbell’s are one the many chef friends/restaurants that I follow on Facebook. A great side benefit to following these talents is that they sometimes post what is on special for dinner that night. When it looks tempting, I can hurry up and make reservations… or if we don’t feel like going out… I can try and duplicate the dish for my own knock-off “special of the day”.

This was the case late last week when I saw Tarbell’s post above.  It reads:

“A new week, a new Mr. Fish! Nantucket Sea Bass with a stew of sweet corn, summer squash, and Napa cabbage is topped with a cured tomato relish. We’re loving the veggies we’re getting from local Crooked Sky Farms!

It is a big recipe, but after not posting a recipe for a full week, a big recipe is called for!

I didn’t have sea bass, but I did have halibut. Additionally, I didn’t want to cure tomatoes for the relish, so instead I used sun-dried tomatoes as the base. Following is the delectable result.

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August 9, 2012   2 Comments

summer fresh pasta

After driving by literally hundreds of farms and thousands of acres of corn fields in Minnesota and Wisconsin, during our vacation to the North Woods, I’ve had corn on my mind.  I took dozens of photos of as many of the charming farms and barns as I could, as we sped by in our rental car.  We even came upon a flock of wild turkey on the side of the road.  I made Dave turn the car around so I could get a picture.  They took flight just as I clicked the shutter.  That, and more barn pictures are at the end of this post.

The first meal I made when we returned home was this pasta with shrimp and fresh corn off the cob.

Even though the pasta is in a cream sauce, it is still lite and perfect for a summer supper. Instead of clam juice, I used some lobster stock I had in the freezer (the continuation of my perpetual freezer clean-out!) and wow, did it make a delicious sauce! And that is the reason my sauce is a little darker than yours will be if you use clam juice.

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July 23, 2012   2 Comments

Crooked Sky Farms

Guess what I got to do on Friday morning?!?  I got to go on a private farm tour! So how did this lucky event come along for me?  As usual, it’s all in who you know. 

I met Jennifer Woods back in October 2011, when Peggy and I attended that super cool dinner at The Accidental Yard – CLICK HERE to read all about it. Jennifer is a full time mom to Patrick who is 5 and two-year-old Gretchen (pictured above), a contributor to Chow Bella (CLICK HERE to read just one of the nice articles Jennifer has written about me), and the Marketing Manager for Crooked Sky Farms. Yeah, Jennifer has a full plate!

Anyhow, Jennifer emailed me a week or so ago and asked if I’d like to tour the farm. Would I? Heck, YES!!  There was supposed to be a group of us but the others rescheduled (maybe because they looked at the forecast and noticed that Friday’s high was supposed to be 112 degrees!).  So I met Jennifer and her two adorable, outgoing, well-mannered, articulate, farm-enthusiast kids at the farm at 8:00 AM.

We jumped in the Gator, which looked something like this, but without the hay in the back, and headed out into the fields.

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June 2, 2012   3 Comments

Christmas side #1

This is one of the two side dishes we had for Christmas Eve dinner to accompany a pork roast.  I also served a pumpkin and chipotle soup. The soup, the second side, and the pork recipes will be posted in the next couple of days, but this corn pudding was, by far, the favorite dish of the night!

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December 28, 2011   1 Comment

top it!

I made this cornbread to go along with my Two Bean-Two Corn Chorizo and Poblano Chili on our “no poultry” day (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving).  But is equally delicious served with leftover turkey and gravy or with a creamed turkey mixture served over the top.

I even toasted a half slice and had a poached egg on top for breakfast, it is that versatile, so top it with anything you would like.

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November 25, 2011   1 Comment

no poultry

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, the last thing any of us wants to eat is turkey or chicken! In fact, today – the day and night before Turkey Day – is the biggest day for pizza delivery for the entire year! Bigger than Super Bowl Sunday, bigger than New Year’s Eve (we always ordered delivery pizza for our kids that night just as we were heading out the door), bigger than any other day! Why??? Because everyone is sick of cooking, the refrigerators are full, and we are all anticipating cooking and eating turkey tomorrow!

In honor of the “no poultry” unwritten rule, I’ve got some spicy chili for your dining pleasure. I purchased a package of chorizo bolita at the Mexican market thinking I was going to be trying some new and exciting style of chorizo.  After some internet research, I learned that chorizo bolita is just regular chorizo in little links. Bolita means pellets. Oh well, I tried, and it turns out it is a convenient way to buy chorizo. You can cut off as many links as you need and then repackage and freeze the rest in smaller amounts. I used 3 pellets, or about 5 ounces, for this chili recipe. Plus I really wanted to cook and slice the chorizo as links instead of cooking and crumbling it as I usually do.  Removing the casing very carefully and then cooking the links in a bit of water, gave me the exact result I was looking for.

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November 23, 2011   4 Comments

knock-off

Last Monday morning, once Marissa had left for work and I returned to her apartment after taking Dave to the airport, I sat down to eat lunch. It consisted of a boxed salad I’d picked up at Trader Joe’s the day before. My plan was to eat half of it and save the remaining half for lunch on Tuesday – that didn’t happen.

I scarfed down the entire tasty thing.  Monday night, when Marissa came home from work, we jumped in her car and headed back to Trader Joe’s to do her “big” grocery run.  She would finally have stocked shelves, refrigerator, freezer, and wine rack and could stop eating like a “third grader with a drinking problem.”

Instead she is now a young woman with healthy choices and plenty of nice wine to accompany her adult meals. (Did you know that in California “Two Buck Chuck” is actually two bucks, well actually $1.99?  Not that the $2.99 we pay in AZ is a bad deal, but I always wondered why it was called “Two Buck” when it really cost three bucks… now I know.)

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August 8, 2011   6 Comments

Christmas or anytime

Just because I’ve named these Christmas custards, don’t think that they wouldn’t be good anytime of the year… in fact – it has been requested that I make them again for New Years Eve, and I just may!

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December 28, 2010   No Comments

fusion

I wouldn’t actually call this true “fusion” cooking, but the idea is mixing two cuisines, in this case Italian and Mexican.  According to Wikipedia, Fusion cuisine combines elements of various culinary traditions while not fitting specifically into any. The term generally refers to the innovations in many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.  So, true fusion cooking would do a bit more than just add pepper jack cheese and corn to risotto!  No matter, it’s delicious anyway. [Read more →]


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June 5, 2010   No Comments

summer colors and classes

Today is the final day of the first week of kids’ summer classes. I had a great group, 9 darling girls and 1 adorable boy. Connor is a fantastic assistant, so all is well and wonderful. Wednesday was “Mexican Day” and this beautiful and fresh salad was one of the featured dishes. Quite a bit of slicing and dicing, but after the initial prep work, it comes together in a matter of minutes, making it a great do-ahead choice for a summer menu.

Nine of the 10 kids from week 1 - with their creative individual pizzas


Another happening on Wednesday was my appearance on Valley Dish with Tram Mai.  It was a bit more hectic than usual, what with cooking with the kids all morning, cleaning up from class, then prepping and packing to go to the station…  So a couple items were forgotten at home, but we managed to make it through the show. My friend, Sharon Salomon, who is a writer for Edible Phoenix, interviewed Tram a couple months ago and their article is in this summer’s issue.  The editor of the magazine, Pamela Hamilton, generously drops off a box with 100 copies each summer for me to hand out to my students.  I took a dozen copies to Tram yesterday and upon reading the article found the sweetest quote from her right about in the center of the page. Here is a link to the article that made my day.  And if you’re local, Edible is a wonderful local resource, I highly recommend subscribing to it!

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June 4, 2010   3 Comments