Seafood Stew with Soba and Dandelion

1 tbsp butter / 1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 ripe tomatoes
frozen mixed seafood: clams, calamari in rings and shrimp (~1.5 lbs)
pinch of dry thyme
pinch of cracked coriander
1 tsp of fresh lime juice
black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

In a 2 qt sauce pan, on medium heat, add butter and olive oil. Finely mince the onion and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Add to the pot. Saute until starting to obtain a golden color. Add in roughly chopped tomatoes, and cook mixing gently for about 1 minute. Add thyme, coriander and black pepper. Set the pan aside and add the frozen seafood. Mix with a wooden spoon and let stand for about 2 minutes or until the bottom of the pot is covered with at least 1 inch of fluid. Return to heat on a medium-low setting. Add sugar and lime juice. Bring to a boil, about 4-5 minutes or until the shrimp turns opaque. Remove from heat.

Serve with soba noodles and dandelion leaves for color and bitterness to highlight the sweetness of the seafood.

Caramelized Pork Loin with Honey Glaze

In the effort to get rid of everything Teflon in the house, I bought an amazing stainless steel pan. It's amazing because it does things Teflon never dreamed of - if Teflon dreamt that is.

It took some practice to get used to the "stickiness" but once you get over that, the world of caramelization is yours. I have been experimenting with all sorts of pan sauces, and this is just one example.

Cover a well dried tenderloin of pork with minced cilantro (about a teaspoon), salt and Szechwan pepper. Bring heat to medium, add oil to the pan. Let it heat up...then place the tenderloin in to get the rewarding sizzle. Just before it reaches your desired color, drizzle honey over it, and start turning. This should take about 40 seconds to a minute, depending on your pan and heat. Golden crust with lots of wonderful pieces in the pan left to deglaze with white wine. Place the loin in a baking pan (reserve the sauce in the roasting pan) into a preheated 375F oven for 15 minutes (this depends on the thickness of the loin you're using).  The sauce...a little on the sweet side, especially after it's left to reduce in the pan, but the meat, the meat was good.

Passover Dinner

My second lamb dish in a month. Amazing. Unlike the first try, this is fresh, not frozen meat. I kept it in the oven 27 minutes at 375F, with a slight rub of khmeli suneli and salt / pepper.
Served with roasted peaches and pomegranate sauce.

Sour Cream Pancakes

I am worried. I think if I start looking at this blog as a diet diary I will realize
1) I eat way too much protein
2) I like pancakes a lot more then I thought.
This second point is a startling realization, which brings me to the topic of this post. Whipped pancakes, so light, they are like custardy marshmallows...

recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten, minus the banana per request from husband...does that mean I can blame the pancake addiction on him?


Zucchini Cakes

Few things are better when they are cold, and even fewer are worth waiting for to get cold...zucchini cakes fall into that category.
- 2 small zucchini, grated
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp flour
- salt

Salt the grated zucchini. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Wrap into a kitchen, or a paper towel (I used a paper towel :-) ), and squeeze out the water. In a mixing bowl, mix one egg with a fork. Add in the drained zucchini and flour. You may need to get creative to achieve the correct consistency. The batter should not be runny, however should also not be too thick.

Fry in 1 tbsp portions on olive oil (medium heat), remove to a paper bag or towel to drain off any excess oil. Serve warm or....wait. wait. wait. and the then eat cold with sour cream.

I couldn't decide on the egg picture...I love egg pictures...



...may only be 3 cms tall, but I am already planning mozzarella stuffed flowers and green zucchini souffle. Hopefully all these gardening dreams will work out with our other new "hobby"!


Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Roast chicken at 400 for 1 hour, or until golden brown all over. Chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and basted with 1 tsp of mustard and 1 tbsp of mayo. Potatoes quartered, and sliced onions salted and mixed with a little olive oil, at same temp as the chicken for 35 minutes.


Membrillo, Brie and Roasted Onion Roll Ups

Sliver of membrillo paste
A few slices of brie
Roasted, golden brown onions
Any ideas where else I can use 1 kilo of brie? It's too warm for baked brie encrute. Hmm...


Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Sauted Woodear Mushrooms and Eggplant

I always enjoy new and interesting ingredients in my food, especially if I don't have a preconceived notion of how they should be used. I find that's the best way to be the most creative. Tonight I was making dinner and decided to use the woodear mushrooms I bought a few weeks ago. I did a little research when I brought them home, so I did have some indication that they were frequently used in Asian cuisine. What appealed to me, which will sound odd, is that they looked like a mess of shoelaces dry in their packaging. Almost leather like, one side black and the other white. Anyway, today I also had some Asian eggplant in the fridge, so it all took off from there.

1 package, dry Woodear mushrooms
3 Asian eggplants
1 head of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp of grated, fresh ginger
2 tbsp of rough chopped cilantro
Pon Shabu sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Olive Oil

Chop eggplants into quarters, lengthwise. Season with salt and add a little! olive oil just to coat slightly, add whole cloves of garlic and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Add the mushrooms to 1 quart of boiling water and boil for 8 minutes. Drain out the water. In a large mixing bowl, season the mushrooms with pon shabu, mirin, and a little Worcestershire. It's hard to say how much because the mushrooms absorb a lot so go by taste. Smash the roasted garlic and mix with the mushrooms. Add in the eggplant. Add in the grated ginger and cilantro. Serve warm with a side of white rice.

Pork tenderloin was first marinated in peppadew marinade and honey for about 1 hour, then roasted on the stove top for the golden crust and cooked the rest of the way in a 375F oven.

TJ's Chocolate Croissants

Evelina, I dedicate this to you on this beautiful first day of April.