Saturday, January 3, 2009

Last post for a while: 17 December 2008

We often make a similar ragout, but this one was especially delicious. The kidney beans we have started soaking the night before, and boiled once before adding them to the ragout pot. As always, the potatoes and squash and the rest are cooked with butter and sage. The bread is from Acme (via Berkeley Bowl).

The following night, after some misadventure, we boarded a train to Oregon for Christmas. I failed to photograph our many delicious meals here in Oregon: crab, squab, salmon, lasagna, to name a few. In a few hours we will leave here for a trip to Fiji and New Zealand, where the food will not be as good but the swimming will be fantastic. I should start regular posting at the end of January.

15 December 2008

The fish, broiled with a sweet sauce, was divine. I really liked the rice tossed with greens, olives, and feta, but it was a bit crunchy (I had sautéed the rice in oil first), and my boyfriend doesn't like rice that tastes underdone.

11 December 2008

7 December 2008

The beans (black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and boiled, then cooked with olive oil, leeks, shallots, herbs, and spices) were great. The roasted root veggies entirely failed. I'm not entirely sure why, but they were gross.

6 December 2008

I had my doubts about a pizza with shrimp and pesto. But my boyfriend really wanted it, and there's jumbo shrimp at market. Which, it turns out, is the best shrimp around, and the pizza was great.

5 December 2008

The grain is black quinoa.

4 December 2008: oyster bisque

We saved the crab and oyster shells from the past month, and made a fish stock by boiling the shells with ends of leeks. In a separate pot, we sautéed more leeks, celery, and grated carrot in butter, and added potatoes and the strained stock. As this came back to a boil, we shucked a dozen oysters — I bought a shucking knife for the occasion — which we poached for just five minutes. We stirred in a pint of half-and-half and some salt at the end. It was fantastic.

I didn't follow this recipe particularly closely, but I had read it (and a few more that are no longer at the links I had bookmarked) before cooking.

2 December 2008

We were happily surprised to see peas make an encore appearance at the market in December. Peas go very well with homemade pasta. We also had smoked fish, red bell peppers, and sage cooked in butter.

1 December 2008

25 November 2008

We took the train to Oregon to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. It's a short mile walk from our cottage, and leaves in the middle of the night. Dinner was leftover rice and quinoa, made into a pilaf with peppers, and a salad of potatoes and basil. And a pomegranate.

23 November 2008

21 November 2008

20 November 2008: first crab of the season

We named him "Steve".

19 November 2008

Leek pie, black quinoa, and white beans cooked with rapini.

18 November 2008: moved

After three days of doing nothing but moving, we were finally ready to celebrate with roasted root vegetables, a mushroom soufflé, and a bottle of champaign.

Last nights in North Berkeley

My boyfriend and I moved into our own cottage in South Berkeley on the 15th of November. As a going-away dinner for my roommate, on the 13th I made lasagna, more-or-less following the inestimable recipe from The Joy of Cooking. My boyfriend made incredible carrot-cake brownies — I kid you not, these are incredible, and you should make them.

On the 14th, my boyfriend and I had our final meal in North Berkeley: sole baked in paper with walnuts, mint, and leeks.

9 and 10 November 2008

Tuna medallions with rice and broccoli.

Boyfriend-made stir-fry with peanuts, shitake, and greens.

7 November 2008

Leftover halibut with fennel, drained and baked into a Greek casserole with leeks, peppers, feta, and olives.

6 November 2008

Steamed oysters on the half shell, and the left-over black rice fried with celery and fennel, all served on a bed of silver chard.

5 November 2008

4 November 2008

Possibly our very best dutch-oven dish, this one my boyfriend made as more of an au gratin, with mushrooms, leeks, fennel, cheese, potatoes, and herbs. We also made a lemon pie that night, following a recipe in Cookwise, but the meringue collapsed, making instead a good custard eaten separately. It would have worked had we not followed the instruction, after beating the meringue, to add lemon zest.

1 November 2008

My mom and sister came to visit over Halloween, and we served them poached halibut with fennel, from a recipe in Chez Panisse Vegetables. My boyfriend made a phenomenal leek galette from the same book. We also had black rice.

30 October 2008

One of our most successful fish nights. Very good tuna, rolled in a mix of brown sugar, ginger, and orange zest, and then sliced cross-wise into medallions and pan-fried in olive oil. Steamed broccoli with orange juice, and sweet potato mashed with orange juice, butter, and rosemary. Delicious.

29 October 2008

Wash, peel, and cube one large winter squash. Cook in the wok with one can coconut milk, zest and juice of an orange, lemon, or lime, basil, and spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric. If you want, add cubed frozen tofu. Cook forty minutes until squash is soft, and serve over rice.

28 October 2008

We normally make oat-berry risotto by sautéing leeks and fennel, adding the oat berry, and then adding water and going away for a while. Occasionally, we follow the traditional arborio-rice methods, like this oat risotto with flageolet beans and fennel from Chez Panisse Vegetables.

27 October 2008

Tofu Reuben, with a side of sautéed beet greens and apples. I liked the reubens a lot, but my boyfriend didn't.

26 October 2008: dinner picnic and hike

On the side of Mt. Tam there's an inn that you have to hike to. Without staying at the inn, hikers can go up the side of the mountain and eat at their picnic tables. We enjoyed Zinfandel in mason jars, salt-cured olives, fresh bread and butter, and a pasta salad with tomatoes, basil, and amazing buffalo mozzarella. And the view was superb.

25 October 2008: another ragout

This one included turnips and their greens. Turnips are a close cousin of kale and broccoli. As always, our ragouts consist of winter squash, roots, butter, leeks, fennel, and sage, and usually beans.