Tuesday, October 26, 2010

this weekend i...

butchered 2 roosters (mike killed/i plucked/he eviscerated)

made chicken scallopini and chipotle chicken tacos

received a delivery from and shared a beer with my meat share friend
(2 ducks, 2 chickens and some goat)

helped cut and split two truck loads of wood for the winter

picked a bushel of brussel sprouts

made and froze 40+ cups of chicken stock

and plotted and planned for my halloween costume

happy fall!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

braised leeks!

i looooooooove leeks.

early this summer mike's dad gave us some sad lookin' leek starts. very sad. so sad in fact that i didn't think they would make it. but they did! they thrived! and we've had leek and potato soup and i've used leeks in all kinds of dishes and then i discovered braised leeks. mmmm.....

i halved the leeks, washed them really well and seasoned them very liberally with salt and pepper. i also chopped up a couple of small red onions (shallots would be great too) and some fresh thyme (all from the garden!!)

i seared the leeks in a smokin' hot pan with a lil' butter and olive oil until they got nice and brown.

i moved the leeks to a couple of gratin dishes and then added the onions to the hot pan. i cooked them for just a minute and then added some veggie stock and a lil' red wine to deglaze the pan. i let this reduce till it thickened up and then poured it over the leeks and topped it with some thyme.

these went into the oven for about 30-40 minutes and while those were braising in the yummy sauce i worked on the rest of dinner.

final menu: grilled flank steak with chimichurri, sauteed cabbage, braised leeks and roasted brussel sprouts. delicious!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a time to plant, a time to reap...
...a time to laugh, a time to weep.

here are some things from warmer and sunnier days past. don't get me wrong. i do enjoy the fall. i just hate to say good bye to all of the wonderful produce and the fresh herbs and working in the garden and sitting at the farmer's market. sigh.....

c'est la vie.

awww...i remember this. it only happened once. our tomatoes fared pretty poorly. it was really disappointing. i canned some yellow sauce - 3 pints. i canned some crushed tomatoes - maybe like 6 mints and i ate the smaller ones on salads and grilled and as snacks.

i also picked two big bags of "paste tomatoes" from mike's aunt and uncle and roasted them. oh. my. goodness. these are awesome! even the ones i cooked too long that turned black still tasted good. one batch turned out perfectly and i froze a quart of them.

oh! speaking of freezing - we finally got a nice stand up freezer. the entire top shelf is fruit! i am so proud. sour cherries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. cobblers and jams will get a round II. woohoo!

crackers!! easy. and telling people you made your own crackers
makes you look cool.

this is an egg.
we get them every single day(!) now - usually three a day. yesterday, for the first time ever, we had over a dozen in our fridge!

this is
*wait for it*
my future sister-in-law's spicy pulled pork.

delicious. i roasted two big shoulders in a mixture of scallions, garlic, ginger, pineapple juice, spices and several other things that i forget now pretty much all day.

another basket from the garden. the brussel sprouts and kale are still going strong and probably will for a while longer. we also still have some more sweet potatoes to dig up and those have been really tasty.

from baskets of fresh picked vegetables to vats of crisco!

a couple of days ago we dispatched two of our roosters. one went into the freezer and the other became fried chicken and chicken scalloppini.

here's the fried chicken. very tasty.

hard boiled eggs in salads have to be one of my very favorite things. add big, homemade croutons from thick, stale bread and i am fucking set. and look at those yolks! bright orange - not that pale, weird yellow that turns gray. you know what i'm talking about. buy fresh eggs! totally worth every cent and the minor inconvenience of tracking them down.

*hops off soap box*

kale. you've seen it. we still eat it. a lot.

oh. this hot mess became totally awesome seared tomato sauce. very, very good. winey and caramelized. i loved it.

i even spent my toilet-scrubbing-money on a bitchin' food mill and made it a second time (doubled the recipe) and froze a big bag of it. yum!

this was a sunday dinner - braised venison shank. i made an herb bundle of thyme, rosemary and parsley and braised the shank in red wine, veggie stock, carrots and onions for like 3 hours or so.

i don't know. meh. the sauce was better than the meat. i don't know. maybe longer on lower heat and some more liquid. we'll see.

and one of the great joys in life - oysters.

they are usually $7/dozen at klein's so every now and then on the friday of pay week i stop and pick up a dozen - sometimes two.

i've been dying to try drunken sailors since i came across this recipe.

holy cow!! these were killer!!

a lil' hot sauce, some cilantro and some fresh shaved parmesan cheese - grilled in the shell for just a minute. good lord! my $20 grill never ceases to amaze.

and the drunken sailors were just the beginning!

aNw and kMw gave us a bottle of patron as a host/hostess gift for the pig roast. mike hid it that night so no hooligans would see it and then we completely forgot about it until he came across it while cleaning the garage months later. woohoo!

and that is why i stopped and got oysters the next night!

we also enjoyed grilled summer squash and tomatoes and oysters on the half shell with horseradish. yum!!

argh! how i will miss walking outside and grabbing vegetables and herbs to toss on the grill. i will miss it so much.

in the meantime i'll sip oktoberfest and cider and rum and i'll dine on soups and stews and crusty breads and i'll carve pumpkins and eat squash and enjoy my vest.