2015 - Week 21 Cooking

This week is ham week.  I have a Story City Locker Wood Smoked Crooked Gap Farm Ham.  I cannot deny that part of the reason for using the ham is because it was taking up a huge segment in the freezer (which really means I just need to get a separate freezer so I can buy in whole, half or quarter animals).  Shannon has limited me to 3 dinners this week that have Ham in them.  Also, chive blossoms are up and out and ready to be used (or that which is not to be turned over to be put into cheese)

FKM:  I need to check if I have X... Walk past the Pretzel not-so-Crackle, om nom nom.  Repeat.

2015 - Week 20 Cooking Results

Sautéed Ramp Pizza

Last bundle of ramps that were seen for the year.  I was excited that i got them, but then was thinking about what I could do with them.  Pizza came to mind, and I thought, why not.  Now when thinking about how to present ramps on pizza, you clearly would like to have the whole thing there so you can point and say ooh ramps, however putting whole ramps on there wouldn't be, well, as easy to eat.  So you had to dice them and maybe pre-cook them a bit.  So why not cook them in bacon fat.  Then I don't want to just eat the bacon so we'll put that on the pizza too.

Turned out really good.  Pretty happy with the dish (crust was great too)

Italian Sausage and Kale Pasta

Half bag of Russian kale, cooked down with some Italian sausage, a bit of garlic, topped off with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  Good stuffs.

Lamb Burgers

Om nom nom nom.

Spicy Carrot Sandwiches (yay carrots, that were properly stored)

I do love these things, for sure.  I had all the ingredients to make this vegan dish.  Good things.

Pasta with Parsnips and Bacon

A good use of parsnips a delicious dish, but reheating the parsnips the next day made them lose a bit on the reheating.  But still pretty good overall.

So I opened up a new cookbook, and flipped through and said hay this Pretzel Crackle recipe looks good.  I didn't cook it long enough (my oven is weak sometimes), it still turned out to not really a crackle but a gummy delicious kind of mess.  I'll have to try it again.  Other then the failure to cook it long enough, it was super easy to make.

2015 - Week 19 Cooking Results

<health related, probably not of general interest>

So I think I finally figured out what has been occasionally been happening to me.  I try to eat a high fiber diet, but occasionally things work out so that I don't really get as much fiber as I should.  I know I have diverticula, and I think that this past week (probably brought on by eating the steak tacos), that it may have caused a flare up.  I think it happened a while back to, but I wasn't quite sure as to what I ate to trigger that previous flare up, but it does make sense.  It is quite painful, if I move the left side in a particular way it hurts then I have to move back.  I woke up several times to try to find that sweet spot where the pain wasn't to bad.

Anyways, I have to try harder not to slip out of my goodish behaviors and avoid big hunks of beef (I don't seem to have a problem with pork)

</health related, probably not of general interest>

Being that I didn't want to aggravate my insides, I tried the sofritas (tofu) at Chipotle.  It was quite good (at least mixed in with the other burrito ingredients).  This in no way is an indicator of going vegetarian or even thinking about it, but a good chuck of the meals this week were meat free, for the most part.

Ramp Pesto Spaghetti

I always look forward to ramp season.  Short that it is.  I got a bit from last week, then one bundle this week.  The color for this was a glorious green with that wonderful mildly garlic / onion smell of ramps.  Combining this with a bit of Pecorino Risevra and skipping the walnuts.  Turned out fantastic, though probably not something you want to eat if you plan on kissing or hell talking closely to someone later.

Spring Garlic Risotto

So I made a lot of this.  I wanted to get through the last of the arborio rice in the storage container.  I had quite a bit more then I thought, so after adding all the spring garlic I had, it still seemed a bit bare, so I added peas.  Peas added a little bit of sweetness to the dish, and filled it out a bit.  There were lots of leftovers.  Good (though not near as good) heated up the next day or so.

Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa (Spring Onions)

So one side of the flank steak was thinner, so they were a bit more done (mid-rare) and then the the other side was rare.  So Shannon ate from the mid-rare side and I from the rare side.  I traded the promise of future beer for radishes (know your farmer, I proceeded to forget the beer, but paid for the radishes at DTFM on Saturday).  It made for a nice offset for the steak.  Though I paid for the steak later, this recipe is still good and worth doing, though I don't think it'll be on my list again.

Beef Burgers (New farm, don't remember the name)

It is Broadhorn Farm.  Specializing in Belted Galloway cattle (fairly rare Scottish heritage breed), they clearly are a tasty breed of cow.  Good burgers, prepared simply.  I'll probably buy from them again.

Spicy Carrot Sandwiches (yay carrots, that were properly stored)


2015 - Week 19 Cooking

Ramps!  Spring Onions!  Spring Garlic!  Oh my!  On the first trip to the market, we refilled our stash of Jams and Jellies from Blue Gate, picked up some beef as a trial, some carrots and parsnips, greens, cheeses.  We had some Djonets, and a HoQ breakfast wrap.  I burned through the 100$ (had 50 cents left) and charged 30$ something as well.  Good first market.

Then we got a chance to go to Krunkwich Ramen House.  Good stuffs.  Shannon even took out some Krunk Rice for dinner (since I was going to be gone).  It feels good to be back in the market swing of things.  Now don't get me wrong I like sleeping in on Saturdays, when I actually sleep in on Saturdays, but I still prefer to go to the market over sleeping in.

2015 - Week 18 Cooking Results

Greek Chicken Meatballs

This came together pretty quickly, and I served them on flatbread and everyone seem fairly pleased with them (Joseph napped shortly after finishing his)

Beef Burgers (Crooked Gap)

So what do you with a leaner cut of ground beef?  Add more fat.  From some recent bacon cooking I saved the fat, and then added some of it into the beef.  Good stuffs.  We also got a package of buns from Wild Yeast Bakery Des Moines.  Worth saving, so the ones I didn't plan to use, went into the freezer.

Picadillo Tacos

quick, pretty simple to put together, used the Crooked Gap beef.  Had them on smaller corn tortillas.  Good Stuffs

Orecchiette with Sausage, Chickpeas and Mint

This recipe was very simple.  I was not feeling like making a trip out to get mint, so I used some of the dried mint that I had bought for the meatballs.  I don't think it had enough of the minty flavor, but even so, was quite a good dish.  I'm going to have to do this again.

Lightly Fried Cod

Cod, salt and peppered.  Dredged in a bit of flour, and pan fried in a small amount of oil.  Put on some of the Wild Yeast Bakery buns.  Good stuffs.

2015 - Week 18 Cooking

DTFM!  Next weekend.  Sam needs local food badly.  I'm scraping the back of the cupboard for jams and jellies and salsa.  Time for fresh cheeses, fresh veggies and herbs.  Grown in dirt, nearby.  Plus there is the excitement of what new this year.  New produce vendors, new prepared foods, it will be a surprise as to who will be seen.  Though I know that there will be at least one great loss this year (though I totally understand why).

So one of my new favorite things is Wild Yeast Bakery DSM's sourdough with some of Reichert's Dairy's Robiola.  I picked up some of the first batch at the cheese this year at the Cheese Shop, and squeed a bit.  I also got a sneak peak of chevre (red pepper), which I may have consumed in its entirety with pretzels, when I was a bit intoxicated.

2015 - Week 17 Cooking Results

Bricklayer Tacos

So I don't often use beef in this fashion because it's so expensive.  Don't get me wrong I like me a good steak here and there, but the price per enjoyment doesn't come close to pork.  Though I'm much more of a pork fan then Shannon is.

Anyways, these were quite good.  I think next time around I will add another jalapeno pepper, since it wasn't as noticeable as it should have been.  I had to adjust a bit, since I didn't feel like roasting tomatoes.

Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry

So I delayed making this cause I thought it would be so hard to make.

It wasn't.

Quite good.  Though I may not have layered it right, nor did I reduce the size of the puff pastry.  Joseph may have given me a little crap for using store bought puff pastry...  I admit I wish I could have had better puff pastry (without making it) because I did put $20 something in there of prosciutto and cheese.

Leek Mac & Cheese

So leeks vary quite a bit in price based on seasonal availability.  Luckily they were cheap this go round.  Sautéed long, it brought out some nice flavors to it, where it was good, even cold, which is how Joseph ate some as he was dropping off a boule for me to split and give to some friends.

Deviled Ham

So this is pretty much a spiced ham salad.  I used some of the Wild Yeast Bakery DSM sourdough, toasted.  So this sourdough is a bit different then the one I had previously.  Joseph is playing around with the ratios.  So it wasn't near as sour as the first one.  I suggested that perhaps he could do a mid-sour, and full-sour which has the added complexity of having the different processes for the same general type of bread.  Anyways, it was a nice counterpoint to the ham spread.

Greek Chicken Meatballs


2015 - Week 16 Cooking Results


Vietnamese Lemongrass and Chile Chicken

So I didn't realize I needed to brine the chicken, in the mixture so I called an audible.  So instead of soaking the chicken, I added the soaking liquid to the rice.  The chicken preparation was only modified a little after that.  Shannon didn't even realize that this was a "screw up" dinner and not just what was planned.

There was a bit missing in the spiciness, but overall still ended up really good.

Pounded chicken thighs sandwich (Wild Yeast Bakery Des Moines bread (sourdough or brioche))

Simple and good.  We had this on the honey brioche.  A simple sandwich on good bread.  Good stuffs.

Grilled Cheese (Wild Yeast Bakery Des Moines bread (honey-brioche))

This ended up going on the sourdough, because for lunch I used the second half of the loaf to make a ham sandwich for lunch for the both of us.  So I used some good cheese from the cheese shop...which I can't recall right now, some Prosciutto Americano, and some of the Cheese Shop's pepper jam and came up with these wonderful sandwiches, helped by the wonderful bread they were on.  Good stuffs.

Spicy Carrot Sandwiches (Wild Yeast Bakery Des Moines bread (sourdough))

I did forget the yogurt.  We didn't have yogurt, but I don't think that the flavored yogurt would've gone well on the sandwich.  Be that as it may, the sourdough has quickly become my favorite.  Admittedly it is fairly easy to do, since most available sourdough the bread is not sour, nor is it actually quality bread.  But even compared to really good sourdoughs this has come up aces.  Anyways, even missing the sour cream, which does add to the sandwich, this was really good.

Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry