Sunday breakfast

I cut out a recipe from the Wall Street Journal on Saturday and modified it for breakfast this morning. Essentially, you soft boil eggs and cool some eggs, fry sourdough bread lightly in olive oil, sear some asparagus in the oil and lay it on the toast. Cover with burrata or ricotta mixed with herbs, lemon zest and salt. Open the egg on top:


I had to take a picture. Then I had to eat!

New, not necessarily better

I read the Wednesday food section of the NY Times and occasionally try one of the recipes. This week, I tried a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi for moussaka. I’ve been making moussaka for years based on a recipe by Craig Clairborn from the old NY Times Cookbook. That recipe calls for slicing and salting the eggplant and setting it in a strainer to drain for 15 minutes or so, which reduces the liquid in the eggplant and takes away the bitterness.

Then you fry the eggplant slices in olive oil first before adding them to a casserole with a ground lamb tomato sauce and covering with a bechamel that includes fresh ricotta. It’s delicious, reliable, and a bit fiddly to make.

I decided to try the new recipe because it was much simpler: cube the eggplant, add the lamb, onions, tomato, etc. to a pot and roast together, then top with a mix of yoghurt, cheese and egg yolk.

But I’m always wary when they leave out one of the ingredients in the prep instructions–in this case, they left the garlic out of the big roasting mix. Also, on tasting, I had to add a little honey to offset the bitterness the salting hadn’t taken care of.

The resulting moussaka wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly as good as Craig Clairborn’s recipe, and really not that much easier. So here is a link to the old standby if you’re feeling like some moussaka.

Egon Schiele

In New York I went to see an exhibit of drawings by Picasso, Klimt, and Schiele. Schiele, who died at 28, saw Klimt as a mentor, but took his erotic drawing further, I think. These certainly seemed like the best of the show to me. I wonder what it is that makes a line on paper come to life?

Continue reading “Egon Schiele”

Desultory Saturday

A friend asked that I post more recipes, and this morning I made one of my basic breakfast variations–so delicious.

You may not be able to go out and pick greens from your garden, but any greens will do. In my case I picked baby broccolini and my only two asparagus stalks, sautéed onions and garlic, added herbs, and fried an egg on top with a little cheddar cheese. For crunch I used a little leftover brown rice. To get the egg to set before the vegetables burn, I just cover the pan for a minute or two. Continue reading “Desultory Saturday”

The newest addition to my cooking

We have been following the advice of Dr. Cowan for almost 10 years now, ever since Larry came down with several mysterious and serious health issues in 2009. Dr. Cowan was the only one who came up with a coherent narrative as to the underlying cause and his prescription, which was diet change and supplements, was effective. Larry is in excellent health, and our diet focuses on fresh vegetables, grass fed and organic meat, fish, and fruit. Of course, we don’t exclude the occasional almond croissant!

Recently, Dr. Cowan came up with an easy way to add a variety of healthy vegetables to your food, a set of intense, organic vegetable powders.

A teaspoon or so in soups, stews, eggs, oatmeal, and you not only up your vegetable intake and variety without any prep time, they also add little bursts of flavor. They come in special jars that retain all the nutritional value of the powders over time.

Copy and paste this link and use the code DRCOWANSGARDEN at checkout to get 15% off your order:

Available Now

Continue reading “The newest addition to my cooking”

Monday poem

I rarely do two poems by the same poet in a row, but I came across this poem from James Galvin’s latest book and really like it.

Wildlife Management I

All the trees kept their own counsel without any wind to speak of,
until one lone limber pine began gesticulating wildly, as if it
suffered from its own inner cyclone.
                                                                  It was like a lunatic in the
courtroom of other trees.
                                              We forgot about the sunset and the dark
coming on across the plain.
                                                   Then the reason appeared: a mother
antelope had twin newborns backed into the tree and fended off a
pair of coyotes who darted in and feinted out, knowing she
couldn’t defend them both.
                                                  The girl I was with shrieked, “Do
something!”
                         I thought of the rifle back at the house.
                                                                                                I thought of a
litter of coyote whelps in a den somewhere nearby.
                                                                                                I thought of the
three-hundred-yard sprint to the tree.
                                                                     The mother antelope would
be first to bolt, and those coyotes would have the aplomb to make
off with both twins.
                                    I said no.
                                                     The antelope struck out with her
forelegs, she butted the coyotes back, until one of them got the
chance they had orchestrated and caught a twin and trotted off,
dangling it by the nape as gently as if it were her own.
James Galvin, from Everything we Know Is True

A late summer recipe

IMG_2949Looking at a row of jars of freshly made jam is a summer pleasure. Especially when the jam is such a lovely golden color. Each year, with pears from my friend’s tree, I make this simple and delicious recipe. The whole thing can be made in a food processor. The citrus cuts the sugar, and the ginger adds spice. Don’t stir much, and don’t overcook, the jam is done just as the pears turn translucent.

IMG_2951Mother’s Ginger Pear

4 lbs pears
1 1/2 oranges
1 small lemon
1 2/3 lb sugar
1/4 lb ginger
2 cinnamon sticks

Continue reading “A late summer recipe”

Summer recipe

Optimized-2016-07-12 18.35.54This recipe makes a soup that is like a bowlful of summer.

I adapted it from one of my favorite cookbooks, Annie Somerville’s Field of Greens. She has you make a vegetarian stock with the corn cobs (adding a potato, some celery, garlic, salt and parsley), which I do if I’m having vegetarians for dinner. But I just cook the corn cobs in a light chicken broth if I’m making it for omnivores, and it works fine. Also, she runs the soup through a food mill. I’ve never had the patience to do that, and it tastes great without. But if you want a satin smooth base, you can do that.

This recipe makes enough for about eight people. It’s yummy and keeps well. But you can easily halve it and have plenty for four. It takes about an hour from start to finish, about half of it “active time” as they say in the world of cookbooks.

Summer Corn and Red Pepper Soup

5 C light chicken stock or water (see below)
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
12 medium or 10 large ears of corn (to make 7 Cups of kernels)
2 large or 3 medium red peppers (about 2 1/2 cups, chopped)
1 giant leek or a big white or onion (about 2 cups chopped)
4 large or 8 small garlic cloves
Salt and cayenne or other pepper, toasted ground cumin, green pepper powder
fresh basil Continue reading “Summer recipe”

Favas!

2016.04.24.10.20.22.000Fava beans are one of the most rewarding crops–giant beans, like the one’s from Jack and the Beanstalk–go into the ground in the fall or spring.

Soon they pop up tall and full of flowers. Then the many branched stems have many big seed pods. You have to pick them fast before they get too fat.  Then comes the shucking, parboiling, peeling, and eating. Once you’ve parboiled and peeled them, they can go into almost any dish.

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Like fried rice, for example.  2016.04.24.08.53.23

But now I’ve learned you can also roast them whole in the pod with a little olive oil, salt, and spice–they come out crispy and delicious. You can eat the whole thing!

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