Getting in Touch with Your ‘Inner Chicken’

eggs-press yourself

Who wouldn’t like a little fun in their lunchbox?  Or bento box?  These cute egg molds are from Japan made by Kotobuki I purchased through Amazon.  There aren’t any instructions that come with the molds and the packaging is in Japanese so I had to do a little research.  Once you’ve boiled your eggs, you peel them under cold water right away and gently squish them into each shape, snapping it shut.  You can then place them in cold water that has been colored with food dye giving the egg a kind of tie-dye effect.  This might be a little creepy for little ones.

groovy!

I used green because that’s all I had.  It looks a bit like mold, I think.  Next time maybe I’ll go for purple or another color that is more appeeeeeling – get it?  Ok, painful I know.  I’ll get a vote on this very important topic when the grand kids arrive.

Lemon and Rose Scented Geranium Pudding

Heavenly...

Lemon Posset (aka pudding) is refreshingly clean, yet slightly rich dessert perfect for warmer days.  The scented geranium is optional but it does add that lovely mysterious flavor that no one can put their finger on.  Most larger nurseries carry scented culinary geraniums.  (And many of you will know by now, if I’m posting using a geranium in the dish, it was a recipe from Ballymaloe Cooking School).

serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

400ml (1 3/4 cups) heavy whipping cream

100g (scant 1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar

5 leaves of rose scented geranium (optional)

50ml (2fl oz) lemon juice

Place the cream, sugar and geranium leaves in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.  Turn down the heat to low and cook for five minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat and discard geranium leaves.  Add lemon juice, stirring to fully incorporate.  Pour into 4 small dessert bowls and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

We served these during our friends Teri and Jay’s visit from Orcas Island.  Orcas Island is a stone’s throw from Lopez yet unless you have your own boat getting back and forth on the Ferry takes some time.  Fortunately the ferries that service our islands are a relaxing and social way to commute!

Hot Whiskey Crepes with Raspberries

This quick elegant dessert hits so many flavor points.  It’s hot, tart, citrusy, creamy, and slightly sweet.  Delicious!

serves 2-4

Ingredients:

½ cup all-purpose flour

pinch of fine salt

1 large egg

⅔ cup milk

2 teaspoons peanut oil (or other high-temp oil)

1 ¼ cups freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons whiskey

1 ¼ cups fresh raspberries

confectioner’s sugar for dusting

creme fraiche

Method:

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and crack the egg into the well.  Gradually add the milk and whisk into a smooth batter.

Heat a 9″ non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add a little peanut oil to the pan and carefully wipe most of it out with a paper towel (repeat this step before adding each addition of batter if necessary).   Pour approximately 2 ounces of batter (¼ cup) to the pan and swirl to coat as evenly as possible.  Cook for about 1 minute – the batter will begin to show signs of cooking.  Go ahead, loosen the sides and take a peek!  If the underside is browning slightly, it’s time to turn.  So far my method for this is to loosen the edges, grab the crêpe (and the side of the hot pan), cuss, wrangle the crêpe with the spatula and eventually get it to the other side.  Cook for about a minute more, looking for golden brown patches.  Rustic yet elegant, no?  Oui.  Place each cooked crêpe on a plate and set aside.  There should be 4 unless you’ve dropped one or stuck it to the ceiling with a mighty flip attempt.

Pour orange juice, honey and butter to the pan.  Simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, letting the flavors amalgamate.  Remove from heat and add the whiskey.  Place the pan back on the heat and reduce the temperature to low.

Fold each crêpe in half and then in half again making a triangle.  Place each wedge in the pan with the point meeting in the center (so they all fit and show off your geometric prowess).  Let them simmer in the sauce about 1 minute and then carefully turn them.

Plate the crêpes using a spatula.  Pour some juices over the top and add raspberries, sugar and creme fraiche.

(modified from Ryland Peters & Small)

Malaysian Coconut Milk Soup

BEAUTY FROM THE BEAST

before and after

No time to angle and fillet one the ugliest eating fishes available?  Not a problem…this a deceptively easy seafood soup, especially if you purchase a firm white fish or prawns from your grocery store.  This recipe is also versatile in that it can be served as a canapé such as above, or in a soup bowl with rice.

 

serves 4-6 as an entree

 

4 pounds of firm white fish, or 20 prawns

1 stalk of lemon grass

1 shallot, finely chopped

1/4 – 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

pinch of saffron

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1/2 cup of coconut milk, well stirred

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1-2 teaspoons Nam Pla or other fish sauce

lime or lemon juice to taste

Cilantro rough chopped

rice (optional)

 

Remove tough outer leaf of the lemon grass and grate or chop finely.  Place lemon grass, shallots, chilli, ginger, garlic, spices and oil into a bowl with choice of seafood.  Let marinate for an hour in the refrigerator if you have time.

Place a pot over medium heat.  Add marinated seafood and cook until just fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.  Add coconut milk, salt and pepper.  Bring to simmer and cook until just cooked.  Add fish sauce and citrus to taste stirring to incorporate.  Garnish with cilantro.


Jailhouse Jambalaya

bedraggled and ready to eat

We have been working hard on the farm lately. Our weather is beginning  to turn toward Autumn and soon all outdoor work will come to a halt – so we’re kicking it into high gear.  We have the scintillating task of clearing a large field…of all rocks, all rose hips, all by hand.  In my previous life I was a suburban girl; I don’t remember all this manual labor being in the brochure.  I call Steve ‘The Warden’ now – he works me like a dog.  An upside is my pants fit a little better AND I can eat tasty, meaty dishes without as much guilt –  Such as this streamlined, bastardization, Pacific Northwestern version of a creole classic.

jailhouse jambalaya


serves 4-6


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 links of cooked sausage, such as Hempler’s, cut on the bias

6 bell peppers, seeded and rough chopped

1 large yellow onion, rough chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh minced)

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

2 cups cooked brown rice


In a large heavy saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot add sausage and brown on all sides.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Add onion, peppers, spices and herbs to the pan (add additional oil if needed).  Saute vegetables until soft but snappy.   Add the sausage back to the pan and cook until heated through.  Turn off the heat and add butter, stirring until melted.  Serve with brown rice.



Ruby’s Herb Laced Lamb Chops

Sulking in the Horshoe Pit

Our little Ruby has been down in the dumps the past few days.  Very uncharacteristic of our happy go lucky Brit.  Most days she tends to go on lengthy adventures throughout our farm and neighboring fields, mostly sniffing, sometimes hunting and eating who knows what.  She doesn’t have a very discriminating palate.  I could relate some pretty disgusting stories…but being a G rated food type blog, we’ll keep it more chipper.  One thing that does get Ruby back in the saddle are chops!  When we barbecue lamb chops, she knows there is likely a little treat in it for her.  So here’s to you Ruby girl.

parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Although it may be sweltering in some parts of our world, here on the island in the Pacific Northwest it’s barely breaking 70° during the day, and in the evening we’re dropping down to the 40’s.   Sometimes it’s difficult to whip together a light, summery meal for dinner when we are in our flannel PJ’s and putting wood in the stove.

serves 4

8 lamb loin chops about 1″ thick, trimmed of excess fat

1/4 cup each of chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

1/4 cup of canola oil (or other high temp oil)

Salt and pepper

Prepare or preheat barbecue for a medium-high heat, about 350°.  In a small bowl blend oil and herbs.  Salt and pepper chops and rub the herb mixture on all sides.  When the grill is to temp, sear both sides of the chops about 2-3 minutes.  Continue cooking until desired doneness.

Alternatively, preheat oven to 400°.   In a heavy bottom – oven proof pan, sear chops on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes a side.  Place in oven for an additional 5-8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145° for medium rare.


Ruby Tuesday

Songwriters: Jagger, Mick;Richards, Keith

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained to a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost, at such a cost

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

"There's no time to lose", I hear her say
Cash your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time lose your dreams and you
Will lose your mind, ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you


Fusion Roll

a mixedsoup creation

You can whip this appetizer up before you can say ‘Kanpai!’

makes 24 mini-rolls


8 ounces of cold smoked salmon lox

4 ounces quality cream cheese

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1/2 teaspoon lemongrass, peeled and finely grated

caviar, tobiko, wasabi paste, sriracha‘ for garnish

If necessary, cut the lox into smaller pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches long or smaller if preferred.  In a bowl combine ginger, lemongrass and cream cheese until completely blended.  You may want the cream cheese to be closer to room temperature for easier blending.  Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of the filling on each lox piece, leaving a small border so the filling doesn’t ooze out when rolled.  Top with a garnish.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.