Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Recipe for Live Mussels

Mussels seem to benefit from garlic, and when steaming mussels you need a liquid of some kind to offset and augment the "liquor" which comes out of the cooking shellfish. Roasted garlic salsa fresca is just about right. Bring the salsa to a low boil, and add the de-bearded, scrubbed, mussels, simmer on low for 5 minutes. Before cooking, mussels that are open and obviously dead can be discarded, after cooking discard mussels that don't open. Again, exercise caution when using this ingredient. Here, we only do mussels, clams, oysters on the "r" months: September through April, but if the weather is still warm in September wait a month or two. As soon as human activity on the coast slows down, the shellfish are safer to eat. Salsa fresca can be made with ripe tomatoes, diced, onions, garlic, and cilantro.

Monday, December 7, 2009

WIC/USDA Red Beans and Brown Rice

The brown rice is easy: 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water, cover, and set to cook. Timer set for 45 minutes including the time it takes to warm the water and rice to boiling, then reduce heat to low.

Start the bean mix with onions and chopped celery, and red bell pepper, about equal amounts. Use a whole medium onion. Chop to about 1/2 inch size. Saute in the bottom of a large stock pot. Once onions are clear, rinse 15 oz. two cans of "small red beans" (the kind from El Salvador) - the closest substitution is black beans or "pink beans" - all are available from Goya - add beans to pot, when it get warmed up, add the chopped tomatoes from a 28 oz can. A bit of ground chipotle, cayenne, etc. (or Sriracha sauce!!) can be added, but avoid the "Chili Powder" mixture, as it contains garlic and oregano, which muddy the flavor of the dish. Cook until hot, then add part of the rice to beans as much as you want. Optionally, start with a small bit of sausage cooked until done before you add the onion, pepper, celery, etc. I have seasoned this dish with parsley sometimes and also celery seed sometimes. Celery if you grow it yourself has more licorice, thai basil and anise notes to it so a bit of basil works as does anise seed for example italian sausage flavors

Green Fava Beans

If you can find fresh frozen baby green fava beans, just barely heat them then serve with olive oil topping and black pepper.

Eric's Sesame Salmon

Heat roasted sesame oil in frying pan (it will smoke) with matching lid. Lightly coat salmon with sesame seeds and a bit of tarragon and sear both sides of fish (with the frying pan lid on), then give it a shot of soy sauce and a shot of rice vinegar and let it deglaze and steam (with the lid on), then come back in again when almost done with Soy-Vay, Soy-yaki, or Gyoza sauce, cover again, and reduce the heat. Salmon is best if just barely done in the center. You can undercook it actually, then give it short 10 second bursts in the microwave until done if you want to. Serve the fish and pour excess sauce over the top. Good with very cheap grades of previously frozen salmon.

Britt Bray's Shrimp Boiled in Beer

Take two beers, open them both. Bring one beer to a boil in a small diameter saucepan with matching lid. Add enough raw, de-veined shrimp (about 1 lb.) that they stay just barely covered in the beer, then boil the shrimp for 5 minutes. Drain and serve with cocktail sauce while drinking the other beer. The better the beer is, the better this recipe works.

Woodcutter's Pasta - Trenette alla Carbonara

This works great substituting for trenette with 1 lb. of fettucini or linguini, when the noodles are just done and still very hot, drain and transfer to a warm bowl and add 2 beaten eggs, up to 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/4 lb. grated romano cheese, and 4 strips of cooked and chopped and salt pork or bacon, and toss. The heat of the pasta, butter, and bacon will cook the eggs and melt the cheese, then serve. One of those dishes to die for, if you are still able to eat food this rich. Unfortunately we aren't.