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the golden rule.

September 13, 2013
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gold metallic dress, killingmoonvintage on etsy / boots, pour la victoire

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what a long, long trip it’s been.

September 4, 2013

the boy & i were in vermont for an extra-long trip this summer & it was grand – sweet days with family & friends, rumbling summer thunderstorms, dirt roads & cool swimming holes.  one foggy morning, eight of us slaughtered twenty-six chickens & that afternoon i made this pâté .  the livers, with a few other ingredients, come together into a rich, velvety spread that is the perfect compliment to a strong cocktail.  i decided to lead with this chicken liver pâté  because it embodies much of what i love about my vermont-eating life – cooking & eating food that is raised or grown outside of the kitchen door.  it is simple, satisfying & perfect for a gathering of friends.

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chicken liver pâté  (makes 3 medium / 6 small ramekins)
adapted from food & wine 
1 lb chicken livers, well-trimmed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed & peeled
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 tsp. cognac or scotch whisky
ground pepper to taste

combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme & salt in a medium sauce pan; add the water and bring to a simmer.  cover, reduce heat to low & cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes.  remove from the heat & let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

discard the bay leaf.  using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion & garlic to a food processor; process until coarsely pureed.  with the machine on, add the butter, 2 T at a time, until incorporated.  add the cognac, season with salt and pepper & process until completely smooth.  scrape the pâté into ramekins. press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm.  serve chilled.

make ahead – the pâté can be covered with a thin layer of melted butter, then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

smoke ’em up.

July 5, 2013
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cooking & socializing, entertaining & having a good time have always made me feel connected to my dad – he was the life of the party.  my father was not a perfect man, his barbecue on the other hand…  he had one of those sawed-in-half oil drums with a chimney & would stand there beside it – a marlboro dangling from his mouth & a can of beer in hand.  some of my favorite memories are of those parties we had on sunny days in our backyard with plates of smoky meat, jugs of cold almaden & lots of my dad’s husky laughter.  i think he would like my ribs.

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barbecued ribs (serves 6 – 8)
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 C ketchup
1 ¾ C chicken broth, divided
6 T soy sauce, divided
6 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
4 T molasses
3 T red wine vinegar
4 T chili paste (i like sambal oleck)
3 large racks baby back pork ribs (each about 2 1/2 pounds)
8 tablespoons chili powder, divided

barbecue sauce:
heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. press garlic through garlic press into pan. add ketchup, 3/4 cup broth, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar & chili paste. bring sauce to a simmer. reduce heat to medium-low & simmer until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. transfer to bowl. set aside.

sprinkle each side of each rib rack with salt, pepper, and 1 T chili powder. arrange racks on 2 large rimmed baking sheets.

position 1 oven rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third; preheat to 450 degrees.

pour remaining broth and remaining soy sauce around ribs on each sheet; cover each with foil. bake ribs 30 minutes; reverse sheets. bake ribs until tender, about 45 minutes longer. cut each rib rack between bones into individual ribs. brush ribs generously with sauce.

prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) & grill ribs until heated through and slightly charred, turning occasionally and brushing with more sauce, about 10 minutes. transfer ribs to a platter.

shout out.

June 24, 2013
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in my internets-travels i came across “portraits of grandmas & their cuisine from around the world“.  i love not only seeing the food, but also glimpsing into the kitchens.  lovely.

sunday best.

June 4, 2013

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leather crochet top, bohoM on etsy / denim cut-offs, firegypsy vintage on etsy / shoes, jessica simpson

cut it out.

May 26, 2013

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dress, old & no label / sweater coat, tin roof vintage on etsy / shoes, jessica simpson

second time around.

May 23, 2013

a couple of nights ago, at a friend’s house, i made fish tacos.  meh.  the batter was bland, the batter stuck to the pan, the batter came off.  no one else seemed overly disappointed – the free-flowing tequila & prosecco may have had something to do with that – but i wanted a do-over.  last night i made fish tacos.  and yay!!  they were so so good with a pimentón-seasoned batter that puffed when it hit the oil & was shatteringly-crisp.  now that deserves a shot of tequila.  ¡órale!

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fish tacos (serves 4 – 6)
1 C flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. pimentón picante
1 tsp. pimentón ahumado
1 bottle mexican beer (i like pacifico)
high-heat oil, for frying (i use grapeseed)
2 lbs skinless, firm, white fish, such as cod or halibut

for serving:
warm corn tortillas
mexican crèma or sour cream
tomatillo salsa, store-bought
shaved cabbage*
lime wedges

for the beer batter:
mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.  gradually add the beer while whisking.  set aside & let the batter rest while you prepare the fish.

cut fish into 4”- by 1 ½“- pieces.  place fish in batter while oil comes to temperature.

in a large cast iron skillet, add oil until it is about 1”-deep.  heat the oil until it reaches about 400 degrees or until a pea-sized drop of the batter sizzles when dropped in.

working in batches, allow excess batter to drip from fish before placing the filets in the oil.  allow to fry undisturbed until puffed & golden brown (flip if necessary to brown the other side), about 4 minutes.  remove with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  repeat with remaining fish.

to assemble tacos place some crèma on a tortilla & top with fish, cabbage, salsa & a squeeze of lime.

*i make a simple slaw of shaved cabbage, shredded carrot, nuoc cham (fish sauce), seasoned rice wine vinegar, jalapenos & cilantro which i use in place of cabbage & salsa.

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