Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Menu Sampler

Small Plates & Starters

•Figs and prosciutto

•Duck Confit

•Crab Spring roll

•Crab Strudel


•Peruvian corn cake with potatoes, saffrito, queso blanco

•Platter of smoked Northwest seafood & pickled vegetables

Prince Edward Island mussels in white wine and herbs

Northwest-Style Prosciutto?

Portland's charcuterie-obsessed chefs are prompting local farmers to feed hazelnuts to hogs, in the quest for a distinctive Northwest-style prosciutto

For a special-occasion splurge, a roast of hazelnut-fed pork is hard to beat. Local chefs say the nuts create lots of sweet, almost nutty-tasting fat that makes for super-succulent meat.
Bacon fans, it's time to meet the new pig in town.
Get ready for hazelnut-fed pork, the latest entry in a hog-happy food scene that echoes what can only be called a national obsession with swine.
Nuts and pigs have nurtured a happy marriage for centuries -- think paper-thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma from pigs fattened on chestnuts and whey, or Spain's incomparable Iberico ham, from free-range hogs that gobble acorns as they roam.
Recipes included with this story: Pork Carnevale, Basic Pork Roast

The reason: Pigs that eat oil-rich nuts in great quantities, especially in the last months before butchering, build up extra (and extra-tasty) fat; that's especially true for old breeds with genetics that encourage it. A well-marbled leg, with months of curing, becomes a succulent ham streaked with sweet, some say nutty-tasting, fat................
As for the cured meats, Brownlow and Silverman don't want to duplicate Italy's product so much as develop a Northwest prosciutto, unique in flavor, texture and appearance.
The pigs, a cross of Duroc, Berkshire, Yorkshire and Landrace, are raised according to their specifications by Pure Country Pork near Yakima, an established producer certified by Food Alliance for its sustainable and humane practices. Silverman worked with a nutritionist and rigorously tested the feeding program to come up with the right balance of nuts to grains for ideal weight gain and flavor......
Where to find nut-fed pork
Nut-fed pork typically ends up as dry-cured hams, but the well-marbled fresh meat often is more tender and juicy than standard pork. Fresh pork from Northwest hazelnut-fed pigs, if you can find it, costs a few dollars more per pound than premium pork. Here are some local sources:
Chop Butchery & Charcuterie, in City Market
(in the meat case every two to three weeks, call for availability)
735 N.W. 21st Ave.

Eastbank Farmers Market
, at Tails & Trotters booth
Laurelhurst Market

Long's Meat Market
81 E. 28th Ave., Eugene

.........................more from

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nigella and the Return of Fab Fondue

Fondue is a delicious example of slow food, and it need not be expensive or complicated.
The original recipe for Fondue can be found in Homer's Iliad: grated goats cheese, Pramnos wine and a little white flour.
The Swiss survived long cold winters with this simple formula, turning it into a communal gathering.
Cheese made in the spring, and so hard by winter an axe was often employed to chop it up, was heated with the addition of wine
turning it into a melted mixture of yumminess ready for stale dry bread to be dipped in and transformed into a delectable, leisurely feast.

Nigella creates the classic Gruyère and Emmental cheese fondue

Nigella's Chocolate Croissants

Fast and fabulous!

93 yr old Clara on Depression Cooking

Clara Cannucciari gives straight forward, simple cooking instruction
using recipes from her childhood during the Great Depression.
This is an excellent, informative and charming series of videos!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Gordon Ramsay Finds Sustainable Caviar in Andalucia Spain

Fascinating field trip to Andalucia Spain and an amazing Sturgeon farmer.
With fewer than 1,000 beluga sturgeon left in the Caspian Sea,
the world’s chief source of caviar, and with experts predicting that they will be extinct in 14 years,
Caviar farmers such as this are critical to the Sturgeons survival.

Caviar de

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smoked Salmon, Spinach Turnover

Simple, but decadent appetizer that comes together in minutes.
A package of Puff pastry should be in everyones freezer
for the unexpected guests or the occasional indulgence.
Puff pastry can be filled with almost anything,
this is a great place to be creative and use whatever you have on hand.
Here I have used smoked salmon*, frozen chopped spinach, red onion, and a little cream cheese as a binder. An egg wash is brushed along the edges of the pastry before folding over to help with the seal, as well as across the top of the turnover to enhance browning and add a nice gloss when baked. I substituted a small amount of mayonnaise for the egg wash, and sprinkled with red Hawaiian rock salt.

•canned Alaska pink or red salmon is available at all major grocers, and works equally well All canned salmon is wild caught making it that much better. 
A fab online source for Wild Alaska Salmon at fab prices, wild pacific
Family run and fisherman direct, it doesn't get better than this!