Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Fall arrives, so do comfort foods
This evening I’ve been making two comfort foods for future meals. We’ve gotten a couple of bunches of mustard greens in our CSA basket and also got some bunches of tatsoi, an Asian cabbage that looks quite a bit like a bald African violet. I pulled out a couple of the last chunks of my home-cured pork belly and made a stock with it, just a quick 30 minute visit with some water. Half of the pork belly I sliced down and put aside to brown on Saturday, it is beautiful and will make a great entrée. The rest I cut into lardons (1/4x1/4x1”) and put back in the pot with onion, garlic, a couple of dried red chiles, and all of the greens. Cooked it the old-fashioned way, for a couple of hours. Have adjusted the seasoning and that “pot likker” is really good. I’m thinking to have that with some cornbread later this week. The other item is a Mediterranean roasted veg soup. This is part of all the eggplant, squash, onions, and tomatoes I diced and roasted a while back. Six cups of that were in the freezer so I put it in a pan with a quart of concentrated chicken broth, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and salt. It has simmered for a couple of hours also, letting the vegetables add flavor to the broth and vice-versa. That will get put into freezer containers for Dave’s lunches. Sometimes I don’t even label those; we use a specific 2-cup container for those so sometimes he just gets to grab a container and be surprised, always pleasantly. It continues to feel like fall here. It came so suddenly three days ago - 78 degrees one day, 60 the next. I have a lot of friends on Facebook who are complaining about it, but I don’t really mind. You see, it really doesn’t rain all that much in Seattle (more in Boston and Chicago, in fact) but we have many more cloudy days. I have included a photo of our dinner from Monday. Those potatoes were twice-fried so they puffed up quite nicely, I guess they are pommes souffle, kind of neat. The Spanish “tortilla” of course is known as a frittata in Italy. Filled with homemade sausage, onions, and jack cheese. Those orange heirloom tomatoes are just so full of flavor and were a perfect accompaniment, just enough acid to balance out the fat of the sausage. Back to package up my kitchen results.