Today was a great day. It was 60 degrees, sunny, and of course, Saturday. That means there is a farmers market in the Court Avenue area in Downtown. The market is filled this time of year with the sights and sounds of Fall. Lots of root vegetables, beautiful locally grown brussel sprouts, and gourds and squashes of all kinds. Today I bought some of all of those things, some local garlic, and a great pork shoulder from a local farmer. We also sampled a couple awesome pastries from La Mi, and some of the worst BBQ I have ever tasted. The coffee from Java Joe's was still amazing, and the cheese curds were, well, cheesy. There are also some beautiful flowers for my wife. I love Saturday.
Remember that right now there are a ton of people out of work because of the government shutdown, people without Federal Aid, like WIC, along with the already hungry all over the country. Please give to your local food pantry, and remember that protein items like tuna and peanut butter are needed desperately. I feel lucky to be so blessed that I am not hungry today. Remember, food is precious.
I started reading Michael Ruhlman's new book, Ratio, the day it was released. First just thumbing through it, then this week reading more in depth. Wow! What a great read, it was like unlocking a door that I had just peeked through before. I even went out and ordered a great scale so that I could measure the ratios more exactly. A cup of flour isn't always a cup of flour, but 100 grams of flour is right on the money every time.
I'll be posting more about this book as I read through it. So far it's been amazing.
1 can crushed pineapple Juice of 3 lemons 2 egg whites 1/4 c. sugar 1/2 c. sugar Put pineapple and lemon juice in freezer and chill both. Whip the egg whites until stiff. Add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix the pineapple, lemon juice and beat egg whites and add 1/2 cup sugar. Put the mixture into freezer. Fill freezer with whipping cream (not whipped) or milk. This recipe makes 1/2 gallon of sherbet.
1 whole or half ham. Bone in of course... About 20 cloves or so, depending on ham. Ground mustard. Enough to pack it on the entire ham. Dark brown sugar. Enough to pack it on the entire ham. 1 small can of pineapple juice. Use empty can to measure one can of sherry
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
With a knife score the entire fat cap on the ham, crossing diagonally. At each intersecting diamond stud the ham with a single clove. Pack ground mustard onto entire ham. Pack brown sugar onto entire ham. Pour juice and sherry onto ham.
Roast ham until internal temperature is 140-150 degrees F. Basting with cooking liquid every half hour, until done.
This is the easiest way I've ever roasted a ham, and it's really, really, great ham.
Everyone seems to fall back on the favorites of the holiday, chocolate, and flowers. I'll be spending Valentines Day by myself this year. Single once again... boo... hoo. Anyway what are some of your favorites other than the two that I've mentioned. This community is so creative, there has to be more than the usual.
Last year I drove through Maryland and had some wonderful crab cakes. I made them at home and added the coulis.
1 pound lump Crab Meat 1 Large Egg 2 tablespoons Real Mayonnaise 1/3 cup soft, Fresh Bread Crumbs, no crust 1 tablespoon minced Parsley 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning Dash of Freshly Ground Pepper Saltine Crackers, about 12, crushed Rough chopped italian parsley for garnish. vegetable oil, for pan frying
For Crab Cakes
Combine all ingredients, except oil and italian parsley, and mix until mixed well. Chill for 4 hours in the fridge.
4 Red bell peppers roasted until completely black and charred, under the broiler or over direct flame on a grill, or gas stove
After Roasting peppers set aside in a bowl, cover with plastic, and let set 20 minutes... After 20 minutes peel and seed peppers. Puree until smooth, add a tablespoon of cream or half and half, mix in blender another 30 seconds or so, season with salt and black pepper, and keep warm.
Back to the cakes...
After the four hours of chilling, form into patties, about a third of a cup each.
Pan fry on med high heat, in batches, until all cakes are golden brown and cooked through
Set two cakes on each plate and nappe with red pepper coulis. Garnish with rough chopped italian parsley.
I'm a native Californian who moved to Iowa for the heck of it. Des Moines has one of the best farmers markets in the country, and the restaurant scene is remarkable for a city this size.
I'm married to a wonderful woman who I love to cook and eat with. Our mutual love for cooking and great food had something to do with us falling in love with each other.