Asparagus & Potato Salad

April 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

This isn’t the first you’ve heard from me about local asparagus, and it won’t be the last. Asparagus is here, and I am compelled to buy a bunch every time I go to grocery store.  Tonight we grilled it –  our standard preparation, always delicious.  But I didn’t take a picture of that, so let me tell you about how I prepared it on Wednesday… « Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of the Piquillo

April 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

My goodness, the kitchen smelled good today.  Garlic, smoked paprika, frying pork…what could be better?  First thing in the morning we roasted tomatoes, bread and garlic for the sauce.  We were transported to Catalonia, on the wings of sausage and Romesco sauce. « Read the rest of this entry »

Asparagus! Aspaaaaaragus!!

April 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I got a phone call from my mom, reporting an asparagus sighting at the University District Farmer’s Market.  She’s a reliable source. Just one booth had it, she said, and it went quick at a premium price.  Today at PCC I saw it with my own eyes: Washington-grown asparagus.  YES! YES!  Spring is here, for REAL.  Once the earth is growing tender edibles like asparagus I know that it is time to believe in Spring.  We’ll use it in a Panacea meal ASAP, but don’t wait for us.  Get thee to a grocer, and buy this quintessential Spring vegetable.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Chicken Soup for our Peeps

April 20, 2010 § 2 Comments

I was raised on Campbell’s Chicken Noodle, and I know why.  Making chicken noodle soup from scratch isn’t a quick job.  When you have to work all day, simmering stock and rolling out noodles at dinnertime isn’t a high priority.  But JM and I have managed to make cooking for you our “work”! So, this week we got to jettison real life and instead spend a couple of days doing just that – making stock, shredding chicken, dicing vegetables, making noodles.  It was great fun. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hands Off the Duck Confit!

April 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

We had two duck legs left over after Monday’s dinner, so I made a salad featuring duck confit.  That turned out to be a fine idea.  My daughters agreed and harassed me though the whole process, pick pick picking at the duck. Sheesh.

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A Tribute to the Bay Laurel

April 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

Yesterday, each time we opened the ovens to check on the duck, the sizzle sizzle of duck fat was accompanied by a waft of the scent of bay.  Waft, waft. A lovely smell, and hard for me to describe.  A little bit citrus, a little bit floral, a little bit woody.

It was only recently that I made the connection between the dry, crumbly, gray leaves in the spice display at the grocery store and the glossy evergreen shrub I had seen at nurseries.  I had always tossed a couple of bay leaves from a jar into a soup or stew when directed to, but I didn’t really see how they benefited a recipe.  They had no discernible scent.

It may have been JM, now that I think about it, who first plucked a bay leaf from a bush and smashed it for me to smell. « Read the rest of this entry »

Duck Confit, Oo la la

April 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today we rose with the sun to confit duck legs.  I’m emphasizing the early hour to explain why I forgot to take pictures of those lovely legs in the raw, all in a row, garnished with bay leaves, ready to be roasted to a golden brown.  They were gorgeous, you’ll have to trust me!

We cooked the duck legs stove top for a half hour or so, then popped them into the oven for another three.  Here they are halfway through, ready to be flipped over. « Read the rest of this entry »

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