Salad Days

June 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

The salade nicoise was byoootiful – and Monday’s weather cooperated, making it a perfect salad day.  JM & I were starving after we cooked on Monday, so we had our dinner early – al fresco in the parking lot.  Yum.

Sunday morning, before we went in to prepare for Monday’s meal I read a harrowing article in the NY Times about tuna, and seafood sustainability.  The albacore we cooked was sustainably farmed in the US, but the article reminded me to stay up to date with the seafood watch list. Responsible cooks and eaters must be ever-vigilant!

Quackety Quack

June 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

We hoped you liked dinner on Monday!  It went very smoothly –  always our goal, although not always achieved. There was a bit of a jam at the ovens, but the vegetables waited patiently while the duck took it’s sweet time.

The sauce for the duck was delicious and plentiful.  The picholine olives added a lot of brininess – it was a nice combination with the carrots, onion & wine, I think.  Frankly, Monday seems like a long time ago.  My children are out of school now and on day 1.5 I’m already laid flat!  I’m going to need to come up with a survival strategy…

E-Z Crab Feast

June 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

A couple of weeks ago Sam Sifton wrote a wonderful article in the New York Times Magazine about crab, and summer, and the ritual that surrounds this marvelous shellfish.  He wrote from an east-coast point of view, and as a native Virginian I was appreciative.  Though there will always be a place in my heart for Old Bay, wooden mallets and paper-covered tables, since moving to Seattle I have a new routine.

This version of a crab feast was first introduced to my husband and me by our friend Jasmine, and it’s become a staple for those nights when you don’t want to cook but pizza just won’t do (and there’s no leftover Panacea dinner in the fridge). We pair cold Dungeness crab with rice, seaweed salad, and spiced sukang maasim  – a Filipino vinegar with peppers – for dipping.  It is a totally fresh, light, and satisfying meal.  You buy the crab cooked and have the store clean it.  If you go to Uwajimaya you’ll be able to pick up all ingredients in one trip.  E-Z!

Soup’s On

June 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

This dinner was a labor of love, and it was worth it for me.  I love Asian Market Noodle Soup!  And I thought the mango salad turned out well, also.  It can be tricky to judge a mango’s ripeness in the store and I was relieved that the case I bought was in good shape.  We cooked the chicken stock on Sunday, simmering it with ginger, cilantro & szechuan peppercorns.  We chopped as deftly as we were able, but we are not Iron Chef material.  That’s OK, we have other good qualities.

My husband Owen lent a hand  – he made the yummy pork mixture and fried a helluva a lot of shallots.  Those golden brown savory crunches are totally addictive.  He insisted that he could watch the World Cup and still be a productive member of Team Panacea.  Italy & Paraguay tied, but we still delivered dinners on time.

Mekong is the Bomb!

June 10, 2010 § 4 Comments

One of my favorite things about Seattle is the Asian markets.  Where I grew up we had nothing like them, and they are still a marvel to me.  I’ll admit, sometimes I inwardly cringe (those 32 gallon cans of “live” frogs,  and discovering Ground Cucumbers aren’t vegetables at all), but overall I embrace the exotic ingredients.  My favorite store is Mekong on Rainier.  It’s small, everyone is nice, and they only giggle a little bit as I stare at displays in confusion, head cocked to one side as I try to make heads or tails of what the heck I’m looking at.  This week my visit was especially inspiring.  I bought kumquats – they’re so pretty but ungodly tart.  My husband eats them like candy which I find unbelievable.  I’m still working on a good way to prepare them.  I also bought this incredible herb that I was told is called “gee gum”.  I’m certain I’m misspelling it. It smells like cilantro multiplied times ten, plus some citrus, plus some floral notes.  The scent filled the car while I was driving home. I’ve been using it like cilantro or basil – in salads, in a sauce for grilled meat.  It’s fantastic.  Mekong also has pretty awesome household goods.  I’ve bought sweet cooking pots from Vietnam, bowls, mysterious vessels I use as vases.  This week’s find: a rug for my kitchen that I love, for $15.  And my dog, Mickey, loves it too.  Good boy.

June News From Panacea

June 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here are some business details that we want to share with you…

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This Little Piggie Was Delicious

June 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

On Monday, Panacea’s holiday, our husbands roasted a whole pig in JM’s backyard. Nothing says “party” like cooking a whole beast.  I’ll save the photo for the end of my post, out of respect for our vegetarian friends who might not see the beauty (stop reading now if this applies to you).  To us, this pig was a wonder to behold and taste. The skin was crackly crunch that dissolved in your mouth.  The meat was as succulent as can be.  Fat can do amazing things.  « Read the rest of this entry »

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