The Peripatetic Chef

The Peripatetic Chef! Needs help learning to post these on the recipe page where you can also see all the references to the original books! These are not my own recipes! Let me know if you know how.

I’m sitting at my kitchen table reading a cookbook called, The Chinese Kosher Cookbook, by Ruth and Bob Grossman. With recipes like Stuffed Mushrooms Mah Zel Tuv, Fish Neh Bish, and Bananas Meh Shu Gah (for my son, the dentist). Honestly. I could not make this up. But this is just a tease. That’s for next week. This week a favorite vegetarian recipe and two from the private chef of one of the wealthiest men in the world. Dessert first of course.

CRANACH AN CRUMBLE
Cranachan is a creamy Scottish pudding made with raspberries, oats, and whisky. This recipe puts these ingredients in a crumble and adds some apples.
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
juice of 1 orange
3 cups (1 ½ lbs) raspberries
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp honey
4 ounces cold butter
½ cup uncooked oatmeal
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
whipped cream
1 tsp whisky

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan mix the apples with orange juice and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Cook until nearly soft, transfer to a baking dish, and stir in the raspberries and ½ tsp honey. For the crumble rub the butter into the flour and add the oats, sugar, honey, and the rest of the cinnamon. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the apple-raspberry mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until the topping goes crisp and golden. To serve top with whipped cream flavored with the whisky and honey to taste. Serves 6.

PETER’S NORWEGIAN MEATBALLS (Which I am emphatically told are larger than Swedish Meatballs.)

2 pounds minced meat or meat substitute
grated peel of 2 lemons
2 Tblsp lemon juice
1 onion finely chopped
4 tsp plain flour
1 heaping tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp baking powder
4 Tblsp sparkling water
6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 ounces brandy
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients except the brandy, stock and cream (for the sauce), and shape the mixture into walnut sized balls. Brown the meatballs in an ovenproof frying pan, transfer them to a baking dish, and finish off in the over for 10 minutes. Keep them warm while you make the sauce. Put the frying pan back on low heat and add the brandy. Flambé the brandy. When the flames die down add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add the cream and boil for about a minute. Drizzle the sauce over and around the meatballs to serve. Serves 6.

CHEESY CHARD
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
½ cup grated cheese
oil
1 large bunch chard, spinach or other leafy greens
2 onions chopped
1 large clove garlic mince or crushed
soy sauce to taste

Chop the stems and leaves of the greens separately. In a wok or large fry pan sauté the chard stems, onions, and garlic in a little oil until the onions are transparent. Stir in the cooked rice and put the chopped chard leaves on top. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the leaves are wilted. Then you can stir the leaves into the rice mixture underneath. Add the grated cheese and soy sauce and stir until the cheese melts and holds the mixture together somewhat. Serve at once. For a heartier dish stir in 1 cup cooked kidney beans when you stir in the rice. Serves 4.

Recipes from The Aussie “Bar-bie”

The Peripatetic Chef!

Hello all. I’m a few days late. Apologies. I’m traveling. (I’m the peripatetic chef.) But the good news is that I am a houseguest with my favorite Australian family, and I’m pleased to bring you a recipe from The Barbie! This one is worth the wait!

SEAFOOD BROCHETTES WITH LIME AND COCONUT
(Soak bamboo skewers in water for about 1 hour to prevent them scorching. You need 24 skewers for this recipe.)
500 g piece tuna
500 g piece salmon
500 g piece swordfish
1/3 cup finely chopped palm sugar
400 ml coconut cream
2 Tbls grated kaffir lime rind
¼ cup kaffir lime juice
2 bird’s-eye chilies, seeded, chopped finely

Remove any skin from fish; cut each fish into 4cm pieces. Place sugar and cream in small pan; stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves, cool. Stir in rind, juice, chili and fish. (Best made ahead to this stage. Cover, refrigerate for 3 hours, overnight or freeze.)

Drain fish over small pan; reserve marinade. Thread a mixture of fish pieces onto 12 pairs of skewers; grill on heated oiled barbecue, uncovered, until browned lightly and just cooked through. Place reserved marinade on barbecue; simmer, uncovered, 1 minute or until thickened slightly. Serve with brochettes. Makes 12.

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SURPRISE POTATO CAKES
1 oz butter
4 oz onion, chopped finely
2 oz hazelnuts, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric
½ green pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped finely
1 Tbls tomato puree
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
squeeze lemon juice
2 lb potatoes, boiled and well drained
1 egg, separated
2-3 oz desiccated coconut
salt and pepper to taste
lemon slices and parsley sprigs to garnish

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion hazelnuts and cumin seeds and sauté until golden. Stir in the turmeric, green pepper, tomato puree, tomatoes and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fairly dry, then leave to cool.
Mash the potatoes with the egg yolk, and salt and pepper. Using floured hands, shape into 8 cakes. Spoon one eighth of the filling onto each cake, then work the potato around the filling to encase it.
Dip each cake into the lightly beaten egg white, then into the coconut/ Place on a greased baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven (425˚) for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Garnish with lemon and parsley. Serves 4.

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ORANGES AND STRAWBERRIES WITH LIME
3 sweet oranges
8 oz. strawberries
grated rind and juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp sugar
fresh mint to decorate

Using a sharp knife, cut a slice off the top and bottom of the oranges, then remove the peel and pith, curing downward and taking care to retain the shape of the oranges. Using a small sharp knife, cut down between the membranes of the oranges to remove the segments. Discard the membranes. Hull the strawberries by pulling the leaves off. Cut into slices, along the length of the strawberries. Put the oranges and strawberries in a bowl, then sprinkle with the lime rind, lime juice and sugar. Chill until ready to serve. To serve transfer to serving bowl and garnish with mint sprig. The oranges could be replaced with mangoes. Orange flavored liquor could be substituted for some of the sugar. Serves 4.

It’s that time of year! The time of year for eatin’, that is!

Let’s kick of the spring season with a potluck on Saturday, weather permitting. Please bring serving utensils and if you have any plastic (re-usable) plates or cups to donate to the garden, bring those, too!  Anyone who would like to help set-up, please come around 3:30.

We’ll also be having an all-garden meeting scheduled at 5pm. This would be a good time to bring up any issues we need to address as a community so we can come up with solutions to common problems. It’s also a good time to talk about all the great things our community has to offer, and introduce our new gardeners this year, of which there are many! So please, make a point to come and stay a while.

Also, I would like for each of you to upload an image of yourself that you like for the garden map I’m hoping to put together this spring, so we can contact each other in the event the garden manager (this year, me, but next year some other lucky soul) is unavailable to mediate an issue. With so many new faces, we need to get to know our new neighbors!

I look forward to seeing all of you on Saturday, May 21, at 4:00.

image by Geoff Peters 604

The Peripatetic Chef

The Peripatetic Chef!

So, you may have noticed that I start with deserts. Of course. Since Everyone’s Mom said, “Don’t eat your desert first!” that is the place we must start!

GRANDMA’S BROWNIES
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
4 eggs
2 squares melted chocolate
½ cup flour
½ cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚ Cream sugar and butter together. Add 2 egg yolks not beaten. Add chocolate, flour and chopped nuts. Add 2 eggs well beaten. Bake 20 minutes in 350˚ oven. Cut into squares as soon as brownies come out of the oven.

BELIZEAN SAVORY CABBAGE
1 medium sized green cabbage
2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
1 Tbsp hot water
¼ apple sliced thinly
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Cut cabbage in quarters; remove hard core. Slice cabbage as thinly as possible. Melt butter in saucepan, but do not let it brown. Add hot water, cabbage, apple. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cabbage is just barely tender and still greenish looking. Add caraway seeds, toss to mix and serve immediately.

TRINIDADIAN CHICKEN PELAU
½ coconut chopped
liquid from the coconut (substitute canned coconut milk for these two)
1 16 oz can pigeon peas, drained
1 hot pepper for seasoning (up to you how hot you can take)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbl oil
2 Tbl sugar
3 ½ lb broiler/fryer cut in 2 inch pieces
1 ¼ cups rice, rinsed and drained (I have used brown rice)

1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 Tb chopped fresh chives
1 Tb chopped fresh thyme
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped

Make the seasoning: Put the onion, garlic, chives, thyme and celery into a blender or food processor with ¼ cup water and process for 30 seconds until mixture is pureed. Pour the seasoning in to a pan and set aside while you make (or open) the coconut milk.

Rinse out the blender and add the chopped coconut and coconut liquid and work to a thick milk adding water if necessary. Pour into saucepan adding pigeon peas and the seasoning pepper, and place over low heat for 15 minutes. Season with slat and pepper.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven heat the oil and sugar together over medium heat until the sugar begins to caramelize, taking care not to burn it. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently, until they are browned all over. Stir in the pigeon pea mixture and the rice, adding 1 ¼ cups of water (slightly more if brown rice). Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken and rice are cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning. Discard the hot seasoning pepper before serving. Serves 6.

flea beetles

Hannah wrote me yesterday, “We already have flea beetles eating everyones lettuce and kale and brocoli and radish leaves. BOO! I am going to make a soap/garlic spray but I think it’s going to be futile unless everyone treats the problem. I walked around yesterday and it is afecting the same species in everyone’s plots.”
I did a brief search online and found this article. Link is at bottom.

Flea beetles are favored by stable warm spring weather and hampered by alternating periods of hot and cold temperatures with intermittent rains. Seedlings of crops are most vulnerable to flea-beetle feeding when stressed, particularly by inadequate moisture. Providing good nutrition and favorable growing conditions aids in shortening the vulnerable early-growth stages and helps plants survive flea-beetle attack. The literature suggests that organic fertilization may make crops less attractive to flea beetles. (3)

If you have fish emulsion, this might be a good time to fertilize; if you don’t have any, let me know. I have some for sale from last year.

Trap cropping, in which attractive plant species are planted near the main crop to draw the pest away, offers some possibilities for flea-beetle management. Apparently the most practical trap crop is Chinese Southern Giant Mustard (Brassica juncea var. crispifolia), seed of which is widely available. Research has shown that planting this trap crop about every 55 yards between rows of cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower (or as a border around the field) can do an exceptional job of protecting them. To retain effectiveness, reseeding of the trap crop may be necessary, especially if the pest destroys the first planting. The trap is less effective in protecting crops that are almost as attractive to flea beetles as Giant Mustard is, such as Nappa cabbage, gai choy, and choy sum. (5)

Another approach to trap cropping is to interplant radishes—’Chinese Daikon’ and ‘Snow Belle’ are preferred by the pest—at 6- or 12-inch intervals among cole crops. In one trial, this measurably reduced damage to broccoli. (6)

Growers report some level of flea-beetle control using white and yellow sticky traps. (6, 9)
Reference is made to individual traps placed every 15 to 30 feet of row. Encircling the field with continuous sticky tape is also mentioned. Sources of sticky traps include ARBICO (10), and Golden Harvest Organics. (11)

Since the adults overwinter in plant debris, there is value in sanitation procedures that destroy refuge sites. Plowing or rototilling weeds and crop residues in the fall is often recommended, as is destruction of grassy and solanaceous (tomato family) weeds adjacent to the field. (12) Unfortunately, these procedures are often in conflict with good sustainable practices that strive to maintain soil cover and field buffers. When such conflicts occur, growers can view sanitation procedures as transitional strategies only, and look for more sustainable practices to use in the future.

This fall, we’ll have to be sure to clear out all our plots before winter.

Anecdotal reports have suggested that catnip might repel flea beetles. Research by organic gardeners in 1997 failed to confirm this information, however. The gardeners reported that catnip used as a mulch or sprayed as an extract tea did a generally poor job of repelling the pest. (13)

(http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/fleabeetle.html)

And from this  website, “Get Rid of Things

If you’d rather not have your vegetables competing with ornamentals for nutrition, you can always try the trap crop method to get rid of flea beetles. This method involves growing certain species of plants that are more favorable to flea beetles than the crop you’re trying to protect. Usually these are planted several feet away from your vegetables. A good example of a trap crop would be either Giant Mustard plants or Daikon Radishes).
Ensuring that your plants are getting plenty of water and nutrients will help them better resist flea beetles and avoid feeding damage. This might sound like common sense, but plants that are being stressed by a lack of water or fertilizer can be destroyed by flea beetles overnight. A good watering and fertilizing regiment can mean the difference between enjoying fresh tomatoes on a dinner salad or waking up to a row of dead tomato plants.
Food grade diatomaceous earth will help get rid of flea beetles or prevent adult flea beetles from feeding on plants. Diatomaceous earth is an incredible thing. It’s a soil composed of fossilized, microscopic algae with razor sharp edges, which are non-toxic to most mammals but fatal to insects that come into contact with it. Dusting your plants with diatomaceous earth has been shown to reduce adult flea beetle feeding to a tolerable level in areas where flea beetle populations have gotten out of hand.

Also a garlic/pepper tincture can be sprayed on the leaves. Please remember that we are a strictly organic garden. Do not use any commercial pesticide, even if it claims to be organic.