29 December, 2008

on the back of a bag of frozen squid...

How many typos can you find?

21 December, 2008

Kitten Pile!

Smoked Herring

So we were near the smoked salmon at the grocery store, and I saw smoked herring. I'd heard of it, I'd considered trying it, and even through the plastic it smelled like Dietrich's Country Market. Surely it would be awesome.
When we had smoked salmon on crackers with cream cheese that evening we each tried a little piece plain and then had some on crackers.

It's intense. It's salty. It's best consumed in small quantities.

The remainder will be thoughtfully deployed in dishes that will complement (and dilute) the taste.

Parmentier de Hareng Fumé aux Brocolis

This attempt to use some smoked herring is a derivation of a derivation of a parmentier:

Parmentier, or hachis parmentier, is a traditional French dish of ground meat (usually beef, sometimes a mix of beef and pork) topped with mashed potatoes and oven-baked.

Our version is based on this recipe but employs both broccoli and potatoes.

4 oz fillets of smoked herring
3/4 c. milk (optional, to de-salt the herring if needed)
2 medium potatoes + fixing for mashed potatoes (do not use salt)
1 medium head broccoli
1/3 plain yogurt
parmesian cheese, fresh

If using salted herring, spread out in the bottom of a dish and cover with milk. Let rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, and pat dry; cut into 1/4"-1/2" chunks before use.

Make your mashed potatoes while preparing the brocculi mixture: Chop and steam the brocculi in the mircowave. Use a masher or food processor to make a paste of broccoli, plain yogurt, and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the mashed potatoes, and layer the chunks of herring over them. Spread the broccoli mixture into the next layer and then sprinkle with the parmesian. Top with a layer of bread crumbs and bake for about 20 minutes. You need only warm everything through and brown the bread crumbs. Serve immediately.

I would recommend serving small potions with a salad or some such. The flavors are very intense, and you can always get seconds.

Chicken Mole Verde

In the beginning there were two people who watched FoodNetwork too much, and they started saying things like "Hey, we should try that!"...

And so we came home from the grocery store one day with two jars of mole sauce: red (traditional/origional) and verde (green). I like green so I decided to try that one first. Is It EDible? and Cyndi's Recipes provided fodder for that we would eventually make; the main difference is that ours is all from the pantry, fridge, and freezer. I meant to take pictures, but we ate it all. It was good.


1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4" chunks
1- 8oz. can of mushrooms (2 if you like)
4 oz. mole verde sauce (we used Dona Maria)
2 c. liquid (water, juice from draining mushrooms + water, or broth)
2 t. chicken base
1/2 c. queso fresco, crumbled (or more to taste)

brown rice (1.5 c. + water per package instructions)

cutting board + knife
large sauce pan + lid

You will want to prep everything ahead so you can just add ingredients in batches. When you drain the can of mushrooms, pour the liquid into a 2 cup measuring cup and make up the difference with water. Pour some of this into the blender and add the mole paste (yes, you're going to have to chip it out of the jar; no, it's not paste like you were expecting). Add more of the water/mushroom juice as needed, and blend until the chunks are broken up.

Heat your olive oil over medium heat. Saute your onion and garlic for a minute, then add the chicken and lightly brown it on all sides. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and simmer an additional 20 minutes so that the sauce can thicken.

Plate over brown rice and sprinkle with some of the queso fresco. Serves 4. This would also be great with turkey.

13 December, 2008

Boxaholics Anonymous

Remember this Friskies box. You'll be seeing it again.

10 December, 2008


is a cat named Shade who likes to lay in the sun.

07 December, 2008

(Goan) Shrimp Curry

This is a version derived from an Indian cookbook that we like to use. The main differences are that we used all dried spices, added mixed frozen veggies, and adjusted the flavor a little for what we, personally, like in our curries. With these changes you can make this recipe from your freezer, pantry, and spice rack; it's great when you don't have time to go to the store. You could serve 4-6 with this recipe, though you may want to throw in some naan or such by the time you get to 6 places. We're still working on the naan.

(Goan) Shrimp Curry:

2t. ground coriander
1t. ground cumin
1/2t. fresh ground pepper
1t. cayenne pepper
1T. red paprika
1/2t. ground tumeric
1t. ground ginger
2t. granulated garlic
3T. water

2T. oil (we used olive with chili peppers in it)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/4c. water
1 box of frozen squash puree
6c. mixed frozen veggies
14-oz can of coconut milk
1-2t. salt
1T. lemon juice
1 pound shelled shrimp

2t. garam masala

Start your rice, and warm your frozen squash and vegetables in the microwave. Mix the first grouping of spices with about 3T water to make a paste and set aside. Pour your oil into a 10" saute pan (that has a lid for later) over medium-high head. When the oil is hot add the onion and keep it moving until it become translucent. Add the spice paste, the 1 1/4c. water, squash, and the mixed vegetables. After it returns to a boil: cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer vigorously for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk, salt, and lemon juice; return to a simmer. Add shrimp and stir frequently as the curry continues to simmer gently. Everything is done when the shrimp turn opaque; serve over cardamom brown rice.

Cardamom Brown Rice:

2c. brown rice
4ish c. water (read the package)
8 cardamom pods

Follow package cooking instructions. Avoid eating the pods unless you're willing to endure a few minutes of a rather bad taste in the name of having really awesome-smelling breath afterward.

06 December, 2008

"honey, we need an aquarium"

Sometimes, I run across the oddest things while perusing sale ads online.