How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hearty Asian Noodle Salad

Our CSA passed out copies of this recipe to its subscribers last Saturday. Of course several of the ingredients where in the weekly pick-up, and the rest I already had at home, so it made perfect sense to try it.

I started by chopping a small head of cabbage, which of course grew exponentially when cut and almost completely filled the salad bowl before I could add any other ingredients. I added shredded carrots, a shredded turnip, a bit of grated ginger, 4 minced garlic cloves, and some cooked egg noddles (the recipe says any kind of pasta will do) then mixed in some rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce. It was hard to mix together because the bowl was really overfull at this point. I really should have put it into a bigger serving bowl, but I have a thing about making too many dirty dishes.

The dish was tasty and filling, and made for good lunchtime leftovers. It is also super easy. The only real cooking involved was boiling the noodles.

The recipe comes from Red Fire Farm

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chemex Crucible

We actually used our Coffee Love book as recently as Valentine's Day of this year, but it seemed longer. Over the past few days we discussed it, and finally got organized for a post-work, pre-lecture experiment.

The lecture in question is a presentation on coffee at the local public library, so this seemed a great time to try something new in coffee.

Author Daniel Young introduces this concoction:

The French word brûlot, from the verb brûler (to burn), can refer either to a small fire ship with enough fuel to incinerate an enemy position or a sweetened, flambéed brandy. In New Orleans, the café brûlot is pretty much both those things. 

I have never been to the Big Easy, though I have visited vicariously through Pam's visit, films, and food. Our success with this little beverage makes me want to get there all the sooner.

We made our café brûlot essentially the way Young describes it, except that he calls for orange peel and we had none. As readers of this blog well know, lack of orange is a good excuse to get out the Triple Sec, which I did. I later learned that a variation by Melissa Roberts on Epicurious does exactly the same thing.

Essentially, I made coffee in the Chemex (I'd make it a bit stronger than usual next time) and meanwhile gently heated some courvoisier with sugar, cloves, and a cinnamon stick. Once the coffee was brewed and the sugar dissolved, I lit the liquid on fire, and then slowly doused it with the coffee (which amazingly did not splatter anything) and continued pouring it in. Then I poured the whole concoction back through a sieve into the Chemex.

The result: smooth, spicy, and delicious -- and definitely on the list for next Valentine's Day.

Now that we have proven this recipe (or more precisely, proofed it) we will work on our technique so that we can try it table-side after a nice meal.


From our friends at Atlas Obscura, Pam found a story about how café brûlot is done tableside.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mollie Katzen's Savory Fruit-Stuffed Squash

I got out the classic Moosewood Cookbok to find a recipe for the acorn squash that we'd gotten in our CSA farm box. There were a few choices, but James and I settled on the fruit-stuffed squash. This was a bit time consuming as it required me to cook rice, and to pre-bake the squash halves, and to cook the filling all before filling the squash and baking for 30 more minutes.

The filling was made by sauteeing chopped onions, minced garlic, diced apple, a sectioned navel orange, and adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a bit of honey. This was mixed in with the cooked rice and then used to fill the baked squash halves, which were then topped with sliced almonds. Everything was baked for half an hour at 350.

While the squash was baking I made the Orange-Ginger Sauce topping. It was a simple recipe using corn starch, orange juice, garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce and dry sherry cooked over a medium heat.

Once everything was ready it was served, along with plain yogurt for an additional topping. Paired well with Rkatsiteli