Pork Pie Now For Sale

 

Well, that was fun.  You may remember my little post about winning at the KCRW Good Food 6th Annual Pie Contest with the Beer Braised Pork Pie that I named after our blogging friend Mr. Fitz and using Huckleberry Cookbook’s recipe for Beer Braised Pork.  I thought I might never spend 3 days on a pie again (braise pork, boil down braising liquid, marinate pork in Bud Light Reduction Sauce overnight, make pie, bake pie, let pie sit overnight to set), but I did.   Read More

Apple Chat

Inside this flaky crust is a 500 year old heirloom french apple called Calville Blanc d’ Hiver which is grown nearby in Paso Robles, CA at Windrose Farms and available at my local farmers market for a few short weeks in the fall. It was grown on the Monticello estate of Thomas Jefferson in the 1700’s and has a higher Vitamin C content than an orange!  How do I know this?

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Pork Spare Ribs

We are so fortunate to have a young gentleman pig farmer who sells exclusively Mangalitsa pork of all shapes and cuts.   Read More

Crispy Seeded Avocado Taco

Recently I had a fried avocado taco at a local restaurant that was so good I resolved to try to duplicate it.  Even as far as picking up a few of the same stainless steel snack “plates” as the restaurant tacos were served in.  Often this is how a recipe starts to take shape in my mind — a great restaurant experience.  Then, based upon what I have at home and my mental wanderlust, it becomes something similar but never the same!

For this recipe you want to use a firm-ripe, not soft-ripe avocado, because you will be heating it and you don’t want the texture to turn soft or mushy.  I reckon you could also use sweet potato wedges (lightly steamed before frying), or even zucchini, jicama, or nopales cactus.

For a fun party, you could prepare the avocado wedges and keep them warm in the oven while you assemble the rest of the ingredients for the taco, and serve buffet style.  Or, head over to Foodlander where I’ve developed 5 other taco recipes!

 

Head on over to Foodlander for 5 other tacos.

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwiches

 

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Hi friends, it’s time again to link you over to my other site where I link you once again, to my articles for Foodlander, for some awesome BLTs.  In addition, because I have had a number of inquiries and am still working on configuration, you can subscribe by email to the new site by scrolling down to the bottom of any individual post and you will see on the bottom right a “subscribe by email” link.  Have a fantastic weekend!

Fig Mint Pesto

Trio Pesto

This week we have been blessed with a bounty of ripe and juicy Brown Turkey figs, straight off the tree.  Figs have always been one of my favorite fruits, because they are slightly unusual and have a unique textural and color spectrum mix-up with their thickish purple skin, soft  crimson flesh, and crunch yellow seeds.  The scent of fig is also something to behold, as you will see in any boutique candle or fragrance shop; their aroma is deeply sweet and pairs well with both fresh/herbal and woody notes.

My childhood friend Ann had a fig tree in her back yard, and I have early memories of eating really fresh figs straight off the tree.  Fig trees spawn their fruit in the summer and here in Southern California we are high on the fig hog.  Yesterday as we were heading out on our daily 3 mile hike/walk, I spied more figs ready to be picked off the tree, and as I approached I saw two nearly prehistoric looking, armory-jacketed, wildly green bugs with fluorescent green and silver legs, gnawing at a half-eaten fig.  These fellas were not letting go, even despite my angling closer and closer for a photo.

Fig Bugs (1 of 1)

I would have been happy to eat all of these figs raw, with some yogurt for breakfast, in salads with burrata and almonds, drizzled with balsamic and paired with a sharp piece of pecorino, or on top of ice cream for dessert.  But M prefers figs dried, so I experimented with home-drying.  I set a cookie sheet full of figs in the oven at 175 degrees for about 10 hours, and they turned out dried, but still retaining some moisture.  They were slightly juicy and caramelized rather than leathery-dry.  Dried 2 (1 of 1)

 

As the days went on this week I pondered recipes, and in the recesses of my memory was a recent pesto recipe I’d seen on Sofia’s wonderful blog.  I remembered it had dried figs, but beyond that wasn’t sure.  Since my basil plant died this week, I used some fresh mint from my mom’s garden, added spinach to mellow the flavor, and rounded out with raw cashews, olive oil, grey salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.  I needed to add a few drops of water as I blended to thin out to proper consistency, and it worked without compromising the flavor.

The pesto was unique and very delicious.  I paired it with soft scrambled eggs, a lovely match.  I imagine it would also go well with cold roasted meats on a sandwich; as a dip for raw vegetables, chips or flatbread; as a pizza base; even on pasta with some fresh peas, snap peas, or potatoes and green beans.