Shirred eggs, turkey burgers, buckwheat crepes with apples and sausage, pork chimichurri kabobs with grilled sweet potatoes ; this has been our menu the past few days. The shear variety has spoiled us. Gone are the days of meatloaf Monday, taco Tuesdays etc. All of this has been in between scout meetings, 4-H cake decorating meetings (I am the leader, and we had SEVEN new little “first year students”, talk about being nearly overwhelmed!) 4-Horse meetings, and a new workout schedule at the gym, and I can’t forget the home schooling and Valentine’s holiday!
Where do I start? Its been an amazing few days of culinary adventures and successes! Let’s start with the grilled turkey burgers.They were prepared “cooking-school-style”. I’m getting good with the grill, if I do say so myself. There was ginger and garlic and sauteed mushrooms and green onions in the burger patty, along with a soy sauce based glaze with a bit of brown sugar and more garlic. YUMMY!
Cooking school turkey burgers:
minced fresh ginger, 2 tsp
3 tsp chopped garlic
sesame oil, 1 tsp
white mushrooms, 4 oz
green onions, 3 chopped fine
salt, pepper TT
ground turkey, 20 oz
Glaze: soy sauce, 4tsp
sesame oil 2 tsp
gresh ginger minced 1/2 tsp
grill and glaze!
The shirred eggs were only successful to three of us. My two girls could be very happy never eating another baked egg again. I oiled 6 ramekins, lined them with slices of ham, broke 2 eggs in each one and baked for 10 min, then added a TBSP of whole lactose free milk (was supposed to be heavy cream) and a TBSP of shredded Swiss cheese, baked for another 3 minutes..and voila, “shirred eggs”. VERY simple. and I thought they were very tasty.
The pork kabobs were a new experience for me. I have never grilled kabobs, I built fruit kabobs to take on the boat as an easy means of portioning and dishing out melon, but have yet to grill any, until now. I marinated a pork loin that I had cubed up, in chimichurri sauce, then built the kabobs and grilled them…AMAZING! I think chimichurri may be my new favorite sauce! Holy cow was it GOOD!
Cooking school pork chimichurri kabobs
8 garlic cloves, peeled, 4 oz onion chopped, 1.5 oz fresh lemon juice, 2 TBSP dried crushed oregano, 1 bunch fresh parsley, 6 oz olive oil, 2 oz sherry wine vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 lb. boneless pork loin. Marinate pork in 3/4 of the sauce, for 4-6 hrs, thread on skewers, grill till done, serve with rice and black beans, and reserved chimichurri sauce, I am telling you, this was out of this world!
The buckwheat crepes were ok, nothing that amazing, not like the chimichuri sauce, but I did do pretty well in the execution of the crepes, and feel pretty confident that I may be able to serve them to a dinner crowd of about 30. I think they’d make a great appetizer, or I could go the predictable way and make them for dessert with berries and fresh cream etc…I got pretty good at “flipping crepes” right in the pan, sans spatula. Its one of those moments when the kids holler at each other; “you gotta come watch mama!”
With all this culinary experimenting and new skill development it should not surprise you that for Valentines I and my hubby wanted to go to a good restaurant and try out our ever growing sophisticated palates. (I would like to make this a monthly experience, personally) First we had lunch at McDuffs, a local brew pub. The best part was the great hummus appetizer. I believe I am addicted to hummus. Anyway, theirs was very tasty. Then we each had a sandwich. Hubby had a “black and blue chicken sandwich, I had a club sandwich. His blue cheese was VERY ripe, something he wasn’t too keen on. Mine was slathered on one side with avocado, which I am not that keen on (the other side was garlic mayo, but I couldn’t really taste it, which is a bummer.) So we traded sandwiches and were happy. Its a good place for lunch. Dinner was fun! We went to a place in another town called Cedars. Its a “floating restaurant” but I don’t think it was floating at all. It was dark, so I couldn’t tell. Yes we walked a gang plank sort of dock to get to it, but it was never rocking or giving any sensations of floating…I know, I know, its a restaurant, probably on pilings and such. Whatever. I recently read Julie and Julia, the book the movie was based on. There is quite a hilarious sequence where she is to saute bone marrow. The book is funny while explaining her trials and tribulations in trying to get the marrow out of the bone. Anyway, I read parts of this out loud to my hubby. He likes bone marrow. You know when you cook a round steak and there’s that round bone with the marrow in it?? He LOVES that and sucks it right out. I’ve always been slightly grossed out by it. One of the appetizers offered at the Cedars was char broiled bone marrow, served with pickled mushrooms and Greek olives along with points of garlic bread. He wants to try it, tells me I have to give it a chance. So we did. It arrived as a 6″ leg bone, sliced in half horizontally with the marrow sitting in the little “bone boats”, with pretty cross hatch marks from the grill. He tried and said, mmmm. I tried it and YUCK! It tasted like fat. Not even beef flavored fat, just a gelatinous mass of yuck. He tried a bit more, said it wasn’t as good as mine (from the round steaks) tried a bit more and that was that, he didn’t finish it. In fact in the car, he tells me its the worse bone marrow he’s ever had. hm. Its going to take a lot of courage for me to try it again. Other than that, our meal was pretty good. I had halibut cheeks, which I thought were actually a bit tough, and he had a smoked trout pasta. To be honest, none of tasted like what we’ve been tasting lately at home.
I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine day. Isn’t it funny that food equals love? When we want to show love, or that we are thinking of someone we prepare food, we take someone out for a “special” meal, we prepare food for those convalescing, to celebrate, to grieve, to give comfort. Food is love.