Having a great Sunday. Cleared out the vegetable bin and made two kinds of kraut.
The one on the right contains cabbage, carrots, garlic, lemon, salt, dill and pink peppercorns. Itʻs a tiny batch…itʻs better that way. I use the entire lemon in thin slices. The salt will preserve and soften the skin and make it delish. I used my momʻs old Japanese pickle pot for it. The other kraut contains red cabbage, beets, carrots, red onion, garlic, lemon, salt, pink peppercorns and horseradish. Just have to give it four or more days to ferment. I love burping them every day.
In the background, are prints that I just got back from the lab. Itʻs the first time Iʻve printed on metal and love the result. Tomorrow they will be submitted for a juried show at the Honolulu Museum of Art…keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will be accepted.
Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut
It’s Easter and the Farmer’s Market in Kailua was open. Yay! Easter egg hunt going on and it was alive!
As usual, I went overboard with purchases. I’ve wanted to share
the things I’ve discovered that help to keep my purchases fresh. It makes me so sad when I have to waste any of the beautiful verge and I’ve wasted a lot of vegetables because I overbuy. Through trial and error, I’ve come up ways to keep the waste to a minimum and making vegetable last.
Let’s talk about kale. I found a humongous bunch for $3. It’s the curly kale that I love in raw salads. It’s also my favorite kind of kale to put in kalua and cabbage. I usually use turkey, regular cabbage and kale.
First thing you need is a big stainless steel town – big enough to hold a sizable amount of vegetables, but a size that will fit in the sink.
First you strip the leaves from the thick stems and fill the stainless bowl with them. Then rinse several times. If there are any bruised, soggy or brown leaves, remove them now.
They will make the kale go off. I feed the stems to our composting worms. I’ve tried to pickle them, but didn’t like the pickle. If anyone has a way to use them, please share!
Strain the water off well. Drops should still remain on the leaves. A must have for storage of huge amounts of greens are two gallon storage bags and dish towels. I love flour sacks best.
Pile the leaves up in the towel and wrap the whole thing like a burrito. Keep one leaf out to use to identify the bundle. Put the whole thing in the storage bag with the extra leaf in the bag. That leaf will tell you that it’s kale in that bag. If you have other greens in the fridge, you won’t have to open and unwrap each bag to know what they contain.
Now this bundle is ready for you anytime you need kale. It lasts over a week in our fridge.
Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Birthday, Buddha!
One of the best things about making corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick’s Day is having the leftovers to make red flannel hash.
Sauté chopped onions, celery and fennel. Then add blanched, cubed potatoes, cooked cubed beets and cut up corned beef. Add herbs to taste.
It’s fantastic served topped with an over easy egg!
Ryan Peters taught a fabulous workshop in Volcano on fermentation. It was a fabulous learning experience and FUN! He took your fear of fermentation away by demonstrating the art with ease. It was interesting to see the variety of kraut chi (sauerkraut/kim chi hybrid) that everyone created from the same selection of vegetables. We selected from head cabbage, carrots, won bok, round onions, green onions, jalapenos, beets, turmeric, ginger, green onions, radishes, turnips…yes, you can use them all…and more!
We all used salt for the initial breakdown of the vegetables. Mashing them with our hands or other available tools (such as a handy carrot).
We packed our mixtures into canning jars. Ryan said that the type with a narrow mouth is better as it will help keep the veggies below the water line.
He talked about all the good things the fermented veggies do for your gut…and they are super delicious. The first photo in this post shows the variety of colors, textures and tastes that our small group created.
For more information from Ryan, check out his blog: Ferment to Be:
He’s got some classes coming up:
I wanted to learn more so I purchased the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, one of the books that Ryan shared.
My fabulous aunties came over for lunch today.
They love healthy, but tasty food and wine and I absolutely love preparing food for them. Today I made a composed salad. On a bed of lightly dressed Nalo greens and watercress, I put a ton of stuff arranged like pieces of pie on top – roasted Brussel sprouts, Heirloom tomatoes tossed in olive oil with basil chiffonade, and a shaved fennel salad tossed in lime juice and olive oil. I had a red skinned potato so that was boiled, sliced and dressed with a little olive oil. It was fun to alternate the colors to make it all look pretty.
I think I found the secret to perfectly cooked eggs. Bring eggs to room temperature and put them in a pot with enough water to cover them. When they come to a boil start a timer for five minutes. After five mnutes, take them off the heat immediately and run cold water over them. Let them sit in the cold water for four minutes. I get pretty consistent results using this method. The eggs were quartered and added to the salad. Of course there are always variables like the age of the egg and it’s size – it’s cooking!
I got some perfectly ripe avocados and added cubes of these babies. At Sunday’s farmer’s market in Kailua, a girl was selling pickled beets from Maui Preserved and they are awesome so I added them as well. A while ago I found a huge yellow platter at a garage sale. It’s the ideal thing for serving grilled vegetables or a salad like this…makes everything look so happy! The salad with a sparkling rose from Spain was a perfect light, but celebratory lunch.
Kris loves cheesecake so my aunts stopped at Otto Cheesecake’s new location in Kaimuki for slices for dessert. Perfect!
Kris has an amazing green thumb. I really think it comes from the consistent care and attention he gives to the plants. I guess we all need that, huh? Even though we travel a ton, he makes a huge effort to see that the yard and garden are watered and fed.
We came home to the bounty in our garden. I harvested broccoli, a red bell pepper and limes. I love picking the broccoli when the stems are thin and tender. You can eat the leaves, too. It spoils me and I have a hard time with the thick woody stems you find in the market. The lime tree was dropping limes because it was so full and I love lime or lemon in water…so refreshing!
I love broccoli with garlic, chili and anchovies with pasta and the thin stalks from our garden would be perfect for the dish. I saute the garlic, chili and anchovies in olive oil until the anchovies break up. Then the cut up pieces of broccoli are added until they turn a bright green and are cooked to your liking.
I’ve been on a gluten free diet and we tried a corn pasta. The one we tried last night was Mrs. Leeper’s spaghetti made with corn. I love, love, love pasta and eating gluten free pasta is a stretch for me. I haven’t really been willing to experiment with pasta without gluten as I think it’s perfect WITH gluten. If it wasn’t for the fact that the back and hip pain that was waking me in the middle of the night is gone, I would not be continuing this diet.
Mrs. Leeper’s was very chewy. The package said 8-9 minutes and I started checking it at 7. At 7 minutes, I couldn’t bite into the pasta. It was beyond chewey. At 9 minutes the pasta was cooked and al dente. The texture was a lot chewier than pasta made with wheat, but it was passable. We’ll keep experimenting.
I’ve been making Marc Matsumoto’s tofu and avocado salad. It’s simple and delicious.
But my favorite way to make tofu is pan fried until it’s got a crispy golden crust – like Michael Natkin does. It truly does make tofu “freaking delicious.”
Last night I decided to combine the two using cubed pieces of fried tofu in the avocado salad. Then I added tomatoes…really sweet ripe ones. It was amazing!