Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sourdough Strawberry Pancakes



On the griddle.
I'll take the one in the middle.
Served with fresh whipped cream.
Saturday morning pancakes and coffee. Bliss.

Scallops in Lime Salad

Zest a couple limes for the emulsified lime dressing
Juice a lime, also for the dressing.
Bring water, white wine, parsley, minced garlic and onion to a boil
Turn off the heat and steep scallops. This takes around three minutes. Don't overcook!
Chill the scallops in the fridge, toss with lime dressing, and serve
on a bed of greens with sliced assorted vegetables and extra dressing.
Be. Fresh. Enjoy!

Tomato Chutney

Wow. Tastebuds watch out. Watch out I say!  To have a chutney this good, and have it be homemade!  Incredible. The ginger and garlic are so flavorful in this recipe, it's almost overwhelming. Almost. A dab of this chutney will go a long way.   It must be made ahead of time, as it simmers on the stove for 3 hours.  How exciting that a gem like this is buried in the Fiddlehead cookbook.

Try a new way of peeling garlic. This recipe requires a head and a half of garlic, so you'll need to be efficient about it. Or your legs will get tired and you will quit and go back out onto the porch for another glass of chilled Moscato. Ahem...So, here's the method: Knock the heads hard against the counter first to loosen the cloves apart. Then pile them into a metal bowl and cover with another metal bowl, making a dome.  Shake shake shake the heck out of those metal bowls, and the skin sloughs right off. Spend 60 seconds doing a quick culinary study by watching this video that explains visually what I just told you: How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less than 10 Seconds. Magic! Okay, it's not perfect, but it helps.  You still will have to also use the old-fashioned broad-side-of-the-knife smashing trick. And dig your fingernails right in.

I recommend a seated position for peeling the ginger. 4oz is a big hunk of root.  Moscato helps. So does sunshine. Both of these ingredients that start with the letter G (garlic and ginger) must be pureed in a food processor with some apple cider vinegar and oil.  That's all the difficult part. Add honey and spices and simmer it for 3 hours, stirring frequently.  Hopefully you have a silent movie to watch (we watched The Artist), or something equally interruptible to do while you pass that time.

Cranberry (and blueberry) Muffins

Cranberry muffins. I'm not really a muffin person, so I wasn't screamingly excited about these. But know that you have the recipe.  It's there.  It's in your cookbook! And if you're a muffin lover, you can always bake these right up! Bake 'em right up and eat 'em. Warm with butter!

Fiddlehead House Dressing

I don't know how to describe this dressing. It's lighter than thousand island, but the fresh tomatoes give it that same light pink hue.  It's milder than thousand island, too, which is nice.  Kind of like thousand island, but different. That's the conclusion I will draw.  It's unique, and that's how the Fiddlehead was too. I ate it over a simple whatever's-in-the-fridge salad with my mom, and she could recall them serving this in the restaurant.  I could picture us sitting there, in that cozy space on Willoughby Avenue, crunching into a fresh salad drizzled with the refreshing flavors of parsley.

Grilled Salmon Sandwich

Nothing says America like some barbequed meat! And nothing says Alaska like fresh king salmon. This year, to celebrate America's birthday in Juneau, I grilled up the Fiddlehead's recipe for a grilled salmon sandwich, including their zesty tartar sauce.

 In Alaska, once you turn 65, someone can fish your daily limit for you, known as proxy fishing (also applies for blind or disabled people).  That's where I got this filet: someone had fished as my boss' proxy, and he generously shared the love!  

I marinaded the salmon using the Fiddlehead's King John Marinade. Vermouth, olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning--it's a good one.

Healthy Home Fries

I credit my tendency toward the kitchen primarily to my mom. She was often at it there, creating some kind of delicious something or other, and giving me--who sat at the counter--the job of stirring.  The stereo was usually on, and some kind of dancing ensued. Dancing, as you know, helps the culinary process.  There was so much life around our dinner table as our family sat to our daily bread, thanks to the constancy of my mom's cooking.  My dad cooked sometimes. And what he was particularly good at was grilling (as many dads and males in general seem to be). He also made a mean fried potato for breakfast.  They were always perfectly golden brown, and crispy!  Herbed, hearty, and healthy. 

I can't claim to be the potato fryer my dad is, but I did make the Fiddlehead's Healthy Home Fries.  It's a simple recipe: boil potatoes, cut them into cubes, fry them, and add seasoning.  The key thing to making this recipe a success is to not overcook the potatoes when you boil them initially. I tried this recipe a year or so ago and boiled them 'til they were too soft, so that when I tried to cube them they turned into mashed potatoes.  This time I only boiled the potatoes until they were al dente, then they held their shape when being fried up.  The seasoning is different--garlic powder, brewers yeast, and salt.  I would add salt on the scant side of what they're calling for--I thought they were too salty.
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