Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homemade Sriracha

It's hot pepper time!  While I was at the Dane County Farmer's Market today on a rare Wednesday off work I saw a bucket of hot red chilis and decided to make some homemade Sriracha, which we love at our house!

I have a new computer and still can't find all my files so I went searching for a recipe on the Internet.  I'm using this one, which I like because it has an option for a fermented version.

While this isn't real labor intensive, it is time consuming to snip all the ends off the stems and chop the chilis before pureeing in the food processor, and watch out when you lift the lid off the processor...WHOOOEEE!  That's some serious hot pepper aroma!

Now the peppers are fermenting and in a week I'll finish the process by cooking them in the vinegar and then we can try it out!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beast's Kitchen: Carrot Green Chimichurri

Beast's Kitchen: Carrot Green Chimichurri

Carrot Green Chimichurri

Carrot Tops and Radish Greens

Today at the Dane County Farmer's Market while picking out my CSA veggies from JenEhr Farm, I selected some beautiful radishes and crazy twisted carrots.  Both came with beautiful greens that begged to be made into something.  Radish greens--easy add to salads.  Carrot tops not as easy.  I have to get creative with them because I don't care for the taste of them raw so I don't normally add them to salads.  They make great broth but it's way too hot for broth today.  I'm thinking pesto could be good, but don't know what I might use pesto on in the next couple days so I decide to go with Chimichurri.  I also made some carrot top tea by steeping some of the greens in hot water and then I put the tea in the fridge for some healthy iced tea later.  I did add some citron green tea from Rishi Tea to perk up the flavor a bit.  Here's the recipe for the Chimichurri:

Carrot Green Chimichurri

½ cup firmly packed carrot greens, trimmed of thick stems (reserve stems for use in broth)
½ cup firmly packed flat leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems (reserve stems for use in broth)
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried oregano)
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (can substitute red)
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes

Finely chop garlic by hand or in a food processor.  Add greens and oregano and chop finely in processor, or chop finely by hand and add to garlic in a bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve immediately as a sauce with grilled meats or veggies or with bread.  Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.  If chilled, bring to room temperature before serving. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sassy Cow Dinner at Nau-Ti-Gal

The Sassy Cow dinner at Nau-Ti-Gal last night was, well, delicious!  Chef Kris prepared a delightful combination of courses using ingredients from Sassy Cow Creamery.  The farmers were there to talk about the farm and the food as well. 
The first course was deep fried Sassy Cow cheese curds with two sauces and greens with a vinaigrette.
The second course was a tomato bisque with Sassy Cow heavy cream.  It was so delicious I forgot to take a photo of that course!
The third course was Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits-delish!
The main course was Mushroom Duxelles stuffed Tenderloin of Beef with whiskey peppercorn sauce
And the dessert course was also so delicious I didn't get a chance to take a picture!  Chocolate Ganache Torte with Sassy Cow's Salted Caramel Ice Cream. 

Everyone received a parting gift from Sassy cow which included chocolate milk and string cheese!
Kudos to Chef Kris and the Nau-Ti-Gal staff for a delicious meal, and many thanks to Sassy Cow Creamery for bringing these delicious products to our market!

Beast's Kitchen: Chicken Feet

Beast's Kitchen: Chicken Feet

Chicken Feet

Chicken Feet...not something you see every day in the grocery, at least here in the Midwest...I recently purchsed some from Farmer Paul at JenEhr's stand at the Dane County Farmer's Market.  Tim had said he would be interested in trying them.  I took one look at the creepy things and thought YIKES!  He's really going to eat that!  OK, now how to prepare them?  So I went to the trusty Internet and started searching for recipes.  Tim thought just deep fried would be good, but I wanted to see how they are traditionally prepared before making that decision.  The recipes I was finding were mostly with long slow cooking methods so I thought perhaps deep frying them would make them dry.  So I tried a traditional recipe I found at this site: 
The process involves deep frying, simmering, marinating and then steaming the feet, and is a 2-day process.  The end result is somthing that smells quite delicious and looks, well, disgusting.  Tim was a trooper though and ate the ET like feet and even said he'd eat them again, but did admit he'd rather have them deep fried after all.  For me it was an interesting cooking challenge, and I have absolutely no desire to eat them!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Curried Goat Stew

Yesterday at the Dane County Farmer's Market one of the vendors was selling goat steaks and stew meat, so I decided to try the stew meat.  I have a bunch of veggies on hand and some homemade broth and it sounded like it would make a nice curry.  It's in the slow cooker now getting ready for tonight.

The winter market seems to make its living off the popular market breakfasts once the market moves to the Madison Senior Center, but I go for the shopping.  Right about this time every winter I crave fresh local veggies and they can be found at the market.  Yesterday I picked up some Empire apples and shallots from Green's Pleasant Springs Orchard, some fresh spring greens from Don's Produce, spinach from Snug Haven, shiitake mushrooms from a farmer I'm not familiar with, aged white cheddar from Hook's, chicken feet and veggies from  JenEhr and the goat meat.  Tim likes to eat wierd things...he recently tried a dish with duck tongue at an asian restaurant-YUK!  I had mentioned to him that JenEhr had chicken feet and he said he'd like that, so I got some to deep fry for him.  He rarely gets deep fried anything so I thought that would be a fun treat for him.  Since I don't really eat meat I'll try a bite or two of the goat and then pick around it for the veggies in the stew.  The goat meat seems very lean, and similar to lamb at first glance...we'll see how the curry turns out later today.  I like my curry thick and spicy so I'll puree some of the vegetables later to give it the texture and taste it for more spices before seasoning-YUM!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Door County Cherry Granola Bars

Happy New Year!  Welcome 2012...the year the world is supposed to end, or some such nonsense!

Beast and I have not stopped cooking and baking-we've just been so busy we haven't had time to write in the blog.  I'm working full-time now at Sub-Zero and Wolf and it has been an adjustment for us in time management. 

One day at work I came across a recipe in Fitness Magazine for some granola bars that sounded really good.  I hate the store-bought processed ones with all the preservatives and stabilizers so I'm always looking for a recipe for granola bars that will stave off my mid-day hunger and will hold together while eating...challenging. 

Yesterday I made these with a slight modification to the recipe and they are a great consistency and quite tasty.  I can't wait to try them with peanut butter instead of fruit and nuts. 

I used dried Door County cherries and pecans and adjusted the amounts to about 6 oz cherries and 1/2 cup pecans and increased the chocolate chips to about 1/2 cup. 

They make a great healthy snack or breakfast!