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Showing posts from October, 2016

A different sort of pepper sauce

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Often, I want the flavor of a pepper sauce without the vinegar/fermented taste of Tabasco, Texas Pete, Louisiana, Franks, etc or the heat of a Mexican sauce like El Yucateca (which is my favorite hot pepper sauce), and not a sauce made from dried or roasted peppers. I love those in the right combination, but some times, I want a less hot or acidic taste. I want the fresh, green flavor, enhanced by making a sauce. I have come up with a wine and fresh pepper sauce: Take the peppers of your choice... cubanelles. anaheim, poblano, wax, banana, peperoncini, cherry, bell, baby bell.... anything from sweet to a bit hot. Remove the seeds and stems. Toss them in a blender or food processor or along with a few cloves of garlic, onions, scallions or shallots, a good handful of parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Add to this about a half cup of white wine. If you use chardonnay, or another low acid white, add a splash of lemon or lime juice. If you use a wine with sparkling acidity like a good sauvi…

Mussels

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I just returned from a remarkably unsuccessful surf fishing trip.  It was just before a hurricane and the fish were just not biting.  The only "keepers" I caught, I did so with my cast net while catching minnows for bait.  I continued to fish every high tide, because the simple act of surf fishing is enjoyable - the sand, the water, the sea birds, the indescribable beauty of the shore... but, at low tide I visited a little tidal creek.  I caught blue crabs down there but mainly, I gathered shellfish.  I ate my fill of raw oysters daily, just shucking them and slurping them down while standing in the mud.  I gathered beautiful, sweet, meaty clams and buckets full of mussels.

The clams went into a simple chowder - onions and celery sweated down in butter until translucent, bacon, whole milk and half and half, potatoes, salt and pepper.

The Mussels were the star of the table.  I found them along the edges, in huge colonies clinging to the aquatic grasses and reeds.  I could have …

Broth and Stock

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There are some things so ubiquitous in my daily cooking that I rarely give them the attention I should.Perhaps chief among these are broths and stocks.A good cook wastes nothing.In my family tradition of cooking, all scraps of meat, vegetables, fish, bones, etc were utilized.A good deal of kitchen scraps were used to feed pets and livestock.... it is strange for me to think that most dogs now days eat only store bought dog food -our dogs on the farm, lived long and healthy lives eating "dog bread" (leftover cornbread or stale biscuits) soaked in gravy, meat scraps from the kitchen and plenty of cut offs from butchering livestock and game.The choice bits though (and plenty of not so choice bits) fed the family and enriched countless dishes by being utilized for broths and stocks.
Generally speaking the difference between broth and stock is that broth is made with meat and stock is made with bones. However, this is not a hard and fast rule.It is more useful to consider meat the…