Showing posts with label Bitten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bitten. Show all posts

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Green Garlic and Clams

Originally posted on bitten, Mark Bittman's New York Times web site, the dish is one of my favorites because it's on the table in 10 minutes.
(David Latt makes a simple dish that can be amplified with any number of ingredients. –MB)
At the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market — two blocks from the Pacific Ocean — we’re finding one of the treasures of spring: green garlic, thick as a leek and two feet long.
With fresh green garlic, everything is edible except for the outermost skin. The farmer I buy them from swears that even the roots are edible. With some trepidation I nibble on a root strand and am pleasantly surprised that it has heat and an intense garlic flavor.
Next to the stand with the green garlic is Carlsbad Aqua Farm where we buy our fresh mussels, oysters, clams, and scallops. The idea was obvious to me: green garlic and clams.
I have made it several times over the last couple of weeks, and the combination is always ready in ten minutes and infinitely flexible. Served with broth and sautéed garlic-parsley toast it’s the perfect appetizer. Add pasta or cooked rice and the dish becomes a complete meal. Stir in roasted tomatoes and you’ve got the beginnings of an excellent cioppino.
Green Garlic and Butter Clams
Yield 4 servings
Time 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 green garlic, washed, outer skin around the bulb removed, thinly sliced, bulb and greens
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sweet butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 pounds butter clams, washed
Method
  • Sauté the garlic and parsley in the butter until lightly browned. Season with black pepper, add water and clams. Cover and cook 5 minutes over high heat. Transfer the clams that have opened to a serving bowl. Continue cooking any clams that haven’t opened for another 2-3 minutes. Discard any clams that haven’t opened.
  • When you pour the broth over the clams, do so slowly so any sediment is left behind to be discarded. Serve with fresh bread.
Variations
  • --Substitute white wine for the water
  • --Along with the green garlic, sauté 2 thinly sliced shallots.
  • --Tear apart 2 roasted tomatoes, remove the skins, add the pulp to the broth.
  • --Add 2 cups cooked pasta to the broth.
  • --Add 2 cups cooked rice to the broth.

Friday, July 4, 2008

On the Web: the 4th of July, Picnics, Barbecue, and Cole Slaw

On the web there are sites worth checking out for this 4th of July. In the current gathering of essays on oneforthetable, Amy Ephron brings together memories of celebrations past in well-written essays. Mark Bittman has a series of articles about 101 picnic basket recipes and holiday ribs. Eatdrinkordie has recipes and videos to help celebrate the day.

In the Palisades the 5k/10k races finished by 10am. As is the tradition, the night before folding chairs are put out to guarantee a curb-side seat for the parade.

We're home making food for our picnic. Our friends have called to confirm what they are contributing to the pot-luck picnic.

We saw a beautiful cabbage at the farmers' market, so we decided to add cole slaw to the salads we're bringing tonight.

Cole Slaw with Capers

Yield 10-12 servings
Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 cabbage
1 bunch Italian parsley (washed,leaves and some stems, finely chopped)
1 scallion (washed, trimmed, white and green parts finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup capers
Sea salt and pepper
Tabasco (optional)

Method

Cut out the bottom core and discard. Slice into slabs then chop to create 1/2" square pieces.

Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve chilled.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

OCC - Obsessive Compulsive Cooker

I don't think there's a 12 Step Program for people who are obsessive about cooking. I saw an analyst once who told me I shouldn't cook so much. Common sense suggested to him that someone who spent 8-10 hours cooking when he didn't have to has a problem.

I don't mind admitting that I am compulsive about cooking. My defense is that working in the kitchen is relaxing. I put on the radio and listen to NPR or plug in an iPod and play music. I enjoy the concentration required by cutting, measuring, and seasoning. I'm intellectually stimulated by the different possibilities of flavor, texture, and presentation. I'm challenged by the effort it takes to get a complex meal with multiple courses finished in time for a dinner party. And I get enormous pleasure when my family and friends enjoy my cooking.

When our son Michael was 7 years old he made a placard that praised what he thought were my significant qualities. At the top of the list was "Daring Cooker". At that young age he could see how important cooking was to me.

Even when I'm not home--when I'm traveling--I'm thinking about food. I wrote an essay for Peter Greenberg, the travel guru, with food tips when you're on the road. This weekend on Bitten I posted about my last trip to Utah to visit Michelle. Staying at the resort includes well-prepared meals three-times a day...and yet I started calculating how I could 'repurpose' what they serve. So was born my recipe for "Salad Bar Soup".

Ultimately maybe all this compulsiveness is a guy thing. But instead of obsessing about sports, cars or pursuing an esoteric hobby, I think about food and cooking.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sunday Mornings at the Palisades Farmers' Market

Farmers' markets are enjoyed throughout the country. Southern Californians are uniquely blessed because almost every neighborhood has a market and we can buy locally grown, fresh vegetables and fruit all year long.

We regularly shop at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market and the Pacific Palisades Farmers' Market on Sunday.

In today's Bitten I posted a description of the Palisades market: A Farmers' Market on the Edge of the Pacific.

If you have time, please take a look and come by the market on Sunday.

Ready, Set, Infuse - It's Time to Make Homemade Umeshu, Japanese Plum Wine

If you love umeshu , Japanese plum wine, and you want to make your own, the race is on. Ume are only available for three-four weeks in the ...