Monthly Archives: February 2009

Chorizo con Huevos (late dinner)

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Thick, home made  corn tortillas, chorizo fresca (fresh pork sausage), eggs, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and queso cotija (a salty, dry grating cheese somewhat like parmesan).

Make your own corn tortillas if you possibly  can- they are just so much better than store bought.

Use good, fresh chorizo- the ingredients should include nothing but pork, vinegar, salt and spices. If you can’t get authentic chorizo in your area, Chorizo de San Manuel in Edinburg, Texas can ship it to you.

Remove sausage from casing and cook in a heavy pan over medium heat, breaking it apart with the side of a wooden spoon.  When the sausage is nearly done (about 8 minutes), add a finely diced jalapeño and some chopped onion and tomato and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, press some tortillas (ground field corn, water and lime), toast on a comal and keep warm.

Add eggs lightly beaten with a tablespoon of goat milk and some fresh cilantro to the sausage and scramble until eggs are set.

Serve eggs over tortillas and top with queso cotija.  Pass hot sauce.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ +

Seared Sea Scallops with Roast Red Pepper Purée, Toasted Corn Salsa

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If buying fresh or “previously frozen” sea scallops from the grocery store, be sure to ask for “dry scallops”.  “Wet scallops” are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate to make them appear whiter and plumper; they won’t brown properly, and are likely to have a rubbery texture and off taste.  The same applies for frozen scallops- avoid anything containing salt or STP (sodium tripolyphosphate).

Roast red bell peppers in the oven or over an open burner until blackened.  Close in a paper bag for several minutes to loosen the skin.  When cool enough to handle, split the peppers and remove the skin, stem, seeds and ribs.  Purée the remaining mass with one or two pequin peppers (careful, these are very hot- you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the scallops) and a little olive oil.  Season with S&P and set aside.

Make a salsa of dry-toasted fresh corn, tomatoes, scallions, 1/2 finely minced jalapeno, lime juice and S&P.

Pat the scallops dry and sear in a little butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until browned but still opalescent in the middle, about 1 1/2 minutes per side, depending on the size.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ +

Bill Niman Will No Longer Eat Niman Ranch Meat

Niman Ranch founder challenges new owners

Sunday, February 22, 2009

(02-21) 20:05 PST Bolinas - — Bill Niman built a $65 million empire on a simple idea that revolutionized the food world – that meat could be more than just what’s for dinner. It could be raised naturally, humanely and sustainably, better for people and the planet. Niman knew success would take time, but believed his methods would prove profitable.

But in nearly 30 years of existence, despite becoming the darling of high-end chefs and turning the brand into a household name, Niman Ranch never did turn a profit. In fact, it was broke. To save it from Bankruptcy Court, the East Bay company merged last month with its chief investor, Chicago’s Natural Food Holdings LLC, and Niman was officially out.

The 64-year-old Bolinas man said he can live with losing the business he built from scratch. But he can’t stand quietly by, he says, while the new owners fundamentally change the brand that influenced an entire food movement. He refuses to eat their products.

Read more

Breaking News. The Good Kind.

Kathleen Merrigan, organic foods expert, tapped for No. 2 agriculture slot

President Obama has tapped Kathleen Merrigan, an academic and former congressional aide who helped write federal organic food-labeling rules, to be deputy agriculture secretary. The White House announced the pick yesterday, drawing cheers from food-safety advocates, who have pushed for more stringent labeling regs.

“Merrigan will bring an excellent perspective to a number of troublesome labeling issues now before the agency,” Jean Halloran, Consumers Union’s director of food policy initiatives, said in a statement. Among the matters that need to be addressed, she said: loopholes in the current “grass fed” standard, lack of uniformity in meat marketing claims, defining “raised without antibiotics” label claims, and weaknesses in the current definition of “naturally raised.”

Read more at Food First

Guava & Chipotle Roast Turkey with Tomatillo Salsa

Spicy, smoky, sweet, hot, tart, earthy.  There’s a lot of flavor going on here.  Let’s break it down..

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Sear turkey breast or turkey breast tenderloins over medium-high heat just enough to get those nice grill marks (you can do this indoors or out).  Set aside.

Make glaze by very slowly melting guava paste in stock over low heat so that it doesn’t burn. It should be about the thickness of honey when done.  You can add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar if it is too sweet for you.

Meanwhile, steep chipotle peppers in almost boiling water until soft and pliable, about 10-15 minutes.  Discard water, stem, split and seed.  Purée briefly with a little stock to form a paste about the consistency of ketchup.  Add a little bit at a time to the guava, tasting it for heat as you go.

Prepare Mexican rice, roast corn & black beans and tomatillo salsa (fresh tomatillos, onions, jalapeno, salt, lime juice, olive oil and cilantro).

Liberally baste the turkey with the glaze then roast in a preheated oven at 375 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.  Reserve a little of the glaze. Transfer to a cutting board to rest, where it will continue to cook for a few minutes.

To serve, spoon corn & beans next to rice and place sliced turkey on top.  Dress with reserved glazed and tomatillo salsa, and pass the Cholula hot sauce.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ +