Tamatem Ma’Amrine

Tamatem Ma’Amrine is a Moroccan dish of roasted tomatoes stuffed with albacore, capers, olives and preserved lemon..


Tamatem Ma’Amrine (click to enlarge)

Adapted from a recipe by Claudia Roden

Carve a lid out of the tomatoes and scoop out the insides as you would a jack-o’-lantern.  Don’t let the walls get too thin, or the tomatoes will split while roasting. Turn the tomatoes upside down and let the water drain.

Meanwhile, flake apart US Pacific troll or line-caught albacore and toss gently in extra virgin olive oil with bits of roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped capers and black olives, thinly slivered preserved lemon and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Season tuna mixture with cracked coriander, fennel and white sesame seeds and stuff into the tomatoes.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.  Roast in a 375 degree oven until slightly blackened, perhaps 30 minutes.

Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold; a crisp salad goes well in either case.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays

© Monterey Bay Aquarium

© Monterey Bay Aquarium

Seafood Watch: Tuna, Albacore

Butter-Poached Newfoundland Lobster

Fresh lobster tails from the icy waters of Newfoundland and Labrador are gently poached in cultured butter with organic Pinot grigio, heirloom tomatoes, slivered leeks, fresh or preserved lemon, garlic, fresh marjoram and bay..

Butter-Poached Newfoundland Lobster

lobster tails
lobster shells
8 oz cultured butter, cold, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz Pinot gris or other semi-dry white wine
1 bay leaf, fresh preferred
2 wedges preserved lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
2 inches fresh leeks, green and white parts, slivered
1 heirloom tomato, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon safflower stamens (for color, optional)
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, torn
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat wine and empty lobster shells in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering.  Reduce heat to medium low, add lemon, bay, garlic, tomato and leeks and cook until tomatoes and leeks begin to disintegrate, about 12 minutes.

Whisk in butter one piece at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next.  Do not allow to boil or the emulsion will break.

Add safflower, marjoram, parsley and lobster tails and gently poach until firm and opaque, about 10 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

To serve, arrange tails in a shallow bowl and spoon poaching liquid over the top.  Serve with crusty bread and a salad of field greens, perhaps.

Leftover poaching liquid makes a great base for bisque.  Keep it in the freezer up to three months.

Easy Raw Chevre

Hi, I’m Wardeh (‘Wardee’) from GNOWFGLINS. I was thrilled when Ren asked me to guest post on his blog. It took me awhile to decide what I would share, but I finally settled on my recipe for a no-mess, can’t-go-wrong, delicious, and beneficial cheese – raw chevre.

Chevre, a soft spreadable cheese from raw goat milk, is one of the easiest cheeses to make. My family started raising our own milk goats in the late spring of 2009. I’ve made many batches of chevre since then – at least one per week, though sometimes more. We consume it daily, either plain or in other dishes, but I’ve also managed to fill the freezer with finished batches at a fantastic rate.  Want some?

Not only delicious, raw cheeses are incredibly good for us. They are full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Often, people who are lactose-intolerant can eat raw cheese. This is because during the culturing stage, bacteria consume much of the lactose. The cheese also contains lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, which helps if there is any lactose left. It is marvelous that raw dairy foods bring with them the necessary enzymes to aid digestion.

I’ve made it my mission to find easy-to-make cheeses. Chevre fits the bill not only because it is simple and almost hands-off, but because it only requires a 1/2 gallon of raw goat milk to make it. By the way, you can make chevre with raw cow’s milk. The process will be the same, just you can’t call it chevre any more. This recipe makes 2 to 3 cups of chevre. I do it bag-style, rather than in little cup molds.


Stage 1: Culturing

Put the milk in a half gallon or gallon size jar. The milk’s temperature doesn’t matter. I usually start chevre with milk warm from milking, but I’ve also done it with milk cold from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the mesophilic culture on it and stir in with a wooden spoon (not metal).

Put the 1/4 cup of water in a little jar or cup. Add one drop of the double-strength liquid rennet. Stir well. Take one tablespoon of this solution and add it to the jar of milk. Stir well. If using regular strength liquid rennet, mix one drop of it with the water, but add 2 tablespoons of the solution to the milk and stir well.

This solution will keep in the refrigerator for one or two weeks. If it smells disagreeable, toss it. (It will smell like nothing when it is still good.)

Cover the jar of milk with a cloth napkin and secure with a rubber band. Let sit out at room temperature to culture for 24 hours.

Stage 2: Dripping

Place the colander inside a pot or bowl. Make sure it is big enough to catch up to a quart of the whey that will drip out. Layer the two pieces of cheesecloth in the colander.

The milk should now be thick and gelled, much like a firm yogurt. Transfer these curds into the cheesecloth. It is okay if they fall apart. Do it gently, but don’t be concerned about keeping them all in one piece.

Tie up the opposite corners of the cheesecloth, making a bag to enclose the curds. Lay the ends of the cheesecloth on top of the bundle of curds in the colander. Don’t let the ends of the cheesecloth hang out of the colander, or the whey will drip down into a puddle on your counter (true story).

Leave this setup out at room temperature for 24 hours, during which time the whey will drip out and the curds will thicken.

Stage 3: Collecting

Untie the cheesecloth and check the consistency of the cheese. You may let it hang longer if you wish the cheese to thicken more. At this point, it is usually spreadable and soft, thicker than mayonnaise but not dry.

Transfer the chevre to a clean bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Stir. Adjust amount of salt to taste. Refrigerate.

Save and refrigerate the whey that drips out; it may be used in lacto-ferments.

Mix It Up

Besides spread plain and salty on scones or toast, I like to use chevre in some other yummy ways.

It has become my family’s favorite creamy salad dressing. Combine 1 cup of chevre with 1 cup of raw milk and 4 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar. Blend well, adding salt, pepper, garlic, and other herbs (parsley, dill, and chives are good) to taste.

I mix the chevre with a seasoning salt such as Herbamare, or my homemade version of it, for a delicious vegetable dip.

And it makes a great sour cream substitute. Blend the chevre with enough raw milk to make it the consistency you desire. It will thicken up in the refrigerator.

And that’s it! Chevre is a great cheese that anyone can make and everyone likes. I’ve enjoyed having this opportunity to write at Edible Aria; Ren’s blog is one of my favorite blogs, not just because of the fantastic foods he makes, but because he’s a sincere and caring person.

You can find me at my blog, GNOWFGLINS, where I write about how my family embraces “God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season.” I’d love to see you there.

Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)

Mojo-marinated, slow-roasted pork shoulder with sour orange juice, cumin, oregano and fresh peppers, served with black beans and saffron rice..

Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)

Lechón Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)

For the Mojo (Cuban Marinade, Three Guys from Miami)

8-10 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup sour orange juice, or 1/2 cup orange juice plus 1/4 cup each fresh lemon and lime juice

Use a large mortar and pestle to mash all the ingredients (except orange juice) into a paste.  Transfer paste to a bowl and combine with the orange juice.  Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the Pork

Marinate the pork in the mojo for 4 hours (refrigerated).  Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry.  Heat some fat in a Dutch oven set over medium heat, then brown the pork well on all sides.  Transfer the pork to a plate and pour off all but a tablespoon or two of fat from the Dutch oven.

Toast a tablespoon of whole cumin seeds in the Dutch oven, then add a cup of chopped red onion, 3 minced garlic cloves and 1/3 cup of Cubanelle, bell and/or jalapeño  peppers and sauté until softened and fragrant.

Nestle the pork shoulder (fat side up) in the vegetables, then pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and the marinade.  Add some wedges of lemon and lime and a palm-full of chopped fresh oregano. Cover and cook in a 200 degree oven until fork tender, about 3-4 hours depending on the size of the roast.

Remove from the oven, uncover and let stand 20 minutes.

For the Rice

Cook long-grain aged basmati in chicken stock until tender, adding water-soaked saffron during the last few minutes of cooking.  Season to taste with salt & pepper and garnished with chopped parsley.

For the Beans

Soak black beans overnight in filtered water before preparing in the usual fashion.  Stir in some of the vegetables from the Dutch oven during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

To Serve

Spoon rice onto a serving plate then top with beans.  Use 2 forks to pull the pork into chunks and place alongside the rice and beans.  Spoon some of the vegetables and pan juices over the pork and serve immediately.

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This post is part of the Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays!

Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

Local, pastured chicken brined overnight with garlic, peppercorns and lemon peel, then slow-roasted with homemade coarse mustard, wild honey, fresh tarragon and Kentucky bourbon..

Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

For the Brine (adapted from a sub-recipe by Thomas Keller)

8 cups filtered water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 oz raw honey
6 bay leaves
10 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a pot and boil for 1 minute to dissolve the salt.  Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Add chicken pieces to the brine and press to submerge.  Refrigerate overnight.

For the Glaze

1/4 cup homemade coarse mustard
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons pastured butter, melted
1 1/2 oz good Kentucky bourbon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white onion, minced
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

To prepare

Drain chicken and pat dry.  Lightly coat on all sides with glaze , then place in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Turn up the heat to 375 and cook another 10-15 minutes until the skin has crisped and the juices run clear.