Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chowda!

First I want to thank my friends at the Grand Army Green Market without whom tonight's blog post would be impossible. I also want to thank Mr. Ripe who agreed to visit the market on his way home and procure the precious fishies who lost their lives for the sake of culinary experimentation. I am a big fan of chowders, corn and New England clam being my favorite varieties. And even though I think bacon adds that extra specialness, I've always been a bit bashful about admitting I love bacon (too cliche? too sacrilege?) and even moreso about frying it up myself. Tonight I took the plunge and dabbled in the arts of fish chowder, with porgy filets from the Grand Army market. And bacon.

Porgy Chowder

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 T butter
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 lb yukon gold potatoes, chopped
3 c water
3 c vegetable, fish, or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 lb porgy fillets, small bones removed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c to 1 1/2 c half and half, milk, or cream (all optional)

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, fry bacon until just brown. Remove to paper towels. Add butter to pot and saute onions and other vegetables 5-10 min. Add liquid and bay leaves. Bring to boil and cook 10 min, or until potatoes are soft. Add bacon back to pot along with fish fillets and cook 6-8 min, or until fish easily falls apart. Season with salt and pepper and add dairy, if using.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Ultimate Leftovers Meal


Is it possible that I created both the most colorful and ugliest looking meal ever made? Perhaps. I had a meal lined up for the blog that I was going to post last night. After having a very good, homestyle eggplant parmy kind of dish a few months ago with friends, I set out to recreate what I thought the recipe might be. Let's just say it didn't go so well. (And it was DEFINITELY very ugly. I won't post the photos!) For dinner tonight, though, I aimed to get rid of my produce on the verge of turning and also reuse my ugly eggplant dinner. Inspired by Deb, I made a version of baked orzo with - you guessed it! - ugly eggplant, dark green kale, peas, plum tomatoes, deformed red pepper, carrots, onions, and garlic. I sauteed the chopped onion, minced garlic, and carrots, added my half-used red pepper, into the olive oiled giant saute pan. Then the rest of the veggies went in, along with a big squirt (real scientific, I know) of tubed tomato paste, a large pinch of oregano, a cup of shredded mozz cheese, and salt and pepper. Off went the heat, in went the 8 oz orzo and 1.5 c water. Covered and in the oven. And out came this baby: