Thursday, September 28, 2006

Planked Fish And Grilled Veggies

Planked grilling was this summers big hit. You couldn't read a food magazine without there being some reference to this technique for cooking outside. Well, the summer is over but that doesn't stop us Los Angelenos from doing a lot of backyard cooking. For this meal, I decided to cook some fish on alder planks. Cedar is also nice, but I just happened to have alder on hand.

To prep the planks, I soaked them for about an hour in water. This soaking is to assure that the planks slowly smoke and resist flaming. The smoke thus imparting a mild smoky flavor to the meat. G took some fish from the freezer which included some tuna and dorado caught by his own hands (rod and reel) from one of his past fishing trips. He has to make room for more fish that he's going to catch on an upcoming 10 day trip on the waters of the Pacific.

I seasoned the fish pieces with coarsely ground black pepper and salt. I placed the planks on the gas grill set on medium and placed the fish on top. I closed the grill cover and on we went with cooking.

The planks did smoke quite a bit and I had quite a few flames to ward off requiring me to open the grill cover quite a few times. I neglected to time it, but what seemded like 15-20 minutes later the fish was done. I also grilled some crooked neck yellow squash from my garden. Dinner was served.

For those of you who know me, you then know that I'm not fond of fish. However, I did eat this. Very tasty.

Cooking nearly complete. Some pieces removed from the fire already.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging

What is Ziggy diligently waiting for?

Any little treat to miracuously drop from from the table.

G and I were preparing to feast on a little something I put on the grill for Saturday's dinner. (Note the smoke filled sky and rainbow effect in the background. That's from the gas grill with a little wood for smoke flavor. Rainbow is probably a result of the neighbor's pool.)

Grilled Lamb Roast and tangerines.

Potato medley with red bell pepper, yellow crook neck squash and anaheim chiles.

...and did Ziggy get some? Of course.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Does This Look Like a Starving Students Kitchen?

I had the honor of accompanying my daughter back to school. With visions of my credit card and a rental car she actually asked me to go with her this year. Yes, the previous years I also went, but it was sort of assumed that this is what parents do for underclassmen children.

Well, after visits to Trader Joe's, Costco and varying other stores, a few dollars later she had the dream college student's pantry and refrigerator contents.

It was many years ago that I went to college and all I remember having was a nearly empty refrigerator with bareley enough pantry items to make a complete meal. Times have changed or am I just an over indulging mom?

If you're thinking this is all, then you're wrong. There's another couple of cabinets which I neglected to get pictures of that are stuffed with items not limited to cereal, rice, noodles and nuts.

Actually, I quite enjoyed helping T get her apartment together. This is such a fun time in life and the joy that goes with having your own place and stuff is priceless.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stuffed Zucchini- An Alternative for Leftovers

I was so impressed with a recipe Elise at Simply Recipes posted this past weekend for Stuffed Zucchini with Ham and Mushrooms. This recipe stimulated my curiosity of what a great way to re-present yesterday's leftovers. Instead of zucchini as a side dish, let's include it as the main attraction.

Now I know very large zucchini are not something we all have stocked in our refrigerators, but then this time of year they are very accessible. I just happened to have one of the very last zucchini that grew in my garden. Sunday's leftover posole just seemed to go right with this recipe. Of course I drained off much of the liquid and just used the meat and corn (posole) remaining. Following Elise's method of prepping the zucchini, I skipped the ham and mushroom stuffing prep and in place I stuffed the zucchini with the drained leftover posole mixture. I topped this with panko bread crumbs and cheddar cheese. I then baked the stuffed zucchini until the stuffing was heated through and the cheese was melted.

The presentation was pretty and the taste was even better than the posole alone.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Watchdog- Ziggy Keeping An Eye On Everthing

Weekend Dog Blogging has rolled around again. Ziggy just chilling playing watchdog.

Thanks to Cate at Sweetnicks. Drop by and see all the other best friends of food bloggers.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


So I'm crusing around the isles at Surfas, picking up stuff I don't need but must have when I come across a bag of dried posole. Memories surfaced of how I tried to cook posole a number of years ago but with not so good results. Why not give it another try?

Knowing I had the ingredients at home to put this together, I bought the bag. I don't even remember how much it was. Something like $3.70 for a pound I think. Heck, I don't even know how much a can of hominy would cost in the grocery store.

The label says this has already been skinned so I'm thankful I don't have to do that limestone thing with it. (Wouldn't have bought it if that was the case.)

I found a couple of recipes in the vast number of cookbooks I have. Using these recipes as a base, I went for what I thought was basic. I pulled some already cooked smoked pork butt and brisket from the freezer, along with a turkey carcus left from some holiday meal. I cut up a couple of medium sized onions and roughly chopped about 4-5 garlic cloves (did I ever mention that I love garlic?).

After washing/rinsing the dried posole, I added it to a pot of water with about a quarter of the onion and one close of garlic. I brought the water to a boil and then lowered the heat to a simmer. I found this would be a 2-3 hour process to get the dried posole (hominy)to plump up and soften (soaking overnight may have saved some time).

Meanwhile, I put together the soup base. I added the remainder of the onion, the garlic, three cut up and seeds removed cayenne peppers, three sliced medium anaheim chiles, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp cumin, 1 can stewed tomatoes and the pork butt (1/2 lb), brisket 1/2 lb) and a turkey carcus to a dutch oven. This was to simmer for about an hour.

Once the posole was softened, I drained the water and added it to the soup base. This was cooked another 30 minutes. The seasonings were corrected with a little more salt to taste.

Sylvie's Posole was served.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Italian Sausage Fattie, Chicken and Zuchinni

Had some cousins over this past Sunday and I decided to put together some little snacks. Of course when I say snacks it turns into a full meal. I decided that since I put on the smoker, I might as well put on a chicken too.

What is a fattie? It's sausage formed into a large bullet shape and then smoked. The meat is usually something like breakfast sausage but I decided to remove the casing from some itallian sausage and mold the meat into the sausage shape. Typically it is also stuffed with varying foods such as chopped veggies, cheese, or whatever other treat you want to bite into. These were stuffed with bell pepper and onion.

Chicken (picture taken before sauce carmelized)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging

Ziggy is back for another week of dog blogging. We missed a couple of weeks while I was off with my daughter in Philadelphia. (I am also preparing a post on filling a college kids pantry for move into an apartment or dorm room. Now every kid is different but my T has some really "out there" culinary choices.)

Back to Ziggy. I posted a little blip about something I was overjoyed about when I returned from Phillie. A special introduction for Ziggy. Well, as somethings go, this didn't turn out the way I planned. Without thinking about it, I placed a deposit on another little Yorkie puppy. His name is Mr. Miyagi and he is 7 1/2 months old. His owner needed to sell him because of some lease/rental problems with pets. It turns out, she didn't have all the stated papers she said she had for him so I had to cancel the purchase and she refused to lower the ourchase price. He was so sweet and cute, but things turn out the way they do for a reason.

Sweetnicks hosts Weekend dog blogging every week. Visit her site to see all the other cute pets.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Five Things to Eat Before You Die

I've been tagged by Curt at Bucky's Barbecue Blog for another meme that's going around with the folks at The Traveler's Lunchbox listing all the responses from bloggers all over the world. The title of this event is called the Foodbloggers Guide to the Globe .

The goal this to list five and only Five things to Eat Before You Die with the object in mind of what you think everyone should eat at some point in their life.

I made the mistake of reading through the responses of other food bloggers which made my first choices not seem so unique. Then I just decided to go with what I eat and love. There are so many regional favorites in the U.S. My choices include a "Soul Fusion" of foods with a southern U.S. flare mixed with traditional American style cookies plus a tribute to New Orleans with oysters on the half shell. Anyway, this is what I came up with. Each is a treat I love.

1. Fried Chicken with a cripsy crust. I like it home fried in a cast iron skillet with a dusting of flour and seasoning. Growing up, my mother cooked this once a week with french fries from potatoes she sliced by hand and also fried in crisco oil.
2. Southern Greens (mustards and collards). A southern treat cooked in a broth flavored with a smoked hamhock, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and a bit of hot pepper.
3. Raw Oysters on the halfshell with hotsauce and lemon plus a dab of horseradish. I remember this as a special treat I had at the oyster bar in New Orleans called the Acme Seafood Company.
4. White chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies. My own special recipe which make a flavorful soft cookie.
5. BLT Sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato). Simply cooked bacon with bread slices slathered with mayonnaise with tomato and lettuce slices.

These are my choices. I'd like to tag a couple of folks. Hope they will join the Foodbloggers Guide to The Globe.

Peanut Butter Etouffee
Oishi Eats

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'll Show You Mine

This months edition of "I'll Show you Mine" highlights the one item in your kitchen that you can't do without. From first look, I'll bet some would say the stove. No, though a close second. The cast iron skillets on the stove are my # 1 kitchen items. I use the larger one almost every day and it is always majestically perched on a burner, ready for its next job.

Though this entry is late, I'm still thankful to Cate of Sweetnicks for hosting .

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'm Bubbling With Joy

Why? Well, I'll let you know more by Wednesday. Let me just say that Ziggy is going to meet Mr. Miyagi. This could be interesting.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day Weekend In Philadelphia

Well it has bee a rather exciting week. That is if you call a week of rain, drizzle and cooler than normal temperatures in the midst of the last summer holiday weekend fun. I can see it now. Return to L.A. and back to work. Someone politely asks how was your vacation. My response if I'm truthful would be that I spent it spending money on my daughter for food, clothes, apartment necessities and sleeping on a hard futon bed which I had to share with her.

We walked in the rain (great exercise) to most local University of Pennsylvania eateries and campus destinations. My suitcase was full of summer clothes with the exception of an umbrella and basic blue jeans. I had to buy a sweater for the cool temps.

The highlight of the week for me was supposed to be the reservations I made for the "Striped Bass" on Friday and "Morimoto's" on Sunday with my vegetarian, non foodie daughter. Well, needless to say, we did keep the "Striped Bass" reservation. We selected the tasting menu at $85 per person. I had a 7 oz glass of a very fruity wine along with a bottle of Pelligrino for the table. Tax and tip, it was a $250 meal for two. Christopher Lee, the noted chef was no where to be found. Note to self- Never take daughter to another expensive restaurant unless she has proven that she can fake interest or truly enjoy it. I must admit, I was a little disappointed in the food so she was a little correct. Anyway, I cancelled the Morimoto reservation for today. Per T, she would prefer I spend the dollars on a nice outfit for her rather than "Omakase" at $120 per person regardless of whether it was at a real Iron Chef's restaurant or not and did I really think he would be there to cook for me.

So, we are now heading to the SEPTA to shop in Center City. I do have a rental car, but parking and navigating the Phillie roads is quite taxing on the nerves.