Thursday, August 13, 2009


...get it? Har har.

Ok, so I'm going to try to go in somewhat chronological order on the happenings of the last month. We've still been getting almost all our food from the Ballard Farmer's Market, and making some tasty things. Here's a few:

Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Lettuce Sauce

Based on a great recipe in Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations. We picked up some squash blossoms, stuffed them with some shallots, goat cheese, chile powder, garlic. Battered and fried. This week we started getting our lettuce from a particular farm that has been wowing us with weird awesome varieties. As I remember the lettuce sauce involved cooking a shallot and garlic in some milk and then blitzing it with a head of lettuce and bringing it to a bare simmer for a bit. It was really good, the lettuce is a totally unexpected taste in the green sauce.

Braised Short Ribs with Faerie Mushrooms

So my mother is turning out to be quite the source for mushrooms, in that she keeps finding random ones and giving them to me, and fortunately these turn out to be edible. In this case, she gave me another large Agaricus Augustus that she found in the yard this time (unfortunately worms got to it pretty bad, no meal there) and also some Faerie Ring mushrooms from a colony in their back lawn.

These went into a wine braise with some morels and free-range grass-fed short ribs for a few hours. Served over cheesy polenta, with a crunchy herbed breadcrumb topping. It was delicious.

Ridiculously so.


In June I planted four pickling cucumber plants and they have been going crazy for the last two weeks or so. I've already made a quart of refrigerator dills, a quart of sweet bread and butters, and I've started hot canning a quart here and there for later. Here's one of the hot canned dills. I'll have another six or so cukes ready in about 4 more days. Starting to have to get creative. I see a lot of sunomono in our future. Or maybe pickle some gherkins, just so I don't get so many more fully sized ones!

Lobster Mushrooms

Last week Foraged and Found had Lobster Mushrooms in! So I picked up a pound instead of buying meat for the week. Lobster Mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum) are not actually mushrooms per se, but rather a parasitic mold that colonizes other mushrooms, turning them into the bright orange deliciousness in the picture on the right. They actually smell like lobster! Overall, they taste pretty good, but nothing to go crazy over. I'll see if I can hunt some this summer, but otherwise I don't know if it was worth the $18/lb. They're also a bitch to clean.

I'd planned on making a "prove I don't totally suck at this" batch of hot dogs to make up for the Hot Dogs of Failure, but somehow in the move my small grinding plate and the little rotatey blade of my meat grinder went AWOL. So I made an impromptu version of a Beef Bourguignon with the beef stew meat I'd bought for the dogs. Basically this recipe from Epicurious, halved, served with wild rice and subbing in lobster mushrooms for the plain white ones and Walla Walla onions instead of little boiling onions. Oh, and homemade pancetta instead of bacon. Came out pretty good, but the lobsteriness of the mushrooms was annihilated by the half bottle of wine.

The other half of the mushrooms went into a badass Morel and Lobster Mushroom Risotto, that we've been enjoying for several meals. And for some reason I don't have a photo of it.

Pork Shoulders: North Carolina and Coffee Rub!

For my "Oh thank god the Bar Exam is over!" party I threw two pork butts on the smoker about 10 PM the night before. They then held a good 225-250 for nearly 14 hours before I pronounced them delicious. One was given a pretty typical North Carolina Red rub, and I made up some NC Red Vinegar sauce to go with it. The other had a rub that included ground coffee, and was served with a sauce that combined everything you love about BBQ sauce and everything you love about a latte. Wicked. Pulled them, served on buns with slaw. No more photos, but ate them for a week and there's still some in the freezer.


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