Menu of the Week July 6th: Garlic!

Where does the time go?  How did I have more time in winter than now to blog when the only thing that has changed is the amount of daylight (and a growing garden).  The garden is care free now, at least until  the weeds are about a foot tall, then I might pull them.  We did some heavy paper and mulching in the garden bed, so the weeds have been holding back pretty nicely.  Just have to water and wait, wait and wait for harvest.  It was a cool spring and has been a cool summer with the exception of one week.  I love it cooler, but the growing stuff in my yard doesn’t.

Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s gluten free menu swap and the ingredient is garlic.  She is already harvesting a multitude of produce from her garden, including garlic.  All we have are herbs, greens (which I haven’t harvested as the CSA is keeping me well stocked in greens) and broc rabe, which went to seed in a day, maybe two, so we didn’t get to eat it, but I am saving the seeds.  Every dish I have listed below has garlic in it, and some like the marsala dosa have garlic scapes too.  We did get some fresh baby garlic from our CSA last week which has been really nice to use.  Strawberries are finally in season here in mid Michigan and I eat them as is, rarely altering them from their normal state.  I love strawberries.  I have some from my cousin’s farm in the fridge right now.

Monday: Southern Indian night with marsala dosa’s (spicy potatoes in a rice/lentil sourdough crepe) and a Kori Ajadina that Eby is whipping up as I type.
dosa

Tuesday:  Grilled stuffed flank steak pinwheels from Cook’s Illustrated.  Sides will be derived from the CSA, maybe salad, maybe greens, depends on what I end up with as we can choose from a variety pack.

Wednesday: lunch – packing a sandwich with an Against the Grain Gourmet bagel (so delish!).
my GF bagelwich with MI strawberries

Dinner: Spanish style tortilla with our eggs, potatoes, chorizo, herbs and scallions, green salad on the side, all based on another Cook’s Illustrated recipe this week.

Thursday: Chinese Stir fried Chicken and shrimp (shrimp for me, chicken for Eby) with snow peas and grilled bok choy (snow peas and boy choy are on the CSA list this week)

Friday: Avgolemono Soup with dill (using our eggs), grilled Greek seasoned halibut or cod (whatever the store has that is wild and fresh), chopped Greek salad and rice pilaf with mint.

Sat or Sunday: Pork chops grilled with grilled chile rellenos and ancho sauce from this month’s Bon Appetit.  The pork and potatoes are local.  Chiles, we have 2 months to go before they are ripe.

i’m out

Menu of the Week Nov 17th: Rutabagas and several stories.

I am a bit behind on this post.  This always happens when I am gone for the weekend, get back late and then Monday night I had to attend a “Arbonne” party.  If you want to know what that is, I will be happy to hook you up with my friend who is just getting started.  She loves a good road trip.

So, I know you all have been waiting to see what the secret ingredient is (even though you may have glimpsed at the header – put that out of your mind).  Rutabaga, that is what we are experimenting with this week.  Now, the only time I really have eaten rutabaga, or swede as it appears to be called in the British Isles, is in pasties, a specialty (perhaps the only one aside from any deep fried vegetable and I mean any) of the UP or Upper Peninsula of Michigan as we Michiganders call it.  The part that borders both Lakes Superior and Michigan.  A really beautiful part of the state.  You should go there.  I think of moving there sometimes when I want to leave normal society.  At any rate, pasties are everywhere up there.  The miners used to take them for lunch.  They are a pocket pie filled with (typically) beef, onions, carrot, potato and rutabaga.  There seems to be only salt and pepper in there, no such thing as herbs in the UP a hundred years ago I guess.  They are often served with gravy (always from a jar I am sure) but the Yoopers (think UP-ers) insist on ketchup with theirs.  I have no love affair with ketchup.  None at all.  Ok, maybe occasionally with a tator tot that missed the buffalo sauce.  But really, that’s it.

At this point you are thinking… all this info and we haven’t gotten a menu yet and it is the day after menu day.  Well folks, that is what a long day on the road and a strong vodka cranberry juice does for you, well, me.  Ester at Lilac Kitchen is this week’s host and who we have to thank for my long pastie post!

So, on my way home this eve I stopped by the store for some much needed groceries and knew that it was rutabaga/swede week and found myself staring at not one, but a box full, in the fresh starches isle (near the tators).  I debated.  I walked away.  I walked back.  I picked one up and resolved to attempt a pasty.  I will attempt the best pastie ever.  One with herbs.  And garlic.  No ketchup.  Maybe gravy though as I am a sucker for a sauce.

So, now you know about pasties (pronounced paasties – like Pa in Little house in the Prairie).  You have to watch out when you say the name or you will get some thing that only women in strip joints wear.

Menu time now.

Ok, maybe not yet.  The reason we were back late on Sunday was because we were returning from our pig butchering weekend.  We have a pig share of sorts which I will blog on in a new post but have blogged on it here before.  This year’s piggies were named Speck and Parma.  We had the entire 3.5 hours back which was more like 4.5 hours due to black ice everywhere and many collisions along the way, to think about how we wanted to cook our first pork dinner.  By the time we got home it was late and we were hungry so we made ground pork in a miso sauce and fried rice.  We have a total of 1.5 pigs in our freezer now.  Seem a bit extreme?  It might be.  We aren’t sure yet.  The bacon is getting cured in Traverse City aside from a 5 lb piece that I cut off to try curing ourselves.  So by butcher, I mean butcher.  The pig was shot and gutted by our bee keeper Julius.  It then hung for a day until we arrived on a Saturday afternoon to start slicing.  He does have a ban saw, thank goodness, but we do all the trimming, tell him what cuts where and wrap and label it.  I cut the tenderloin out myself, three times.  It is very humbling.  I am extremely thankful for our good fortune to hook up with these great folks: A raspberry and sustainable everything farmer who works on cherry harvesting equipment, his wife and a cherry/apple farmer who is also a large bee keeper.  No the bees aren’t large, just his operation, rather the honey operation.  We bought some honey from him while we were there.  Thankfully I haven’t needed a hot toddy yet this year, but I am ready when I do.

Ok, now on to the menu.

Saturday:  I didn’t really cook all of this, but my brother (and friends) did for a dinner party while we were up there.  It is definitely blog worthy.  It was all wheat free.  It was all local, every bit of it, except the cheese and crackers, which I brought.  I always travel with cheese and crackers.

Apps:

cheese and crackers

spicy pickled dilly beans

fresh pate made from our friends freshly butchered pig – I hate hate hate liver and loved this stuff.  Will find recipe soon.  I think the fact that it didn’t have much liver in it made all of the difference.

salad : local greens with balsamic dressing and slices of seared pheasant breast

entree:

local organic free range chicken breasts stuffed with pheasant and chestnut force meat – a meat stuffing of sorts – with a morel mushroom supreme sauce

sides:

sauteed brussel sprouts

leek tartin minus the crust to make it gluten free

roasted small potatoes with rosemary and garlic (i made this one)

roasted butternut squash

dessert:

homemade spelt  pumpkin pie from scratch, local pumpkins and all (the spelt is grown and milled in MI too)

to drink

our friend’s hard and sweet cider – they just opened their hard cidery, Tandem Cider,  a month ago and have 5 varieties of hard cider as well as tasty sweet cider.

I tell you, it was Thanksgiving.  Really.  Great friends, great food, all grown or raised by us or my dad.  I really can’t ask for more than that.  Honestly, it is the norm up there.  That is one reason we want to move back.  I am so making that pate and I have never said that before.

Sunday:  Ground pork in a miso sauce and Steamy Kitchen Jaden’s fried rice posted on Elise’s Simply Recipes.  Only we cheated.  We had no leftover rice – a big no no.  So I used Sushi rice and didn’t cook it all the way.  Sushi rice is so strong and sturdy that it worked just fine.  We used Martin Yan’s quick Chinese book for the pork.  It was really tasty!

Monday:  Mexican shredded pork stew (with ancho chiles, roasted garlic, chipotle and red chile) over rice with black beans (with green chile and garlic) and brussel sprouts ( I was craving brussel sprouts and decided to forgo the Mex theme for some extra green yummies.)

Tuesday: Corn, Crab and Potato chowder with a bit of bacon and mashed sweet potatoes as the thickener.  On the stove right now.  Whoops. I totally scourched it.  To the point of having to pray that it doesn’t taste burnt and moved all the non burnt items into a new pot.  That also comes with drinking a strong vodka cranberry and blogging.  Luckily the crab, cream and milk had yet to be added.  There is no burnt taste, soldiering on, will eat when the post is finished.

Wednesday:  Trader Joe Chicken Sausages with spinach sauteed in a pasta toss with asparagus, dried tomatoes, parmesan and pine nuts.

Thursday:  Moletes de papas y queso  (potato masa torpedoes) and fish enchiladas with tangy tomatillo sauce via Rick Bayless.  Will use the rest of Monday’s black beans with green chile and garlic too.  Or if enchiladas don’t strike me, we will grill the fish.

Friday:  Pasties!  My pasties will have grass fed beef (if I can get to the bottom of the freezer), and all the normal veggies plus herbs, lots of them.

i’m out

Menu Plan Monday Oct 27th

It’s going to be a spicy week here at Fresh Ginger!  This week’s menu swap is hosted by Manda at Asparagus Thin and the ingredient is coconut, one of my favorite things.  Coconut is so versatile and pretty healthy too, in moderation of course.  Pop over to Manda’s blog to see what all the other bloggers are cooking up! Make sure you watch the Sesame Street video – did that bring back some memories.  Then go put the lime in the coconut and shake it all about – but add rum first…….

Monday: South West: Green chile Enchiladas with pork.  Trader Joe’s now has Hatch NM green chiles in the store – at my store they were logically hanging out over the frozen Mexican items.  I would ask where they might be hiding at a store near you as I never would have found them there without asking.

Tuesday:  Overnight for work: Gluten free meals requested at the Kettunen Center – fingers crossed.  Bring cheese and crackers in a cooler just in case.

Wednesday: Indian: South East Indian Crab curry with coconut milk – this one from the Jamie Oliver archives.

Thursday : Mexican: Red snapper ala Sayulita with cilantro and garlic. Whole red snappers dusted with corn starch and then sauteed until crispy, doused with a lime, cilantro, garlic sauce to make it sizzle.  I had this dish in Sayulita, Mexico a few years back and have wanted to replicate it for years.  But there was never whole fish in my store, that is, until the wrong order came in recently and they were sent whole snapper instead of filets.  Lucky me!  Maybe I will use the can of coconut water I have as the sauce base……

Since coconut is the ingredient this week, I will have to drink a pina colada as I just found a can of pineapple juice in the freezer – I always have coconut milk, coconut powder, shredded unsweetened coconut and dried coconut milk on hand.  I love coconut.

Friday: My family will be in town for a Michigan State University Football game, so we are going out to eat Friday night.  Maybe I will be nice and make some oatmeal, coconut chocolate chip cookies for them.

i’m out

Menu of the week Sept 22: Apples!

apple orchard

This week’s menu swap is hosted by M-Elle of Cooking and UNcooking and she has chosen Apples as the ingredient of the week.  I just ate a nice ripe Ginger Gold apple from the farm.  I tend to really only eat apples in season and store the rest and when I (or the farm) run out, then no more apples.  I think I am so spoiled by fresh local apples that I can’t stand the thought of one of those tasteless Washington red delicious apples that they ship over here.  I am sure all the good Washington apples are eaten up by the Washington locals.  Michigan is a fairly large producer of apples, for the fresh market, juice and processed apples.  My favorite is the Honey Crisp and thankfully my Dad raises lots of them and they are ripe right about now.  I will load up on my next trip to Leelanau.

I think I might just start listing my menu, but not by day, as sometimes I swap a Tuesday for Thursday depending on what is thawed and the time I have.  We are still making our way through at least a dozen cook books and it’s what is inspiring us again this week.

chipped apples waiting to be pressed

This week we are having:

French: Pork Medallions with a dijon green peppercorn cream sauce

Indian: Batata Vada and Methi Murgh.  Batata Vada’s look to be the same thing as samosas, but with a besan/chickpea batter on them instead of pastry.  Since I adore samosas and don’t want to make a Gluten free pastry for samosas, I think this option sounds great! Murgh is chicken and methi is fenugreek leaves – which are so tasty!

Thai: Green curry with chicken, basil and  bamboo shoots, fried spring rolls with pork and crab (from the freezer stock)

Potluck (Tuesday night work gathering):  crock pot pulled pork with a mid Carolina mustard mop

Chinese:  Cilantro Chicken with cabbage (instead of bean sprouts) from Martin Yan’s quick and tasty book

Mexican:  Pulled pork tamale casserole (from Rick Bayless) (pulled from the crock pot prior to “mopping” it)

Italian: Risotto with grilled halibut (or a grass fed beef steak, depending on mood – both are in the freezer) marinated with garlic, lime zest and parsley, broccoli with lemon

Baked good:  Apple Crisp of course!

To do:  Harvest and roast all the green chiles and smoke the jalapenos.  My tomato harvest is finished, due to chilly weather and blight.

apples apple semi with 96 boxes of apples apples

i’m out

Menu of the week: Tofu

Hi all!  I am back from beautiful Flagstaff AZ and Santa Fe NM.

grand canyon, Bright Angel hike

I didn’t get glutened once in 11 days of travel eating non of my own cooking.  Needless to say, I am raring to cook up some deliciousness now and want big bold flavorful dishes to make up for a few bland ones over the last two weeks or so.  Green chile harvest has just started in NM and in my backyard.  I could eat green chiles most days.  As soon as I have enough ripe ones, I roast them, peel them and put them in the freezer for use all winter.

I am so backed up on posts about everything that is it hard to focus, at least with the menu planning, it is nice and easy.

I love tofu and to my happiness, so does my darling BF.  With all of his other textural food pickiness, I would have thought that tofu would be off the list, but he embraces the tofu and eats it right up.  So do I.  I have many different recipes for tofu, but since I have been posting about those off and on over the last few years, I am going to try a few new ones.

This week’s menu swap is hosted by Wheatstate Celiac so make sure you check out Jyesika’s blog for all the tofu menus.

Sunday: Southwest

Green chile stew with roasted green chiles from the garden and garden tomatoes

Monday:

Lunch:  Green chile mac and cheese

Dinner: Deep South:  Book of Yum’s Southern fried tofu, Granny’s green beans (overcooked pole beans with onion and bacon) and Southern style risotto – not sure what this will entail yet as I have to make it up.  What?? I have 6 hours still! jalapeno onion hush puppies based on this recipe altered to be GF, why not? Or based on this chef’s reviews and alterations of this recipe, since it is already GF. Or this one.

Tuesday:   Asian/Vietnamese

Tofu water chestnut lettuce wraps (like PF Changs) and bun cha (Vietnamese grilled pork over rice noodles and herbs.  I will be combining several recipe styles to create the dish.

Wednesday and Thursday: on the road for work – it never ends.  I am almost caught up with board meetings.

Friday: Southwest again! (Or we might take off for the weekend to a cottage on a lake up North with friends) Blue corn green chile chicken enchiladas. I am obviously on a green chile kick.

Baked sweet of the week:  Key Lime Meltaways (adapted to be GF)

Happy eating!

Sage brush

i’m out