Sunday, October 25, 2015

LTCC Small group mushroom soup and four kinds of cornbread

Members at Lake Tapps Community Church are encouraged to be part of a small group. Our group starts with soup and bread before we worship and study. It was our turn to bring the food.

3 potatoes, chopped into blendable chucks
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
Place in blender, cover with water, blend
Place in a large pan, lowest possible temperature
1 lb organic sirloin steak, cut into small chunks, add to mix
The white part of one leek, quarter it before cutting and be very careful to rinse well, they are sand magnets
1/4 cup cooked spaghetti squash
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked mixed sprouted beans, (lentil, mung, adjuke)
1 link Field Greens or other vegan sausage
1 lb sour cream
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 stick butter
12 cloves dried garlic cut in half
1/2 cup dried morel mushroom, cut big enough they show up on a spoon
Cook several hours on lowest possible heat
1 hour before serving, turn off the heat, stir in 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
It should be a very thick soup
Spices: Tamari gluten free soy sauce, salt, black pepper, rosemary, smoked paprika

Cornbread, use your standard, "go to" cornbread recipe, preferably unsweetened. Make small batches in an 8" Saute´pan. That is small enough to cook the cornbread on the range and finish the top with the broiler. Add things to make each batch interesting and different. People will think you went to a great deal of trouble. These are:
- Just cheddar cheese and a bit of salt for people that aren't that adventurous
- Spaghetti squash and feta cheese with tomato sauce and more feta on top
- Tomato sauce and basil for people avoiding lactose
- Club, (turkey, ham, pickles, cheese)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Smoked Salmon Chowder

I was bombing through the WinCo supermarket to get some clam juice and noticed a 3 oz. pouch of smoked salmon. I know Ivar's has a lovely smoked salmon chowder and found this recipe to base lunch on. The salmon isn't as good and a high end smoked salmon like Seabear, but it is half the price and the 3 oz. packet would be really convenient on travel.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seafood salad

When you want some lighter fare. Buy a bag of cooked frozen crab claws, (let thaw), a cucumber, pick a cherry tomato or two from the garden, poach some crab and scallop in chicken broth and cut the scallop finely, add some diced red onion if desired.

Wrap the crab and scallop with a thin slice of cucumber into a patty, sprinkle with ground annato, place the crab claw on top. Put a half cherry tomato and a quarter of lemon on the side.

Cut a loaf of fresh French bread into thin slices, toast, add some Ghost Pepper Cougar Cheese, broil at 425 until the cheese bubbles, let it cool till it is crunchy. Lean against the crab scallop patty. A lovely light lunch on the American Cruise Line Puget Sound Trip.

(OK, I made the ghost pepper cheese up, it was Parmesan, but a man has to have dreams. )

Ivar's Acre of Clams

SANS Seattle was running this week, so Kathy and I thought it would be nice to take a couple of the instructors and staff, (Chris, Jake, Suzy), out to dinner. We scored a table for five with an ocean view. The place looks fantastic after the remodel. We ordered Pancetta Prawns and Calamari for the table. Chris had the Oyster Sampler as a starter. Each of our guests had Salmon, I had the Halibut, Kathy had the acre of clams. It was good but not great.

IMPORTANT: Ivar's now includes the gratuity in the price of the food, so there is no tip line on your bill. This is an interesting trend.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

LTCC Prayer Breakfast did not like the potato skins

In my previous post, I described the process used to create the potato skins. The men hit the lasagna pretty hard, but the potato skins were a no go. They wiped out the scrambled eggs that come in a carton, all the sausage and pancakes, but passed over the potato skins like the Angel of Death in Exodus 12:23. Well heck, they had only been out for an hour, so I took them home, put them in the blender, added enough water to blend. Then I added a 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup of gluten free flour and a teaspoon of baking powder.

This is my "dough", so now we can make an assortment of pastries. I am hosting my brother starting today, so having some snackage is a good thing. I will make an assorted plated for us and one for the church tomorrow. I am going to make moist pastries first, then add some more flour and make crunchy ones.

I took two large non-stick saute´ pans and dropped the dough in by tablespoons. Put in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees to get a bit stiff. As soon as I pulled these pans, I put in one more. The first three pastries are:

  • Horseradish and pickles, put a bit of creamed horseradish on the pastry, covered with a dill pickle, added enough cheese for the melted mild cheddar cheese to melt and "glue" the pickle to the pastry.
  • Fresh Cremini mushroom, salt, garlic powder, enough cheese for the melted mild cheddar cheese to melt and "glue" the mushroom to the pastry.
  • Nitrite free ham, a dab of Dijon mustard and enough cheese for the melted mild cheddar cheese to melt and "glue" the ham to the pastry.

Added a couple tablespoons of gluten free flour to the dough, stirred well. For the next set, I will not put them in the oven first, I made smaller portions, about 3/4 tablespoon dropped onto the pan. The second set of three pastries are:

  • A slice of our garden grown hot peppers pushed into the dough.
  • One half of a garden grown cherry tomato pushed into the dough.
  • Feta cheese pushed into the dough.
Added a bit more flour, target is bread dough consistency, these should come out crunchy. Covered my cutting board in Parmesan cheese, rolled the dough balls in the cheese.

Hmmm, there is a bit of dough left, took a medium saute´pan, made a rustic crust. I have some leftover spiced chicken, maybe a type of pizza.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chris Mintz breakfast lasagne

(There are four dishes being made. The lasagne and potato skins are for men's prayer breakfast tomorrow. Our prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Oregon.)

Chris Mintz Breakfast Lasagne

12 medium russet potatoes
2 cups ham
3 pounds sour cream
1 cup oatmeal
2 pounds shredded cheese, (I used mild cheddar)
2 sprigs rosemary chopped fine
1 bunch flat parsley chopped fine
1 large onion
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste

Cut the skins off the potatoes, set them aside. This will leave you with blocky somewhat skinless potatoes. Cut them into slabs about 1/4" thick to be the "noodles" in the lasagne.

Mix ham, sour cream, oatmeal, rosemary, parsley, onion, if it is too thick, thin with egg white.

Layer potatoes in the bottom of a backing pan and cover with the sour cream/oatmeal mix. Try to make sure to cover all the edges and spaces between potatoes or the cheese will stick to everything.

Cover with shredded cheese, add another layer of potatoes, cover with cheese, add your last layer of potatoes. Using a large spoon take about 3/4 cup of the sour cream mixture, thin with egg white, spoon over the top row of potatoes cover with cheese. Cook for an hour at 350 degrees. Make sure it is totally cool before cutting.

UCC Solidarity Potato skins

1 carton vegetable broth poured into a saute´pan.

Take the set aside potato skins place them in the pan. Add pepper, paprika, red pepper to taste. Before you add salt, read the broth carton, mine had enough salt already. Simmer till cooked to your preference, I wanted to taste the onion, so I fully cooked them, if you want the onion fully cooked, cook them to al dente.

Remove the potato skins with a slotted spoon. Place in a large saute´pan cover with sour cream oat mixture, cover with cheese, cook a bit at 350, finish with broil.

These are the potato skins, the port loin is next

Yes, I am a Christian Pork Loin

Take the remaining sauce, place in a smaller saute´pan. Add a pork loin to the sauce, it is ok if it does not cover, we are going to flip it. Put any leftover potato parts you have or cut some more. Cook on a low temperature, smallest burner, lowest setting for about 40 minutes, (this is a great opportunity to use a meat thermometer. At 20 minutes flip the pork and move some potatoes around. At food safe temp, remove the pork and let it cool some before cutting medallions.

15 minutes before serving. Bring the sauce to a boil, add a splash of olive oil and some dried porcini mushrooms. If they do not thicken the mix enough by absorbing the liquid, finish with your favorite thickening system.

We will not mention the name of the shooter chocolate and cherry

Place a gluten free ginger snap for each person on a saute´pan. On top of that add a piece of fudge, (any chocolate will do almost). Cut a slit for a dry cherry. Add a peanut butter chip to any flat place you can find. Let the chocolate soften just a bit in a warm oven. Just before serving give it a dash of Irish cream.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

North Star Winery

Today, in the Zephyr, Taste Vacation, Washington Wine Tour, we had the breakfast buffet at the Marcus Whitman hotel. For such a high end hotel, I was hoping for more than a scrambled egg buffet. Then we left to go visit Delmas wines, a small producer  of extremely premium wine in the Rocks, Columbia Valley's newest AVA. Steve Robertson was very instructive and explained what they do to take advantage of their unique, 10 acre, Oregon AVA. He is completely sold out of the only wine he makes, so there is no tasting or tasting room.

After we left, we went to to Tranche cellars.  They were busy, the harvest is underway, but they still took the time to share their unique approach to winemaking. We ordered a case of A slice of Pape.

The highlight of the day was Northstar Winery. Oh my, that is quite an operation. We didn't really do a wine tasting, instead we took a course in wine mixing. That was incredible, if you ever get the chance to put a group of 14 together, this is not to be missed. You get to keep the bottle you create, I don't think we will age these two very long in case of contamination, but want to share it with someone special, maybe the Seattle conference.

We ordered a case of their Merlot, we plan to lay it down till 2018 and then we will try a bottle and decide what to do.