People Drop By From Time To Time… Part 2

7 Aug

People are funny… They search for the strangest things, and sometimes in their searching they make it here to my humble little blog. Sometimes the terms they use to get here make me wish they had never stopped by, but other times, they make me laugh my little patookis off.

I decided its been a long time since we last checked in with the interweb searchings that lead folk to the Granny Cart… So without further ado I present to you…

Curious Cooking Queries.

a simple explanation of making cheese (well, yes, I think we’d all enjoy that!)

leech my beet (shiver)

our ham comes from chicken sign

chicken soup sick -soul (those stupid books really have fouled up simple recipe searches)

cucumber and gin soup (yes, please!)

show me all croatian food recipes

roast a whole hog with sauerkraut stuffing (nummy)

recipe containing macaroni and cheese (hmm… I wonder…)

chicken lobster (hmmm… actually, I don’t quite know what I think of this one…)

jumping squid salad (no, thank you, I’ll pass)

boys should not cook (sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t)

pasta ending in i (actually, wouldn’t this query work better as “pasta that doesn’t end in i?)

Ah, The Barnyard.

mind reading chicken (this scares me a bit)

recipes for stopping bloating on goats

chicken crosswalk signs (lol)

homemade poison to kill woodchucks (if anyone actually has this, my mother would love you forever!)

raw goat milk sinus infection

hard bunnies (this also scares me)

The Funny, The Famous & The Frightening.

creative clevage (for some reason I can’t help but think this had something to do with Giada DeLaurentis)

between oven space and counter (in my kitchen, not much)

alton brown inflated ego (hehehehehehe)

chicken snack imagination lady (wha?)

homemade walk in cooler (yes please!)

granny goose tortillas (wha?)

can dalmatian puppy eat butter and bread (I see no reason why not)

“chez panisse” +”steve jobs” (I guess even he has to eat)

poem about food in a pantry (I bet that’s a pretty cute poem)
As usual, the photos have absolutely nothing to do with this post. They’re from our recent trip up to the Adirondacks. Pretty isn’t it? More to come on the trip (and most importantly the food) at a later date.

To The North!

29 Jul

Up to the ‘dacks we go! I’m off for a week of lakeside lounging with the family, and of course the dogs…

They’re not these dogs.

The strawberry blonde is Mimi from the goregous Laguna Lozna on the Island of Hvar in Croatia, and the piebald fella was just lookin’ out the window on a street in Dubrovnik.

I kinda wish I was going back to see these guys, but Wally and Ida Mae are perfectly amusing in their own ways!

Not that you can tell from these photos however…

Wally’s the spotty one, and Nay (nee Ida Mae) is the fluffy one.

ilsl: Real Pasta (No Cans Involved)

27 Jul

Ah yes, another month, another reason to pick on ole Dandy Sandy (aka I Loathe Sandra Lee). Many thanks to Joe and his evil friends for presenting him with the calendar that fuels our monthly stab at the Food Network‘s most useless “cooking” show.

This month’s dish came to me while I was home from work sick and laying on the couch. I was watching the excellent Food Network shows that cradle the noon-time hour like a perfect hot dog bun; Boy Meets Grill, Molto Mario, Sara’s Secrets, Paula’s Home Cooking and Everyday Italian, getting hungrier and hungrier. No matter what you think of these five celebrity chefs, on these shows they bring something to the table that’s useful to home cooks of all levels.

So how is this related to Dandy Sandy? Well, they kept showing her commercial. He grating voice, her useless tablescapes, her stupid matchy-matchy outfits, her lurid, technicolor “cocktails”. I was on the fence about what to have for lunch. Should I call for takeaway? Should I not move and just starve? Should I just eat the block of Gruyere moldering in the fridge because it would be easy? Oh look, there’s Sandra Lee, again. NO. I will not be like her! No matter how shitty I feel, I. Will. COOK!

And so cook I did. I boiled up the shells leftover from the blueberry pasta, tossed in gorgeous, halved Greenmarket grape tomatoes, harvested some basil from the plant on my windowsill, pulled out some Salem blue and asiago cheeses, added a few capers and finished it all with a healthy glug of my extra special Croatian olive oil. It was delicious, comforting and soul satisfyingly easy. And, most importantly? Not a can in sight. (Okay, there was a jar for the capers, but seriously people, you can’t expect me to make my own capers too!).

So, of the ingredients in this months I Loathe Sandra Lee “recipe”; sour cream, McCormack curry powder, Dole pineapple chunks, an avocado, an apple and bowtie pasta; I used only one, and I used the “wrong” shape to boot! How’s that make me feel? Great!

I’m posting this early as I’m headed up to the ‘dacks for a few days with my family, and you know what? This means there’s still time for all of you guys out there to enter!

Just make something real from one (or none) of the ingredients listed above, post it, and then email the link to: joe AT foodienyc DOT com by July 31st! Happy REAL cooking ya’ll!

heirloom·modern: Snow Almonds

25 Jul

After making Cold Almond soup, we had a lot of almonds left over. Most people see them as the perfect snack food. I am not one of those people (whereas the boy most certainly is). In fact, I don’t like nuts all that much at all.

I’ll eat the odd filbert. (Excuse me, hazelnut. But isn’t it just so much more fun to say filbert?) I’ll eat peanuts, but never peanut butter. (Yes, I know peanuts are legumes). Every now and then, I’ll nibble on a flavored pistachio, but never, ever will I eat brazil nuts, or walnuts, or ugh, cashews. Seriously, I just don’t like nuts.

But these nuts, yes, these I like. In fact, I’ve come to crave them. They’re silky and salty and cold, the perfect snack after a long, hot walk around the city.

The recipe comes from Bert Greene’s Kitchen Bouquets, the same place I got the idea for making Basil scented bevandas. This is one helluva cookbook. Bert, who is my new cooking companion (sorry Nigel) says, “These almonds are most salubrious to the palate even with the frostiest martini a host can provide.” Amen!

Mr. Greene borrowed this recipe from The Art of Turkish Cooking by Neset Eren and so now I’m borrowing it from him and giving it to you as my third installment of heirloom·modern. Bert says, “Although I amended Ms. Eren’s original dictum with a grain or two of salt, the dish is otherwise traditionally Ottoman.” In Turkey, these nuts were served on ice with no additional garnish. Bert, it seems, liked a dusting of fine salt on these, I’m assuming, to help whet the appetite for a second martini. Amen!

It seemed only right to adapt Mr. Greene’s recipe a bit, since he adapted Ms. Eren’s. Since I’m not serving these all at once at a fancy cocktail party on a bed of ice, I have deleted his step of soaking the nuts in unsalted water for one day before serving. Instead they remain happily in my fridge in a nice salty brine which I change every couple of days. They keep getting plumper and plumper and just ever so slightly more salty. But they are constantly delicious! I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we are.

Head below the jump for the recipe for Bert Greene’s delectable Snow Almonds.
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Oh Give Me A Home…

24 Jul

Where the buffalo roam. And the carrots are all gilded and sweeeeeet!

Okay, sorry, no more singing. I realize this is my entry for the monthly wine and food pairing event Combinations and not a spaghetti western. But seriously folks, I have a new addiction. Bison.

Since finally jumping in and trying some of the goods from Elk Trail Bison Farm (Saturday’s at the Union Square Green Market), it’s basically all I can think about. The buffalo are, as they should be, free to roam. They’re raised down in Pennsylvania on a purely grass-fed diet. Check out the site, they’re really cute (unless you don’t like knowing that the meat you eat was cute at one time, if that’s the case, don’t check out the site).

Grass-fed bison, and even beef, is much much better for you. It’s leaner, has less cholesterol, more trace minerals and lots of omega fatty acids. Plus, it cooks faster (which is great in this heat) and tastes better.

I wanted a steak that would cook really quickly, so the nice guy at the stand sold me a “butcher steak”. He said it was part of the shoulder, but a little research shows me that it was probably actually a hanger steak or in French, onglet. The two steaks cost about $8 and didn’t shrink up at all. So go on, give bison a try!

To serve, I was thinking traditional steak house fare. Mushrooms. Potatoes. Green beans. But then we saw these baby carrots. Tri-colore no less! And I knew by the look in the boy’s eyes that we had a winner. He also spotted some rocambole (or hard-neck) garlic at a random stand I’ve never seen before, and I can honestly say… Best. Garlic. EVER!

And just because I’ve been on a roll with doing things a little over the top, I threw in some squash blossoms. You know, just because I could…

I steamed the carrots ever so briefly in water and olive oil with garlic and sage. While they were getting a wee bit soft I made a glaze of sherry vinegar, honey and lavender flowers (just a few). While the carrots were glazing, I cooked the bison.

The guy says that since buffalo meat is so very lean, the only way to cook it is lower and slower. I grilled these (sadly inside and on a pan) over medium-low first on one side until the blood rose to the top, then flipped and cooked until just medium rare by touch. I let them sit and rest until the carrots were done and then served the whole thing up!

The dinner was absolutely delicious, healthy and light. And since it was slightly cooler and red meat was involved, I just HAD to have a red wine…. I am getting kinda tired of whites and roses. I miss my reds…

So I broke down and pulled out a bottle I’ve been saving for eons, a 2004 Domaine Rimbert Les Travers de Marceau from Langeudoc. In my house, this is affectionately called “bunny wine” for the odd angly rabbit on the label holding a bunch of grapes. The 2003 Le Mas au Schiste is actually my favorite wine in the entire world, but the Travers is lovely too. It has more fruit, especially dried red fruit than that 2003 which is all about green chilies and roses. If you see anything from this vineyard ever, grab it. Truly delightful!

Head below the jump for the recipe for Gilded Glazed Carrots.

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