Archive for the ‘Condiment’ Category

Pepita Dip

December 23rd, 2014 No Comments

  If it’s going to continue to be gray outside, it might as well snow a little—and it is!  White flakes are showering down and I’m grateful for even a small change in these overcast days.   Here’s a tasty and healthy little snack for the holidays. ‘Sikil P’aak’ is the Mayan name for this kind of dip, though usually it would include tomatoes since ‘p’aak’ means tomato.  ‘Sikil’ means pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, which were also an important part of the diet

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Star Anise Pickled Onions

November 19th, 2014 No Comments

  This is a stone tile creation by Scott of limestone and onyx.  A fun little bathroom design and another photo distraction to entertain—like the previews before the movies, sometimes they are the most captivating part of the show!     Speaking of star anise… A couple of months ago I heard on the radio (my main form of outer world communication these days) an interview with my former chef/teacher Lenny Russo at the Minnesota State Fair.  He made the comment that star anise is grossly overused in the

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Thanksgiving Flashback

November 13th, 2014 1 Comment

  I often trot through our nearby wooded parks and recently stumbled upon this fire pit.  Most of our trails were built by volunteers in the mountain biking community…can you tell?  Knowing some of this crew I would guess this pit will be used well into the winter months, for “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” …or at least from having fun in the woods with their buddies.  

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Plum Ketchup

October 14th, 2014 1 Comment

  (A visit to the Niagara Escarpment, more photos below…)     Close your eyes and open your mind to let ketchup become more than you think it is.   That red puree we think we know so well has origins in China (doesn’t nearly everything?!?) as a fish-sauce condiment called kê-chiap or ke-tchup (From slate.com “the syllable tchup—pronounced zhi in Mandarin—still means “sauce” in many Chinese dialects”) made from fermented fish and spices.  During centuries of its evolution the base ingredient of ketchup has shifted to salted anchovies, then soybeans were used in certain regions,

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Tarragon Sugar and a Faroe Islands dinner

September 23rd, 2014 8 Comments

… Fresh tarragon with sugar was not my original idea, but reading it in a menu convinced me this was the meal I wanted to attempt to recreate for a Scandinavian dinner for my friend Dennis, the generous Dane who loves to host elaborate festivities. The Faroe Islands were the geographical highlight of this year’s feast, small bits in the North Atlantic between Norway, Scotland and Iceland, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.  Puffin, seal and whale blubber are common foods eaten there…but we

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Revisiting Roasted Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce

May 22nd, 2014 No Comments

    Skewered roasted tofu with a peanut sauce is one of my all time favorites for catering, and it’s pretty awesome for eating at home too. When I began this site I wanted to start with some of my crowd-pleaser recipes, dishes that I knew and loved so you could get a feel for my style of cooking.  Two and a half years later seems like a good time to dig up and recirculate a few, just for fun.  This was

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Horseradish Dill Sauce

May 15th, 2014 2 Comments

  Sour cream–it’s the perfect dip starter: a bit tart, a bit creamy, and it ‘plays well with others‘, merging and melding with most herbs or flavors.  Lightly fermented dairy similar to crème fraîche but is more tangy and often made with less fat…I say yes.  If you’re feeling the need for more scrumptious fats in your cream, try this little method of a non-cultured sour cream:   Quick Sour Cream:  pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon (or a little

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Spinach Artichoke Pesto

April 23rd, 2014 1 Comment

  While we were in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in February we ate lunch at a little place called Steep Creek Cafe (and White Cap Kayak Trips) in the Ironwood and I seem to recall we licked out the bowl that this dip was served in.  Having only the three ingredients listed in the title to go on, I came home and ran with it making a slightly different rendition that is very green and not half bad. Is it hummus?  Is it pesto?  Is

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Holiday Chutney

November 5th, 2013 No Comments

      This should probably be labeled “Tart Super-Fruit Chutney” or “Antioxidant Chutney“.  Some of these tart fruits are not available right now unless you happen to have frozen them or dried them, but this gets our juices flowing for ways to use this northerly bounty next year.   Cranberries The cheeriest looking staple to your holiday table.  They are used also medicinally to treat UTI’s—their proanthocyanidin prevents the bacteria from latching to the urinary tract, and studies show

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Basil Salt

October 16th, 2013 No Comments

  It’s a drizzly overcast day with a chilly night coming on, and time for all of the basil to be dug out of the garden and processed.  I’ll be up to my elbows in pesto of course, but I’ve been wanting to try herb salts all summer so this will be the day.     I was amazed at how green it is even after drying in the oven.  That color will be especially appreciated in the winter days

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