Tag Archives: vinegar

Red Light Green Light

There are TWELVE days of Christmas – all of you ever so eager to put those lights UP in November, don’t be in such a hurry to take them down – keep ‘em around at least until the 6th of January, the Feast of the Epiphany. That’s the day the Three Wise Guys, um, I mean Wise Men, finally get to the party. And let’s face it – January could use some low key good times, not to mention a little more light.

As for the red light….

Beets.

beetroot

Can’t beat them, so just enjoy them.

Last summer I used fresh tomatoes in salads and uncooked sauce for pasta. Once I found one recipe for uncooked tomato sauce, it seems as if there were thousands.

Or at least several.

Lidia!

lidia_bastianich_2014

Lidia Bastianich

Marian Morash!

vgcb

 

Total stranger from somewhere else!!

Newspapers and magazines…..

So when I got a new Italian cookbook (much of the Italian being American chefs in Italian restaurants…and the Italian cooking was restaurant cooking too.)

italian_intermezzo

 

AND

It came with music. To cook and dine with Italian music. The music was the deal-breaker.

As I was listening to Ciribiribin

– not to be confused with Chili Bean

 

I found yet another variation on the uncooked tomato sauce, but this one had a twist.

The variation called for beets.

RED LIGHT

That were cooked. For 1 1/2 hours.

Which is very different from uncooked. Or tomatoes.

So I really don’t know how this qualifies as a variation and not a whole new recipes.

BUT

I had beets….

GREEN LIGHT

So I scrubbed them, tossed them with a little olive oil and roasted them in a 350 oven for 90 or so minutes until they were tender.

I took them out of the oven and put some water on for the pasta…..

Alton Brown has embraced the cold water method for cooking pasta….

abeverydaycook

 

Cold water pasta is another post.

Anyhow,

While the pasta cooked

farfalle_pasta

Farfalle – butterflies!

I peeled the beets and cut them into a dice. Tossed with some olive oil wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Also some minced parsley and a little rosemary.

Added with the now cooked pasta and some ricotta, a 1/2 cup or so of the pasta water. Stir, taste, adjust, EAT.

It was pink…..and it was good.

It was NOTHING like the uncooked tomato sauce.

But it was delicious.

It was also good re-heated the next day.

 

 

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Filed under Books, Dinner, Italian, Recipe, winter

Salad (in the) Day

 Once upon a time salad was leafy green….mostly that meant iceberg lettuce

iceberg lettuce Doleand tomatoes came in packets  – except when they came from the garden.

And salad dressing was a verb, what my mother did after the potatoes were mashed and before we had to wash our hands to sit down to supper,

The lettuce was ripped and put in the salad bowl, and then the tomatoes were cut on top. Cukes – peeled and sliced. Cut in half to make half moon or in quarters to make little triangles. Radishes – sliced and added but not always.

cuke3tomato

No fancy radishes - red on the outside and white on the inside radishes

No fancy radishes – red on the outside and white on the inside radishes

Not a lot of fancy ingredients – olives always got their own dish, croutons didn’t show up until the ’80’s – salad was salad and not much more.

Now do I remember the order of what comes next?????

Oil, a circle around, not too much. And not EVOO, this is before Rachael Ray. Our oil often had

Wessonality

wessonality

Toss.

Sprinkle the salt –

When it rains, it pours

When it rains, it pours

Sprinkle the pepper

pepper black tinSprinkle the dried basil

basil dried jar More tossing.

Wine vinegar – just a little.

Not balsamic, not artisan, not fancy

Not balsamic, not artisan, not fancy, salad was for supper not showing off.

Toss some more.

Put the bowl on the table, wash those hands and sit down at the table.

Things got fancier in the ’70’s…..

Good Seasons dressing

Good Seasons Dressing Mix – with cruet included

Up until a few minutes ago, I've been calling this Good Seasonings. Probably for decades.

Up until a few minutes ago, I’ve been calling this Good Seasonings Salad Dressing.

Good Seasons, of course was the gateway bottle to the Wishbone and Kraft and Kens Dressings that would flood the market – and our table – in the ’80’s…

To be continued……..

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Filed under Supper, The 1960"s, The 1970's

Carrot Tops

Carrot top was a phrase that confused me as a child. Why were redheads ‘carrot tops’ when it was pretty obvious that the tops of carrots were

GREEN

carrotAnd why doesn’t any one make a toy  top shaped like a carrot? They’re nearly ideal…..I did find carrot shaped furniture

Carrot Chest Punkin Patch Interiors

Carrot Chest Punkin Patch Interiors Is it just me or does this look like it could topple on these kids without warning?

Back to carrots.

So the carrots have been sitting in the fridge bin for about as long as they might and still be carrots and not compost.Time to make something.

I had a recipe note that I’ve been meaning to try. Recipe isn’t quite the right word.It cleans up to this:

Carrot and fresh Cranberry Slaw

Carrots – 4 cups

dried cranberries Fresh cranberries

Apple cider vinegar

oil

Fresh ginger

Shallot

Fennel – ¼ med bulb

I admit, even for me, this isn’t much to go on.I switched out fresh cranberries for the dried because  1) I like them better and 2)I also had some.

I was totally in love with the fresh ginger and the carrots together.

I had a shallot and this seemed like a good place to park it, ditto the dregs of a fennel bulb.

But it needed something more….

Trimmed and peeled the carrots and got out the handy dandy grater that I bought at Woolworth’s when I first moved out of the ancestral abode ever so many decades ago -sooo last century

The Woolworths is the little bity low down part towards the center

The Woolworths in Plymouth Center, several decades before I went shopping there.

cheese grater 4 sided

Grates more then cheese – stale bread for bread crumbs, carrots and cabbages for slaw, the occasional knuckle, ect.

Grate the carrot

Carrot, gratedAdd the cranberries….a couple of handfuls – I picked through them ( a good berry bounces) and rinsed and dried them first. Or used the dried cranberries.

Two or three handfuls should be enough

Two or three handfuls should be enough

Chop the shallot.

shallots are between onions and garlic in the taste spectrum. Substitute as you wish.

shallots are between onions and garlic in the taste spectrum. Substitute as you wish.

If you don’t have fennel you might use celery

This is also known as Florence Fennel - a little more anise then celery; good crunch, too.

This is also known as Florence Fennel – a little more anise then celery; good crunch, too.

Chop and add.Mix and mingle together Smelling good.

Cut and peel a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger. Avoiding cutting your thumb.Grate or chop finely and add.

This is more ginger then I used, but if you like things zingy

This is more ginger then I used, but if you like things zingy

Now for oil and vinegar…..apple cider vinegar is a good choice, and I had a bottle out.

apple cider vinegarAnd then I remembered….I had purchased flavored oil and vinegar from Omega Olive Oil at the Plymouth Farmers Market in the winter, but between the snow and the fire and the relocation I had forgotten….where are they now?

Blood Orange Oil and Ginger Balsamic Vinegar……now this bowl is singing good..

Sometimes it’s the little things that make something go from good to great.  These carrots were tops!

.

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Filed under Recipe, Summer

I’m strong to the FINNISH Cause I eats my Spinnage

I’m Sarah the  Pilgrim Woman! Ta-da!

Hey, if it rhymes for Popeye it can rhyme for me! (Popeye rhymes ‘finnach’ with ‘spinach’ – same deal, different dialect) popeye w spinach

And by the Finnish….I mean actual people from Finland.

These guys…

American Food Battle

Henri Alen and Nicolas Thielon from American Food Battle

Nicolas loved his pilgrim clothes….he thought he looked like a Musketeer, as in Three. And, The Three Musketeers did take place in 1627. In France and not New England, but still,

Nicolas could jump right in with the 1974 Three Musketeers crowd

Nicolas could jump right in with the 1974 Three Musketeers crowd, right in between Michael York and Richard Chamberlain

And, spinnage or spinach, was one of the dishes I prepared. It looked like this:

Spinach with eggs; German School, 17th century. Notice also r0asted quails

Spinach with eggs; German School, 17th century. Notice also r0asted quails

Divers Sallets boyled.
Parboile Spinage, and chop it fine, with the edges of two hard Trenchers upon a boord, or the backs of two Choppin-knives; then set upon a Chafingdish of Coales with Butter and vinegar. Season it with Sugar and a few parboyld Currans. Then cut hard Egges into quarters to garnish it withal, and serve it upon Sippets. So you may serve Burrage, Buglosse, Endiffe, Suckory, Coleflowers, Sorrell, Marigold-leaves,Wintercresses, Leekes boyled Onions, Sporragus, Rocket, Alexanders. Perboyle them and season them all alike: whether it be with Oyle and Vinenegar, or Butter and Vinegar, Sinamon, Ginger, Sugar, and Butter: Egges are necessary, or at least very good for all boyld Sallets.”
-1615. John Murrell. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood ed. p. 15.

Quick run through for this Wicked Wayback Wednesday

  • Spinage is, natch, spinach
  • These trenchers are a kind of a knife, as are the Choppin knives – when I first saw this I thought they were Chopin Knives , and I was pretty sure that Chopin wasn’t around in 1615…
    Frederick Chopin, 1835 at age 25

    Frederic Chopin, 1835 at age 25 – nope, he wasn’t around in the 17th century

    Anyhow, chop spinach. Because of what happens next, even better, start with frozen chopped spinach and save yourself the trouble. When it’s cooked, drain the spinach. In fact, put it on an old clean towel and wring it out over a sink. Seriously. Squeeze that moisture out. I added 1/2 pound fresh sorrel to the almost 2 pounds of spinach as it was almost cooked down.  Sorrel doesn’t need much cooking and it really perks up spinach. The New York Times has this story on sorrel in the spring. (click on the link ) I’m going to try keeping some indoors this winter…..more on that later…. and I’ve never had trouble keeping sorrel all summer and into the Fall. Keep using it!

    Sorrel - Rumex acetosa. Oseille in French; suolaheinä in Finnish; acetosa in Italian

    Sorrel – Rumex acetosa. Oseille in French; suolaheinä in Finnish; acetosa in Italian

  • Put some butter in a heavy pan. By some, I mean a lot…Add the drained, wrung  out chopped spinach/sorrel mass. Put more butter on top. Over low heat, let the green stew up in butter and what’s left of its own juices.
  • Add currants – not the fresh ones, the dried ones. Parboil them first (just put boiling water over them for a few minutes – dried fruit is not as dried as it used to be. And that’s a change in the last 30 years, not the last 400). Raisins are really too big – currants are much nicer in this.

    Raisins V. Currants . Sometimes, Size matters.

    Raisins V. Currants . Sometimes, size DOES matter.

  • Add a splash of vinegar. How much depends on how much and how lip puckering your sorrel is, if you’ve added any. Add a little more butter on top, put the lid on the pan and keep it on low heat, stirring it about every now and again so nothing sticks to the bottom and all the spinach soaks up all the butter. Add more butter if it seems dry. Don’t be afraid of butter!
  • Hard boil some eggs. You’ve got time. Keep the green a-stewing.
  • What? No spinach? No worries – use borage, bugloss, endive, chicory,cauliflower, sorrel, calendula leaves , cresses, leeks, onions, asparagus (let me note here that in my opinion it is a crime against Nature to puree asparagus) rocket or arugala, and alexanders . This recipe is a master recipe – a whole class of salad, for all seasons of the year, covered.
    Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) are a kind of wild celery, still found in the English countryside

    Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) are a kind of wild celery, still found in the English countryside

     

  • Taste and season with cinnamon, ginger, sugar, vinegar and butter – all to your taste. Make it taste good. Your opinion counts!
  • Pile up on a serving platter and garnish with those hard boiled eggs, quartered. Serve hot, or warm, or at room temperature. What the painting doesn’t show is sippets – slices  of bread toasted or fried in butter. You knew there’d be more butter, right?

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Filed under Autumn, Recipe, The 17th century, TV shows