Sautéed Arugula with Fresh Chorizo, Grilled Porcini Mushrooms, Piquillo Peppers and Raw Sheep’s Milk Cheese

This is the second meal from my Portland Farmers Market adventure the day before…

I got the idea for this dish from a sandwich I had at Olympic Provisions – but I added the Porchini Mushrooms since they were in season. I got the Chorizo from Tails & Trotters. And instead of Manchego – that was used in the original sandwich – I used a cheese called Heritage from Ancient Heritage Dairy.

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I washed it down with a bottle of Lost Meridian Wit from Base Camp Brewing.

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Grilled Baby Romaine with Lamb Bacon, Runny Cheese, Fried Capers and Black Olive Cibatta

My wife was out of town – and had taken the car with her. So, I decided to make a challenge for myself: Ride my bike to the Portland Farmers Market at PSU, pick out all the ingredients needed to create a meal, then ride home and cook it. But there was way too much good stuff at the market – so I made two meals. Here is the first one…

This is basically the Grilled Romaine Salad that I made a while back. The lamb bacon – which I got from SuDan Farm – was a whim. I couldn’t find any crème fraîche or yogurt, so I picked up a runny stinky cheese called Pearl from Ancient Heritage Dairy. The Black Olive Cibatta – which I buttered and toasted on the grill – was from Pearl Bakery

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To drink… The day before, I had ridden my bike to Growlers Hawthorne to fill my growler with Fort George‘s Spruce Budd Ale – yet another beer to use spruce tips in place of hops.

Berbere Spiced Skirt Steak with Yegomen Kitfo

When I was unemployed a few years back, I started working on a barbeque cookbook that was going to focus on the same geographic region as my music blog – Radiodiffusion Internasionaal. But about halfway thru my research, Steven Raichlen‘s Planet Barbeque was published. That book pretty much covered most of the recipes that I had collected up to that point, so I thew in the towel. Also, I got a job.

One of the recipes that was not in Raichlen’s book, was one I found in Kathy Eldon’s Specialities of the House from Kenya’s Finest Restaurants for “Ethiopian Grilled Kebabs”. The original recipe called for “rump or fillet steak” to be cut up in the cubes and skewered for grilling. Usually I use beef tenderloin, but this time I decided to try it with skirt steak instead.

Berbere Spiced Skirt Steak

1½ tsp garlic, minced
½ tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp Berber
2 tbsp “of any liquor” (I usually use Bourbon, but went with Brandy this time.)
2 tbsp olive oil
1+ lb. skirt steak

In a food processor, make a paste with the garlic and ginger then mix in the Berber, liquor and olive oil and mix well. Coat meat with marinade and put into a zip top bag. Marinate up to 6 or 7 hours, turning occasionally. Grill on high heat, turning once. Roughly 4 to 5 minutes a side.

Yegomen Kitfo

This recipe for Collard Greens with Spiced Cottage Cheese was adapted from The Africa News Cookbook: African Cooking for Western Kitchens. I decided to use Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe for Nit’it Qibe (which you can find here) from his The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa instead of the version in The Africa News Cookbook.

12 oz cottage cheese
⅓ cup nit’it qibe (melted)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp ground cardamom seeds – ground in a mortar and pestle
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 bunch of collards greens – washed, stems removed and chopped
1 tsp Garlic, minced.
2 tbsp nit’it qibe

Mix the first six ingredients and let stand at room temp. for 15 min. before serving.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, stir the greens until they are wilted. Reduce heat to medium, and cover the pot. Cook for 5 minutes until the greens are tender, but still a vibrant green color.

Drain greens in a colander and transfer them to a large bowl of cold water to halt the cooking. Transfer the greens to a salad spinner and spin to remove excess water. Chop the greens into bite-sized pieces. (The greens can covered and stored in the fridge several hours at this point.)

Melt 2 tbsp nit’it qibe in a large sauté pan (or wipe out the pot you used to cook the greens and use it) over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring continuously. Toss the greens well to coat with oil (adding additional olive oil if needed), then cover pan until heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Plate the collards, then spoon the cottage cheese on top.

Most importantly: Be sure to play Alèmayèhu Eshèté, Ayaléw Mèsfin, Gétatchèw Mèkurya, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatqé, Tadèlé Bèquèlè, Tlahoun Gèssèssè and others from the Éthiopiques series real loud while cooking. Trust me, it’ll add flavor.

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I went with a bottle of the Sole Composition Pinot Cherry Four – a wheat based table saison aged with cherries in Pinot Noir barrels – from Upright Brewing.

Fried Tilapia with Meunière Sauce and Pecan Butter, Asparagus with Jambon

The Fried Tilapia with Meunière Sauce and Pecan Butter is something my mother fixed on a recent visit… The recipe for the fish is not really written down.

Meunière Sauce

1 cup seafood or chicken stock
1 tsp. garlic, chopped fine
3 sticks of butter (divided)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp salt

In a two quart saucepan, combine the stock and garlic. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a one quart saucepan, melt 4 Tbs. of butter and add flour and stir for 2-3 minutes. Reheat stock and garlic on medium heat and gradually add the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining butter in small amounts, whisking constantly each time, until all butter is melted. Gradually add the Worcestershire sauce, and salt, whisking constantly. Continue cooking until sauce thickens slightly.

Pecan Butter

4 tbsp butter, softened
½ cup roasted pecans, choppped fine
2 tbsp onions, chopped fine
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp garlic, chopped fine

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Butter must be soft. Makes ⅔ cup. Keeps well in the refrigerator, but remove soften before spreading on cooked fish.

The Asparagus with Jambon is basically an abbreviated version of my interpretation of Toro Bravo’s Asparagus with Preserved Lemon, Fried Jambon & Olives.

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I decided to go with a bottle of the Saison Du Blodgett from Upright Brewing.

Jerk Chicken, Coconut Rice, Cucumber Salad and Coco Bread

There were two reasons behind this meal: First, I’ve been sitting on this bottle of Ampersand: Chapter 7 for quite some time now and figured this would be the best thing to pair it with. Second, Portland has absolutely no Caribbean \ Jamaican restaurants – which is sad.

Jerk Chicken – which I grilled on a cast iron griddle on top of the grate of my gass grill to prevent flare ups..

Coconut Rice

Cucumber Salad – which I added some red onion to for a little extra flavor.

Jamaican Coco Bread

My wife came up with this recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows that flour is my Kryptonite…

2 packets yeast
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup warm milk
1 ½ tsp salt
3 cups flour
½ cup butter, melted

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water completely, then stir in milt, salt and lightly beaten egg.

Add half of the flour (1 1/2 cups) an stir until blended. Continue to add more flour a little at a time until you have a dough ball that can can be turned out of the bowl.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth, but firm.

Oil a clean bowl and roll the dough ball gently around in the oil until coated (I dipped a paper towel in vegetable oil and wiped the bowl).

Cover the bowl with a damp hand towel and set it in a cool place to rise for approximately 1 hour until the dough is approximately twice its original size.

Preheat the oven to 425º Fahrenheit and put a pan of water on the lower rack.

Melt the butter if you haven’t already.

Remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into 6-10 pieces of equal size with a sharp knife.

Roll each piece into a loose ball and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 6 inch diameter circle.

Brush the top of the dough circle with melted butter. Fold the dough in half and brush the top with butter again.

Place on an oiled baking sheet (or use silicone liners) and let them sit and rise until they double in size (approximately 15 minutes).

Bake for 12-15 minutes on rack above the pan of water located in the center position or until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.

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To drink, I went with the Ampersand: Chapter 7 – a collaboration between Upright Brewing and The Hop & Vine – which was aged in Rum barrels with black truffles that had been preserved in Italian Amaro Fernet Branca liquor.