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Brussels Sprouts & Lemon Meatballs
april 8, 2014

The most perfect little brussels sprouts were at our local farmers' market this past Sunday. Of course I couldn't resist them, along with the chard, kale, other kale, strawberries, honey, two types of almonds, cookies, bread loaf and mixed purple sprouts that ended up in my bag. Now we have to eat it all before the CSA box arrives on Thursday.

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Pasta Bolognese & Arugula Salad
april 6, 2014

Pasta with Bolognese sauce is nothing out of the ordinary for my family. But I don't make it every time we eat it, that  takes too long. Leftover sauce from the freezer works just fine. This recipe is unusual because it uses white wine, milk and chicken livers. I've never purchased chicken livers before, at least not without most of the rest of the bird attached. And I still haven't, because I sent my husband to do it while I prepped everything else. 

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Buy the bookSchnitzel and Salad
february 26, 2014

Pounded pork with breading, fried in butter, along with my favorite salad: Canal House's Mock Cesar. Both are from Volume No 3, p. 95. To make croutons, I'll cube up the leftover bread we have, rub it with a clove of garlic cut in half, then warm some olive oil in a big pan on the stove, toast the cubes and add salt. My friend Jill would mock me for making my own croutons, but they sure taste good! 

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Cornbread and Pork ChiliPork Chili & Cornbread
october 10, 2013


More tomatillos in the CSA box this week, so more pork chili. This time, a double batch. We've been using this reicipe since it ran in the San Francisco Chronicle, back in the fall of 2002. Pork, tomatillos and beans are the main ingredients. We like to eat it with Deborah Madison's Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyonep. 647.

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Moo Shu Pork
october 8, 2013

Still one of very few ways I can get my kids to eat cabbage. The recipe is from Vegetarian Times, September 2011, p, 69,  I just add thinly sliced pork to the stir fry. Serve with small flour tortillas and hoisen.

 

Buy the bookVietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork
august 2, 2013

Lots of yummy pictures in this special edition of Gourmet from last summer!  This one is perfect for the grill master in your family and works well for a reasonably quick weeknight dinner.

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Food 52Rocket Pops and Roast Pig
july 4, 2013

Someone else has dug a hole in their backyard, built a fire and roasted a pig. My family and I are going to help eat it! We made some fancy, fruity popsicles to bring along, but I'm not sure they'll make it to the party in this heat. I have no idea how to transport frozen goods.

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click here to subscribe to Sunset Magazine Bi Bim Bap
june 13, 2013

On p.100 of the May issue of Sunset Magazine, this recipe is a combination of eggs, kale, avocado and spices over rice. For ours, I'll add on the crock pot korean spare ribs we've been making for years. More details on that later.

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Pulled Pork BiscuitsPulled Pork Biscuits
april 23, 2013

Our street had a block party this weekend and the pulled pork biscuits I brought, from Hollis Wilder's new book, Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan, were a big hit - they disappeared in about five minutes.

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Taverna SquashTaverna Squash
august 30, 2012

Late this summer, my family and I pitched a tent at Eatwell Farm, where most of the produce we eat is grown. Farmer Nigel Walker and his partner, Lorraine, had  invited CSA members out to the farm for an event called "Do Nothing Weekend". We spent our days swimming and canoeing in the pond, drinking lots of house-made soda, counting feral cats and generally lounging around.

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MorePastaAndVeg

More Pasta and Veg - may 3, 2010

We had a busy weekend, as usual, with one of the highlights being Urban Sprouts' Greens, Eggs & Jam brunch on Saturday. My husband, kids and I rode our bikes along Golden Gate Park's panhandle bike path over to Ida B. Wells High School in the Western Addition for the party. The greens and eggs were fabulous - lots of yummy food from NOPA, Radio Africa & Kitchen and Contigo Restaurants, and the bluegrass band was fun. My daughter was stumped when asked to identify their instruments - "a violin and three guitars" she told me. But it was actually a fiddle, mandolin, banjo and one guitar.

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OysterSauce  I am not one to normally use pre-made sauces and ingredients.  I'll admit they taste good. I know they are handy and could save my sanity. But for some ridiculous reason, I just can't do it.  So I hesitated a bit at Nigel Slater's oyster sauce creation. If this weren't a recipe from my current favorite diarist and king of vegetables, I would have glossed it over and gone on.   

But Nigel Slater is just so fantastic.  I really can't rave enough about him - his writing is beautiful, his garden is magnificent and he takes the time to cook wonderful food every day. Plus most of what he cooks is quick and easy, and, as far as I can tell, he doesn't have a personal assistant or live in maid, he is just a regular guy.  Who lives in a spotless house full of stylish crockery. With no kids. And no responsibilities other than shopping, cooking, eating and writing.

So, I take my cues from him.  He is a big deal in Britain, having just won Food Personality of the Year at the BBC's Food and Farming Awards (but I'm not sure exactly what that means, since his name is in small type at the end of the list).  He has written a weekly column for the Observer since 1993,  published two memoirs and eleven cookbooks and although he seems to invite us into his life in his writing, apparently refuses to discuss details of it with the media. Check his article and resulting discussion in Wikipedia if you're interested in getting gossipy on that. 

I am really excited for the second half of his huge and wonderful tome Tender to be published, sometime in 2010. But back to the matter at hand - what is in oyster sauce, anyway?  From the Kikkoman website:

Water, Brown Sugar, Salt, Oyster Juice Concentrate [Oyster (Molluscan Shellfish), Water, Salt],     Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Caramel     Color, Fermented Wheat Protein, Vinegar, Xanthan Gum.

Most of those look like food to me, except for a few of the latter. I would like to look them up in Marion Nestle's What to Eat, but I cannot find my copy.  It has magically disappeared from my bedside stack. So in my search of the web I have discovered the USDA's EAFUS, which stands for Everything Added to Food in the United States.  But sadly, its quite cryptic and not very helpful.  I've also found a site called Nutrition Data, which identifies "modified starch" as a gelling agent or thickener, "xantham gum" as one or all of the following: Bodying Agent, Bulking Agent, Emulsifier, Foaming Agent, Gelling Agent, Stabilizer, Suspending Agent, Thickener, Whipping Agent, and does not list "fermented wheat protein". Its not so helpful either. I guess I'm really wondering: what is xantham, and where does it come from?  Where do they get the food starch and how is it modified?  Why is the wheat protein fermented and not just left as regular wheat?  This site just makes me think about whether a whipping agent is something I want kept in my pantry.

Oh well.  Xantham gum aside, I enjoyed my dinner tonight.  Nigel Slater's pork free version would have been better, but now that my daughter has ceased eating all protein sources beyond peanut butter and yogurt, I'm offering up as many as I can find. Both kids ate their rice, a single 2"x1" piece of pork, and drank their milk.

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Pork and Greens with Oyster Sauce and Ginger (adapted from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries):

2 cups rice (cook it in the steamer, or however you like to)

1/2 bunch coriander (aka cilantro), chopped

2 stalks of spring garlic or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 

a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 bag or bunch stir-fry greens, rinsed and large stems removed

4 Tablespoons oyster sauce

2 boneless pork chops, cut into bite-sized pieces

Mr. Slater actually calls this Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and ginger, but then goes on to say that you can make it with just about any broccoli or spring green, which I think means young green.  So in my case, a bag of stir-fry mix from our produce box works perfectly.  Along with some pork, to buff up the greens that my kids won't eat.  I serve it with steamed rice, leaving out the cilantro for the kids but adding it for grown-ups.

Roughly chop the cilantro and fold it into the rice, which should be kept warm while you cook the rest. Warm the oil in a wok over high heat (or large pan over medium heat if you don't have a wok) .  Add the garlic and ginger, stir it for about thirty seconds, then toss in the pork and stir them around for five minutes or so. Then add the oyster sauce and stir it in.  Next,  add the greens and 1/4 cup of water.  Stir it all around, then put the lid on halfway for a few minutes, until the greens are as tender as you'd like them to be.  Serve the pork and greens over the rice.

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