Monthly Archives: June 2008

WBB #23: Sublime Scrambled Eggs

WBB #23 logo

The theme for this edition of “Weekend Breakfast Blogging is Express Breakfasts – i.e. delicious breakfasts that take 15 minutes or less to make. I was turned on to this method of cooking eggs by Bear, and since trying it this way, can think of no better way to do it. I added a little truffle salt at the end to finish the eggs, and as the name suggests, they turned out sublime. Start to finish time? Roughly 10 minutes.

Sublime Scrambled Eggs on Toast

Sublime Scrambled Eggs
recipe courtesy Gordon Ramsay from “Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy

6 large eggs
2 tbsp (25g) ice-cold butter, cut into small dice
1 tbsp creme fraiche (I used sour cream)
sea salt and pepper (I used truffle salt and pepper)
few chives, snipped (I skipped out on these)

To serve:
2-3 chunky slices of rustic bread, such as pain Polaine

Break the eggs into a cold, heavy pan, place on the lowest heat possible, and add half the butter. Using a spatula, stir the eggs frequently to combine the yolks with the whites.

As the mixture begins to set, add the remaining butter. The eggs will take about 4 to 5 minutes to scramble – they should still be soft and quite lumpy. Don’t let them get too hot – keep moving the pan off and back on the heat.

Toast the bread slices on both sides in the meantime.

Add the creme fraiche and season the eggs at the last minute, and then add the snipped chives. Put the toast on warm plates, pile the softly scrambled eggs on top, and serve immediately.

Getting My Grill On

After the storms blew through yesterday afternoon, it turned into one of those perfect days, with bright blue skies and just the right amount of breeze to complement the perfect 70 degree temperature. And it is one of those days that my new outdoor kitchen becomes an extension of my house, and I move all my prep and cooking outdoors.

So, inspired by some wonderful items I got at the farmer’s market this weekend, I made a plate of food (and a dessert!) that really hit the spot.

Plate of Food 6/29/08

More about exactly what I made (and recipes!) later on this evening…

One Local Summer 2008 – Week 4


For this week’s edition of One Local Summer, I made a recipe I’ve blogged about before, using as many local ingredients as possible. The chicken is from Speckled Hen Farms, the shiitake mushrooms from Toby Run, the onions from Two Crows Farms, the sour cream from Smith Dairy, the butter is Ohio Amish roll butter, and the egg noodles are from Ohio-based Mrs. Miller’s. While not 100% local, it’s more local than not.

Chicken Paprikash made with all local ingredients

If it ever stops raining, we’re doing an all local day today, culminating with grilling outside. Lots of local meals planned for this week, perhaps for next week’s post I’ll do a roundup of all the local things I’ve cooked for the week?

Mmm…Canada: Poutine

Mmm... Canada badge

I don’t think there’s any other dish that’s as quintessentially Canadian as poutine, a comfort food dish that takes hot fries and tops them with fresh squeaky cheese curds and gravy. So when I found out about the Mmm…Canada blogging event, it was the first dish that popped into my mind to make.


Now, I’ll be honest – I’ve always been curious about poutine. The combination just doesn’t sound very good. But let me tell you, folks – it works. So much so that I’ve had it 3 times this month, using the fresh cheese curds from Blue Jacket Creamery that I can get at the farmer’s market each weekend. It truly is addictive.

This first batch I’m blogging about was made from scratch, potatoes and all. On subsequent attempts, I took shortcuts (pre-prepared gravy, frozen fries in the deep fryer) and didn’t notice that much of a difference in the final result – the only thing that’s super important is that you use fresh curds so you get the “squeak”.

Poutine (Fries and Gravy)
recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 c. beef stock
fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs. Idaho white potatoes, peeled and cut
1/2 lb. fresh cheese curd

In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the butter and flour. Stir until incorporated. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes for a dark roux. Stir in the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Peel the potatoes and cut fries, 4 inches by 1/2 inch. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and blanch for 4 minutes. Remove, drain and cool completely. Fry the potatoes until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, mound the fries into the individual (16 oz) disposable cups. Spoon the gravy over the fries and crumble the cheese. Serve immediately.

Barefoot Bloggers: Parmesan Chicken

Due to my power supply issues, unfortunately I’m a very belated Barefoot Blogger. Thankfully, that’s all resolved now. 🙂 Thank you, everyone, for your patience. So, better late than never, here is my Parmesan Chicken:

Parmesan Chicken with Tortellini in Tomato Cream Sauce

I admit, I strayed from the recipe a bit, because I wasn’t feeling the salad with a lemon vinaigrette (although I’m sure it’s very good), and was more in the mood for pasta. I served it with some tortellini with homemade tomato cream sauce. The fact that there is no chicken left (even though there is just two of us) is a testament to how great this recipe is.

Without further delay, here’s the original recipe, salad intact.

Parmesan Chicken
recipe courtesy Ina Garten

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Yield: 6 servings

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 6/28/08

Knowing that this weekend is ComFest, and the Pride parade, and that there’s a gaming convention going on as well, our goal this morning was to get to the North Market as early as possible, and get done as quickly as possible so we could avoid the crowds – our main priorities were to get our weekly dose of shiitakes from Toby Run, plus some more of that wonderful 13-lettuce mix from Bridgman Farms. That, and it looked like it was going to rain (they’re calling for a 30% chance of storms today, raising up to 40% after noon) However, while there, I got distracted by these lovely red currants, which I picked up from Comb’s Herbs to make into a small batch of jelly which I’ll use in a couple of days to make a red currant-mustard glaze for a lamb shoulder…

Red Currants from Comb's Herbs

As we pulled up to park, though, we noted that it’s getting to that time of year where there’s much more variety – I spied lots of broccoli today, and also the first pickling cucumbers of the year at Wish Well Farms.

Broccoli and Pickling Cucumbers

We also got the lettuce mix we were looking for, along with some Napa cabbage from Just This Farm, and some cheese and baked goods inside. Still, we managed to get out of the North Market well before 8:30.

Worthington got an early start this morning – everyone was already up and running when I got there around 8:40ish, and it was aleady crowded, with especially long lines at Wegman’s and Wish Well.

At Worthington, there were cherries as far as the eye could see, most of them at Gillogly Orchard (any guesses to where my first stop was?) In addition to some sweet cherries (I got sours and Raniers at Pop and Judy’s), I also stocked up on tayberries, black raspberries, red raspberries, and blueberries, all of which will taste absolutely wonderful on the lemon quark I got at Blue Jacket Cheese (if you haven’t picked any of this up yet, you have no idea what you’re missing out on!)

Sweet Cherries from Gillogly Orchard

Wegman’s had the last of the good looking strawberries of the season (this is the last week, folks – the ones at Wish Well were looking *rough*), so I picked up a quart to mix with my other berries.

I got a bunch of other stuff here and there – ribeyes and ground beef (for grilling) at OMC Farms, some kohlrabi from Pop and Judy’s, fry pies at Two Crows, so much more stuff that has absolutely slipped my mind – but I was just floored at how much difference just a week makes in variety and availability of fresh Ohio produce.

We made it to Clintonville around 9:15, and after picking up my eggs from 2Silos, I snapped a pic of a sunflower (at least I think it’s a sunflower – or is it a Black Eyed Susan? Beats me, botany’s not my area of expertise) along the way, and was so surpised at how well the pic came out. Funny how you can take dozens of pictures, and every once in a while you get a good one. 🙂


I was so happy to see that Arbor Hill Organics was back for the year, because I absolutely love these Red Thumb Potatoes which are pink inside.

Red Thumb Potatoes from Arbor Hill Organics

This display of veggies that I saw over at Flying J is represtative of what else was available at the market today. Who knew there was such a thing as purple kohlrabi? I ended up getting some yellow squash and beets across the way, and cauliflower from Flying J.

Caulflower, Kale, Purple Kohlrabi, Garlic Scapes, Broccoli and Squashes

I went overboard this week at the markets, but I have a lot of cooking planned for this week, including an all local cooking day. 🙂 Stay tuned. So what did *you* get at your local farmer’s market this week?

Chive Blossom Vinegar – One Month Later

In case anyone was wondering how that chive blossom vinegar I started a month ago turned out, here’s your answer:

Chive Blossom Vinegar - 1 month later

I love love love the color, and the chive flavor has definitely infused itself into the vinegar – it’s very oniony. I’m not sure what to use this for yet, any suggestions? I’m wondering what else I can infuse this summer…the possibilities are endless.

Damn Weather

It looks like the storm the other night caused a surge that wiped out the power supply on my PC. We’re still trying to get the technical issues worked out, so in the meantime I’m only able to access the site from my laptop. Will get caught up on posting hopefully by tomorrow when he’s got the new power supply installed.

Pink Lemonade

Man, it is HOT today. 90 degrees and humid as hell. I nearly melted when I was outside earlier picking mulberries. So when I came inside, dripping with sweat, I wanted something to drink that wasn’t just water. I’m not a pop (soda for you East Coasters) kind of gal, it was far too early for a beer or other such libations, so I dug around to see what I could come up with in a couple of minutes that would be refreshing.

Pink Lemonade

The answer? Pink lemonade. I was one of those people who was naive enough to believe that somewhere in the world, pink lemons exist and that’s where pink lemonade comes from. The real deal? It’s grenadine. This recipe makes one tall glass, and isn’t too sweet, or too tart. I’m submitting to be included in the roundup of the Tasty Tools: Juicer event hosted by Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

Pink Lemonade
adapted from several recipes on Recipezaar

1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. cold water
1 tsp. grenadine syrup

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Serve in a tall glass over ice.


If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you all know how much I love the okonomiyaki at ZenCha. So much so that I’ve been going almost every weekend to get my fix. However, at $9.95 a pop, all that indulgence is adding up quickly, and I was almost going to end up being forced to cut it out due to budget issues. Almost. Before I decided to give up okonomiyaki for good, I thought I’d first try to make it at home, and see if it can be done.

Homemade Okonomiyaki

The short answer? Yes, it can be done, and it was much easier and cheaper than I expected it to be. It came together in minutes flat, and tasted just as good (if not better, since I can control the amount of mayo/sauce here) as the stuff at ZenCha.

We stayed pretty true to the ZenCha version – adding just thinly sliced cabbage, sliced shiitakes and diced chicken – but I understand that you can add darn near anything you please to it. It’s really quite a versatile recipe. The specialty ingredients can be easily found at your local Asian grocer – just go in and get a 3-pack of okonomiyaki flour (180g each bag), a bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise, and a bottle of the Okonomi sauce of your choosing and you’ll be all set.

I’m submitting this recipe to be included in the Wine and Dine: Reisling and Japanese Eats event over at Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

makes 2 ginormous or 4 smaller pancakes

180 g package okonomiyaki flour
180 ml water
2 eggs
3-4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3-4 oz. savoy cabbage, sliced thinly
3-4 oz. diced chicken
Kewpie Mayonnaise, to taste Okonomi Sauce, to taste
Mix together the okonomiyaki flour, water, and eggs into a batter, and then add in mushrooms, cabbage, chicken and any other ingredients you’d like to incorporate. You want to add enough so that the batter looks about like this:

Okonomiyaki Batter

In a greased frying pan (I used olive oil spray) over medium high heat, ladle batter and spread out to fit the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook until underside is lightly browned and edges are set, and then flip over and allow other side to brown. Serve immediately dressed with Kewpie mayonnaise and Okonomi sauce.