Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bearnaise Sauce

OMG!!!! I have never experienced such delicious heavenly bliss like drizzling bearnaise sauce on a steak or anything for that matter.  I think I could eat this by the spoonfuls, Oh wait I have.

Bearnaise sauce is something I have heard on several cooking shows and seen on menus but I had never experienced this luxurious sauce until a few days ago.

We grilled steaks and my Aunt Sadie said we have to make bearnaise! I said ok sounds good, what is it?

She went on to tell me the recipe and give detailed instructions on how to make it.  However, it wasn't until the steaks were done and we sat down to eat that I really started paying attention.

Like I mentioned OMG it is so good!!

So I am passing this recipe along from my Great Aunt Sadie Hudson via my Aunt Sadie Davidson.

Ingredients:

2t Tarragon Vinegar
1T dried parsley
1t dried chives
dash cayenne
dash black pepper
2 egg yolks
1T Pinot Grigio
1 stick salted butter

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except butter into blender or food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.

Cook meat or whatever your serving the sauce with. ( Me it's either a spoon or cracker :)

When you are allowing meat to rest bring butter to a slow bubble in a small sauce pan.  Once hot turn off heat and turn on blender/food processor.  Slowly drizzle hot butter into the mixer and blend until mixture has emulsified.

Sauce will turn a beautiful yellow and thicken beautifully.

Last night I cooked bone in pork chops and finished them with bearnaise, yummy.  

Hope you enjoy!

Jurahee

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Garden PLANTED

It is a beautiful day here in paradise.

Since I have heard mesquite trees can be fooled when the last freeze will be I have been waiting on our pecan tree to put out buds.

So I am taking a leap of faith and planting my garden today since the pecan tree is finally budding.  I hope there isn't another freeze!!

I planted tomatoes at the beginning of the month but okra, green beans, tomatillos, black beauty and round zucchini, yellow & cocozelle squash, patty pan, butternut and buttercup squash, lemon, straight eight and tender green cucumbers all from seed went into the ground this morning.  I also transplanted jalapenos, purple bell peppers and Serrano peppers that I started from seed in February.

I am so excited and can't wait for yummy fresh veggies!!

Jurahee

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kumquat Trio

Well back to reality! It has been a great week of no internet and minimal cell phone service.

I was fortunate enough to spend the "Spring Break" at heaven on earth, the lake.  Even though the lake's water level is really low it is still a peaceful, serene place to relax and check out from reality.


This beautiful citrus tree lives in the front yard at the lake house, it is a kumquat tree.  

These are it's beautiful fruit! 


Unlike other citrus fruit you can eat these little gems whole, no need to peel them.  So with that in mind I decided there had to be a great recipe or several great recipes these cuties could be incorporated into.  

The first thing I made with them was Kumquat Pico de Gallo.  

It was so easy and great on a tortilla chip.

Then my Aunt Lida had some frozen cooked shrimp and so we added diced shrimp to the pico for a delicious Shrimp & Kumquat Ceviche.  



After our delicious concocting I decided there had to be other things we could use these citrus bites in.  
So I hopped on a ladder and started picking, it takes some time to pick these little guys.  I can see why they are so pricey in the grocery store.  

Once I got home I had to figure out what I was going to make.  Marmalade, preserves, and infused vodka all crossed my mind.  

I knew from my grapefruit experimenting that the vodka would be great so on the far right you can see the Kumquat infused vodka.  Then I had several left so I decided to do preserved kumquats similar to preserved lemons; thats the jar on the left.   



Here are the recipes for the trio of kumquats! 


Kumquat Ceviche

Ingredients: 
1 cup diced tomato
3 deseeded and deveined diced jalapenos
1 medium diced onion
2 T diced cilantro
10 sliced kumquats
10 diced cooked shrimp
1 lemon or lime juiced

Directions: 
Combine and enjoy!!


 Kumquat Vodka

Ingredients:
14 Kumquats
1 cup Vodka

Directions:
Half the kumquats and stuff into a jar then cover with vodka.  Let sit out not refrigerated for at least 48 hours up to a week.  Every time you think about it shake the jar to incorporate the vodka even more.  Once you are ready to use the vodka you can strain and indulge in something delicious. 


Preserved Kumquats


Ingredients:
20 Kumquats, washed
Sea Salt
Fresh lemon juice to cover (about 6 lemons) 


Directions: 
Wash and dry fruit and then make a single vertical cut 3/4 of the way though each kumquat.  Fill each cut with as much salt as it will hold and place them into a sterilized wide mouth jar.  Compress them into the jar so there is little space and then fill with fresh squeezed lemon juice to cover.  Seal and set aside do not refrigerate.  


The kumquats will be ready in about 2 to 3 weeks so I will keep you posted on what happens in the jar between now and then.  


From what I have read about preserved lemons you want to wait until the rinds are very tender and then you can use them to garnish and flavor any kind of dish you would like.  


Hope you enjoy these and if you can't find kumquats use any citrus you like!


Jurahee























Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stuffed Crab and Oysters


The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has once again come and gone for Sam and I.  It is by far my favorite livestock show.








One of my favorite things about going to Houston is eating at Capt Benny's.  It is a hole in the wall, dive shaped like a boat that serves the best seafood.  

The stuffed crab there is my favorite!  I am going to try and come up with a copy cat recipe since I only get to have them once a year.


However the big seller at Capt'n Bennys is the Oysters on the Half Shell, they shuck them fresh, right in front of you.

I am not a fan but Sam sure ate a dozen.

After I watched our waiter/shucker throw several trays of empty shells away I asked him if I could have some to take home.

With a very confused look on his face he said "sure I guess?"  I continued to explain myself  "I have heard that crushed oyster shells help chickens with their egg shell production" he grinned and nodded his head and packed me a sack full.

You can only imagine the fishy stench coming from that bag of brackish mollusks, so they got to ride home in the back of the pickup.

When we got home I decided I had better crush them up and get them to my hens since it was their souvenir from our trip.

I put the shells in a feed sack and after a few whacks with a hammer the large chunks were a little smaller but I didn't think they were small enough yet so I decided I would treat them like a bag of ice and just beat them on the concrete.

Finally after some serious smashing they were small enough for the chickens to eat so I set out a feed trough full and the girls flocked to it!  I am sure every stray cat in town will be helping themselves to some oyster shells tonight too!

Thanks Houston for the great food, livestock and oyster shells :)

Now on to a great spring break of family time at the lake and hopefully some gardening.

Jurahee







Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grapefruit Sorbet

Ok I am sure you are thinking grapefruit sorbet really Jurahee??!!

But let me tell you it is DEVINE!!!

Right now there are tons of Texas Grapefruit on sale at our local grocery store so I just had to buy two ten pound sacks!

I love fresh grapefruit for breakfast but had to start looking up different recipes and quick.

My stand mixer has the most amazing attachment, the ice cream maker.   It makes the most luscious and sinful things with ease,  I just can't quit using it.

If you have a kitchen aid stand mixer and do not have this attachment you are missing out!

This recipe is perfect for a hot afternoon or even a windy one like today!

Ingredients:

6 large grapefruit
2 large mangos
1/4 cup stevia or sugar (I didn't want mine too sweet because I love salted grapefruit but if you like sweet then add up to a full cup of sugar.)
1 cup water
2 shots of grapefruit infused Vodka (I soaked grapefruit rinds in two cups of vodka for about three weeks)
Coarse sea salt for garnish

Directions:

Peel and section grapefruit and then squeeze juice into the bowl.  Peel and dice the mangoes.  With a  stick blender or food processor puree the mixture until it is a very smooth consistency.  Then place the mixture in the fridge to chill.  While that is cooling down pour water and sugar into a small pot on the stove and heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Once dissolved remove from heat and add the vodka. Then pour the spiked simple syrup into the fruit puree and stir to combine.  Set up the ice cream maker and pour the mixture in and let it freeze for about thirty minutes.  Then pour it into a glass bowl and place in the freezer to finish setting up.


I served myself a healthy bowl full for dessert.


I guess it could be a happy hour dessert since it is really just a frozen salty dog.  Maybe that's why I love it so.

Jurahee

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Garden READY


YEAH the garden is tilled and ready for a bountiful spring, summer and fall!

I am trying a new method this year instead of rows its called the double dig.  Basically its taking the soil  from your furrow and putting it on top of the beds.

I have dug out and made four pathways essentially making three long raised beds inside my plot.  Hopefully this will allow for a more bountiful crop (biointensive) by planting more seeds in a hexagon shape instead of just in rows.

This book has given me these new ideas that definitely go against my farming roots of row planting.


This is what a biointensive bed looks like versus rows.
I think this method will definitely increase my production and vegetable yields this year .


The potatoes have made their debut and I have tomatoes, onions, spinach, lettuce and strawberries up in my raised planter boxes.  (This is the best picture Gertie has ever taken) 


I cheated with a few of my tomato plants, four are from seed but the others are from the Bonnie display at the grocery store.  I made sure to buy pots that had more than one stalk growing in them making it more economical.

The Juliet grape tomato plants I bought had 4 plants in one pot and luckily they all transplanted well.

The varieties I grew from seed are San Marzano, Green Zebra, Black Krim and Roma.  For some reason Sam thinks we have way too many tomato plants.

I have been chomping at the bit to plant the rest of my garden but Sam keeps telling me there will be another freeze around Easter.

So I am patiently waiting and listening to the old wives tale: when the mesquite trees start putting on leaves you can start planting your garden.

I guess I had better wait a few more weeks!

Jurahee