I’m a huge fan of eggs; you know this. To me, a perfectly fried egg on sourdough toast is the epitome of deliciousness. The crispy caramelized white shatters like glass and the thickened, but runny, yolk soaks into the bread like gravy. But my once and only true love has recently been usurped by one better: poached eggs on toast.
Where a fried egg has crispy whites, which add texture but are somewhat boring, the poached egg has a luxuriously silky white that is almost like custard. And where the perfect fried yolk is difficult to obtain, always either too runny or too cooked, the perfect poached yolk is a mere matter of timing. Once you find that sweet spot your yolks are perfect forever.
If you’re not making your own bread stop what you’re doing right now and take a good hard look at your life. If your answer is, “I don’t eat bread” seek professional help immediately; report back here after reprogramming. If instead you are one of the, “I don’t have time to make bread” people, just imagine that you are one of those weak minded characters from a 1920s black and white movie. You have been driven to hysterics and I’m Clark Gable, come along to smack some sense into you.
You CAN make bread at home, and it’s fantastic. It ISN’T hard, I literally spend a total of less than 5 minutes per loaf. You SHOULD do this, we were spending up to $5 for some of those ‘artisan’ breads and you can make the same thing, at home, for $0.40 in ingredients and $0.10 worth of natural gas. And NO you don’t need a bread maker; in fact you don’t even need to knead it.
There was a deathly calm over the whole boat as we drifted past the kelp paddy. After a day of trolling and searching, we had finally found the huge floating mass of sea weed; and its hidden promise of fish. There was the initial flurry of activity. As soon as the boat revved down baits were grabbed and lines were cast, along with elbows and curses. But now nothing, just quiet. Continue reading Coconut Macadamia Mahi Mahi with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Succotash→
Each year tuna migrate up the California Coast, following warm water currents from Mexico to Japan. These currents are unpredictable, so that each year a different set of species is found offshore. Some summers, anglers only see one species all season; maybe albacore or yellowfin. But every now and then the conditions are just right, so that a whole mixed bag of fish moves through. This summer was one of those times and it was a banner year for offshore fishing in San Diego. In a single day, anglers had the opportunity to target bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, yellowtail, and dorado (Mahi Mahi). Catching all 5 in one day comprises the “Grand Slam” of San Diego offshore fishing. Continue reading Poke Burgers!→
This is a fall-appropriate meal that I threw together with the contents of my pantry, freezer, and dwindling summer garden. I have a freezer full of smoked tuna from the summer offshore fishing season, and I picked the peppers from my garden 5 minutes before throwing them in then pan. Grains, whey, and mushroom are just ingredients I tend to always have around. Continue reading Smoked Tuna over Whey Bulgar with Sautéed Mushrooms and Peppers→
Cheese making is a cool hobby, and one that will impress your friends. But if you are thinking about trying your hand, consider first the dark underbelly of cheemaking. The secret they don’t want you to know; whey.
Whey is the by-product of cheese making. It is the watery part of milk, and contains some fat and protein that didn’t make it into the cheese. And boy-howdee, do you get a lot of it. A 2 gallon batch of say cheddar or manchego, results in close to 1.75 gallons of whey; that’s a lot! You could just pour it down the sink, but it seems such a waste. I’m always looking to find new uses for it.
Last February we joined a goat milk co-op. That statement stands on it’s own, as there was no real reason for it other than a friend asked us if we wanted to. Prior to joining, we didn’t even drink milk. And we weren’t crazy raw-food fanatics either. Someone just asked, and we said yes.
Now we get 1-3 gallons of goat milk every week. Everyone wants to know if it’s funky. It’s absolutely not. It’s fresh, creamy, and odorless. In fact I would rate it as way more palatable than any store bought cow’s milk I’ve had. That said, I still prefer soy milk on my cereal, and attempts at making goat ice cream have come out more like goat ice milk. That leaves me no where to go but cheese and yogurt. Continue reading Homemade Chevre→
Whenever I have a bumper crop of fruit I eat it fresh until I’m sick of it, then my mind turns to sorbet. If you’re not making sorbet, you should. It’s cheap, easy, and delicious. It’s also a great way to preserve fresh fruit. I make sorbet from uncooked fruit puree and sugar. Dehydrated and jam are other options, but sorbet captures and preserves the fresh, bright flavors of the fruit. And because you’re only using the juice, you’re preserving it in a compact, convenient form; no canning or vacuum sealing required. Continue reading Passion Fruit Sorbet→
For some reason this year I am very excited for the onset of fall. All I can think about is apples and pumpkins. A few weeks ago Suzi and I headed up to Julian with some friends of ours, in search of fresh apples. The mission: home brew cider. Continue reading Home Brewed Julian Apple Cider→
In a continuing effort to find applications for eggs, I recently dug out an oldie but a goodie: Challah (pronounced hall-ah). Challah is traditional Jewish egg bread eaten on Sabbath and certain holidays, including Rosh Hashana. According to legend, Challah was one form of manna (food provided by God), which fell from heaven to the Israelites as they wandered the desert.
I cannot confirm or deny any part of this legend, but I can say that Challah is damn good bread. A large number of eggs in the dough, usually 5 or 6, lends richness to this bread. Most recipes call for sugar or honey, which give a gentle sweetness. The top is brushed with more eggs, or honey on special occasions, which renders the loaf shimmering golden brown. The loaf itself is braided which not only makes for spectacular presentation, but also creates long sinews of bread that can be torn apart and eaten out of hand. Sometimes raisins are added to the dough or sesame seeds sprinkled over the top; these add texture and interesting variations to the flavor. However you take it, it’s delicious. Continue reading Challah Challah Challah→
lu-na-tic [loo-nuh-tik] –noun 1. an insane person. 2. a person whose actions and manner are marked by extreme eccentricity or recklessness.