Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday night dumplings

After a long day at work, I was not really up to cooking a big dinner, so I just sauteed up a bunch of Swiss chard and then we made dumplings. Although I should not really say made as lately we have been buying them frozen from the Hong Kong market. We did whisk up three dipping sauces, a peanut sauce, Hosin and Soy and Sirachi and Honey. The frozen dumplings are then cooked in the pot-sticker style. Browning them first then steaming in chicken broth for a couple minutes. I usually fry them a little after steaming, just to firm up the glaze and give them a little crunch.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Hey it feels like fall....it's about damn time!!!

To that end a German twist on and old southern standby.
We had bratwurst and grits for dinner.

This is a very simple very satisfying meal to make and surprising the flavors work well together.

First the grits,
old style long cooked grits are best, but 5 min will do in a pinch.
Don't neglect the salt, and I add about 1/2 Tb butter and 1 oz cheese per serving after the grits a 1/2 cooked.

Then some spinach,
saute 1/2 med onion chopped in 2 Tb olive oil, add 2-3 cloves garlic chopped, saute until lightly browned. Add spinach, 2 more Tb olive oil and stir until spinach is wilted. sprinkle with 1 Tb red wine or balsamic vinegar.

The brats are grilled over very low heat until well browned and cooked through.

The meal is plated with a mound of grits with a pile of spinach layered over with a brat perched on top. Condiments arranged around the side include mustard, dill pickle, Sirachi chili sauce, and a slice of yesterday's whole grain challah bread.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Whole Grain Challah bread

I seems that lately we are having a lot of one or two dish meals. Last night was no exception, we had fresh whole grain challah bread and chicken curry.

The curry was a typical garam masala/coconut milk based curry.

The Whole grain challah bread was the interesting new experiement.
This is a two day recipe.

Day 1
Add to a mixing bowl
1 c Sourdough Starter (or 1 1/2 tsp yeast proofed in 1/2 cup warm water)
1 1/2 c Water (Hot but not scalding)
1 c Whole Millet
1 c Whole Wheat Berries
1 c Whole Wheat flour
1/2 c Bread flour

Mix this up until is thoroughly mixed, it should be a very sticky loose mixture.
Allow to rest on the counter till the next day.

Day 2
add to poolash (loose dough mixture)
1 cup Water(Warm)
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 Tb Salt
2 eggs
3-4 Cups Bread flour

Knead in stand mixer adding flour gradually until dough is elastic and only slightly sticky.
Shape loaf(s) and raise until doubled, about 1-2 hrs.
Bake for 10 minutes at 500-550F then 30 minutes at 375F
Allow to cool as long as you can stand before cutting... I can never wait long enough.
Do not bag until the next morning to allow excess moisture to evaporate other wise you will ruin your crust.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monday Night Dinner

Last night we had a typical simple supper of grilled flat iron steak and baby bok choy. This is a very simple yet delicious and satisfying. We begin by removing the steak and bok choy from the refer about 30 minutes before cooking. First the Bok choy is sliced in hlaf length wise and placed in a zip lock bag. A slurry of 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 Tb hosin, 4 cloevs garlic crushed, and course ground black peper is prepared. The slurry is wisked to combine and then drizzeled over the bok choy, the zip lock is sealed and the bok choy tossed to coat completly with marinade. This is allowed to rest until time to cook. The Steak is removed for it's package to a plate and coated librarly on both sides with black pepper and course sea salt. About 15 mninutes out, the grill is started. If you are cooking over wood or charcoal you will need more lead time to get up to temp. You want a very high temp fire. The steak is placed right on the hottest part of the fire and the bok choy arreanged arround with the root section closest to the hot fire. The steak should be cooked (or rather seared) about 3 minutes per side turning the bok choy at the same time as the steak. At 6 minutes total the steaks will be seared on the outside and quite rare in the center. The Bok choy will be just tender. Slice the steak on the bias and surve on a pile of bok choy. A nice syrah or zin complements this nicely.

Friday, October 3, 2008


We sailed from Waterford yesterday. The marina itself was in good shape. We saw a lot of carnage on the way out of the Clear Lake and Kemah channel. Pictures to follow. The Bay was mostly clear of debris for the time being. There were some missing channel markers. The Old high range marker for the Houston Ship channel was blown down.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Wow, I never want to go through that again. Now, two weeks after the storm, I can look back and say my first real hurricane can be my last, for all I care.
We saw the brunt of the western Eye wall, still less than those to the east of us. Plenty enough for me though and I'm sure glad we boarded up the windows.
The wind began to build at 9 PM on Friday night and rose steady to 75 mph by 4 AM and then began to ease until by 10 or 11 AM a brisk breeze was all that was left except the unmistakable signs of Ike's passage. Trees and limbs and fences strewn everywhere.
Thankfully we had no damage to our house.

more to come


Welcome Readers,

Our experience during Hurricane Ike inspired me to begin this largely food related blog. My wonderful wife and I were forced by circumstance to improvise an impromptu diet of fresh and frozen food after Ike left us without power for five days in September of 2008. This is the continuing story of our experiments and experiences in Houston Texas.