And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
“Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer” on the Stereo, and Tex-Mex Enchiladas on the Table for Dad and Me!
What would I prepare for my dad to eat if I could have that opportunity? I think he would love some Tex-Mex Cheese and Onion Enchiladas and a cold cerveza.
My father loved food as much as I do. He also loved music, fishing and his family. I asked my two older sisters, who enjoyed much more time with him than I, for their recollections. Marlene, my senior sis, the oldest since we’re all technically “seniors”, wrote: “The things I remember about the food he liked is that there was nothing he would not eat. Remember, this was the Depression era.”
Austin, Texas is the self-proclaimed Migas Capital of the Southwest and is certainly deserving. I have warm memories of lingering over a brunch of migas and aguas frescas with many of my dear friends in Austin, and I depend on them to lead me to the best table there. Well, I’m not in Austin, so I’ll just crank up my Oregonian Tex-Mex mojo.
Every year on the weekends around Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, vineyards and winemakers in the Willamette Valley invite the public to taste their latest wines in their cellars or tasting rooms. Many of these are boutique wineries that cannot operate tasting rooms year ’round, so this is your chance to discover newer and smaller producers.
Wine tasting ranks almost as high as outdoor activities in Oregon and it does get you out in nature, too, off the main roads and into the rolling hills of the vineyards.
Wild mushrooms permeate the forests of the Pacific Northwest like spring bluebonnets cover fields in Texas. Most supermarkets offer ample selections of the ones that are easily cultivated, such as shiitake, oyster and portobello, to name a few. Also available are those that must be foraged: morels, matsutake, maitake, and porcini and the black trumpet.
Drawing on two great Oregon resources, here is a crab and wild mushroom extravaganza with five, that’s right, I said FIVE varieties of wild mushrooms.
Well, la-di-da! It’s a finger-lickin’, chin-dribblin’, rib-stickin’, lip-smackin’ Mac ‘n’ Cheese! The Allison Inn and Spa leads the way with another “ultimate.” Truffle Macaroni and Cheese!
Of all the benefits of living in Oregon and especially the Willamette Valley, food, wine and beer-tasting events rank high. Willamette Valley Vineyards is one of our state’s most gracious hosts and promoters of Oregon’s abundance of artisan food products.
The 7th annual Wine, Pear and Cheese Jubilee on the weekend of March 6 and 7 featured a rich selection of cheeses from Willamette Valley Cheese Company in Salem and The Rogue Creamery in Central Point. USA Pears offered a beautiful selection of fresh Oregon pears along with recipes and information about this elegant Northwest fruit.
Brie and pear make a delicious and classic combination, with a twist of being encased in pastry and baked to golden deliciousness. Is that really a word? Deliciousness? Make it and decide for yourself and be sure to enjoy it with a glass of Oregon pinot gris or riesling!
Shortly after Jeff DeSantis poured everyone a shell of Emily’s Ember, our servers presented the first course, Tempura of Shrimp and Oregon Dungeness Crab Beignets with Remoulade Sauce. Bringing Japanese and Creole elements together made a perfect first course. The crunch of the tempura batter was beautifully offset by the soft crab beignets and both paired well with the remoulade sauce. Without directly asking the chef, I have a hunch that a touch of Emily’s Ember was in the tempura batter and the semi-spicy remoulade.
With the first sip and bite, we knew we were in for a special treat.
When I came across a recipe for Sole Piccata with Grapes and Capers in Bon Appétit, I knew I had to try it. It was one of those “Holy capers Batman, this dish goes super kapow!” recipes. The grapes added a bold dimension without overpowering the lemon and capers but stood next to them equal in flavor. This is a weeknight dish that you can have on the table in a reasonably short time and can be dressed up for company if you don’t mind cooking at the last minute.
Parmesan-crusted Halibut is a simple preparation worthy of standing alone with perhaps a spritz of lemon or a tartar sauce. It can also be dressed up in grand style with a heady Sauce Marseillaise which is tomato-based along with copious amounts of garlic, black olives, capers and anchovies. Nothing shy in this sauce! Steaming clams in this sauce and adding to the presentation is probably gilding the lily but sometimes it’s fun to put on the dog.
Mozzarella Tarantella for “La Nozze di Foglie di Salvia” or Mozzarella and Sage Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
My “Sage and Mozzarella Sandwich” began to take shape quite a few years ago. I was thumbing through The Fine Art of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli. I became fascinated with a recipe titled Foglie di Salvia Ripieno or “little sage sandwiches.” I imagined Catherine de’ Medici serving these little packages at one of her repasts in France. And by the way, her personal chefs inspired the beginnings of French cuisine as we know it today.