Homemade Red Bean Miso

January 31st, 2011

I used my leftover koji to make this red bean miso.

Earlier this winter I made a big batch of traditional soybean miso for the first time. It’s still sitting pretty and I’ll check on it this spring and most likely scoop it out next winter. I made a second batch of miso a few days after the soybean miso with red beans because I had some leftover koji and didn’t want it to go to waste. If you don’t know what koji is read this.

I don’t need to make my own miso since there’s really good local Jorinji Miso but every year I like to try a new ferment or two and this year happens to be paved with miso. Do you like miso? How do you cook with it?

Homemade red bean miso up close...

Red bean miso salted and ready for the wait...

Read about my homemade soybean miso.

Yard Fresh Pt. 9

January 27th, 2011

Pickled golden beets.

I want to share what I’ve been cooking lately because in upcoming weeks we’re planning to do some work on our kitchen (not a complete overhaul but drywall, paint and lighting are all in the mix) and that means I won’t be able to cook as much at home. Don’t feel sorry for me though because this is some of the tasty stuff I’ve been happily eating lately…

Racked homemade dandelion and plum wines.

Beet green and artichoke heart curry with rice.

Belize-style cooked carrot, onion, garlic, lime hot sauce with my friend Craig's cayennes.

Newman's Fish smoked trout scramble with cream cheese and cilantro.

Sweet and salty pickled beets.

Pickled beet and pastrami sandwich with cream cheese and whole grain mustard on Marsee English muffin loaf.

Yard Fresh Pt. 8
Yard Fresh Pt. 7
Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

Thank You For Everything!

January 21st, 2011

Last week's Mangia, Mangia! PBSCA food event at Elephants Delicatessen with (lef to right) Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Andrea Spella of Spella Caffe, Pat DiPrima of DiPrima Bakery, me moderating and Darryl Joannides of Cork Bottle Shop.

Maybe you read this blog every week, every once in awhile, or maybe this is your first time here. Regardless thank you for being here now, perhaps often, and thank you for caring about Portland food and food culture.

Ever since my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland came out — about six months ago now — I’ve been overwhelmed by all the personal and professional support you all have given me by reading my blog, coming to my book events, buying my book and helping to spread the word about this delicious city. I feel loved and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for contributing in small, big and mysterious ways.

Right now I’m back to my gig as editor at Hawthorne Books, I’m working on various freelance and fiction projects AND I’m working on a big, beautiful, new book proposal. Yep, that’s right. I can’t tell you much more about it at the moment beyond that it’s a very exciting collaboration, it’s Portland-based and I can’t wait to get out of proposal land and back into writing-a-book-land again. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I think you’re going to like this one.

Due to this and other projects I’ll be posting one-to-two blog posts a week rather than the always two a week in order to stay sane. As always, if you want a signed copy of my book you can get that from me or you can also buy from my favorite bookstore in the world. And if you own or work at a business that wants to carry my book please call 800.775.0817 and you’ll get a sweet wholesale deal. Below is a list of some recent reviews that make me smile. Thanks for all of your support!

Latest coverage:

Pacific Northwest Cheese Project
Neighborhood Notes
Music To My Mouth
Broadway Books
Vassar Quarterly

Oregon Tilth’s Urban Growth Bounty Classes

January 17th, 2011

One of last year's Oregon Tilth Urban Growth Bounty classes at Luscher Farm.

Spring will be here before you know it and Oregon Tilth has a great line up of spring Urban Growth Bounty classes in partnership with the City of Portland that center around organic food gardening techniques from February through April.

Registration just opened up so visit the Tilth website to enroll. Individual classes are $35, three for $90 or four for $120. Here’s some info. about the February classes below from the press release. Also, keep in mind that registration is about to open for Oregon Tilth’s March Comprehensive Organic Gardener Program. Dig in!

Visit the Oregon Tilth website for more information.

Plan your Garden
Tilth Toolshed Series: Class 1
Wednesday February 2, 2011

Spring is right around the corner and what will you grow, how much should you plant and what varieties will perform best? Learn practical planning techniques for selecting seeds, optimizing space, increasing harvests, and rotating crops. Maximize your bounty by applying new spacesaving strategies in your home garden. Participants receive free seeds and a “Tilth Garden Planning Packet” full of useful planning tools and worksheets that can be used at home!
Faubion School, 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way

Garden Fresh Greens Year Round
Tilth Cornucopia Series: Class 1
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

With a little planning and added frost protection, it’s easy to grow a variety of fresh greens all year round. Join us for this fun class and learn how to grow your own salad and stir fry mixes, and discover new varieties of tasty hardy greens. Crop timing, season extension, organic pest and disease management and soil fertility will be covered. Attend this class and take home a salad mix to get greens growing in your own garden!
Faubion School, 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way

Plan Your Garden
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring is right around the corner and what will you grow? How much will you plant and what varieties will perform best? Attend this class to learn practical planning techniques for selecting seeds, optimizing space, increasing harvests and rotating crops. Maximize your bounty by applying new space‐saving strategies at home. Participants receive free seeds and a “Tilth Garden Planning Packet” full of useful planning tools and worksheets for home!
Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego, OR

Growing Tomatoes and other Summer Fruits from Seed
Tilth Cornucopia Series: Class 2
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do you enjoy eating homegrown tomatoes, peppers and eggplant? Attend this class to learn practical techniques for indoor seed propagation so you can grow all your favorite summer fruits from seed to harvest. Pruning and vertical gardening for vining crops will be covered. You’ll also discover methods for extending your growing season to encourage an earlier and more productive harvest for your heat‐loving crops. Participants will take home newly sown tomatoes and peppers!
Faubion School, 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way

Oregon Tilth

Portland Italian Food Panel @ Elephants Delicatessen Tuesday Night

January 10th, 2011

Darryl Joannides owner of Cork: A Bottle Shop will talk about Italy to Portland wines at Mangia, Mangia!

A few months back Jesse Locker of the Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) asked me to be a part of PBSCA’s January Know Bo event at Elephants Delicatessen. I was honored and now here it is mid-January and the event is tomorrow night.

I’ll be hosting the Mangia, Mangia! panel for PBSCA’s monthly Know Bo tomorrow night at Elephants on NW 22nd Ave. from 6-8pm. The event is free and open to the public. There will be minimal food/drink samples but plenty for purchase to eat/drink during from Elephants Delicatessen. I’m the event moderator so I’ll strive to sound smarter than I am about Italian food while asking local experts about everything from red sauce to Italian ristretto style espresso.

Joining me on this Italian food folk panel will be folks featured in my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Andrea Spella of Spella Caffe, Patricia DiPrima LeConche of DiPrima Dolci Bakery and Darryl Joannides of Cork: A Bottle Shop. I’m really looking forward to it. The more the merrier. Come on out and mangia, mangia with us.

Andrea Spella will talk all things Italia coffee at Mangia, Mangia! Tuesday night.

Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) January Know Bo Mangia, Mangia!:
A food panel about Portland/Italian food hosted by me
@ Elephants Delicatessen
115 NW 22nd Ave., Portland
Tuesday, January 11th 6-8pm
Free and open to the public

Facebook Mangia, Mangia! event page

Homemade Dim Sum

January 6th, 2011

Christmas shrimp serrano ginger shao mai.

We had a home on the range, quiet Christmas this year. It was just my boyfriend and I so we decided to cook up two of our favorite things — seafood and dim sum. For supplies we went to Uwajimaya in Beaverton. We filled the cart with shao mai ingredients, two Dungeness crabs (live when we chose them but killed and eviscerated before handed over the counter), a couple pounds of prawns, nice sake, Kirin Ichiban, and more.

On Christmas Eve for dinner we started with Dungeness in drawn butter mixed with a generous squeeze of lime. One of my favorite things in the world to eat. Then we set to making our traditional shao mai, skins and all, from the cookbook below. The next day we used the same techniques but changed the filling to mostly shrimp with lots of serrano, ginger and shitakes. Awesome.

I’ve had Mai Leung’s book for years and finally got around to using it. I love potstickers and have pretty much used the same Florence Lin recipe, and variations of it of course, for years. I’ve finally taken a bite out of this book now and I’m looking forward to trying other recipes. I love Leung’s stories peppered throughout. The illustrations are pretty great too. Here’s what we made. Happy New Year!

This is what we filled the shrimp/serrano/ginger shao mai with...

Our instructor...

Nice illustrations...

We also made these classic shao mai -- skins and all.

And steamed them up.

10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
Beaverton, Oregon