Friend Food Pt. 5

July 30th, 2012

Our dear old friends Rale, Elizabeth and Maya moved away from us to Missoula and we are sad. Rale Sidebottom has the best name of anyone I know and he also sends the best parcels in the mail. He sent me this a while back and I loved it. Not as much as I love him though.

I’m so grateful for my friends near and far — such a great family of friends in my life. I don’t have any friends that don’t love food so we eat, drink and are merry a lot and also gift one another with tasty food and drink often. In this installment of friend food you may feel a little jealous. I hope not. I hope that it inspires you to make something yummy and give it to someone you love — every last bite of it.

My friend Michelle recently moved and she has an enormous rhubarb plant in her yard. She didn't have time to cook with it so she gave me all of it and I chopped it up and made...

Rhubarb syrup! So far we've just had it with seltzer but rhubarb margaritas are in our near future...

My dear old friend Autumn moved to India a little more than a year ago and when she visited us this spring she brought us all of these treats. Lucky.

Our friend Anthony grows all sorts of chiles from seed every year and he's kind enough to always give us some. This year he gave us shisito, cherry bomb and aji chile plants and they are happy and healthy in the backyard. Future hot sauce.

My King of the Brine friend David Barber of Picklopolis recently gave us a couple bottles of his excellent hot sauce after he got his lovely new tattoo from my boyfriend Tyler at Grizzly Tattoo to commemorate his baby girl. The tattoo -- "Junior Pearl -- mon petit cornichon." Love.

Finally finished bottling the 50 or so bottles of last year's plum cherry wine. It would have been without the cherries if it weren't for my lovely friends and neighbors.

Our friend Nat West dropped off a case of his super tasty hard cider that's now available in all sorts of restaurants and bars around town. Go Nat!

And last but not least our friend Alison and her boyfriend Chris brought us back some tasty candy from Massachusetts. Witches did not make it.

Friend Food Pt. 4
Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 2
Friend Food Pt. 1

2012 Oregon Brewers Festival

July 23rd, 2012

The 2011 Oregon Brewers Festival, photo taken by Timothy Horn.

The 25th annual Oregon Brewer’s Festival is less than a week away and if you haven’t made plans yet to attend I think you should consider it. I’m really looking forward to this year’s OBF because there are all sorts of tasty beers that I haven’t tried yet on the lineup. This year OBF will host 85 craft breweries from around the country and serve more than 30 styles of beer. The expected attendance is 80,000 so be ready for the madness, 130-plus beers to try and the festival’s debut of a sour beer tent if you like the winky beers.

A few facts about this year’s Oregon Brewers Festival:

The highest alcohol content beer this year will be Dogfish Head’s Positive Contact at 9 percent ABV.

There will be more fruit beers this year — 21st Amendment’s watermelon wheat has been the festival’s top seller for years.

There are six breweries bringing organic beers: Bison Brewing Company, Eel River Brewing Company, Fort George Brewery, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Mt. Emily Ale House and Old Market Pub and Brewery.

Here’s the gist of the festival straight from the press release:

Better known as the OBF, the festival was the brainchild of Art Larrance, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co. Art had traveled to the original Oktoberfest in Munich and knew what a big beer party was like. His goal was to re-create a similar atmosphere here in Portland and bring attention to the resurgence of microbrews.

Art collaborated with craft beer veterans Dick and Nancy Ponzi of BridgePort Brewing Co. and Kurt & Rob Widmer of Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. to produce the first Oregon Brewers Festival in 1988. Despite the limited number of microbreweries nationwide at the time – or perhaps because of that fact– the festival was overwhelmingly successful and has never looked back.

25th annual Oregon Brewers Festival
July 26-29, 2012
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Main entrance at SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway

Thursday through Saturday taps are open noon to 9pm; Sunday taps are open noon to 7pm.
Admission to the festival is free.
In order to drink beer you must purchase a $6 2012 mug. Beer tastes are purchased with $1 tokens. 4 tokens gets you a mug of beer and 1 gets you a taste.
Cash only event — ATMs are on-site.
Minors are allowed into the event only if accompanied by a parent.

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef

July 16th, 2012

I love this book.

I’d never heard of Joe Beef until shortly after the Montreal restaurant’s cookbook The Art of Living According to Joe Beef came out this fall. The cookbook published by Ten Speed got so much buzz early on that I felt like I had to at least pick it up and see what the talk was about. I knew it had a foreword by David Chang and all sorts of big name, glowing blurbs from Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern and Alice Waters and wondered if it was as good as they claimed it was.

There are very few cookbooks that I’ve read cover to cover but a few that I have include Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, a couple James Beard Cookbooks, At Home on the Range and Wild Fermentation. I’m reading the Joe Beef cookbook essay by essay and recipe by recipe. I’m learning a lot. I love the narrative and voice and how the book goes well beyond the template that most cookbooks follow and gets to the heart of the matter — why cook and why Joe Beef?

One of my favorite parts so far is the book’s third chapter on trains. Joe Beef co-owner Frederic Morin has a deep and loyal love for trains and as a reader you get to take a 17 hour train ride from Montreal to Moncton on “The Ocean” — the oldest continuously operated train route in North America — with Joe Beef chef-owners Morin and David McMillan, Joe Beef cookbook writer Meredith Erickson and the book’s photographer Jennifer May. They drink from Fred’s “traveling-salesman bar kit, complete with bottles of vermouth, gin, Johnny Walker, and Fernet Branca.” They listen to Neil Young and eat all sorts of delicious food including Black Forest Cake and Canadian wine. The recipes follow the essays — “The following recipes are inspired by and meant for train travel…” including Tiny Sausage Links, Chicken Jalfrezi, Beer Cheese and Dining Car Calf Liver.

I’ve only cooked a couple things from the book so far — the hot Daube de Joues de Boeuf Chaude (page 246) and the Kale for a Hangover (page 202) and they were both super tasty. I’m looking forward to cooking more and reading more. I hope that future cookbooks follow suit with deeply personal and complicated narrative and essays (and Smorgasbord centerfolds! That’s right.) that push the envelope of what a cookbook can be.

Joe Beef's Hot Daube de Joues de Boeuf Chaude over mashed potatoes.

Before setting it to braise...

A couple hours later...

Joe Beef's potato ricer mashed potatoes.

I didn't have a hangover but Joe Beef's Kale for a Hangover cured me of something I'm sure.

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef

By Frederic Morin, David McMillan & Meredith Erickson
fall 2011
292 pages
$40 Ten Speed Press

For Your Viewing Pleasure Pt. 4

July 9th, 2012

Toro Bravo's charcuterie program manager Josh Scofield tying off the just stuffed North African sausage.

I don’t have time to do a proper blog post today so I’m putting up a snapshot from recipe testing for the Toro Bravo Cookbook: The Making, Breaking and Riding of a Bull (McSweeney’s fall 2013). We’re full steam ahead with the book and I have a lot of recipes to write this week so I’m going to get back to that. I also have a nasty sunburn to apply aloe to every few hours since Portland summer has finally arrived. Hope you are doing well and getting out and enjoying summer to the fullest. I spent Saturday at the river and Sunday at a lake. Lucky.

For Your Viewing Pleasure Pt. 3
For Your Viewing Pleasure Pt. 2
For Your Viewing Pleasure Pt. 1

Yard Fresh Pt. 22

July 2nd, 2012

Deviled eggs with minced pickle, onion, herbs and chive blossoms.

I’ve got my tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, pole and bush beans, chiles (thanks to my friend Anthony!) and greens going and now all that’s left is basil and probably some more tomato starts. So far we’ve had a lot of Hood strawberries, snap peas and greens from the garden — tatsoi, flashy trout’s back lettuce and a lot of arugula.

I’ve harvested a quarter of the garlic and the fruit trees, cranberry bush and grape vines are loaded with fruit. I think there’s going to be a lot of nice wine this year. The blueberries, on the other hand, have next to no fruit. I’ve bottled 40 bottles of plum/cherry wine from last year and if most of this already thinned fruit sets we might be looking at double that for next. I’m looking forward to using this book once we have more food coming in from the garden.

The meal that we’ve been enjoying together the most lately has been breakfast and I think that’s because it’s been so busy. It’s quick and easy and we usually leave the house around the same time. So, lots of breakfast foods in this post. I’m looking forward to upcoming weeks when the garden is growing generously and we can eat more from it…

We've been doing a lot of recipe testing for the Toro Bravo Cookbook and we had leftover avocado salad from that so made it into a tasty scramble over toast.

Straight-up grilled burgers with cheddar, onion and bacon on ciabatta rolls.

Ham, egg and homemade arugula pesto on toast.

Potato taco mash-up with salsa verde, cilantro, lots of lime and sour cream.

We were at the bar one night and a girl had a big bag filled with asparagus that she was giving away. Her friend is starting an asparagus cooperative and she's been helping him get the word out. I grilled it up in a miso vinaigrette and it was really tasty.

It's not all that pretty but made this lemony, mustard seed chicken salad with leftover pieces from a roasted chicken and it was really good.

More Toro Bravo Cookbook leftovers -- took some leftover salsa verde from recipe testing and scrambled it with ham and brie.

Potato, sauteed chile and egg mash. Another case of the not-so-pretty but very tasty.

Future food!

Yard Fresh Pt. 21
Yard Fresh Pt. 20
Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
Yard Fresh Pt. 17
Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
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