Browsing Tag



Coq au Vin – Kat’s New and Improved Version

Coq au Vin is my favorite food on earth, hands down. This is also one of the best recipes that I make. A little background: when I started falling in love with cooking again (no, I was not always a recipe junkie, though food has always been an important part of my life), I fell in love with Julia. Yes, that Julia. I think that a lot of women admire her for the fact that she was just an ordinary woman who picked up cooking later in life and became one of the most influential cooks of an entire culture. So I made her Coq au vin recipe. Coq au Vin is a very old concept — like back from the Romans — but her recipe was straight forward. I have made variations on her it for 5 years now, each time changing it until I have come up with what I consider perfection. I have learned a lot about cooking since I started — like knowing you shouldn’t add all the wine at once otherwise all the tanins end up ruining the dish, or by adding ground dried porcini, the umami flavor is boosted (doesn’t make it taste more mushroom-y). Anyway, I love this recipe. Be forewarned: it takes a minimum of 3 hours. You can stop just before the rue-making stage though, if you need to divide the effort over 2 days.
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Appetizers/Starters, General Reference/Tutorial, Savory Snacks, Sweet Snacks

Fig Honey and Thyme Jam

This week, I found myself in possession of a pound and a half of fresh figs. Not sure really how that happened, as figs are expensive and while you can find them a lot of places, certainly less common than say, an apple. Anyway, I absolutely love figs, but there is no chance that I could have eaten all of them (and enjoyed them) in one go, so I decided to make this lovely jam with about 2/3 of the lot. It’s a sweet jam, of course, with notes of honey, thyme and orange, but it pairs really nicely with savory — would go great with pork, and as shown with this cheese (it’s manchego) or even charcuterie. Or mix it into oatmeal or yogurt, or yes, even toast. It’s surprisingly versatile and yummy to boot. Also, it is very easy to make.
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Dinner, Lunch, Sandwiches/Paninis

Kat’s Version of the Ultimate Hamburger, featuring Bacon Sweet Onion Jam

Everyone has their own “perfect burger”. This is mine.

For starters, it has Bacon Onion Jam, which is in itself a reason for living. It is pretty amazing frankly. I am going to have to keep some of this in my fridge, made at regular interval, for the rest of my life. It is not so pretty to photograph, but take my word for it, it;s good. Really. Really. Good.

And then there is the burger meat, which I grind myself. Millions of times better than store bought. It is time consuming though. I also add porcini powder which no, does not make the burgers taste mushroom-y, just makes them taste more meaty, and thus more amazing. If you have the time and the inclination, give the full recipe a try (or you can use store bought ground beef, but it won’t be the same).
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Appetizers/Starters, Savory Snacks

Grilled Ramp and Lemons Hummus

Things to do with Ramps, Part 4: Make hummus. Yes, still stuck on my ramps (ransoms, Bärlauch) kick and here is a quick and simple recipe that pulls out some of the suble garlicy flavor of the ramps. The grilled lemons add both acidity and sweetness. Comes together in 2-30 minutes and is a great addition to the usual pia chips or veggies. Note: I grilled the whole ramps but then only used the bulbs in the hummus, eating the greens on the side. You can use the whole ramps (bulbs and greens) in the hummus, but when I made it like that the first time, I thought that the greens actually made the hummus too green.
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General Reference/Tutorial

Ramp Chimichurri

Things to do with Ramps, Part 1: Two thinks that I love are Chimichurri (Sauce) and Ramps (German: Bärlauch). If you don’t know what chimichurri is, the short answer is that it is a green sauce made of herbs, garlic, some acid (i.e. lemon or lime juice or vinegar), chiles (fresh or dried) and olive oil. Typically the herbs are parsley, and sometimes cilantro/coriander and sometimes oregano. It originates from Argentina, when it is traditionally put on steak, but it certainly can be put on other things. You’ll see a few examples of that in the next few days here.

My other love is ramps, which are also called wild garlic, ramsons, bear’s garlic, wild leeks, wild onions, bear’s weed, etc. In German, it is called Bärlauch and is one of those “must eat” things in the Spring (they are only available for a few short weeks). Anyway, given that I have a bunch of ramps, and it is Spring, I decided to add some of these to my latest batch of chimichurri. Huge success.
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