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Showing posts from June, 2011

Callaloo Coconut Soup

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HowdayadoCallaloo Soup

Big bunches of callaloo have been inhabiting my vegetable drawer, a large part of my Ditmas Park CSA. I vaguely know what to do with callaloo. Stew, soup, steam? It's like spinach, with a little bit more iron, and perhaps a less tender. Callaloo has a pleasant mineral taste that really mellows in a soup. I'm happy it's here before it's too hot to cook it down in a soup. Make sure to rinse it plenty of times to remove the grit that may be on it. Nothing worse than dirty grit callaloo stew.

Almost like spinach, but healthier

Callaloo Coconut Soup

1 large bunch callaloo (roughly 1 lb)
1 large onion, diced
2 tblsp vegetable oil
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 quart water
1 can coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 pinch red pepper
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
salt to taste

Separate leaves from callaloo stems. Rinse each individually in a large clear bowl. Rinse callaloo until water is clear to make sure all the grit is off. Meanwhile heat oil over m…

Ditmas Park CSA Week 2

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It's already week two of my CSA distribution. I'm splitting a full share, alternating pickups every other week. It's crispy and fresh as ever with a few new varieties of vegetables from last year. It's also already enormous, which is nerve racking considering the season has only begun. Let vegetable endurance challenge and my favorite time begin.

Ditmas Park CSA 2011 Week 2

4 tomatoes
3 zucchini
1 bunch beets
1 kohlrabi
1 bag snow peas (new!)
1 red onion
2 yellow onions
1 bunch green onions
2 heads lettuce
1 bunch kale
1 bunch calaloo
1 bunch basil
6 eggs

Duck Fat

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pure liquid duck

I made a duck. With the whole duck I also go to enjoy, bones for broth, offal for paté, and gobs of fat and skin which can be rendered down. The flavor is pure duck, liquid fatty duck. Most fats have the same amount of calories per serving, but different amount of saturated and un fats. Saturated fat gives food that greasy crave-able fat flavor. Just as a review of your average fats:

1 tablespoon of olive oil 119 calories / 2 grams saturated fat
1 tablespoon of butter 100 calories / 7 grams saturated fat
1 tablespoon of lard (pork product) 115 calories / 5 grams of saturated fat
1 tablespoon of duck fat 112 calories / 4 grams of saturated fat
1 tablespoon of peanut oil 112 calories / 4 grams of saturated fat

Duck fat isn't healthy but it's not the most bad for you oil either. I'm sure all kinds of debates can be had over what makes a fat good or bad. If you want to check out more nutritional stats visit NutrionalData.com.

Rendered Duck Fat and Cracklings
Duck Skin
D…

Rainbow Cookies

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Happy rainbow cookie will make you WORK

Rainbow cookies nearly defeated me. To make them requires almost 1 lb almond paste, 6 eggs, 2 lb of butter, lots of steps to make the batter, 3 rectangle pans to bake, many steps to assemble, and so much patience. Multiple steps means multiple ways to screw up, and once you've messed up a few steps you're going down a creek without a paddle. You can see the struggle in the photos, but I did not give up.

The cookies tasted fine, but not perfect. I found the recipe in the May 2o11 issue of BonAppétit. You may also notice my cookies are yellow, red, and blue rather than the Italian reg, white, and green. I made the cookies to match my composting diagram for Prospect Farm. I brought the cookies to Compost for Brooklyn's Block Party to highlight the layers of trench compost. Each cookie acted as a mini trench compost diagram. A cute idea that some appreciated, and had some asking is this made of dirt?

Rainbow Cookies
2 tblsp plus 2 cups unsal…

Duck Tales: Roasting a Whole Duck

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Oh duck. I have taken your beauty, but given you delicious flavor from moist cooking

Shop Rite in Midwood Brooklyn is a super-duper market. It has a meat department one city block long. Somewhere among the 100's of cuts of pre-packaged meats I found a pile of ducks. I grabbed a mid-sized 6lb whole duck and checked out. From that duck I was able to make 2-3 pounds of luscious dark roasted meat, 6 oz of pure rendered duck fat, 2 handfuls of duck cracklings, 1 quart of duck stock, and a duck liver, heart, and kidneys I have plans to turn into some paté. Expect a few of those recipes soon.

What a long neck my duck had

I hate when people use the flavors of other foods to describe another. Tastes like chicken, can't get any less creative. Duck does not taste like chicken. Sorry to rely on the cliche, but duck may be the "pork "of the poultry world. It has a stronger richer flavor then turkey, Cornish hen, or even chicken. Moist, and hopelessly fatty from a thick layer of fa…