Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pork with Bok Choy

Sunday 19 August
This year Barbara is growing Baker Heirloom Seeds' version of baby bok choy, called "ching chang."  Aside from sounding like an old ethnic joke, it's okay, but has thin scrawny stems.  (Next year we'll go back to Johnny's Seeds' more succulent, dependable, and Pinyin mei qing choy.)  A bagful of these chopped down into not much, so we separated the stems from the greens, and added a sliced onion for bulk. 
Meanwhile, thin-sliced pork got marinated with a shot of shao xing wine, a double shot of soy sauce, a sprinkle of sugar, a little minced garlic, and a grind of pepper. 
Finally we stir-fried the onion, some chopped ginger, then bok choy stems, then greens, and lowered the heat, covered, and steamed until tender.  Set that aside, and stir-fried the pork with a little more minced garlic.  Finally, put a zotz of black bean garlic sauce and hoisin into the center of the wok to sizzle, and when it had, re-added and re-heated the vedge.  A drizzle of sesame oil, and we were so there, and rather Chinese, considering we're in Ohio.

Stuffed Zephyr Blossoms and Sole Ditto

Saturday 18 August
We asked our new colleague Lauren over for dinner, so we could all enjoy the last flush of garden squash blossoms at the end of summer.  So while we snacked on sungold cherry tomatoes, olives, and sticks of salmon jerky (which Dora also enjoyed when our backs were turned), Holt presided over stuffing the beautiful yellow blossoms with batons of mozzarella and a basil leaf (for a milder flavor than anchovy) in each.
For our main course, we had fillets of sole, also stuffed, that is, rolled around a filling of garden sorrel, onion, cracker crumbs, and a little cream, and poached in wine and celery tops; a cream sauce went over them as well.  Alongside were sautéed slices of the second-generation zephyr, i.e. squash.
Then followed Dave's watermelon salad, for a zip of complex salt and sweet.
For dessert, we crunched a few Ines Rosales orange olive oil tortas, imported from Spain, with a bowl of another (more local) summer specialty, Graeter's peach ice cream.  Oh, and a sip of Bowmore Islay, for a wee deoch an doris.

Garides me Feta

Friday 17 August
When tomatoes are fresh and juicy, it's easy to boil water and skin a few, then chop them up for a quick sauce.  This time we did them in a favorite Greek stylewith some fresh oregano leaves, a dash of cinnamon, and a half-dash of allspice.  Then we slid in some de-shelled raw shrimp and cooked until they were pink and the sauce boiled thick; then showered with crumbled feta cheese, to get all melty at the end. 

Pork Vedge and Mashed Potatoes

Thursday 16 August
Yes, it's the leftover pork from Saturday again, this time pulled into shreds, reheated with the now-gravy-like melange of root vegetables it was cooked in, and poured over a bed of mashed yukon golds.  Talk about your comfort foods.

Poulet à l'Estragon with Potatoes

Wednesday 15 August
People whose motto is "What Would Julia Do?" should make a special dish to commemorate her hundredth birthday.  We decided on a classic poulet à l'estragonbut didn't have time to do Julia's recipe for a whole chicken.  We ended up using boneless chicken breasts, sweet red torpedo onions, sautéed zephyr squash slices (yes, prolific, we know) and boiled yukon golds on the side to soak in the creamy, herbaceous sauce.

Ed Special of Ann Arbor, Michigan made several hilarious remixes of Julia called "Julia Child Speaks her Mind" (thanks to him and to Kim Scarborough for keeping the webpage up).  Though I play these often, they still make me laugh until I cry. 
Thank you, Julia; at 100, you are still telling us what we should do.  

Salmon Mousse and Salad

Tuesday 14 August
There were several little elegant salmon mousses left over from Saturday, and they needed to be eaten - with a salad put together from other leftovers - Kathy's grilled zucchini and burrata - with tomatoes added for a fresh touch.
Dressed with good green oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a few basil leaves.  You'd think we'd intended it.