Made it to Oregon..

Well, I hope to be out of the KC area by the middle of May. Thence to Salem, Oregon. I’ll not miss Brownbackistan one whit. I will have a place to garden and to have a smoker again. No more apartment cooking. Yahoo!

The carniceria closest to us in Salem. El Torito.

Will be glad to be there..  real strawberries.. not those cardboard ones from Las Califas.  Serious wineries, more craft brewing. Hell, I may get me a cajun cooker, too. Quien sabe?

Tacos from El Sureño. A block from El Torito

Fresh Garbanzos

Got some of these yesterday at El Torito #3. My friend Marta was there (she’s the main cook at El Korita and was buying a passel of poblanos for the restaurant) and asked what I could do with them. She said “put them in a caldo or a soup”. So I did.

garbanzos frescas
Shelling garbanzos with a chilaca chile (a green pasilla).

I had some stock from a dish I made last weekend, Chicken with Lemon & pine nuts.  I sauteed a chopped onion and parboiled the garbanzos in salted water. I added a chopped red bell pepper to the onions and softened it. I added the garbanzos, some cooked chicken, then three pints of stock, and some cooked brown rice and simmered this  for about 45 minutes. Here’s how the soup came out. It was great.

Chicken soup with fresh garbanzos.

Insalata di fagioli agli scampi

I’m taking this to a friend’s birthday dinner this evening. There’s a bit of prep, but not as much as with some dishes.

Salad of White Beans, Shrimp, and Tomato (adapted from Judith Barrett’s FAGIOLI: THE BEAN CUISINE OF ITALY. I took the liberty of adding the lime juice, the parsley, and the capers.)

Insalata di fagioli agli scampi

1 cup dried small white beans (I used great northerns)
2 peeled garlic cloves
2 leaves of fresh sage

Soak beans over night (at least 8 hours). Drain & rinse again. Combine beans with garlic, sage, & 6 c. of water in an appropriate sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cut to a simmer, and cook uncovered for an hour (or until tender). Season with salt, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Drain & discard garlic & sage.

1 pound fresh small shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 a lime

Bring a small sauce pan of water to a  boil after adding the juice of the half lime and the lime to the water. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.. 1-4 minutes. Drain & set aside.

2 medium ripe tomatoes cored, seeded & diced.
10 basil leaves cut in chiffonade
1 tbs chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs capers
1/3 c. olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine shrimp with beans, tomatoes, basil, parsley, & capers. Add olive oil and mix well. Serve at room temperature.

insalata di fagioli agli scampi
Reminds me of back when I was doing aerial photography in Honduras & Guatemala.

Chile, last week.

I cut up a small boneless pork roast into small pieces and sautéed the pieces in a bit of canola oil. I then added 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1.5 cups of chopped yellow onion and cooked those till they were translucent..

Molcajete in the kitchen!!

I took a La Costeña canned chipotle (with a good bit of adobo) and ground it up in my lava rock molcajete with a teaspoon of whole comino and added this to the chile pot along with 4 chopped Roma tomatoes and a tablespoon of sweet New Mexico ground chile (CHILE HILL brand). I then added 2 teaspoons of Mexican oregano,  some epazote and a couple of bay leaves.  With some chicken stock & beer to cover,  I  let this simmer for a couple of hours.

Muy sabroso! Over rice with frijoles bayos on the side.

A nice steak from Belmont.

I’ve been busy. This is the most advanced cooking I can handle, other than makin’ a pot of frijoles rosados.

belmont ny strip
belmont steak

I put some Penzey’s “muralla del sabor” on this sucker.

la parilla

Stubb’s makes good charcoal.

Looking out over the holler!

The deck and its environs. No hablo “gas grill”.

flame on!
First turn.

Move it to the side.. this fire could have cooked a load more meat. One could also roast an aubergine for baba ganoush in the cooker as it cooled.

It's done to my taste.

Now for the slice.. tender as a maiden’s heart.

slice steak
May not be done enough for some folks. I have had cheese that was less tender than this.

Hurrah for Belmont!