Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chinese Onion Pancakes and Strawberry Tart

Dinner tonight was simply excellent. I made Chinese onion pancakes but with a selection of different herbs rather than onions - chives, oregano, sage and rosemary. The recipe came from Jerry Traunfeld's book The Herbal Kitchen. Tarah made a strawberry tart that was described by Steven as possibly the best dessert that Tarah has made. It included a nutty crust, cream and Mascarpone with shaving of chocolate as the center, and fresh strawberries from the farmers' market on top. I love summer and eating outside with our friends.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

El Horno de Union es VIVO!!, Seattle Cob Oven

We had a party for all the people that helped build our oven and successfully fired it to full pizza temperatures this last weekend. The oven has been drying for about a month now and we have had some small fires but this was the first time we really fired the shit out of it. We don't have a thermometer but it was definitely super hot; the pizzas cooked in no time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

la Boucherie

Tarah and I have been enjoying chatting with and buying food from Sea Breeze Farm at the farmers markets. Their farm is on Vashon Island and they sell milk and cheese and wonderful meats. A few weeks ago at the market we found out they also run a restaurant on the island; of course we have to go to that!!

This last Friday I called up the restaurant for reservations and said we would bike out and asked if we could just camp on the farm. Our friend Matt invited us to stay at his intentional community, Vashon Cohousing, instead. This place was totally great. It's 18 family houses plus a large communal house with a huge kitchen, dining, living, kids play area, and a number of rooms all to share with the community and for guests, like us. The community also has a large garden, some goats, communal landscaping, and they are planning to build a cob style oven this summer.

La Boucherie is small and comfortable. You walk in and are greeted by a mouth watering meat display case. It's almost like you're in a butcher shop/restaurant; but not in a bad way, it's definitely a nice feeling restaurant. The menu has a prefix, a mini prefix plus you can order al la carte from the prefix. Normally I would be ecstatic to have zero choices and just let the art of the chef, and in this case the far, shine through, but in this case Jerusalem artichoke soup was one of the courses and although both of us love the flavor, those little fuckers (AKA Fartachokes) wreak havoc on our digestive tracks.

The wine list had an old version of the menu on the flip side which included kidneys in a cream sauce. I ask Matt if we can get some; he thinks for a second and then replies that he will have to check. In a few minutes he comes back with two glisteningly fresh kidneys and tells us they just came out of the animal. OH what a treat!! Just a few seconds later he returns to show us the still fresh kidneys now cut in half. The next time he returns they are browned, but still pink, and drizzled with a cream sauce. The taste is dark and complex almost woodsy like a mushroom but with a sense of the barnyard and mildly reminiscent of other organs like liver. Delicious to say the least.

For the main dish of the night you could choose between either roasted lamb or roasted pork with sides of broccoli and potatoes. The sides may sound like cheap diner fare but the broccoli was long and thin and very tender (almost more like rapini) and the potatoes were mashed to a perfect creamyness with a complexity of taste that I can only imagine came from some meat broth or freshly rendered lard; both delicious and nothing like the frozen broccoli and tasteless mashed potatoes that you had in your head.

"I feel like being dazzled by just a little something more; anything you like; maybe another organ." I said to Matt. By that time we had drank the better part of bottle of delicious red house made wine (Cock's Red) which brought out the silly in Tarah who kindly pointed out that I had just asked Matt to dazzle me with his organ.

Matt thought about it for a second then said "yes I have something in mind" and headed to the kitchen. He returned shortly to tell us he had discussed it with a friend in NY and that it was going to be good.

And oh how it was! It was fresh seared pork belly with a very light herby cream sauce. He informed us they had made a trial run first that they consumed in the kitchen and loved.

We finished with a couple of bites of a warm flowerless chocolate torte.

MMMMM I love food!!!

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