1367 Bean Vegetable Soup TTT

another weather event, sorry to bore you, but I can’t get over how pretty it is

The above photo was a few days ago, a fluffy bunch of stuff in two nights: 4″ then 5″ on top of that.  As you can see, the sun is out and predicted to be so for the near future, so we decided to wait and let nature take its course. In the meantime, it seemed fitting to make a batch of my favorite soup.

pretty nice stuff, all available all winter

The name is derived from 1367 Union, where I spent days and months in that kitchen adjusting Ferry Plaza Farmers Market ingredients until this soup was just right. [Written AS MEASURED AND COOKED SEPT 2012]
Cook your beans in a clay pot or by another method, with a miripoix.
Store in the refrigerator in their liquor until you’re ready to use them.

On soup day:
PREP
Peel and cube 3 medium potatoes [300g] and reserve in cold water to cover.
Chop two slices of bacon in about 1/2 inch pieces. [I use thick pepper bacon from the meatcase at my supermarket.]
COOK
Start the bacon in a bit of olive oil in the Green Le Creuset pot until it has rendered most of its fat. [At the same time, brown two fresh Italian sausages, if you’re using them.] Add a rough chopped onion and sauté until crisp tender. Add a two-2-finger-pinch salt/pepper mix. Add garlic to taste and cook until fragrant.
Add about an inch of celery [100g] chopped from the top of your head, 3 medium carrots [100g], sliced, potatoes and their soaking potato water to your pot. Add a two-2-finger-pinch salt/pepper mix and stir.
Add broth — if needed — to barely cover. Add a bit of dried thyme and oregano.
Cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add half of a medium cabbage, chopped or sliced. Add cooked meat (ham, sausage if using) here, if you want.
Add 2 cups beans and their liquor.
Add enough stock to make it soupy.
Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

this soup is brothy with the vegetables in chunks to allow each to show off its taste and texture… and there are no whimpy little vegetables such as corn or peas to get in the way

The deal is, when you use fresh ingredients in suitable proportion and cook with care, the result can’t be bad.

COOKS NOTES

Cooked 2.16 — RG Alubia Blanca, young, tiny, tight red cabbage, two links of LO grilled Merguez sausage.
Cooked 1.16 — Iacopi Italian Butter Beans. Browned 2 links Basque Chorizo sausage with the bacon, cut in thirds, removed and then “sauteed “ the onions in that liquid. Lends a bitchin’ richness to the soup. Used home made *enhanced* turkey stock. Red cabbage. Did not use bean liquor ‘cause C is afraid of beans. Most Yummy.
Cooked 11.14 — RG Yellow Eye beans 2C+, 3C homemade beef broth, pinch of oregano, t of thyme. YUM
Cooked 6.14 — Cassolet beans RG, LO cooked beet greens: shredded [‘cause I had no cabbage], redskin potatoes, chicken broth… no meat except the bacon used to cook the LO greens and used to cook this dish. Good anyway.
Cooked 11.12 — Inspired by “Crispy Potatoes” brought home from CAMPO. Otherwise, did the regular recipe, but didn’t have any cabbage, pity. Not bad, but better with fresh potatoes and cabbage.
Cooked 10.12 — Had about 1 1/2 cups LO Italian Butter beans that weren’t cooked to creamy softness. Started with 2 slices of bacon in a bit of olive oil, cooked and removed bacon. Added 1/2 chopped onion, some garlic, 1 1/2 sliced slender carrot, sliced stalks of a fennel bulb, three whacks of celery, one potato cut into matchsticks, the beans and their juice and some chicken stock. Cooked 12 minutes. Pureed with immersion blender. Pretty good, beans still a little grainy.
Cooked 9.12 — Checked quantities and method and re-wrote recipe — see original on page 3
Cooked 7.12 — about 3 cups Bobs Bountiful Black Beans… about 1/2 pound slab bacon very thick sliced… DIS is good, still.
Cooked 4.19.12 — With shaved Fatted Calf Picnic ham + plus some of Brian’s Polish sausage… Dexter beef stock. C took 2nds
Cooked 3.28.12 —
Cooked 9.10 – Iacopi Italian Butter Beans, spring onions, with cabbage… added 1C raw CP raw tomato sauce at end… otherwise as written. Cooked in Joyce Chen Wok. Still good. C scarfed and took LO for tomorrow lunch.
Cooked 5.10 – Iacopi Italian Butter Beans, spring onions, green garlic, with cabbage… otherwise as written. Cooked in Wendell Wok. Still good.
Cooked 3.10 – regular way. Iacopi Italian Butter Beans, about 1 1/2C, 1 potato, 2 slender carrots, about 1/3 head small savoy cabbage. In calphalon Windsor pan. YUM This just got better and better as I ate it over days in two-cup portions. YUM YUM

Cooked 2.10 w LO Super Bowl vegetables: carrots, romanesco, fennel, green beans, baby zucchini, red and yellow bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, celery, Tokyo turnips. Bacon, spring onions and garlic as directed. No cabbage. Yes potatoes. About 3 cups water, 3 cups chicken stock, 1-cup turkey stock. Cooked in Joyce Chen clay pot.
Cooked 1.10 – In Wendell wok with spring onions and the other stuff, plus cabbage… eye of goat beans that had been cooked with a ham hock.

NOTE: This is very similar to simply recipes.com Minestrone except that Minestrone has zucchini, parsley and tomatoes. Other minestrone has green beans and spinach, as well. So its really not very similar at all.

T T T

Tasty
Tried
True

In these days of the internet and skaty-eight-b’zillion recipe blogs and sites, what’s a home cook and sometime blogger to do?

I like and trust the “old” recipes and believe that anything from the internet is untrustworthy unless it comes from a site with an editor (Epicurious, NYT, etc). Blog and magazine recipes tend to involve twists and turns and sauces and rubs, etc (*chicken wings 21 ways*) I respect and revere real cookbook authors/writers — James Beard, Madher Jaffrey, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Martha Stewart, and so on — many of my favorite recipes come from them. That said, there are new, innovative writers and recipes; but that’s another story.

And so… (drumroll)
These are the first of a number of recipes that I have cooked lately and have decided are good-to-go, as is. They are worthy of bearing the appellation T T T [Tasty Tried and True]. They may or may not have appeared on *eats…* but they have been hanging around my recipe files for some time.

That doesn’t mean I won’t alter a recipe somewhat as I cook depending on what I have on hand or my mood or the weather or whatever, but if I want — and I usually do in this day and age — I can cook them straight, flat, as written.

In most cases, they came from somewhere — a book, magazine, the TV, newspaper or my head — and have been cooked and adjusted and re-written until Carol and I love ‘em.

and another T: Toss

I’ve recently posted a couple:
K-Paul’s Cajun Meatloaf TTT
The Perfect Steak TTT

More are to come:
Grilled Chicken Thighs
Bourbon Baked Beans
Fish Chowder
Bi-Rite beans n chard
cuban black beans
Basic Cooked Rice
my bean vegetable soup
Cajun Catfish
Beer Butt Chicken
and more…

Perfect Summer Supper

It’s hot in Reno right now. Not unbearable, but the temperature on our car thermometer said 102°F when we went for our haircut and ran some errands around 3pm. At the same time the temperature on our shaded front porch never got above 86°F. But — good for us — the temps dip to the low 60s after the sun goes down.

“What’s for dinner?” meant something cool, not hot. We had pâté left from what we took to a party and plenty of fruits and vegetables, mostly from one or another of the farmers markets that we frequent — on our side of town, there is one on Wednesday evening, Thursday midday, Thursday evening, and the big one on Saturday Morning.

On this evening, I was charged with making up a salad. During Sunday as we watched some World Cup, Natasza made a fantastic salad… I learn from her as salads and small plates are practically the national foods of Kyiv and Ukraine as we experienced on our visit there in 2010.

a meal at the dacha outside Kyiv

the other end of the table

Assemble on the fly…

I took out the shallow wooden bowl and put in 3 Tbsp of XV Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp of Raspberry Vinegar and swirled them around with a fork.

Peeled a peach, cut around its equator then a few medium wedges, put those in the bowl.
Peeled and chopped half an avocado, put that in the bowl and tossed.
Halved and pitted six Bing Cherries, put those in the bowl and tossed.
Cut about 8 small cubes of fresh curd cheese,
Quartered and thin sliced one largish radish
Quartered and thin sliced one smallish turnip
Cut some watermelon into smallish dice
Thin sliced across one small head of endive

Put those vegetables in the bowl, seasoned with salt and pepper and folded all together.

ready to serve ourselves

The bowl of salad above center…

On the plate, left of the bowl:

“Country pâté” — Provencal pork from Wedge
“City pâté” — Goose and Duck Liver mousse from Wedge

accoutrement:
sliced cornichons
Raye’s Old World Gourmet Mustard
Raye’s Down East Schooner Mustard

my plates… oops, I already ate some Country Pate

On the next hot day when you don’t want to cook, just take what you have, assemble in some manner, and enjoy.

 

Salmon Tartare too

I wrote about a swell Salmon Tartare over Cauliflower Salad.
That was a result of chance and invention and trial and error.

This time, I bought a couple hunks of salmon to pointedly undercook on the grill and duplicate the Salmon Tartare as before.

grilled salmon dinner with the “thin end parts”

Meanwhile, we had Reno Little Theater tickets. The Gas Lamp Restaurant is only a half block away from the theater and is one of their sponsors so we are in the habit of dinner there before the theater (hey — they give 20% off to folks with tickets).

Tuna Tartare with Avocado was on their menu and I had to have it. Delicious, and just right for an early dinner.

tuna tartare with avocado and crispy won ton at the gas lamp

Why not do my Salmon Tartare over Avocado? Why indeed.

Take the same recipe and substitute dressed avocado for the cauliflower salad. Way different dish, equally delicious.

cube and dress your salmon and avacado

assemble the components

serve and enjoy

Salmon Tartare over Avocado
based on an idea from the Gas Lamp Restaurant, Reno and a preparation by Jacques Pepin, Fast Food My Way

For the Salmon Tartare:
12 ounces salmon flesh, thoroughly trimmed
[OR… Grilled salmon from the center of a fillet, see note below]

No more than 30 minutes before serving, cut the salmon flesh into 1/2 inch pieces and combine with 2 1/2 Tbsp chopped red onion, 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives, 1 Tbsp drained capers, 2 tsp XV olive oil, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

For the Avocado:
One largish Haas Avocado, cubed.
Combine the avocado cubes in a bowl with 1 Tbsp XV olive oil, 1 Tbsp chopped red onion, 1 Tbsp Dijon style mustard, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Place a 4-inch metal pastry ring on a plate and arrange a layer of dressed avocado inside. Cover with a layer of salmon tartare. Arrange garnish around the ring. Carefully remove the ring. Repeat.

NOTE on salmon… Grill two Verlasso Salmon fillets so they are very rare at the thickest part. Eat the thinner parts for dinner. Use the very rare thick parts for this salmon tartare.

 

Fatted Calf Foray

I couldn’t resist emailing this to Brian, Eric, Carol, Sarah and Paula.

“These guys know how to throw a book signing. If I were still in SF…”
Marcus

Fatted Calf Newsletter September 19, 2013
At The Table

What better way to celebrate the publication of our book, In The Charcuterie, then to join at the table with friends and colleagues for a leisurely lunch? And what better table than the one under the arbor at Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa! Rob and Maria Sinskey, huge supporters of The Fatted Calf, generously offered up their stunning digs.

stunning digs

Sinskey Chef, Erin Ramsey, laid out quite a feast for us, including some Fatted Calf favorites. There were pork rillettes toasts topped with nectarine mostarda, thin slices of finocchiona accompanied by marinated olives and green tomato chutney, and the pièce de resistance, plump sausage and fig stuffed quail roasted in the wood oven. Tasting Room Manager, Jennifer Gallagher, poured glass after glass of perfectly matched vintages of organic and biodynamic Sinskey wine (while professing her love of liverwurst). Good food, great wine and good people made for a memorable day.
Come make some happy memories of your own. Join us this coming Sunday, September 22, at Robert Sinskey Vineyards from 11 am to 3 pm. We’ll be preparing some meaty bites, enjoying a glass of one of our favorite wines and signing copies of In The Charcuterie. Reservations can be made through Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

Brian fired back:
Why don’t we go?  Leave yer place at 8-ish, get there as the thing’s getting started, good food & wine, good-looking book, chance to chat with FC folk, stroll around the grounds a bit, and be home in time for a light supper (after what should be a rich FC spread).  It’s $50 each with the book, $35 without.  On normal days, it’s $25 just for wine-tasting with nibbles.

I checked with Carol… She doesn’t want to spend Sunday car-riding. Said she will babysit Tuzik. I called the Sinskey Winery and made reservations for me and Brian, hoping they wouldn’t be sold out.

The newsletter went on…

Want to skip the read and head straight to the table? Visit The Fatted Calf table at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this Saturday and pick up some rillettes, finocchiona and fig and sausage stuffed quail for a feast of your very own.

Anytime I’m in San Francisco, I stock up on stuff from Fatted Calf… Just can’t get that stuff in Reno. So after the event, Brian and I did just that… not at Ferry Plaza but at the Fatted Calf shop at Oxbow Market in Napa. I got me some duck crepinettes, fennel sausages, sausage and fig stuffed quail, greens sausages, a slice of Terrine Forestiere and packs of Sugo di Carne. Brian did similar.

colonnade bordering parking lot

We got there minutes before noon and I was surprised to find empty parking spaces near the door. Inside, the tasting bar was packed. We passed by that to the open kitchen and back garden with a white marble bar. Tables under the arbor were provided a stunning view of a massive stone wall and vineyards above and behind.

the view from my table

Several folks milled around the bar laden with delectable food. Brian and I were still getting our bearings when the woman behind the bar offered a glass of Abraxas, a white wine blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer. Yum. I took a plate and a meaty item or two and found a nice seat.

one of my many samplings of food and wine

Again, I was surprised that there were only about 20 people there, but glad that we were uncrowded and unhurried. The day was a spectacular late summer Napa day; they hardly get better than that. We easily fell into a routine of going for the next wine, picking up some foodie goodies, and sitting to enjoy. Four wines were being poured, a Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, a Pinot Noir and POV (Point of View), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot; the classic Bordeaux blend. My favorite was the Vin Gris of Pinot Noir and I bought a bottle to enjoy with my own food at home.

no caption needed

just in from the kitchen

From time to time, a young woman would come out of the kitchen with a plate of hors d’oeuvresy things — duck sausage skewered on a stalk of lemongrass, a cube of lamb skewered with a shiny green blistered padron pepper… good ol’ Brian knows how to pick an event.

raison d’etre

As Taylor and Toponia were signing my book, I said, “Fatted Calf goodies are good enough to buy and eat at home, but to have them served, perfectly prepared, in such a place as this, is a heavenly experience.”

Back on I-80, our Sunday afternoon eastbound lanes were lightly occupied while the westbound lanes to the Bay Area were packed. Brian and I agreed that the Food and Wine experience was well worth the drive. We were home about six, in time to watch Football Night in America on a slight tape delay and eat some Terrine Forestiere.

BEAN SALAD, YUM

Yesterday afternoon, I had some beans soaking and Carol sent me a link to Epicurious bean salads… 23 of ‘em. After reading the first two or three, I said to myself, “They make them up just like I do.” So I stopped reading and put my Iacopi Farms prim mateca beans on to cook.

From there, I hit the refrigerator and pantry. So here’s what went in the bowl, roughly in order of quantity:

assembly of the bean salad

Iacopi Farms prim mateca beans
Bush’s canned black beans, drained
Steamed, grilled and chopped blue lake green beans leftover from yesterday’s steak dinner
Steamed, grilled and chopped Romano beans – likewise
Fresh chopped Cherokee purple tomato
Canned ripe olives, sliced
Chopped spring onion
Diced red bell pepper
Sliced cornichons
Canned Water chestnut, julienned

That was topped with Bumble Bee solid white Albacore tuna and garnished with Castelvetrano Olives and a Cheese Stick.
An olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and mustard vinaigrette dressed the salad.

bean salad served

I served Sun Gold tomatoes on the side. While they are bursting with flavor, I find the skins tough and annoying when mixed in with a salad. (Best to roast or grill them and the skins slip right off.)

That was so good, I had the bit left over for breakfast, with HB egg instead of tuna. Double YUM.

breakfast (Why the knife and no fork? Clean knife left from last night’s dinner.)

EGGstatic

I’m so excited,
I just can’t hide it,
Got ourselves a BIG GREEN EGG
And I think I like it…

Big Green Egg

It all started seriously when we visited Carol’s brother Mark in September 2012. They’ve had a Big Green Egg (EGG) for years and always cooked on it when we made our annual visit. The first time we ate from their EGG was the summer of 2010 where Jannie cooked salmon, zucchini, tomatoes and corn all at once. That planted the EGG seed in my brain. By September ’12 we had already moved from San Francisco to Reno, so we were about ready to rock n roll.

And why had we wanted to move from the beautiful San Francisco after 20 years?
Reason No. 1, the hills and steps.

Count the steps.

Reason No. 2, we liked the idea of walking out the back door and throwing something on the grill without the hassle of walking through the entire house and out onto the tiny back deck.

Our back “deck” off the second bedroom

Oh yes, before we left Ohio, Mark and I happened to make a small wager…

Mark’s Cincinnati Reds and my Giants are both in NL playoffs. Mark wants to bet.
I said, “I’ll bet the Reds don’t win the NL championship.”
He said he’d take that for $10.
I said, “If you lose, you have to give me my ten dollar bill in Reno.”
He said, “Only if you cook in Reno on a Green Egg.”
We shook on it. Jannie and Carol hooted.

We were outta there for the airport at noon. Continue reading