Saturday, September 18, 2010

Zombie Apocalypse recipe, virgin sacrifice, dutch oven recipe, artisan lifestyle, Casillero del Diablo carmenere, herb braised roast recipe

I'm back and none the worse for wear! Had a GREAT birthday. Jimmy bought me a wonderful bottle of wine, Casillero del Diablo carmenere '09.  Sweet enough for me and full bodied enough for him. He grilled a rib steak to perfection and I made bruschetta with ingredients from our garden.  Some virgin somewhere must have been sacrificed  because we had four perfectly ripe tomatoes! Mother earth also offered up  two red shallots, delicate sweet basil and creamy baby white potatoes for the occasion.  Our after dinner conversation was interesting and inspired.  I think I have mentioned before that Jimmy is very concerned with the coming Zombie Apocalypse. He sat back after dinner and stated that we would continue to dine well  after the apocalypse since we have learned to cook using only garden ingredients. He suggested that I begin adding  Zombie apocalypse recipes to this blog.  I don't see any conflict  as most of the recipes we have been using  are  grocery store free.   We did come to the conclusion that many of the foods we will consume post apocalypse will require a dutch oven, So if you share Jimmy's concern, one should be acquired before the ZA as they will be at a premium after it starts ( up to a year's supply of flour or a months supply of ammunition in trade).  He also recommends a cast iron skillet with a cast iron lid for biscuit making  (and it can be used as a weapon in case of Zombie attack during meal prep) We opted for the easiest  dutch oven meal to start with.

So without further ado here is the

Zombie Apocalypse day 4
Herb braised roast

To be cooked over whatever heat source you have available

You will need for this:
Your favorite herbs
one roast (should be thawed by now as the electricity has been off for two days)
cooking oil (use sparingly as we are now into rationing)
tubers (potatoes,carrots, turnips)
a green vegetable (preferably a brassica for iron and vitamin content)
Maybe an onion or garlic for further flavoring

Put oil, herbs, onion and garlic in dutch oven over high heat
Add roast and lightly sear on all sides
Add cleaned and prepared tubers  on and around roast, reduce heat to 325 degrees to 350 degrees
Place lid on securely
Go out and fight Zombies for about 2 1/2 hours
When you return add, clean, prepared green vegetables to dutch oven
Allow to to cook for a further 20 minutes or so while you secure the perimeter and get cleaned up.
Enjoy a satisfying meal and then get a good nights sleep cuz you will need it tomorrow.

best thing about this recipe is that leads straight into the meal for day 5
Cut roast into small pieces, add more tubers and  green vegetables, cover it all with water, place lid on tightly , put over very low heat and go out and kill Zombies .... When you get home, you will have a fine, hearty stew to dine on!

Adopting an artisan lifestyle now will increase your chances of surviving the Zombie Apocalypses.
So says Jimmy!
So let it written! So let it be done!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recipe of the day: 100 year old cream of asparagus soup , fast, easy, impressive, Ida Bailey Allen, vegetarian AND omnivore delight

Many years ago my grandmother gifted me with a  70 year old cook book by a woman I had never heard of... Ida Bailey Allen, and told me to guard it with my  life. "Cooking, Menus,Service, 2500 recipes"   has become my  kitchen bible . It took some maturity to appreciate the gift. At the time she gave it to me I hugged her and thanked her and thought to myself "what am I gonna do with this musty old thing? Wild as I was back in those days... I had the surprising wisdom to store all Granny's gifts in a single trunk (which I drug all over the world with me).    This is a wonderful book with all kinds of recipes and  kitchen and entertaining advice .  Ida understood  that at any given time (pre-safeway) you might have to feed folk  using what you have available on hand. All of her recipes are flexible and based on the knowledge that sometimes  hitching up the wagon and taking a quick ride into town just wasn't an option. 
Here's  a nice one based on Ida's basic cream soup  recipes.

Cream Of Asparagus Soup

You will need
1 bunch asparagus chopped
1 large carrot diced small
1/2 medium onion diced
1 stick celery diced
Salt & pepper to taste
4 cups water (to which you may add chicken or vegetable stock or neither ... your choice)
1 cup milk or cream ( I like heavy cream)
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour

Put water ,vegetables and seasonings in pot. Bring to a  low boil for about  twenty minutes , when vegetables are done  turn down heat to a simmer, add milk or cream (stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes )
Then in a separate bowl,  melt your butter and stir the flour into the butter until it is creamy.  Add the buttered flour to your soup, stir constantly  until soup  achieves desired thickness.  Sometimes the flour and butter have a mind of their own and will get really thick really fast.  If it gets too thick for you , just add a little more milk.  Once you have achieved the desired thickness......your soup is done!

Serve with a seasonal salad and warm fresh bread.

Ida recommends that for asparagus soup. you put  the tougher ends of the asparagus in first.  Adding the tender tips after about ten minutes.  This keeps your tips from dissolving completely.   I like it when the tips  cook down... I think it makes the soup more asparagus-y.  But once again it is your choice. 

Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes. Wow factor: Very High
Added benefit?   This is a great meal if you have  vegetarian guests over for dinner.