Monthly Archives: March 2005

Paper Chef starts tomorrow!!

The Paper Chef event starts tomorrow! You have until midnight today to get ingredient nominations in. We now have the following from which we will pick three for the event. [Smoked paprika, chorizo, goat cheese, yeast, tamarind, lamb, chipotle en adobo, olive oil, cucumber, potato skins, mustard, sherry vinegar, ground coriander, star anise, chestnut paste, egg, almond paste, brown sugar, red wine and prosciutto.] Click ‘read full post’ below if you want to find out more and if you want to enter!

On the first Friday of every month – that would be Friday April 1st – at some point prior to Noon PST, I will announce a list of four ingredients that must be used, along with any other ingredients you choose, to make a dish and then write about it by Noon PST on Monday, 72 hours later. An impartial guest judge – this time it is Fatemeh of Gastronomie – will pick the best sounding recipe to them and the winner will be awarded the “Paper Chef” title for that month. An evolving tradition is that the winner becomes the judge for the following month so that we have a judge and so that people can’t just keep on winning…the winner also gets to display the prestigious winner icon on their site.

I’ve had lots of questions about things like photographs. Photographs are NOT necessary to take part. Nor is having you own blog – I’ll be happy to post a recipe for you if you want. However, it is clear that having a nice photograph will help influence the judges – if they see it looking good it is a lot easier to imagine it tasting looking good…

It is also absolutely OK to substitute if you just cannot find an ingredient or if you or someone who will eat the dish has an allergy – just try to substitute with something close to the original to remain in the spirit of the occasion.

Anyone who wants to is welcome to submit ingredient ideas and all suitable ones will go onto a list. Three of the ingredients will be randomly picked from the list and the fourth will be seasonal or trendy or in the news in some way. If the list of four is totally unsuitable (maraschino cherries, english mustard, liver and suet) then we will redraw randomly until it is conceivable to cook different kinds of dishes with all four ingredients.

Ingredient suggestions go to the Paper Chef forum on Is My Blog Burning up to midnight the day before the event or in the comments field here. Ingredients that are NOT selected will be rolled over for a month and then removed. Anyone at all can suggest one ingredient – not more. Suggestions that are not realistic or are in bad taste in the estimation of the powers that be (me for the moment) will be ignored.

No sign up is necessary to take part. Just send an email to [email protected] before Noon PST on the Monday to point to your entry.

All those lovely food blogs…

If you don’t want to get too lost, just click here for the first of a multi-part list of food blogs that I think are worthwhile. Warning: part one is about fifty blogs. The full list is over 200!

Food Blog List Part One

This will be an ongoing and ever-growing list. I have been reading and watching (and now publishing) about food blogs for a couple of years and I realised I have a list of over 200 that I think are a step above ordinary in some way or the other (better writing or recipes or attitude or energy or something…) The blogs listed on the left nav are those that are even more special to me.

Here is part one (of about four) of that list.

Pinoy Cook

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

Appetites

Banlieusardises.com – Délices

Blog Au Feu

Butter Pig

C’est moi qui l’ai fait !

chez pim

Cuisine Capers

Deus Ex Culina

Dietro i fornelli

Eat your heart out

EEE Cooks – A Family Cookbook

Eggplant Caviar

Elise’s Simply Recipes

Etherfarm mandible

Food Basics

Foodgoat … something tasty every day

Foodster.net food sharing network

Frost Street

Gastronome

Hannah Cooks

HotWater Bath

Il Forno

In My Kitchen

Lapin Gourmand

Looka!

MeatHenge

Meg’s food and wine page

Mmm. Food.

mum-mum eat-eat

my latest supper

Obsession With Food

Pork Cracklins

Recipe Log – Ian’s Messy Desk

Saute Wednesday

Though Small, It Is Tasty

Sustenance

Switched At Birth Mary Beth’s Kitchen Archives

Tastingmenu.com – Focused on food.

The Aardvark Cooks

The Accidental Hedonist

The Cheese Diaries

The Daily Bread: a food blog

The Domestic Goddess

The Food Section

The Grub Report

The Hungry Tiger

The Kitchen Sink

The Spice Must Flow

There’s a Chef in My Kitchen

Too Many Chefs

Umami

VittlesVamp

Walker New York Eats

Weber_cam

What I cooked last night.

Wine Rant

‘Ono Kine Grindz

Itadakimasu

Mipmup

Bourrez Votre Visage

Cook sister!

Doctor Pepper’s Cookbook

Seattle Bon Vivant

The Amateur Gourmet

Life begins at thirty

Edible Tulip

Paper Chef#5- nominations and a roundup

Paper Chef Ingredients

[UPDATE – we have had brown sugar and red wine added as suggestions – I have put them in the list below]

The current list is: Smoked paprika, chorizo, goat cheese, yeast, tamarind, lamb, chipotle en adobo, olive oil, cucumber, potato skins, mustard, sherry vinegar, ground coriander, star anise, chestnut paste, egg, almond paste, brown sugar and red wine. See below to nominate others.

Cannot nominate: eggplant, pomegranate, stale bread or chocolate

Semi-Official Paper Chef Rules

On the first Friday of every month – that would be Friday April 1st – at some point prior to Noon PST, I will announce a list of four ingredients that must be used, along with any other ingredients you choose, to make a dish and then write about it by Noon PST on Monday, 72 hours later. An impartial guest judge will pick the best sounding recipe to them and the winner will be awarded the “Paper Chef” title for that month. An evolving tradition is that the winner becomes the judge for the following month so that we have a judge and so that people can’t just keep on winning…the winner also gets to display the prestigious winner icon on their site.

I’ve had lots of questions about things like photographs. Photographs are NOT necessary to take part. Nor is having you own blog – I’ll be happy to post a recipe for you if you want. However, it is clear that having a nice photograph will help influence the judges – if they see it looking good it is a lot easier to imagine it tasting looking good…

It is also absolutely OK to substitute if you just cannot find an ingredient or if you or someone who will eat the dish has an allergy – just try to substitute with something close to the original to remain in the spirit of the occasion.

Anyone who wants to is welcome to submit ingredient ideas and all suitable ones will go onto a list. Three of the ingredients will be randomly picked from the list and the fourth will be seasonal or trendy or in the news in some way. If the list of four is totally unsuitable (maraschino cherries, english mustard, liver and suet) then we will redraw randomly until it is conceivable to cook different kinds of dishes with all four ingredients.

Ingredient suggestions go to the Paper Chef forum on Is My Blog Burning up to midnight the day before the event or in the comments field here. Ingredients that are NOT selected will be rolled over for a month and then removed. Anyone at all can suggest one ingredient – not more. Suggestions that are not realistic or are in bad taste in the estimation of the powers that be (me for the moment) will be ignored.

No sign up is necessary to take part. Just send an email to ow[email protected] before Noon PST on the Monday to point to your entry.

To give you some ideas of what people have done in the past here is a summary of the events so far:

Paper Chef #1: Cilantro, Ginger, Almonds and Winter Squash

The winner was Curried Chicken and Squash Soup with Meyer Lemon.

Paper Chef #2: Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage, Chicken and Lemon

The winner was Lemon Chicken Egg Rolls with Citrus Dipping Sauce.

Paper Chef #3: Wheat Flour, Cinnamon, Creme Fraiche and Oranges

The winner was Very Posh Cheese and Biscuits.

Paper Chef #4: Eggplant, chocolate, stale bread and pomegranate.

The winner was Cocoa-Pomegranate Roast Chicken with Eggplant Stuffing.

If you look through the entries you will see that people pretty much make just about anything – desserts or savory dishes, small or large, complex or simple.

I like to think it is a chance once a month to push your creativity a little in the kitchen by putting just a few constraints on what you can do.

Anyway – please nominate away…

All of a sudden – it’s the Paper Chef again!

I nearly got caught out this time. The Paper Chef is back upon us – at about the same time as EOTMEOTE this time. Since I arbitrarily set the start of the Paper Chef for the first Friday in the month, I looked up at the calendar and lo and behold, less than a week away is Friday the 1st of April. So this is your first official warning – ingredient gathering will begin immediately. And since we start on that auspicious and most celebratory of days, April Fool’s, we will have a truly surprising topical ingredient this time….

Catching Up…

I am truly disappointed that not one person commented on the delightful headline of my last post. Oh well…I have a LOT of catching up to do. I’m actually further ahead with loading photos (my eternal reminders of what I have done) to my site ready for use in blog posts than I am in getting even vaguely ready to write the actual posts. Consulting my efficient reminder system, I discover that I have neglected to write about the delicious smoked salmon, green garlic and caper pasta dish that I made in …January. Maybe my system isn’t so efficient after all?

However, the pasta is easy and delicious – and is even better when made with the peppered smoked salmon you bought at Pike Place Market in Seattle when you went up for an interview at Microsoft. But that’s another story for another time, my children. Now sit quietly and I’ll begin…

Anyone who remembers that last line is someone who listened to the BBC at around midday during the late sixties (and possibly afterward) to the great children’s program, “Listen with Mother.” I know that I have just reduced my street cred to negative a thousand, but it WAS a great program for kids and makes me sad that storytelling seems to be a dying art, as you can tell from my inability to get on with this one.
Smoked salmon and goat cheese pasta copyright Owen Linderholm 2005
So, the real story is one of the fastest but best pasta dishes you can make. I usually make it with dried capellini because it cooks in three minutes and I can get the water off to a fast start by half filling the pot with hot water, filling the electric kettle with the rest and adding the boiling water from the kettle when it boils (about three minutes). That means a full pot of boiling water in about ten minutes. For the rest, read on.

Smoked Salmon and goat cheese pasta

Put the water on to boil as above. While waiting, slice up either two whole pieces of green garlic or mince four cloves of garlic. Saute them in a small amount of olive oil until just starting to brown. Now add about half a pound of smoked salmon flaked up into small pieces and stir until partly cooked through. Keep on low heat and add about four ounces of soft chevre (goat cheese) and two teaspoons of small capers. Gently stir together until the goat cheese is melting in. Turn off the heat. Cook the pasta – preferably something small like capellini or orzo. Drain, but leave a little bit of water in the pot (a couple of tablespoons). Put the pasta back in and pour the sauce on top and stir very thoroughly to combine. You might want to add a squeeze of lemon juice at this point. Serve with a salad or green vegetable.

This is an incredibly fast and yummy supper.

Belated St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Every year, as I have mentioned before, we have a Valentine’s Day Feast. I really make this for my sweetie, but since we have the two nippers as well, and they have to be fed, they get to participate in what can only be described as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The photo you are about to see is a ‘before’ shot. To spare those of a sensitive nature, we will not show you the scene afterward…

Valentine's Day steamed striped bass on a bed of broccoli rabe copyright Owen Linderholm 2005
Click below for more…This time, when I was at the store, planning to get the usual pile’o’Dungeness Crab, I thought that the crab looked rather old and dry (I confess – I do not have the time during the week to deal with the live beasties, so I buy precooked, but NOT cleaned – you need the innards for the sauce.) So, my sparkling eye caught the sparkling eye of the large striped bass and it was love at first sight. I had my finny friend scaled and cleaned but that was all. This was my first and only mistake. The aforementioned animal-loving nippers forced me to remove and discard the head as soon as I got it home anyway.

I was further challenged by the need to have dinner on the table in 45 minutes from when I got home. So I had to spring into action. I filled a big pot with water already warm from the tap (having personally installed at some point in time every inch of the water’s pathway between cold water supply and the tap, I know it is good drinking water and since it starts out as Sierra mountain snowmelt, it really doesn’t get any better than that – New York water – phah!). Water on, I diced up a big pile of garlic and chopped up two bunches of scallions and then cleaned the broccoli rabe.
Next to make the garlic sesame sauce for the noodles. Toast the chopped garlic in some oil, add three tablespoons of sesame seeds, stir and take off the heat. Add lots of soy sauce, fish sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice, a tablespoon of sugar, reheat and cook down slightly, then set aside. Now in a very large pan (sixteen inches across, four inches deep, stir fry the white part of the scallions with the rest of the garlic and some chilli flakes. When it is getting translucent, add three cups of white wine and some more soy sauce, then add the rest of the scallions and lay the fish on top. Cover and cook for ten minutes. Gently lift up, add the broccoli rabe, and put the fish back the other side up and cover and cook for another ten minutes. At this point, add the vermicelli noodles to the pot of boiling water and keep a close eye to drain them at three minutes. Drain the noodles and immediately toss with the sesame garlic sauce and lay them down as a bed in your biggest serving dish. After the ten minutes are up, check the fish – it may need more time – ours did. At this point, remove the broccoli and lay it down both sides of the noodles, leaving the center for the fish. I didn’t do this and instead left the broccoli in with the fish, so we had overcooked broccoli. Once the fish is done through – it may take another ten minutes – lay it in pride of place in the center, serve with a lovely crisp white wine (NOT a chardonnay) for the grown ups and apple juice with sparkling water for the kids. Step back quickly so you don’t get mowed down in the crossfire…

Party time!

Now that the book is at the printer (please go take a look and then immediately order lots of copies…) it is time to start thinking about the launch party – and that means thinking about food and drink. For now the drink is most important, the party will be in about five weeks so I just have time to recreate one of the few things by me that is in the book – my own Bay Area version of an altbier. So that’s what’s planned for today. I may also make some real ginger beer for the kids now that I have enough stuff to brew two batches at once. I recently discovered the real secret to home brewed drinks like ginger or root beer – you should use champagne yeast rather than brewing yeast – it is designed to maximize the CO2 production and that’s what we need. The challenge for me will be keeping the alcohol production down to a low enough level that it’ll be OK for the kids – but that’s why I’ll do the real beer first – the soda takes much less time because you really just let it do the initial fermentation when it produces masses of CO2 and it is only in the later stages when it eats the complex sugars that you get the alcohol. If you want to try home brewing (or winemaking for that matter) check out Beer, Beer and More Beer in Concord. They have all the stuff and are really helpful.

The food part of the party can wait, but I am hoping to have it all be from the book so that people can get some idea of what the recipes in the book are like.

Paper Chef oversight

In all the novelty of having a guest host for Paper Chef, I completely forgot the winner icon. So here it is:
Paper Chef March 2005Put all the rest here

Blog Appetit

It took me a while to puzzle it out, but I think the Paper Chef has been paid a small compliment. I started getting traffic from Blog Appetit so I went to check it out and it was clearly a food blog event of some kind for French bloggers. My French is good enough to puzzle through things but this was also when the book was underway, so I didn’t pay much attention. It turns out to be a web event that is a little bit like the Paper Chef, except much classier – it is French after all. They have a site devoted to the event and it is organized by a team of five bloggers and is beautifully designed. Every six weeks they will put up two or three seasonal ingredients and invite participants to make a recipe with them and they all get announced together along with a recipe from an invited real French chef. This time around it was two-Michelin-star Michel Portos. This is a wonderful addition to the world of food blogging events and I shall attempt to struggle through participation next time around. They do say that you can participate in English, and as always, they clearly would appreciate any effort to do it in French. But this does inspire me to issue a couple of challenges…
(1) Are there any real chefs out there who would fancy taking on the Paper Chef challenge as guest stars? We can’t guarantee getting you Michelin stars, but we can always SAY that you have them…
(2) Are there any other changes/improvements any of you would like to see in the Paper Chef? We are certainly getting wonderfully creative recipes and some of the ingredient combinations really push people’s thoughts about what they can cook.

BIG NEWS!!!

It is hard not to shout! The book that I have been working on for the past seven or eight months is off to the printer and you can go ahead and find out more and finally order a copy!

As many of my regular readers know (especially since many of them are authors in this project), the book is called “Digital Dish: Five Seasons of the Freshest Recipes and Writing from food blogs Around the World.”

Digital Dish copyright 2005 Press For Change Publishing LLC

The idea has been under way for well over a year at this point and I solicited entries between July and September of last year from blogs that had already been up and running for several months at the very least. We ended up with 24 blogs represented in the book. There are about a hundred entries. It is 232 pages long and it contains some great and wonderful food writing and recipes, just like the title says. Anyway, the big news is that you can go ahead and order your copy (or hundreds of copies) now and as soon as the book is back from the printer it will be shipped straight off to you – even before you can get it from a bookstore!Put all the rest here