Friday, March 26, 2010

pork noodle soup

With a trip down memory lane, I stumbled across this soup. I had some hot italian pork sausage in the fridge, and was wondering what to do with it. A review of the pantry revealed a can of garbanzo beans and I had a thought about a spanish soup a friend gave me a recipe for near ten years ago. Way back when, I had just made chorizo for the first time, and as the soup called for chorizo and garbanzos (which I just adore), the dish came together splendidly. Now, this many years later, with some kind of hot porkyness and garbanzos on hand, they just had to go together.

I split the sausage casings, dumped the meat in a hot pan and started stirring. After a few secs I diced up a mediumish yellow onion and added it to the fat-releasing, big meaty crumbles that were starting to form. I rooted around in a bottom fridge drawer for some mushrooms to add, but came up with a wet bag and some dank slimey ones. Hmmmm. Maybe we have.........oh yes, what do we have here that was bartered for with homebrew? Porcini linguine to the rescue! So I added a few cups of water to the pan when the onions and meat were a golden brown. It became one potent broth in a quick hurry. I dumped in my beans and let this simmer together for about half an hour, then added my mushroom pasta. It may have looked more like an asian dish with the fat noodles and all, but the flavors spoke from a mediterranean side of things. Based in the past and inspired by the present, for me, this soup was an instant classic.

Monday, March 15, 2010

tastes like chicken

Oh my.

It is a rare occasion in this world when you can out do a "best you ever had" moment in your life.

So there I was, with my second chicken from Riverdog Farms, stuffed ever so lovingly into my small cooler and transported home on my two-wheel truck. The first bird from them the week earlier was nearly the best chicken I've ever had, so my expectations were running high you might say. I prepped and baked #2 in a similar fashion, and as before the results were awesome. After carving it up and enjoying it with a side of rice and carrots, I put it in the fridge to think about later. We still had much leftovers, because running around 8 pounds, this small turkey was more like 3 meals. After something like a minute and a half, I wanted chicken salad.

The next day, I got to work. My salad was composed of diced meat, pesto (last fall I planned well and still have about 4 cups in deep freeze), chopped olives and celery, with just a dollop or three of mayo to get the right consistency. I looked around for bread, and luckily (because I have the best wife in the world) there just happened to be some biscuits laying around. I sliced one and gave it a light toasting. I heaped on some saladic green hunkiness. It looked good. I ingested it in about 4 bites. Then, with drool streaming from my face like some large breed of dog, I made another. Tilting my head a touch for the second first bite, a thought tumbled off a shelf somewhere deep in my head and came to rest in a legible spot. This is the most chickeny chicken I have ever had! If it could stand up to all that pesto and such, and still cry out roasted chicken, then it just had to be true.

The next day, chasing the spector of reliving a "best of" moment, I made another chicken in a biscuit sandwich. Granted, it wasn't as good as the first, or second, but really, because the only remaining biscuit was another day older, there wasn't the same volume of salad, and because somehow, getting closer to the subject in a photo is not always a good thing.

If you have access to the Berkeley Farmers' Markets, enjoy chicken, and don't mind hacking off the head of the tastiest bird you might ever eat, then do Trini and Tim a favor. Do our planet a favor. Support small farms and sustainability. Go buy yourself a Riverdog Farm chicken.