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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brussels Sprout Hash

One of the staples of my journeys to Tahoe with my friends Rob and Michael is Brussels Sprouts Hash, this is largely due to Rob's love of both hash and Brussels sprouts. One of the most hated and misunderstood vegetables of all time. When fresh and in season, especially straight off the stalk, these little cabbages are delicious and nutrient packed. The principal is pretty simple, some photos.

Taters and Carrots

Organic Ruby Crescent potatoes, chopped and mixed with some small carrots, cut from the stem. These were slowly fried with some chicken fat and olive oil, as olive oil is healthy.

Sprouts and Onions

The cleaned and sliced Brussles Sprouts along with some chopped onion, the heat was turned up a touch to get these going. I also added several pinches of sea salt to aid in wilting. I also added some Red Boat fish sauce to punch the umami, you will notice, no meat at this point. Once things cooked in a bit, I added a few sprinkles of The Rub Company Santa Maria rub. Finally, just before serving, I added some medium grind Phu Quoc black pepper, just a pinch or two.

I then fried and egg or two, screwed it up and ended up with soft scrambled eggs. Oh well, it still tasted great.
It ain't perfect

At least didn't overcook the eggs. Which was a good thing, as it still tasted great.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stuffed Potato Night

Well, the past week or so was just a lot of meat, a whole lot of meat, and something had to change, so tonight was vegetarian night and a stuffed potato seemed like the way to go. I happened to chance upon a beautiful organic potato, a huge one, a stuffer for sure.
The Lowly Potato

A few pokes with a fork, some olive oil and into the oven at 375F for about an hour, or when it was done actually. I sort of timed it. I actually just test for whether or not it is tender when squeezed lightly. If you squeeze too hard, it bursts and sprays burning tater guts all over your arms (don't ask). Anyway, some stuff was chopped up, things like shallots, garlic, choi sum (some call it baby bok choy), baby mustard leaves, baby shiitake mushrooms and some green onions.
Choi sum stems and leaves, pea sprouts, shallot, garlic

Baby Shiitake mushrooms, baby mustard greens, feta cheese

The aromatics were stir-fried until the choi sum stems were softened, but not translucent, then the mushroom and greens were added. Tossed and then heat was off, no cooking the greens, no breaking down the mustard greens releasing bitterness.
Mushrooms in the wok

Once the greens went in, I added some day old Jasmine rice and a mix of 2 tablespoons each of liquid amino acids and Red Boat fish sauce, which is a great ingredient with all manner of vegetables. Yes, I know this makes it non-vegetarian, but it also makes it tasty. All tossed together and then allowed to cool.
Vegetable mixture, Feta cheese and Potato

Once the mixture was cooled the Feta was tossed in and the stuffing began. I find it is easiest to scoop out the potato to make the boat by using a salad fork, and scraping, sort of like harrowing a field prior to plowing. I know, like everyone knows how to harrow a field, it was what I could thing of. Then laying a blob of stuffiing and just rolling palm fulls into the potato. You end up with this...well, at least I did.
Poor potato, he never saw it coming...

Once this was done, into a 375F oven for about 30 minutes, until heated through, then a little cheese, another 10 minutes and it is ready for a little flash to be added. This came in the form of some more grated cheese, some chopped green onion (green part) and a little whipped topping. I made the whipped topping from some Greek Yoghurt, half and half, some sea salt, ground white pepper and a little palm sugar syrup. Yes, it is overly complicated, but, it tastes really good.
Topped Tater

I also happen to like how it drapes over the tater like a Veloute sauce as opposed to a glop of sour cream. Anyways, the sliced shot, showing that it was not just a way to justify eating a baked potato, that there was something there that was green.
The Eating, see mom, veggies!

Okay, maybe it was just a justification to eat a baked potato for dinner. But, this was a terrific dinner, with a wonderful balance of flavors, textures (thanks to not cooking the choi sum stems to death) and I suspect nutrition. Although I can't be sure of that last one.