After a cooking party using a pressure cooker and beginning preparations for my 7 year “standing” appointment with my 4th of July clients, I began to reminisce about my grandmother and the roll food played in HER life – hence, mine. I spent every summer with grandmomma and granddaddy and so, Wednesday night Baptist suppers, Sunday night suppers, picnics, and trips around the region brought expected AND unexpected food and memories.
My mind wanders (just ask Gordon) – I have to work hard to complete a verbal sentence because my brain is always way ahead of my mouth – and the pressure cooker at this party made me very nostalgic for grandmomma’s fried chicken. They asked “how do you make FRIED chicken in a pressure cooker?” – I answered “I have no idea, but you might ask Colonel Sanders!” … I’ve previously mentioned that grandmommas fried chicken was the pre-curser to Kentucky Fried. EVERY aforementioned event was graced with this chicken, mildly warm to room temperature, in a pyrex pan covered with a cloth. So juicy, and yes, crispy! Not all over – but all around the edges. The rich, flavorful skin and juicy flesh totally made up for the for the “not so crispy” center…later on I would order Extra Crispy for a while, but then returned to the flavors and textures of my youth.
This reminiscence made me mention Fried Chicken to my client who is totally on board…so, Fried Chicken for the 4th it is!! Along with Lula’s 5 Cheese Mac (sometimes 6), creamy and crunchy…and our Blueberry Florus Parfaits with Blueberries fresh and sweet from Thistlehair Farm!
IF you’d like Lula’s Fried Chicken recipe (which is flavorful and crispy, but cast iron pan fried NOT pressure cooked) click here. You can always get quick tips and tricks from Lula here . What’s YOUR favorite Independence Day food?
works for more than the Doctor! Throw an apple in your potatoes and they’ll not produce gnarlyness for MUCH longer…and make sure not to store potatoes in the fridge! You can find all KINDS of tips and tidbits like these here.
Leeks are grown in sandy soil. Most tutorials talk about slicing a leek lengthwise, removing the root and dark green portions, and rinsing the exposed portion under water. This is appropriate if you’re grilling or roasting the halved leek as a dish in and of itself, but a much CLEANER and very easy way to clean leeks if they are an ingredient is to fill a bowl with cold water, slice off the root and dark green, cut the leak in half lengthwise, then lay the cut sides down on a cutting board and slice through the leeks at 1/4 to 1/2 inch intervals. Dump the slices into the water and swoosh around with your hands, let them sit and settle, then gently lift out the floating leeks and see all of the dirt at the bottom of the bowl! If you’re sauteeing you can just lay them on a towel or paper towels to drain; if they’re going into a soup or stew just dump them right in – the extra moisture won’t harm a thing. Here’s to “clean eating”! For more tips and tidbits you can subscribe to Lula’s blog here.
The way you can squeeze every bit out of the tube…these days there are quite a few condiments in tubes that look a lot like toothpaste. Whatever you call it – the “toothpaste winder” or the “tube squeezer”, you can use it for the condiments just like you would on a tube of toothpaste! Frugal, anyone?!? For more tips and tidbits like these you can subscribe to Lula’s Blog here.
Every year around this time I publish something about asparagus – it’s in season and cheap and always delicious – whether it’s thick or thin. “Diameter” of the asparagus has nothing to do with its age in season, it has to do with the age of the plant. A thin spear in February for example, if left on the plant, will not grow into a thicker spear in March.
A thinner spear indicates a young PLANT, and vice versa. Both are equally sweet and tender after snapping off the woody bottoms (or shaving them as I sometimes do for presentation). Thin is better for steaming and stir frying (quickly, now!), and thick is better for grilling/roasting. We love to serve our “medium stalked” asparagus grilled with our Feta Jalapeno Dipping Sauce pictured here. Did you know it is also perfectly acceptable to eat asparagus with your hands? The Viking in me loves this. 🙂
I love Rhubarb. Every year I make a big batch of Raspberry Rhubarb Preserves and use it in various applications till it’s all gone (usually end of summer). Sometimes though, I run across Green Rhubarb, and because I use it in savory applications as well, I researched a bit about this “twin” (think of it as a fraternal twin) – it only lacks the anthocyanin pigments which gives certain rhubarb its red hue. This pigment is flavorless so there’s no difference in taste between red and green rhubarb (sour!!).
…AND I’ll say it again…DANGER WILL ROBINSON!! Do not try to cook the leaves or eat them raw – they are not innocuous like beet greens – they are poisonous to the point of DEATH!!! If you’d like occasional tips, fun facts and cooking info click here!
After these two hands have completed the nourishment of 195 souls this week, Gordon and I are off to New Orleans for some R&R (by now you should know that means Research and Revivification!).
Our friends Joe and Joanna (The Duke and Duchess of New Windsor – New York, that is… 🙂 ) are meeting us and we’re staying in a Fabulous condo in the French Quarter. We’ll be sightseeing, eating and drinking our way from the 9th Ward to Tulane, and all the way to Vacherie and back.
If you have a favorite haunt, watering hole, restaurant or attraction that you think I must not miss, please let me know here! And quickly! Flight leaves on Sunday, and the Royal “We” has decreed there will be no flight issues!