29 December 2009

Marinated Black-Eyed Peas

Tasty-looking local black-eyed peas at the Weave and a lovely-looking recipe from my Southern Living 1982 cookbook (modified a bit):


  • 12-16 oz. black-eyed peas (fresh, rehydrated-and-boiled, canned)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/8 c. vinegar (your choice – I mixed red wine, white wine and some balsamic)
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • several dashes hot sauce


  1. In large container with cover, add peas, then onion and garlic, mixing well
  2. In separate measuring cup, combine and mix liquid ingredients and salt
  3. Pour liquid over peas &c. and mix well
  4. Cover and refrigerate three days
  5. Enjoy!

28 December 2009

Sopa de Aguacate

Had some avocados that needed to be eaten now, so, an unseasonable-but-delicious chilled avocado soup.


  • 1 bunch green onions 
  • 3 large ripe avocados
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp/ paprika
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 small handful parsley
  • 2 c. ice water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Coarsely chop white segment of onions and place in blender or food processor
  2. Add flesh of one avocado, garlic, and lemon juice; purée 
  3. Add flesh of second avocado; purée
  4. Add third avocado, cumin and paprika; purée until smooth
  5. Add parsley and slowly add vegetable broth; blend until smooth
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate overnight 
  7. Just before serving, stir in iced water to thin purée

16 December 2009

Matzoh-Ball Soup

It's that time of year. Well, one of them. And I had a big ol' pot of chicken stock boiling, so – might as well give matzoh-ball-soup-making a go for the first time in my life (my late great-aunt Tiny first and then my mother have of course traditionally handled the previous incarnations). I didn't get Tiny's recipe which I'll need to do in future, but pulled together a reasonable version of it.

The soup


  • Big pot of chicken stock, chilled, filtered, cooked way down
  • 1 lb. carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. celery, chopped
  • 1-2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, de-skinned and -boned


  1. Make the stock in advance. Don't even think about using stock from a can. Chill it overnight, skim, and store outside of main pot.
  2. Heat oil (or schmaltz if you've got it) in large pot
  3. Add carrots, celery and onions, and cook 10 min. over low heat, mixing frequently
  4. Add a few cups of the stock, filtering again as you do, to cover the veggies, and raise to simmer
  5. When simmering, add chicken thighs and cover. Cook 15-20 min.
  6. Uncover and add remainder of stock, and raise to medium boil
  7. Add matzoh balls to pot and cook 15 min.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Matzoh balls

  • 4 matzoh or 1 cup matzoh meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbs. chicken stock
  • 4 tbs. vegetable oil or schmaltz
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Add eggs, stock and fat to large bowl; mix thoroughly
  2. Mix matzoh thoroughly in food processor [unnecessary if you're using matzoh meal]
  3. Add matzoh or meal to large bowl and pepper as necessary; mix until combined and unyielding
  4. Let sit for 15-20 min. to allow everything to absorb
  5. Fill bowl of water to allow for hand-wetting
  6. When soup is at medium boil, form matzoh balls with hands and drop in gently, wetting hands between
  7. Allow to cook for 15 min.; serve and enjoy!


Pretty damn good! Need to get the real recipe, next time.

Winter Parsley-and-Walnut Pesto

Had a bunch of leftover parsley, so decided – winter pesto!

  • 1 1/2 c. walnut halves 
  • 1 c. parsley leaves
  • 1 cu. freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
    1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 tbs. butter, room temperature
  • water to mix pasta

1 lb. pasta of choice  


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Toast the walnuts in a pie plate for 7 minutes, or until golden; let cool. 
  3. Coarsely chop walnuts and transfer to a bowl
  4. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, garlic and parsley until finely chopped 
  5. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and the olive oil and process to a coarse puree
  6. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. 
  7. Cook pasta 
  8. In large bowl, add butter and combine with pesto
  9. Off the heat, add the pasta to the pesto pesto and toss until combined
  10. Enjoy!

New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale

Very dark with a rich, creamy head, you could be excused for mistaking Cabin Fever for a porter, but the flavor while roasty is very much an ale. Great mouthfeel and nice slightly bitter finish, none of the sweetness that sometimes plagues brown ales. Highly recommended.

15 December 2009

Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter

Each year I've been here, I've tried and been disappointed by the Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter – too sweet, too boozey. But no more! This year's batch is perfect: rich, creamy, dry, super-flavorful. A truly great winter beer: pick yerself up some (especially get it on tap, at Milltown).

12 December 2009

Founders Harvest Ale

A limited-release, wet-hopped ale, Founders Harvest is a solid IPA. Not overly floral but nice and bitter, refreshing. Not sure if I take it over their standard offering (Centennial IPA) but wouldn't refuse it, either.

08 December 2009

Lazy Man's Mole

Felt like a mole but without the time, so tried my hand at something kinda-sorta-similar.


  • 1/3 bar good dark chocolate (I used Green & Black's Maya Gold)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (in this case, Bell's Porter)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, chopped
  • 2 Chipotle peppers, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, in 1" cubes (or whatever other meat you like)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • t tbsp sunflower or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water or stock


  1. Over low heat in large saucepan (one that has a lid), melt chocolate
  2. When chocolate is melted, add a few ounces beer and peppers; raise heat to low-medium and cook for 5-10 minutes
  3. Add onions, oil and a few more ounces beer; cook for 3-5 min.
  4. Add garlic, spices, remainder of beer and raise to simmer, mixing well
  5. Add tomatoes, mix thoroughly and cover; cook 15 min.
  6. Add water or stock and meat; cover and cook, stirring periodically, until chicken is tender (this will take a while, probably 45 min. or so – use this time to cook some rice!)
  7. Enjoy!

Really good. Rich, spicy, tasty. A perfectly acceptable alternative to driving up to DC for mole.