23 October 2009


I'd seen the recipes and had kept them at skeptical distance, but these days, considering the level of my bank account and the amount of dandelions in the backyard, I thought might as well try my luck at the proverbial free lunch.

As it turns out, it's not too bad, and tomorrow I may collect more from my neighbour's yard (my backyard is little and I have used up all the dandelions) to make a second batch. Actually, it tastes quite a bit like kale, but with a thinner texture.

Easy and fast:
clean the dandelions (however much you may find in the yard) thoroughly to get rid of the dirt. Chop them in 1-inch strips, without roots. Blanch them in 2 cups of boiling water for 3-4 min. Drain and set aside.
In a skillet, heat a bit of olive oil and throw in 2 minced garlic cloves for 30 seconds. Add the dandelions and cook for about a minute, making sure the oil covers the dandelions.
And there you go! A nice side dish!

21 October 2009

Scallops and Asparagus on Capellini

A big success this evening, using one of Marcella Hazan's recipes and one of my own devising.

Sautéed Scallops with Rosemary and Lemon


  • 1 1/2 lbs. scallops (bay, or sliced small if sea scallops)
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Wash scallops and pat dry with a towel
  2. Put oil and garlic in skillet large enough to accommodate all scallops in one layer; turn on heat to medium
  3. When garlic turns a pale gold, add rosemary
  4. Stir quickly, add scallops, salt and grindings of pepper, and turn up heat to medium-high
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, for ~2 min. until scallops turn from translucent to flat white
  6. Add lemon juice, turn heat to highest setting, stir once or twice and serve


Just fantastic. Make sure you serve over a pasta that will take the sauce well. Parmesan a good addition on top.

Asparagus with Shallots and Garlic in White Wine Sauce


  • 1 lb. asparagus, tips trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice


  1. Heat butter on medium, until melted, in large sautée pan with lid
  2. Add garlic, cook until fragrant
  3. Add shallots, cook until translucent
  4. Add olive oil and cover all of pan
  5. Add salt and pepper grindings, and then half of the wine
  6. When wine is cooked halfway down, add asparagus and stir thoroughly
  7. Add remainder wine and lemon juice
  8. When sauce begins to simmer, cover pan and steam for 2-3 min.
  9. Transfer to serving dish, serve and enjoy!


Again, great. Also make sure you use the sauce, it's killer, and combines well with the above. I used capellini and that worked excellently. Parmesan on top is good, too.

14 October 2009

What Happens When You Go Shopping After Day 3 of Comps

This is what I just bought:

(1) Box organic whole wheat penne
(1) Box organic whole wheat spaghetti
(1) Tube Dijon mustard
(1) Bottle sunflower oil
(1) Bottle sesame oil
(1) Bottle canola oil
(2) Roma tomatoes
(1) Grease screen
(1) Ciabatta loaf
(2) Bars chocolate
(5) Boxes Annie's Mac'n'cheese [to be fair - it was on sale and there were coupons and I was out]
(1) Package Reed's ginger chews

Of that, I can guarantee that... the ciabatta will get eaten tonight. The tomatoes turned into guacamole. Otherwise, presumably these things get used eventually.

07 October 2009

Fort Collins Brewery The Kidd Lager

Fort Collins is a solid-if-underrated Colorado brewery, so I was pleased to see a brew of theirs I'd not yet sampled - The Kidd Lager - at Carrboro Beverage Co. Like its Colorado cousin 1554, it's a dark beer that's not a stout or porter, but where 1554 is an ale, The Kidd is, um, a lager. And a very good one. Smooth and with a hella-easy drinkability, the chocolate malts come through as flavor but not big-footing, and with an excellent, crisp lager finish. Really good stuff.


I got a tip that the former head chef from Oiishi opened Momoyama and that it was pretty good so, when I was in the neighborhood around lunchtime owing to hard-drive failure, I stopped in.

Momoyama is not good. Everything bland, fish not fresh (the tuna in particular was watery and nearly flavorless), and not especially cheap (nothing below $9 in the lunch specials). I would advise against going there.