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Food Love & Lovely Food!

I need to get to Local Boys! No onions and no lemons in this house is rendering me madder and madder… Though the smell of 2 chickens roasting in the oven is heavenly. At least I had Herbs de Provence for them, if not lemon and fresh herbs. sigh. 2 more in the freezer though, so I have another chance. Why are THESE chickens special? Because their sole destiny was always to feed my family. I ordered 4 chickens from Red Rooster Farm in Poulsbo (you can find the Lamberts at the Poulsbo Farmer’s Market) and Mark picked them up for us today. They fulfilled their chicken destiny on Saturday, and they are in my oven today. There is NOTHING like fresh chicken. Even without fresh lemon and herbs, these are going to be great. We will have them with Farro & Cannellini Beans that I stewed and froze a few months ago when the weather was just a bit colder. (I LOVE this essence of fall/winter in the middle of July! And wasn’t the Thunder fabulous??) along with some salad greens from our CSA farm Hand Sown Homegrown. YUM!

I have been thinking about our food finds this week and there are some lovely highlights. We got gorgeous green onions in our CSA pack last week and as we were just about to throw some brats and chicken wings on the grill, it occurred to me to grill the onions as well. I rubbed a bit of olive oil on, salt and peppered them, and Mark grilled them for a few minutes. They were SWEET!!! So fabulous I can’t wait to get more onions in our pack this week. Mark was skeptical and then he tasted them. His face lit up with a smile instantly as he processed the lovely flavors. Do this and you will be so happy!

Our newest team member at the cafe is Jennifer. She is a lovely woman who loves good food and she has a great garden that I cannot wait to see! She brought us all in a beautiful dish that was almost to pretty to ruin by eating…and yet I am so glad that I ate it! The lovely white and black bowls were filled with roasted yukon potatoes, zucchini, brussel sprouts and roasted red beets, which gave the whole thing a lovely ruby hue. There was lemon juice and fresh herbs in there, and it was all topped with a perfect poached egg! I could see fresh dill atop the egg and even with some (gentle) reheating the runny yolk of the egg was fabulous as it moistened the vegetable jewels below. We each got our own bowl and it was a good thing because none of us wanted to share! Such a beautiful gift: grown, tended, harvested and prepared with her hands to feed our souls. Thank you Jenn!!

Mark and I got out of the cafe on Saturday after the Sounders game began and raced to Port Orchard (of course we obeyed all traffic laws) to watch the rest of the game. As we parked half time was almost over and the Bay Street Ale House wasn’t open yet (not til 3)so we headed in to Moon Dog’s Bar & Grill. They put the game on for us so we got to watch them beat Houston! We ordered some jalapeno poppers, mainly because I read on the menu that they make them from scratch there, and Ivy is always looking for the best poppers, so I had to try them for her. Anything for you, Ivy!! Oh man, they were good. The best popper ever is no longer available: the previous owners of the Toad House Pizza in Bremerton made them in the wood fire oven, rather than frying them. SO FANTASTIC! These were they best I have had of the fried version, so Ivy get in there! (Minors can be in there until the evening.) Plus they had Mac n Jack’s on tap, and that always makes me happy. Bay Street Ale House still has the best pizza in P.O, though.

So today’s recipes are all in the writing, rather than mapped out for you. The first was the onions and now this: Last night we were going to grill a pork loin, but I didn’t take it out early enough and it was still a bit frozen in the middle. Ok, I can handle this, I thought, and I decided to braise it, though not particularly slowly because we were getting pretty hungry. I pulled out my doufeu, salt and peppered the pork, then browned it on all sides, and set it aside. I tossed some onions in the oil and let them start to caramelize for a good long while, then I tossed in a few garlic cloves that I had crushed, salt & pepper, a couple of bay leaves, and some rosemary. I then cut the pork up: first into steak sizes, then those into 3rds, so they were very large chunks. I nestled them into the pot and I poured in about 2/3 of a bottle of Perazetta Erio. I covered it and let it simmer on low for awhile. I think it was 40 minutes or so. I pulled the meat out and turned up the pan juice, letting it reduce for about 15 minutes. I strained out all the solids, poured the sauce back, turned it off and finished it with a bit of butter whisked in. It was rich and lovely and the meat was tender and so good!

Between that and the chicken tonight, we will be eating well all the rest of the week. I hope you are eating well, too!