My pepper plants are starting produce quite well. The banana peppers are the front runners only in that the cayenne peppers have not yet started to turn their beautiful red. Once that happens the plants themselves will look like a southwestern imprestionist painting of a Christmas tree. Pictures of these will hopefully soon be online for all to enjoy. Now it is time to figure out what to do with them. Combine them with peaches, vinegar, and sugar creating a delightfully fresh dressing for a great local white fish like flounder. Or simply pickle them and enjoy them later on a sandwich. Who knows, hopefully I will have enough to try may different styles of cooking and enjoying them.
You definitely have to check this one out. I got this from a friend. It was in the New York Times dinning section today and it sounds amazing. People talk about plain goat cheese tasting like cheese cake and vinegar tasting like apple cider. I have to wonder how this could all fit into the culinary world?
I love cilantro. To me it says summer, Mexican food, bright, fresh, bold, all things I like in foods. The ironic part of it all is that the cilantro plant (as it is known in North America) does not like the hot summers of Charleston. I have tried to grow it for three years now with no luck. I do have a new variety from a local nursery that they call “Charleston Cilantro” that seems to be doing quite well. From what I understan it is a native to Aisa called Rau Ram, but more on that latter. This year my plants survived long enough to flower and are now producing seed, which we all know as “Coriander”. This is much more exciting to me than most as I love to not only know, but to be able to experince how foods are grown and harvested. I have allowed the plants to flower and produce seed and am anxtiously awaiting the time at which I can pull the seeds, dry them out, toast them, and use them to cook with.
Cilantro plants before flowering.
Flowering cilantro plant.
Coriander seeds forming under the flowers of the plant.
I have used coriander in many a dishes from a simple seared Ahi tuna to a complicated but delicious curry. With this new experience I will now have a better understanding of how the ingredient is grown and harvested which leeds me to a better knowledge of what to expect when I order the spice from my purveyor. It also makes me wonder how good a cilantro vinegar or even a coriander vinegar may be?
After my last trip to New York City with my wife Kelly I sat down and decided to write letters to all the places I had been to just to say “Thank You”. One of the letters I wrote was to Danny Meyer, the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. This group owns ten restaurants in the city and from my experience in two of them they all have to be wonderful. Much to my surprise Mr. Meyer wrote me back, which said quite a bit to me. After receiving his letter I did a bit more research on him and found out that he had a new book out entitled “Setting the Table”. Well I did, as I am sure you expected, go out and immediately purchase a copy. Since reading it there is no doubt in my mind why this gentleman and restauranteur has gone so far and been so sucessful. This book is a must for all of those in the industry, front or back of the house. It is also, in my opinion, a must for anyone who owns their own business. It is just a hope of mine that I may one day spend some time with Mr. Meyer picking his brain and absorbing all that he can teach me. Below is an image of the cover of the book. I do have to admit thought that my reading of his book was interupted by the book I previously mentioned “The Perfect Pig”. Sorry Danny, I do hope you understand, sometimes a bad day requires different remedies.
You can also find a link to the Union Square Hospitality Group to the right of the page, which will also provide you links to all of their wonderful restaurants.
Here is an image of the book I just mentioned. I am sorry for the Amazon like look, but that is where I got the image from, and a good place to get the book as well.
My wonderful wife bought me this new book after she learned I was having a horrible day (isn’t she great). I don’t have many fortunately and after hearing about some of it she decided I needed another book about pork, one of my favorite, if not the number one on my list, proteins. This book is amazing. Mostly stories, mainly just one large continuing story with different small stories within. But none the less outstanding and the recipes that I have tried have been spot on. The title of the book is “Pig Perfect” written by Peter Kaminsky. I will try to post an image latter on. He starts off on his quest for the perfect ham and leads the reader through many an adventure filled with scientific facts, folklore, and his own personal experiences. After reading the book and trying some of the recipes I am inspired to return to my home state of Kentucky and the state that I spent most of my life in Tennessee to research ham and pork production. He also does a great job explaining the consequences of mass production. Not just the simple facts but detailed stories and facts from those who live through and suffer from the industrial side of the story.
Ever since I lived in Tampa Florida I have loved the thought of living in Cuba. I know that some would say why? And my answer would be simple, get to know a Cuban individual or family and you will understand. I have since then always had a place in my heart for the mystic island, and all of it’s wonders. Earnest Hemingway also being my favorite author helped this feeling along. My friend Dave Brown (the cigar guy as like to refer to him as) sent me this link to an ebook about living in Cuba http://caribpro.com/Books_Ebooks/Living_In_Cuba/. With his and my love of cigars it is a shared dream of living in Havana, fishing the annual Hemingway marlin tournament (more mine than his), and being able to experience the culture. The food, drink, people, and of course the cigars. Now I am not trying to endorse someone elses book but the introduction to the book sounds fascinating.