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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Adventures with Bison Liver: Mushroom and Liver Pate

A dear friend of mine has an unusual perk at her place of employment: access to bison meat. Because I have room in my freezer, I have a bit of it stashed in my chest freezer, including a heart and a tongue. The liver was in there too, but I saw a recipe for a wild mushroom-liver paté and I had to break into the liver. I had picked some wild mushrooms (don't worry - you don't need to pick your own wild mushrooms to make this) which would be perfect for mushroom-liver paté. I've never used bison liver but how different could it be from beef liver? Actually, it's even better than beef or calves liver,  mild and sweet. Now, I don't expect you to find a bison liver either. This recipe will work with any type of liver, including chicken livers. The mushrooms mellow the liver-y flavor. It's rich and delicious. The recipe makes quite a bit, so it's best made for a party. Unless you plan on eating it on everything. I'll be posting a recipe I created to use up some of this paté soon.

Mushroom and Liver Paté
(makes about 2 cups)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Kimchee Quesadilla

In July, I visited Montreal, Quebec, a wonderful, charming, multi-cultural city north of the border. I wrote about my experience on this blog; go read it if you have plans to visit Montreal (and you definitely should make plans). One of the most fun things I ate while there was a kimchee quesadilla. I saw it advertised on a sign outside of a Korean restaurant near our B&B and I just had to try it. After a long day of exploring the city, I dragged my three friends in, and made them watch while I ate it. Actually, they helped eat it too.

It was quite tasty and very easy, provided you can get kimchee. That's not so very hard. I saw it for sale in a small supermarket in Ithaca, New York recently. If they have it, I bet you can find it almost everywhere now. My kimchee came from Pacific Ocean Marketplace in Broomfield, CO. POM, as we call it, is a supermarket-sized Asian full-service grocery store. They cover nearly all Asian cuisines: Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and more. They have locally made kimchee. It's garlicky, and spicy, and not too, too funky. Also rather addictive. It was perfect for my homemade kimchee quesadilla.

Kimchee Quesadilla
(serves 1-2 as an entree, 4 as a snack or appetizer)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Baking Challah

Last week was Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish High Holy Days. As with most Jewish holidays, there is much eating. My dear friend Nancy had a lovely dinner party and I brought the bread. For almost every Jewish holiday (except for Passover!), the bread of choice is challah. Challah is a beautiful yeast bread, enriched with eggs and butter. It is braided and glazed so it bakes up to a gorgeous soft mahogany loaf. Very impressive! I've heard it compared to French brioche, but it's not quite that rich or sweet. Still, there is absolutely nothing wrong with home-baked challah. My challah was a huge hit at the dinner party.

I used a recipe from Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan and based on recipes from Julia's (as in Child) PBS series from the 90's called Baking with Julia. I made it in my stand mixer which I strongly recommend. First, the recipe makes 2 large loaves and that's a lot of dough to knead. Second, challah is a sticky dough to knead and the stand mixer makes it much easier. One thing I like about Julia's recipe is the instruction to save some of the glaze to brush the loaf partway through the baking. If you skip this step, you'll have lighter parts at the seams between the sections because of the expansion during baking. Glazing it again gives your challah an all-over tan. :-)

Here's a link to the recipe from an archive out there. Scroll down to the message from Lisa3575.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Roasted Corn and Peach Pancakes

Peach and corn season is drawing to a close here in Colorado. I will miss them. Here's a great brunch recipe for summer, during peach and corn season, so if you want to make it, get going. You can make it year round, with frozen peaches and kernel corn that you've roasted in a heavy skillet. But, it's not quite the same. There are small chunks of peach and roasted corn in the pancakes, and it's excellent served with more peach slices sweetened with a bit of maple syrup. The batter contains cornmeal, further boosting the corny flavor.

Peach and Roasted Corn Pancakes
(serves 4-6)