Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cilantro Berries: the secret ingredient

My garden is not exactly popping along. I didn't get started 
on it early enough -- after all, it'd been summer all winter, what was the hurry?
But one whole bed took it upon itself to grow cilantro and now it's all going to seed,
and what a treat that is.  Not that I wouldn't like some nice frilly cilantro leaves, but those
green berries do give a wonderful pop of flavor to your unsuspecting mouth and its concomitant
taste buds. 


And after the green berries turn brown, I'll plant them
  -- have already begun -- for my next crop of cilantro. And this year I am going to
cover it in the fall. It's very cold tolerant. If we have a mild winter I should be in cilantro
up to my ears all year long.

Today I used them in a dish that I only make for lunch
when I'm alone, for Leo doesn't like it.  Liver, that is, beef liver, 
a big slice of it that I bought from Pine Woods Farm at the Rutland Farmers' Market last Saturday.
And this is how I prepared

I sautéed some Foggy Meadow onion with a couple of cloves of my garlic, 
then added the strips of liver and sautéed them over a medium low heat, added some 
dry sherry and let it simmer off, then ground lots of sea salt and pepper over the liver and 
sprinkled the cilantro berries over the plate and... 

yes, it was delicious!

I ate it (almost) all up!
From Cilantro Berries: The secret ingredient

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a summery meal

I was on my way back around the Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturday, having thrust my full basket under Foggy Meadow’s table for safe-keeping. It was full and heavy with, among many other things, a sirloin tip from Spotted Dog Farm and some delicate organic sweet corn from Woods’ Market Garden.
I was going back around because I'd remembered I had to go back to pick something up. I couldn’t remember what it was that I had to go back to fetch but I was fairly sure I’d know it when I saw it.

Oh yes, it was the tagliatelle from DiPrinzio Pasta Company. It had been frozen and I wanted to keep it that way, though the boys said just to stuff it in the freezer when I got home.

The DiPrinzio Boys with Vermont's
Representative, Peter Welch    
The boys are back – I wrote about them last year, the two New York City DiPrinzio boys who summer in Shrewsbury and make their wonderful pastas and sell them at Market.

This day they were serving up samples of their spaghetti with their own pesto sauce, and it was so very good!

That evening I started up the Big Green Egg and grilled the sirloin tip and the sweet corn in its husk. And while that was happening I chopped parsley and garlic and marjoram and a Hungarian hot pepper, all from my garden, and then just warmed them in melting Amish butter.

When my daughter was here I'd noticed how she so calmly chopped some garlic and parsley for me, and how tiny and uniform the chop was when done. She didn’t say a word about this, I only learned by noticing her action and its result. It was a very gentle chop, not an act of vengeance. I saw how little you need to lift the knife with only the gentle pressure of one index finger on the very tip of it, and how quickly and delicately it can be dropped down again, and nothing jumps around into your eye or on the floor. It is as though she had snuck up behind the matter and petted it to bits. And holy of holies, when I tried it it reacted the same way.

Then I cooked the tagliatelle, and sliced the steak thin, and cut some kernels from one ear of corn, and  piled the pink steak upon the hot pasta, and the corn upon that, and drizzled the buttery herbs over all.

So many tastes! That pasta was so good, delicate but chewy, the herbs were just lovely, making every mouthful into a different treat.