Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rancho Gordo beans

I have been doing a lot of reading of foodie blogs and other items in newspapers and magazines regarding foods and food trends. Not too long ago, I came across an article regarding Rancho Gordo beans out of California. They have a beautiful website with lots of products including heirloom beans. They cooperate with farmers in Mexico who grow these heirloom beans and therefore help keep the small Mexican farmers in business.

Our order arrived last week and we decided on three different beans. The Rio Zape bean is described as having hints of chocolate and coffee and best with great Mexican food or as a pot bean with a squeeze of lime.

The Flageolet is a creamy, dense heirloom bean that stays whole yet soft when cooked. Ideal with roasted tomatoes, with lamb or fish or in a cassoulet.

Today we had the Sangre de Toro. This is a very small bean and for our first try, I wanted to get the total bean essence. We sauteed celery, onion and garlic and added the soaked beans with their liquid and cooked for a couple of hours.

These beans tasted so unlike any others we have ever had. The beans are a little pricey, $5.95 for a pound, but it is pure protein you are serving which seems rather reasonable. We are looking forward to trying the other beans.

If you are interested in learning more about this company and their products, check out the website for Rancho Gordo and learn what is available.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The color of the day is orange!

Growing up in Iowa, I remember an orchard of apple trees in our backyard. There were also a couple of peach trees and one or two pear, if I remember correctly. I do remember that when fall arrived, the work started with picking apples, and for the younger generation, gathering them off the ground in order for dad to be able to mow the grass underneath.

Because we lived in an historic area, there were always a lot of tourists coming through town. I recall how I would haul a bushel or two of apples to the front road and sit and sell apples to whomever wanted to buy. I usually got rid of all of them quickly.

But, as you can see, the photos above are not apples, but oranges. They are on a neighbor's tree. Despite the cold we had earlier in the month, these oranges survived beautifully. Lots of grapefruit are also bulging on the tree branches. It still seems odd to me to see bright orange instead of bright red on trees. But, I can get used to it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Mayo

We have tried different recipes for Salmon Burgers in the past, but when I read "Annie's Eats" this morning, I knew we would have these for dinner tonight.

Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Mayo
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
6 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 lb. salmon fillets, skinned, boned and finely chopped
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
We did add 2 chopped scallions

For the cilantro mayo:
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup cilantro
Dash of cayenne pepper (we used a dash of hot sauce)
Squeeze of lemon juice

In a medium bowl, combine the diced bell pepper, panko, garlic and salmon. In a small bowl combine the egg white, soy sauce, lemon juice and salt. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the salmon and toss gently until well incorporated. Form the mixture into four equal patties. We found that taking an empty tuna can and oiling it, will make nicely formed patties when the salmon mixture is packed into it and then tapped out.

Make the cilantro mayo, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined and smooth.

Lightly coat a grill pan or skillet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Cook the patties about 5 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Instead of putting these burgers on buns, we had loose leaf lettuce with a vinaigrette and placed the burgers on top. It was excellent and will certainly be added to our favorite recipe box.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Trout!

Happy Birthday today to my Trout! He is spending the day golfing at Disney with some of his good friends and then tonight out to dinner with friends. It is a good day!

In 1992, I gave The Trout a most fitting birthday present. I contacted my old college friend, Judy Johannesen, who had and still has a tremendous gift of producing beautiful calligraphy. I gave her one of the Trout's favorite poems by Robert Traver, and she produced a most beautiful keepsake. We then asked an artist friend of ours, Dave Constantine, to pen and ink a trout on the bottom of the calligraphy. This is the result and it has hung proudly for all these years.

I hope you will click on the picture to enlarge and read this poem. It really explains my husband a lot.

After posting this, I decided to add another paragraph. The poem states that the fisherman is thankful that there are no telephones on trout streams. And so it always was 1999, The Trout slipped on mossy rocks and had to walk one mile back to the car on a broken ankle that later needed surgery. He takes a cell phone now, only if he will be far away from the car.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A well earned repast!

After 21 days of South Beach diet, we have lost a little weight, but more important, we are both feeling better. So tonight, after enjoying a day of temperatures in the low 80's, 9 holes of golf for the two of us together, we had a very nice dinner.

Above you see Fennel Salad with Parsley, Parmesan and Lemon. This is a recipe from Martha Stewart Living. Very nice, very cooling. We do not own a mandolin which would have come in very handy, but the Trout was able to slice fine enough. I think a mandolin will be on the wish list for the future.

Fennel Salad with Parsley, Parmesan and Lemon

Trim 1 fennel bulb reserving 1 to 2 tablespoons fronds. Halve, core, and thinly slice on a mandolin. In a large bowl, toss fennel with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season with salt. Stir in 1 cup parsley leaves, fennel fronds, and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan.

Another favorite recipe we had this evening is from March, 2004, Gourmet magazine. This was a beautiful addition to the cooling fennel. Just enough saltiness to make a nice comparison.

Roasted Feta with Olives and Red Peppers

1/2 lb. feta (preferably Greek), rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon oregano, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup bottled, roasted red peppers, chopped
10 Kalamata or other brine cured black olives, pitted, rinsed and coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat broiler. Cut cheese into 1/2 inch thick slices and divide among flameproof baking dishes or serve in one larger dish. Sprinkle oregano and pepper over cheese.
Stir together roasted peppers, olives, and oil in small bowl and then spoon mixture over and around cheese.
Broil 2 to 4 inches from heat until edges of cheese are golden, about 5 minutes.

Trout Here!!! I generally select the wine for our repasts - of late a few of my purchases came from nice write-ups found in the blog Bigger than your Head by Fredrick Koeppel. He gives excellent reviews of very expensive collectible wines to reasonable every day drinking wines. He has received a Best Wine Review award for his blog. Check him out!!

The featured wine for this meal comes from Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmerere 2008 from Chili! For a young wine, this has a very good body and drinkable now with a lot of fruit and complexity! Carmenere was once thought to be a Merlot clone but it is its own grape variety and a nice soft drinkable wine with red meat and pastas. It went very nice with our grilled strip steak and a bargain at $11-12 bucks!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bake a pie day

It is National Pie Day. That means only 3 more months until we do the judging of the amateur pie bakers in Orlando.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Salad number 3?

Are these people crazy? Another salad...with avocado? Well, this one is very, very good. We did a lot of tweaking on one of Ina Garten's recipes, "Grilled Tuna Rolls". The rolls would have been wonderful, but we eliminated the bread and made a beautiful salad.

Grilled Tuna Rolls
compliments of Ina Garten

good olive oil
1 pound very fresh tuna steak, 1 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lime, zest grated
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. wasabi powder (we used Sriracha sauce)
5 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco--again an extra squirt of Sriracha)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 firm Hass avocado, diced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced scallion
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
9 hot dog rolls, grilled or toasted
1 bunch baby arugula (we used spring greens)

Heat a grill and brush both sides of tuna with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill tuna to your desired doneness. Can be seared in a dry saute pan over high heat.

For the dressing, whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Toss the avocado in the dressing and then add the tuna, red onion, scallion and sesame seeds. Line the rolls with the arugula leaves and fill with the tuna mixture.

Because we did not want to eat the rolls, we simply tossed all in a bowl and had a wonderful dinner salad. The dressing was very, very good. As you can see in the photo, we also added some tomato and chopped radishes. This will definitely be on the menu again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another great salad

Found another good salad recipe for tonight. is a great spot to find recipes on the South Beach diet. You do not have to be dieting to eat these, because they are great at any time. Tonight's salad was excellent and, of course, as with all salads, your imagination is your best ingredient.

Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado, Feta, Shrimp and Caper Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Greek Salad with Avocado, Shrimp and Caper Vinaigrette from Nick's Fishmarket Maui featured in Bon Appetit
Magazine, March 2009

The title of this recipe is enough to turn people off. Don't stop now!!

Dressing (enough for 6-8 salads but make it all so can have the salad a few times)
4 oz. capers with juice (about 1/2 cup)
2 T. minced roasted red pepper from a jar
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put capers with liquid, minced roasted red pepper and minced parsley in a food processor with steel blade and pulse 20-30 seconds. Place in a small bowl. Stir in Dijon and red wine vinegar and then whisk in olive oil, a little at a time, until vinaigrette is emulsified.

Salad (2 servings)
1 large handful shredded romaine lettuce
1 avocado, diced
3-4 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
1/2 cup cooked salad shrimp
Small amount of sweet onion

Put chopped romaine lettuce into salad bowl and add 2 T dressing and toss until lettuce is well-coated. Add chopped avocado, tomatoes, shrimp along with 1-2 T. more dressing and toss gently. Top with the crumbled Feta.

I never buy the cooked salad shrimp. Tiger shrimp and white shrimp are always available and I simply boil in a pot with a good dose of Old Bay Seasoning. Shrimp cooked this way will taste like shrimp and not like soggy, watered shrimp.

We really enjoyed this salad. We made enough that it was our main entree. Chicken could be substituted. This will certainly be made again. See a pattern of avocado here?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Guacamole Salad

My records show that this is the third time we have made Guacamole Salad. It is a recipe from a favorite lady of mine, The Barefoot Contessa. We have been eating more and more salads since trying to shed some weight and this one was perfect tonight with a grilled chicken breast. If I haven't done so before, due credit is given to the Trout for picking out recipes and preparing them. I am good at cleaning up and help with any baking necessary. And as we frequently say around our house, "You're the gourmet around here, Eddie!"

This is an easy recipe and we enjoy it very much. Feel free to make minor changes to make it your own as we do.

Guacamole Salad
Compliments of Barefoot Contessa at Home

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2 inch diced (we used a luscious red pepper)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced red onion (we used a shallot)
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2)
1/4 cup good olive oil
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (we used a squeeze of Sriracha hot sauce)
2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and 1/2 inch diced

Place the tomatoes, pepper, black beans, onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables and toss well.

Just before serving, fold the avocados into the salad. Serve at room temperature.

Just enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. We really like salads with a lot of lime zest and juice. Lemons are also good, but limes give a more tropical flavor.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A few early Saturday thoughts

Several things to mention this morning. First of all, and foremost in our minds, the Trout and I have been very good and on the South Beach Diet for the last 13 days. It is a very healthy way to eat. We just eliminate breads, rice, pasta, and potatoes and high glycemic vegetables and all fruits for two weeks. It actually diminishes all cravings for something sweet.

We are both feeling so much better after all the holiday eating. Trout is down 11 pounds and I am down 7. I need to really lose 13 more to be happy and healthy. One more day and we can add oatmeal and strawberries and other fruits. I truly believe the trick to keep losing is walking twice a day. And after we reach each our goals, portion control will be the most important thing to keep it off. And then we will be off to France to over-indulge again. (smile)

One of our car door openers started getting rather sluggish, and not opening the door as it should. (Could be that I found it in the bottom of the washer?) Who did that? The battery number was listed on the back of the opener so I went to Walgreen's and picked up a $4 battery. Simple enough. But, then, how do you get this gadget open? I googled "replace car door opener battery" and to my surprise, there were actually photos on how to do this. The Internet is truly amazing. So, battery was quickly replaced and is working again.

Have you heard of Life Line Screening? It is a mobile unit that comes around and tests you for 1) stroke/carotid artery screening, 2) heart rhythm screening, 3) abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, 4) peripheral arterial disease screening and 5) osteoporosis screening. All of this will cost me $139. Amazing. Each test performed by a doctor would cost so much more, and, a doctor would not order these tests unless there already was a problem.

This unit will be in our retirement community clubhouse on Monday. I am signed up for all the tests. The Trout did this a couple of years ago and passed with flying colors. Results are mailed to you 3 weeks later and these can then be given to your doctor to put into your records. If a problem is found, and quite often they do find something like an abdominal aneurysm, they tell you immediately and send you to your doctor. This is a most wonderful gift for our seniors and if you are interested in more information, check out

It seems winter is over in Florida. We again have normal temperatures and are getting anxious to plant some seeds in the garden. All of our hibiscus died, but we are advised to wait until February 14 before pruning. They will come back, from the bottom up, but they will. The Trout planted some cucumbers, radishes and actually, our tomato plant survived the frost.

Today in our newspaper there is some good news my grandsons might enjoy. Cypress Gardens, a Florida attraction for years, has been sold to Legoland. No details yet, but it sounds like a Legoland will be built very near us. How cool is that?

Enjoy your weekend, and laugh a little. It is so good for you.

And an addendum to my last posting. We have just made another jar of kimchi. This time we used bok choy and added radishes to it. I also made it about twice as hot by adding more red pepper. It is very good and healthy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I am thinking Korean

We made a trip to the local Korean grocer earlier this week. We have driven by many times, but have not stopped. Then when Ken from Living the Life in Saint Aignan posted about kimchi, I knew I had to stop and visit the friendly Korean lady.

She was amazed that we were interested in making our own kimchi. I explained to her that in the 70's, we had lived across the street from a Korean woman. She had met her husband, an American soldier, during the Korean war, fell in love and moved to America with him. She taught me a lot about Korean cooking and one of the favorite dishes I learned to make was Korean kimchi.

It is recorded in records that kimchi was first fermented in the period of 59 BC - 668 AD. Born in Korea around the 7th century, it was not until the 18th century before hot red pepper was added. I copied the following paragraph because I found it very interesting.

Well-fermented kimchi has anti-biotic functions as lactic acid bacteria produced in the process of fermentation that suppresses growth of harmful bacteria.
This bacteria not only gives a sourish flavor to matured kimchi but also prevents excessive fermentation by restraining growth of other bacteria in the intestines.
Not only that, substances in kimchi prevent hyperacidity resulting from excessive intake of meat and other acidic foods.
Most ingredients of kimchi are low in calories and sugar but contain high amounts of fibers, diverse vitamins (especially vitamins A and C), and minerals (such as calcium and iron).
Lactic acid in kimchi restrains the growth of harmful bacteria in intestines and help relieve intestinal disorders. In addition, the lactic acid is efficacious for preventing adult diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and even gastrointestinal cancers.
Not only that, the juice from vegetables and salt in kimchi help intestines remain clean.
Some substances in kimchi help promote the secretion of pepsin (protein-digestive enzyme) and maintain the presence of a certain number of bacteria.

The fiber in cabbage is not a nutrient, but it aids digestion, allows smooth movement of food through the intestines, and helps prevent constipation and intestine cancer. Red chili peppers and garlic help to lower blood cholesterol and aid in blood clotting. The nutrients and activities of the various micro-organisms produced during fermentation are also very beneficial to the human body.

Kimchi from my friend Lee

One head of Napa cabbage. Sprinkle cut up cabbage with Kosher salt for about 5 hours. Drain and rinse many times until the salt taste is almost gone.

Put in large bowl and add:

3 diagonal cut spring onions
We also added a large bunch of oriental chives
1 large mashed garlic clove
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2-3 teaspoons hot red Korean pepper
2 teaspoons fish sauce

Mix well with the cabbage and pack tightly into a quart jar. Add water to the top and seal with lid.
Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then refrigerate.

The photo above shows my quart of kimchi. It is sitting in my laundry room wrapped in a towel. Care needs to be taken when the jar is opened for the first time. Much like sauerkraut, it will start bubbling over the top of the jar.

After my brother, a Captain in the Air Force, was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, he was sent back to the states for 6 months and then sent to Korea. I remember his letters to me telling me how the Koreans bury jars of the kimchi and then dig them up to eat after it has fermented. He learned to love it. I wish he lived closer to me so that I could share this with him. Next time I visit him, I will take a jar along hoping it will not explode in the car.

We eat kimchi like most people would eat pickles or any condiment. It is typically eaten with meat, with rice and just about with every meal. Kimchi can also be made from cucumbers and often Daikon radish slices are added.

It has been much too long since we had this Korean treat. I am thinking I need to make some of the other recipes my friend Lee taught me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And some more knockers!

I have had several emails from friends saying they have found one of my knockers at eBay or online. I even received websites of restorative door knockers and all have been great. Actually, there was a perfect hand knocker on eBay that was extremely reasonable. But as one blogger friend said, the search is as much fun as the find. So, I am waiting until I get to France, specifically, Alsace Lorraine area, where I know I saw many back in 1981. Something about the authenticity of finding one in France is very exciting.

The collage above is framed and sits on our buffet in the dining area. It is composed of our photos and is very special. At first, I felt rather shy about photographing doors, but the more photos I took, the braver I got.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

I am looking for one of these

I have mentioned before that I have a real desire to find an old Victorian style door knocker. When we were in New England this past spring, I missed getting one by one day. They had just sold the only one they had. So, the quest goes on.

This one pictured was photographed in France several years ago. At that time, I just admired them. Now, that I am not in France, I need one badly. Hopefully that situation can be satisfied this year when we travel to France. It has to be a lady's hand and very unique. Sometimes you find them holding an apple. Most often the hand has a ring. I have searched antique websites without luck.

What am I going to do with this heavy piece of metal? First of all, I hope it will not weigh too much for the suitcase. Second, I want to make a shadow box to display this 'knocker'. I am not a collector because I don't like a lot of "things' sitting around. I have inherited quite a few Hummels, but have only purchased one myself. Wish me luck on my quest to find the perfect knocker!!
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Friday, January 8, 2010

A pretty morning - Skywatch Friday

I know I have posted before on one of my favorite things--sunrise. Took Kippy for a walk this morning and from 7 until 7:05 a.m. the sky was magnificent. "Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight."

We do have rain predicted today, it is still cold and possibly frost tonight, and then it will start getting nice. A lot of damage in the vegetation down here. They say 30% of the tropical fish raised here have died. No accounting yet on the citrus and strawberries. Just part of nature. I think it is good that man can't control everything. Something about evening things out and remembering who really is in control. Have a good day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ice in Florida

I saw my neighbor's water feature yesterday, but it wasn't until this morning that I decided to take a picture of the ice. Tonight will be our third night of frost and that is not good. One of the largest tropical fish raising businesses is located right here. They have had significant fish kill. The tanks are tented with plastic, but the problem starts when the weather warms up and the fish develop diseases.

It is not known yet how much damage there has been to the citrus and strawberries, but you can be sure you will feel it in the marketplace soon.

Give us two weeks and things should be back to normal in Florida. Until then, stay home and stay warm. Even blogger friends in London and France are saying it is one of the coldest winters in 30 years. At least we have totally blue skies and sunshine. The Trout is even going golfing later this morning.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

The Trout and I just came in from our second walk of the day. It is cold right now, 41 degrees. It will be much colder tonight. My beautiful poinsettias are hurting even though they have been covered for 2 days.

The farmers down here are hurting. We live in the Florida strawberry capital area and there will be a lot of loss. The oranges, lemons, grapefruits will be damaged.

The last time it snowed, and probably the first time, in Miami, was January, 1977. I don't think that will be repeated, but people who have lived in the south all their lives are also hurting. Growing up in Iowa and living most of my live in Michigan and northern Wisconsin, we know what cold is. It can get much, much worse than this.

And so, my thoughts this evening go towards all the warnings we have had about 'global warming'. Is is wrong for me to doubt that theory? Our entire country right now is very, very cold. A little warming would be greatly appreciated.

And finally, a little bit of advice to my northern friends. Florida is a wonderful state to visit, but plan your trips very carefully. January and February is not the best time to leave the deep freeze in search of Florida warmth. We will have sunshine, but we also have winter. It is just not as bad as elsewhere. I hate to see families save for trips to Florida, to Disney and other attractions only to be frozen out and disappointed. It will get better and warmer down here, but not right now.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Photographs bring memories

The year has started out with some serious purging. The Trout has gotten into old slides or transparencies from years gone by. There are literally way over 1000 photos in those little cardboard frames in boxes in our closet. At least they are all in one place. We have not looked at them in many, many years. "Oh, look," was heard often as each one was checked. Then the work began. Which do we toss and which do we have made into a DVD to preserve. Fortunately, I used to be quite organized and each one has subject matter, place, written on the cardboard edge. The cardboard also contains the year which is very helpful.

We lived in Germany for one year when the Trout was drafted into the Army in 1968-69. We traveled extensively and took many, many photos. Right now, the important ones to me are the pictures of us, so young, and even a photo or two of this young woman pregnant with her first child. Oh my, so long ago.

And then there are the pictures of our little babies and the beagle that lived with us for 17 years. Could that time have passed so quickly. The photos of the homes we lived in, even a glimpse of the cars we have owned.

I remember when digital cameras first became popular. We were very hesitant at first, thinking they can't be as good. Now, we have several 'old' cameras at home and not quite sure what to do with them. No one wants to buy these retired cameras, and I do not have the heart to throw them away. If anyone has any good suggestions, I would love to hear them.

And then I have the project I have put off for several years. I have collected old photographs of the Trout's ancestors and mine and our early life as a married couple and want to put all these photos onto a disc and then make a photo book for the daughters. We have used Shutterfly many times to put our vacation photos into book form. They do beautiful work and are very reasonable. It is something that needs to be done this year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A great dinner for the start of a new year

Last evening we were invited to a large neighborhood New Year's get together. Lots of appetizers brought by all the guests and then collards and black-eyed peas, pork and sauerkraut and lasagna. Therefore we hit most traditions and backgrounds, so tonight, we were able to cook our first meal in the new year.

The Trout searched for quite a while to find just what he wanted. I received Ina Garten's Back to Basics cookbook for Christmas, so we made the Mushroom Risotto which turned out perfect. So good. In addition, a grilled steak and the fantastic creamed spinach recipe from Once Upon a Plate.

This spinach recipe is definitely worth trying. I love spinach any way, so it is a lot of fun trying different recipes. Mari is an accomplished cook and photographer, so please take a look at her blog and try this spinach recipe along with her many, many other tempting recipes.

And what goes well with such a wine? We opened a very old wine, 1999 Whitehall Lane Winery Merlot from the Napa Valley. Perfect, just perfect.

Say, what is it about spinach that makes you want to go and brush your teeth after eating it? Fear of green between the teeth or just an acidic feeling?

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve dinner

A very Happy 2010 you all of you! Thank you to each and every one who have visited Schnitzel and the Trout this year. I hope you will all come back this new year and tell me who you are.

Once again, I am sharing one of my grandfather's postcards circa 1910. Very fitting for the time.

I promised to post the New Year's Eve dinner that the Trout and I shared. It started out with shrimp cocktails, our last dozen oysters on the half shell and then we got serious. A bib lettuce salad with my mother's salad dressing. She always made her dressing with sour cream, a little vinegar, a little sugar, salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix this together, add to fresh bib lettuce and top with crumbled sauteed bacon.

And then, the main dish. We have eaten this often on New Year's eve. It is like a tradition for us. The recipe is from Bon Appetit, October 1995. We have been making it almost as long as that.

Seared Sea Scallops with Creme Fraiche and Caviar

1 teaspoon olive oil
12 large sea scallops, cut in half horizontally if too large
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/2 ounce caviar
fresh chives

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Cook scallops until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn over, saute until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.

Top each scallop with 1/2 teaspoon creme fraiche. Top with caviar and garnish with chives.

This can be served as an appetizer, but we always serve it as the main dish. It is amazing, but every time we make this, we realize how much we really love it. Oh yes, a bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut went well with this meal. Happy New Year dear friends.