Monday, May 2, 2011


I went with many of you to Jamaica last year- there we tried many new foods. Brittany says that Jerry made us callaloo but unfortunately I have no recollection of that. I rediscovered this dish in my Jamaican cooking class- I am not stealing their recipe since there are copyright laws against reposting their recipes... I have tweaked it to make it easier/more accessible. Callaloo refers to a leaf veggie- amaranth or taro Xanthosoma. Here in the NW you can use any green leafy veggie such as kale, spinach, chard or collard greens. Traditionally it's used as a side dish or as a gravy for other foods but I am LAZY- I eat it as a stew with a side of cornbread. Also, I don't measure things for this- do what's right for you.

Pork chunks: I use a large handful of bacon
Onion, one, chopped
Garlic cloves, five to infinity, minced
Habenero pepper, one, minced
Fresh thyme, handful
Fresh chives, handful, chopped
Green leafies, 2-3 cups, chopped
Sea meats, handful, I use one can of crab meat but you can use lobster or conch (haha where you gonna find conch here?)
Squash, one half of a cooked butternut squash, cubed, freeze other half for later
Okra, one bag of frozen chopped
Coconut milk, one can
Chicken broth, two cups
Salt & pepper to taste
Lime to taste
Hot sauce to taste
brb I'm eating a bowl of this for breakfast...

Ok, I'm back. Get a big soup pot, put it over medium heat, put a pat of butter in there and cook your pork meats. Drain fat from pork meats. Add aromatics (onion, garlic, herbs, pepper) and saute/sweat them. (Pardon my cooking grammar) Add greens and squash, cook for a few minutes. Add sea meats, coconut milk and chicken broth, simmer and stir. ADD THE OKRA LAST. People hate okra because it's mushy and slimy- and it only gets mushy and slimy if you let it. You are in control of your okra! Put it in last so that it heats up enough but stays crunchy. This whole mess should look like a stew. Taste it. Maybe it needs more salt and pepper. Serve in bowl with lime wedge, more hot sauce (I use habanero hot sauce) and with whatever starch suits your fancy. Oops I forgot to take a photo... that's probably for the best since it's ugly... but D'LICIOUS

Beer Fest

Hi all,

I ate pretty much everything on the planet in April and I haven't posted anything! I also went to two beer festivals in Portland: the Spring Beer & Wine Fest and Portland's Cheers to Belgian Beers. I highly recommend going to any beer fest that's not on the
waterfront or in the Convention Center. The Belgian beer tasting was in a metal craft warehouse where they make the vats for breweries for fermenting beer. Genius! 40 beers on tap! Each tasting bringing you closer to forgetting what beer you're drinking! I went with a new friend of mine and I made him take photos. This first beer on the left here is Block 15 Brewing Co.'s St. Macarius. 5.9% ABV Belgian-style dark chocolate. I voted it the best, very bright, no aftertaste, not too syrupy, easily you could use it as a dessert beer and pair with berry pie.

The next beer we loved (see upper right) is Buckman Village Brewery's La Petite Mort (or at least I think so... my sun-fried brain only scribbled one illegible clue for photo #2) 5.0% ABV dark saison. Does it look like teriyaki to you? You can distinctly taste ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce- all elements of teriyaki. WILD! It didn't taste out of place even, it was very drinkable... easily paired with Asian food... which we did at the Koi Fusion cart- overrated Korean taco-cart fusion. It's not my favorite because it's greasy and expensive for cart food. We had a bulgolgi bbq beef burrito with kimchi and salsa verde- not impressive until I got to the butt of the burrito- maybe that's where all the kimchi and sauces shimmied down.
Alright, here's the final two beers we tried. I can't say for sure what they are because these were the final tastings when we were already drunk but I'll do my best. I think the one on the left is Old Market Pub & Brewery's Trappist Le Blonde Inlenet- 8.2% ABV Belgian-style golden. I gave it a minus sign. The one on the right is Philadelphia's Flemish Amber- 4.7% ABV... it has a plus sign. When you go beer tasting I recommend using a more sophisticated beer rating system.

I don't know when the next beer festival is but I hope it's not for a long time!