Mary's blog and Sharon's chalkboard features - September 28, 2018
And, another fine week it has been! Last Sunday I just wanted to go “play” in Kensington, hiking or kayaking, but put my nose to the grindstone and emptied a few planters, groomed the lawn, and was able to get the veggie garden somewhat “cleaned” up as the cooler nights have wreaked havoc on the tomato vines. They are just about done. I’ll miss walking out the back door to pick my produce “on demand.” The cukes and eggplant are still going strong but herbs and tomatoes have wilted away. I’ve made a big batch of tomato-basil sauce and fresh tomato soup “base”. Both freeze nicely so I can enjoy them for months. Two of my favorite soups are a puree of tomato base and black beans and another that is strewn with chic peas and basil. I’m a big “no meat Monday” fan so they fit right in. Sometimes a bit of firm tofu rounds them out. Diced tomatoes, cucumber and garlic, all from the garden, along with a bit of olive oil and balsamic make a lovely accompaniment for grilled salmon or shrimp. And, it is healthy to boot. Niki and Pico even get a spoon or two over their kibble and love the added flavor!
A big part of the enjoyment I get while cooking is the use of great knives and cookware. I used my beautiful fire red Le Crueset Bouillabaisse Pot to cook roasted vegetable paella today. I love cooking with enameled cast iron and the Le Crueset brand is a work of art. I have several that I use whenever possible. It comes with a life time warranty and my mom still has some pieces that are over 60 years old. Each one is cast from molten iron in a sand mold that is then destroyed making each exclusively unique. Then an enamel glaze is applied and baked on. Cast iron is second, only to copper, for conducting heat. It is great for slow cooking and braising. One of my cherished memories is mom searing off lamb shanks and veggies in her huge Le Crueset Dutch Oven, popping it in the oven for a few hours and then bringing the bright orange pot right to the table for serving. Yum!! And, don’t forget to have a few good knives in your drawer too. My brand of choice is Wusthof, made in Solingen Germany for over 200 years. I have 2 sets of various sizes, one of which has traveled with me around the world to competitions. I kid my nieces and nephews that for sure they’ll be left a “good” knife in my will as this cutlery will be around for 100 years or more.
Sharon and crew have some great Weekend Chalkboard Features per se. For a Starter there’s Fried White Cheddar Cheese Curds with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce. Bistro Plates include Angus Osso Bucco: Meaty Beef Shanks Slowly Braised in Red Wine with Cremini Mushrooms and Served with Buttermilk Mashers and Crispy Onion Rings; Linguine & Shell-On Littleneck Clams Tossed with White Wine, Garlic, Shallots, Lemon and Parsley; Breaded Cod Fillets Topped with Grilled Lemon Slices and Accompanied with Brown Butter Spätzle and Braised Red Cabbage and for our Veggies a Beautiful Plate of Roasted Acorn Squash, Corn and Baby Kale Risotto Finished with a Drizzle of Caramel-Apple Cider Reduction. And, Our Drink Special is a Hibiscus Margarita. YUM!!!
The pet pantry is feeling the pain – we need donations as Meals On Wheels is blowing through the food your so kind to leave for them. Leave your cat or dog food or supplies in our lobby. Thanks in advance!
“The Greatness of a Nation and its Moral Progress can be Judged by the way its Animals are Treated.”
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO!
AND, WISH YOU MANY MILLION DOLLAR DAYS!!!
XO, Mary, Niki, Pico, Z and Picasso
Certified Executive Chef and Owner of Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro