Blue Heron Local Cuisine

Cooking, Eating, and Drinking on the North Shore (and beyond)

Beef Sushi April 27, 2009

Filed under: Recipe — blueheronlocal @ 3:10 pm
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Before you run away screaming, let me explain. Always on the lookout for something with which to culinarily impress his friends, No Egrets began to think about ways to modify the sushi formula. What  he came up with was beef nigiri, a perfect dish to take to our friend’s surprise birthday party.


The evening before the surprise celebration, we cooked a vat of sushi rice (which is nice and sticky) with a little rice vinegar and put it in the fridge. No Egrets also marianated the filet mignon (it’s true)  in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.


The next morning we got up and sprung into action. No Egrets seared the beef and cooked it until it was (to my non-beef-eating eyes) quite red. He shaped the cold rice into little oblong shapes, and put a thin slice of beef on top. Next time he will add a dab of wasabi between the rice and beef.


The rare steak resembled rare tuna, which was a nice effect, and almost broke my non-beef-eating ways. (OK, I confess, it looked so good I tried a piece.) It was an overall success, and may be a great way to introduce sushi to your midwestern friends and family when fresh seafood is merely a fantasy.




PS Our friend was taken completely unaware. Ha!


Five Gallons of Carroty Goodness April 12, 2009

Filed under: container gardening,gardening — blueheronlocal @ 11:10 pm
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I went out into the garden for the first time this year. Well, I had passed it while gathering firewood, or bringing something heavy around to the back of the house, but today was the first day I actually put my hands in the dirt. I got in touch with my inner weeder, because don’t you know, the herbs were straggling up but the dandelions and long-haired-weed-number-seven were so green and lush it could have been June (I wish).

One of our surprise gardening successes last year was the five-gallon pot of carroty goodness. I had received a packet of carrot seeds as a favor from a wedding a few years back; but I’ve never been much of a gardener. (In my bachelor days, I kept one spider plant and one pot of basil in the window of my JP apartment, and considered myself a success.) I had been using the carrot seeds as, um, a bookmark, when No Egrets saw them and liberated them from a life of dormant literacy.

Not having a clear idea how old the seeds were, No Egrets proceeded cautiously. He filled a five-gallon pot one-third with sand and two-thirds with rich beautiful soil and sprinkled the carrot seeds. We waited. A month later, we had scads of baby carrots. We harvested a few, and many grew in their place. Every time we were in the garden, we picked one and ate its fresh, almost peppery, carrot self, reminding ourselves why it was worthwhile to weed out the dandelions. Again.



Canning Beans! April 7, 2009

Filed under: Food Preservation — blueheronlocal @ 9:38 pm
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Yesterday, I saw daffodils while I was walking through the rain, and believed, for the first time, that it was spring. (See, I’ve become a hard-bitten, cynical New Englander after all.) In preparation for farmers market season, No Egrets and I bought a pressure canner.

We decided to practice a little before we had pounds of heirloom tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and okra to waste. So, as I sat at the table doing my day job (that would be corraling commas and wrestling homonyms to the ground), I watched No Egrets can beans. We decided to begin with plain beans. Our first idea had been to make Mexican beans, salad beans, etc., but then we realized at the end of the season we would want Mexican beans, but have nothing but cannelini beans with basil.

No Egrets boiled the turtle beans, stuck them in mason jars, and put them in the pressure canner. (There may have been more steps, but I was too busy matching references and citations to notice.) Then he spent an inordinate amount of time staring at said canner, watching the metal pin that releases pressure bounce up and down.

After an hour or so of boiling, we turned off the heat. We waited for the pressure to go down from 11 pounds to zero pounds, and then gingerly opened the canner. There was bean liquor boiling in the jars. We took this as a good sign. One by one, I heard the glorious pop of the mason jars sealing themselves.

Here’s hoping we don’t die of botilism!!