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SobaAddict70

eG Foodblog: SobaAddict70 (2011) - Market basket blogging

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Hi, I'm SobaAddict70 and this is my fourth eG Foodblog. Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Memo to self: must try harder the next time I do a Foodblog since Kerry got it right, with a little help from Mitch. :raz:

This Foodblog will be a little different from all the others. There'll be lots of the usual cooking, eating and picture-taking; however, I'm borrowing a page from Iron Chef, sort of.

This week, you get to decide what Soba cooks for lunch and dinner.

But I'm getting ahead of myself slightly.

Back in 2008, I decided to embark on a year-long experiment -- to cook seasonally and within reason, locally. I shop almost exclusively at Union Square Greenmarket, as well as neighborhood food shops in the Upper East Side. Sometimes I'll pick something up at Citarella, especially if it's fish. Lately I've been -- against my better judgment -- becoming fond of Eataly. I usually don't use much canned or overly-processed food. I suppose that might be a little limiting but I view it as a challenge. It keeps me constantly thinking about food, what to cook, what to prepare for the next meal. And it helps sharpen my curiosity and appreciation for the beauty of food.

And that's what this Foodblog is really about: that the beauty of the world around us is reflected in the food that we eat.

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Glad to see what you've got in store for us! (Especially now that I get to just sit back and READ a blog... :laugh: )

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Earlier Saturday morning, I went to USGM and brought back the following:

fresh young onions

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tomatoes

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pencil-thin asparagus

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spinach

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edible nasturtium flowers

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heritage chickens

Tuscan kale

herbs

unsalted butter

cow's milk ricotta cheese

chickweed

wild mushrooms

From this list, I'll be cooking several meals this week. Pick two to three ingredients and I'll choose the combination that appeals to me most. I may pick up other things to supplement, but by and large, each meal will feature the ingredients that you choose.

This also fits in with one of my cooking resolutions for 2011. I want to break out of my cooking "mold", by trying new things. This is one way to make that happen.

A few ground rules though:

The more fragile items (e.g., chickweed, flowers, spinach) have to be used quickly, like sometime in the next two days. Ditto for the heritage chickens. I bought two hens ... both need to be cooked by Tuesday, otherwise they have to be frozen. I'd rather not have to do that unless necessary.

There will be another trip to USGM on Wednesday and again on Friday. We'll be doing this exercise a few more times this week. I'm looking forward to these two trips in particular because I've never been to the Greenmarket on a weekday. That should prove exciting.

Some more pix from today:

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Heirloom tomato plants. What didn't get bought today will be planted on Monday, with the harvest in August or early September.

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Strawberries. I should've bought a pint. I'm kicking myself now for not having done so.

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Cinnamon danish.

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Baked goods.

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Miniature Irish soda bread.

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Garlic chives.

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Assorted spring vegetables.

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Jonagold apples.

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Tulips.

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Mutsu apples.

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Damn I hate New Yorkers sometimes.... you know what I can get at MY local market right now? Okra. Oh, and... okra! Did I mention okra?! <grumble> That stuff looks gorgeous...

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This was dinner tonight:

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Smoked bacon from Flying Pigs Farm and wild mushrooms over sautéed spinach.

Served with a baguette, Pamplie and a glass of pinot grigio.

Chopped bacon and mushrooms (oyster mushrooms, shiitakes and criminis) cooked together; then spinach and shallots sautéed in bacon drippings. Lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and onion chives to finish.

Time: 30 minutes, including prep.

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Damn I hate New Yorkers sometimes.... you know what I can get at MY local market right now? Okra. Oh, and... okra! Did I mention okra?! <grumble> That stuff looks gorgeous...

Thanks Chris.

I like okra too but I have to wait for it since it doesn't arrive until late July or early August. :(

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OK, I nominate a simple stir fry of the onions, asparagus & chickweed, maybe just some sesame oil, light soy & white pepper. Also, Chinese White Cut Chicken for the breasts (http://sundaynitedinner.com/chinese-white-cut-chicken/). Served with just a little bit of rice. I'm hoping this is sufficiently outside of your comfort zone to count :).

It'll also provide you with some chicken poaching liquid to be used creatively throughout the rest of the week.

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Our first non-management repeat blogger!

Since you're a blogger in addition to a food forum participant, I'd like to ask. . .

Do you think participating in food forums helps your blogging? Which gives you more interaction, the forums or your blog? Do you tend to repeat content on each, or do you write for completely different audiences on your blog compared to as on eG.

And does participating in forums help drive up traffic to your blog (through exposure, through random clicks on the link in your sig, etc.)?

ETA: I'm just wondering about the blog-food forum link. I've seen a lot of food forums folks start blogs, and then drift away from participating in forums altogether and just focus on the blog. But it seems you've maybe maintained your level of participation on forums (don't know how much/how often you write on your blog).


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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could you make some of the ricotta gnudi like they serve at the spotted pig? mmmmm

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Beautiful pictures already!

Loving those chives. When I was younger I used to sit in the garden by the herb bed and munch on them, flowers and all. Good times.

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OK, I nominate a simple stir fry of the onions, asparagus & chickweed, maybe just some sesame oil, light soy & white pepper. Also, Chinese White Cut Chicken for the breasts (http://sundaynitedinner.com/chinese-white-cut-chicken/). Served with just a little bit of rice. I'm hoping this is sufficiently outside of your comfort zone to count :).

It'll also provide you with some chicken poaching liquid to be used creatively throughout the rest of the week.

Sounds great, except the chickens aren't big enough to take apart like that. Think more like really small Cornish game hens. One hen equals one serving.

Edit: I'll probably end up making this though, once I'm able to locate some ginger root. There's an Associated across the street from my apartment. Ginger root is, apparently, one of the items it doesn't stock. A little surreal and annoying at the same time.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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Our first non-management repeat blogger!

Since you're a blogger in addition to a food forum participant, I'd like to ask. . .

Do you think participating in food forums helps your blogging? Which gives you more interaction, the forums or your blog? Do you tend to repeat content on each, or do you write for completely different audiences on your blog compared to as on eG.

And does participating in forums help drive up traffic to your blog (through exposure, through random clicks on the link in your sig, etc.)?

ETA: I'm just wondering about the blog-food forum link. I've seen a lot of food forums folks start blogs, and then drift away from participating in forums altogether and just focus on the blog. But it seems you've maybe maintained your level of participation on forums (don't know how much/how often you write on your blog).

I focus equally on both. Everything's connected -- foodblogs, forums like eG and social networking sites like Facebook and Foodbuzz -- so the question about more interaction isn't really answerable. Sometimes I'll post something on eG with a link back to my blog, especially if it's on the Dinner! thread.

I'm not particularly worried about driving traffic to my blog. Forum participation certainly helps, but it's not essential. eGullet is -- in my experience -- am extremely small percentage of the pie. I actually get more hits from Internet searches and Facebook. When I participate in foodblogging events like Weekend Herb Blogging and Presto Pasta Nights, I'll see a measurable increase in page views and commentary. Through participation on other blogs, I've also developed a small but loyal core of readers. Blogging used to own me ... now I just blog whenever I feel like it.

People seem to like roasted potatoes with lemon and herbs for some reason. They like it so much that it's become the number one referral whenever someone views my blog. It's one of those mysteries of the Internet.

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could you make some of the ricotta gnudi like they serve at the spotted pig? mmmmm

Hi Nikki, and thanks.

Ricotta gnocchi is one of my staples. I usually serve them with some kind of vegetable feature though.

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Beautiful pictures already!

Loving those chives. When I was younger I used to sit in the garden by the herb bed and munch on them, flowers and all. Good times.

Thanks Jenni.

I thought of you a few times when I was posting. A trip to Kalustyan's is later in the week -- I need to restock my Indian food pantry.

Breakfast coming up in a little bit.

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Penny for your thoughts:

If you could get only one cookbook from the following, which would it be:

1. Zuni Cafe Cookbook

2. Marcella Cucina

3. One of Madhur Joffrey's books

4. Some vegetarian cookbook

That's one of the dilemmas I'm facing right now ... I can't decide.

I'm not a vegetarian, although a lot of what I cook is vegetarian-friendly.

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Some pix of my kitchen. It's the same apartment that I've been living in for the past 5 years and it hasn't really changed all that much since the last Foodblog back in 2008.

I don't think folks can really appreciate how small it is until they've been here. The pix don't do it justice. When I say I don't have enough counter space to seriously consider baking or making pasta (one of the reasons why you'll never see baking appear on my blog), this is what I mean:

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Here, you can see my small but efficient cookbook collection. I don't cook from cookbooks all that much, but I do use them for sources of inspiration. When I was growing up, I'd go to the library and spend a few hours reading cookbooks.

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Hi Soba! I think yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read here. I'm glad to get to read another one!!

I can't wait to see those gorgeous nasturtium flowers on something.

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Ingredients for today's brunch: chicken eggs from Quattro's Game Farm, asparagus, tomatoes and nasturtium flowers.

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Asparagus, olive oil, kosher salt. Roast at 350 F for 15 minutes. Reserve and set aside.

Quick tomato confit: Sliced tomatoes, olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper. Roast at 350 F for one hour. Use as needed when done.

Be back in a little while.

This is actually going to be second breakfast for me. First breakfast was a glass of orange juice with 5 grams creatine, followed by a protein whey shake. They don't call me eG's resident hobbit for nothing. :wink:

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What are you having for elevensies?

This is going to be 2nd breakfast and elevenses all rolled up into one.

On Sunday, my nickname changes to SobaSLUGGARD. I woke up at 9:30. :angry: I've never been a morning person.

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Hi Soba! I think yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read here. I'm glad to get to read another one!!

I can't wait to see those gorgeous nasturtium flowers on something.

You mean, like this? :wink:

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Linguine with wild mushrooms and chickweed in cream sauce, garnished with nasturtiums and herbs.

I don't like cream sauces usually, but this hit the spot for yesterday's lunch.

Very simple: chopped mushrooms cooked in a little butter, salt and pepper to taste, a little lemon juice; add chickweed; add light cream to the pan. Add cooked pasta directly to the pan, reduce sauce just a tiny bit. Serve immediately with chopped nasturtium flowers, chives and some cheese on top.

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Hi Soba! I think yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read here. I'm glad to get to read another one!!

I can't wait to see those gorgeous nasturtium flowers on something.

You mean, like this? :wink:

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Linguine with wild mushrooms and chickweed in cream sauce, garnished with nasturtiums and herbs.

I don't like cream sauces usually, but this hit the spot for yesterday's lunch.

Very simple: chopped mushrooms cooked in a little butter, salt and pepper to taste, a little lemon juice; add chickweed; add light cream to the pan. Add cooked pasta directly to the pan, reduce sauce just a tiny bit. Serve immediately with chopped nasturtium flowers, chives and some cheese on top.

That. Is. Beautiful.

I've always wanted to taste those flowers. Are they kind of a sweet/flowery taste?

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Hi Soba! I think yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read here. I'm glad to get to read another one!!

I can't wait to see those gorgeous nasturtium flowers on something.

You mean, like this? :wink:

003.JPG

Linguine with wild mushrooms and chickweed in cream sauce, garnished with nasturtiums and herbs.

I don't like cream sauces usually, but this hit the spot for yesterday's lunch.

Very simple: chopped mushrooms cooked in a little butter, salt and pepper to taste, a little lemon juice; add chickweed; add light cream to the pan. Add cooked pasta directly to the pan, reduce sauce just a tiny bit. Serve immediately with chopped nasturtium flowers, chives and some cheese on top.

That. Is. Beautiful.

I've always wanted to taste those flowers. Are they kind of a sweet/flowery taste?

They have a faintly spicy, peppery kick. I like to use them as a condiment in turkey or roast beef sandwiches.

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Roasted asparagus and tomato salad

roasted asparagus (see recipe above)

1/2 tomato, cut into small dice

olive oil

1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

sea salt

1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves

Combine in a small bowl and set aside until needed.

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Poached farm egg over toast, with roasted asparagus and tomato salad and quick tomato confit.

Not the image I was going for since the egg refused to behave. For a demo on how to poach an egg, click here.

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Smaaaall kitchen counters - try a cutting/pastry board big enough to cover your sink.

I second Chris' comment, thinking that I could do with the inspiration at this produce-starved time of year past spring and not yet into summer...but you're obviously not suffering :smile: .

Love the toes on your kitchen floor...great indication of scale!

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