My Food Journey

My Marina di Chioggia is changing color!

My Marina di Chioggia is changing color! When I brought it home it was very dark green, and it’s slowly turning a dark orangy pink. It’s name translated means “Chioggia Sea Pumpkin” – it looks like something from the sea. Soon I’m be making gnocchi from it……I’ve just got to find the time!

Life has been busy this past week, so there hasn’t been a lot of time to cook, but I still managed to collect a few pictures….

The satsumas are here! It is truly incredible how many of these little oranges are consumed in ?Arcata this time of year! Last week, we sold about 600 10lb bags, 200 5lb boxes, and about 1500lb of loose satsumas at the Co-op alone! They really are good – so sweet, juicy, easy to peel, and almost no seeds. They’re perfect for this time of year too – extra vitamin C when the cold season is starting to set in. I’ve certainly been eating a lot of them, but I think I prefer the stronger flavored pixie and honey mandarins that come later in the season.

This is a Matzutake Mushroom that my favorite mushroom picker brought in to the co-op for the produce staff. No one else wanted it, so I got the whole thing. The Matzutake is a very expensive symbolic mushroom in Japan. The can be over $500.00 per pound! Lucky for us, they grow wild here and this year there have been tons of them.I had a few friends over for dinner last Sunday, and I wanted to use the Matzutake. I had been wanting to roast a chicken, so I decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving meal: roasted chicken with matzutake stuffing.I used some old bread for the stuffing, and added sauteed onions shallots and celery, hazelnuts, Matzutakes, a few eggs, and salt and pepper. I cooked some of it in the chicken, and some separately in a pan. One of the guests was vegetarian, and I was a little nervous having a vegetarian over for roast chicken – but she loved the stuffing! The mushrooms were good – they held their own, but didn’t overpower.

Here’s the chicken right out of the oven. I cooked it to 185 degrees. It was very well done, but still moist – it practically fell apart when Johnny tried to cut it.

These are New Zealand Guava that one of our guests brought. She has a tree in a pot that lives on her porch. They were really good – like huckleberries with a tropical flavor.

The food was good, but these margaritas were the star of the night. Our group of friends had discovered Passion Fruit margaritas a while back, and we wanted to experience them one more time before the passion fruit season ends. There’s a Portugese lady in Arcata who grows Passion Fruit in her greenhouse and sells them to the Co-op. She brought in her last load of them this week. The margaritas were tequila, orange liquor, lime juice, and Passion Fruit. A friend brought strawberries, so we added them too, shook them in a shaker, and drank them. A good time was had by all!

Later in the week, I decided to take full advantage of the left over chicken and make soup. This is the chicken bones starting to cook into broth. first I stripped all the usable meat from the carcass, and then boiled all the bones for a few hours. I drained the broth from the bones and used it as a base for chicken soup. It ended up being Thanksgiving day before I had any time to make the soup, so that’s what we had for Thanksgiving dinner.

Since it was Thanksgiving, I decided to make the meal kind of special and we made dolmas to go with our soup. This is the filling: rice, ground lamb, roasted yellow pepper, oregano and lime (to tie in with the soup.)

Here they are rolled up in the grape leaves. Johnny did the rolling – he did well! They were delicious! We only ate about half of them, and the leftovers are great for lunches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *