Friday, November 16, 2012

New books, lacto-fermenting, and mashed potato volcanoes

I decided to buy myself a Christmas present this year - a very early Christmas present. I came across an amazing "cookbook" while searching for what to do with my leftover whey. The title is Nourishing Traditions and it uses and promotes all natural foods and whole foods and really looks down upon all of the "new-fangled" foods we have today composed of 1,000,000 ingredients that one can rarely pronounce. I can't wait to post some of the recipes it has, and it has EVERYTHING and incredibly simple tutorials on how to do cook and prepare the foods. Not only that, but each section begins with an educational piece that educates the reader on the specific group of food they will be working with.

Any way, the very first recipe I used from my new, cherished book is lacto-fermented carrots. I changed the recipe quite a bit because it was originally gingered carrots, but I changed it to garlic pickled carrots. All I did was mix carrots with garlic salt, more salt, and garlic cloves in a bowl, before dumping them into the jar and pouring water and whey into the jar to fill it. They have to sit at room temperature for three days before being transferred to the fridge, and today is day two and I cannot WAIT until tomorrow to give them a try :) The picture of them looks rather scary, but that's just the whey settling on top of the carrots.

I prepared my pickled garlic carrots while waiting for dinner to simmer and reduce into a nice gravy. Comfort food at its finest ALWAYS involves gravy. This time I made a mountain of mashed potatoes in the center of my plate, surrounded by chicken and carrots in a mushroom gravy. I combined cream of mushroom soup, water, A1 steak sauce, garlic, chicken and carrots in a sauce pan and let them simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes until the chicken was pull-apart yummy and the soup had reduced into a healthy gravy.

I sent a picture of my final product to Allen and he called it "Chicken Pompeii." The title stuck to the dish like the food to my ribs.

Speaking of Allen, I had diner with him last night (our usual Thursday night dinners at his place). We got a little "fancy," as he calls it when we cook really good food, and made whole portobellos topped with spaghetti squash mixed with caramelized onions and garlic and PLENTY of shrimp!

 I also made oven baked eggplant chips for the first time with a little, okay a lot, of garlic salt and added a side of oven baked crispy green beans! His friend Mike joined us for the meal. After he took his first bite, his eyes got wide and he looked at me and said, "WOW. I wish my wife cooked like this." I couldn't stop smiling, but maintained my excitement.


Dinner again tonight with Allen before Mallard Ball (sorority function)! I'm hoping to dive into my new cookbook again and dig up something from the 700 pages it has to offer!

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