Category: Food and drink

The Urban Chicken Movement Turns Dark

This is what happens when city folk “play country:”

Live poultry in backyard flocks are linked to several multistate outbreaks of salmonella infections that have now sickened 212 people in 44 states, federal health officials warned Monday.

ChickenSicken

Health officials advise washing with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything nearby. They also advise not letting live birds inside the house, especially where food or drink is prepared, served or stored. Also, no kissing or snuggling with birds only to then touch your face or mouth.

You shouldn’t have to tell people this.

Tip from Drudge, who don’t permalink nuthin’.

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My Ultimate Margartia

Texas is awash in margaritas, both frozen and on the rocks.  Most are made with some sort of evil bar mix, shaken by hand or machine, and dished up in glass with a salted rim.  As Dan Jenkins wrote about chicken-fried steak, “Pretty good.  But not real good.”

Inspired by reading a recipe on the back of a liquor bottle, I’ve concocted a Better Margarita, for folks who want to go beyond the mediocre.

MargartiaMakins

Ingredients (to make 2 doubles)  In a large shaker half-filled with ice, add

  • 4 shots of good (not excellent) white tequila
  • 1 shot of triple sec or orange liqueur (I prefer Patron Citronge)
  • 1 shot of lemoncello (the secret ingredient)
  • fresh juice of 8 limes
  • juice of one small orange (see prep below)
  • one or two of the lime peels from the juicing

Preparation for serving

  • for each drink glass, cut a thin slice from the center of a fresh orange, juice the rest
  • use a piece of lime peel from the juicing to moisten the rim of each glass
  • set each glass, inverted, into a shallow dish of margarita salt (kosher salt works OK)
  • into each salted glass, place an orange slice

Do the deed

  • Cap the shaker and shake until the shaker is covered in condensation
  • Pour into the prepared glasses, filling almost to the rim

TheStraightUpMargarita

Caution:  this recipe makes TWO DOUBLES.  Do not plan on driving or operating machinery after drinking one of these.  Do not plan on inciting a revolution in Mexico after drinking two of these.

Silicon Valley meets the Urban Chicken Movement…

and does it in style.

ABlow-DriedChicken

It’s not uncommon here to see chickens roaming in their owners’ homes or even roosting in bedrooms, often with diapers on, according to Leslie Citroen, 54, one of the Bay Area’s most sought after “chicken whisperers,” who does everything from selling upscale chickens and building coops to providing consultation to backyard bird owners. Her services cost $225 an hour. Want a coop and walk-in pen (known as a run)? You can expect to pay $4,000 to $5,000 for a standard setup.

Fools and their money.  But as Kid Creole and the Coconuts sang “Whatcha gonna do when the money’s all gone?”

Tip from the Instapundit, where not everyone is willing to just give in to the absurdity.

Artichoke and Shellfish Soup

So I was suddenly confronted with a windfall of canned shellfish when our local WalMart Neighborhood store closed this month.  I decided to get even more serious about recipes based on McIntosh’s Tin Fish Gourmet.  She gives a simple recipe for Oyster and Artichoke Stew, which I embellished beyond all recognition into this rich, creamy (and low-carb) soup:

  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, halved
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 or 2 tins of diced clams, smoked oysters, mussels, or whatever
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, quartered and (you guessed it) thinly sliced

Saute the carrot, celery, and red onion slices in oil until the onion is transparent, then add the artichoke hearts, reserving the liquid for a bit later.  When everything is nicely sauteed, set these vegetables aside.  Add the butter and flour to the pan, and whisk into a roux.  When the roux is bubbling and starting to darken, add the liquid from the artichoke hearts and any liquid from the tinned shellfish to make a sauce.  Once it comes to a boil, add the sour cream and enough milk to get a creamy soup consistency.  Add the sauteed vegetables and the shellfish, and bring to a boil.  Then turn off the heat.

Serve in shallow soup dishes, topped with 3 or 4 slices of avocado and some of the green onion.  This cries out for a dry white wine on the side.

 

A Tinned Oyster Treat

Some time ago, I promised I’d report on my attempts at recipes from Barbara-Jo McIntosh’s Tin Fish Gourmet.  As usual, I didn’t read the cookbook so much as fixed recipes, but as more of a guide.  So I combined elements from two different recipes, “Christmas Eve Oysters” (p 82) and “Shrimp and Spinach-Stuffed Tomatoes” (p 133).  The result is delicious.

TinFishGourmet

So here’s my first offering: Oyster-Stuffed Tomatoes.

  • 8 Campari tomatoes
  • one mushroom
  • one green onion
  • one tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • one 3 1/2 oz can smoked oysters

With a paring knife, cut off the tops of the tomatoes, removing the stem.  Then use a melon baller to scoop out most of the flesh of the tomatoes (save this for your soup or sauce stock).  Dice the mushroom to pea size, and slice the green onion finely.  Mix mushroom, onion, capers, cheese, and oysters in a bowl, using the oil from the tinned oysters to moisten the mixture.  Spoon mixture into the tomatoes.  Place stuffed tomatoes in a shallow, foil-lined pan, and broil for 10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

My wife’s only complaint was that the tomatoes should have been bigger, with more stuffing.