Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finished Planting ... and Knackered!

180 cloves in the ground. The breakdown is below:

28 Persian Star
26 Ukranian Red
25 Georgian Fire
16 Hungarian Purple
15 Turkish Red
12 Music
11 Bavarian
10 Spanish Roja
8 Russian Red
8 Amish
6 Reisig
4 Purple Italian
4 Korean Red
4 Moldovan Purple
2 Solent Wight

I'll post more on the different varieties and where I got them. (Although I have to highlight Moldovan Purple and Solent Wight garlics which were given to me by Colin Boswell who runs The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight and smuggled through US. Customs.)

And thanks to Joan for her photographic talents!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time to Plant the Garlic

The vegetable bed is stripped. (This year was notable for its successful eggplant harvest, a pathetic yield of mostly green tomatoes, and unsuccessful attempts at broccoli, cabbage, and zucchini. I know, I thought it was impossible to screw up zucchini too!)

Check out Gourmet Garlic Gardens where Garlic Meister Bob Anderson has a superb guide to planting, growing, harvesting, and storing garlic.

Off to bed ... A lot to do tomorrow.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mamaliga with Mujdei

Okay, that's Polenta with Garlic Sauce for you non-Moldovan speakers. I'm back home and finishing an article on Corn Meal for The Valley Table, a local food magazine. I decided to make some Moldovan Mamliga with garlic sauce to test the cornmeal from Wild Hive Farm. Its good but, as it was in Kishinev, a bit rich for my blood

Mujdei (Moldovan Garlic Sauce)

1 head garlic (peeled and separated into cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
black pepper

Put the cloves of garlic in a mortar with the salt and crush into a paste. Put the garlic in a small bowl and add the oil. Beat with a fork until it is well mixed. This should take about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and plenty of black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.

Mamaliga (Polenta)

3 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. butter
1 c. coarse yellow cornmeal
Sour cream (optional)
Telemea or feta cheese (optional)
Fresh herbs of choice (optional)

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the salt and butter, stirring to melt. Using a wooden spoon, add the cornmeal very gradually, while stirring constantly in the same direction. 

Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pot, about 35-40 minutes. Serve hot with garlic sauce on the side or poured over the top.

I don't remember how to say bon appetit in Moldovan so here it is in Klingon: yISop! (sg) peSop! (pl)

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Atkins

Dr. Atkins would have been 80 today, had he not tripped on an icy sidewalk in New York City. In his honor, cook up this Creamy Garlic, Zucchini, and Pea Soup from Atkins Nutritionals.

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 8 large cloves)
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Pernod or snipped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (optional)

In a medium saucepan, bring broth and garlic to a
simmer; partially cover and cook 16 minutes, until garlic
is very tender.

Add zucchini and cook 6 to 8 minutes, until it is tender
but still bright green. Add peas and cook 1 minute more.

With a slotted spoon, transfer solids to a blender and
purée until smooth, adding only enough broth to
process. Add remaining broth and cream and blend until
smooth. Add Pernod or dill, salt and pepper. If serving
hot, return to pot to heat through; if serving cold,
refrigerate until chilled.

This soup is equally good served hot or cold. Pernod, a
French anise-flavored liquer, imparts a delicious undertone, but
the herbal flavor of fresh dill works well, too.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grilled Pike Perch with Garlic Sauce in Moldova

Las Taifas in downtown Kishinev is a very pretty restaurant -- it's designed to resemble a Moldovan farm house. When you enter, they give you a small shot of some paint thinner which you're expected to down at one time. I demurred. For dinner, I had grilled pike perch with a light garlic sauce and a green salad topped with tomatoes and white cheese.

According to the Food and Agriculture Ogranizations of the UN, the pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) is used as a biological improver in the aquaculture systems of Moldova, reproduction of which (up to 50 million pieces) is managed in the fish-breeding enterprise of the joint-stock company "Victoria" in the city of Edinets. The use of pike-perch increases pond productivity up to 100 kg/ha; however the size of the catches of pike-perch itself is not taken into account in the statistical data. I don't know what that means, but it tasted very good.

Here's my recipe for grilled pike perch with garlic butter sauce.

Since its raining, I grilled the fish in the George Foreman grill until it flakes with a fork (about 7 minutes).

For the garlic butter sauce, cook 6 T. butter and 1/2 cup of finely minced garlic over low heat for 15 minutes. This makes enough for two pounds of fish. Drizzle over fish and serve.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Do you have Moldcell?

Okay, this is another garlic deviation, but that was the first thing I was asked when I got off the plane in Kishinev, the capital of Moldova. It turns out Moldova Cellular was having a promotions. (Stay connected with Moldcell). The Moldovan Wine Festival was help at Moldexpo and the shopping mall is called, wait for it, Malldova! I understand why tourism isn't booming here but I'm having a great time despite constant downpour.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Donna Karan!

This is the fashion designer's recipe for Garlic Thyme Grilled Chicken. I think the marinade would also be really good on salmon.

2 Whole Chickens cut into 8 pieces

15 Cloves of garlic, chopped

Juice of 2 freshly squeezed lemons

1/3 Cup Olive oil

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 generous pinch of hot pepper flakes

2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 Cup white wine

Mix marinade ingredients. Marinate chicken for 1 hour. Broil chicken bone side up, until golden. Turn chicken and repeat. Remove chicken from grill and place in oven for 12 minutes at 350.

 Serves: 8

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