October 2011

Slow Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup with Smoked Paprika

October 30, 2011
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The height of tomato season in my garden seems to be mid August. It doesn’t matter when I plant, or how I stagger the planting, every August shows the bulk of the tomato crop. This year I did a little better, getting some tomatoes to last into September, including a second crop off my Celebrity plant. Some of you who live in colder climates may not start planting until later (I plant in April and May) and might still have plants still with fruit on the vine, or at least tomatoes picked a little green and ripening inside away from the first frost. Here is a way to use up those not-so-perfect tomatoes and the last of the ripe ones. The soup is also warm and hearty enough to say, “ah, Fall…” and the smoked paprika give it a nice little spicy kick.

I know people will ask,…

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Favorite Food Experiences in Japan Part 2; Yakatori; Izakaya, Sushi, and Okonomiyaki

October 24, 2011
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This is part 2 of a 3 part series on some of my favorite food experiences in Tokyo and Kyoto Japan. If you missed it, make sure you check out part 1,  Noodles, Unagi and Tempura and Tonkatsu.

Yakatori

Yakatori Daitoryo in Ameyoko Market, Tokyo

We were strolling though the market when we found ourselves stopped in our tracks by the smell of grilling meat. The mouth watering smell was coming from a little yakitori restaurant called Daitoryo smack in the center of the market underneath the train tracks. We stood there, looking to see what they had and if there was a place to sit, but the signs (hundreds of them) were in Japanese and every seat was taken.

Then, the moment.

There was a small group of guys sitting at the tables in front of the restaurant and one of them said, “sit here!”  We …

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Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Bacon Jam

October 3, 2011
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When our neighbor offered figs from her tree, I called my mother and asked her if she wanted some to make jam. She had been in a jam making frenzy this summer making over 100 jars of various flavors (strawberry vanilla bean being my favorite) to the point where I threatened a canning intervention. But since neither of us could let good home grown food go to waste, she took some and I used the rest of the figs to make flatbread and fig and goat’s milk ice cream.

While mom made some regular fig jam, she also surprised us with this fig, caramelized onion and bacon jam which she swore would be fantastic on a fried egg sandwich. I tend to like my jam plain on toast (as opposed to exotic combonations of flavors and spices) but this jam is amazing, especially on the egg sandwich, and that was …

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