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Food Porn Wednesday… Blueberry Clafoutis, Beef & Cauliflower, Beef and Bok Chok, Fermented Chili Bean Curd…

Some highlights from my Instagram this week. Been too lazy to post recipes (or post much at all)… but I’ve been cooking up a storm!

Blueberry Clafoutis: 

I made this for dessert tonight- it’s blueberry season here in Michigan and the French clafoutis is one of my favorite easy desserts of all time! Imagine the bastard (sweet) lovechild of a Dutch pancake (the real kind) and a Yorkshire pudding… with fruit… so good.

Here is an excellent recipe similar to the one I make- with a little clafoutis history thrown in!

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#blueberry #clafoutis #dessert #food #foodie #foodies #foodporn

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Beef, Mushroom, Cauliflower Stir Fry:

Found this excellent little recipe on this site. We loved it and finally used up a head of cauliflower lingering in the fridge.

Beef and Bok Choy:

I really loved this- I am in the process of typing out the recipe. Will post it soon.

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#beef #babybokchoy #stirfry #food #foodie #foodies #foodporn

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Fermented Chili Bean Curd:

This is a favorite of mine since childhood. My mother used to feed it to us as a condiment with hot rice. I always preferred it as ancient as possible.

From Wiki:

“Fermented tofu is commonly used as a condiment and is consumed at breakfast to flavor rice, porridge, gruel or congee. Usually either several bricks are placed in a small bowl covered in the flavored brine or one to one half bricks are placed into a bowl. Then, chunks are broken off the brick and consumed with a mouthful of porridge or gruel. The brine may also be used for flavoring. Fermented bean curd can also be added in small amounts, together with its brine, to flavor stir-fried or braised vegetable dishes (particularly leafy green vegetables such as water spinach).”

More about it here.

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Soul Food Fusion Feast: Collard Greens, White Truffle Sriracha Macaroni and Cheese, and the Works!

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my mom found the nicest collard greens today at a tiny farm stand run by two little old men

So my mom went to a tiny farm stand today in Benton Harbor, Michigan that was run by two little old men. It was more like a few boxes next to the road with their home garden produce for sale. They had the most BEAUTIFUL collard greens I’ve seen in a long time- clean, no insect holes… and some great sweet corn. She picked up a garbage bag full of greens, another bag of fresh corn and sweet banana peppers and later showed up at my house.

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Cleaning and shredding the collards

As luck would have it, R brought home a slab of artisanal hog jowl bacon the day before- delicious small batch stuff. I secretly wondered what I’d do with it- and my mom provided the solution! She cleaned the greens while I sliced up the onions and bacon.

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hog jowl bacon and onions at the bottom of the pot

I filled the pot with the washed and torn greens, onions, bacon, chicken stock (to cover), threw in a whole hot pepper, garlic powder, black pepper, a spoonful of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

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getting ready to simmer the greens for a few hours

The entire thing was brought to a boil, then covered and simmered for a few hours- it’s done when the bacon is very fork tender.

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White truffle sriracha macaroni and cheese ready for oven

In the middle of our cooking, my dad called to tell me that his bestie from Oregon, my Uncle Bill, was in town. I told them to come on over and I’d cook a big spread for everyone. I quickly thought up a menu to go with the greens and rice I’d planned for mom and me.

I decided on homemade macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, basmati rice, cornbread, and two types of cucumber salad (thanks to a box of cukes and zucchini my dad pulled out of the van at the last moment). I did a German type sour cream cucumber onion salad because my uncle was fond of it- and a Malaysian cucumber onion salad with sambal. I fished a few sweet banana peppers out of the garbage bag full of corn- and roasted the peppers. Later, I cut them in strips and dressed them with fresh raw crushed garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.  When my dad asked where the meat was, I sent R out for a bucket of chicken to go with it all.

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though it was pretty, next time I WON’T bake it. It’s MUCH creamier when the sauce is just mixed in with the noodles.

This mac and cheese was quickly improvised- a box of elbows boiled al dente, a white sauce with 3 cups of various cheeses melted into it, spices, sriracha, white truffle oil- easy peasy.

The next time I make it, I will not bake it, even though it’s pretty when baked. Baking dries it out a bit and I prefer the creaminess of the sauce. My uncle wanted the old-fashion baked with breadcrumbs type, so I whizzed up 4 slices of buttermilk bread in the food processor. I mixed those crumbs with butter, white truffle oil, paprika, and a little salt- and topped the noodles with some sliced tomatoes (that my mother dropped off from another aunt’s garden 2 days prior), then covered the thing with the breadcrumb mixture. I baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes (when the bread crumbs were browned).

It was an amazing meal! I am surprised that I was able to pull everything off at the last minute- especially with how chaotic my house has been from renovating!

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Filipino Soups for Dinner and Getting Baby to Sleep FINALLY- a quick update, while I am exhausted and my back is having spasms

Maisie makes getting things done nearly impossible

Tried to get as much done as humanly possible today. Was down one human helper, due to his curious habit of going to a JOB…

Maisie has been a HAND FULL today. We had visitors on our porch all day from about noon til late afternoon, just out of the blue! My cousins, parents, a girlfriend and her 2 yr old twin boys from up the street… my little child is a social butterfly and LOVES to have company over.

Maisie and one of her ‘boyfriends’- he and his fraternal twin brother are ALMOST EXACTLY one year older than she is

Maisie and the twins going hog wild on my porch 🙂

Her manny called from Florida and I put him on speaker. Maisie cried and said “Baba- num NUM… EAT!” and sobbed as if she’s being starved in his absence. Eating together was their ‘thing’. He loved hour long, leisurely meals with her and they’d gab and gab. I don’t have the patience to spend an hour or more eating and sitting (mostly, because my back and tailbone cannot take sitting on hard seats for very long). The kid eats like a horse- she’s a true gourmande. I enjoy watching her eat…

I made a super late Filipino dinner, a sort of Pochero/Bulalo/Nilagang baka hybrid- which is a sort of pot au feu, or soup, very similar to a light Vietnamese Pho, minus the noodles, and chock full of fresh veggies. It’s origins are from when the Spanish owned the Philippines. One can find similar recipes for Puchero/Pochero in other Latin countries all over the world. I’d go into greater detail, but I am knackered.

The girl dropped off to sleep at 12:30 am. I am purposely keeping her up later so that I can sleep in later now that the help is gone. I am a night owl and it makes no sense to have my kid wake up at the crack of dawn when I can’t function well during the early hours. Keeping her on MY schedule makes for a happier mommy and happier baby.

Tomorrow (well, actually TODAY since it is past midnight now) is her daddy’s birthday. I woke up this morning to this and though it was ADORABLE:

woke up to this- Daddy and Maisie

she looks so much like him… and my mother