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German-style Sweet Potato Salad

Category : October, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Sweet Potato SaladSweet potatoes can be prepared exactly as you would prepare regular white potatoes, though the flavor will be considerably different–richer and sweeter. In salads, as fries, mashed, sautéed, boiled, steamed, or however you choose to prepare them, sweet potatoes add a sweet earthy flavor to any dish.

I also use them in recipes just as I would squash or pumpkin. Their sweetness makes them ideal for desserts as well as savory dishes. The classic sweet potato pie is a good example. In the recipe below, I’ve used a favorite German potato salad recipe and adapted it to use sweet potatoes instead. Continue Reading

Roasted Squash Seeds Recipe

Category : Grow Your Own, Make It Yourself, October, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Roasted Squash SeedsWinter squash (including pumpkins) have a nutritional treasure at the center–and a tasty one, too! In the middle of the stringy pulp are the lovely squash seeds. They are quick and easy to roast, filling the kitchen with a wonderful fragrance that only comes in the fall.

Cleaning the seeds can be a bit of a chore. They grow in little clumps, and I pinch them off one at a time like picking grapes. Then I put them in a colander and rinse well under cold water, rubbing the seeds together to remove the slippery juice. (Learn more about how to cut open winter squash.)

Don’t let seed cleaning stop you from fixing this healthy autumn snack. Just put on some good music and have at them! The rich flavor and concentrated nutrition makes it worth the effort. Continue Reading

Winter Squash Adventures!

Category : Grow Your Own, Make It Yourself

Sweet Meat SquashFall is the time for ripening winter squash. Most people are familiar with acorn squash, pumpkins, and maybe delicata or hubbard varieties, but there are dozens of squash varieties available to grow.

They all have one thing in common–most have a very hard shell. The bigger the squash, the tougher the shell. As a result many cooks limit their culinary squash choices. Continue Reading

Smoked Salmon Recipe Using Barbecue Grill

Category : Appetizers, Breakfast, October, Recipes, Snacks, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Smoked SalmonI’d read you could smoke salmon in a charcoal barbecue grill using a hot smoking technique, so I decided to try it with some fresh chum fillets I’d just cleaned. Chums make good fish for hot smoking because they are a fattier salmon and so stay moister during smoking. The fish I had was caught the previous day by local reefnet fishermen here on Lummi Island.

I made the brine/marinade shown below and soaked a couple of fillets overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, I took the fillets out to drain and dry slightly. I also put a couple big handfuls of alder chips (purchased at Yaeger’s Sporting Goods, 3101 Northwest Ave., Bellingham) in a bowl of water to soak for a few minutes. Continue Reading

How to Clean a Fresh Salmon

Category : About Food Sources, Other Food Producers, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Smoked Salmon and Biscuit(Originally published October 10, 2012)

A couple of weeks ago I had an iconic Pacific Northwest food experience. It began with a salmon.

It was the last day of reefnet fishing, a special method of salmon fishing which has been practiced in Legoe Bay off Lummi Island for many years. Reefnetters keep the fish they catch in live holds until the last possible moment. Besides keeping the fish alive it also greatly reduces stress and bruising from rough net handling. When you buy fish directly from the fishermen on the beach at the end of the fishing day, you get the freshest possible fish in the most perfect possible condition. The fish will be whole–head, guts, and all. I bought a chum salmon from Rush Rock Reefnet. Continue Reading

Honey Minted Poached Pears Recipe

Category : Desserts, Recipes, September

Honey Minted Poached Pears RecipePoaching is a simple cooking technique used for things which need to be cooked gently, either because they are very tender or because they cook really quickly. Poaching is very forgiving in terms of slowly cooking things to the point of being perfectly done.

Tree fruits are often good poached. The low heat of poaching allows you to cook them slowly so you can determine when they are just soft enough to pierce with a fork, but not so soft that they begin to fall apart. Continue Reading

Garlic Rosemary Smashed Potatoes

Category : August, Recipes, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Garlic Rosemary Smashed Potatoes Last year we tried growing the Col White variety of potatoes in our garden, an early producing variety. They were creamy and delicious, and we really enjoyed experimenting with them in some of our favorite potato recipes.

Here’s a recipe my daughter created that is soul satisfying after being outdoors on a chilly fall day. Continue Reading

Eggplant!

Category : Recipes, September, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Eggplant for CaponataEggplants, those lovely deep purple vegetables with smooth skin and undulating curves, are difficult to grow in our climate. That makes it a particular pleasure to find at the Farmers Market or in a home garden.

I recently found some beautiful certified organic eggplant at the Sunseed Farm booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market. I wanted to make some caponata (see recipe below), so selected one to bring home with me.

At the last minute, just as I was getting ready to do the cooking, that eggplant met with an untimely end in my refrigerator. Now, since I had planned to write about eggplant for this column, I had a full blown eggplant emergency. something for which I had no preparedness plan.  Continue Reading

Spicy Beef Sausage Recipe

Category : Breakfast, Main Dishes, Recipes, September

Spicy Beef Sausage RecipeHere’s a beef sausage recipe I created as a substitute for chorizo in a recipe for Caldo Verde from the Winter Harvest Cookbook (see my review of the book). While this does not make chorizo, the spicy flavor makes a good alternative. It’s really quick and easy to make from locally grown grassfed beef. Continue Reading

Caldo Verde Recipe

Category : Recipes, September, Soups

Caldo Verde RecipeThis recipe is reprinted from Winter Harvest Cookbook by permission of the author, Lane Morgan (p. 68). (Read my review of the book.) I chose a robust soup for our chillier fall evenings.

The recipe is shown exactly as published, with notes added about how I adapted it to use all locally grown ingredients, including sources. I sauteed the beef sausage before adding the leeks and garlic.

Carrots With Hazelnuts Recipe

Category : August, Recipes, Side Dishes

Carrots With Hazelnuts RecipeLocal hazelnuts, known to some as filberts, are a wonderful counterpoint to a lot of fruit and vegetable flavors. They also can add a crunchy texture to soft foods, and ground hazelnuts make a nice finishing touch as a topping for meat sauces, desserts, and casseroles.

This recipe uses hazelnuts to add some complexity to both taste and texture in a simple side dish. It’s a good example of how you can use just a few simple locally grown ingredients to create a memorable finished dish. Continue Reading

Garlic Rosemary Smashed Potatoes Recipe

Category : August, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Garlic Rosemary Smashed Potatoes RecipeMy daughter Joan created this delectable recipe, inspired by ingredients harvested from our home garden. Our garden is small, but we grow an amazing amount of food in it.

A caramelized onion topping is what really sets this recipe apart in terms of flavor. The sweetness of the caramelization and the slight bite of the garlic make a perfect taste combination with the creaminess of the Col White potato texture. Continue Reading

Garden Bounty

Category : About Food Sources, August, Grow Your Own

Vegetable Garden

By Southern Foodways Alliance

Nothing defines “bounty” quite like a visit to my garden at this time of the year. Everywhere I look, miraculous things are going on.My two-year-old grandson accompanies me, as usual. We take a huge bowl with us and I have a kitchen knife to help us harvest. His route around our 12 by 24 foot garden is a history of the order of ripening crops.First he races to the strawberry plants. Those are done producing for the season, but “hope springs eternal” and he checks them anyway. Continue Reading