11 January 2015

The Moose Curry Experience Best of 2014

We like to think we learn a few new tricks every year.  We certainly make an effort to.


Thanks to a good friend sending us bitters (some homemade!), we are beginning to really understand cocktails.  The Old Fashioned, however, wins the year.  


The Best 2014 Food Discoveries chez The Moose Curry Experience


As chronic gifted under-achievers, we're nearly late in getting our "best of 2014" list together, but here it is.  Our favourite new finds, new techniques and new solutions from the last year, in no particular order.


The Old-Fashioned

Curious about a note on Facebook, I asked an old friend, “Tell me about the bitters?!” to which he replied, “Check your mailbox in a few days.”  Much to our excitement (and sudden anxiety), a package containing homemade rhubarb bitters, homemade celery bitters, and some small-batch artisan-y orange bitters arrived at the post office.  Determined to do these justice, we bought better liquor than we might otherwise and did a lot of experimentation.  It feels like we are beginning to understand cocktails.  Which is as good a gift as the bitters themselves.

The complete winner though, is the Old-Fashioned...  made sacrilegiously with good floral single-malt scotch.  It was a complete and utter delight to discover that whisky can be as good in a cocktail as it is on its own.  Maybe even better in a cocktail.  Fefe likes the Old Fashioned because it can come with a maraschino cherry.  I like it because it smells like storm petrels.


Pho

Good lord, you can make pho at home!

It's what's pho dinner.  It's what's pho lunch.  It's even what's pho breakfast.  I can't think of the last time we had any leftover roast (other than fennel-rubbed pork, see below) where the carcass wasn't used for pho broth... plus all the pho broth Fefe has made from meat bought specifically for that purpose.

We had to go to Corner Brook in the late winter, not a place we would normally be thrilled to drive to in late winter, but we were looking forward to it because a Vietnamese restaurant had opened there a few months earlier.  I was dreaming of pho as the date approached.  Unfortunately, as the date approached, the restaurant was temporarily closed down and it didn't reopen until we were safely back across the island.  So disappointing.  But I couldn't stop thinking about pho.  Finally, while I was fighting a really nasty summer flu and could only breathe with difficulty out of one nostril, Fefe Noir took pity on me.  All I wanted was a bowl of chicken noodle soup, but specifically chicken pho so I could taste it.  She scoured the miracle of the internet pho recipes and it turned out to be a lot less mysterious and difficult than we expected.  So much so, it's part of our phoking repertoire now.

Za’atar

I want to ask, “How is it we’ve never used za’atar before?”, but I know the answer.  It may have existed for centuries in the middle east, but it did not exist in Newfoundland in any easily obtainable way until 2014.  Even if we’d known what we were missing before now, we couldn't have made it ourselves since sumac is impossible to find here*.

We’re in love though.  Za’atar on pita, za’atar on yogurt, za’atar on cottage cheese, in soups, in salad dressing, on eggs, dips, cooked veg, raw veg, meats of all sorts… it’s endlessly charming.

*I have a sneaking suspicion that some smug Newfoundland resident is going to tell me about some really obvious place that’s always carried za’atar and sumac.  Bring it on.  I’d like another source because the last time I bought some it was marked down to half-price, often a sign that it will disappear from the shelves forever.  I’d rather spend money right here than give it to someone somewhere else to have it mailed to me.

Grates Cove Studio Cafe

If you drive northwest-ish (as best you can following the road) from our home for long enough, all the way to the end of the road, you will arrive at the end of the earth, in a town called Grates Cove.   A place where you might find a cow tethered in someone's front yard, where there are days you can count more humpbacked whales in the coastal waters than people you will lay your eyes on.  

But as you are coming into the town, this astounding thing happens: the Grates Cove Studios Cafe.  And this is not any old cafe, it's a cafe serving Louisiana classics like gumbo and etouffe. Literally at the end of the earth.  Did I say that already? Not just gumbo either, sushi, Korean bbq and stromboli.  In rural Newfoundland! By far our best restaurant discovery of the year.



BBQ Pizza

Shockingly easy, and it really works.  Pizza can be cooked, right from the raw dough stage, on your propane bbq.

Not pizza with bbq sauce, but pizza made right there on the bbq grill.  We know other people have been doing this for a long time.  I have a reasonably clear memory of reading about it more than a decade ago in a magazine… I have a less clear memory of which magazine (Food & Drink? Martha Stewart? Canadian Living?). 

At any rate, the new-to-us technique traveled to us with some of our summer guests… during their road trip they stayed with someone who made it for them, then they made it for us.  Then we made it pretty much every week until it got too cold outside for sane people to be standing out at the grill.  However, I’m reluctant to suggest we’ll never be out there in unseemly weather... if we get a repeat of #DarkNL this year, bbq pizza could make the outdoor winter cooking list**.

**Fefe is not convinced of our ability to get dough to rise if we can't heat the house.  I'm working on a plan that involves tea light candles and the tiny tent we gave the cats for Christmas...

6-Minute Egg

What can I say?  It's a bit embarrassing for food bloggers to admit they didn't even know how to a boil an egg until well past their early 30s (there has to be a joke in there somewhere), but the 6-minute egg was something of a revelation.  Still soft, but custard-sauce-thick rather than runny yet, hard enough to be peel-able.

Soft-ish boiled eggs were obviously sexy in 2014; poached-in-the-shell and 6-minute boiled eggs seemed to be everywhere.  Eventually, Fefe tried the technique to do eggs to go into a spinach pie... when they stayed custard-like even with a second cooking, we were hooked.  Now we look for excuses to top things with egg.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, plunge your eggs in, boil for 6 minutes, remove to cold running water until just cool enough to handle, peel and they are ready for use. 

Fennel with Pork

Fennel has always gone into our pork meatballs wrapped in lemon leaves, because that’s what the first recipe we used did and it was delicious.  Somehow, that failed to sink into our minds as an epic pairing until we were watching the Jamie Oliver cooks frugally series and he rubbed a pork roast with fennel.  Suddenly it was all dings and flashing lights and air horns in our minds: pork and fennel.  Of course!  Duh.  And holey shirts, what a lot of fennel we’ve been through since that moment.

As a matter of interest, you can make an outstanding bean soup with the bones and scraps of a fennel-crusted slow-cooked pork butt.

A Cast-Iron Griddle

The cast iron griddle pretty much lives on our stove nowadays.  

We can cook more than one tortilla at a time!  More than one pancake!  Enough peppers and garlic for a big pot of romesco sauce.  All the peppers and tomatillos for a batch of salsa.  Bacon and eggs AT THE SAME TIME.  Bacon and eggs and toutons, if you like.  Or just an army of toutons. Moose sausage for all our friends and relatives (if one of our friends or relatives would give us some moose sausage...).  

And, if you turn it over, there's a grill we haven't even started to use yet.


NOMA Cookbook

The NOMA cookbook entered our home in the summer of 2014.  It is a beautiful thing.  There's an almost perverse sincerity oozing from the pages.. the earnest dedication to a food politic/ ethic/ morality in the essays.  Seriously beautiful photographs.  Paper that you want to spend your afternoon stroking because of it's genuine paper-ness.   

I will spend the next few decades flipping through this book being inspired to think more and more about food origins and locality.  I will expand my foraging and gleaning habits and pay more attention to the wildness of wild food.


I will never cook from this book.  


The NOMA cookbook recipes are beyond my comprehension; it's like the experimental jazz of cookery.  It will prod and poke and challenge, but I will always be chasing the tune rather than catching it.  I love it.


Solving the Mystery of the Wooden Spoon Handles

Over the last couple of years, our wooden spoons have disappeared one by one.  The spoon part, anyway.  No matter how diligently we made sure they were far back on the counter, no matter how well rinsed we kept them, eventually every last wooden spoon was decapitated.  We had our suspicions but careful monitoring of the, um, culmination of the digestive process in all our pets left no clues.  

But no spoon-ends appeared either, no matter how many appliances were pulled from the wall and cleaned out from under.

Shortly before Christmas, during marshmallow-making season, the culprit was caught in the act.  We are still suspicious he had some feline help getting the spoon from the back of the counter to the edge.  We now have a better system for idle wooden spoons (mason jars are a bit like duct tape as a general problem solver...).


The wooden spoon thief in his natural habitat.

30 December 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sangria is one of the most delicious drinks of the holiday season.  Use white wine for a crisp, new-years-y feel.  


White wine sangria makes a great signature drink for your holiday cocktail party: fresh, crisp, boozy, and you can make the mix the day ahead.  Added bonus: fights scurvy...

Make-Ahead White Sangria Mix for your Holiday Party

Take advantage of the peak of citrus season and use fresh-
squeezed ingredients.

Get the mix ready the day before or the morning of your party.  

1 meyer lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
2 clementines, sliced
4 oz brandy
juice of 1-1/2 meyer lemons, 1 lime, 3 clementines

Put the sliced fruit in a pint-sized mason jar.  Add the brandy then top with the citrus juices.  This should almost exactly fill the jar.  Make up one jar of mix for each bottle of wine you anticipate turning into sangria.

Take a moment to marvel at how beautiful those jars of citrus fruit look, then put them in the fridge until you are ready to use.  (If it's a cold enough winter, you might be able to store them in your shed or a closed in porch... if you aren't sure, don't take the chance.)
~~~
Each pint-sized mason jar of citrus-brandy mix will do one 750 mL bottle of wine.  Use the jar to measure your sparkling lemonade, mix it all together and illico presto, you have sangria.

White Wine Sangria Instructions


Make sangria in a pitcher or punch bowl (depending on the size of your party and your aesthetic sensibility) with ice.  Since it's all pre-measured, you can start with as much as you want and easily top it up as needed. For each jar of sangria mix add:

1 bottle of crisp and bright white wine (like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
2 cups* of decent sparkling lemonade**

*don't bother with a measuring cup, just fill your empty mix jar to the neck
**this saves you from having to make a syrup and figure out the right ratio of syrup to soda water, and still lets you avoid the HFCS pitfall of most soda pop 

...give it a stir and you're on! 
~~~

[Hi, Mom!  You can skip this paragraph, I won't be offended...]  A million years ago when we were undergrads living in a student apartment with a then-new-friend who is a now-old-friend, we had the occasional sangria party: everyone brought a bottle of cheap red wine and piece of fruit.  A big bucket was filled with the various wines of suspect origin, some cheap brandy or maybe whisky (or whatever was handy) was tipped in, grapefruit-ish Wink soda to dilute and sweeten, and masses of uncoordinated fruit were chopped and tossed in for good measure.  When the sangria ran out and the fruit mostly consumed, anyone left standing was likely to go out for breakfast.  This bucket-of-sangria fun, I must point out, was started by previous tenants of that apartment long before we moved in... a tradition that was inherited with the apartment.  A tradition that should undoubtedly stay with the apartment, because anyone over the age of 25 is probably not immortal enough for the consequences of such an event.

If I recall correctly, sangria parties were generally spring events, something to help shake off the long cold winter.  So for the longest time, I thought of sangria as a spring or summer drink.  Bubbles, fruit, ice... what's not summery about that? 

But, lo and behold, I was wrong.  

A few years ago, I was talking warm weather drinks with a Portuguese-immigrant friend who found it amusing that I associated sangria with summer because, so far as she is concerned, sangria is for Christmas.  What an epiphany!  Even without thinking too hard about it, I am happy to defer to the Portuguese on this.  

But think about it anyway: of course sangria is a Christmas drink.  Citrus is available year-round, but December is when it’s at its peak season.  It’s the time of year we buy crate after crate of clementines and the end of the season for boxes of mandarins wrapped in thick purple paper.  Meyer lemons and early blood oranges appear on the shelves, limes become so inexpensive you can buy them in dozens without having a panic attack at the till, and heavy boxes of grapefruit pre-ordered as fundraisers for school bands finally materialize.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed.

So make sangria during the holiday season.  (In a pitcher or punch bowl.  No buckets.***)

***Unless, of course, you are a student... 

And a happy new year!

The advantage of fresh but pre-measured sangria mix could become abundantly clear as
the evening progresses... 

17 December 2014

Moose, Pho Shizzle.


One of this year's best discoveries was that pho can be made at home. Now there is no going back. No phoking way.


We took a break from making sugary Christmas treats to make some nourishing moose pho.

Moose Pho


This is a two day recipe.  Make the broth on day one and the next day eat your soup.  The anticipation from the fragrant pho mist swirling through your house will just make it taste better.


Pho is the perfect solution for using that moose your neighbour gave you but you aren't quite sure what cut it is. 


Day 1: Broth



2-1/2 lbs moose (this is a great use for that little red chicken moose, those unrecognizable cuts evidently quite popular with Newfoundland butchers)


Due to a strange dearth of star anise and whole cloves in
Newfoundland, we had to beg a mainlander to send the spices. 
1 onion (cut in half, still in skin)
a piece of ginger root, about 4 inches long (or more, or less to taste)

7 green cardamon pods
3 whole star anise
1 tsp whole coriander
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves


1 tsp  sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce 

Put your moose in a pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to boil.  Then strain the moose and give it a good wash under the tap. (I know it seems weird, but it helps give you a clean broth). Put your nice clean moose into a CLEAN POT and cover with 4 quarts of water.

Char 'em good!
Char your ginger and onion.  Get our your cast iron pan and heat it up dry. When it's hot put the two halves of the onion and the ginger in the pan and start charring.  You want them to be blackened, but you don't want to set them on fire.  Be vigilant.  Turn occasionally.  It took me about 12 minutes to get a good char.

Put your onion, skin and all, in the pot with the moose.

Peel your charred ginger.  Use a spoon to to scrape off as much as skin as possible, then smash it with a heavy object. Jamie Oliver uses his fist for this kind of business, but I am incapable of doing this, so I use the bottom of pan. Bung your ginger in the pot.

In your dry cast iron pan, lightly toast your cardamon, star anise, coriander seed, cinnamon stick and cloves until just fragrant.  Add to pot.

Add you sugar and fish sauce.  Don't forget the fish sauce.  It makes the whole thing sing.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 4-1/2 hours or until reduced by half.  

Stick in fridge to cool overnight.  


Day 2:  Putting it all together


cold pot of broth with moose from day 1

rice vermicelli noodles

fish sauce
bunch of spring onion
cilantro
limes
hot peppers
sriracha


Get your cold moose and broth out of the fridge.  Strain the moose broth into a clean bowl or saucepan.  DO NOT DISCARD the liquid this time!
  
Pick through the moose reserving the good stuff in separate container.  Get rid on any fat, bones, gristle and all the spices, the ginger and the onion.  You will end up with a beautiful broth in one container and the best meaty bits shredded in another. 

Measuring about a ladle and a half per person, heat your broth back up in a heavy saucepan.

Finely slice your spring onion and hot pepper.  Put these along with cilantro and some lime quarters on a plate to serve with your pho.  This way everyone can choose how much limey, oniony, hot peppery they want.

Prepare your noodles according to package instructions which will probably involve a quick boil and/or soak in boiling water followed by a cold water rinse.  Do not skip the cold water rinse unless you like mushy noodles (you don't, believe me). 

To serve: Put your cooked noodles and some shredded moose in the bottom of a bowl.  Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and moose, and serve with the fresh toppings.  Let everyone add toppings, extra fish sauce and sriracha to taste.

Remaining moose and broth can be stored (separately!) in the refrigerator if you will be eating more soon, or can be frozen for a quick meal another day.

According to caribougrrl, moose pho makes an excellent breakfast the next day.  
Fefe Noir had to dig through the snow to rescue the last of the cilantro.  Well, she would have had to dig through the snow if it hadn't melted... 


~~~

I know it may surprise you to learn that Harbour Grace is not on the cutting edge of contemporary food culture?!   Despite this, and thanks to the food-e-net, caribou and I are exposed to new wonderful dishes and delights everyday.  Having a blog has pushed us to try new and tastier things and has made our lives infinitely more delicious.  

You have to drive to St. John's or Corner Brook to get good pho, you can't just say to yourself, hey, let's get pho from that cute little Vietnamese place down the road in the middle of nowhere.  But we read about it.  We saw the pictures. We drooled.  We got frustrated by the complete absence of key spices in the local shops.  We sweet-talked a friend into mailing us star anise and whole cloves from the mainland.  

Then we made pho.  Lots of pho of all sorts. There is no going back now. No phoking way.


UPDATE RE: SPICES: We have it on twitter authority that star anise can be found, at least sometimes, in St. John's at the Magic Wok Chinese Grocery on Duckworth St. and the Blackmarsh Rd. Dominion.  I'm pretty sure I scoured the Dominion stores, but maybe my timing was wrong.  Whole cloves should be able to be found everywhere, but over the last few months we had no luck at all... perhaps with the stores stocking holiday foodstuffs, it's a good time to keep a look out.

5 December 2014

It's Been Nuts Around Here

A busy summer of outdoor projects, a busy fall of hurrying to complete outdoor projects, the death of a laptop... but the snow has returned and so have we.  Just in time for edible gifting season!



Simple ingredients + simple recipe = biggest hit at your office holiday potluck.


Spicy Praline Pecans

(this is a super easy recipe, which is good because after you accidentally eat the entire first batch you can quickly make them again for gifting)

3 to 5 c. pecan halves*
1 egg white, beaten until slightly frothy
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, lightly packed
Go on, mix it with your hands. No more dirty dishes than necessary.
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

*the larger the pecan, the lower the surface-area-to-volume ratio, so the larger the pecans, the more volume you can coat... use your judgement or if I've confused you, start with 3 cups and if you have too much coating add more**

**if you add more, you will want a second egg white so you can coat the nuts in egg before tossing with the sugar mixture

Pre-heat oven to 325F.  Line one large or two medium baking trays with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the pecans with the beaten egg white until all nuts are well coated.

Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly in a small mixing bowl.  Pour over the pecans and mix until evenly coated.  Don't be afraid to use your hands for the mixing.

Spread the pecan mixture over the baking tray(s) and bake for 25 minutes, stirring to turn them after 15 minutes.

Slide the parchment and nuts onto a cooling rack. Let cool well before you snag one to taste it, otherwise you will burn your mouth.  Let cool completely before storage. 

Store in a cool dry place, in an airtight container.


The finished praline pecans are sweet, spicy, crunchy and totally moreish.


 ~~~

A note about the nuts:  Yes, 1 whole teaspoon of ground cayenne is a lot of cayenne.  If you lick your fingers after mixing the nuts and coating, it will taste very hot.  (I know, I know, raw egg panic and all that.  Don't lick your fingers if it bothers you.)  Some of the heat gets lost in the baking, which is why you need so much cayenne... the whole point is for there to be some heat behind the sweetness.  Trust me.  If you are making these for gifting***, wrap them up as soon as they are completely cool because you will otherwise find that it is impossible to stop eating them.  If you're feeling full of holiday bonhomie, try your hand at sugarplums and eggnog fudge for a fantastic gift trio.

***Make them for gifting for sure; these will make you very popular.  I'm torn about what to advise you now though because people will ask for the recipe.  My instinct is to say don't give it to them and protect your gift-giving-god status... on the other hand I really really would prefer you sent them to the blog...

Man, have we missed blogging.  But the Fence Project (phase I) is complete, the Window Restoration Project (phase I) is one storm frame installation away from being done, and the dead laptop has been replaced. Our white board has a list a mile long of good foods to document.  We've got a big long delicious winter ahead...


10 August 2014

Newfound-Ceviche

We're at the tail end of the summer food fishery.  Put away your pans and deep fryers and let the last of your fresh cod cook itself in the refrigerator.


In this ceviche, the cod and scallop are cooked by the acid in the liquid.  That means you don't have to heat up your kitchen; a bonus during the dog days of summer.



Cod & Scallop Ceviche


1/2 lb fresh or thawed cod, chopped coarsely
1/2 lb fresh or thawed scallops, chopped coarsely*
3-5 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
2-5 (or more) hot red peppers, cut in half lengthwise
1-1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp coarse sea salt
4 limes, juiced
1/2 grapefruit, juiced
Use sea salt in this recipe because, well, the sea is where
the star ingredients come from.
2 tbsp silver tequila
Use glass or other non-reactive material.  Jars work well
because the high sides help reduce the amount of citrus
juice required to cover everything.

*if you use tiny bay scallops, don't bother chopping

Once all the prep work is done, this recipe is dead simple.

In a clean 1 litre glass jar** spread 1/5 of the cilantro, garlic and peppers over the bottom.  Top with 1/4 of the cod and scallops.  Add another layer of cilantro, garlic and peppers and 1/4 tsp of salt.  Continue to layer the fish and seasonings, ending with a seasoning layer.

**or use a glass bowl but you may need additional citrus juice to cover the fish; the tall narrowness of a jar helps minimize the amount of juice required... and with the price of limes this year, it's a definite advantage


Use a spoon handle or knife along the edges of the jar to
release pockets and bubbles of air.
Mix the lime and grapefruit juice with the tequila.  Pour into the jar.  This will cover or nearly cover your fish. Run a knife or spoon handle around the edge of the jar to release air bubbles.  If the fish mixture is not completely covered in liquid, add more lime juice.

Cover and refrigerate for 12-36 hours.  Check that the fish and scallops are opaque right through before serving (if not opaque, return to fridge for a few more hours).  How quickly the ceviche will cure depends on how cold your fridge is, how acidic your citrus fruit was, and how big your coarse chopping is.

Use a fork or slotted spoon to remover from jar and serve on grilled sweet potato slices (see below).

Reserve the curing liquid and mix it into fresh salsa the next day.



Grilled Sweet Potato Rounds


sweet potatoes 
drizzle of sunflower oil
pinch or two of salt



Discovering that sweet potato can be cooked directly on
the grill was a culinary epiphany of the best sort.
Pre-heat your grill scorching hot.

Slice sweet potatoes into 1/4" thick rounds.  Toss with oil and salt.

Put sweet potato rounds directly on the grill in a single layer and immediately turn the grill down to medium heat.  If you have a charcoal grill or are using a griddle, use your own judgement with how to manage this shift in heat, I have no advice.

Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side.  You want the outside to blister and char a bit and the potato to cook through.  Salt lightly as you take them off the grill.

These are perfect as a base for ceviche, but are also good as a side for pretty much anything (and a simple but seriously delicious way to get your orange vegetable for the day).


~~~


Although this is not exactly an authentic recipe, it's inspired by the Peruvian style of ceviche with hot peppers and served with sweet potato.  It's best with sweet potato, but grilled avocado will also do in a pinch...
~~~

Summer in Newfoundland is always busy.  For starters, you can never be sure how much of it you'll get, so as soon as the weather turns you drop everything else and concentrate on summer: coaxing food out of the back garden, outdoor house projects... running, cycling or hiking without multiple layers, driving with the windows down, synthesizing vitamin D... turning the heat off in the house (at least during the day), whale watching, cocktails on the porch... and most importantly, after months of complaining about the cold and the damp and the unfairness of it all, finally taking a deep breath and saying, "it's too damned hot".

The other thing about Newfoundland summer is that, as astounding as it may seem for the foggiest place on earth, this island in the north Atlantic is something of a vacation destination.  Some years, before you know it, you are blocked solid with visitors.***

***Now don't take that as a complaint.  Visitors give us the excuse to do touristy things and the opportunity to show off some of the off-the-beaten-path secrets of this place.  And conscripting house guests to a work-for-your-food scheme**** resulted in speedy progress on The Fence Project, a good start on The Window Restoration Project, and knocking a bunch of items off the Round-To-It List.

****That sounds a bit cruel, I suppose, but in the interest of full disclosure, these particular guests insisted they wanted a project to work on... 

This has been a Summer of Visitors, thus a summer of especially good food.  (We can't have it be said that anyone ate poorly chez The Moose Curry Experience.)  It's been tricky though, since the fish truck that used to live across the harbour closed a couple years ago and the fish truck we stumbled across last year did not reappear this spring.  We were scrambling to find seafood closer to home than St. John's*****.  After many driving excursions wild goose chases, a failure of the power of social media, and some disappointingly not-as-fresh-as-it-should-be purchases from big chain groceries, we finally found a place hiding right under our noses.  Some good old fashioned postering brought the recently opened Admiral's Market to our attention.  If you're in Conception Bay North, you can find them in the boat-shaped building at the southside marina in Harbour Grace.  Both the scallops and the cod used in this dish were bought from the fabulous women who run the market.


Fresh cod and fresh scallops were bought locally from Admirals Market.
*****There are some good fish shops in St. John's and since I work there, it's not always inconvenient, but it means not being able to decide on a holiday or Saturday that it feels like a mussel night... plus, there's something nice about being able to spend your money in the community where you live.

To be frank, I was hoping to write a blog post about catching our own cod during the food fishery.  But that's a one-that-got-away story.  Er, a one that never bit story.  (Anyone who wants to help improve some mainlander jigging skills in September should leave a comment or send an email to the.moose.curry.experienceATgmail.com!)

Although the cod fishing was a bust, it's been a Summer of Perfect Cilantro.  Serendipitiously, Fefe Noir had the foresight to order several pounds of coriander seed this year and sow it in the bed where we buried the not-quite-composted bits from the old composter.  As a result, we have a serious bumper crop of cilantro.  Despite the unbearable heat (for those of you who will take pleasure in mocking our weather intolerance, we had about 3 weeks in the mid-high 20C range), there was no massive bolting event.  


Our cilantro crop is phenomenal this year.  Too bad none of our guests were as enthusiastic about it as we are...

An amazing cilantro year.  And five or six weeks of guests who don't particularly like cilantro.  Or very hot peppers.  Or very much raw garlic.

So as soon as the house was empty we started chopping...