sublime concoctions

{September 27, 2010}   Pretty Pepicha (aka Tortilla soup)

Tomatillo’s, serrano peppers, pepicha, zucchini, roasted garlic, onion, kale black beans and organic chicken- this is the beginnings of a delicious tortilla soup- topped with avocado, toasted sprouted corn tortillas and queso……..♥…the farmer’s market was so generous yesterday-

I happened upon a stand yesterday with some growers who boast no- chemicals and have these amazing Mexican herbs and wonderful assortments of greens and peppers. I found a huge bunch of  basil and close by was an herb so beautiful and enticing I knew right away I was going to make something to feature this herb.

Pipicha or pepecha is an herb from Oaxaca, Mexico. The flavor and aroma have elements of pine, citrus and mint.  I added this at the end of my soup- where I would’ve normally added cilantro-  it is likened to Cilantro- yet I did not think it was comparable  really- however, you want to use either pepicha OR cilantro. The man explained to me typically this herb is cooked with corn or zucchini. I took a hint and decided it was going to accent some soup- or should I say, the soup accented this bright herb I cant normally find everyday- that is the beauty of finding something within a season.

Tomatillos – about 6 or 7 quartered

white or yellow onion- 1 chopped roughly

5 or 6 lg cloves of garlic-smashed out of the skin

about tsp of mustard seeds

adobo peppers, 1 or 2 ( leave out to remove heat if making for kids)

chicken on bone- 2 chicken breasts or thighs combo

zucchini – 3 or 4 smaller young

1 cup kale or collard

bay leave, pepper, cumin, salt pepper

avocado , lime, corn tortillas, cheese

saute the onion, garlic, tomatillo, and mustard seed in your favorite oil- i make sure they are nice and  “pan roasted” – with a nice hint of dark color and everything evenly cooked through- take all, scrape into a blender- zip with a cup or 2 of chicken broth-(and adobo pepper if you have it) throw in pan .

Chicken on bone- 2 big breasts or some thighs if you want- throw in broth with about 6-8 more cups of water, boil for 30 min with some salt (tsp or so) pepper , bay leaf and  1 .5 tsp cumin .  remove chicken to plate- Add 3 or 4 small sliced zucchini,  about 2 c of chopped kale, can black beans , test for seasoning- add salt as desired-

garnish with lime,  favorite cheese, sliced corn tortillas, and 1/4 avocado sliced,

my favorite touch is to toast the tortillas in pan meting cheese between and letting them cool off a bit before slicing them into strips- pan roasting a poblano pepper in strips is also nice- which i did in this version for the people who wanted heat in the soup.


{September 26, 2010}   Farmers Markets and mind rambles

Just came back from a wonderful farmers market day. It is the beginning of fall and we have a nice sunny hot burst to enjoy before things get too rainy. October is truly one of the most beautiful seasons in Oregon- it was the season I moved into here almost exactly 4 yrs ago and I love these warm fall days beckoning us to stay outside and wear the sun rays like a cozy blanket.

Picked up lots of peppers of all kinds today and some beautiful squash. I also happened upon some fresh raw honey, local and added in a bag of bee Pollen. lots of inspiration today to jar, pickle, and make apple pies. The highlights are honeycrisp apples and delicious little pears. I am so heartened to see the natural organic slow food movement thriving and for sure plan to buy some fresh chicken and soup bones next time around.

Going to make some apple creations right now!

{September 26, 2010}   Chanterelle on my mind

Had some Chanterelle mushrooms to cook up fresh from the local forest. gave it a go, pulled this together and it was really good!

Chicken main dish-
Chicken breast-
rosemary thin sliced ham or other favorite
basil leaves
-Beat the chicken breast thinly between some parchment paper, lightly bread and season to your liking- Italian or rosemary is nice. Brown breaded chicken in skillet with butter or oil- take ham and layer ham and cheese and basil leaves, roll and either pin together with toothpicks or your favorite method to keep it together- throw in 350 degree oven for about 25 min, checking for doneness after 20.

Chanterelle Mushrooms- approx 2 cups cleaned and chopped roughly
Spinach- about 1 bag organic baby spinach or I small bunch cleaned
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt, pepper thyme red pepper
– Saute together mushrooms in butter, add garlic, seasoning in butter, add spinach toward end of cooking time- do NOT burn garlic, i add when my mushrooms are sweating-

I served with some simple brown rice cooked with my favorite veggie broth, ladled the veggie over the nicely sliced chicken over the rice- simple and good! i would have loved some wild rice to compliment the mushrooms!

et cetera