BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘crepes

Buckwheat Cookies

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I’ve been experimenting with buckwheat flour, thanks to the 5-lb. bag I scored from Open Oak Farm (my winter C.S.A. source) at a fill-your-pantry event last fall. I’ve made several variations of buckwheat crepes (or galettes)–all good, except for this version where I subbed a leftover blueberry stout for the I.P.A. the recipe calls for. Keep it simple. I made thick, pillowy buckwheat pancakes from Simply in Season cookbook, by Corvallis locavore Cathleen Hockman-Wert.

Then, flipping through the massive new Essential New York Times tome, I stumbled upon a recipe for “buckwheat cookies.” These crumbly morsels truly are the revelation Melissa Clark describes. Or as Amanda Hesser puts it in her head note about the cookies, “If it’s engaging flavor and not too much sugar, you have found the holy grail. These cookies, which are great with tea, taste like sweet wet stone–in a good way, I promise.” Spot on. Delightfully pebbly, I would add. Who knew wet pebbles could taste so right. The buckwheat flour (actually not wheat  at all, but a relative of sorrel and rhubarb!) provides a tangy, mineral quality.

I added a pinch of ground cardamom to the recipe, which married well with buckwheat’s flavor. In fact, the crumbly texture of these buttery cookies very much reminded me of the magical Honey-and-Cardamom Cookies I discovered years ago, reviewing The Spice Bible for The Sun. The texture also reminded me of my late grandmother McCandlish’s beloved spicy cheese straws (with their added Rice Krispie crunch). Lots of butter must be the common denominator there.

Next in my buckwheat adventures, I’ll have to try Italian buckwheat polenta and the pasta they call pizzoccheri. I’ve still never made good ole’ Kasha Varnishkes with buckwheat groats and farfale, but my husband says he can’t stand the smell. Buckwheat can have an aroma off-putting to some. But not to this soba-loving gal!

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Written by baltimoregon

March 28, 2012 at 2:05 am

Food Carts Galore

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Eugene's new pod in Kesey Square downtown.

Hopefully this fair-weather, intermittent blogging will become more regular again, now that my spring classes have come to an end. Plus, after one of the rainiest June’s yet, it’s finally sunny in Oregon, so I have no excuse not to write about the bounty finally revealing itself in our gardens and farms. Now we have the al fresco dining scene to look forward to, too, and what defines outdoor eating more than mobile food carts?

Portland is world-renown for its ubiquitous carts and Eugene is trying to grow its base of them. Even in Salem and Bend have food carts. But restrictive regulations means Corvallis has next to none, apart from those who vend at our two weekly farmers’ markets. But folks, including a local crepe stand, are hoping to change that. I plan to follow the issue for KLCC.

There in Eugene today for a news meeting, I ventured over to the new pod for lunch. My indulgent Cuban sandwich (with braised local pork belly) from The Nosh Pit lived up to its reputation. For you stoners out there, on late nights the cart even plans to serve a burger on a glazed cruller from the new Voodoo Donuts just ’round the corner. Dropping by Voodoo everytime I’m at KLCC could become a bad habit I start justifying out of love for my husband. The Neapolitan one I had today (old-fashioned chocolate cake doughnut topped with strawberry sugar and marshmallows) could become a new favorite.

Speaking of fatty food cart fare, look no further than to the SE Hawthorne pod in Portland. I had wanted to try Potato Champion ever since glimpsing on a chalkboard list of favorite spots at Naomi Pomeroy’s Beat. But I was underwhelmed. Maybe I didn’t order right, getting the PB&J (Thai peanut and raspberry sauce), which sounds gross as I retype it now. Next time I’ll try the poutine or a truffled or anchioved sauce. Then for dessert there’s the neighboring Whiffie’s fried hand pie cart, the winner of the Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile fest this year. I prefer my fat calories for in the form of fries. But the savory-sweet Hawaiian ham and cheese was a nice savory-sweet compromise.

Beast's favorite spots.

Fried food rules here: The famous Potato Champion cart in Portland's SE Hawthorne pod.

Don't forge the fried hand pies at neighboring Whiffie's.

Written by baltimoregon

June 16, 2010 at 1:06 am

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