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Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘Linda Ziedrich

Pizza Science

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PRI's Chef's Choice Mandala: Carmelized Eggplant, Curried Cauliflower, Peaches, Roasted New Potatoes...You Name It!

I finally branched out from our standby Poppi’s Anatolia and had myself an ethereal pizza experience for lunch (and leftovers for dinner) in Eugene today. For months friends have said we had to try the legendary, vegan-friendly Pizza Research Institute. My meal today confirmed the hype. Since it was no more expensive I sprang for the Chef’s Choice, a colorful mandala-like collage of 12-14 fresh toppings arranged on your pie. Today, this taste sensation included curried cauliflower, sweet carmelized eggplant, preserved peaches, grilled zucchini and piped florettes of ricotta. The zesty crust was flecked with herbs. Unusual homemade condiments–a coconut curry habanero sauce, a honey chipotle lime hot sauce–were on hand to dip your crust handles into. I started with a small simple salad, studded with toasted sunflower and black sesame seeds, dressed with a garlicky buttermilk poppy seed dressing recipe I’d love to obtain.

Especially revelatory was the candied eggplant topping. I mistook it for some type of piquant dried fruit. It made me want to try out a recipe for eggplant jam, such as the one Linda Ziedrich includes The Joy of Jams, Jellies. I’ll also definitely have eggplant the next time I’m at PRI. The chef recommended the chevre, marinated eggplant & carmelized onions pizza for next time. Next time indeed!

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Written by baltimoregon

February 11, 2010 at 12:49 am

The Banh Mi of Our Dreams: Meatballs are Hot

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Hard to beat the vegetarian banh mi at Baguette, with two types of tofu and mushroom pate.

Banh Mi with meatballs, and Spaghetti and Meatballs All'Amatriciana, both from the January issue of Bon Appetit.

When will I learn not to make such a potschke when I’m rushing out to a potluck. But it’s always fun to experiment when you have an audience of food lovers that includes more folks than just your husband. So for the Slow Food Corvallis annual potluck, I decided to make the Pork Meatball Banh Mi, that hybrid Vietnamese-French creation that had been calling to me from the meatball special issue of Bon Appetit. There’s something about these umami-packed sandwiches that I always crave. Is it the mushroom or liver pate slathered on the baguette? Or the Sriracha-accented mayo? Or the quick-pickled daikon and radish slivers? None of these parts on their own are that special. But together they create a truly memorable culinary creation. Let’s just say that Baguette is my favorite, not to mention the cheapest, place to eat in town.

I wasn’t excited to make another porky dish, but these meatballs were ethereal. Seasoned with basil, chopped lemongrass (my addition), Sriracha chile sauce and a dash of fish sauce, they were like the most succulent dumpling filling. I also happened to make them with special hazelnut-finished Red Wattle pork from Heritage Farms Northwest, which I ordered through the new online farmer’s market, Corvallis Local Foods. They are pretty adorable, happy pigs…and the adults can weigh up to a ton! We had this rare pork at a Slow Food dinner where we compared it to a more conventional breed.

As a vegetarian option, I also made this curried wild mushroom pate for the banh mi, with shiitakes and velvety delicate winter chanterelles (who knew they grew all winter?) also ordered through Corvallis Local Foods. Other dishes at the potluck last night included a lush truffled potato gratin, a Moroccan lamb and pumpkin tagine, and brie baked in homemade, extra yolky brioche. For dessert, we feasted on some ethereal homemade Fig Newtons, baked with locally wheat from Harrisburg, that were infinitely better than the Nabisco ones. It was great to again meet Linda Ziedrich, the author of inspiring cookbooks on pickling and jamming, there, though I’m not sure what she made. We’ve had her call into the KBOO show, and I ran her membrillo recipe with my quince article. Dan was delighted that Intaba sent her excellent (and I think gluten-free?) spinach and meat lasagna home with us, so that was dinner tonight. When a bunch of foodies gather, that’s one potluck where you know you’ll eat well.

The champions of the Sting, Sting and More Sting event: honey, stinging nettles and Sting songs covered by the band The Nettles.

Written by baltimoregon

February 7, 2010 at 2:05 am

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