BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘Slow Food Corvallis

Soup Swap, Part Deux

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The Moosewood Cookbook's Brazilian Black Bean is now my go-to soup swap soup.

Of course I meant to blog about the first impromptu soup swap I had back in December, but we all know how much I’ve been blogging these days. Starting again is like drafting that first post, when I couldn’t even type out complete sentences. Still, I’ve missed the daily discipline of blogging. I hope to recommit to this daily (hell, or at least weekly) practice these last four months of my pregnancy.

Ladle your soup into yogurt containers for swapping. Or glass canning jars. Just be sure to leave extra head-space. Contents expand (jars can crack) when frozen.

Fortunately, I can draw inspiration from the second soup swap I attended today, skillfully arranged by Chef Intaba through Slow Food Corvallis. All the participants brought six quarts of soup, and then we traded. We returned home with six different kinds of soup to eat right away or store in the freezer (if you can find the space! That’s why folks invest in chest freezers here.) You come home with such variety, instead of tiring of that one big pot of soup that sits in the fridge ignored for a week. Portland-based food writer and radio producer Deena Prichep aptly captured the conviviality of these events in her soup swap pieces for The Oregonian and OPB.

Rule #1 of hosting a soup swap, I’ve learned the hard way now, is to only prepare one type of soup. I made the mistake of preparing one to share and another one to share with guests during the event. Baltimoregon, when will you learn to put all your eggs in one pot?

For both swaps, I made Molly Katzen’s standby Brazilian black bean soup from her Moosewood Cookbook (see recipe below), recommended to me years ago by Dan’s aunt Amy. Most Brazilian black bean concoctions–think feijoada–involve smoky pork, but the Moosewood recipe is, of course, vegetarian. It’s bright and citrus-y, punched up with orange juice, diced tomatoes, cayenne and cumin. I even used locally-grown Black Valentine beans from Matt-Cyn Farms.

Such events really showcase ethnic and culinary diversity. Slow Food Corvallis president Ann Shriver made an Ethiopian lentil soup with spicy berbere sauce. Several attendees made lentil soups, made with green French lentils that don’t get so mushy when cooked. One participant stressed lentil soup’s low-glycemic index, which she turned to when facing the risk of gestational diabetes while pregnant.

Ethiopian lentil with fiery berbere chile paste.

Another woman of indigenous Mexican descent made a healthy version of posole. Chef Intaba drew on her Jewish heritage with her grandmother’s split pea soup. We won’t tell anyone she subbed her own smoked pork belly for the flaken, which her bubbe stewed for hours in the pot. Another swapper offered potato-leek soup with German butterball potatoes to represent her heritage. A West African chicken and peanut soup served during our meal was also memorable. Now we have a fridge and freezer full of soup to get us through the week.

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Written by baltimoregon

February 27, 2011 at 11:39 pm

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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