BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day

Sweet Tamales for V-Day!

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Sweet pink tamales for Valentine's Day.

My dear friend Norma surprised us today with sweet pink tamales for Valentine’s Day. They had plump raisins and/or dried cranberries inside. Though savory ones are more common, it appears “tamales de dulce” is traditional for Christmas and Easter. Norma, from Texcoco, Mexico, is the niece of Maria, who taught that wonderful tamales-making class for Slow Food Corvallis a few years back. Speaking of Baltimore and tamales. When available, I think I prefer the moister banana leaf versions. Last spring, an OSU student was selling banana leaf tamales at the Co-op…wonder what happened to her. We’ve also had some banana leaf ones here made by a friend of a friend who works for Spring Hill Farm in Albany.


Parchment packet salmon.

In addition to the pink tamales, we had some pink wild salmon for Valentine’s Day. I cooked it in parchment packets for the first time. I used the salmon with sake recipe from Molly O’Neill massive tome,¬†One Big Table. Next time, I might try this seemingly more aromatic one from¬†famous Seattle chef Tom Douglas. Tomorrow, I’ll give sweet, almost 8-month-old baby Theo his first bite of salmon. He loves sardines, surprisingly. So far, the kid is as omnivorous as his mother.

Jicama ravioli (on left) with smoked salmon.

We try to avoid the restaurant rush and $$$ on Valentine’s Day now, but we did have a lovely multi-course meal at our beloved Le Patissier Sunday night. The most interesting thing to me was jicama ravioli with smoked salmon. The Belgian farmhouse ales in the pairing were intriguing. But by far the best thing I’ve had at Le Patissier of late is the C.B.L.T.A., a croissant B.L.T. with avocado and a basil mayonnaise. I’m trying to not make a habit of the indulgent sandwich.

The indulgent croissant blt with avocado.

Written by baltimoregon

February 15, 2012 at 12:43 am

Valentine’s Day on the Farm

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Mocha Brownie Torte with Raspberry Coulee

Mocha Brownie Torte with Raspberry Coulee

We really need to start cooking in for Valentine’s Day. We know restaurants exploit the Hallmark holiday, usually charging a premium that makes the meal cost more than it’s worth. But we couldn’t resist a chance to return to our favorite local farm, which had a dinner tonight though it is closed for the off-season through March.

Gathering Together has an informal ambiance: mismatched plates, they don’t replace silverware between courses, etc., but the food couldn’t be better and features the freshest local meats and produce. Meat tonight included a “Crispy Sweets with Honey Mustard Dip” appetizer. No, those sweets weren’t a succulent vegetable, but tempera-fried veal brains (the thalamus). The grey matter was moist and tasty, similar to sweetbreads (pancreas). Most memorable was the beet “ravioli” salad with chevre, orange, mizuna and pistachios. Instead of pasta, thin slices of beet sandwiching a lump of the goat cheese formed the ravioli. A playful trompe d’oeil, hmm?

It also revived the spirits to dress up in an actual dress and heeled boots. I put on some real make-up for the first time in months! Fashion is about the last thing one worries about in Oregon. Though I might have a wardrobe crisis when I return to New York next month.

Beet Ravioli

Beet Ravioli

Crispy Sweets

Crispy Sweets

Written by baltimoregon

February 15, 2009 at 1:19 am

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