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11/06/17 - Porchetta

We recently made a porchetta, a pork loin wrapped in pork belly and pork skin. The meat inside was wonderful, but the prize was the skin, browned to cracklings, wonderful, fatty, crispy cracklings.

Porchetta

Keywords: food


01/02/16 - White Truffles

We always check in with Wild West Seafood for mushrooms. This time they asked us if we could tell the French truffles from the Italian truffles. That's right. They had French truffles and Italian truffles. We aren't sure of the complete story. We're guessing that some supplier in Seattle ordered a few more truffles than they sold for Christmas and New Years and offered a trade for Olympic Peninsula mushrooms. In any event, we haven't seen truffle prices like this since the 1990s, so we bought his white truffles, the Italian ones.

Black truffles are pretty amazing. These are the French ones, though a lot of them are actually collected in Spain these days. They have an amazing, almost undescribable scent, and are seriously better than anything produced in Oregon. Sorry. White truffles blow black truffles out of the water. We made our own pappardelle from flour, eggs and olive oil, cut them by hand and served them with butter, parmesan, garlic and truffles. The truffles dominated.


Here they are: our white truffles.

Keywords: port angeles, food


09/07/15 - Our Melbourne Mission

We Kalebergs travel on our stomachs, so when we realized that Kookabura Restaurant would be closed on both of our evenings in Halls Gap, we panicked. As best we could tell, we would be leaving the food mecca of Melbourne for a food desert hard by the mist shrouded Grampians. We needed provisions, and Melbourne was just the place to forage for them.

The first thing we did was round up an esky. That's what Australians call their cool packs for storing food. We found a Woolworth's in the heart of town and purchased a collapsable 20 liter unit, complete with its own cooling pack. Now we had to fill it.

Our first stop was the Spring Street Grocery on, of all streets, Spring Street, not far from our hotel. We loaded up on cheeses, some triple cremes, some hard cheeses and so on. We needed to be prepared. Our fromagier sent us off to Phillipa's bakery to buy several loaves of bread: sourdough, rye, a baguette and the like. Those were our iron rations, but Kalebergs can't live on bread and cheese, we needed more.

This meant exploring Smith Street, a colorful street full of little shops, mostly selling food and drink, but also offering vinyl records, computer repair, paint supplies and the other necessities of life. It was a lot like Clement Street in San Francisco before the most recent real estate boom. We quickly homed in on Alimentari where we picked up a supply of salamis and several prepared salads.

All we needed now was coffee. We had some we had brought with us, but we still needed filters and a funnel. The barista at Alimentari understood what we needed and sent us off the main street to Proud Mary's coffee shop. Proud Mary sold coffee, but not coffee making gear. She sent us on to Aunty Peg's. Here they sold coffee making gear. They even had a lab bench with filters, presses, steamers and large coffee bean colliders for experimental purposes.

We bought a Japanese coffee funnel and a pack of filters. We were all set for Halls Gap.


The cheeses of Spring Street

Smith Street, a colorful neighborhood

We bought some wine at Blackhearts and Sparrows

An interesting building

Alimentari

Aunty Peg's Laboratory

Woolworth's hollow above, but active down under

A bit of cheesecake and some anti-lawyer sentiment

Another hollow building

More colors at an artists' paint shop

Street scene

Keywords: australia, food


11/01/14 - Jujubes

We were shopping at Country Aire the other day and saw that they were selling jujubes. We had heard of the candy. It's one of those candies they seem to only sell at movie theaters, like Milk Duds or Sky Bars, and not anyone's favorite. What we hadn't realized is that jujubes were originally a variety of date. As we are often curious about this kind of thing, we bought a pack.

To be honest, we were disappointed. To start with, there wasn't much date scent. The top note seemed to be liquid dish soap, like Ivory or Dawn. They didn't taste much better, sort of like blue cheese, and not a particularly good blue cheese at that.

These seem to be fresh dates, so it is possible that they'd have more flavor properly dried. We much prefer dried figs to fresh figs, because the flavor gets concentrated. Would that happen with jujubes? It doesn't seem all that likely. Besides, we aren't all that keen on the idea of a more intense dish soap scented, off brand blue cheese flavored fruit. We'll chalk this one up to curiosity.


Jujubes

The other kind of Jujubes

They look harmless enough.

Keywords: food


09/04/14 - Rotisserie Duck

Some years back we posted a movie of a leg of lamb being rotisseried on our grill. It was a big hit on Baidu. It seems to be time for a new rotisserie movie. Click here or on the picture to the right to see the movie.

Rotisserie Duck - Click for a movie

Keywords: food


08/23/14 - The Latest in Vodka

We aren't big vodka fans. To be honest, we loathe the stuff, but we couldn't help noticing the latest and greatest on the shelves at our Safeway. From left to right it runs the gamut. First, there's the Vodka Diet. While losing a few pounds might be good for one's health, this is probably the least healthy way to go about losing them. Then, there's the Patriotic approach, most likely pandering to our concerns about Putin, Russia and the Ukraine. We aren't sure of the appeal. Is it drink vodka for Dutch courage or to forget about the whole mess? Finally, there is the diplomat's special, combining the best of both worlds: America's love of junk food and Russia's love of hard liquor.

As we said earlier, we just aren't big vodka fans.


Keywords: art, food


08/21/14 - Artichokes

We often walk down the Olympic Discovery Trail from the Morse Creek parking area to the strait. Not far from where the trail meets the water, there is a chain link fence and a gate. Often we'd see apples for sale in a little box near the gate. It isn't quite the season for apples, but the artichokes are in. They're big ones too. Whoever is selling them also provides some bags, so they are easier to carry. We passed on this opportunity, but if you are ever in the neighborhood and get a craving for an artichoke, they are in season.

Artichokes for sale

Keywords: morse creek, food


07/05/14 - McPhee's Bodega

Lurid foods deserve lurid packaging. One of the fun things about traveling is seeing all the stuff that people overseas see as ordinary, but getting to appreciate them as wild, strange, or even outlandish.

Wasabi Iso Peanut - ISO is probably not the International Standards Organization.

Wonderful colors

Who can resist? What are they?

Keywords: port angeles, food


06/24/14 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

The farmers' market is in full swing. There are all sorts of greens. The Family Farm even has new potatoes. We made one of our favorite dishes. We boiled up some new potatoes until they were tender, but not mushy. Then we shelled a scad of English peas. While the potatoes were still warm we cut them up and stirred in the peas, some cream and some chopped mint. It's an old southern classic spring dish, and it's best with farmers' market vegetables.

Johnston Farm green beans, English peas, mixed green salads, scallions

Family Farm green beans and potatoes

Spring Rain Farm turnip greens and garlic scapes, among other things

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, food, recipes, spring rain


06/20/14 - First Crespiou of the Year

We've been having wonderful weather, and that means the local farmers have been doing really well. The produce at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market has been early and excellent, so we've managed to have our first crespiou of the season in the middle of June. A crespiou is a stack of two egg omelets, each layer with its own combination of flavors, usually centered on some farm fresh vegetable. This year's first crespiou had five layers, each with two eggs and:
  • turnip greens sauteed in sesame oil with garlic and a bit of soy sauce
  • a whole bunch of local green onions, chopped and sauteed in a tad of olive oil
  • steamed local green beans sauteed in olive oil with garlic, mint, and dry cured black olives
  • potatoes sauteed in olive oil with purple onion and thyme
  • toasted pine nuts, chopped up tomatoes and fresh basil
It's hard to make out the layers in the photo, but rest assured, they were delicious.

Five layers of goodness

Keywords: farmers' market, food


05/06/14 - Spring Risotto

To celebrate spring, we had a spring risotto with farmers' market pea shoots and asparagus. We also added some garlic, shallots, white wine and a ton of turkey stock. We've been using haiga rice which is a partially hulled short grain rice. It's a white rice, and it makes an excellent risotto.

Keywords: farmers' market, spring, food


11/20/13 - Butternut Squash Pizza

We often order the butternut squash and bacon pizza at Alder Wood Bistro in Sequim. This time we tried to make our own version, so we roasted up some butternut squash, pan fried some bacon, sauteed some mustard greens, soaked some dried porcini and grated some parmesan. Thats a bit of work for a topping, but that's what Kaleberg Kitchens is all about. It also isn't quite the Alder Wood recipe. The mustard greens were our own idea, and we use the Chez Panisse pizza recipe in a regular oven, not a wood fired one. Still, it was a really good pizza, especially the sauteed mustard greens.

Our version

Keywords: alder wood bistro, recipe, food, kale


09/09/13 - The Truth About Kale

Our friends all know that we're crazy about kale, but we recently ran into some terrifying news. Not only is our favorite vegetable, and partial namesake, full of chemicals, but it could destroy the planet. Check out the article Just Kale Me.

It's hilarious. (No, the kale cultivars we eat have extremely low levels of the chemicals noted, though there are heirloom varietals with higher ones. No, no one is expecting kale to feed the world. Most people will go on eating the usual staples, but maybe with a nice dish of kale on the side.)


The terrible truth about our favorite vegetable

Keywords: food, science, humor, kale


09/04/13 - Luau 2013

This year we waited until Labor Day weekend to hold our Hawaiian Luau. Once again, the trade winds blew, and the lau lau steamed. Our cupcake heiau dominated the dining room table hard by a big bowl of boiled icing and smaller bowls of coconut chips and roasted chocolate nibs. Our tiki idol took on a new look with its glowing red eyes, controlled by an Arduino. We even tried out a new drink, a slushy called "water off a duck's back".

An ominous tiki idol with glowing red eyes

Hells in the Pacific, mai tais and waters off a duck's back

Sushi and our infamous cupcake heiau

Keywords: hawaii, food


08/25/13 - Crespiou

Every summer we seem to wait forever before we can make crespiou. Crespiou is a multiple layered omelet, each layer made with two eggs and a choice of farmers' market fresh vegetables. It really isn't worth making unless we can get enough variety to make at least four layers, but this year we made five.

Yeah, some of the pictures are arty, but then, this is dish is a real work of art.


Heirloom zucchini & Cherokee Purple tomato

Pine nuts & basil in olive oil

Pan fried potatoes

Zucchini & onions with thyme

Green beans with herbs

Red peppers & anchovies

Potatoes & purple onions

Tomatoes, pine nuts & basil

Zucchini & onions

Green beans with garlic

Crespiou

Keywords: food, summer


08/16/13 - Ground Cherries

We had heard of ground cherries, but we had never seen any. Supposedly, they look like tomatillos, that is, they have little chinese lantern husks on each of their fruits. We found some on sale at Nash Huber's farm store, so we bought some and tried them. The most obvious difference is that ground cherries are golden yellow, not green. Ground cherries don't taste like tomatillos either. Tomatillos are tart, while ground cherries are sweet. They actually taste something like a cherry with a coconut richness.

Apparently, ground cherries, tomatillos and chinese lanterns are all from the same genus, Physalis. The fruit of the chinese lantern, apparently, does not have much flavor, so it is unlikely to turn up at the local farmers' market or fruit stand. (For more on ground cherries, check out this article at Seedsavers.)


Some ground cherries

A closeup

Keywords: food


05/05/13 - Catalan Salmon

There was a dearth of good salmon a while back, but now that the good stuff is coming in we made one of our favorite salmon party dishes, Catalan stuffed salmon. The way we make it isn't really stuffed, we just have three layers in our baking dish. The bottom layer is just thinly sliced potatoes, chopped up tomatoes and thinly sliced onions. The middle layer is the stuffing with shrimp, cocktail olives, hard boiled eggs, garlic, bread, sherry, milk and a couple of raw eggs to bind it. The top layer is the salmon, and we pour a half cup each of white wine, lemon juice and olive oil over the dish before baking. It's a bit of a production, but it's always a real treat.

The finished dish

Potatoes, tomatoes and onions - We "parboil" the potatoes in the microwave.

The "stuffing" and the salmon

Keywords: salmon, food


04/22/13 - Winter Crespeou

A crespeou is a multi-layered omelet with each layer being a small, two egg omelet, with suitable accompaniments, in its own right. We usually associate this dish with the late summer or early autumn when we can find all sorts of fresh vegetables, but last year was disappointing, and this winter has dragged on long enough, so we were craving one. So, we made a winter crespeou using what ingredients we could find in all too early spring.

Our crespeou had five layers, from bottom up:

  1. some baby potatoes, sauteed in olive oil until tender.
  2. some dandelion greens and parsley from our garden, sauteed in olive oil with dry cured black olives
  3. diced roasted red pepper with pine nuts
  4. diced raddicio, sauteed in olive oil, with anchovies
  5. diced tomatoes with mint This dish takes some preparation, slicing, roasting and dicing the various ingredients, but it doesn't require much of each. We cooked each layer separately in a crepe pan, and then stacked them to make a lovely five layer crespeou. Knock wood, that will hold us until late summer, or maybe not.

The finished crespeou

Some of our ingredients

The potato layer

Greens from our garden, such as they are

The greens layer of our crespeou

Roasted red pepper and pine nuts

and another layer

Radiccio in the pan

and in a crespeou layer

We added the diced tomato raw, so it was only lightly cooked.

The cross sectional view

Keywords: food, recipes


03/31/13 - Late Season Duck Confit

Duck confit is usually a fall or winter dish Chez Kaleberg, but this winter we kept delaying things. Preserving four ducks in their own fat is a bit of a production. We skipped January after all the excitement and cooking of the Christmas season back in December. Then we skipped February due to miserable colds. Then came March and the start of spring. We almost never make a duck confit in the spring or summer, but this year we let the equinox slip by without getting our ducks in a row. Still, when it comes to duck confit, it's better late than never, so we ordered our ducks and cut them up and rendered the fat, and you can see the results, still warm from the oven to the right. Let's face it. It's never too late for duck confit.

Keywords: ducks, spring, food, kale


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