Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Think you can't entertain in a tiny kitchen? 

Check out Chef Sam Reed from Portland's Hop & Vine as he shows me how he makes his addictive Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates in his VERY tiny kitchen.

When in Portland Oregon be sure and stop in at  The Hop & Vine and say "hi" to Sam!


12 Dates Pitted and Scored
1/2 Cup Rogue Oregon Blue Cheese
12 Slices Pepper Bacon


Instructions: Preheat oven to 375F, lay the bacon out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. While bacon is cooking fill each date with blue cheese, pinching edges closed to seal. Wrap each date individually with one slice bacon, securing with a toothpick or skewer. The dates can then be grilled, baked, or pan roasted till the bacon is hot and crispy and the cheese is melted. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette. (1 part vinegar, 3 parts oil, salt and pepper to taste)

 Pairing: Delicious with Cardamaro Amaro

Note:  These can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven or on a grill.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Six Reason for Choosing Cast Iron Cookware

It would be unthinkable in our grandparents day to toss out a pot or a pan. For hundreds of years people have been cooking on cast iron and have been passing down these wonderfully seasoned pans for generations - I'm cooking on my grandmothers even today.

Six Reason for Choosing Cast Iron:

1. They can last several lifetimes.
2. Naturally non-stick, so no harmful chemicals
3. Almost constructable.
4. Easy to clean and care for
5. Add more flavors to your food
6. More economical 

How to season your cast iron:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

No one pumps cast iron like a TrailerChix

 Fireside or in the galley, nothing beats a good set of cast iron

One of the most challenging rooms for me to downsize was my kitchen. I love cooking, canning, and baking. Nothing brings me more joy than feeding people. So when it came to packing my trailer, I had to make some tough decisions on which pots and pans would make the transition with me – so I decided to bring them ALL. You can’t be a tinker without pots and pans… right?
Like many families, the value of a good cast iron skillet and Dutch oven was passed down through generations. Some of my most treasured memories are of my grandmother’s sauerbraten and pichelsteiner cooking over a low heat for hours in her very well-seasoned, black cast iron pot she received as a wedding gift in the ‘20s.
Although with a little less oil then my grandmother, but with the same eye for quality, I found myself jumping into the Sonoma County dump at the age of 16 to rescue a perfectly good Dutch oven – the very one that I still use today.
I favor the standard black cast iron over some of the new more ‘classier’ versions. To me, they’re still the easiest to clean and the seasoning seems to be more to my taste. They’re also more versatile in that I can go from campfire to trailer cook top.
I’ve since whittled down my pan inventory to five that do more than I need. The big advantage of these pans is that I only need one lid for all of them – another space saver.

1) Flat irontoast, eggs, tortillas, quesadillas, pancakes (I use this every day)
2) #10 deep dishgo-to for breakfast, roasted veggies, frittatas, fritters
3) #10 fryertarts, crisps, breads, pizza
4) Dutch ovenroasting, jambalaya, paella, stews
5) 12# crepe panthe flat iron can cook crepes, but this is a beautiful pan

 If you think cast iron is only good for frying – guess again! I highly recommend the Cast iron Cookbook by Joanna Pruess. This is a fabulous full color cookbook that not only gives you a great history of cast iron cooking and how to take care of your iron, but also some very current recipes. You’ll find enough great ideas to take you from breakfast to dessert!
Trailer chicks will need to add a little cooking time when cooking with LPG or over a fire pit.
Let us know how you pump your iron!