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Archive for April, 2010

There is something about this particular state that makes you feel like you’re living in a little town.  Maryland is special, not just because of its abundant watershed, beautiful western mountains, or high quantity of both the crabs you can eat and all the venereal diseases that Baltimore can offer (we were top in gonorrhea about 10 yrs prior!), but also because like living here is like setting up a cot in a themed restaurant that never goes to bed.  Whatever it is that you love food-wise, us crazy Marylanders will always cover it with our special touch.  Where else, on an ordinary Wednesday night,  for example,  am I going to prepare and eat oyster tacos?

Mmmmm – oyster tacos.  You read right.  We clipped the recipe out of our local Sun paper about a year ago and stuck it on the fridge for future use.  The time came this week when we looked at each other and said simultaneously, “What the hell are we having for dinner?!”  After ruling out an adventurous  experiment with Salmon Sous Vide, we both agreed on the quirky oyster recipe gaping at us from the fridge door.  What a scrumptious evening it was!

I hope you enjoy these, too.  There are two ways to prepare this meal, from super cheap and easy to slighty more elaborate.  In classic Maryland fashion, I bid you to, ” Half vuh grate meel, hon!”

Oyster Tacos with Chili Cream

  • 1 pint oysters
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten free corn meal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tbs  water
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 8oz bag of coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup soy sour cream
  • a small can of roasted chili peppers (either chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, if you can find it at your local market, or a can of peppers and a separate jar of enchilada sauce.  You can also roast your own peppers and make your own enchilada sauce, which would be authentically yummy)
  • lime wedges and fresh cilantro for garnish
  • enough oil to fill a pan 2-3 inches high

Heat oven to 250.  Blend sour cream and chili peppers (and enough sauce to your taste); set aside.  Wrap tortillas in foil and place them in the oven.

To prepare fried oysters:

Combine flour, corn meal, s&p in a bowl.  Drain oysters, and dip each in beaten egg, then dredge in flour mixture.  Heat oil to 375 degrees in a frying pan.  Fry those babies, a few at a time, until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. The less time the better (otherwise, it’s like chewing a flattened, sea-flavored rubber ball).

When oysters are all cooked, remove tortillas from oven (make sure they are lying flat, so they don’t split apart).  On each tortilla, spoon on cream, coleslaw and top with the oysters.  Garnish with a squirt of lime and a few sprigs of cilantro.

Yum, yum!  You can also feel free to add Old Bay Seasoning to your flour before dredging those sweet beauties in it.  I don’t know why, but there’s just something about a strange-looking, gray, bottom-dwelling scavenger from the sea that gets me all misty-eyed for my hometown.

Till next time,

Cellina

The Hopeful (and fishy-smelling) Foodie

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That statement above is what I left on my cousin’s answering machine last Saturday, upon inquiring what time we should invade their lovely home for Easter dinner.  Little did I know that the next day, that very statement would come true.

Picture a well-dressed young man frantically speed walking down the center aisle of a large, holiday-packed Catholic church on Easter Sunday loudly whispering in his wife’s ear, “The ham!  The ham!”  Now, see him grab his keys, run out the door, and hightail it across a busy  street only to jump in his father’s Cadillac and speed away in the middle of that very service.

A clever work of Easter-themed fiction found somewhere in the folds of the Twilight Zone, you ask?  No, sadly, not at all.  This is what happens at the end of Lent when you join together the father and son team of Oscar and Tim: someone’s gonna forget to turn off the ham.

The smoked meat in question ended up being just fine.  Tim even stated later that in all actuality it would have taken another 12 hours just for all of the water to boil off (that’s what happens when there are 35 people in your immediate family and you have to feed them all)!   House fire on Easter? No.  Insane family excitement during every holiday? A big, fat, smoked yes.

That ham, by the way, was gone in 15 minutes.  In its place was everything we couldn’t have and little bit of what we could.  We both had to say no to the cheesy potatoes (my large intestine thanked me profusely the next day), but in its place were the family standards: deviled eggs (now, with relish!), green beans almondine, and our famous baby greens salad, with almost all of its components in cute little dishes on the side, since I’m basically allergic to the whole damn recipe.  I bring my own dressing, Tim makes sure there is always a batch of gluten free cookies/brownies/(insert confection here) in tow and we end up making out pretty good, all in all.

Of course there are those times when a sneaky little ingredient catches your digestive system by surprise.

Introducing: Kombucha!

I drank this stuff four times a month as a probiotic drink (you know, to increase my health, or something like that), until I had a sweet little fungus outbreak (aka: allergic reaction).  You’d think the exploding bottle of the green version would have been enough of a sign to make me think twice, but even bloating  up like an inner tube didn’t defer me from sucking in the supposed fermenty goodness.

It’s a shame ’cause I really liked the idea of a cultured probiotic liquid that fizzes like a soda, has weird strands of God-knows-what in it, and makes my tummy all happy and junk. This girl, however is just too mold-sensitive to handle such sophisticated beverages.  I am now on my third elimination diet of the year because of this, but it’s cool.  The ham and I are in a sort of stove top limbo.  We both got through Easter together – in pieces, but pleased (and pleasing) none-the-less.

I promised a recipe in my last post, so here goes:

Famous weekday night gf biscuits from Heaven!

These babies go great with everything.  I hope you enjoy.

Dry Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose gf flour (we use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • a packet and a half of stevia (or 1Tbsp sugar)
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/2 salt

Liquid Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk (cow/rice/almond/soy)
  • 1 lg egg white
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease baking sheet or cover w/ parchment.
  2. combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in coconut oil/shortening until the consistency of small peas. Whisk together milk and egg white until mixed well.  Stir liquid into four mixture and stir until dough can be shaped into a ball.
  3. Place ball o’ dough onto baking sheet after lightly dusting it with rice flour (very important step!  Otherwise the biscuits will be super sticky). Pat ball into a circle about 3/4 in thick.  Use a medium sized glass (or bigger if you’re making burger buns) to cut out circle shape. Keep doing this until there is no dough left.
  4. Stick those babies in the oven for about 12-15 mins.  They will get nice and brown and will be flaky and delicious!
  5. Devour.

These should hold you over till the next wheat and sugar-filled holiday celebration.

Until then,

Cellina

The Hopeful Foodie

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