a goat cheese kind of day

taco fixings

This week has been crazy busy, but we did make time to get down to opening day of our local farmer’s market. It was a classic Pacific Northwest Memorial Day weekend, which is to say it rained every. single. day.

rainy day market

Fortunately there were plenty of vendors and customers, and the hardy Prozac Mountain Boys managed to keep the music playing without floating away.

farmer's market opening day

We bought leeks, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, hothouse peppers, and butter, which seemed like a pretty good haul for the season (thank goodness for Hedlin Farms’ greenhouses). Then we checked out Gothberg Farms’ stand. A local goat dairy, they’re newcomers to the Mount Vernon market, and we’re really excited to have them here. I expect we’ll be eating a lot of their cheese in the months to come, but for now we limited ourselves to a tub of fresh ricotta and a block of Queso Blanco.

rolling the crepe

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Christmas food & drink

lights and icicles

The weather was too nasty to travel, so we had Christmas on our own. I got let out of work early on Christmas eve, and we had a nice early cocktail hour – Jon made Corpse Revivers and we finished off the sweet potato and beet chips from our last dinner party, with dangerously addictive spinach dip from the co-op deli.

chips and dip
corpse reviver #2 Continue reading

scallop crêpes

scallop crepe

I love scallops, and I love crêpes. When I saw a recipe in the April 2007 issue of Saveur magazine for buckwheat crêpes with scallops and scallop cream sauce, I knew I would have to make it at some point. We got around to it last week, on a rare sunny evening. We sat by the stove drinking white wine, frying scallops and eating them rolled in hot crêpes as they came out of the pan. Bliss!

We never remember which buckwheat crêpe recipe we like best, so this time J used Mark Bittman’s version from The Best Recipes in the World. The scallop sauce recipe was written to feed a vast number of people, so I edited it heavily to suit myself. The result was delicious, to say the least, but I’m not sure I would make it quite this way again. I’d rather eat my scallops whole and make a shallot-cream sauce to go on them, instead of using any of them in the actual sauce. But that’s just me – the pureed scallop did have a wonderful sweet flavor, and it’s definitely worth trying.

scallop crepe with asparagus

Scallops with Scallop Cream Sauce
adapted from Saveur magazine

  • 3/4 pound large sea scallops
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Select a third of the scallops (I picked out the ugliest ones for this part). Pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. Fry them in a bit of butter until golden brown, then puree them in a heatproof container with the broth, wine and cream. Pour back into the pan and simmer until thickened. Salt to taste.

Cut the remaining scallops in half and fry as you go – two pieces per crêpe works well. Cook a crêpe, lay it on a plate and arrange the scallops on it, then spoon a good glop of the sauce on top. Asparagus is a good addition; leeks might be tasty as well. Roll up the crepe and eat.

buckwheat crepes with mushrooms and prosciutto

hedgehog mushrooms

For J’s birthday we decided a crêpe night was in order. Every once in a while we like the have the sort of dinner where we pull stools and a kitchen cart up to the stove, have all the fixings on hand and just eat crêpes as they come out of the pan, nice, hot and buttery.

J was introduced to buckwheat crêpes when he went to Brittany during high school, but I didn’t get to know them until we went to Paris a few years ago on an anniversary trip. The galette du jour at La Crêperie Beaubourg converted me to buckwheat in one delicious ham-and-cheese swoop! Now we make all of our crêpes with buckwheat flour, unless they’re for dessert.

 As usual when we make buckwheat crêpes, I couldn’t remember which recipe we usually use. This time we did the one from Susan Loomis’ French Farmhouse Cookbook, which is just buckwheat flour, water, salt and eggs; other recipes might use milk or a little all-purpose flour. These crêpes were tasty, but I’m planning to try a different recipe next time. If I can remember which one I used this time (maybe this blog will help).

buckwheat crepe Continue reading