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Gypsy's musical gastronomy

All this talk about food makes me want to cook - and I just gave my last final, so time's a-wastin! (ummmm - happening after grading)

I participated in a potato planting party last Sunday, and we all stayed on for a yummy meal that included mashed potatoes, potato soup (try mixing the 2 and adding cilantro), salad, other things, with the entrée as the last heritage turkey of the year. Discussions as to how many of us had roasted our turkeys this year ensued. While I'm a big fan of brining the bird and then roasting at 325F for 15-20 minutes/pound, I was pleased to learn that there's another way to cook heritage birds (this won't work with your average Butterball): bring the bird to room temp.; cook at 475F for the first 1/2 hr or so.(for a 7 lb. bird); then cook for @ 35 min. at 425. Remove from oven and cover with foil, for @20 min. This comes courtesy of coyote run farm, my main food source int he warmer months.

The musical accompaniment: Leonard Bernstein's Divertimento V Turkey Trot - comes with hints of Candide.

Ah - beef. I buy bundles of beef from my farmers as well. They do have a fine butcher, but as mentioned before, all grass-fed beef needs to be cooked at a slightly lower temperature for slightly longer to get to what you desire. You can also experiment with letting the meat rest at room temperature for a number of hours before cooking to help with the tenderness. Undoubtedly there'll be some scientific track-back on this suggestion, but I've know people to do this with no troubles. Up to you.

2 winters ago I was bored while waiting for duck to cook (those I buy from another - extremely libertarian - farmer). While poking around facebook, I came across a photo of charred beef medallions in poblano-tequila sauce. after outcries from the suddenly hungry, my fb friend posted the recipe. He got it from Michael Lomanaco's Nightly Specials' the recipe is excerpted here.

To go with it, I'm going back about a decade to the What's for Dinner? Beef commercial. You can't have Lenny and no Aaron! From Copland's Rodeo, here's the Hoedown.

Eggs: so you may not find enough information to say that free range eggs are more nutritious than regular. I have seen information regarding cholesterol of free range eggs to be better than caged hens, although the jury's out on the other aspects of nutrition. My take? If your "organic" eggs have lemon yellow yolks and/or are runny, then you have in your possession eggs that come from legally free range birds and probably not chickens that really walk around a large swath of land on a daily basis. If you are holding in your hand a cracked egg that doesn't run and has a bright amber yolk, your desserts will kick ass.

You'll find that free range eggs make better bechamel, merengue, mousse, cakes, and quick breads. To honor the classical selection found, champagne mousse with raspberries from Richard Phillips of The Good Food Channel can round out your protein laden options above.

All of Moritz Moszkowsky's music is dessert from what I've heard, so it's fitting that his Moussede Champagne will go here. It's track 8 on this Martin Jones recording (with apologies to my friend with the same name - but different middle name - who is a fine pianist in his own right).

If you don't like mousse, and wanna get down with Dowland, try "If that a Sinner's Sighs be Angel Food" track 2.

Or you can go with merengue: Que Via El Merengue.

bob apetit!



Oh thank goodness you didn't link to that Liberace bit, I can only listen to him about once every 20 years or so.

The Turkey Trot was cool. Brass, woodwinds, and percussion, a combination I don't listen to often enough..

Love the idea of a potato planting party. The grandkids enjoy potato harvest, They say it's like a treasure hunt.

The other thing that helps with leaner grass finished beef is marinating or meat rubs. Doesn't take long, maybe 20 min to an hour. Any marinade or rub with some acidity (vinegar, wine) or chili pepper will help tenderize the beef.

  1. 2 tbs soy, 2 tbs sherry, 6 slices ginger, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar.

  2. Standard oil and vinegar salad dressing (1 part vinegar, 3 parts oil, variety of herbs, garlic, mustard (1 tsp), sugar (1 tsp), salt (1 tsp).

  3. Meat rubs: 4 tbs salt, 3 tbs Pasilla chili power, 2 tbs garlic, 2 tbs sugar, 2 tbs cumin, 2 tbs ground pepper, 1 tbs thyme. (from "Cowboy in the kitchen").

Re: Eggs. A few years ago Mother Earth News did a study on green pasture free range eggs. It was called 'the Good Egg', and can be still found on their website.

Re: orange yolks in eggs. I read the other day that the confinement egg operations have started putting marigold into their feed to make the yolks yellower. Doesn't actually make them higher vitamins which the birds could do themselves if they have green pasture, but it can fool the consumer into thinking the eggs are better. Wish we had labeling laws that could tell us about this treatment, but we'd best not hold our breath waiting for that.

Eggs: I feel fortunate that I buy directly from a farmer, and have a choice of farmers for free range. I've seen the hens in action (they are quite drawn to orange peels and shiny things), and they do move.

Marinades and rubs: also a good idea, although there are those who just have to have that beef-only taste. They work with pork and other meats as well.

Thanks for your suggestions!


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