For the past couple of weeks we have started delivering warm dinners to go on Wednesdays with great success. This week we are offering Cioppino, an Italian fish stew. The first step to making a good stew is making a good stock. In class we broke down black bass so we could use the bones to make stock and the meat will be added later when we build the stew.

Ba´nh mi

We know that we want a ba´nh mi sandwich on our cafe menu but the question was what direction to take it. The original calls for shredded pork and pork liver pate´, while delicious I'm not sure how well it would sell hear in Salem. My answer was to combine the two pork elements and create a country pork pate´seasoned with ginger, garlic and lemongrass. If you wanted to call it an Asian meatloaf I would not be offended. A smear of sriracha aioli, some fresh and pickled vegetables to round it out.

Sam's Bread and Butter Cauliflower Quick Pickles

1 Head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 white onion, sliced thin
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 qt. rice wine vinegar
2 c sugar
1 tbl turmeric
2 tbl mustard seeds
1 tsp of poppy seeds

Toss onions, peppers and cauliflower together in a bowl. Simmer the vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seed and poppy seeds for 5 minutes. Pack the jars with the raw vegetables--giving  a little room at the top to allow expansion.
Pour hot liquid over vegetables. Loosely place lid on jar until it cools. Tighten lid when cool. Refrigerate.

Winter Warmth and Barbecue Sauce

In an effort to keep at least my mind warm during the winter, I have been working on a bbq recipe for this summer's farmer's markets'. I don't have a recipe yet but I do know that starting with fresh, whole ingredients changes the idea of bbq sauce for the better. Instead of leading with corn syrup or vinegar we will focus on the natural sweet & sour complexity of tomatoes.