Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The best "I don't like cornbread" Recipe

This is the stuff legends are made of! Awesome - which is quite something considering faeries hate cornbread.

Buttery Cornbread

1 c (2 sticks) butter
3/4 c sugar
4 eggs
15 oz can of cream style corn
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded (pepperjack cheese is good too)

Mix together:
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
2 T baking powder
1 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. One at a time, stir in eggs, beating each egg briefly with a fork before you add it. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Turn into a well buttered 9 inch square or approximately 8 x 10 inch rectangular baking pan. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven 1 hour or until a toothpick tests clean. The larger the pan, the faster the bread cooks.


350 degrees for 20 minutes

Cape Cod Venison

I was able to persuade a local pixie to part with her recipe for venison. Cranberries and venison may seem like a strange combination, but just wait until you taste it! It's the next best thing to Faerie Fritters! Light, lean, and easy to make. Sure takes the guess work out of those nights when you just don't know what to do with the venison in the freezer!

From the Andover Inn, in Massachusetts:

Leg of Venison with Cape Cod Cranberry Glaze

1 3/4 lb venison leg, boned and trimmed
1/4 c Extra Virgin olive oil
4 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 c red wine
3/4 c cranberry juice
1 cube beef bouillon
4 tbsp fresh or frozen cranberries

Slice the venison into 2-3 oz pieces. Gently pound the meat to flatten it, then dredge with flour. Shake off the excess and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the venison and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the meat, add the mushrooms, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Add the cranberry juice and bouillon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is reduced to a thin glaze.

To serve, place the venison on warm plates and pour the sauce over the meat, dividing the mushrooms and cranberries evenly for each serving.

Serves 4.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Weathervane

When I was a tiny faerie this wonderful little restaurant was a small shack. The head cook was a crusty crustaceon who served the best seafood - it simply melted in your mouth! Business was mostly take-out in those days, but eventually they expanded and included an area with a couple of tables. My favorite hideout when I got peopled-out was the lobster trap hiding in the corner. Several fishing nets hung on the bulkheads, with a few unlucky starfish and sea urchins. It faintly smells of seashells and soft sand. It's a great place to hang out when you just want to get away from it all. (Newt likes it there too)

Even without faerie dust, time flies by before you know it! Now The Weathervane is a whole chain of restaurants complete with on-line ordering. One could call it progress, especially for an Old Crab, but the food is just that good. I could never find whole fried clams anywhere, except here in New England. Not the dried up little bits of shoe leather some people think are fried clams. No way man - these babies are still attached to their bellies! Mmm! Mmm! Good!

I suspect many of you only think of one thing when I say seafood. And no - it's not just shrimp! Did you know that Maine shrimp is the original popcorn shrimp - small, tender, little bites lightly dusted with flour and cornmeal before it is flash fried. And for those with a larger appetite, a bucket o'steamas is just the ticket. A whole bucket (about a quart) is filled to the brim with little neck clams (in the shell), served with a cup of broth and real butter. What is the broth for? Newt thought it made a great hot tub, but it's really there to "rinse" your clam before popping it in your mouth. Sometimes the Crab doesn't get all the sand out of them before steaming them. But some people like to sip it after the sand settles on the bottom of the cup. Kind of like clam tea.

Then again, there's some of us that don't think the visit is complete until we've wrastled ourselves a hefty Maine Lobster. Newt thought he could take on a two pounder until I pointed out that he was just the right size for a lobster's snack. But then Old Crabby heard the lobster brag that he could take Newt with one claw tied behind his back. So, you know what they say - be careful what you ask for! A flourish of faerie dust and *POOF!* Newt had that ol' boy in a pot before you could shake a stick at it. Mmmmm.... Tasty!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mmmm! New England Clam Chowder

I can't think of anything I'd rather have on a cold, blustery day than a steaming cup of New England Clam Chowder. This is the real deal, too - not the creamy goo one gets from a can! The cook swore to me it was made fresh this morning. We're talking freshly shucked quahog clams, clam broth, and potatoes. If a New Englander is the cook, one can bet the clams were sitting in a bucket of water overnight with a bit of corn meal. This important process allows the clam to spit out the sand sitting in its belly. Didn't know that? Oh, yes. There's nothing worse than taking a big spoon of fresh clam chowder and chewing on grit. Very un-appetizing!