Monday, September 26, 2011
Although we have left Fargo and since moved on to Minneapolis MN for a few weeks, I still wanted to pay tribute to a cool little town. I must say I had a really lame preconcieved idea about what our culinary finds might be. Fourtunally, I was totally wrong and pleasantly surprised about how much I really liked this little town. There were several cute shops, very cool drinking holes and a few great restaurants. Hotel Donaldson (check out thier menu) http://www.hoteldonaldson.com/eat.html was one such place. We stopped in to check out their happy hour menu. I was so impressed with it, that we ended up having dinner! The food was prepared perfectly and the presentation was spectacular. They have a rooftop garden from which many of the restaurants ingredients are sourced, as well as a listing on the menu of all other sources for the ingredients they use. They are down with eating locally and have a strong alliance with local farmers. These folks have passion and they put it exactly where it belongs and that is on your plate! You have taught me a good lesson about making assumptions Fargo, and I truely apprieciate it...Thank you
A picture of the asparagus salad with quail egg, lamb bacon, horseradish & beet vinaigrette.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Hey folks! Well we are in Fargo ND for the next few days. It has been a little stormy the past couple of days. Which, always puts me in the mood to put on a good movie and cook all day! I am a BIG fan of Mexican food and as I have been driving around Fargo I haven’t seen one Mexican restaurant other than chains. So, I decided to satisfy my craving by making some tacos! Now I really love carnitas, crispy pulled pork how could you go wrong? On the other hand, I also like chili Verde... delicious stewed pork in silky, green chili sauce. So, I thought I would try and combine them to fill both desires and put them in a taco!
They came out amazing and here is how I did it...
Carnitas "Verde" style
3-4 lb. Pork roast (You can use Pork Butt if you like as well.) They were too big for our little RV oven.
1/2 cup whole milk
(You can adjust this to your liking)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. spanish paprika
1 1/2 tsp. Oregano /Mexican oregano
6-7 fresh tomatillos husk removed cut in half
1 tomato cored seeded quartered and halved
1/2 white onion quartered
1 or 2 (your preference) fresh jalapeno seeded and rough chopped
2 Pablano chilies cored, seeded and rough chop 1" pcs
1 Tsp. fresh chopped Marjoram
1 small bulb top cut off for roasting
1/2 cup chicken stock
Cover meat all over with rub you may have some left over. Wrap meat in plastic and put in fridge overnight
Put meat in roasting pan and let sit for about 45 min before putting in oven.
Preheat oven to 450
Rub pork with 1 tsp. of oil.
Roast pork for about 20 min remove
Turn oven down to 325
Add chopped vegetables to roasting pan surrounding meat cover with chicken stock
Place back in oven, cover with a cookie sheet (helps it brown on top better than foil and still retains moisture)
Roast for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. It should be fork tender and want to fall apart when lifted.
Remove and it should look like this...
Remove meat and let rest for at least 30 min
Transfer Verde to small pot put on med heat add the fresh chopped Marjoram. You can add a little more stock if you want a looser sauce.
Reduce by half then use a hand blender to blend sauce.
Sauce should look like this when done...
Pull Pork discard fat
Return to roasting pan drizzle and toss with milk (a little at time you may not need the entire 1/2 cup). You just want the meat just coated not saturated or soggy. Also add 3 or so tablespoons of the Verde sauce and toss.
I made a quick slaw to accompany my tacos, but you can certainly serve your taco’s with whatever you like...
2 cups cabbage slice very thin
1 diced jalapeno or habanero if you want it spicier!
1 tablespoon oil
1 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. pineapple juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Season to taste
Place meat and slaw on a heated corn tortilla ( I put mine in a pan with a bit of oil to crisp it up a little)
Drizzle the meat with some of the Verde sauce
Add a litttle diced raw onion if you like and your done!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
As you may have noticed I haven’t blogged in quite some time. Well it’s time to get back at it! I guess life has been getting in the way and I haven’t mastered the art of balancing my blog and life as well as I probably could. Life on the road makes my perception of time very different for some reason. Time seems to pass by very quickly and yet it doesn’t feel like it. Being at home in Portland was also sort of weird after being on the road for 8 months. It didn't feel like we were gone 8 months at all! Being a tourist in my own town was something I have never done and I highly recommend it. For some reason I didn’t really want to blog there. It was like the blog was a part of my “other” life on the road. Being at home was more of a private personal experience that I just wanted to marinate in for a while to recharge for our next upcoming leg of our tour, heading East.
When we left Portland we headed to Jacks Resort jamesonlake.com the place where we came up with this crazy plan of living on the road for Chris’s customer service campaign rms-ontheroad.com Chris had a few customers in the area and we wanted to visit our friends. We also thought it would be nice to go full circle and bring the result of our vision back to its place of inception.
Jacks Resort jamesonlake.com is owned by our friends Ginger and Anna. It is outside Ephrata WA about 30 miles. Let just say it is literally out in the middle of nowhere. There are little to no services of any kind for at least 20 miles around. It is very peaceful with stunning views, and abundant in all kinds of wildlife. We saw tons on deer, coyotes, hawks, bald eagles, snakes you name it; I wasn't thrilled about some of it, or the "possibility" of running into some of it, mainly rattlesnakes. I am somewhat of a city girl AKA "scaredy cat". The resort was closed during our stay with no public access so we had the entire lake virtually to ourselves. It is a wonderful hideaway if you really want to unplug and get away from the world. They have a little restaurant that is open during fishing season and Ginger makes some tasty pies! The fishing on Jameson Lake has a top ranking in the state for trout. We fished elsewhere because the lake wasn't open for fishing while we were there. I caught one nice trout and let it go because I looked it in its eyes and felt bad (silly, I know). Ginger caught 2 beautiful trout. We grilled one, smoked the other and it was fantastic!
We are now in Montana and it certainly is not known for its culinary influence on the world but it is a beautiful State with very nice people nonetheless. Sometimes I feel that us city folks don't appreciate these small towns that are quilted throughout our country. We have often preconceived ideas about the people and chuckle at the simpleness of how they live and their limited resources for shopping dining, etc. But these places make me realize that you can slow down,relax, quit looking for the "next thing" and just be in the moment.
That said, now I can't wait for the next thing! We will soon head to Fargo ND then Minneapolis MN which I am VERY much looking forward to.