Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seattle Underground Market

Food Porn Exhibit

The Seattle Underground Market brings foodies and food entrepreneurs together. You may find caterers, new chefs or even established restaurants who are looking for feedback on new menu items.  This new private event requires signing up on the website to become a member.  The location and secret password of the monthly events are announced via email the day before the event. You'll also be provided with a list of menu items and there is usually a selection of gluten free and vegan options. The December market will be a brunch theme with a Food Porn exhibit where several of my food photos will be on display and available for purchase.

I attended my first one in November with Mark and every place we stopped at we each got something different.  The food station charges between $1-$5 for their small plates but found that the majority of the servings were priced at $3.

I put together a little video from the evening and below that is an overview of what we tried out.

Our first stop was empanadas where we tried Barolo Braised Osso Buco and Roasted Turkey Empanadas.  The pastry dough was not what we were used to.

Barolo Braised Osso Buco Empanada
Turkey Empanada

Next we hit up one of the more popular spots, Wontons!  There were 5 choices there and we went with the Greek and the Crab Rangoon. They had a variety of toppings and sauces for each wonton, a Tzatziki sauce for the greek and a chile oil sauce for the crab.  

Greek Wonton
Greek Wonton
We stood in a long line for the Peking Duck Style Sliders and Winter Squash Ratatouille. The Peking Duck Sliders could have used more salt and/or sauce. The Ratatoulle came with a couple of tasty gluten free cheese bread balls.
Peking Duck Slider
Peking Duck Slider
We hit up my favorite dish, seared ahi tuna with pickled jalapenos, lime dressing, napa cabbage slaw with basmati rice.  I thought the jalapenos were a little too spicy for the dish but it was still the best thing I had for the night.
Seared Ahi and Slaw
Seared Ahi with Napa Cabbage Slaw

Last stop we had to hit up the Filipino food station. Mark got some Chicken Adobo with Jasmine Rice and a side of Ginataan, some kind of dessert soup.  I had a bite of the adobo and it was nice and tender.

Adobo and Ginataan
Chicken Adobo and Ginataan
Author: Paula Thomas

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Honey Glazed Pork Belly with Mashed Cauliflower

Honey Glazed Pork Belly I've made pork belly 3 or 4 times now but always used the same recipe. I decided to try something a little different with my last pork belly. I found a recipe for honey pork belly on that looked good. Mine didn't look quite the same as what's on that site. I probably cooked it longer because I wanted to render out as much of the fat as I could.  It was nice and crispy though, like bacon and I like bacon.  The texture was similar to something like general tso's chicken.  It was the first time I've ever tried glazing meat. After the pan cools, you're going to be left with a hard, crusty coating of sauce stuck to your pan.  I thought it was going to be a real pain to clean but it wasn't so bad.  Just add some water to the pan and put it on the stove.  When the water gets hot enough the sauce will just melt for easy clean up.

If you are gluten free, it may be difficult to find oyster and soy sauces that are gluten free but they do exist. If you can't find any, you can always buy it online.  Wok Mei has an all natural gluten free oyster sauce.  There are a lot more options for gluten free soy sauces. There's a whole list of them here on

I decided to pair the pork belly with mashed cauliflower.  I steamed the cauliflower, added a little sour cream and butter and added it all to a food processor with some salt & pepper.  It made a nice creamy puree that almost tasted like mashed potatoes.  I actually made the cauliflower first and made the pork belly while the potatoes sat in the oven.

The photos in the last couple of blog posts were taken mostly with wide angle lenses.  I just got the new Olympus 60mm macro lens and have been shooting with it a lot lately so all the photos below were taken with that lens.  If you're a micro four thirds shooter and interested in finding out more about this lens you can watch my video review.

Mashed Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbs butter
salt & pepper to taste

Remove forets from head of cauliflower and wash.  Steam cauliflower until soft, about 15 minutes.

Add cauliflower, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper to a food processor and process until smooth.

Add cauliflower puree to a casserole dish, cover and cook in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until pork belly is done.

Recipe: Honey Glazed Pork Belly

3/4 lb pork belly
coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Slice pork belly into 1/4" pieces.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork belly and render fat until pork is golden brown on both sides.

Drain pork fat into a glass container and refrigerate for future use.  Use a paper towel to soak up any excess oil from the pan.

Turn heat back to medium and add the honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce and garlic to the pan.

Stir sauce and pork together until well coated and cook for a couple of minutes to glaze being careful not to burn the sauce.

Remove from heat and serve over a large spoonful of mashed cauliflower.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Gluten Free Zucchini Tart

Gluten Free Zucchini TartI hope you all aren't tired of tart posts.  This will probably be the last one for a while.  I meant to make a zucchini tart earlier in the year when I had so many zucchini's coming out of my garden but it didn't happen so I had to buy some zucchini to make this one.

I tried yet another tart crust recipe, this one came from a recipe I found on Cake and Commerce.  I did make a few alterations to the original recipe, one by mistake.  The recipe called for an egg yolk but I used the whole egg.  I used dark buckwheat flour instead of light and I left out the parmigiano.  I also used almond meal rather than blanched almonds.  The crust came out surprisingly crispy. I liked the dark color the buckwheat flour gave the crust.  It worked pretty well for a savory tart crust. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I used a different recipe for the filling than I had originally planned.  I couldn't find the one I was going to make so I used one I came across on that received good reviews.  Other than using a different crust, the only change I made was using thyme rather than lemon thyme.  I also used a little less cheese.  3 medium sized zucchini's turned out to be just enough for one large and one small tart and the dough recipe made just enough for the same so it worked out pretty well.

Recipe: Gluten Free Savory Tart Crust

1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup buckwheat flour
4 Tbsp cold butter cut into 1" cubes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp cold water if needed

Add almond meal and flour to food processor and pulse a few times to blend.  Add cold butter and egg and mix until ball forms.  If dough is too dry, add small amounts of water until ball is formed. Flatten the ball of dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove dough from fridge and place on floured sheet of wax paper. Dust top of dough with flour and cover with another sheet of wax paper.  Roll dough to about a 1/8" thick circle and transfer to a tart pan.  Push the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan and remove excess dough.  If there's enough left over you can roll it out for a small tart.

Place tart pan(s) on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.

Zucchini Filling

3 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
2 tsp salt
6 oz goat cheese crumbles
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Toss the zucchini with 2tsp salt in a colander and let drain in the sink for 30 mins. Gently squeeze the slices to remove excess water.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  In a small bowl toss the goat cheese with the chopped thyme.  Place the cheese in the tart crust, leaving about a half inch border around the edge.

Place the zucchini, olive oil and ground pepper in a bowl and toss to coat, using your hands if needed.  Place the zucchini rounds over the cheese starting in the middle, tightly overlapping the slices in a circle moving outward going all the way to the edge of the tart pan.

Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until zucchini begins to turn golden brown.