We’re thrilled to announce a special Thanksgiving edition (if you will) of our Market Chef series! This coming Sunday, Nov. 18th, come see the Country Cat’s own Mike Eels and Daniel Miller of Adalu Stew– both former Market Demo Chefs — join forces and cook up a complete Thanksgiving feast. They’ll be using fantastic produce that our wonderful farmers are bringing in and a turkey from Cerigioli Gardens, as well as turkeys kindly donated specifically for this cause by New Seasons market (a very close second best thing to a local farmers market, as we all know).
The boys will use their super cheffing skills to transform the bounty of the Autumn market into a delicious repast, worthy of every food lovers’ favorite holiday. Starting at 10 am, Mike and Daniel will be demonstrating a new dish every half hour :
10:00 Squash soup
10:30 Celery root and sweet potato gratin & Cranberry Sauce
11:00 Braised brussel sprouts
11:30 Perfect Country Gravy
12:00 Deep Fried Turkey (did you catch that? – DEEP. FRIED. TURKEY. dig it.)
Finally at 1pm, ‘dinner’ is served! Plates heavy with all that marvelous food will be sold at $5 a pop, and 100% of the proceeds will go to support our Everybody Eats program, an incredibly important local outreach program that is so very needed at what for many of our neighbors is a cold, lonely and hungry time of year.
This will be more than just another meal. Mike and Daniel have a high hopes for this puppy, far beyond simply filling bellies and teaching kitchen skills. As Daniel so eloquently describes; “We’re hoping it’ll be much like being in the kitchen all day for a family Thanksgiving; enjoying the food preparation and camaraderie as much as the gustatory experience. The whole idea of the demo, and of Thanksgiving itself, is to be thankful for the bountiful food that is so prevalent here in Oregon, to truly appreciate the food as well as those who grow it. More than simply a cooking demo, Mike and I are hoping to foster the communication between farms, farmers and home cooks. The shared food is our medium.”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. See you at the market & Happy Thanksgiving to all!
1. In as much detail as you can, tell me a bit about what you do.
3. Tell me about your background in general? How did you end up in Portland?
4. Could you share some general knife advice for novices? They’re perhaps the most important tool in a cooks’ arsenal, but many cooks under value them or don’t care for them properly. I’d love to know what advice you have, or even just simple do’s and don’ts.
DON’T:cut on anything but wood or plastic cutting board, put your knife in the dishwasher, sink or drainer (it’s dangerous as it can slice your hand open when you reach in, and it also damages the knife as the edge is knocked against glass and ceramic), use any kind of crude mechanical gizmo to sharpen the blade, use the knife as a can opener or a crowbar. DO: rinse and wipe your knife after use, store it in a wood block edge up or on a magnetic rack, hone it using either a very fine diamond stone or a water stone (#3000 grit is about right for almost anything). Many chefs and home cooks use the steel rod, but I find that it doesn’t really generate a very good, long-lasting edge, and regular use tends to round the edge off and create unevenness in the edge line, which hurts performance and eventually calls for the whole knife to be re-ground. This shortens the life-span of a knife.
And would you share a favorite recipe with us?
- Put a piece of dried kombu sea weed (available at most grocery stores), slashed, in the pot, and bring to a gentle simmer. add good quality broth. Traditionally, dashi stock is used, but I find that home-made bone broth is excellent (beef, chicken, duck, pork, lamb or buffalo bones all work well). Add salt, soy sauce, mirin, salt, fish sauce and sugar to taste — the broth should be pretty flavorful. You may add some kimchi base if you want it spicy. Do not let the kombu boil hard at any time.
- Prepare some steamed rice — I prefer sweet sticky brown rice for this dish, but other varieties work, too.
- While the broth is coming to a boil, make some meatballs: mix ground meat (any kind,) eggs, salt, sugar, panko (japanese-style bread crumbs), sesame oil, and chopped green onions. Knead the mixture well and, wetting your hands, make meatballs about 1″ in diameter.
- Chop/slice spinach, napa cabbage, tofu, (firm or soft, drained), fish (cod, salmon, snapper), diakon radish (cut into 1/2′ circles and quartered), mushrooms, and leeks. Arrange on separate plates. You can also add clams and shrimp.
- Put whatever you want in the pot, let it simmer for a bit, fish it out, put in your bowl, add some broth, put some kimchi on top. Keep in mind than some things, like diakon and meatballs, will take longer to cook than spinach and cabbage. Serve with steamed rice on the side, and plenty of good sake and beer. You can add boiling water to keep the broth level constant — about 3/4 full.
- When everything has been consumed but some broth still remains, drop some COOKED noodles or rice in it, let it come to a simmer, drop an egg or two, stir gently, and serve a final gobstopper. At this point, the broth will be amazingly rich. Try not to embarrass yourself by forgetting your manners and imitating an industrial vacuum cleaner. I always do, anyhow, but I feel that fair warning is called for, as this is one of the most delicious things a human can prepare and eat.Traditionally, ponzu dipping sauce is also served, but I find that this is rather gilding the lily.