Brining 101

As stated before I am a Chef at Muffuletta In The Park.  At the restaurant we use a brine for all our pork and chicken.  We do this to add flavor and moisture to the meat.  The fun of a brine is that you can add any herbs or spices you want from the garden.  This recipe is a good starting point.  I recommend that you keep the meat in the brine for a minimum of 4 hours.  We do 24 hours at the restaurant.  Enjoy!!  Cooking brings family and friends together.

Koom’s Patio Garden Update – Tomatoes and Jalapenos

This post is all about tomatoes and jalapenos!!

On the left is pea currant tomatoes.  They are super small and packed with sugar.  Megan made a pasta salad with them today for lunch.  On the right are my cherry tomatoes.  Unfortunately, I can not remember what type they are.  I am going to turn then into a Cous Cous salad.  Recipes to come!



Here is a couple of close up pictures of the pea currant tomatoes on the vine.





My jalapenos are finally starting to show some fruit.  They are pretty small yet, but with the last couple of sunny days they really took off.  I bought a Weber charcoal grill today from Fleet Farm and smoked a whole chicken!!  Pictures to come.  Find recipes from agridudes on this blog!!!

Cleaning Out The Icebox

Last Tuesday night it was just Aidan and I.  Being a poor Chef at Muffuletta in Park I decided to make dinner with what I had on hand and product from my patio garden.



I had one package of chicken thighs, some old green onions, mushrooms, garlic, half a red onion, and an old open bottle of white wine.  Lets get started.  First thing first turn on some music and pour a drink.  I had a couple glasses a wine during this adventure.


I took all the ingredients above and cut them into medium dice.  I then placed them into a oven safe baking dish.  There is some fresh basil from my garden on top as well.






I seared the chicken thighs in a pan with some oil until they where golden brown on the skin side.  I then placed them in the baking dish with white wine and chicken stock.  The thighs braised in the oven for 2 hours at 320 degrees.

While the chicken was cooking I made a salad of greens and cherry tomatoes from the garden.  I made a quick dressing with oil and vinegar.

Below is the finished dish!!  Off to work.  I am thinking of seared miso salmon with bacon-shrimp broth for the weekend. We will see!!

Koom’s Planter Box Update 7/26/12

Sorry these picture are not the best.  However the planter box is doing well.  All pepper plants have flowers on them.  My mint in the middle is growing fast.  I think some Moscow Mules are in order this weekend!!



Lettuce is doing great as well.  The pepper plants are taking up most of the sunlight from the window.  I think in a couple of weeks I will have nothing but the peppers and mint.

All for now.  I’ll let everyone know how the drinks turned out.

Koom’s Garden Patio 7/24/12

Welcome back, welcome back!!

Here is a picture of what had happened in the last couple of weeks.

Basil is looking good.  This is just two plants that have took off.  When the basil starts to flower I cut off the tops and feed them to my worms!  It smell great and is awesome in salads.

My Swiss chard is out of control.  I cut some off about 2 weeks ago to eat.  It just keeps coming back.








I am starting to get lots of tomatoes.  I have two different species .  One on the rights is a pea size heirloom tomato.  On the left is a cherry heirloom. I got these seeds from a buddy from work.  I always save some seeds from the year before.  

My hop plant on the left came back from death.  Maybe I will get some flowers soon!!  That’s all from Koom’s Patio!

Dinner From the Garden and Woods – Chanterelles and Burgers

Last weekend I found some chanterelles and made burgers with them!

I only found a handful of chanterelles.  I think the season is still a little early.  Maybe in the next couple of weeks if we get some rain.  I cleaned and sauteed the mushrooms first and set them aside.



I seared the burgers with a little basil and add some cheese and chanterelles.It’s starting to come together!  Below are picture of my work space and the finished dish!  Off to work,