Market Day

I love that Houston has been promoting local farmers more and more these days. I love getting up Saturday morning and driving out to see what goodies are available that week.

The other really neat benefit, is to be able to speak with the farmers themselves and see the pride in their eyes as they offer you their crops and are always happy to answer questions about what to do with the produce and how to do it best.

It also gives me an opportunity to see products I’ve never heard of before and it encourages me to expand my foodie repertoire. For instance, I’ve never seen yellow oyster mushrooms before, have you?

What about black radish?

I’ll share my impressions as I use these finds. I already went through the artichokes, rainbow carrots, yellow oyster mushrooms, dill, lemon balm and fresh flounder. I should’ve documented the flounder & oyster mushroom beauty, but I didn’t. My bad.

My hubby filleted the flounder, I dusted them with a bit of flour (we kept the skin on) before giving them a quick pan-fry. I topped them with the oyster mushrooms, which I sautéed in EVOO, garlic then deglazed with a bit of sherry, added a bit of cream because The Hubbz loves to have a sauce. Just before serving I added a bit of the lemon balm and we proceeded to devour the whole thing. It was very quiet in the room.

We also had some roasted artichokes. After trimming the leaves and cutting them in half, I drizzled a ‘marinade’ of olive oil, balsamic vinegar syrup, garlic, lemon balm, salt & pepper. Popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes before serving.

While the artichokes roasted, I turned my attention to the multicolored baby carrots. I trimmed the stems, then added some butter, chopped garlic and about 1 tsp of habanero hot sauce to a pan and cooked the garlic for about 1 minute.

Then added the trimmed carrots and sautéed them a bit before adding about 1/2 cp of sherry to the pan. Lowered the temperature to medium low and added 1 tbsp of coconut sugar (brown sugar will work just as well), put a lid on and allowed it to steam for about 10-12 minutes.

It was the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. Aaahh, Spring. Even if it really feels like Summer already. Food is good.

For more Farmers’ Market shots, follow this link.

Cookingly yours,



Yep. This is my 100th post. This came around FAST. I didn’t know what I wanted this post to be about. I toyed with the idea of making it a Best of, or maybe a My Fave recipes. In the end, I decided to go back to the beginning. The beginning of this blogging adventure.

Once upon a time… No, I won’t do that to you. I will tell you it was about 6 or so months ago. I had bought a bunch of leeks, a new ingredient for me, and decided I would stuff a pork shoulder with them. My plan was to debone the shoulder, stuff it and tie it–also a first for me. I was nervous about tackling all these firsts and I started to think about others who may feel the same way about cooking in general.

I often tell friends not to be afraid to try cooking. I truly believe anyone can cook, all you need is a desire to. So as I stared at that shoulder and the leeks, I began to wonder how I could hold someone’s hand through a similar moment. I began wondering if I could somehow provide support, or share ideas, could I inspire someone? I know, a bit grandiose, but in my heart of hearts that’s what I hoped for.

So, on I went deboning that shoulder and chopping those leeks and trussing that baby up. And I giggled at my deformed shoulder roll thing. And I licked my fingers after tasting the leeks. And I smiled when Linz mmm’d and aaaa’d. And I thought, yeah, I want someone else to feel this way. And, so it began.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did. And thanks for reading and, hopefully, eating with us.

Roasted Pork with Leeks

1 5-7lb Pork shoulder roast
For the rub:
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp English mustard
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp olive oil

If you’ve started out with a bone-in shoulder, you’ll need to remove the bone. You could also use pork belly for this and avoid dealing with a bone.

To debone the shoulder, I started out by cutting straight through the roast, cutting down until I hit the bone. I didn’t take step-by-step pictures of this part, how about you go here for those. When done, set it aside while you prepare the rub.

For the rub, mix all the ingredients listed above, making them into a paste. Liberally rub it all over the roast on both sides. Set it aside while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:
1 bunch of leeks, chopped
1 cp mushrooms, chopped (I used crimini)
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 cp Italian parsley, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil

In a medium skillet, heat the oil and add the shallots and pepper, after a couple of minutes add the mushrooms and leeks. Once the leeks begin to soften, add the parsley. You can season lightly with salt & pepper. Allow it cool for a few minutes before filling the roast.

Preheat oven to 400° and get some cooking twine ready. Now for the antsy part… Spread the roast out on your counter. Top it with the leeks filling. Bring the sides of the roast together and truss it with the twine. The one thing you want to achieve, is to make the it as even as possible. That way it will cook at the same rate. Remember to soak the twine before trussing.

Once you’ve tied it up, place the roast on a roasting rack with a pan underneath to catch all the yummy cooking juices. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, just long enough to get some nice color on it. Then lower the oven’s temperature to 350° and roast until the internal temperature reaches 170° to 175° (about 35-40 minutes per pound).

Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before removing the twine and slicing it. You can serve it with the pan juices or make a gravy with them.

Cookingly yours,