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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner

Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner, Portland

Project Grace
Friday nights at Trinket
2035 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-805-1342 for reservations (or OpenTable)

Apparently, the last pop-up at Trinket is 4/18/2014 and the menu region is Sicily. Menu details are on Project Grace’s facebook page.

Late last month we went to Project Grace for dinner. This is a pop-up that happens every Friday night at Trinket — they also do an additional Italian-American-inspired meal Tuesday evenings at Hokusei (SE 42nd and Belmont). Obviously, one of the huge appeals for Trinket (or Project Grace) for us is that it is walkable and we are lazy diners. That said, I would totally drive across town for more of the Cacciatore-esque roasted game hen.

Every Friday is a five course meal (for about $40) that focuses on a different region of Italy. On our night, it was Campania. This meant seafood, chilies, rich tomato sauces, and saffron. The meal is served family style and if you are lucky, you will get to enjoy an 80′s soundtrack with your dinner.

We started with cocktails and freshly grilled bread with a honey-lavender butter. The plates came out well-paced and each time something got laid down on . . . → Read More: Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

For Christmas, I received the Toro Bravo cookbook and although there are many pages ear-marked, this is the first recipe I’ve made from it. And I have to say, although I deviated a bit from the recipe (and took some shortcuts), this was delicious!

I did add some yellow bell pepper and (full disclosure) I used a bag of cubed Trader Joe’s butternut squash (because I had some and I needed to use it). I can only imagine how awesome this would be with freshly cubed squash. If you use a big squash and you have more than 12 oz cubed, just use extra cream and harissa, or straight-up double the rest of the ingredients.

This is great on the side of some grilled fish or chicken. Or just add a huge salad and make it a vegetarian meal. Also, definitely get the book for the original recipe — it will be even better! (Spoiler: there’s butter involved).

* Ingredient note: The original recipe calls for Rose Petal Harissa, which you can find at PastaWorks if you live in Portland. I used the Harissa paste in the yellow tube. That worked great, although, it is a bit . . . → Read More: Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

Valentine’s Day Baking: Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

So here’s the thing about these cookies. I actually made them last year, fully intending to post them at that time and then this happened and I kind of lost interest in getting a Valentine’s Day post together. But this year, I decided that since I had liked the cookies and I had some nice photos, I would go ahead and post it. Early. And then I forgot.

So now, completely in character (procrastination, yay!), the day before valentine’s day is when I’m going to post about heart-centric cookies. But it’s okay. This cookie could really work for any holiday, even a non-holiday. First of all, the hearts don’t need to be pink or red. How about purple hearts? Black hearts? White hearts for an anniversary celebration.

And also, who says you have to use a heart shaped cookie cutter at all? The technique will work with any small cookie cutter – four leaf clovers, a fleur de lis, a pumpkin. Really, any not too complicated shape that you could easily fill in with glaze would be perfect.

When I made mine, I liked a cleaner look so I used a slightly smaller round cookie cutter . . . → Read More: Valentine’s Day Baking: Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

FFwD: Boeuf à la Ficelle

FFwD: Boeuf à la Ficelle

I really tried to like this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe for Boeuf à la Ficelle. I did! But, no, and I wasn’t the only one that didn’t quite care for it. To begin with, neither of us are big meat-and-potatoes eaters. And my general feeling is that if I’m going to make steak, I want to make it count. Poaching a piece of beef tenderloin (I only used a half of a pound because there were only two if us and I had an inkling of how this was going to go), does not in any way, shape, or form count. This one was kind of doomed in our house from the start, I suppose.

That said, this is really only one of a handful of recipes from this cookbook that I haven’t enjoyed – so, that’s a pretty good track record for Around my French Table, actually.

Also, we have been in the middle of an out-of-the-ordinary SNOWPOCAPLYSE! here in Portland, so I couldn’t get all over town to find oxtail (although – marrow bones were no problem), so I made due with a packaged beef broth that I then added . . . → Read More: FFwD: Boeuf à la Ficelle

Winter Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Just the other day, we got teased with about 10 minutes worth of snow. It didn’t stick or anything, but during a winter that so far has been extremely mild*, it was a nice 10 minutes. The kind of 10 minutes that make you want to go roast a chicken. And if you don’t want to roast a whole chicken, then at least maybe some chicken thighs.

A very nice aspect to this recipe (no matter what season you choose to make it) is that it is fairly one-dish. Especially if you marinate in a freezer bag. The honey in the marinade should give you a nice, darkened crust to your chicken.

And, like I mention below, the brussels and potatoes aren’t going to get that dark – if you want more color, just pop them under the broiler while the chicken rests.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

. . . → Read More: Winter Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts