DIY All-Purpose Red Chili Sauce, Posole, and a Little Appreciation

A couple of months ago I was gifted a lovely chile ristra by Annabelle Lenderink of La Tercera Farm. That same day, my friend Ellen came by and I shared some chiles with her. The next thing you know we’re scheming up dishes to make with dried chiles.

It’s funny how one really special ingredient can spark an idea for an entire meal…and when that meal comes together effortlessly and becomes something so absolutely memorable that nearly two months later, I’m still thinking about it, the whole process can seem a little bit like magic.

Valentine’s Day was the following week, and let’s just say neither of us were spending it with a special someone. So we figured we should have dinner together.

Ellen had the idea to make posole with trotters she bought at Marin Sun Butcher Shop. My job was to source the hominy, make the red chile sauce for the posole, bring a six-pack, and provide all the traditional posole garnishes. All easy enough tasks that I eagerly took on. Of course I used the All-Purpose Red Chile Sauce recipe from DIY Delicious.

I got the easy part of the bargain because, like magic, when I showed up with my contributions there was already a simmering pot of perfectly seasoned, porky broth on the stove. I know from experience that Ellen had to first buy the best pork she could find, simmer it slowly and strain it, balance its flavors, and keep an eye on it for the better part of a day. But, since I didn’t see any of that happening, it seemed like magic to me.

It’s the same way with all the food we buy. It doesn’t just show up at the store or farmers’ market by magic. A farmer has to grow the crops; and workers have to tend and harvest them, and then pack them up. If it’s a chile ristra, someone has to dry the chiles and then string them carefully. If there’s meat involved, a rancher has to raise the animal, and get it to a slaughterhouse. A butcher has to break it down. To say nothing of what the animal has to give. So no, great food isn’t magic. It’s love. It’s art. It’s skill. But it’s not magic. Without the humans who raise and harvest the food, and the animals too, us cooks would be nothing.

All-Purpose Red Chili Sauce (from DIY Delicious)

Use this sauce as enchilada sauce, or stir it into any soup that would benefit from a little kick. If you have some of this sauce and a good homemade chicken broth, you can make a great tortilla soup. Just add avocado, cilantro, some shredded chicken, and fried tortilla strips. The depth of flavor it adds to a bean or lentil soup might surprise you.

Makes about 2 cups sauce

5 or 6 dried ancho or New Mexico (or similar) red chiles

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 a yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 to 1 1/2  cups chicken broth or reserved chile soaking water


1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

With scissors or a knife, slit the chiles up the sides and remove the stems and seeds.

Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Open the chiles up flat and lay them down in the skillet in a single layer. You may need to work in batches. Toast them for about 30 seconds per side, holding them flat and turning with tongs, until fragrant. Don’t let them to smoke or they’ll turn bitter. Transfer the chiles to a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Push down to submerge them. Soak until soft, at least 15 minutes.

In the same skillet, warm the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, 2 pinches of salt and the oregano. Cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave undisturbed.

When the chiles are soft, transfer them to a blender, reserving their soaking water, and add the sautéed onions, garlic, and enough chicken broth (or reserved chile water) to keep the mixture moving. Blend until smooth, adding additional broth or water as you go until the sauce is the desired thickness.

Wipe the skillet to remove any onion or garlic pieces and pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. This will help tame the natural bitterness of the chiles and blend the flavors. Season with salt. Use immediately, or let the sauce cool. Transfer to a nonplastic container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 7 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Posted in DIY, Food and Drink, Latin American, from the market, hearty | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Cook for Art—Beth’s Ultimate Dinner

My friend Beth is an artist. I am a cook and food writer. I can’t afford art. At her last open studio event, I was admiring this piece portraying East Oakland. She suggested I cook her an “ultimate dinner” in trade for the piece. I gladly accepted.

The deed went down a few weeks ago and it was a blast. I love cooking for people who love to eat unabashedly and are happy to entrust the menu to me.

I’d been wanting to cook from Jessica Theroux’s lovely new book Cooking with Italian Grandmothers And since Beth has one Italian grandmother on her mother’s side, I thought she’d appreciate it.

I built the whole thing around the semolina gnocchi. I’m a sucker for savory, cheesy carbs and the photo drew me right in. I wanted something stewy and wintery to go with so I made the stewed pork with juniper berries and porcini mushrooms from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials. Since an ultimate dinner needs multiple courses, we had a simple garlic soup with a poached egg that Haven gave me the recipe for. Couldn’t be easier. Just sauté tons and tons of sliced garlic in olive oil, add some good homemade chicken broth (it’s got to be homemade in a simple soup like this) Poach the eggs right in the broth and serve with croutons fried in olive oil. For dessert I made the panna cotta from Cooking with Italian Grandmothers.

Here’s the entire menu:

Albacore tuna canapés with olives

Garlic soup with poached egg

Stewed pork with juniper berries and porcinis

Semolina gnocchi

Sautéed kale

Fennel and blood orange salad

Panna cotta with plum sauce and blood oranges

stirring the semolina batter

semolina cooked

semolina molded

Semolina gnocchi ready to serve

Garlic soup with egg and fried croutons

Stewed pork

Softened sheet gelatin ready to go into panna cotta

Cooling the panna cotta in an ice bath

Panna cotta ready to serve

Posted in entertaining, hearty | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Pan-fried Tempeh with Lemongrass, Garlic, and Ginger

Trust me. This is better than you think tempeh can be. I’ve had plenty of bland, or just plain nasty tasting tempeh in health food restaurants over the years. But here it is January and we’re all trying to eat better after the holiday excess.

I’ve eaten my share of dal, beans, and leafy greens, and now I’m ready to branch out of my healthy cooking rut, so I thought I’d give tempeh another try.

What’s tempeh? It’s a fermented soybean cake that originated in Indonesia. The fermentation process makes it one of the healthiest forms of soy. It’s more digestible than tofu and it retains live active cultures that are good for your gut flora. High in protein, vitamins, and minerals, tempeh makes a good meat substitute.

It’s made by drying partially cooked soybeans and then adding yeast and letting the beans ferment. The process creates a firm cake that has a full nutty flavor when cooked properly (which, unfortunately for fat phobics, means frying). Don’t worry, there isn’t much oil required. This recipe calls for Kecap Manis, an Indonesian condiment found in Southeast Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute a mild flavored molasses.

Make sure you slice the cake thinly on the diagonal. It makes for a greater surface area to caramelize and crisp while frying. This improves both the texture and flavor. The easy sauce for this recipe can be whisked together in moments. Add it to the pan after the tempeh becomes golden brown, and it will create a tasty sweet-tart-savory glaze. I like to serve this over brown rice with sautéed greens, and a little kim chi or sauerkraut on the side.

Pan-Fried Tempeh with Lemongrass, Garlic, and Ginger

Serves 3

1 tablespoon very finely chopped lemongrass

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane or holes of a small grater

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons Kecap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

A couple shakes of your favorite chili sauce (Siracha works great)

8 ounces plain, unflavored organic tempeh (sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices at an angle to produce wide slices)

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Whisk together the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, Kecap Manis, soy sauce and chili sauce.

In a large sauté pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more as needed. You may need to cook the tempeh in batches because it won’t crisp up properly if it’s crowded in the pan. Add the tempeh slices and let sizzle on one side, without turning, for 3-5 minutes, or until deep, golden brown. Turn and cook on the other side until brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate if cooking in batches.

After all the tempeh slices are browned, turn off the heat, pour off excess oil, if any remains, and return the slices to the pan. While the pan is still hot, add the sauce and shake the pan to make sure the sauce coats all of the tempeh slices evenly. It will sizzle and make a thick, dark, glaze. Serve immediately.

Posted in Asian, healthy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Portuguese Pickled Pork Plus New Class Announcement

Every year, my brother-in-law’s family descends on my sister’s house the morning after Christmas to consume large amounts of pork, poached eggs, and bread fried in pork fat. Even the mostly vegetarians join in for what’s become known as Porkmas.

My sister gets up early and arranges the house so as to fit the whole family in chairs around the living room, and my brother-in-law goes out to the summer kitchen and begins boiling the pork. Everyone arrives at once in a flurry. The younger adults poach the eggs, people drink coffee, fill their plates, talk all at once, and eat with gusto. Then it’s over as fast as it began. Two hours later, the place is cleared out and we don’t know what hit us.  Everyone goes his or her separate way, marking the official end of Christmas. This year, I got in my car to drive home, my brother-in-law’s mother went to the casino, and the late-20 and 30-somethings went on a hike. I’m pretty sure my sister took a nap.

The recipe has been prepared by the men of the Rogers family for at least 100 years, since the family arrived here from the island of Madeira. Nobody knows how the dish may have changed since its days in the old country. If you look at the stews of Goa, in Southern India, and the escabeches of the Philippines, you might notice that vinegared meats are common in countries that were once colonized by the Portuguese. (Although in the case of escabeche, the word is Arabic, and the culinary influence could have come from Portugal via China). Either way, the Portuguese are big on vinegar. Maybe because it cuts the pork fat? I’ve been told that my brother-in-law Nick’s grandmother drank a cup of vinegar a day for her heart.  And yes, she lived a long time.

I’m a little late blogging the recipe. But of course you can make pickled pork any time of year, or bookmark this one for next year. It freezes well too.

Without further ado, the recipe:

3 pounds bone-in, untrimmed pork shoulder

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

2 bay leaves

3 or 4 small, hot dried chiles, broken in half

Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups apple cider vinegar and an equal amount of water

Cut the meat into 1- 2 inch cubes. Put it in a large bowl and add the garlic, bay leaves, chiles, thyme, and salt. Add equal parts cider vinegar and water, to cover. Mix well. Marinate the pork in a non-reactive food safe container or in heavy-duty plastic zip-lock bags for at least 10 days and up to three weeks. Mix every two days to distribute marinade evenly over the pork.

To cook: Put the pork and all of its marinade in a heavy, non-reactive cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or skillet. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook at a vigorous boil until most of the liquid has cooked off, stirring occasionally (about 45 minutes to an hour).

Lower heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is cooked off and the fat begins to render, another 20 minutes or so.

Turn the heat to low and continue to cook until the pork becomes brown and crispy, stirring often.

PS: I’m teaching an indoor microfarming class through the Biofuel Oasis with Nishanga Bliss on January 23rd.

Posted in breakfast, entertaining, hearty, holidays | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Orevnitza—The Serbian Bread we eat at Christmas

This bread is something my mom’s Serbian family made for holidays. Even my mom, pretty much a non-cook, felt duty bound to make it at Christmas time. Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be much information on the Internet about the origins of this bread. I have no idea if it’s still made today in The Balkans.

My aunt’s typed recipe says,  “the Slavic Catholics call it Potica.” My family was Christian Orthodox. I knew a Catholic Slovenian whose family made a similar bread that they called Potica. If you do a Google search you will see references to Potica. However, Orevnitza seems to be completely unknown outside my own family. All references to Orevnitza on The Internet that I can find originated with me, with the exception of this site.

It’s the site for a self-identified Byzantine Catholic Church (Orthodox customs, Catholic beliefs) in Indianapolis that sells baked goods (including Orevnitza) I’ve never heard of anyone but my family eating or making a bread by this name with these ingredients.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the dates are a Middle Eastern influence like many of the other foods in the Balkans. But that’s all I know. Someday, I’ll go on an Orevnitza vision quest. Until then, here’s the recipe:

We like to eat this for breakfast, toasted and slathered in butter.

makes 2 loaves

4 1/4 to 4 3/4 cups flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups whole milk plus approx. 2/3 cup for the filling
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1 cup for the filling
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs (1 for brushing the loaves)
1 pound ground walnuts
2 cups dates, pitted and ground fine in the food processor

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the 1 1/4 cups milk, the 1/4 cup sugar, butter and salt, stirring occasionally, until just warm, but not boiling, and butter is melted.

Add warm milk mixture to flour. Add 2 of the eggs. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on low for 30 seconds. Turn mixer to high and beat for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding the remaining flour as you go until the dough is soft and not sticky.

Shape dough in a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. (My aunt doesn’t say how long. Inside my preheated and then cooled oven, it took about 2 1/2 or 3 hours) Punch dough down.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the ground dates, walnuts and sugar and mix together with your hands to combine. Add milk until the mixture is spreadable. Set aside

On a floured work surface, divide dough into two equal parts. Roll one out into a rectangle about 12 in. x 18 in. and between 1/4 in. and 1/8 in. thick. Spread half the filling evenly over the dough, being careful not to tear the dough. It’s easiest to use your hands. Leave about 1/2 inch around the edges of each piece of dough bare.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Break the remaining egg into a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Brush the edges of the dough lightly with the beaten egg.

To shape, beginning at one of the wide edges of the rectangle, roll up fairly tightly, jellyroll style. Press the edges gently to seal. The egg should act as “glue.” Pinch the ends shut. Gently bend the loaf into a snail shape and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roll out, fill, roll up, and shape the second piece of dough, in the same way, reserving the remaining egg for the top of the loaves. Cover both with a clean towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Brush the surface of each loaf with the remaining beaten egg and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown all over. Cool on a rack before slicing.

Posted in breads and pizzas, breakfast, holidays | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Creamy Polenta with Spicy Crab

It’s funny how recipes are developed. At least in my house. This one came out of the fateful collision between the opening of crab season and a few scenes in a bad Woody Allen movie.

Let me explain.

Crab season always opens just before Thanksgiving when everyone is busy with turkey, stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes. Every year, I rush past the fish counter as I do my Thanksgiving shopping, wink at the piles of crab, and promise them I’ll get to them as soon as I can.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I was watching Whatever Works, Woody Allen’s second to latest movie. The one with Larry David. It wasn’t very good, but I was smitten by the grits one of the characters kept making throughout the movie. They just sounded so good. At the same time, in the part of my brain reserved for menu planning, I was chewing over a menu for a friend’s birthday dinner the next night. I wanted something special. Something extra seasonal. I wanted crab. But I wanted to do more than just throw it on the table with some melted butter and an empty bowl for the shells.

I went to bed with those thoughts stewing. I woke up and shouted (silently) “Spicy Crab and Grits like they do at Hibiscus!” It had all come together in my sleep.

I needed a recipe, or at least an idea, so I started googling around. Nothing except a blog post about the dish from my pal Molly Watson. I sent her an email outlining my idea for recreating the dish to see what she thought. After reminding me about the green onions, she confirmed that I was probably on the right track.

As soon as I took the first bite, I knew I had it. It was absolutely sublime and so so easy. Here’s how I did it. I ended up using polenta because I couldn’t find grits at Market Hall. And ARE they the same thing? There’s so much conflicting information out there, I decided I didn’t care. I also tried making polenta in the oven for the first time and I’ll never ever go back to the stovetop. I gleaned the method I used from this post on chowhound.

This is a terrible picture, but trust me, it’s good

Serves 2

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup polenta

1/4 cup heavy cream

A helluva lot of butter (I’m not sure how much I used. More than a half stick and less than a whole stick)

1 small shallot, cut into a miniscule dice

1/3 of a celery rib, cut into a miniscule dice

About 2 teaspoons good quality spicy ground chile of your choice to your taste (I used a mix of good cayenne, Aleppo, and piment d’Espelette)

About 1 1/2 cups of picked crab meat

3 green onions (white and green parts), chopped fine

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the water, salt and polenta in a heavy baking dish with a lid. Stir together. Pop it in the oven. Remove from the oven and stir every 15 minutes, cooking for a total of 45 minutes. Turn off the oven, stir in the heavy cream, and return the polenta to the hot oven while you prepare the crab.

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the butter. Add the shallot and celery and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chile, crab, green onions, and a little salt if you need it (crab can be salty) and stir to warm through. Add more butter if you like.

To serve, spoon the polenta onto warmed plates or shallow bowls. Top with crab mixture, dividing it evenly. Dig in and swoon.

Posted in Food and Drink, entertaining, from the market, hearty, seafood | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

When Pigs Fly: Bacon Tasting

My friend Ellen’s underground restaurant took an interesting turn last week. Instead of dinner, the meal served was brunch and, instead of Ellen being the sole cook and bottle washer, we partnered up on the menu, with the invaluable help of Leila for shopping, prep and clean-up duties.

The goal of the brunch was to finally give people enough damn bacon. You know what I mean. No matter how many slices of bacon are on your plate, one more is always better. So we set out to make sure nobody left feeling deprived of porky goodness.

Besides pigging out on bacon, our other mission was to taste the offerings of our excellent local bacon producers side-by-side and find out how the slices stack up. Yes, we served bacon flights. The results were, if not exactly surprising, interesting and porkalicious.

The 4 Contenders:

Highland Hills

Prather Ranch

Marin Sun Farms

Fatted Calf

The guests were split down the middle between choosing Marin Sun Farms and Fatted Calf as their favorite.

Us kitchen folk unanimously liked Marin Sun the best for its perfectly fatty mouthfeel and appealing subtle smokiness.

All three of us have commented in the past that the Prather Ranch bacon is too sweet…tasting mostly of maple syrup. This tasting didn’t exactly change our minds but, to me, the bacon seemed less sweet and overall more appealing than I remember.

The Highland Hills….well, it was just wrong. As in, something went wrong with the batch. It was blackish-gray in color with a hard, unyielding texture and completely devoid of the succulence and crispy fat one expects in bacon. There was absolutely no flavor of salt, curing, spices, or anything. To be fair, we tried another package of Highland Hills that had better color, but the flavor was still lacking. There’s definitely a consistency problem there, but if the better package is the best they can do, it’s still not good.

The menu—all vegetables and eggs purchased from local producers


Smoked Salmon with Homemade Crème Fraîche on Anna’s Daughter’s Bread

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Blue Bottle Three Africans

Black Tea

nice looking table eh?

First Course:

Winter Greens Salad with Spiced Pecans and Persimmons

Second Course:

Frittata with Chard, Dry Farmed Tomatoes and Homemade Goat Feta

Potatoes Roasted in Duck Fat

Bacon Flight accompanied by palate cleansing Homemade Sour Plum Sorbet

Main Course:

Oat and Rice Flour Pancakes with Homemade Crème Fraîche and Temescal Foraged Plum Sauce

Platters of Plenty of Bacon, Bacon, Bacon


Raw Truffles from Coracao Confections

Posted in Food and Drink, breakfast, community, entertaining, from the market | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crazy for Curtido

My life and my kitchen have both been overtaken by fermenting cabbage lately. (Is there a support group for that?) Partially, it’s the season. I always want to make hearty, fattier foods when the weather turns cold and sauerkraut and curtido are the perfect accompaniments. Plus cabbage turns sweeter as the weather gets chillier, making it a tastier proposition all around.

The other reason for the abundance of fermenting cabbage is that I’ve been doing a lot of demos to promote DIY Delicious and ferments are interesting to people and lend themselves well to demoing. Fermenting is something a lot of people want to try but have maybe felt intimidated. Ferments are also quick to make in a prescribed amount of time on a stage (most of the time is passive time spent waiting for them to ferment). I always bring a finished batch with accompaniments for tasting.

What type of accompaniments? Well, you can eat curtido, sauerkraut, or other fermented vegetables with beans, in grain bowl salads, atop soup, with sausages, mashed potatoes, on sandwiches, in tacos and quesadillas and even on pizza with the right flavor profile combination.

Lately I’ve been serving curtido with simply cooked Rancho Gordo beans (gotta give the other book some love) and local queso fresco. The demo days have been cold and rainy so that dish has been working out quite nicely.

I had some leftovers the other day and created the taco you see pictured above. To make it, I sandwiched some grated cheese between two tortillas and crisped them in a cast-iron pan to make a taco dorado.  I added beans, leftover steak, avocadoes, salsa, cilantro and a big dollop of curtido. I took another batch to a friend’s birthday party where it was enjoyed with tamales by all the guests.

The only problem: My whole laundry basket smelled like fermenting cabbage because of the tea towels I’d used to cover the Mason jars. Thank goodness a double wash took care of the problem, and prevented me from having to replace all my clothing!

Wild Salvadoran Curtido from DIY Delicious

Time Required: 15 minutes active; 3 to 5 days passive

Curtido is a lightly fermented cabbage salad commonly served with pupusas. Think of it as sort of a Latin American sauerkraut.

Makes 1 quart

1 medium head green cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), quartered, cored, and sliced as thinly as possible

1/2 a small onion, sliced thinly

2 to 3 carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 jalapenos, cut in quarters lengthwise, seeded and sliced thinly

1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed

Put the cabbage, onion, and carrots in a large bowl. Add the salt and, with clean hands, toss and squeeze the vegetables until they start to soften and release their liquid (about 5 minutes). Add the jalapenos and oregano and toss to distribute. Pack the mixture tightly into a one-quart, wide-mouthed glass Mason jar, pushing down on the vegetables with a wooden spoon or your fingertips with as much force as you can until the level of liquid rises above the vegetables. Put a smaller jar inside the glass jar to keep the vegetables submerged. Cover with a clean tea towel and secure with a rubber band. The curtido needs to breathe.

You can see the small juice glass inside the jar if you look carefully. Note how all the vegetables are submerged in liquid. Now all you need is a tea towel and a rubber band to cover.

Leave out at room temperature for about 3 to 5 days. Check once daily to be sure the vegetables stay submerged, pushing down on them if needed. If you see a frothy residue on the surface, simply skim it off. Taste daily starting on the 2nd day. The curtido is ready when it tastes good to you. When it’s to your liking, fasten the lid and transfer it to the refrigerator. It will last months in the refrigerator. It doesn’t really go bad but will soften over time.

Posted in Books, DIY, Latin American, book events, classes, from the market, healthy, hearty, pantry staples | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Home-brewed Sodas Live at 18 Reasons

Though it took place last month (how is that possible?) I wanted to take a moment to blog about the home-brewed soda class my pal Nishanga taught at 18 Reasons.  Nishanga showed class participants how to use ginger bug and whey to naturally ferment sodas. She discussed other starters and I brought along some homemade root beer I’d made using the method in DIY Delicious that calls for brewing yeast.

Nishanga telling them what’s what.

Grating ginger and turmeric for the ginger bug

Slightly fermented ginger bug

Class participants putting together their very own sodas

After the demo, participants put together their own starter batches to ferment at home. Nishanga shared tastes of her lovely home-brews featuring amazing flavors out of her garden in Berkeley. We tried Lemon-Rosemary and Hibiscus Schizandra Soda. For snacking, we used the yogurt we’d drained the whey from to make a quick dip and served it with my homemade crackers from DIY Delicious.

PS: Nishanga recently signed a contract for her own cookbook with New Harbinger Press.

It’s sure to be a great and completely unique book because nobody I know has so much gastronomic talent combined with a professional grounding in Chinese Medicine and nutrition. Congratulations Nishanga!

Straining the sarsparilla for root beer

Root beer fermenting

Posted in DIY, Food and Drink, book events, classes, community, healthy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments
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