Red or green? Those 3 words make up the offical New Mexico state question. With the Balloon Fiesta around the corner and 2,230 miles between us we can’t help but think about green chile harvest season in New Mexico. Luckily, we received a nice batch of tomatillos from Steve at Parker Farm and decided to use these as a base for our pork chile verde. Given we did not have green chilies to make this truly authentic, we found poblanos to be a worthy contender.

The first step to a great chile verde involves lots of roasting. We grabbed our largest baking pan and threw in our tomatillos along with four jalapenos drizzled with oil.

We roasted our pepper pan at 500 for a good 20 minutes until the skins were slightly charred. While those were roasting in the oven, we utilized all four burners on our gas stovetop as a make-shift chili roaster for the poblanos. The chilies finished around the same time and the house smelled SPICY!

In our over-sized Le Creuset we slowly browned four pounds of pork shoulder and to this we added a puree of the roasted tomatillos and peppers, four cups of chicken stock and cumin to taste. Set to low heat, we walked away and let our stew simmer for 6 hours.

After the stew was done simmering, we had delicious filling for our enchiladas topped with fresh cilantro and jack cheese.

The Salted Cod is not one for showboating but this was an excellent chile verde and we couldn't have been prouder. It brought us right back to our stay in New Mexico.


With a Name Like "Kick Ass.."

The Salted Cod has made it known we have a weakness for cupcakes. We've been eagerly awaiting the opening of Kick Ass Cupcakes in Davis Square since that eye-catching sign first appeared some months ago.

Arriving late in the evening, the door was just minutes away from being locked so our selection was minimal. We purchased two cupcakes. The Lucky was our first, a lemon cake with white chocolate frosting and a few small pieces of candied ginger. As an added bonus, it comes with a small fortune on top, similar to one found in an actual fortune cookie. Also purchased was The Super Chocolate, a chocolate cake (obviously) with a dollop of rich chocolate on top, reminiscent of a thumbprint cookie from childhood and a few chocolate shavings to complete the look.

Over all, both cupcakes were much smaller than we hoped for the price of $2.75 each. They were also on the dry side but this might be due to purchasing so late in the day. Both had great presentation but fell short on flavor and consistency. With a name like "Kick Ass," we were really anticipating a tastier product.

The highlight for us was the fresh milk for sale from Shaw Farm in Dracut, MA. We'll be more likely to stop by again soon just for some milk.

The Salted Cod understands they are a new local business and we plan on giving Kick Ass Cupcakes another shot down the road. Next time we'll be sure to arrive earlier in the day and try a few different flavors, hopefully a Red Velvet if they have one.


Through the mill

We’ve had wild Concord grapes on the mind for a good week now. While riding bikes around the city we came across a patch with literally hundreds. Unfortunately they we’re just out of arms reach. After trying to hatch a scheme to acquire these we finally moved on and decided to look for others.

Yesterday it was just too nice to sit in traffic after work so we decided to go on an expedition in the woods. We had a few spots in mind out side of the city to check for grapes and sure enough they were ripe for the picking. We spent 2 hours picking wild Concord grapes from 3 different locations outside of Boston. We were so excited with our booty we brought our bushel right to the bathroom scale. We walked away with 10 pounds!

This begin phase 1 of wild Concord grapes.

We’ve taken 5 pounds of our grapes for jam making.

Very simple recipe

· Simmer 5 pounds of cleaned wild Concord grapes with 1 cup of water
· Run the simmer reduced product through a food mill. This will remove all the seeds and any tough skins.
· You should have about 6 cups of grapes after the mill. Simmer this with one box of pectin.
· Once dissolved add up to 7 cups of sugar.
· Can away…

This was actually quite labor intensive from vine to canned jam we spent around 6 hours. After the jam sets we will know if it’s worth it.

Some tips for finding wild grapes in your area. We’ve actually been finding them close to sources of water such as streams, ponds and swamps. They have also been on the edge of the wooded areas in sunny locations. Look high and look very low. Don’t be afraid to use your nose to follow the scent.


Just like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Two of our favorite things are coming together this holiday season.

Our favorite badass celeb chef Anothony Bourdain is bringing in the QOTSA boys for his holiday special. Honestly, it doesn't get much better than this. In the past, Bourdain has rambled on about his love for Swedish greaser rock bands such as The Hellacopters.

Emeril take note...

Josh Homme and his Queens of the Stone Age crew give off badass rock'n'roller vibes like it's their job, which it sort of is. So if seeing them dressed to the nines in holiday sweaters best suited to little old ladies doesn't totally contradict their image, it at least complicates it. Truth told, who among us doesn't like to get in touch with his or her inner octogenarian once in a while?

But for what occasion did these hard rocking dudes don such festive duds? A holiday television special, of course. Specifically, an episode of chef Anthony Bourdain's Travel Channel show "No Reservations", according to a report from Rolling Stone's Rock & Roll Daily blog.

The forthcoming episode finds Queens rocking the basement of Bourdain's Connecticut home while he is upstairs cooking a holiday feast for them to enjoy together. In addition to their own tunes, the band also performs a version of "Silver Bells", renamed "Turkey Bells".

The report goes on to say the episode will include "karaoke, surly adolescents, and a Japanese businessman." As for those sweaters, Homme said, "I think someone Googled the word 'horrible,' and that's how we found them."

Above text and photo courtesy of Pitchforkmedia.com



The Salted Cod recently decided to go wild and see what we could forage. We arrived at Blue Heron Farm in Lincoln, MA to meet up with Russ Cohen.

Russ Cohen is the regions foremost expert on wild edible plants. He is a self proclaimed “landscape nibbler” who tries to find something edible everywhere he goes. Russ lead our group of around 35 through out the edges and woods of Blue Heron farm. Organic farms are a great place to find edible species because they do not use pesticides and use only minimal fertilizers. Most farmers don’t mind you roaming along their perimeter looking for species if you ask for permission. The majority of the species we found are considered invasive.

Upon arrival, Russ greeted us with two snacks. First, a homemade fruit leather made from the autumn olive berry. It tasted tart, much like a good cranberry. The consistency was equavilent to the fruit leathers we remember from our snack cart days in school. Russ boiled the berries down with some sugar. The result was put through a sieve then poured onto a baking sheet to dry. After tasting, we then washed the leathers down with some staghorn sumac juice. A tasty and tart tea-like drink reminicent to lemonade. Fairly simple to create, just grab a few staghorn berry clusters and let them steep in water.

To the left is Queens Anne’s Lace. The root of this plant is actually a wild carrot. Amateur foragers beware because the leaves of this species do resemble the poison hemlock.

Further on we came across Sweetfern. The Sweetfern has many uses including insect repellent and poison ivy relief. Colonials steeped the leaves as a tea during the tea party era, wikipedia also lists this species as redneck reefer.

We also found Wood Sorrel which looks like heart-shaped clover and tastes like lemon; a great addition to salads.

We came across immature Concord grapes and learned that grape leaves are excellent for pickling by helping to keep things crisp.

I spotted a huge chicken mushroom , also known as a sulfur shelf, that was just starting to decompose.

Finally, on the way back we came across husk tomatoes , or ground cherries. Deliciously sweet like little candies.

We learned a lot and found quite a few edible species in a small amount of space and time. We even picked up Russ’ book, "Wild Plants I Have Known...and Eaten" to help us identify species on our own on future foraging expeditions. Russ leads many walks throughout the year and if you have any interest on this subject, we highly recommend partaking in one.