Cheesy Ramp Potatoes!

This is my second meal with my Ramps.

I found this recipe for Scalloped Potatoes With Ramps on the Earthy Delights website through a google search for “scalloped potatoes ramps.”

I served these cheesy ramp potatoes with a simple (cheap) ham steak that I fried up in my old cast iron pan. I also prepared spinach sautéed in a bit of olive oil and 2 crushed garlic cloves.
My after thoughts on this recipe...
I would have liked a cheesier, sauce based scalloped potato dish. The recipe just throws the cheese on top in the last 20 minutes of cooking. If you try making this I would recommend making a béchamel sauce of sorts similar to mac and cheese sauce first and drench those taters and ramps. A little smoky bacon would have been a nice addition as well. Still a very good dish enjoyed by a few lucky people I know.
Highly recommended.


Fettuccine with Ramps alla Carbonara

This would be my secret weapon if my pasta dishes ever had to duel other pasta dishes. (Which they WILL someday!)

My Fettuccine with ramps alla carbonara comes out to visit once a year and its well worth it. A very simple dish once you find the ramps.

In the words of Alton Brown, your software:
  • 1 pound of fresh pasta
  • As many ramps as you can stand and or find. I used 15 bunches in this case. Cut the greens, cut the whites.
  • 5 to 10 slices of prosciutto chopped
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of pecorino romano
  • pat of butter
  • 1 egg

While the pasta is cooking, start by sautéing your ramp whites for a minute or two with a pat of butter. Next, add the ramp greens and chopped prosciutto. As soon as the pasta is just about al dente pull it off the heat and drain. Place the pasta back in the pan combine with the cooked mix of ramps and chopped prosciutto. Crack one egg right in there and ever so gently stir it around on low heat. You're not looking for scrambled eggs here but a nice glossy finish on your pasta. Finally, grind a whole lot of black pepper and mix in around 1/4 cup of pecorino romano and enjoy.

I sure did.


From Appalachia with love

From Appalachia with love is all I can say.

Last year, I really started getting into wild foods, farmers markets and cooking great meals myself . I heard of this wild plant called a ramp from various blogs. These ramps reportedly have the shortest harvesting season out of any plant I know, a mere 5 weeks a year tops. I've found that there is only one real farm that specializes in the growing of these wild leeks. The rest are gathered in forest land mostly throughout Appalachia. Last season, I scoured every farmers market and called different produce managers around town to no avail.

Yesterday, while walking through the Whole Foods produce section I spotted a basket filled to the brim with RAMPS! These babies were unmarked and not even priced. I grabbed a bag like a deranged maniac and stuffed it to capacity! My only fear now is how much are they charging for these?

After holding up the line at the register for a good 20 minutes the friendly cashier finally found a sku number and it came out to $2.99 per pound. I'm not sure if she gave up and just entered something else but $2.99 a pound was CHEAP. I've seen them priced online for upwards of $20.00 per pound.

Let me tell you, driving home these stink weeds lived up to their expectations. My car reeked of a very strong onion/garlic scent which I was thoroughly enjoying.

When I arrived home, I washed my little ramps off and happily put them in the fridge. Without a doubt, I will be traveling back to Whole Foods to buy them out.


Somerville says no!

Originally uploaded by dandrewwatts.

The Somerville Journal reports today that balcony grilling is illegal!

Sure there's a little guy in the back of everyone's mind saying this is probably wrong to do, but there is an irresistible urge for grilled meat that takes over, thus causing balcony grilling to prevail in my neighborhood.

If you talk a walk around my neighborhood in Winter Hill most balconies do have some type of grilling device in plain view. On any given summer night last year, I could look out my window and see someone grilling on a balcony or porch within eyesight of my very own balcony. Call me jealous, but if these guys are eating grilled burgers and dogs conveniently from their balcony, why can't I?

I am still deciding on my official stance regarding this issue. I do think if you can be responsible and attentive to your grill and have a working fire extinguisher handy, chances are you'll be okay. Do I really want to take a chance and play with fire? No one ever mentions the legality of this as well. I checked my tenant’s agreement on my lease and there was no mention of this issue. I still wonder what would happen if I burned down my house because I was grilling on my balcony, I think it would be safe to say my lease would be terminated at the least. Would any additional criminal charges be pressed as well? Would I be paying my landlord back for eternity for damages?

Speaking only for myself, I am not too comfortable with some drunken Tufts students hooting, hollering, and playing with lighter fluid next door. I trust myself, but who is watching them?
Maybe this is for the best. Redbones is just down the street anyway...


Worst Slice

There's no question that the Salted Cod has a weakness for pizza, and as a new contributor I felt obligated to blog this slice. If you didn't know already, Regina is Boston's best. Unfortunately, this is only true when you visit the original Thatcher Street location in the North End. I was on my way to a concert on Lansdowne and opted for the food court in the Pru, and made the worst pizza decision of my life. Their first mistake was choosing to not re-heat my slice and instead throwing it in one of those lame cardboard slice-shaped boxes. Lame. Second mistake, ordering two slices. I know good pizza when I see it, and I definitely was not seeing it. But my hunger got the best of me and there I was, sitting in the filthiest food court of one of the bougiest malls with two soggy, under-cooked slices in two hideous (and rather wasteful) boxes. As I was picking at the remains of my room temperature cheese, I realized I actually had a better slice of Regina at the Holyoke Mall. Man. The obvious moral of this pizza tale of woe is always stick with the original. And, for your own amusement here is a collection of me suffering through this poor meal choice.


Red Velvet

As the newest member of the Salted Cod (and the only one with the patience for baking), I was inspired to make a red velvet cake from the delicious cupcakes found at Tonnie's minis. The recipe is quite basic, mainly consisting of cocoa, vinegar, buttermilk, lots of sugar and of course red food coloring. The most important step in baking this cake was creating a paste of unsweetened cocoa and 1 oz. of food coloring to be folded into the batter. As seen in the photos below, the color becomes freakishly red after a few turns.

In the end I realized that the red velvet formula is far more superior as cupcakes. Don't get me wrong, this cake was baked with love and definitely gave me my chocolate fix, but I think because of its intense sweetness it fairs better in smaller doses.


The Salted Cod gets sauced

sample size
Originally uploaded by t8074.

The Salted Cod recently took an unexpected field trip to the Harpoon Brewery this weekend. Harpoon gives tours of their Boston brewery Tuesday through Saturday. It's not so much a tour but more of a beer tasting and information session. No reservations are necessary just show up at one of the specified tour times. Your host talks about each beer Harpoon brews in pretty good detail, while the massive mob is trying to get as many free samples as possible.

The Salted Cod tasted the UFO which is an unfiltered Hefeweizen style beer with lemony overtones. The Salted Cod says this is an excellent summer brew giving house favorite Hoegaarden some stiff competition. Also sampled and pictured on the right is the Harpoons 100 Barrel Series. As explained by our host the 100 barrel series is a special opportunity for their brewers to make something they really enjoy in small batches. This beer is based on a Danish Style Farmhouse Ale they tasted in Denmark. Our guide said Harpoon actually flew the Danish Brewer over to help them craft this beer in its true form. It's a good beer with a lot of different flavors going on.

It's a recommended visit if you have the chance and it's free!



Sometimes the Salted Cod is too lazy to cook.

Hey, it happens to the best of us. With Yoshi's down the street it happens to the best of us about once a week.

Fast Food (in another part of the world)

Falafel pita's are definatley one of my favorite vegetarian entrees. Who can resist that stuffed pita?

Step 1 - Make some grilled pita's

Step 2 - Make some falafel

Step 3 - Put it all together and enjoy*

*Excluded steps - making of homemade cucumber yogurt sauce. Adding of toppings of tomato, lettuce, pickels and hot sauce.


Happy Birthday to The Salted Cod!

The Salted Cod turns one year old today!!

It has been a good year for food, people have become more conscious of where the food they eat is actually coming from. This is actually The Salted Cod's 50th post as well. We have had well over 1000 vistors to the site since our first post. For this upcoming year my goal is to post at least one entry per week.

I would like to thank Steve for a lot of the behind the scenes prep work, he has helped to make this an enjoyable experience for me. I would also like to thank Lisa for her endless help with kitchen cleanup.

Support your farmers market this summer. Join a CSA, try to eat food that was only grown and or produced within a 100 mile radius of your home.

I love getting comments so keep them coming, and if you have any suggestions for the upcoming year let me know.

Eat local, eat less and eat fresh.

Local Harvest
Michael Pollan's resources for "sustainable eating"

Thank You
The Salted Cod