Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 2

February 27th, 2014

Faulkner with Chris's Toro Oxtail Croquettes.

I didn’t think we could surpass the amount of food and drink cooked and consumed during our first Toro cook the book potluck last month but holy shit I was wrong. This past Sunday the original gang — minus and plus a few — gathered at my friend Tom’s house in Southeast Portland for part two and we put in a full EIGHT hours of cook/eat/drink. We cooked 16 recipes from the book (at the first one we made 11) and It was so much fun that I think everyone hurt at least a little the next day. I know I did. So worth it.

For this round Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking Up A Story and Food. Farmer. Earth. came and filmed. It’ll be awhile before that airs — most likely early summer. They left after a few courses and there were six courses so I’m fairly certain we were all at our finest while they were there. Guess we’ll find out!

We’re going to keep having these parties until we cook through the entire book — Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. Here’s the menu from our second Toro Bravo cookbook party followed by photos from it. I can’t recommend this sort of dinner party enough. Leave any questions about it in the comments below and please, please let me know if you’ve done something similar yourself. I’d love to hear about it. Eat, drink and be merry!

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Jerez Negroni
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Tortilla Espanola
Fennel Salad
Romesco
Butter Lettuce Salad
Pork Rillettes
Squash Dumplings
Braised Lamb with Apricots and Coriander
Squid Ink Pasta
Drunken Pork
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Sherry Cream
Oxtail Croquettes
Potatoes Bravas
Panna Cotta
Limoncello

Tom wet our whistles with Toro's Jerez Negroni.

And then he pan-fried up Toro's Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

Dana and Oliver's tasty Tortilla Espanolla with kale.

Sarah and Alec's Toro Fennel Salad went with.

Oliver prepping his Toro Drunken Pork.

Five hours later. Just kidding. He did lose some arm hair while grilling them though.

Rebecca and Fred filming Chris and Sarah forming the Oxtail Croquettes.

Alec frying them up.

Chris's Toro Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Sherry Cream. So good.

My Toro Squid Ink Pasta.

Lolybite.

Active kitchen.

Taking it all in. Literally.

Loly and Faulkner's Braised Lamb with Apricots and Coriander and Squash Dumplings

Focus!

Soooo much eating.

Oliver got the lucky cinnamon stick in the lamb braise!

Sara and Zo's Butter Lettuce Salad.

And their Toro Potatoes Bravas. Their Pork Rillettes were awesome too but didn't get a good photo.

Endless rounds of Toro food and drink.

The gnome got so drunk and full he pulled down his pants and fell asleep face down in the backyard.

If you decide to host a dinner party like this please, please let me know and send me photos! I’ll post them here. So fun. Eat, drink and be merry AND hairy!

Friend Food Pt. 7

February 13th, 2014

Awhile back I was having a rough week and my best friend Beth in Cincinnati sent me a Cincinnati chili care package. Warmed me through and through. So sweet.

I am so lucky to have the most amazing family of friends. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel gratitude at some point for that. Last night I was talking with my friend Wendy about how I show my love and give love to those I’m closest to through food and how she does the same.

Lucky for me a lot my friends share this trait. My friends have given me so many amazing things to feed me in more ways than one recently as you can see below. And I’ve really appreciated it since I haven’t been able to cook as much lately since the Toro Bravo cookbook dropped and we’ve been busy with events and then some for that along with everything else. I love this semi-regular blog installment because it reminds me of one of the greatest reasons that life is so sweet — friends. The love you have is the love you give. Cook something delicious for someone you love today.

Tasty plum jam from the side-yard tree that my neighbor Michael made.

A bottle of birthday cava from John from the cava vineyard that we visited south of Barcelona in 2012 for the Toro book.

A beautiful mug that my friend Jess made me that has made my mornings brighter.

A holiday Thermos from my friends Rale and Elizabeth and buckeyes from my friend Krista. So lucky.

Fruit turnovers from my lovely neighbor Alison. And flowers!!

Homemade sugar plums and toffee from one of my other amazing neighbors Robin.

Vegans eat pizza too. Michelle and Kylie making their pies at our MLK Day sleepover party.

My fully loaded pizza.

The awesome Chemex coffee maker that my brother and sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. It makes super tasty coffee.

Really yummy pickled onions that Kalera made.

Our New Year's Eve spread at Loly's. Pre-pots and pans banging.

Molassesy gingerbread from my neighbor Mulysa.

Molasses cookies and other sweet sweets from her as well.

Cook something delicious and spread the love!

Friend Food Pt. 6
Friend Food Pt. 5
Friend Food Pt. 4
Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 2
Friend Food Pt. 1

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party

January 16th, 2014

Toro Bravo Salt Cod Fritters window a la Sara and Zo!

I have the best friends. So grateful. Several weeks ago my friend Chris Damcke said we should have a potluck dinner party and invite everyone to cook and bring something from Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. I said that was a great idea and then pretty much left it at that because I felt too busy to organize it.

A couple weeks ago I got a call from my friend Loly inviting me to it at her place! She and Chris made it happen. Sooooo last weekend thirteen of us gathered at Loly’s with all sorts of tasty treats cooked from the book. We filled her kitchen, dinner table and our bellies with all sorts of deliciousness from Toro Bravo. It was so great that we decided to do it again next month — this time at Tom’s house. We’ve also decided to have these parties until we cook through the entire book.

I’ve never done this with any cookbook before but I hope to do more in the future. So fun! And I’m very proud to say that no one had any problems with any of the recipes — not a one. It was all so good and so fun.

Here’s the menu from our first Toro Bravo cookbook party followed by photos from it. I can’t recommend this sort of dinner party enough. Leave any questions about it in the comments below and please, please let me know if you’ve done something similar yourself. I’d love to hear about it. Eat, drink and be merry!

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Radicchio Salad
Potato Salad
Salt Cod Fritters
Chili Shrimp a la Plancha
Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade
Seared Cauliflower with Salsa Verde
Coppa Steak with Salbitxada
Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash
Pepino cocktail
Red Sangria
Panna Cotta with wine poached pears and Campari blood orange topping

Table FILLED with Toro Bravo cookbook food and drink!

So much goodness...

Ryan and Nancy on Toro's Chili Shrimp detail. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Chris checking Toro's cold-smoked Coppa. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Dana and Oliver putting the finishing touches on Toro's Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Me plating Toro's Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Sara and Zo frying up Toro's Salt Cod Fritters on Loly's front porch. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Loly and Faulkner post-Radicchio Salad prep. Photo by Chris Damcke.

Ryan and Nancy taking on the feat of trying all the Toro book foods.

The Chili Shrimp a la Plancha that they made. Mmmmm.

Tom's Toro Potato Salad with chorizo.

Ryan and Nancy's Seared Cauliflower with Salsa Verde from the book.

My Toro Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade.

Toro's Panna Cotta by Chris for dessert -- some with wine-poached pears and others with Campari blood orange syrup.

Wine cork Olympics post-dinner with Tom and Oliver.

If you decide to host a dinner party like this please, please let me know and send me photos! I’ll post them here. So fun. Eat, drink and be merry AND hairy!

Yard Fresh Pt. 29

January 2nd, 2014

I had a big party for my 37th and this kimchi jjigae is one of the things I cooked for it. Really, really tasty.

It’s been a crazy fall and winter with the launch of the Toro Bravo cookbook, our book tour, local events and media and everything else in my life. I really couldn’t be happier these days. 2013 was a big, beautiful year for me — following a very rough 2012 — in fact it was one of the best of my life, if not the best. There’s a term that I learned recently that pretty much sums that up — post-traumatic growth.

Despite the wild ride and burning the candle on both ends I still managed to cook and eat a lot of good food at home and at friends’ and family’s homes and I’m including some of those things here. I hope that you’ve enjoyed a great closing of 2013 and start to 2014 too — food-wise and beyond. Food is one of the great pleasures of life if you let it be — especially if you treasure it and share that magic with those in your life. The love you have is the love you give. Cook something delicious for someone that you love today. Cheers to 2014!

I also made a huge batch of kimchi bacon fried rice for the party. Breakfast the next day...

Citrusy golden beet salad for my friend Michelle's birthday.

Jacques Pepin's delicious Provencal beef stew -- Beef Daube Arlesienne -- loaded with nicoise olives, capers and tomatoes.

Super yummy garlic cheese grits, bacon and eggs breakfast.

Garlic cheese grits, kimchi, bacon and eggs.

Future Toro Bravo limoncello from the book.

I used the juice of those lemons for lemon curd and lemon syrup from Linda's Ziedrich's book.

Aaaaand Grand Central's lemon bars that a friend said were the best he'd ever had. Really tasty.

Toro's crepes with berry syrup and maple yogurt sauce.

Eggs wtih salami, olives, cheese and homemade hot sauce.

Christmas family food tradition -- olives stuffed with cream cheese and roasted almonds.

Toro's Jerez Negroni in the book. Cheers to 2014!

Yard Fresh Pt. 28
Yard Fresh Pt. 27
Yard Fresh Pt. 26
Yard Fresh Pt. 25
Yard Fresh Pt. 24
Yard Fresh Pt. 23
Yard Fresh Pt. 22
Yard Fresh Pt. 21
Yard Fresh Pt. 20
Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
Yard Fresh Pt. 17
Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
Yard Fresh Pt. 8
Yard Fresh Pt. 7
Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

Portland Fermentation Festival 2013 Redux

October 30th, 2013

Festival co-organizers me, George Winborn and David Barber with this year's special guest speaker Sandor Ellix Katz.

We couldn’t be happier about this year’s fourth annual Portland Fermentation Festival. We got Sandor Ellix Katz back as guest speaker, we had more exhibitors sharing fermented foods and recipes than ever, we took the party to another level literally on the rooftop with D.J. Pickle Barrel, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and Upright Brewing, we had advance tickets sales and the talk and first tasting sold out and we had demo’s on everything from natto to nightshade-free kimchi.

It was a stinky good time and thank you so much to everyone who participated and attended! We put Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours and as always we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us every stinking (literally) year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you. Thank you to festival sponsor Willamette Week and to this year’s poster designer Tim Root as well.

If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our website, Facebook and Twitter.

I was able to take a good amount of photos at the festival last week so here they are in no particular order. I know that I missed some exhibitors and I may have even mixed up some names and folks. If so please let me know and sorry in advance. Alright, on to the photos. See you at the stink next year!

Let the madness begin!

Special guest Sandor Ellix Katz's talk.

First tasting!

Perennial festival faves the Biwa crew with their housemade miso. So good.

Andie Thompson sampling her super tasty liquid non-dairy kefir and ice cream.

Connie and Brian Shaw made the trek from Hood River with all sorts of delicious Oregon Brineworks ferments.

Heidi Nestler's very well attended natto demo. Heidi teaches some great cooking classes check out heidinestler.com.

Festival co-organizer Brineyman aka David Barber giving out all sorts of Picklopolis magic.

Tressa Yellig's Salt, Fire & Time kvass samples. As tasty as it is pretty.

Joshua Unterman's beautiful/functional handmade crocks.

Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking Up a Story documenting the stink!

Eric Christensen of It's Alive! with his tasty krauts, raw crackers and bars.

Thomas Trotter's spicy/tangy/yummy fermented hot sauce.

Colin and Kristein Franger's of Blue Bus Kraut brought spicy kraut-chi and tasty straight-up kraut.

Lost Art Kitchen's Chris Musser's super informative nightshade-free kimchi demo. Check out www.lostartskitchen.com.

Sash Sunday's OlyKraut with yummy sea vegetable kraut.

Annie Moss with all sorts of fermenty good Tabor Breads.

Jon got Sandor to sign some of his crocks!

Toro Bravo charcuterie manager Josh Scofield sampling Toro's chorizo with the Toro Bravo Cookbook in tote that I was lucky enough to co-author. The charcuterie chapter was one of my favorites to write.

Choi's Kimchi in the house! Sooooo good.

Party on the rooftop with DJ Pickle Barrel, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, Upright Brewing and Bingo Sandwiches.

DJ Pickle Barrel and one of Portland Fermentation Festival's best, best friends -- Ecotrust's Lola Milholland.

Amanda Englund's Lion Heart Kombucha.

Robert Jordan's tasty sourdough bread and pancakes.

Coreen Stoli's beautiful porcelain crocks.

More madness!

The dynamic Bitz curtido demo duo.

Ivy Stovall's shiso pretty pink pickles.

Eva Sipple's yummy Eva's Herbucha.

Judge D. Finklea and Lindsay Dekey's fruit kimchi and kombucha.

Megan Denton of Able Farms sampled her kraut and kombucha.

What better way to end this with Lynne Van Dusen's beautiful smile sampling her Vine to Brine lacto-fermented sodas?

See you all at the stink next year & thanks for making this one so fantastic!