Quinoa was originally grown in high altitude regions of Latin America in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. It is now grown in Colorado and parts of California. It grows naturally in brown, black and red colors. Author Deborah Madison finds the black and red versions take a bit longer to cook— only 30 minutes—while the beige or brown take half as long. But Madison tells us that the red and black varieties are found to be more robust in flavor.
It’s amazing to live in a region of the country where you can find an evening meal at your finger tips. As mentioned last week, oysters, like clams, lobsters and mussels are available year around. Both coasts of the U.S. feature such seafood riches. Up and down the Eastern seaboard and similarly on the West Coast, crustaceans, mollusks and bivalves are extraordinarily available. Wellfleets are prized in New England, especially on Cape Cod. New Yorkers can’t get enough Blue Points. And Kumamotos and Olympian oysters from San Francisco, Seattle and Puget Sound prove the rule that size is no measure of flavor and taste. For those of you who visit Manhattan I recommend eating at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station to experience all of these seafood delights from all parts of the country.
These bivalve mollusks are still eatable and delicious year-round in various forms, but are best when the weather is cooler. The irony is that they are susceptible to bacteria in summer months when many of us think about the enjoyment of clam bakes. The good news is that they are inexpensive year round.
Last week’s column ran the incorrect amount of buttermilk needed for the recipe. Please see the revised and corrected recipe below:
St. Patrick’s Day with all its celebrations, parades, and delicious food and drink are soon to be with us again. One of the most traditional foods associated with the holiday by the Irish and others worldwide is Irish soda bread. While popular year round the bread is especially appealing at St. Patrick’s day. We eat it hot from the oven with jam and sweet butter, on the side of a plate of corned beef and cabbage, for lunch time sandwiches or toasted for breakfast. But the problem with soda bread is that it’s so easy to eat in so many ways.
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