Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rabbit Stew with Tarragon Biscuit Crust

My pot runneth over

Was looking at Scott Conant's recipe for Stewed Rabbit with Tarragon Biscuits reminding myself of all the reasons not to try making it: 1) It's not going to be easy. 2) I've never really baked before. 3) I don't have all the ingredients (Morels? Spring garlic?).

But wow it looked good and I had bought three frozen rabbits from Giant the month before so so so

Thursday, January 19, 2017



Inka Kitchen on 1228 Lincoln Way East isn't exactly easy to spot. If you check the photo below, they have an unpretentious storefront with a small emblem above the door, a roadside sign you see when getting off I-81 to turn towards Gettysburg, and that's about it. Easiest way to remember their location? They're the place beside Kentucky Fried with chicken that tastes much much better.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pennsylvania Farm Show 2016

Penn eats

Managed to go to this year's Pennsylvania Farm Show and other than the horrific traffic ('well-attended' doesn't quite describe it) it was an easy drive.

Tractors cows sheep I can always watch some other time--okay, just not interested. I came for the food, and as state fairs go this wasn't bad.

From the PA Mushroom Growers Cooperative: we tried the grilled portabella in a bun, The Blend (fifty-fifty sauteed mushrooms and meat in a burger), the deep-fried shrooms, and the soup. 

The Blend--taste and consistency of beef, but the umami or meatiness seemed more intense somehow. The grilled portabella was tender and succulent, and had an intriguing tanginess (a marinade?). The soup was creamy, the deepfried crisp with a faint spiciness.

No pictures of the grilled portabella or Blend, sorry; finished them before I thought to take a pic. Here's a photo I downloaded from their Facebook site:

Doesn't look that fancy--no extra bacon, or sliced portabella, and on paper not a blue plate. But tastes just as good.

From the PA Livestock Association we got the goat tacos and lamb stew. The goat was more like a deconstructed taco--taco chips, shredded cheese and lettuce, tomato salsa and ground goat in a small cardboard boat. PennLive thought it was bland and uncreative; I liked it fine.  

We agreed on the lamb stew. I like my stew to have chunks of meat not ground, easier to know you're not eating broken-up hamburger, but the spices--is that clove and cinnamon in the mix?--are intriguingly sweet and fragrant.

PennLive and its restaurant critic Mimi Brodeur called PA Dairymen's milkshakes the best in the fair and you can see why: thick rich creamy, with either strong bittersweet chocolate or soaring sweet vanilla (order the swirl and you have a strong soaring drink). We sent A to order them but he went overboard and got five different shakes. We stared at the five cups--no way could we finish all that, and I could imagine myself carrying all five throughout the fair--say dropping one into a livestock cage ("That's my milk!"). So we did the only sane thing:

"Would you like a shake?"

"Huh? Really?"

"We ordered too many."


"Here, have another."

"Wow, thanks!"

We sure made friends that day.  

Simply Canoli was not on Penn Live's list, but who could resist fried pastry dough stuffed with sweetened ricotta? Especially freshly stuffed, as the lady so deftly demonstrates:

I dare you to turn that down. Double dare you. 

We've been seeing The Original Strudel Factory at one Keystone State fair or the other and of course they had to be here. Specialties include cherry, apple, cheese, Beef Wellington (?!), cinnamon sticks.

Below is a downloaded pic of their sour cherry strudels (ate the strudel before--I know I know, bad blogger! Bad blogger!). The cherry filling is tart and only hints at sweetness, a perfect contrast to the powdered sugar-tinted crisp pastry dough. 

The dough as an Austrian emperor's chef once put it should be so thin you can read a love letter through it; it's borrowed from the Middle Eastern dessert baklava, or phyllo dough drizzled with honey and filled with pistachios (this Deutsch version is far tangier).

The girl at the counter's a bit shy about her pic being taken but couldn't be friendlier dealing with us. Advised us that if we wanted to try everything but didn't have the time or stomach capacity to eat it all onsite we could always buy frozen and take it home, bake @ 350 F for about an hour.

Can't leave the show without looking at the butter sculpture.  Not a crazy design this year, but beautifully executed, a pastoral landscape like what they did for the London Olympics. If you look carefully you can see grazing livestock, and a stream meandering from the woods across the fields, to pour in little cascades to lower ground--not a stunning image but endlessly fascinating, with little pockets of wonders tucked away here, there. Which might be a fine metaphor for the fair, overall.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Not Another Christmas Dinner

Not another Christmas dinner

As with Thanksgiving I'm working Christmas Eve into Day and as with that other occasion the one silver lining in this dreary grey raincloud of a sitch is that I get to post my holiday meal before anyone else, so there!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chic's Seafood

Blue crab blues

Officially blue crab season in Maryland starts April 1 (no foolin) and ends December 15, tomorrow. I hear best time for crabs is in autumn, when they start eating more to survive the long winter; I'd been meaning to drive down to Baltimore to try some.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


What Thanksgiving?

Working this holiday weekend as always so we had dinner on Sunday the 20th instead.

One genuinely silver lining in this crummy cloud--I get to post my pics before anyone else (and if anyone has already posted those are probably from last year or someone's cheating with a time machine).

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Downtown Fusion

Happy to report that the former Fusion restaurant on King Street--a lovely spot but elbow-jostlingly small--has moved to bigger equally attractive digs on 175 South Main Street in downtown Chambersburg.

The menu is still provisional, meaning it's still simple and they plan to make changes, but what's already on offer is a mix of what we're already familiar with, along with  fresh variations.