Author Archives: bruceb

Congee comes to Hattie’s

Several years ago while visiting by brother’s family in Novato, California we went out to eat at one of our favorite sushi places in Old Town Novato.  Unfortunately, once we got there I discovered I was not feeling well at all.  Not wanting to ruin the evening I decided to stay but declined to order anything or eat.  The owner of the restaurant showed great concern and volunteered to make me a bowl of Congee.  I had never heard of it before, so he explained that it was a type of rice porridge that many places would serve as a soup.  It was a popular Asian meal that used by people who needed to eat but did not feel they could.   I tried it and fell in love with it right away.  I felt better almost right away.  I also discovered that it was a great meal even when I felt good.  Over the years I have massaged the recipe to become more of a full, 1 bowl, meal that is just as good for lunch as it is for dinner.  I have used pork, chicken, beef and a variety of seafood in it to add some more flavors and texture.

This weekend we are serving a version with shrimp, basil and mushroom.  Be sure to stop in and try a cup.

Below is the basic recipe I developed…. you can add in any vegetables or proteins you like….. I hope you enjoy.

 

CONGEE

I prefer to use stock…chicken, vegetable or pork.   It is great with cut up pieces of shrimp and or fish cooked into it.  The best part about this recipe is that you can really make the whole thing from scratch in about 1 hour and it is perfect for use of all organic or natural products. 

The recipe below is for the base…from there you can add anything in the way of chicken, pork, beef, seafood and or veggies to make it the way you want.  I suggest you be sure to small dice any of the meats or veggies.

 

In many areas the families will serve this base super hot with side dishes of blanched veggies and / or meats that the individual family members or guests can add on their own.

 

1 cup rice (white long grain or brown)
6 cups water or stock
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/3 cup diced carrots (¼ inch dice)

1/3 cup diced celery
¼  teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon Soy sauce
3 scallions/green onions, sliced thin (may sub minced shallots)

1 teaspoon Fish sauce (optional)

3 eggs (lightly mixed  use only 1 yolk discard the other two)

1 ½ tablespoon Corn starch (optional)

Bring stock/water to a boil, add rice.  Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then cut heat to a very low simmer (the lowest setting), cover and let cook for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, check rice to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, stir, ADD BAY LEAF and cover let cook for 5 more minutes. When done rice should be popped and mushy and there should be plenty of broth left over. (if not add more broth)

Keep heat on lowest setting and stir in garlic, ginger, salt, cumin, soy sauce, green onion, carrots, celery and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Then swirl in the lightly beaten eggs adding it in small quantities.  The egg should cook almost immediately and cook into a stringy appearance.

Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove Bay leaf before serving.

NOTE:  Some people (myself included) like the broth to be a bit thicker…..almost like an egg drop soup consistency.  So if you like you can take the cornstarch, mix it with 2 ounces of water and stir it into the mix after adding the eggs.

This soup/porridge can be chilled and re-heated without any problems. I really like to add mushrooms to the mix.  I use shiitake or especially enjoy enoki’s.

You may cook rice ahead of time in two cups of water or broth and then let cool (or use three cups left over rice)  If  you pre-cook the rice you should still use 5 or 6 cups of broth.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND….sort of

We have had multiple requests for more of the fish chowder…. Well we listened and it is ready for today’s lunch.   Now for the disclaimer:  We work very hard to make sure our regular menu items are consistent…. but a special, by it’s very nature is just that.. Special!  Rarely will we ever make two soups exactly the same…. Much depends on the fresh ingredients that are available.  So while the fish chowder is IMO very good…. As good as the last batch… It will be different.  But don’t take my word for it…. come in and try it for yourself.

Now featuring daily IN HOUSE roasted coffees

We feel so good about Rosie and our roasting abilities we are now ready to brew some of our in house roastings and serve them along side our standard offerings.  They have always been available as a French Press or pour over…. And still will be,  but now we will also brew in small batches (gallon and 1/2 gallon) and held for service at our Self serve counter.  As usual we will have 8oz and 16oz bags of the featured coffee available for sale.

What does one do in Florida in mid-Feburary?

Eat lots of Strawberry shortcake that’s what!   The strawberries this year are huge and sweet… so in celebration, and because there is not much else going on in Lutz in February, Hattie’s will be offering Strawberry shortcake all weekend.  Starting February 15 th (serving them all day ) and  serving right through Sunday the 16th.   So be sure to stop in for a big bowl of short bread, strawberries and whipped cream…. the best deal in the area at only $1.49

Rosie rides again

Rosie is getting pretty busy these days… she has found her groove with the Costa Rican and Guatemalan beans and is now adding the Honduran beans to her roasting chamber.  A fresh roast of Hattie’s “Hondo” beans should be ready for sale this afternoon…. and ready top roast by 10am tomorrow morning.   Besides the straight roasts Jonathan (our mad scientist) has been playing with some blends of the Costa Rican and Guatemalan roasts and even if he is our son, I have to say they are outrageously good.  He has put together blends that brings out the best of each in every sip.  Be sure to stop in and ask Jonathan or one of our great staff members to make you a “pour over” or “French Press” of one of Rosie’s newest roasts….. or choose from one of our 14 other coffees brought in from around the world.

If the 14 different coffees brewed 4 different ways is not enough choice for you…ask about doing a special roast just for you.

If the idea of fresh roasted coffee is not enough to get you in here… then maybe you should think about today’s sandwich special.. HATTIE’S CAJUN PO’ BOY.  A perfect blend and generous portion of andouille sausage, Tasso ham, mayo, chipotle sauce, chopped lettuce, tomato and onions on a fresh baked and grilled/toasted hoagie bun.  Served with our Asian ginger coleslaw or sliced fresh fruit.   This sandwich is so big and filling we suggest you eat only one and that you do so before 2 in the afternoon so that you have room for breakfast the next morning.

Hope to see you soon.

Rosie the Roaster puts out for free

Her first roast that is…. Yep, you read that right…. Rosie has finished her first “official” batch (actually two roasts) and to celebrate we are offering to the first 10 people who stop in and ask, a free 8 ounce bag of her inaugural roast “Arenal Express” a Costa Rican coffee.

“Arenal Express” is a blend of the first two roasts… a medium and dark roast.  This blend hits all the right taste notes… a perfect blend of light fruitiness along with a slight flavoring of roasted nuts and lightly toasted dark bread.  Wednesday we set out 1.5 gallons for our customers to sample and it was gone in less than an hour with many asking for us to brew another pot.  We could not be happier…especially since we had to roast these batches without the aid of our data logger .  It was all done the old fashion way…using our nose, our eyes and a little common sense.

SO YOU MAY ASK…..”How do I get a FREE bag of this special roast?”   It is very simple.   Starting tomorrow at 7 AM  … The first 10 people who walk in to Hattie’s and announce loud enough for anyone with in 10 feet to hear…. “I AM HERE FOR MY FREE BAG OF ROSIE’S INAUGURAL ROAST” they will receive an 8 ounce bag of the whole beans.  It is that simple.  We hope to hear from you soon

Friday (1-18-2013) Updates

Sometimes cold weather in Florida can be a good thing….. Hattie’s is always proud to offer at least one fresh made soup each day…generally Monday thru Thursday that soup will be our very veggie vegetable. We make this soup out of the fresh seasonal veggies that we find are available in our area…. we use them as teh garnish as well as the source for our stock… we do not use any animal based products in our vegetable soup.   On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays we will also offer a second selection… this weekend we are making a Chicken and sausage gumbo.  We were able to grab hold of some of Paul Prudhomme’s andouillie  sausage as well as his tasso ham (look for our special tasso ham sandwich) so we will be putting that together with some fresh peppers, onions, celery, okra and chicken breast meat and stock….as well as some herbs and spices to be named later…. So if you get a chance stop in and grab a cup … but hurry up, because in this weather I suspect we may run out early.

Thursday 01-10-13 Specials

Please join us Thursday for some of delicious soups, sandwiches and salads.  Thursday we will be featuring our super fresh roasted veggie vegetable soup as well as a bacon-brocolli cheddar.

Our sandwich is brand new and never been served at Hattie’s before.  We have marinated whole portabella mushroom caps for 24 hours in our special garlic sesame sauce.  Once ordered we will grill the caps, then place it on two slices of our grilled hearty wheat and finish it off by adding fresh lettuce, thin sliced onions and tomato.  Guaranteed to fill you up and make you smile.

If all goes well… we will do our first roast this week-end…stayed tuned.

 

Wednesday Specials

Be sure to start the New Year off right by stopping in and enjoying a 16 oz cup of our soup of the day… either the veggie veg  or our special Island style fish chowder (made with grouper and mahi-mahi).  We are also featuring our fresh made chicken salad as well as offering a bag of chips with the purchase of every sandwich (excluding the Simple Simons).   We look forward to seeing you there…. we look forward to helping you break your New Year resolutions (except for the ones about eating healthier and eating at Hattie’s more often)

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR