Friday, December 16, 2011

Dinner tonight.

Stumbled back upon a cheese/gourmet shop in Newburtport this morning before having lunch with my friend Beth.  I just couldn't resist!

Jambon Bayonne
Humboldt Fog
Pecorino San Gimignamo
Mousse Truffe
Urchrutend Swiss
Country Pate - mine
Brined Olives with Herbs de Provence
A bottle of French red wine
Olive oil flavored crackers

Yummmm.

Happy Eating!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lip smacking Split Pea Soup

This is delish!  Didn't take long to make.  The ham hock is from Green Meadows farm in Hamilton.  They raised pigs on the farm this year.  Very gently smoked.

4 to 6 servings
1/4c olive oil
1 large onion finely diced (I used a white onion)
2 carrots finely diced
2 stalks celery finely diced.  (Try to make all the veggies about the same size)
1 lb bag of split peas, rinsed
11/2 lb smoked ham hock (or your leftover ham bone)
2 quarts chicken stock, water or combination (I used chicken stock)
Salt and pepper to taste. (I would put some salt with the veggie saute and wait to correct seasoning at the end.  The pork might be salty.  I didn't add any at the end)

In a large saucepan, saute onion, celery and carrots over medium-high heat.  Add the split peas and ham hock cover by about 2". (That would have been another quart and then the soup would be too thin.  So I didn't cover the ham hock just the peas.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour until the soup is thick and the peas have almost disintegrated, but not quite.  Season.  Remove ham hock and shred.  Serve with some of the ham on each bowl of soup.

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I need beef!

I'm so sick of Turkey.  Yes, it is a roast beef covered in bacon.  And look carefully, there are several dollops of Criso on the veggies...they get really crunchy that way.  My mom's secret....


No regrets....but yum...

Happy Eating!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dishes

Well, I'm still in food coma from yesterday, but I think everyone had fun.  Had 18 adults and 4 little kids...and the dog was so happy to see everyone!

Appetizers and desserts were provided by our guests:  the family chicken wing recipe, baked stuff shirmp, Mexican dip...then the pies and sweets...and Italian cookies!

The table.  Flowers from Chapmans...love the colors.  They do really great work.  The three arrangements had orchids in them...lovely.
Yes, the walls in our dining room are painted red.  Actually BenMoore "Country Redwood".  The drapery fabric is a reproduction of a men's waistcoat fabric from India c. 1780. Thank goodness my sister has those folding chairs!  Many would have been sitting on the floor!

The Sweet Potato "Cannelloni" was a crowd pleaser.
http://www.marthastewart.com/314723/sweet-potato-cannelloni?czone=food/thanksgiving-center/thanksgiving-center-dishes

Thin slices of sweet potato filled with a puree of sweet potato, spices, parmesan and apples.  Topped with shaved parmesan and toasted walnuts.... It was a little fussy, but I had time Thursday AM having prep'ed the rest of the meal the night before.

More coming!

Happy Eating!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cook-a-thon update.

It's 4:30 Saturday, I'm pooped.  You may remember that my new range hadn't been leveled up to the counter.  Guess who called this morning?  Right.  Lost an hour this afternoon while the guys were here. And I could heat the oven cause they had to move the range.  I didn't get the potatoes peeled...ick.  One stuffing more to make.  Guess I'm not sitting down to watch the Macy's Parade!  I tried.  Taking lots of photos.

Happy Eating!

Monday, November 21, 2011

First Thanksgiving Hurdle!

OH NO!

My elderly neighbors who usually cook the second bird for us called to report:  Their electric oven is dead and replacement parts not due until next week! 

So my parents volunteered to cook one...but I've got to get one of the birds to to their house on Wednesday. They're 25 minutes away.  Wasn't planning on stuffing that one which is good.

Logistics.  It's all about logistics.

Happy Eating!

Thankgiving Time!

Sorry, I've not been posting frequently.

This is my favorite holiday of the entire year!  Just giving thanks, no religious themes, no remember the war dead

I may have not been posting, but I have started cooking for Thanksgiving.  Sunday I made the meat sauce for the lasagna that I'll make Wednesday.  Today I'm making corn bread for a stuffing...and I'm using white corn meal...see who notices...

This is what I've come up with:

Lasagna and Salad
Brined Roasted Turkey w/Traditional Stuffing
(I cover this one with cheesecloth that had been soaked in melted butter and white wine)
Roasted Turkey with Sausage & Fennel Stuffing
Brussels Sprouts w/bacon and walnuts
Mashed Potatoes
Garden Peas
Sweet Potato 'Cannelloni'
Green Beans w/shallots and crumbs
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Whole Cranberry Relish

We're having 20!  More the merrier...the guests are bringing the apps and desserts.

I promise to take some pics and post a few of the more interesting recipes.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pork and Bean Chili

Been off for a while.  Should have a few posts today.


I've been looking for a pork chili recipe and stumbled along one that I modified.

Total Time:  3.5 hours
Cook Time:  2.5 hours

Ingredients:
1/2lb bacon cut into 1" pieces
1.5lbs pork stew meat (looks like beef chuck cubes for beef stew).  I found pork loin, I would rather have found shoulder. Cut into 1" pieces.
1 large white onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 jalepenos, seeded and cut into rings
2c beef stock
1 -28oz can of diced tomato in puree or own juice.  You'll use about 2/3rds of it.  Hold the rest in reserve if needed.
1/3c chili powder
2t dried oregano
1/4t cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1T ground cumin
1T veg. oil

In a heavy bottom pot, at least 4 qts. render the bacon and remove to a paper towel.  Remove all but 2T of the bacon fat.  Add about 1T of canola or veg oil to help raise the smoke point of the bacon fat.

Dry the cubes of pork with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  When the oil is hot, cook cubes in oil until brown.  Cook in multiple batches.  You don't want to crowd.  If you do the pork will not brown.  Remove to a dish when cooked.  When finished, add onions and jalepeno to the pan.  Saute until almost translucent. Add garlic and spices.  Cook until the garlic has become fragrant, but not brown.  Cooking the spices helps to bloom their aromas.

Add back pork and any drippings.  Cook until tender, about 2-2.5 hours.

Set out toppings:  the bacon, minced red onion, minced jalepeno, sour cream, grated jack cheese, avocado...what ever you have.  Serve with warmed nacho chips.
Finished product before toppings.

Next time I'm going to go back to adding a bottle of beer and reduce the beef stock.  It was pretty good!

Happy Eating!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Newsflash - Roast Chicken in the Fireplace

Pictures and technique to follow either later tonight or tomorrow.  Roasting a chicken that is hanging from a string rotating around.  In the 1720's fireplace which is appropriate for this cooking technique.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken with Capers


This one I just dreamed up.  I love the tart saltiness of capers preserved in salt.  The carrots are sauteed and sprinkled with dill.  Chicken served on a bed of arugula that has been lightly tossed with olive oil.

2 thinly sliced pieces of chicken breast dredged in flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 medium shallot finely diced
2T capers.  If using the large ones preserved in salt run them under cold water and then run a knife through them a few times
1/2c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2c dry white wine
Arugula to taste

Put a saute pan on medium heat.  When hot, add the butter and olive oil.  When foam subsides, add the chicken and saute on both sides.  You can remove the chicken and keep warm...but I don't bother.  Add the shallots cook until softened, add the capers. Swish around a couple of time and add the white wine.  Boil until reduced to about half.  Add half of the cheese and stir.  Add the chicken back, if you removed.

When serving sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Happy eating!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mushroom Duxelles

I dreamed this one up this week.  Serves two. You need to plan on some time to saute the mushrooms to the desired doneness.
This is eight ounces of crimini mushrooms brushed off and chopped very fine.  Below is what they look like when finished.
Maybe 1/5 to 1/4 left and they are "browned" very nutty flavor.
.
The rest is pretty straightforward.

Four boneless chicken thin cutlets
Stuff and roll cinching up with a toothpick
Roll in flour, dip in egg and roll in plain breadcrumbs.  I try to let them sit for 15 min or so and then re roll them in breadcrumbs.
Saute in olive oil with one tablespoon of butter

For the sauce

1T butter melted in pot
1T flour
Let them cook a little but you want them to stay whiteish
Add some white wine
Add some cheese
A few grates of nutmeg
Stir constantly until pulled together

Served it with an acorn squash that was roasted with some butter, brown sugar and a couple of grates of nutmeg.

Was really good!

Happy Eating!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Toaster Oven

I love my toaster oven!  It's the one essential electric that I have to have.  A few times in my life my toaster oven became my main oven.  It's happened again!  For the past few weeks I've been oven-less....but my gas cook top is still working.

I've made Delmonico Potatoes, roasted veggies, Aunt Jackie's Meatballs and tonight it's baked acorn squash.

Oh, and btw, it's more energy efficient than my on-the-fritz electric oven.

On Friday, a GE Cafe range is being installed.  It's the floor model from my favorite appliance store.  But hey, full warranty.  Two ovens!  A big gas oven and a small electric "drawer" oven.  Five burners and a convertible griddle.  Can't wait!

Happy Eating!

Sunday Brunch Photos

As promised pics from the Sunday brunch with the Gravlax, Spicy Sausage Omelet and Arugula with Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Pear.

Gravlax in the making

Served with the supporting cast
My bagel decorated
Omelet a la Julia w/salad

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stacking firewood

What does stacking wood have do to with cooking?  Lots of hearthside cooking this fall and winter.  All to be explained.  For a good background the book "Magic of Fire" by William Rubel is great.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Brunch

An old friend is coming for brunch today.

Menu
Bagels and Gravlax with condiments
Arugula Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts, Goat Cheese & Pear
Spicy Sausage Omelets
Bloody Marys, of course


Pics and recipes to follow.

Happy Eating!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gravlax

I've made this recipe many times.  Always delish.  Check my comments for quantities.  I'll post pics when it's finished.

Gravlax – from marthastewart.com

 Ingredients:

1 - Eight lb salmon cut into 2 filets skin on (I use about two 1lb filets w/skin on, but keep the rest of the ingredients the same.
1/4c whole anise seeds, toasted - I use fennel seeds.  Anise seeds too expensive.
1/4c caraway seeds toasted
1/4c fresh ground pepper
1c sugar
1/2c kosher salt
5 large bunches of dill - I use 2 for the smaller quantity
1/4c vodka, aquavit or gin 

Instructions: Remove any bones from the filets. In a medium bowl combine all but the dill and liquid.

On large piece of plastic wrap place one filet skin down cover with spices, dill, liquid and top with the other filet head to tail.  Close plastic wrap tightly and place in a glass baking pan.

Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap.  Put brick on top and place all in fridge. Every 12 hours or so, turn the fish over and tightly recover.  Do this for 3 - 3.5 days. At 4 days remove. I take it out at 3-3.5 days.  Take off spices and dill.  Rewrap in new plastic tightly. 

Can be refriged for up to 4 weeks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roux Who?

A roux.  It's a thickening agent for stove top cooking.  It's the basis for many sauces and gravies.  You can thicken almost anything with a roux.

In a small to medium sized saucepan over medium heat melt 1T of butter.  When foamy whisk or blend with spoon 1T of flour.  You need to cook the flour for a minute or so to get out the floury taste.  From here add 1C of your liquid.  I like to add in three or so pours until it's all incorporated.  I like taking a little time to see how thick it's going to get and depending on the application I might add a little less or more.  Reduce heat and let it bubble.  Correct seasoning.

Some tips: 
  • The longer the roux cooks the darker it gets and it can take on a little bit of a nutty flavor.  Your resultant sauce will be darker as well.  This is helpful when you are making beef gravy.
  • Some people say the liquid should be hot as well.  ie.  Adding hot to hot or cold to cold.  In the case of a roux, it would get lumpy.  I don't heat my liquids....a few more spins of the whisk or spoon.
Simple, quick and a must know for all cooks!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Adobo Chicken and Rice

I really have to post each day...that helps to get the blog indexed more often by Google.  I'll take suggestions...;)

Chicken and Rice in the latino community is a staple and every cook has their own version.  Well, with my oven on the fritz, I had to go stove top.  This one sounded good and was delish!  There is a bit of prep involved.  I didn't use the chicken breasts, only the thighs which I did half.  I halved everything else but the spice rub...which is what makes the whole dish.  I also left out the olives.

If you make, send me pics!  rickwoodland8@gmail.com

via www.foodnetwork.com
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 chicken thighs, with skin, cut in 1/2
  • 4 chicken breasts, with skin, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • About 1/3 cup tomato powder or 1 to 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups long-grain rice
  • 4 3/4 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)
  • 3/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives
  • 3/4 cup pitted picholine olives
  • Freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Squeeze lime juice

Directions

Mix together the salt, granulated garlic, cumin, granulated onion, paprika, black pepper, turmeric and oregano in a small bowl. Season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then season with the adobo seasoning mixture.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Place the chicken in the oil skin side down, in batches, if necessary, and saute until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and cook until the second side is golden brown. Transfer the chicken to into a separate pot with all cooking juices, cover and allow to cook through over medium heat. Keep warm.

Place the browning pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil back over high heat. Add the onions, green and red peppers and cook until soft. Add the tomato powder, garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the rice to the pan, stir to coat the rice in the mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well, cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes add the peas to the pot, cover and continue cooking until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let sit 5 minutes covered. Remove the lid, fluff the rice and gently fold in the olives, cilantro, parsley, oregano and squeeze of lime juice. Add the chicken and stir to combine.

It was a lot of labor but the result was awesome.  Here are some pics from the different stages:

Mis en place...very important in this dish.  There are so many ingredients.

Here are the thigh pieces with the rub on them.
Parts in the pot.  Don't crowd!
Once again, I forgot to take the beauty shot...leftovers instead


A little bit of work, but totally worth it.

Happy Eating!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Drying chiles

When I get my hands on lots of red long, thin chilies I love to string them up.


It's really easy.  I try to pick chilies of different lengths.  You can also use different types of chilies on the string.  To string, get a needle (I used an upholstery needle - a little larger).  I used regular ole' thread, making sure that I knotted the end five or six times.  Push them on one at a time.  I prefer to poke them near the center from smallest to largest.  But it's all your choice.

In a month or two they are dried and when I use them, I break them apart with my fingers.  Great in enchiladas, tomato sauce.  Try some in scrambled eggs.

Happy Eating!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Delmonico Potatoes

Via Foodnetwork...

I used a 7" oval ceramic baker and it was a perfect amount for two people.  Essentially, I about halved the potatoes and reduced the cups to 2+ and the cheese to 4oz.  I used Guryere.  And for potatoes more of a Maine variety.  Oh, with my Thermador oven on the fritz I used my trusty Black and Decker toaster oven!

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
3 cups heavy cream
2 3/4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces Swiss cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with the butter and set aside.

Place the cream in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper, and stir well. Add the potatoes, adding more cream, if necessary, to completely cover the potatoes. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are barely fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.

With a large spoon, transfer 1/3 of the potatoes with some of the cream to the prepared dish, forming an even layer on the bottom. Top with 1/3 of the cheese, and continue layering the potatoes and cheese, ending with cheese on top.

Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings

It was absolutely delish!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poulet, pomme et creme a la Normande

I have decided that this fall is going to be the Fall of The French.  I'm looking to make a bunch of delish French inspired food from classics by Julia to modern interpretations from Bourdain and from this book: "Around My French Kitchen" by Dorie Greenspan. 

This dish was very good.  Nice balanced flavor...smooth with the cream.

Chicken, Apples and Cream a la Normande

AP flour for dredging
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, without tenders at room temperature (I used only two, but kept all the other ingredients the same)
1-2T unsalted butter
1-2T olive oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 mushrooms, stemmed wiped clean,thinly sliced and cut crosswise in half.
1/3c chicken stock
2T Calvados, apple jack or apple brandy
2/3c heavy cream

Put flour on a plate, add salt and pep.  Dredge chicken and shake off access.

Put a large deep skillet over medium-high heat (I used a porcelain covered cast iron pot a make stews in) and add 1T of the butter and olive oil.  When the butter is melted, place the chicken in the pan.  If the pan is small, don't crowd, make a couple of batches.  After 3 minutes flip onto the other side for 3 minutes.

If you're low on butter and oil, add more and then place in the veggies, season with S&P and cook until the new additions are glossy from the butter and oil...cook for one minute more and pour in the broth.  When the broth bubbles, reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked through.

Turn the heat up again and add the Calvados.  Boil until almost all evaporated.  Add the cream and keep on the heat on high cook until sauce reduced by 1/4.   If you had to remove the chicken from the pan, slide them back in to coat and serve immediately.

Took me about 20-30 minutes

Mis en place for the dish



On the plate - yummie!

Happy Eating!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grape Jelly.

I first remember making grape jelly under the age of five in the old kitchen at my parents house.  I remember lots of women all doing different processes.  There was the wood stove in the middle of the room and an old cast iron sink.  Kitchen cabinets with windows in the doors.

Someone was crushing grapes, boiling them, packing them into grape jelly jars...literally Welch's jelly jars.  There was wax for sealing the jars.  I remember tons of jars each year.

The source of the grapes was the grape arbor in the back yard.  A prized possession of the family.

Follow a grape jelly recipe from your favorite source.  Here are some shots of the process to help you along.  This is a two day process so plan ahead!

This is the first time we got grapes on our vines.  Also harvested at my parent's house.

A perfect bunch of Concord Grapes

Washed and ready to de-stem.  That colander is three times normal size

The mash. I think this is cool looking

100% pure grape juice...inedible.  This needs to hangout in the fridge overnight

These are the remnants of the grapes

Next day.  You need to strain out the crystals that formed overnight
Just before adding sugar.


I should have taken a pic of the rolling boil and then the canned product.  Hope this helps when you make jelly!

Happy eating!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Night Dinner

We had a great long Sunday lunch this afternoon at the Continental...review coming soon.  Being not very hungry I put together these crostini.  Heirloom tomatoes, basil, locally made mozerella and parmesan cheese.

Directions:

Slice a loaf for french bread on the angle and toast under the broiler on high.  When they come out rub with cloves of garlic.

Top with tomatoes then the basil and the mozerella and sprinke with parm.  Drizzle olive oil and return to broiler until cheese gets bubbly or brown.


Before
After...and so yummy!

Happy Eating!



Apple Cider

I've been away from the blog for a while.  But have been busy in the kitchen.  Today it was apple cider.  See, ever since it became a requirement to "pasteurize" apple cider sold commercially, we've taken to making our own...borrowing our friends Mary and John's industrial strength juicer.

We picked a 1/2 peck of assorted apples at the local apple tree farm about 2 miles away yesterday.  Here are a couple of shots from our morning adventure.  It's real easy and it tastes great!  Also, it will ferment if left long enough...we're trying to figure out how to make Apple Jack. 

I think we'll head back to the farm in October to see if we can pick up the "drops" for free...

Here's the setup.  From l-to-r.  Robbie, juicer, the fruit prep area (my job)

This is a shot of the monster.  Juice below, refuse into sink.
Finished product.

Happy Eating...and drinking!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm done with designer appliances

OK.  We remodeled our kitchen about 14 years ago.  Within the first three years, the Asko Washer died...but the matching dryer was fine, but no...we had to buy a whole no pair.  We picked Miele.  Since then...other than the sink from the HE washer...all is good. 

Then a year or two later, the entire refridge system of the Subzero had to be replaced.  About the same time the control panel of the Thermidor electric oven had to be replaced.

Now, my oven is on the fritz, again!  Only 12 years old, have already replaced the control panel once - I'll never buy a Thermidor appliance again!  Did I also mention that the Thermidor cooktop is also being a little freaky!  UGH!  GE or a wood stove the next time.  I've wasted so much money on these "precision" appliances.  I'm done.

I'm done with the highend appliances.  Which means I'll never get my AGA stove!  Screw 'em.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Better than Boullion / Finding a Butcher.

You need to have Better than Boullion in your fridge!  I found this a while back.  It really builds up stews/braises.  It's like glace that's even thicker.  Don't need much.  More economical than cans of broth.  This and water is better than the can.

Better than Boullion.  Beef, chicken...the usual suspects.  Saw this today at a little meat market (McKinnons) in Danvers and couldn't believe it was there. 

Oh, did I tell you I'm interview butchers for this fall as I'm going "French".  My favorite, Henry's Market knew what 'caul fat', 'pork fat' and 'pork belly' but had to order minimums that wouldn't be favorable for them.  Savenor's has everything I want, but they are in Cambridge...I've got to ask them if they deliver. 

The girl on the floor at McKinnons was not very helpful.  She should have called in one of the butchers.  I asked her about the pork fat and her answer was that they threw it out at the end of the day...you just have to be here at the right time. That is not customer service.  She should have said:  How much do you want and we'll put it aside for you, just call ahead.  I did buy a couple of blade steaks that are braising right now.  ;)

Blade steaks becoming Smothered Steaks finished with heavy cream and some fresh lemon juice.

Get ready for fall!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Focaccia

I was jonesing for some homemade bread so Focaccia came into being.  It had taken me 40+ years to figure out how to proof yeast correctly!  LOL!  Have your instant read themometer with you 90-110 degrees is a lot cooler than I thought.  Was killing those little buggers. 

This one is with fresh rosemary from the yard, grated Parmsean cheese, black pepper.  Toppings can be whatever you have on hand.

Focaccia only gets one rise.


Happy Eating!

Pork Tenerloin with Tomatillos and Tomatoes

This was easy, but took some time to roast the veggies, but really worth it for the taste.

Serves 2
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1/2 Pork tenderloin sliced into approx 1/2" rounds - approximately eight.
5 Tomatillos, husk removed, rinsed and quartered
3 Tomatoes, quartered
Hand full of cilantro leaves or to taste.
1 Garlic clove, sliced
Salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil

In a sheet pan, line with aluminium foil.  Place tomatillos and tomatoes on the foil drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, move the veggies around to coat.  Cook for approx 30 minutes, checking 1/2 way through.

Dredge the tenderloins in seasoned flour shaking of excess.

In a medium sautee pan, on low, drizzle olive oil to coat bottom.  Add sliced garlic and sautee until just golden and discard.

Turn heat to medium and sautee tenderloins.  When just under done, add the veggies and stir to combine.  Sprinke with cilantro and serve.

The roasted veggies
In the pan
On the plate

Happy Eating!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grab Bag

From-time-to-time I'll just group together some "shorts" or randoms.  Issue 1.

I love making Indian food!  I love how when the spices come togther it makes an entirely different flavor.  It's hard to describe.  It's almost magical how the Indians can pair spices.  Here's a pic of my spice mis-en-place for Kashmiri Chicken, a simple favorite.
Cardomom pods, telicherry pepper, cinnamon stick, paprika, cayenne pepper and a mix of garlic and ginger

Swiss Chard w/Pancetta

Swiss chard that you have chiffonade.  My method it to wash it, remove the stems and then put five or some pieces together lengthwise.  Roll up like a cigar on the short end.  Then "chiffonade" by cutting into approx. 1/2" pieces, unroll and put into cold water.



Onion - about one medium - diced.
Pancetta - at least two 1/4" slices - diced.  I'd double that with a large bunch

Sautee onion and pancetta together.  When the pancetta is browned, add the chard and cook for about 10 minutes until it's not bitter.

Serve immediately.

One of the best things the Italian have created...other than the Internet, Al Gore.

This thing separates the tomato pulp from the seeds and skins.  No need to poach the tomatoes to remove the skins.  Great for canning.  Put up 4 pints with last week's bounty from the farm.
You put the cut tomatoes in the hopper and turn.  Puree one way, skins the other.

Chicken Fricasee Anyone?

Here's a image from my attempt at Julia Child's Chicken Fricasee from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."  If you cook, and don't have a copy of that book...
Chicken, mushrooms and pearl onions in cream/egg sauce.

How can you go wrong?

What to do with all the Cherry Tomatoes?

We get a ton of cherry tomatoes from the CSA every year.  And this year Robbie convinced me to plant two in the back yard....

There are three quarts of very waterey cherries trying to be turned into sun dried tomatoes...it took almost a day!

And last but not least....

Pic of the "girls"

I can't say "Happy Eating" after this pic.

Thanks people!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Burtons Grill Review

Went to have my birthday dinner there last night with Robbie and I broke two of my rules:
  1. Never eat in a mall restaurant, and,
  2. And never eat in a chain unless you are in a strange country and you need Pepsi with ice and a hamburger.
Burtons Grill was both so I didn't know what to expect!  They moved into the new Nordstrom wing at my local mall and I have no complaints. 

The decor was contemporary with almost every table being a booth or a banquette.  Very high ceilings, long drapes.  It was a pretty good sized place, but very intimate.  The bar was good sized with tables.  By the time we left on a Tuesday night, every seat around the bar was full.  Some eating, some drinking, some both.  My only recommendation would be to somehow close the view to the mall while you are dining...but that's just one of my things. ;) Could have been in a Back Bay or Fenway restuarant.

Menu was really good.  They have three of them; a main menu, a veggie menu and a gluten free menu.  Visit their website for details.

We started with the Philly Cheese Steak Egg Rolls.  Awesome! Served with very thinly sliced deep fried onion rings.  For dinner I ordered the Rib Eye, medium rare.  It came to the table perfectly cooked and well marbled with fat.  There was some type of compound butter on top but I forget what that was.  The french fries were heavily spiced and peppered.  Very good.

Robbie had the Lobster and Shrimp Fettucine.  He said it was awesome and there were plenty of leftovers. 

Our server was great!  She was never far away and always watching to see if we needed something. Didn't interupt with leaving new service pieces or removing service plates.

Definately on our list to repeat!  Pricing was city pricing, but the food prep, service and decor well worth the splurge.

Yes, they are a chain, about 8 so from NH to VA.  I think they all have menus that cater a little more to the local crowd.  Great idea.

Well worth visiting.

"Happy Eating!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

Between what we are aloted at the CSA to the two cherry tomato plants, we've had an abundance.  Here's a simple recipe to enjoy.  I'll post a note when we actually get into them.

Yield, about four pints

2 quarts of cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1c white wine vinegar
1c white vinegar
1 quart water
Garlic and fresh rosemary sprigs for each jar

Wash the tomatoes and with a pin prick each one to help prevent the skin from cracking.  (Worked pretty well for me. Only a few split cherries).

Put all but garlic and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and boil for 10 minutes.

Pack tomatoes into hot jars into which you've placed a clove of garlic and a sprig (about3-4") of rosemary.  I found the best method for filling was to put a few in at a time and shake the hot jar to make them settle in better. 

Ladle in hot liquid. Leave 1/2" headspace.  Remove any air...I use a bamboo skewer.  Add more liquid as needed.  Adjust two piece caps.

Process in 180 degree water bath for 10 minutes.


I can't wait to try in a few months!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Girls Starting to Lay Eggs!

I just walked into the chicken coop to change water and give them some "crack" and saw the sights below.  The new girls are starting to lay eggs!  That's the Dominique hen on the box and a couple of strange new eggs in a new location!  Perfect timing!



Yea!

Happy Eating!