31 October 2005

our house salad

juice from half a good sized lemon
one garlic clove, pressed
kosher salt
coarse ground black pepper
white pepper
white wine vinegar, 4 T
olive oil, 1/3 c.

combine in a shake-able container. let sit while you make the salad.

green leaf and boston lettuce, torn into small pieces
small red onion, finely diced
celery stalks, 3, chopped
large apple, chopped
cucumber, chopped
spring onions, chopped
large avocado, diced
goat cheese, crumbled, about 3 oz.
red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
bacon, fried and crumbled

toss together, add dressing.

28 October 2005

shellfish in coconut saffron broth

transcribed from Martin Woods on Home Plate. looks good, but kind of a lot of work.

shallots, 3-5
garlic, 2 cloves
olive oil
white wine, 1 cup
mussels, debearded and scrubbed, at least 10
raw large shrimp, deveined, at least half a pound
clams, washed, at least 10
coconut milk, 1 can
leeks, at least 2
carrots, 1 cup finely diced, a handful julienned
celery, 1 cup finely diced
onion, 1 cup chopped
shrimp stock made from shrimp shells, celery, leek, carrot, onion, at least 3 cups
red pepper flakes
beet, julienned

saute the carrots, onions, celery in a little olive oil, over high heat for a couple minutes, stirring constantly. turn heat down and add some white wine to deglaze the pan. continue cooking until soft. meanwhile, put the clams in a pot over medium-high heat and add a cup or so of shrimp stock. they should open in 3-5 minutes, when open, take them out immediately. set aside, cook the mussels in the same pan, removing as soon as opened. add the stock leftover from the mussels to the carrot, onion mixture, as well as another cup or so of the original shrimp stock. simmer for a few minutes, then add at least a cup of coconut milk and a teaspoon or so of saffron threads. continue to simmer.

in a deep saute pan, heat a little olive oil, and sear the shrimp on each side for a few seconds. do not cook through, shrimp should be raw in the middle. remove from pan and set aside. put shallots and garlic in pan, saute for a couple minutes and then add the clams, mussels, and shrimp. add the simmering coconut broth and cook until shrimp is cooked through. add julienned beets, leeks, carrots as garnish.

27 October 2005

when you want something sweet for dinner

3/4 c. mascarpone cheese
1 c. whipping cream
dash vanilla
2 T powdered sugar

to make filling:
partially whip the cream. stir the cheese vigorously, incorporating the vanilla and sugar until cheese is softened. fold the cream into the cheese until thoroughly combined. the cheese/cream proportions can be adjusted to your liking.

1 package frozen berries
juice from one lemon
1/4 c demarara or turbinado sugar
dash cinnamon
dash cloves
berry or orange liqueur

to make berry sauce:
combine berries, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cloves in a saucepan over medium low heat. simmer until berries have broken down to the desired consistency. taste and adjust spices and sugar if needed. add liqueur. thicken with cornstarch if necessary.

3 eggs
1 c milk
1/3 c half and half or cream
1 c flour
1 T sugar
1/4 t salt
3 T melted butter, cooled

to make crepes:
blend eggs, milk, cream, flour, sugar, salt in a blender. chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. spray 7" non-stick skillet with cooking spray and put over medium heat. when pan is hot, pour in three tablespoons of batter and tilt pan gently to distribute evenly. cook until edges begin to brown, 45-60 seconds. turn over and cook another 30 seconds or so until set. transfer crepe to a plate, cover with a paper towel. repeat until batter is gone, re-spraying as necessary and layering a paper towel between each crepe.

to serve:
put a few spoonfuls of the cream in the center of each crepe and roll up. drizzle the berries on top. dust with powdered sugar.

would be good with fancy marmalade, fresh berries, or other fruit sauce also.

26 October 2005

marinade for steak

four cloves garlic, pressed or minced
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 T soy sauce
2 T worchestershire sauce
juice of one lime
2 T wine vinegar (not balsamic)
1 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t white pepper
1 t celery seed
dash coriander
1/4 t cloves
kosher salt
1/2 c olive oil

marinate beef for at least six hours. probably would work for pork, chicken, lamb.

mashed potatoes

Epicurious says these are called "champ" in Ireland. Duncan agrees that this is a traditional method of mashed potatoing over there, but he is not certain that the name is accurate.

6 medium potatoes (any white potato will do)
1/4-1/3 c cream or half & half*
1/4-1/2 c milk
2-3 T real butter
4 scallions/spring onions/green onions/whatever you call them
salt & pepper

roughly chop the scallions, going about halfway up the green part. put them in a small saucepan with the cream and milk. bring to a simmer, cover, and turn off the heat. let steep while potatoes are cooking.

cut potatoes into one inch chunks, put in pot, cover with cold water. do not add more than a dash of salt to the water. cook on medium high until potatoes are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.

drain potatoes well, and mash slightly. add the milk/onion mixture and mash to desired consistency. season to taste.

*I did not say this was going to be healthy. but if you must, you can leave out the cream and/or cut down the butter.

22 October 2005

orzo shrimp feta casserole

3-6 shallots
1 onion
olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
dry white wine
2 28 oz cans canned chopped tomatoes
thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, to taste
lemon juice
white wine vinegar
kosher salt
coarse ground black pepper
red pepper flakes
at least 6 oz feta, crumbled
1 lb orzo or other very small pasta
black olives, preferably kalamata or other brine packed
precooked shrimp

chop shallots and onions and saute in small amount of olive oil over medium heat. after a few minutes, add garlic. cook until onion begins to soften. add a couple good splashes of wine and then the canned tomatoes. season with herbs (I like using thyme, basil, and rosemary), salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg, and a splash of vinegar. simmer for twenty minutes or so, until flavors are blended and sauce thickens somewhat. meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water (do not salt) until al dente, drain. you may want to cut shrimp in half or thirds if they are large or extra-large, ditto olives. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

when sauce is finished, combine with pasta. hopefully sauce will be thick enough to "stick" to pasta and not much liquid will collect at the bottom. stir in crumbled feta, shrimp, olives, and capers.

give a deep casserole dish a spray of PAM. turn pasta mixture into casserole. top with breadcrumbs sauteed with herbs and garlic. bake at 350 until breadcrumbs are golden-crisp.

20 October 2005

fall pork roast

mixed together well:

half a head of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 c dijon mustard
1/3 c molasses
1/3 c cranberry-apple chutney
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 T mustard seeds
1 t dried thyme
2 t dried rosemary
1 T kosher salt
1/2 t white pepper

coat pork roast, let sit until time to cook.

sear meat on all sides, put in oven for half an hour. add onions, carrots, and sliced apples. roast at least another half hour til meat is 140 degrees in the center.

serve with roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and toasted pecans.

17 October 2005

basic chili

2 onions, cut into small chunks
4-8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 lbs beef, pork, veal, or any combination, for stew, trimmed of most fat and cut into small chunks*
1 bottle good beer, preferably a brown ale, nothing too hoppy
1-2 large cans diced tomatoes, or tomato puree**
1 large can whole tomatoes, chopped roughly
2-3 cans kidney beans, drained
white pepper (1/2 t)
coarse ground black pepper (1 t)
kosher salt (1 T)
cumin (1 T)
chili powder (3 T)
cayenne pepper (1/2 t)
cloves (1/4 t)
coriander (1/2 t)
celery seed (1/4 t)
oregano (1 t)

In a large heavy soup pot, over medium heat, saute onions in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, after a few minutes, add garlic and cook until onions begin to soften. Turn heat up a little and add meat, stirring occasionally so that it browns on all sides. I usually add part of each spice here: some kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, a couple tablespoons of chili powder, a teaspoon each of cumin and oregano, a good dash of white pepper and cayenne and cloves and coriander and celery seed. After a few minutes, add at least half the bottle of beer and continue to cook the meat until at least partly done. Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and add tomatoes, with any liquid. Add the rest of the beer if it needs more liquid. Simmer for twenty minutes or so, then stir and add beans. Simmer for at least another twenty minutes and taste. Add more spices as needed. (The amounts in parentheses are roughly what I used last time, but it changes from batch to batch.) Simmer for another half hour or so to let the flavors really meld together.

Serve with sour cream, chopped scallions, corn chips, goldfish, etc.

*I've found that veal marked "for stewing" is incredibly tender compared to some cuts of beef and pork sold for stewing, so keep that in mind or use larger chunks of veal than beef/pork if you're combining them.

**choose puree or diced depending on if you like your chili full of tomato chunks