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Archive for the ‘self pleasuring’ Category
Sunday, February 3rd, 2013
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed.
3 large shallots (equivalent to the amount a medium onion would give you)
2 cloves garlic
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup pancetta
4 slices bacon
Lemon juice (one lemon)
Finely mince or food-processor the shallots and garlic. Saute in butter with the pancetta until starting to brown on the edges. Deglaze with a few tablespoons of white wine. Add potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are soft.
Puree. Thin with chicken stock if needed. Whisk in lemon juice.
Top with creme fraiche and/or bacon.
Even though, aside from the bacon on top, there’s no cream or much fat in this dish, it’s really really rich. I think as a whole big bowl, it may be a bit much but would be good as an appetizer in a shot glass for a nice dinner.
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
My newest adventure is actually grabbing a recipe from one of the bazillion newsletters I get each day and cooking something from it for dinner that night. One night in and I’m already improvising of course. I never follow recipes! The first recipe was from the Epicurious newsletter: Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù
The first thing I changed about this recipe is the simmer-for-4-hours bit. I didn’t have 4 hours. The second thing was I only had a pound of sausage and no ground pork. I did say “inspiration” right? Oh, and no carrots. I food-processed the onion, celery, garlic and chili flakes. Meanwhile I browned the sausage until it was almost cooked through. I took out the sausage and put the pureed veggies into the pan and cooked all the liquid off of those until the edges started getting toasty.
Then I added the sausage back in, tossed it with the puree and added 2 cans of tomatoes that I pureed in the food processor and one can diced. I like some chunks in my sauce sometimes. I put that on low and let it simmer until it was thick.
I didn’t have any rigatoni…seriously, I didn’t go to the store for this one! I ran with what I had! I had farfalle so I cooked that until it was 1 minute from done then I put the pasta in the pan with the sauce and let it cook the last minute in the sauce.
I learned that trick from Molto Mario years ago! It’s the only way to have pasta. It integrates all the flavors and keeps the pasta from becoming a clump under the sauce.
In the end it only took about 45 minutes for the whole process. I’m sure it would have been far richer and wonderful with 4 hours of simmering and more pork. I’ll try that sometime. This was a lot like a typical go-to pasta dish I make a lot without a recipe but the trick I liked was food-processoring the veg. It integrated the flavors into the meat and tomatoes much more quickly I think.
I thought I’d do a second day of newsletter recipes tonight but all the newsletters were Superbowl themed and I was not interested in quesadillas or chili so the next adventure will have to wait until next week when “ball” season is done.
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
We had a bit of a hectic schedule. It was the first day back to school for my son after the winter break. I was back to work at his school as well after not working for 3 ½ months since my husband’s motorcycle accident and I stayed home as a 24-7 nurse. I raced home from the day at school, prepped the chicken, tossed it in the marinade then put it in the fridge so we could head out to my son’s drum lessons.
We ran back into the house at 5:30 and I got started. I was planning on barbecuing but it was cold out and I didn’t want to spend time outside! So I grabbed my cast iron skillet and turned on the oven.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
2 cups white wine
1 red onion, sliced
1 T whole grain mustard
1 lemon, sliced
2 cups israeli couscous
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup pine nuts
Put all the ingredients into a ziploc and marinate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400?.
Remove from marinade (reserve it for later in the recipe), salt, and sear skin side down in a hot (preferably cast iron) pan until skin is brown and crispy. Turn the chicken over. Top with the red onions from the marinade. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, put 2 cups of israeli couscous in a pot with 2 cups chicken stock and ½ a cup of the marinade liquid. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 10 minutes until tender. Stir in toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.
The timing should work out perfectly if you let your chicken rest for about 5 minutes. Serve the chicken atop the couscous and enjoy!!
Friday, January 4th, 2013
We had Christmas at about 5 different houses this year. Bouncing from family to friends and back again. We wanted to have Christmas day at our own house though. So since we’d already made the rounds, we extended and invite out to any friends who didn’t have a place to go on Christmas…Christmas Orphans. We had a couple of people take us up on the offer and I decided, since it was a small group, to make something a tad fancy: Rack of lamb.
I made the recipe that I love but can’t take credit for, I didn’t make up the amazing combination of cocoa, cumin and coffee that’s in the dry rub. I honestly would never have put those together. But it is so good and is the only way I make lamb now.
Alongside the lamb I served a simple salad of fennel, satsumas and pomegranates in a pomegranate-lemon-shallot dressing.
The lamb turned out perfectly. I had gone to Whole Foods assuming I’d be picking up lamb imported from New Zealand since it’s winter. Turns out there’s a northern California rancher raising lamb year-round now so I got locally raised, grass-fed lamb. I was pleasantly surprised.
I hadn’t planned dessert but my eight year old jumped in and scooped up some Mission Hill Creamery Salted Caramel ice cream and topped it with some chocolate-covered pralines we made for gift bags. Not bad for no planning huh?!
The day after Christmas we went to our friends’ place for their annual Boxing Day party, had a lovely time, and came home with a bag of porcini from their “back yard.” Most were dryers, one was a griller. Perfect, firm, white, awesome.
We mostly struck out on our Thanksgiving foraging trip so this was a treat.
I’m finally coming up for air after the crazy holiday season. Just when I get back to the real world we’ll be leaving for the Cayman Cookout again this year. Our once-in-a-lifetime crazy trip is happening again. I can’t wait. I’ll be reporting live as much as I can!
Friday, December 14th, 2012
1 lb Sablefish fillets
1 egg + water (make an eggwash)
1 cup crushed pecans (I zapped them in the food processor)
sprinkle of cayenne
1 lb kohlrabi with greens
3 cloves garlic, sliced
juice of one lemon
This dish has three elements: Kohlrabi puree (think mashed potatoes), kohlrabi greens and the nut-crusted fish. Multi-tasking is important on this one!
Peel and dice kohlrabi and boil in salted water until softened. Puree with 2T butter and salt to taste.
Roughly chop greens and saute with 3 cloves garlic. When cooked to perfection, add lemon juice off the heat.
Sprinkle fish with cayenne and salt.
Dip one side, the cayenne-salt side, of the fish in egg wash. Press that side of the fish into the pecan pieces until they cover the fillet. Place in hot pan with olive oil on medium-high heat until pecans form a nice crust. Flip it over before the nuts burn, reduce heat to medium and cook the fish the rest of the way through.
To serve, put a blob of kohlrabi puree, a pile of kohlrabi greens and the fillets of fish on top. Sprinkle with an interesting finishing salt.
Friday, October 26th, 2012
I picked up Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings cookbook pretty much on a whim a few months ago. We made way too many dumplings and stuffed ourselves (and our neighbors) silly. Not long after that I saw that she was teaching a dumpling class at Love Apple Farm and had to sign up!
This has been an interesting month for us. My husband got in a motorcycle accident at the end of September (not his fault, driver turned in front of him) and, although he will be fine, crushed his foot badly and has been bedridden for 4 weeks (with at least 2 to go) as it heals. I have been the 24-7 nurse for all the time he’s been home from the hospital…3 weeks now. I lucked out that my mother-in-law came to help out the weekend that this class was scheduled so I got to go do something fun and rejuvenate myself for a few hours. Nothing makes you feel better than mushing together ground pork with wonderful sauces by hand and then getting to gorge on dumplings!
Soooo, we all split into groups around 4 tables and started chopping, mixing, rolling and filling! There were pork, veggie and shrimp dumplings, momos, baked buns and sauces to be made!
It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. We spent the first 3 hours prepping the ingredients and the last hour rolling and filling the dumplings that we then moved into the steamer, the pan for frying or the oven for baking. The results were, across the board, fantastic. From potstickers to honey buns, we ate them all and I even snuck a bao home for hubby to cheer him up a little.
Before we knew it the four hours had passed and we were all sated and sweaty. It was work to crank out what in the end was hundreds of dumplings and buns and with the steamers going, it was like a sauna in there!
I bought another book of Andrea’s, stole my honey bun for my honey, and headed home to return to nursing duty. I haven’t gotten to make anything from the dumplings cookbook since the kitchen remodel. Now that I’m actually back in a functioning kitchen (pictures and article about that to come soon!) I can get back to the more complicated dishes like ramen and dumplings!
Monday, September 17th, 2012
I’ve been remiss in my updates. Truth is, the novelty of campsite-cooking in my garage has worn off. I’m still hanging in there. The kitchen is really coming together. But I’m so ready for it to be done!!!
The cabinets and counters are all in. Sinks, back splashes, window sills, tile back splashes, all in…crown molding is going in today. It’s just taking weeks longer than we planned. Yes, I know, remodels always do but this is MY KITCHEN!!
So, a few things that have come out of the garage in the last few weeks:
Acme pain epi, gravlax, cuke and tomato
Mis en place for chicken basil chow mein.
El Salchichero smoked prosciutto and canteloupe (from my dad). A touch of black pepper.
(Basic soup recipe here
Cucumber soda, gin and lime
This drink helps me cope with the stress of the kitchen ;-)
Cod Cakes: Poaching cod in white wine and garlic.
Cod Cakes: Frying up in olive oil
Cod Cakes served atop Caesar Salad
The cod cakes were similar to this recipe minus the potatoes. I used eggs as a binder and I think they worked better. They definitely kept their shape better than the potato-butter-based ones.
Broiled proscuitto-wrapped figs
One day in the very near future I will be posting pictures of my completed kitchen. Soon….SOON!!! ARGHHH!!!!
Friday, September 14th, 2012
My new holy trinity
Mix and enjoy. Seriously. Holy Trinity. Flavor yum. Hendrick’s Gin works well too. Trust me.