Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
This was pot roast week. The recipe assigned, Pot Roast of Beef Braised in Red Wine (p393) is full of tomatoes, so I made the pot roast braised in Amarone instead. But, oops, I got the two kilos of marcreuse for the red wine recipe, rather than the one kilo for the Amarone one. We're not big beef eaters, and that two kilos must be more beef than I've bought in the last five years altogether. No wonder there was so much left over!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Was pleased to discover in Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian that he doesn't like canola oil. It was not available in The Netherlands, so I've only recently tried it. And don't like the taste. What's this stuff good for? I'd thought to use it as a neutral oil, finishing the first bottle and the backup on the shelf, but I won't buy it again. I'll stick with peanut and corn oils when I need neutral, thank you.
We've had a number of heavy meals lately, so a nice soup was just the thing for dinner. I used frozen spinach, which had sat out on the counter all day, but wasn't completely thaw. It was defrosted enough to chop very coarsely but not enough to squeeze water from. The cupboard being quite bare of beef broth, I used chicken stock from the freezer. Since the spinach wasn't squeezed and my broth is fairly reduced, I didn't use the complete amount. Instead of 1:1 for the broth and milk, it was more like 2/3:1.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I made a fundamental error with this assignment. Not finding "sweet Italian sausage" in the shops, I decided to use a dried French sausage instead. I have made dishes that were quite good using strips of sautéed hard sausage, but this wasn't one of them. The sausage itself was quite good, but this dish should be kind of a comfort food, with pasta and cream sauce and some nice pork sausage. The sausage I chose just didn't work.
Ciambella—Grandmother's Pastry Ring, p592
Now, this was a nice assignment, an easy-to-make ... cake? pastry? Whatever it is, it's good, and we've been enjoying the last bits with our morning tea and coffee for several days now. My ciambella looks less ring-like than it ought, I guess, a bit more like a giant bagel instead.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Well, yes, the assignment was really the Ossobuco with Gremolada, but that has lots of tomatoes, so I made the next recipe instead. And, it's a winner.
I had only two veal shank slices, which the butcher assured me would be enough for two:
He didn't think it was necessary to tie a string around them, so I did this at home, but I'm not sure it was really needed.
The recipe calls for eight slices. Since I had only two slices, I used about half of the other ingredients. I probably could have done with a bit less olive oil and butter, but the rest was fine.
The recipe is really simple, as many Italian recipes actually are. You dredge the slices in flour, brown them, and then simmer slowly for a long time in some nice white wine. Check occasionally for the liquid level and add water as needed. I actually added another slog of wine at one point. When the meat is done, remove it from the pan, stir in lots of lemon peel (I microplaned mine) and chopped parsley, then return the meat to coat it, and serve.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Re-reading this month in my Almanach du Gastronome this morning, I learned this interesting fact (and might remember it this time). February. the Roman month of purification, originally had 29/30 days. Then the Romans decided to honor Emperor Augustus by naming the eighth month for him. But the eighth month at that time had only 30 days, while the seventh month, named for Julius Caesar, had 31. And we couldn't have that kind of disparity, could we? So February was reduced to 28/29 days and the extra day was added to the eighth month, so that Julius and Augustus were equal.
Dinner was Lemon-Almond Pork Chops (MC). Roasted some potatoes following Chocolate & Zucchini's instructions—best I've ever made, I think. Sautéed some onions, shrooms, and zucchini for a side.
Dinner was Seared Scallops with Orange and Vermouth (MC), served with spaetzle, and Avocado Corn Salad (MW@Home, MC). For dessert there was Double-Boiler Bread Pudding (MC). Yum.