Friday, October 21, 2011

Last Night's Dinner

Escarole and Beans with Homemade Italian Bread

Boil a chopped head of escarole for five minutes then run under cold water to stop the cooking, drain and set aside.  Saute a minced garlic clove in olive oil for a minute, then add a can of drained and rinsed cannelini beans to it, cook for another minute, then add a cup of chicken stock (I boiled four cups of homemade stock down to one and used it), the escarole, and salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for five minutes and serve with grated Pecorino Romano.

For the bread I used a food processor to mix together a half teaspoon each of salt and sugar to one cup of 100 degree water, then added one packet of active yeast, and then two and a half cups of bread flour, and mix until it forms a ball.  Put the ball in an oiled covered container for two hours and let double in size, then take it out, flatten it and let it sit under a towel for another 10-15.  Fold over lengthwise twice and seal, pinch the ends and with the seam on the bottom put on parchment paper on a baking sheet over a water bath in the oven for 30 minutes at 425.  Spray the top as needed with water to keep from burning.

Last Thursday's Dinner

Pan Fried Breaded Pork Chops with Macaroni and Cheese and Green Beans

Brine the pork chops for a few hours in a quart of water, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, a garlic clove, peppercorns, and parsley stems.  Pat dry and drag through a combination of bread crumbs, salt, and chopped parsley, heat olive oil until really hot, sear on one side, then flip and finish in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes.

For the beans, combine a can of green beans and a can of Rotel tomatoes and chiles in a baking dish and top with toasted onions, then put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Can't remember the mac recipe right now but think it has some combination of butter, flour, hot sauce, milk, cheddar, parmigiana and macaroni.  Pretty basic.

Monday's Dinner

Halibut Piccata with Saffron Rice and Garlic Bread

Lunch Last Week Sometime

Grilled Cuban Sandwich

Had some leftover roasted pork shoulder, so thinly sliced it, and put it, a slice of ham, two slices of Swiss, dijon mustard, and dill pickle slices on bread and cooked it like a grilled cheese.  Dipped in Matouk's Calypso Sauce.

Wednesday's Dinner

Ravioli Bolognese

Did a rotisserie turkey last week, so used the extra to make ravioli.  Ground up turkey thigh and breast, ricotta, parmigiana, egg, milk, pancetta, parsley, sage.  For the sauce, a pound each of ground beef and pork, browned.  Caramelize a chopped onion and add minced garlic, deglaze with red wine, stir in tomato paste, dried thyme, dried oregano and red pepper flakes, cook for a few minutes then add the beef, two cans of San Marzano tomatoes, a couple tablespoons of sugar, and a couple cups of chicken broth, and simmer for a couple of hours after bringing to a boil.

Tuesday's Dinner

Grilled Chicken in Pipian Green Sauce with Fried Potatoes and Poblanos

Game Day Lunch

Chili Dogs

Boars Head all beef dogs, Wolf no bean chili, chopped onion, mustard and shredded sharp cheddar.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Last Friday's Dinner

Tortellini in Brodo with a Kind-Of Caesar Salad

Throw a chicken, a quartered onion, a few celery spears, a rough cut carrot, a bunch of parsley stems and pepper into a pot, cover with water and simmer for 2-3 hours.  Strain and season with salt.

Pull the chicken while warm and throw half of it into a food processor with several slices of thinly sliced pancetta, a big dollop of ricotta, some grated parmigiana, an egg, and some fennel pollen (or toasted then ground fennel seeds).  Make sheets of egg pasta using four cups of flour and five eggs and cut into four inch squares.  Put a little of the filling in the middle of each square and fold over to form a triangle, seal with a little water or egg, then fold all of the corners in and press together to make the tortellini.  Simmer them in the broth until done and then serve.

For the fake Caesar dressing, mash up a garlic clove with some salt and pepper, add a teaspoon or so of Dijon mustard a tablespoon of lemon juice and a shake of worcestershire sauce, stir, then whisk in about four tablespoons of olive oil until it tastes good, then add some grated parmigiana and toss with chopped romaine and croutons (or the parmigiana crips that I used here).

Dinner a Couple of Weeks Ago

Italian Style Strip Steak with Fried Potato Slices and Red Sauce

Rub a strip with garlic, season with salt and pepper and let come to room temperature.  Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat until really hot, then add the steak and cook five minutes until browned, then flip and throw in a 450 degree oven for another five minutes for medium rare.  Let rest ten minutes after you take it out.  Saute a bunch of garlic and mushrooms in butter to top the steak with.

Use a mandolin to slice a peeled potato into thin slices and soak in salted water in the refrigerator for an hour or more.  Drain and dry, then put in a 350 degree deep fryer until just starting to brown, then take out, drain and let cool a little before finishing in 375 degree oil until done.

Serve both with heated red sauce or marinara.   (I use sauteed minced onion and garlic, then tomato paste, then a can of San Marzano tomatoes run through the blender and a little bit of thyme, simmered for an hour or longer).

Thursday's Dinner

Pan Roasted Barramundi on Cheese Grits with Sea Beans and Balsamic Reduction

Salt and pepper the fish, and cook over medium high heat in a little bit of olive oil until brown, then flip and throw in a 400 degree oven for eight to ten minutes.  At the same time, reduce some balsamic way down over medium heat until it's really thick and syrupy, and in another pan, fry up thick slices of bacon sliced into one inch pieces until browned, then add sea beans.

Cook grits with half water and half milk, then stir in some mozzerella, salt and pepper, top with the fish and then the beans and then the balsamic.

Last Wednesday's Dinner

Spicy Grilled Macaroni and Cheese

This was an epiphany after a Manhattan and a glass of wine.

Cooked a box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese, then stirred in a drained can of hot Rotel tomatoes and chiles, then put it on buttered white bread and fried it up like a grilled cheese.

Last Night's Dinner

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Spicy Green Beans

Marinate chicken pieces in buttermilk and a few tablespoons of hot sauce (I use Crystal), then drain, shake in a paper bag with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika, fry in hot oil in a dutch oven over medium to medium high heat, covered and skin side down, for ten minutes, then flip and cook uncovered for another ten.

For the mac and cheese, cook a half pound of macaroni, melt three tablespoons of butter in a pot and add the same amount of flour and stir and cook for a few minutes but don't let it brown.  Add a cup and a half of milk or so and cook for five to ten minutes until smooth, then add a little worcestershire and hot sauce, salt and pepper, then mix in a cup and a half of cheddar and a half cup of parmigiana.  Put in a buttered dish, top with cheddar and breadcrumbs and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Beans are easy.  A can of drained green beans, a can of Rotel tomatoes and chiles a few pats of butter, bread crumbs and toasted onions on top, and in the oven with the macaroni.

Today's Lunch

Lamb Sandwich

Sliced leg of lamb, feta, onion and tziziki on toasted ciabatta.

Marinated a leg of lamb overnight in olive oil, lemon, garlic, fresh oregano and salt and pepper, then roasted it in this bad boy...

...until it was medium.

For the tziziki, seed and chop a cucumber, salt it and let it drain for an hour, then mix it with a cup of greek yogurt, a minced garlic clove, a little olive oil and lemon juice, fresh chopped oregano, and salt and pepper.

Saute a split piece of ciabatta in olive oil until browned and put it all together.