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Archive for October, 2007

Finally stumbled on two ingredients  i was looking for for a while – trip-tip steak and hannah sweet potatoes.

Beef was marinated and grilled over hickory chips according to a recipe for an ultimate tri-tip steak by Russ Parsons published in LAT couple of years.

And sweet potatoes were oven roasted to produce a caramelized effect of fries. The original recipe came from an excellent Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. Cut potatoes into 1/2" wedges lengthwise. Toss with a some oil and salt. In the meantime heat a heavy cookie sheet in the 450F oven (it should be so hot that potato sizzles on the contact), brush the sheet with a bit of oil and arrange potato wedges. Cook for about 20mins, then turn and cook for 15-20 mins more. The fries should be golden brown and dry outside (that’s why you need a light hand with oil) and fluffy inside.

Israeli salad rounded up the excellent dinner.

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Tacos de Lengua

Tonight plans for bbq were thwarted by a steady rain: nothing at Wegmans’ meat department looked particularly inspiring and i ended up picking couple of veal tongues. Back home i put them to boil still not sure about the dinner menu – it took more thought and additional visit to the store.

1.5 lb tongues were ready in about an hour and a half. I peeled them and returned to the aromatic broth. Just before serving I sliced tongues about 1//2" thick, peppered heavily and salted and seared on both sides in hot oil and butter.

For the side we made a salad of sliced tomatoes and white onions with a lot of crushed black pepper. And a spicy avocado salsa with sour cream, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and parsley, with some lime juice. Radishes. And tortillas of course.

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By the Cookbook: Red Cat

My relationship with the cookbook collection is quite emotional: sometimes it annoys me as too redundant but on other days i find myself immersed in one book or the other fascinated by insights or applicable inventiveness. Yesterday it was The Red Cat that inspired me yet again.

Red_cat_chicken_and_mushrooms

I posted about Bradley’s incomparable pan roasted boneless chicken before but tonight i just went with thigh pieces instead trying to save some time – but in reality it’s probably not possible to find prepared skin on boneless chicken parts and it’s a nuisance to DIY (feels like almost the same effort as deboning a chicken half). generously salted and peppered thighs were cooked perfectly – 5mins in a hot pan stovetop, then flipped and finished for 10mins in 450F oven. Rested loosely covered for 10mins more while i was making broiled mushrooms – one more hit from Red Cat.

Whole white mushrooms are tossed with chopped anchovies, sliced garlic and olive oil and broiled for about 10mins until dry (shake the pan once or twice). Sprinkled with parsley and some good olive oil before serving.

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With that smell of wet leaves in the air it’s common for russian expats to get nostalgic about mushroom hunting. That’s why last Sun found us wandering through Cape Cod woods (in reality small patches of public land squeezed among private No Trespassing properties) . But the weather was beautiful, the foliage pretty and we even found some mushrooms, just enough for a pic.

Mossiness_mushroom

Called mohovik in russian and apparently mossiness in english, it’s not a particularly tasty mushroom. At this point we abandoned the idea of pick your own mushroom themed dinner and just continued walking and enjoying the warm afternoon.

Cape_cod_woods

And then we got back on a motorcycle and had a very nice long ride through Cape Cod, with a stop in Chatham to see the lighthouse and the beach.

Chatham_beach

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Sometimes i love to walk into a good grocery store with no shopping list in hand and let shelves of produce or fish sections inspire me. Tonight Wegmans offered such an overwhelming selection of vegetables that at the end i needed to curb my shopping enthusiasm. Some stuff will be used tomorrow with lamb but tonight it was a pure vegetarian pleasure.

Roasted_artichokes_potatoes

Baby artichokes and parboiled peewee yukon potatoes pan roasted with lemon wedges and whole garlic cloves – insaporire technique by Marcella i mentioned so many times on this blog. Served with my now favorite salad mix from Epic Roots – mache, frisee and radichio.

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Reflecting the Trinity Church

Gorgeous afternoon in Boston – oh the splendor of indian summer. We actually came to the city to explore couple of craft galleries (I’ll post about it separately) but it was a shame to leave right away. "Btw can i finally see the Trinity Church? Do you know where it is?" "Oh sure" – my typical H. – often wrong never in doubt. He has a different building in mind but nonetheless we find the Trinity Church near by. And not only it is magnificent we have a not-to-be-missed photo setup.

Hancock_reflecting_trinity_church

Apparently we’re not the first to notice and make the shot as a quick search on flickr would reveal. But i still consider ours to be one of the best LOL.

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Mario bird take on a traditional sicilian rabbit dish comes from his Molto Italiano cookbook. The recipe looks like a simple multi vegetable braise if not for 5 dried hot chiles. "They can come from your Bobby Flay shelf of Mexican and Southwestern turn-and-burners, or you can use firery Asian or Thai chiles" – says Batali. I had both but decided on ancho chiles for their rich flavor. So something that started as a seemingly simple stew ended up as a dish of quite sophisticated flavor!

Batali_sicilian_chicken

(more…)

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