Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Anit-pasta and Tortillini Salad

You recognize the tortillini salad from a previous dinner. The anti-pasta was made from leftovers also by mixing olives, cheeses, deli meats, tuna, celery, anchivoies.....pretty much whatever tastes good to you and arranged on a bed of lettuce. It was dressed with vinegar and oil and served with a dry white wine. A very easy supper and a good use of leftovers.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Risotto

This is a rather simple pork tenderloin. It was rubbed with salt and pepper and chopped fresh rosemary and allowed to stand for several hours. The meat is then seared in a hot skillet until nicely browned. Set the meat aside while you prepare the risotto. Heat about 2C of stock to boiling. This can be whatever flavor you like, chicken, beef or vegetable. Saute 2-3T of diced onion in 1T olive oil until soft then add 1/2C arborio rice and saute for 3-4 min. Add the stock by the ladle full stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this process until all the stock is added. While the risotto is being cooked, place the tenderloin in a 400 degree oven. The cooking time will vary depending on the size but about 20 min for a 1 1/2 pound tenderloin. The pork should have an internal temp. of 140 degrees, minimum. Remove the meat to a plate and allow to "rest" for 5 min. Finish the risotto by adding 1C sauted mushrooms and 3T grated parmesan cheese. The tomatoes and onions were dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and white basalmic vinegar.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Greek Chicken Pitas with Chickpea and Tomato Salad

This is a meal assembled at Super-Suppers. . You can read about the concept there. The chicken was cooked in the marinade which appeared to be olive oil based with garlic and oregano, salt and pepper. The marinade is used as the cooking liquid and served on the side. After cooking the chicken is thinly sliced and placed on a pita along with crumbled feta cheese, olives (kalamata would be best) and diced tomato. The salad is chickpeas and diced tomatoes and parsley dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, sauted garlic and cumin. Salt and pepper to taste.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Roasted Breaded Mussels - Mario Batali, Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil, Sauted Broccoli

Prepare 2 lbs of mussels for cooking by scrubbing the shells and removing the "beards". We like to soak them in a sink full of cold water and 1/4C corn meal so that the mussels can flush themselves. Place the mussels in a large pan with 1/4C water or white wine. Steam them until they just open....the cooking process will be finished in the oven. While the mussels cool, mix together 2T grated parmmigiano-reggiano cheese, 1/4C bread crumbs, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2t oregano and 3T chopped parsley. Remove the mussels from the shell and return them to 1/2 the shell and place on a baking sheet. Top with a bit of the bread crumb mix. Drizzle on the reserved cooking liquid and olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 min.
Prepare cheese tortillini according to package directions. In a bowl, mix 2 lbs roma tomatoes, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, minced, 25 torn basil leaves, 1/2C olive oil. Toss together. Drain the pasta and top with the tomato mixture.
The broccoli has appeared here before. It is blanched for 2 min in boiling water, drained and then sauted in a hot pan with minced garlic until crisp tender. We served a dry white wine with this dinner.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fajitas with Refried Beans

This is another good use for leftover meat; chicken, pork or beef; in this case, beef. Slice 2C of the meat thinly and place in a very hot skillet with a jar of chopped green chilis and 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1T dried oregano. Heat through. Place on tortillas with your favorite toppings. Roll the tortillas and enjoy. We like chopped tomato, salsa, avacado, green onion cheese and cilantro. Fresh cilantro really makes this dish we think. We used plain canned refried beans.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage and Noodles

The sauer-braten is a family recipe. You begin by mar-inading a 4 lb. beef rump roast in a mixture of 4C water, 2/c red wine vinegar, 3/4C chopped celery, 2t salt and 1T pickling spice for 4-5 days, refigerated. Remember to do this in a glass or ceramic vessel, not a metal one. After this time, remove the meat, pat it dry and brown it in a large dutch oven. Add the marinade liquid to the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min, uncovered. Then cover the pan and bake for another 3 hrs until the meat is fork tender. Remove the meat to a platter and remove about 3C of the liquid to another sauce pan. Add 24 gingersnaps which have been finey crushed, in a food processor. Stir until thickened. For the cabbage, thinly slice a red cabbage, removing the core. Boil the cabbage in water until just tended. In a pan, fry 4 slices of bacon remove and drain, reserving the drippings. Saute the apples until just tender. Remove the apples and to the pan add 1/4C water, 2T sugar 2T vinegar while stirring and warming. Pour this mixture over the cabbage and apples and crumble the bacon on top. The noodles were made from scratch by combining 2C flour, 3 eggs plus one yolk and about 1/4C water. Knead until a very stiff dough forms. Roll the dough thin and slice into noodles. At this point they may be dried for later use or used fresh. Serve the gingersnap gravy over the noodles and meat. A good full bodied beer is an excellent drink with this meal.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blue Cheese and Caramelized-Onion Squares - epicurious.com

This is a new ap-petizer for us. We made the crust from scratch although we think you could use Pillsbury crescent rolls flattened into a 10"x13" rectangle. The dough was made from 2C flour, 2t baking powder, 3/4t salt, 3/4C milk, 1/4C olive oil and 2T butter. Mix the dry ingregients, whisk together the liquids, pour the liquid into the drys and mix to form a ball. Roll into a 10x13 rectangle and place on baking paper on a cookie sheet. Set aside while you prepare the topping. Thinly slice 3 large sweet onions. Slowly cook them in 2T butter for about 10 min. Add 1T finely chopped rosemary, 1t sugar and 1/2t salt. Continue cooking until the onions are lightly browned and caramelized. Spread the onions evenly on the dough crumble on 6oz. blue cheese. Bake about 20 min at 425 degrees until the cheese is browned and bubbling. We served it with grapes on the side.


Dominican Beans - from epicurious.com

This reminds us of the American southern favorite Red Beans and Rice. Start by pureeing 1 can of pinto beans along with 1C water. Cook 1 large chopped onion and 2 large cloves of garlic in 2T olive oil. Add 3T tomato paste, 1T vinegar and 1C water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the pureed beans and another can of whole pinto beans, a cubanelle pepper which has been halved and seeded, 2 bay leaves, a bunch of cilantro which has been tied with string in a bunch, 1t salt, 1/2t oregano, and 2C water. Simmer, uncovered stirring occationally for about 1 1/2 hrs to reduce and thicken the mixture. Remove and discard the pepper and cilantro. Serve with rice. We served tabasco on the side since the dish has no heat whatsoever. We also think that the dish could be prepared using dried beans with an appropriate adjustment to cooking time. We garnished the beans with chopped cilantro and served it with crusty bread.