WW-Sole Belle Meuniere, and other things

21 10 2008

I’m on time for a change! How did that happen???  Well, to tell you the truth, I’ve been having back spasms for the past 2 days, so I’ve been off my work desk, organizing labor here at home.  We’ve been very productive!!

Sunday found us home, and catching up the fried fish lesson sounded just perfect to me.  I missed the initial airing of Pommes Pont Neuf (French Fries, twice cooked), so this sounded like a perfect time to add that to our mix. I confess…I didn’t make mayo-tartar sauce.  I was already a little on the tired side from some of my weekend chores, so I skipped that part. I just found another package of cod in the freezer, so…next time!  I loved the anglaise breading.  I, too, used panko.  My photography skills bombed about this time too, so the picture didn’t come out as well as it could have.  Still, twas a right tasty meal…NOT as good as in Vancouver, BC, but tasty nonetheless!

Monday night, the spasms were on the nasty side, so I did something I could throw in a skillet and let cook…lamb curry.  Now, I don’t know if my curry is authentic, or tastes as it should, I just know how I make it and that we like it.  Basically, it’s a braise with curry powder added, and it’s really yummy over rice.  I think Basmati rice would have been good, but I had Jasmine rice handy, so I used that.  And we ate every bit of it.  Not all at one sitting, mind you.

Oh look…what finally got ripe…our tomatillos!  I’m not sure what’s up but we suddenly have a HUGE glut of tomatillos.  First, a dozen or so came in, then some more, then about 3 gallons more…  It’s suddenly Canning Time!  With back spasms going on, standing over a counter processing fruit-veggies-what EVER they are!- wasn’t working for me.  Enter #1 Hubster!  We managed to get the first load all canned by evening, and he brought in that additional 3 gallons he’s going to work on tomorrow.  I think this time we’ll be processing quarts rather than pints.  We did semi-cold pack, the rest may be done more like hot-pack.

And that brings us to the October 22nd assignment for Wednesday Whisk…Sole Belle Meuniere.  Sole cooked the way “Belle” makes them, with brown butter is the literal translation.  We found this absolutely wonderful!  It was light and delicate, yet rather elegant in it’s simplicity.  Neither of us needed any other accompaniments to the fish.  It was lightly crisp, and delicately browned.  Oh yum.

I don’t know what will pop out of my cauldron next. I’m in the mood for food. Slow, complex, wonderful food.  I’m thinking we should have dessert…wonder what Dorie has up her sleeve???  See you next time!


Fall has arrived, and with it…Comfort Food!

12 10 2008

I actually lost 6 pounds in the past year.  Now comes the season where it will be amazing if I don’t put it all back on.  I love Fall food…braises, stews, warm aromas filling the air… Ahhh…. The weather turned off chilly this week.  Here in N. California chilly means it’s finally dropped below 70º.  It’s safe to use the oven again. *Ü*  Our house is a small cottage.  Through the summer months using the oven isn’t pleasant as the whole house heats up.  But now…bring it on!

I did a roasted chicken from Le Cordon Bleu at Home this week.  I forgot to take pictures of it when it came out of the oven.  Dagnabbit.  It was so pretty. And we were starving after smelling it for the better part of an hour!  I wasn’t even feeling up to cooking either.  Go figure.  It was really very good, and I saved the carcass for soup, which is still slowly simmering.  I’ll finish the soup off sometime today.

Then there was something akin to chile verde which we’re calling Chipotle Verde.  I used a pork butt (boneless) cut into bite-sized chunks and seared it, then added diced green chiles, fresh poblanos (tiny red ones), chicken stock, a jalapeno, 2 onions, a bunch of garlic cloves (smashed), a bit of oregano, and the aforementioned chipotles in adobo and cooked it all for about 25-30 minutes in the pressure cooker.  This was the hit of the week.  If I could get my hands on a reasonably priced pork shoulder or butt roast right now, we’d have it again before I forget how I made it.  We’ve eaten it 2 nights in a row and were still purring.  This one is a major keeper.  But then, we really like Mexican food to start with, and this wasn’t too hot and spicy, but it has a bite…a nice warm you to your toes bite.

And eggs…what to do with upteen-dozen eggs?  I know…the girls will slack off some as winter draws nigh, and we are down by one hen.  She wanted to have a nest outside the safety of the fences.  We’d just found where she was nesting too, darn it.  But for an extra night, we’d have had her safely inside the fences.  Whatever got her ate her eggs (we’d left her 4 to nest with) and dragged her off to the wild-lands.  Jasmine found her feathers.  She probably tracked the critter out to the site of her demise.  I’m thinking a raccoon…but we’ve had problems with bobcats here too.  We know there are coyotes as well, but they wouldn’t have gotten in so close without the outside dogs raising a ruckus.  I think they’re used to the raccoon…only Jasmine bothers with him.  And she tried, bless her heart. She tried to let us know.  She just wasn’t as insistent as she was the last time she cornered one of the little masked bandits.

I just stumbled across another blogging group…Bread Baking Babes?  I may have to check these gals out.  I love bread making, I just haven’t done it for a number of years.  I’m actually quite proficient at it.  I even have a great stand mixer to help me out…I could do this quite easily…Hmmmm…I can’t stand it…I’m in search of!  Ready or not…here I come!

Rewinding a few Wednesdays…

5 10 2008

For whatever reason(s), I haven’t managed to get posts done the past couple of weeks.  The last time I posted for Whisk Wednesday was for our Stew of Beef…I missed the veal stew due to a shortage of veal, but I told Shari I’d make Chicken Picatta to make up for it.  And I did! LOL!

In any Picatta dish, the sauce is what makes it.  Broth, white wine and lemon spiked with capers create a luscious sauce that pairs with chicken breast scallops that have been paneéd (pounded flat).  The scallops are very lightly floured, cooked in butter and olive oil just until barely colored, then sauced.  We had a spinach soufflé on the side.

This past week, we were to stew lamb shoulder chunks with potatoes, onions, turnips and carrots.  I took some serious liberties with this concept… I roasted my lamb instead, with the same basic ingredients as the stew called for.  I added beef broth, red wine and water to the roast, and cooked it as they did the stew…only all my vegetables were added to the pot one hour before serving.

Other liberties included NOT turning my veggies.  That’s summer practice, and not fot when I’m pressed for time.  To try to stay in keeping with the reasoning (other than prettiness) of turning veggies, which is to create uniform size pieces which will be done at similar times, I performed my bonne homme hack – I chunked things up the same size.  That way I achieve part of the purpose and pay homage to my inner frugality! LOL!  This came out really well, and we enjoyed it quite a lot, but we both decided we don’t really care for cooked turnips much…unless they’re hiding.

In betwixt and between, I also threw together a Cajun Rib Eye for two…

This evil little beastie is a thick cut ribeye, pan fried in olive oil and butter, 1 minute per side and flip until desired doneness is achieved.  The sauce is made from the pan juices, deglazed with hearty red wine, to which you add 20 or so cloves of garlic and some thick cut mushroom slices.  When that’s reduced by about half, add some beef stock and reduce it some more.  When it’s reduced by half again, stir in 1 Tbsp. of butter and spoon over sliced steak.  Yummmmmm….

Since then I’ve been playing with eggs.  The hens are laying…5 to 6 eggs a day, so we’re pretty much egg-happy here right now.  If there’s a new way to cook an egg, I’m up for it!  Saveur magazine just did a breakfast issue…and I’ve done lots of those recipes recently!  That omelet a la milk-shake machine IS just that fluffy and frothy! *Ü*  I’ll try to get back on track this week.  I’ve got cod instead of whiting, but at least I’ve got some fish! LOL!  Happy Whisking my friends!