Raining in CT--what's cooking at your house?
With friends coming this evening, I had cross-cut short ribs in the fridge ready to go in the smoker this morning. But then youngest son (recovering from heart surgery) has pains and needs to be driven back into MGH in Boston. Everything's fine, but coming back at 2 pm, wondering what to do about dinner...
Passed Fresh Pond Seafood and ding! Bought 2 soft shell crab (wanted 4, but they were down to the last 4 and this lady wanted 2, so even though I was there ahead of her, I split them). Bought a pound of sea scallops - very fresh smelling (meaning they didn't smell at all), and 3 each, 1 1/2 lb lobsters - which were listed as "new shell" (soft shell). These turned out to be quite hard, actually. I think that by now the selects and select-plus critters are beginning to harden - even though it will be a while before they grow into their shell.
I have to say that Fresh Pond Seafood is very good, but expensive. They had striper filets for $17.99/lb. My next stop was Whole Paycheck around the corner, and they had the same stripers at $15.99. Anybody, anywhere that has higher prices than WF is making way too much money... At WF, bought a nice spaghetti squash, and some haricot vert.
Got home - steamed Rocky, Rambo, and Tango (yes, I named the critters). Split the spaghetti squash and got it into the oven. Got 3 cakes of tofu out of the tub, and cut into cubes, patted dry. Washed the green beans and into the small steamer.
S&P&cayyene on the 2 soft shell crabs, dredged in flour and dropped them in the fryer. When they were done, fried the tofu. Grated daikon, ginger, and super-thin-sliced a bunch of scallions. I split the soft shell crabs and placed pieces in each of the small app bowls over the tofu. Served with the daikon/ginger/scallions and shoyu - each person to prepare as they wished. (How to stretch 2 soft shell crab into apps for 6 people...)
Diced and smashed enough garlic to kill a herd of vampires. Pan fried scallops with butter, some of the garlic and squeeze of lemon. Forked the spaghetti squash into "spaghetti", tossed with more butter and garlic (&S&P). Sauteed the haricot vert with even more butter and garlic... you can see the theme here...
Cut up lobsters (kept knuckles and tomalley for midnight snack for me...), and dredged pieces of claw and tail in some melted butter and scallions. Split and toasted brochen. Made individual lobster rolls. Also made some chicken salad and placed in the toasted roll with mayo for the non-lobster eater (good... more for us!).
So - dinner plate was the lobster roll (chicken salad for one), with 4 large scallops on the side, haricot vert and spaghetti squash. Also made a salad with some iceberg and farm fresh tomatoes, and made some home made blue cheese dressing.
Wine: a nice Alsatian Pinot Gris. Beer: I had Murphy's stout, Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager, and some Widmer Bros. Heffeweizen in the fridge, so I don't know what was drunk - I'll inventory tomorrow.
Whew! Lotsa work - but it was indeed a labor of love, and well appreciated - as I hope it was for everybody!
I spent so much time pouring through my baking cookbooks that I ran out of time this weekend so, it will be plain old chocolate chip cookies tonight thanks to peachblossom! I did find a recipe that really interests me though for next weekend. They are rolls made like cinnamon rolls but instead of cinnamon, they are chocolate mocha rolls.
Hot as hell in Naples, FL and we're dreading Ernesto...tonight was Soy Lime Grilled Chicken from EPI...also made brownie cookies from an Albertson's (grocery store) give-away recipe card from a few years ago that is quite identical to Martha Stewart's recipe it turns out...amazing! Last night I made a meatless Cooking Light recipe for Couscous with Edamame, Chickpeas and Tomatoes that was really tasty...2 proteins with the edamame and chickpeas I guess but I loved it.
Well, it's awfully dreary in Queens, NY. Raining off and on all day, and rather chilly. But I went nuts at the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday, so we are reaping the rewards of my indiscretion: An antipasto of various salumi including prosciutto and mortadella, sweet pepper crostini, a little salad of organic celery and gorgonzola. Then a green salad (the lettuces this time of year are amazing) with a scoop of corn and tomato pudding from this month's Gourmet--fantastic. We're following up with homemade fazoletti (those big square handkerchief-type noodles) sauced with fresh pesto and a side dish of sauteed patty pan squash, maybe with a little bacon (haven't made it yet). Dessert is in the oven: an upside-down cake with figs, apricots, and mixed berries. Happy Sunday cooking to all.
Lamb chops marinated in red wine, garlic, rosemary, mint, and thyme, lemon juice, s&p and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, grilled with lemon-dill marinated fennel and served over pomegranate couscous.
And it rained, but with some clever umbrella manipulation, we managed to grill it outside anyway . . . on charcoal!
In Maryland it is threatening rain and, the minute I light the coals, it WILL rain so I am going to put off my weekly grill and order Chinese food. The jerk chicken, teriyaki pork chop and veggies for a grilled "ratatouille" will have to wait until tomorrow. A night of marinating will only make the grilled goodies better.
SO -- I am fortunate to live in a tiny little pocket of a sort of Chinatown in the suburbs of DC and there is an authentic Sichuan restaurant that is about to deliver steamed and salted scallion buns, handmade wontons in red hot sauce, spiced pork ribs with s&p, and (my favorite thing) Sichuan fish filet in red hot sauce over cabbage.
It's gorgeous here in Oakland, CA but I've been stuck inside most of the day cleaning out a big back closet that was stuffed with junk and crud. DONE!
So I'm making a plum cake (actually a plum/pluot cake) with fruit I got yesterday at the Berkeley Farmers' Market (a tiny but wonderful market!).
For dinner we're having smoked pork chops from another Berkeley FarmMark vendor - Fatted Calf - which makes its own smoked chops. I always make choucroute when I do smoked chops, but these are moist and the guy said they're great grilled....soooo.
I'm making a big panzanella to go with the chops. Lots of great tomatoes finally arrived after our lonnnnng rainy season this year. I think that's all we'll have, given the plum cake.
CT Downpour. Several teenage visitors from UK stuck in as well. Modified high heat roasted chicken. Mandelined some potatoes, into roasting pan, the two chicks highly seasoned roasting on top. DW to make a big salad and then some broc. Then some Turkey Hill cookies and cream ice cream
Just finished a quick pasta sauce with local heirlooms, fresh spinach. That's for dinner tonight. I've been cooking most of the day, food to be eaten later. So I baked the dacquoise for my DH's birthday cake next weekend. I baked a pan of oatmeal muffins. Smoked a whole Alaskan salmon. Made refried beans. Made channa masala. I have onions caramelizing in the slow cooker.
It's a mixed bag, pretty typical for my eclectic style of cooking. All turned out fairly well though I think the salmon a little bit overcooked. That's dinner tomorrow night, with a dill mustard sauce made yesterday.
Good eating to all too!
Raining in Manhattan too - making French Onion Soup from the Balthazar cookbook, with an arugula salad maybe. May make some little crostini to imitate the most fantastic open face sandwich I've ever had, at Via Quadronno - toasted bread with melted fontina, sauteed mushrooms & truffle oil - to die for. Yes, it's overload with the onion soup - maybe I'll make the "crouton" for the onion soup that way - that might not be bad. I feel fall coming on, so will be cooking a roasted pork loin stuffed w/ prune d'agen this week, but also picked up some lovely wild salmon to cook. Happy cooking all!
In Indiana it is hot and steamy. I am cooking the Bayless recipe for carnitas that is in the Authentic Mexican cookbook. I was lucky enough to score about 5 lbs. of pure lard, not any of the partially hydrogenated stuff, at our farmer's market yesterday. I found pork country style ribs cut from the shoulder at clearence pricing and they have been slowly cooking covered in lard with some lime zest and salt. See my talke of the gawd-awful guacamole I just posted on General Topics. My avacados were not ripe and after pitching the overly processed crap I ran over to the neighborhood Mexican rest. They were out. Their avacados were not ripe either. My last ditch effort yielded success in a smaller grocery's salad bar. I snagged a bit of a chip and tasted it and decided it was edible and just needed a little doctoring. It has all ended well and that pork is turning golden and juicy as the recipe promised. I will warm up some corn tortillas in a bit and we'll have a feast. I guess I need to do something about some beans too.
Yum, chili. Dreary day here in Philadelphia - not rainy but chilly and damp. Making Rachael Ray's greek meatballs. Not a fan of her, she drives me crazy, but found the recipe on the FN site and really like them. Healthy eats - made with ground chicken and frozen spinach. Easy to make and satisfying. Next weekend I will make the recipe for pulled pork I saw on America's Test kitchen this weekend - shoulder roast done on the grill, yum. Links to both are below if anyone is interested. ;) Those cookies must smell wonderful in your house right now...
Eventually I settled on a crab chowder but I seriously considered making spaghetti and meatballs today! I don't think I've ever made it in August before. We're in the 'burbs and had a long damp weekend. But it was a great weekend for cooking.
As I said, I decided to improvise a crab chowder. We wanted something less caloric than a creamy chowder so I basically made a Maryland crabsoup with corn. I had a couple of nice Dungeness crabs in the freezer as well as some shrimp shells but I wanted more of a crab stock. I was able to get a half dozen live blue crabs at Assi and along with a lot of veg plus the shrimp shells they made an amazing stock.
Then I used a couple slices of bacon and added potato, fennel, carrot, celery, leek, shallot, corn, tomato, and red pepper. For seasonings, Hungarian paprika, bay leaf, celery seed, black pepper, dry mustard, thyme, ground chipotle, and saffron.
Give it a good hour with the stock then add your crabmeat and some fresh parsley at the last minute. Because my crabs were cooked and frozen I just picked them and added them, but if you were using fresh crab you could cook them quickly in the soup, then fish them out and pick them.
Yum! It was so good I'm really glad that I've got enough leftover to enjoy it again during the week.