Your favorite recent meal
Since most people are suffering in our economy is anyone loving cooking at home as much as I am. Please tell me what you have eaten in your own home that you found delightful recently.
Today I had a sauteed tilapia filet in vermouth butter, a salad with walnuts and strawberries with balsamic dressing and a baked potato. Only the potato disappointed me. My boyfriend and his best pal have rib competitions with bf using a dry rub and pal par boiling first. They are different but it's truely hard to chose.
So come on and tell me Southerners; what ya been cookin'?
Just today, I combined two conceptually irrelevant things; out of sheer necessity and came up with a very satisfactory and easy to make weekday meal, with no vegetable whatsoever (very naughty!). Should have eaten an apple afterwards. The story was like this:
I needed to use up a Sri Lankan Black Curry mix that was originally procured from a very fancy spice store and gifted to me. I also had tamarind and canned coconut milk, again needed to be used up due to an upcoming move. So I got some cheap stew meat and played with all. It was perhaps not the most authentic way of cooking a Sri Lankan Black Curry meal, perhaps the owners of the spice store that brought the whole spices from all around the world would say "sacre bleu!" if they ate my food, but it served us well for a nice weekday dinner:
I thickly sliced onions and sauteed them in grapeseed oil (the only neutral medium I had) until edges just get brownish. Then I added fresh out of the mortar spices, some beef stew meat, browned all. Added one minced garlic and tamarind, just turned it a few times. Then I added water, some coconut milk (I know, I don't measure, not helping), shut the pressure cooker and pressured the hell out of it for some intuitively decided time (seriously, don't know how long). I opened it up, added just a bit more coconut milk and a little bit of the spices to layer and refresh the flavors. I reduced the whole thing to reach the desired level of "stewiness" I like, and et voila!
Meanwhile I roasted some young potatoes. I would have made rice, but since I am moving I didn't have any and didn't want to buy more. And sir, I roasted them in duck fat that was a remainder from an earlier dinner of confit. Guess what? I needed to use the fat up. I roasted them in their skins, just some added salt.
Served these two gastronomically irrelevant things together. The curry had an amazing depth, an umami dark hole, due to the lack of adulteration with other unneccessary stuff, umm such as vegetables. The potatoes were a little strong, and yes rice would have been better, but they felt very decadent. My partner told me: "this is the most meat and potatoes thing you ever cooked". I didn't even want to mention the amount of saturated fat in coconut milk and duck fat to him...
Tomorrow I am eating a salad, or better yet crudites with no sauce!
Sauteed some ramps in bacon drippings, added a thick fillet of freshly-caught, second -year Lake Huron Coho Salmon with garden herbs, and then we broiled it to moist. Served up with fresh local asparagus and linguini with pesto.
Dessert was raspberry Jello, wine was Lakeport Pilsener.
I like the meal. The wine was a bit iffy to me though. Perhaps this instead of the pilsner ;):
Tony Aspler - reviewed April 2007, Winery to Home
Colour: pale straw
Nose: suggestion of oak, smoky, green plum
Taste: dry, medium-bodied, crisp and lively, green plum and gooseberry flavour with a vanilla note
Drinkability: now -2008
Hmmm, not a southerner, not even an American, but I did have a tasty supper the other night.
Four ounces of trimmed top (bottom in the US) sliced thin and placed in the bottom of a large soup bowl. Two cups of homemade salt-free chicken stock plus one cup water and a tbsp of shiro miso brought to a vigorous boil. Two ounces of dried soba noodles dropped into the boiling liquid for five minutes. The broth, while still boiling, poured over the sliced beef. A garnish of finely chopped green onion. Now that's a slurpee.
We've been trying to cook vegetarian several nights a week, to save money and also lower our meat intake. I tend to 'cheat' and add just a sprinkling of chopped pancetta to our beans/eggs/etc, but other than that, we've been enjoying the challenge.
On Wednesday, I made black beans from scratch for the first time, and I was really pleased with them. I mashed up half of them, sauted some garlic, onion, sage and pancetta, added the beans and cooked until thick. Really beautiful flavours. We had them with soft tortillas, fresh salsa, sour cream, grated cheese, etc. and coconut rice (had some left over). Unexpectedly, the creaminess of the coconut rice went really well with the beans. And the leftovers were even better.
So far this week the favorite meal has to be the dinner I made for friends.
Chicken and beef sate with ginger/garlic soy sauce
Shrimp and pineapple sate
And then salmon wrapped in foil with cilantro,mint, scallions over baby greens with a dressing of soy, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger reduced and then add a little water, vinegar, and served warm. The salmon is served warm on the ice cold greens, and the dressing warm too. Everyone protested"too much food!" Ha, they cleaned their plates and there was very little left over. The salmon salad is to die. I used baby greens, fresh asparagus and added, red cabblage, lots of cilantro, and about half as much mint. Was so good...
Tonight- fresh rice paper wraps with spicy mango and pineapple dipping sauce...gotta use the herbs up!
I took ground beef, mixed in Penzey's greek seasoning mix and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Then I took it out and made kofta kebobs (kebabs?) on skewers and grilled them. Served with tzatziki, fresh tomato, and onion. Wish I had some feta and pita to go with it, but it was still good just like that. :)
I rarely cook (live in Manhattan, eat out more than eat in), but one of my highlight recent meal at home was a steak dinner with my friends. We started with some burrata with heirloom tomato and beets and some Fra Mani's salami as cold appetizers. Then proceed to my new creation, "popcorn sweetbreads". Then the star of the night was of course the dry aged ribeye steaks. Those dry aged steaks were so flavorful that we licked the bone of the ribeye (yes, that's the beauty of eating at home, no one could see us!) We were so full after the steaks but we did manage to have some gelato drizzed with some balsamic syrup.
The best thing, afterall, was to have a great meal with the people that you love :D
I made a simple, creamy asparagus soup tonight and substituted in a dollop of mascarpone cheese for the usual heavy cream. I garnished it with toasted asparagus tips and a little truffle oil. It was delicious served with a thick slice of crusty sourdough bread hot from the oven. A little heavy for summer but a terrific meal nonetheless.
For dessert, I beat some heavy cream with mascarpone cheese and added sugar, cocoa powder, and some freshly minced mint leaves at the very end. I placed it next to a bowl piled high with fresh strawberries and ate it while watching Top Chef.
Funnily enough, this past weekend I had a little BBQ with friends and made some really exotic dishes... some with expensive mushrooms as the focus, another with Cod and another with shrimp. They all turned out pretty good.
One of the attendees was a really picky eater and asked if I was serving potatos. She had seen a bag on the kitchen counter. I asked if there was a particular dish she wanted and the reply was... cooked, with salt and ketchup. So I quicky chopped up a batch and boiled them, while kicking back with the gang. When they were about done, I drained the cubes and split them into 3 plates. One became a potato salad with german mustard, mayo, garlic, fresh chives and other ingredients. Another became... boiled potato chunks, lightly salted. The remaining third went back into a wok of hot oil and gralic. I mixed in some onion and curry spices, and they ended up like really thick fries.
All three were devoured with abandon. In short, the most simple and cheapest dishes got the best results. It reminds me a bit of the last scene in "Big Night" where the amazingly talented cooks whipped up a final dish of a fried egg and bread, nothing more.
Last night my southern daddy made some awesome Indian food: Bhindi (okra sauteed with onion and Indian spices, then steamed in some lemon juice), chicken korma (we cheated and purchased a jar of sauce at the Indian grocery), raita (spiced plain yogurt with shredded cucumber), basmati rice with raisins, and (drum roll, please): homemade naan using week-old refrigerated dough from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. Genius, that book. The naan turned out more like Indian fry bread (the OTHER Indians), since we used a cast-iron skillet and ghee as recommended in the book. Still delicious and it couldn't have been easier! And all of us white southerners loved it.
I cooked a huge meal last night for a going away dinner for two good friends.. i made a big pot of shrimp and grits... my syle. It was WONDERFUL and enough to feed six adults and two kids, with leftovers for all. This is a dish that always gets rave reviews and is served best with some peppery white wine or sweet tea for the Baptists.
2 cans of stewed tomatoes
1 cup of chicken broth
1 stick of salted butter
1 large purple onion
1 lb zuchinni- thickly sliced
1 lb yellow squash- thickly sliced
2 large green bell peppers
3 heaping tablespoons of garlic
leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
couple of dashes of Louisianna Hot sauce (too much spoils it!! think savory and not hot)
let this pot slow simmer for roughly 45 minutes- until all of the squash and zuchhini are tender. In the last five minutes, mix in 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream and 2 lbs of freshly peeled and devined large shrimp. Let slow simmer until shrimp are pink. (You can also add 1/2 lb of good chopped bacon into the pot for additional smoky flavor).
Serve this delicious snack immediately over savory cheese grits (if you don't know how to make, you should't be considered a southna'), with a side of corn bread, collards, and sweet potatoe pie!!
Thank you for this recipe!!
As for topic,
Last week I fixed balsamic lamb chops with gnocchi in cream sauce, with sautéed Chinese broccoli. For a pre dinner salad, I had a great salad with my blue cheese vinaigrette and homemade croutons. The whole thing paired with an Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
This is my cream sauce:
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 chopped shallot
8-10 sliced mushrooms
3 sundried tomatoes in olive oil - chopped
1 large clove garlic - minced
1/4 lb prosciutto - chopped
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy cream
Add butter and olive oil to skillet and sauté shallots until tender, then add mushrooms and let them brown to aborb most of the oil and butter, then add chopped sundried tomatoes,prosciutto, and garlic, sauté until garlic is tender and prosciutto just starting to crisp. Next add white wine to deglaze the pan and reduce almost completely. Add in cream and simmer until thickens.
Serve with gnocchi, or penne.