Sunday, March 14, 2010

pimento cheese sandwiches and spinach salad with chorizo

This was our pre-work Friday lunch. Alex is still lamenting not making it to South Carolina for dad's birthday, hence the pimento cheese—an ode to the South. For the salad dressing Alex rendered some diced chorizo and used the remaining oil (in combination with some olive oil and mustard and honey) to make a delicious version of Kraft French dressing. We drank some rosé to bolster our spirits before heading to work.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

mussels, japanese sweet potatoes, and mustard greens

Last night we skulked around at New Seasons until we could be helped by the butcher we like. It shouldn't matter, but it does. We bought mussels and Spanish chorizo and apples and instead of creme fraiche we bought cultured sour creme (not the same) and Mama Lil's peppers and all the fixings for pimento cheese, mostly because I need another jar for spices and the pimento jars are the best ($40 a bag, these groceries). Before we left for the store, Alex made the dough for the galette. When we got home he assembled the whole concoction and got it in the oven. I made the fries and cooked the mustard greens and ate cheese and drank dolin blanc with a twist, often forgetting what I was supposed to be washing, cooking, etc. Alex cooked the mussels with chorizo and a mirapoix (only with leeks instead of onions) and some white wine and a secret ingredient he won't let me print here and finished it all with the Mama Lil's. The mustard greens were from crazy hair at the People's market, and they were so good they didn't get much beyond garlic and olive oil. The galette had apples and orange zest and orange juice and armanac soaked currants. The crust was half wheat flour and half white and got an egg yolk wash there at the end. We ate it with some '75 Armagnac and my god it was good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

egg noodles with meat sauce and collard raab

Alex made boeuf bourguignon on Monday night and in the process realized once and for all that we need an oven thermometer. The next day we set out to Pastaworks to buy one, and instead came home with three bottles of booze and some kitchen utensils. We bought a bottle of Dolin Blanc, a rosé from the Loire, and a bottle of Chiroubles (the same one we had at Navarre last week).  I asked about apricot kernals which I need for amaretti, but they don't sell those either. The luxury foods spending spree continued the next day with Alex in the cheese department of New Seasons, home of 50 dollar per bag  grocery shopping. 

Last night's dinner began with a stinky raw cow's milk cheese from Virginia and Quadrello di Bufala, a soft ripe Italian buffalo cheese, served with Edgar's caramelized onion rye bread and the Dolin Blanc. Good for the cooking morale. For dinner Alex made fresh pasta (1/2 wheat flour, 1/2 white) and for sauce combined the rest of the beef stew with tomato paste and beef stock (tomato paste in a tube is incredibly convenient). The collard raab came from the crazy haired guy at the Wednesday People's farmer's market who thinks he recognizes me, that I am in some rock'n'roll outfit he goes to see. We drank the Gamay with the pasta . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

roasted beets and raw aged goat cheese on caramelized onion rye from Fressen

This is Alex at the Steigerwald Lake wildlife refuge, stretched out in the back of the VW with the hatch open, having lunch and looking at the scenery like a good German . . .

pear tart

My first tart! Alex made the glaze for it out of apricot jam and Zwetschgenwasser —plum liquor from the Schwarzwäld.


I agreed to give these friends temporary shelter while Alex's house is under construction.

Monday, February 15, 2010

papas bravas with harissa and aioli

chicken and potatoes braised in coconut milk with homemade curry powder

This curry was kind of a hodgepodge, starting from a recipe in Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" (you can tell this is me writing, since Alex doesn't really need the Bittman). This one started with braised potatoes, and then had many options for what to braise them in, coconut milk being one. But I added the chicken, which I browned in the Le Creuset and then browned the potatoes in the same pan after removing the chicken. Then I threw in some onions and carrots and then the coconut milk and put the chicken back in and added the curry powder (again, I started with the Mark Bittman recipe for the hot Indian curry powder, but I threw in some freshly ground cardamom leftover from some ridiculously spicy chocolate I made for Susan's birthday {sorry Susan!}) and then I let it all cook for 20 minutes. For liquid I added some of the water/vinegar mix I had used to reconstitute dried peppers for another recipe (big ancho chilies and some little chilies de arbol). I cut up a couple of the hot chilies and added them as well. The cabbage never made it in there.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

poached eggs, rösti, maitake and avocado

This is starting to look familiar, this conglomeration.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

garlic roasted pork shoulder with kabocha, goat cheese & onion skillet pie

The photo of the skillet pie doesn't do it justice. The recipe is from The Glorious Foods of Greece by Diane Kochilas. The squash gets sliced and salted, then sits stacked up in a collander with a weight on top and drains for an hour. Each slice gets tossed in seasoned flour and then half of the squash slices get layered in a hot, oiled skillet, followed by the goat cheese, onion slices and salt and pepper, and then the rest of the squash slices go on top. It cooks covered for 15 minutes or so, and then you flip the whole thing over and let it cook for another 15. Amazing. The pork was from Tails and Trotters, that chef turned pig farmer. That is where the recently posted pork steak came from as well. The fat melts in your mouth and tastes like chocolate. That might sound gross, but . . .

field peas, collards, carolina gold rice, pork sausages with peppers & onions, and cornbread