February 25, 2011

Short ribs

This is as far as I'm getting tonight... Cooking and pictures to come.
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Suspicious Speculoos

I was planning on making the short ribs in red wine and port tonight, but between the two grocery stores I visited late this evening, I only found about 3lbs of short ribs. I'm wondering if I'm even buying the right thing, since Dorie's recipe calls for "12 short ribs, each with one bone (about 9lbs)". I got about 3 bones per package, so that's about 9 short ribs at 3lbs. Something's not adding up. I decided to figure it out tomorrow.

In the meantime, tonight I chose to make the dough for the speculoos cookies, yet another recipe that the FFWD group has already tackled. I rolled the dough out and put it in the fridge to chill overnight. I can tell that the house is going to smell AMAZING when they bake tomorrow. I thought 2 1/2 t of cinnamon was a lot, but I love cinnamon and it provides major circulation benefits I think.

Also, very exciting news - I purchased my first dutch oven today!!! I chose a 6 qt red one by Lodge. That was another small detail slowing down my short ribs progress. Tomorrow, amazing smelling Christmas cookies (xmas in February is ok) and day one of the ribs recipe. Pictures to come!
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February 22, 2011

Pancetta Peas and Potato Leek Soup!

Still with quite a few previous FFWD recipes to cook, today I made the Potato Leek Soup. Along with it, for dinner I made pancetta peas, a la pancetta green beans of last week, with panko-breaded chicken. I only had one chicken breast in the house, but I had some Trader Joe's frozen already grilled chicken strips, which I defrosted and then egged and breaded along with the breast. Seasoned only with salt and pepper, it turned out to be a really tasty dish. The picture of the soup is forthcoming - it's on my camera and I'm just a little lazy about uploading it now. This peas and chicken picture was taken with my phone - instant uploading is the way to go!

Not sure when I'm going to do the short ribs this week. I want to cook for some friends, but schedules are all conflicting. Also, I don't own a dutch oven. I've been researching them, since they are kind of (REALLY) expensive. I do want one however, so I want to get a good one. I may check out Marshalls or TJ Maxx to see if they have any good ones at a decent price.

People who love to cook (and are good at it) should not have to buy their ingredients and tools. They should receive all that stuff as thank you gifts for treating other people's mouths to pure deliciousness and delight!

February 18, 2011

Pancetta Green Beans and Playing Catch-up!

Whew! I finished the weekly recipe and am still going to be be able to get out and enjoy the warm afternoon. Hooray! Since I started FFWD only recently, I'll be posting catch-up recipes until I get caught up. It's just this little goal of mine.

Pancetta green beans - um, YUM! I could only find thinly sliced pancetta, but it was delicious just the same. Honestly, I used the frozen haricots verts from Trader Joe's, and they were still delicious. I made pumpkin gorgonzola flan today too. Didn't realize until after I had emptied the can into the food processor that it was actually pumpkin pie mix, so there was some sugar and various pie spices in it. I went ahead and made it anyway, and it was, well, ok. The gorgonzola, also from Trader Joe's, was sooo dry. I thought it would moisten and melt more in the flan, but it was still basically a lump. It was an interesting recipe and I would try it again with normal plain pumpkin.

Earlier in the week I made Gerard's Mustard Tart. I like mustard, and when I tasted the wet mix, I didn't notice too much mustard, so I used a little more than 2T of each. And maybe it was a little much. Fortunately I like that horseradishy hotness that goes straight to your brain. Crust was delicious and what an impressive dish.

Merci Dorie and Bon Appetit a tous!!!

February 11, 2011

Orange-Almond Tart

I managed to make it today but I didn't manage to find enough time to write about it.

More detail: With a friend in town last night, and with the fact that I spent the first part of the day purchasing the tart pan and a food processor, it turned into an all-day affair which is why I just managed to post the picture.

Late last night I got home and couldn't wait to try a piece. Ugh. Let me say that I was more than a little disappointed. As someone who LOVES almonds and anything almondy, I was sure I was going to love this tart. But I was wrong. I thought the almond cream was too sweet, and the oranges did not provide a pleasing opposing tartness or texture. These oranges were delicious, by the way, so I don't think it's a matter of using better oranges. I would just never put this combination together again on a tart.

Ok, just tasted it again. I will admit, tastes better this morning than it did last night after a Thai dinner and cocktails at 2am. Ok, maybe I would make it again after all :) And I'm not finding the almond cream too sweet. And I am finding the oranges more pleasant and still a little plump with juice.

More pluses: brand new pretty tart pan and food processor! And found really adorable ramekins yesterday at Sur La Table for 40% off!
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February 4, 2011

Basque Potato Tortilla (and Paris Mushroom Soup)

So today I made my first recipes using Around My French Table. I have to say the nice thing about both these recipes was that they were simple. Yes, I had a couple issues with the tortilla, but I'm sure that next time it will be a breeze.

I used Russet potatoes, a yellow onion, and I did use the smashed unpeeled clove of garlic, but no rosemary. The potatoes took longer than 20 minutes to become golden and tender, but not much longer. Could be the heat was too low. I put the skillet under the broiler, and waited until it got nice and golden brown.
I transfered it to a serving dish, and only then did I notice there was still some uncooked egg in the middle (in the center but also down into the middle.)

So I put it back in the pan and back under the broiler, with the oven door open, and left it probably another 5 minutes, turning the broiler off for the last couple of minutes, until it was set.

This reminded me so much of the tortilla espanola that I'm going to have to research it to remember what the difference is. I served it with a salad of romaine and arugula with olive oil and dark cherry balsamic.

Since I missed January, I decided to try a January recipe today too, so I chose Paris Mushroom Soup. I thought it was very good. Again, easy, and really delicious with the salad underneath of raw mushroom and parsley.

I noticed that in the book, it mentions thinly sliced mushrooms for the salad in the prelude to the recipe, but in the actual list of ingredients and in the directions for the salad, nowhere does it say how the mushrooms should be cut. I was about to try to quarter them or leave them whole when I reread the introduction and caught it.

French Fridays With Dorie

Recently I acquired a copy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, a wonderful and new French cookbook. My friend informed me that Dorie's quite the internet sensation, and that there is a group dedicated to cooking one dish from this book every Friday, French Fridays With Dorie. I've missed January's events, but I'm determined to catch up as I cook along with the group and their current recipe choices. Today's recipe is Basque Potato Tortilla. To check off a January recipe at the same time, I've decided to also make Paris Mushroom Soup (January 7th). Check back later to see what I managed to put together :)