Month: January 2009

Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna always seems like such a fuss, and I’ll admit it, I usually just go for a frozen one. It always seems like too much work to make a real one, from scratch, and frozen ones aren’t that bad (if you avoid the orange grease […]

Bacon cheeseburgers on green onion brioche

Last night we went to see the Department of Eagles play at the Doug Fir. I love that band so much, and it was a really great show (though they pretty much stuck to In Ear Park and mocked my cries for Forty Dollar Rug). […]

Pork fried rice with kimchee and dou miao

…or, What To Do With Leftover Shogayaki and Rice.

Hey, Xin Nian Kuai Le, everybody! I really hate posting this bowl of beige and blur after all the pretty and the comfy, but it’s Chinese New Year and I’m making burritos for dinner tonight. I was gonna post it on Thursday (when I made it), but my mouse AND my keyboard shit the bed at the same time, then our internet connection was being a dick, so here it is, later.

I got my wok rippin’ hot with vegetable oil, and tossed in some sliced leeks (I need to use them), garlic and onion, then threw in the leftover rice and stirred it around ostentatiously. Tossed in the dou miao (pea shoots; I chopped them for manageable bites, because otherwise you’re chewing that cud for an hour) and a chiffonade of kimchee. Let the dou miao get a little wilty, and add the thinly-sliced pork (per Peter‘s suggestion, I pulled the bones out of the chops and simmered them to a rich stock, to which I added soy sauce and sake of my own volition). When everything was getting toasty, I added the flavorful jus and a couple eggs, and scrambled everything around until the liquid was absorbed and the egg was set.

Serve with a drib of hoisin sauce and a healthy disdain for technology.

Lemon-cornmeal ebelskivers with blackberry preserves

Scott and I were up so, so late last night, finishing an evening celebrating Norm‘s birthday with friends and 20-year old syrah that smelled like goat testicles (and Saxum Rocket Block (2005?) – a grenache that was like making out with black cherries and literally […]

Swedish meatballs with buttered noodles and nutmeg gravy

Wow, what a week. Not even a (much-needed, and well-spent) paid holiday or a sexah new president could shake the funk of cold weather and crampy ladytimes. I made it to the gym again, to try to run off some of my shitty attitude, but […]

Roasted parsnip soup with bacon and caramelized leeks

I am so into the toasty-crouton-on-soup thing right now. It’s the reason for soup, almost, to get crispy bread and buttery, melty goodness into my gaping maw. This soup is of typical creation myth: too lazy for a trip to the store, too much good shit going bad in the fridge (this time, leeks and a bag of baby parsnips) and cold weather. This one was delicious and even worthwhile in its own right. But it didn’t come without snags. Does anything good ever?

I got this soup started on Tuesday. Tuesday was a gym day, and I always try to eat something somewhat conscientious on gym days, so “a roasted vedge soup it would be”, I’d decided. We got home from the gym, and I rushed to the kitchen to peel an entire bag of baby parsnips (20 minutes), shallots (prolly only 5 minutes but I swear it feels like the lifetime of ten thousand kings) and a few cloves of garlic, and then washed and washed and washed the leeks after splitting them and chopping them into rough spears (another 15 minutes). It’s going on 7:30, and I’m just now getting this shit into the oven for its requisite 45 minutes of roasting.

GAH. Finally, the roasting is done. The house smells amazing. The leeks are crispy like they’ve been in a campfire, all ashy and shit. Not good. I try to simmer the whole thing in chicken stock and a little bacon, but it occurs to me that I’ll need to flesh this soup out a bit, but have nothing to add any body (not even motivation to go the store). It’s 8:35, and I almost start to cry with the realization that it’ll take another hour before this soup is really edible (let alone good).

I stick the soup, pot and all, into the fridge and we go to the trashy Italian-American restaurant around the corner for tortellini and pizza instead.

The next day, I pull the pot out. I’d gone to the store this time, for a little loaf of seeded baguette, a pint of cream and some more leeks. I pull out the bacon, and simmer the soup for an hour (it’s only 6:00 this time!). Clean the one of the new leeks, slice into a near-chiffonade and slow-sauté with a pinch of salt over low heat until completely creamy and melted. Add a splash of cream to the soup (maybe a couple) and whiz it smooth with the immersion blender. Add the leeks and the chopped bacon, a splash of red wine vinegar, some salt and white pepper.

I sliced the baguette thick on the bias, and toasted both sides in the buttery leek pan, then floated them in the bowls of soup, topped with shredded Pecorino and Madrigal (and some French-fried onions for shits and gigs), then put the tray of bowls under the broiler for a minute or two.

Serve with a brambly Côtes du Rhône and smug criticism of Top Chef contestants.

Shogayaki with sunomono

I just lost some of you, didn’t I. It’s just gingery pork chops and cucumber salad, nothing weird. I have noticed that I get a lot more comments on classic diner favorites and American comfort food than on the Asian food I make, but I’m […]

Beef sirloin meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy

There’s just no way to make meatloaf look pretty, is there? Too bad. In an attempt to make room for all the pig that I just bought, I had to pull a couple things from the freezer, among them a 3-lb sirloin tip roast from […]

Idaho trout with macque choux and Meyer lemon beurre blanc

Since I split a half a pig with Matt, I had to pull a lot of shit out of the freezer to make room. Miraculously, my already-packed freezer could fit a quarter hog. Must be my mad Tetris skills.

I always buy seafood several pieces at a time, when the hankering hits hard, but then I cook one piece (or don’t) and the rest has to go to the freezer. This time, one had to come out. This little brown paper package contained two trout fillets.

Some astute readers will notice my flagrant substitution of fingerling potatoes for bell peppers, making this a mountebank macque choux, but don’t hate. I didn’t think to call this macque choux until I got to writing it up. Besides, macque choux literally translates as “brakes cabbages”, making potatoes the least of this dish’s problems. I don’t know (I’ve been saying that a lot lately, haven’t I). I just kind of knew how this was supposed to taste and named it later.

I sliced these giant banana fingerling potatoes and gave them a hot water bath to parcook, then drained and pan-fried them with minced shallot in olive and rendered bacon (the first taste of the pig, and it’s good). When they started to brown up on the edges, I tossed in a cup of frozen white corn and halved grape tomatoes. Then a squonch of chopped thyme and Meyer lemon zest, crunches of flaky sea salt and black pepper. Let it get brown and crusty, and then pull everything out of that pan, turn off the heat and deglaze with half the lemon’s juice and a splash of white wine. Whisk in a couple knobs of butter until creamy-dreamy. That’s your sauce, baby.

Now just rinse and pat dry the trout fillets, and salt and pepper the flesh side. Get the pan pretty hot (not quite rippin’, but hot), and lay the fillets in skin-side down. Now the most important step: walk away from the pan for a few minutes and don’t fuck with it. It’ll take all of your strength to not poke it or try to move it, but you gotta just leave that shit be.

Okay now you can flip it. Turn off the pan (the pan is still hot enough to cook the other side of the fish, so don’t freak out). Stir a sexy little wad of crème fraîche into the macque choux, then stir in the beurre blanc and a few fatty pinches of chopped parsley. Top the wee piles of sweet-crunchy/dense-crusty/tangy-juicy with a crispy trout fillet.

You know you’re dying to, so go ahead and throw some crunchy pinches of sea salt at it.

Serve with a bright chard and smug self-satisfaction.

Honey-tamarind chicken with rice vermicelli

Today, Scott and his broworkers went to Green Papaya to get some delicious Vietnamese food, as was their daily wont until the bulk of them relocated to an office further away than across the street. Today was Green Papaya for old times’. They sat down […]