Month: February 2009

Fideos in saffron-pimentón broth with mussels and linguiça

This is a variation on a dish I made awhile back, and though breaking up capellini to make a version of fideos seems more legit, I think the clams were a better addition than mussels. The problem with mussels (always) is that their thin shells […]

Lychee red curry

This is my spin on one of my favorite Thai dishes, a classic pineapple red curry. Not that it needed spinning, I just had some canned lychee, but no pineapple. The bromeliaceous tang of the pineapple was missing a little (and no amount of lime […]

Meatball sandwich with sautéed veggies and provolone

Did everyone have a nice Valentine’s Day? That’s good, me too. I haven’t been around that much lately on account of not giving a shit about blogging, but I did make some nice meatball sammiches with sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms last night.

I made the meatballs by mixing a pound of ground beef (I got the less-lean kind but should probably start paying better attention to that stuff); a quarter of an onion and two cloves of garlic (both minced); a few fat pinches of dried oregano and thyme, salt and pepper, a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce, a slightly-beaten egg and a handful of breadcrumbs (I make my own but you can use panko or the shit in a can if you want). Mix until just combined. Using the same technique as for the Swedish meatballs, just scoop, scoop, scoop with your little 1/8 cup-sized ice cream scoop until you have 15 perfect little meatballs on your Silpat. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, until golden.

Whilst the meatballs are roasting (and five minutes later, you added some parbaked pan au levain loaves to the oven), warm up some of the tomato sauce you canned last summer, but add more garlic and herbs, and some grated parm for good measure. Simmer until warmed through. In another pan, sauté some sliced onions, sweet peppers and mushrooms in a little olive oil.

Pull the meatballs from the oven and roll them around in the warm sauce to coat. Load the meatballs, sautéed veg and extra sauce onto the bread, then top with a couple slices of provolone. Slide the whole thing back under the broiler for a minute or two to get the cheese melty and browned.

Serve with a green salad and Nathan Petrelli’s self-righteousness.

Chicken enchilada soup and kabocha squash taquitos

I pulled some leftover soup from the freezer the other day, to make room for a tub of ice cream, and got around to heating it up for dinner. You can scarcely contain your excitement, right? Well sit tight, pretties, it actually gets interesting. The […]

Strozzapreti with curry-kabocha cream and paneer

…or, I ain’t mad at a little fusion once in awhile, did I ever claim to be made of stone? This sounds so wrong. I’d probably have been a little less off-base just putting this on basmati rice, in retrospect, but I wanted the toothiness […]

Yaki gyoza

I wanted to make gyoza with some of the ground pork from the quarter hog we bought, but having never made them before, had to thumb through my (only) two Japanese cookbooks for help. One of my books is just a pretty sushi book, but my favorite Japanese cookbook (maybe one of my favorite cookbooks, period) is the Japanese Country Cookbook by Russ Rudzinski. Funny, I never noticed a gaijin wrote that book until just now when I cited it, but it’s really moot because these are authentic home recipes. Unfortunately, there’s no recipe for gyoza, so I decided to shoot from the hip (my always wont).

Scott and I had gyoza in Tokyo that were incredible (Hakata hitokuti gyoza, a specialty of the Fukuoka Prefecture), and though I knew I’d never recreate the perfectly crusted sheet of potstickers, I figure the worst I’d end up with would be cooked pork meatballs. I could live with that. I got started.

I mixed together the ground pork, a chiff of napa cabbage, some finely sliced scallion, (too much) minced garlic and some grated ginger and a little finely-minced shiitake. I added a splash each of tamari, Chinese black vinegar, sake, sesame oil and mirin, and some pinches of salt.

I just sort of went on instinct as to how to actually make the gyoza, but it worked okay. My Asian friends are probably squeamish at the lack of proper folds – I’m sure their grandmas’ nimble fingers get fifty creases along the top edge – but I think I did okay for a gaijin on her first try. I just took the gyoza wrapper, added a spoonful of filling, wetted one edge with a fingertip of water, and then pressed and creased until it was sealed. I steamed them in my bamboo steamer for about ten minutes (next time I will line with parchment to avoid the sticking) until they looked soft on top, then pan-fried them to get a nice crust on the bottom. I served these with a basic dipping sauce of tamari, rice vinegar and mirin and a quickle sopai no daikon that looks like every other sunomono I make, but with daikon instead of cucumber or green muskmelon.

Serve with a cold Sapporo and classic J-Pop hits.

Putting things into perspective

Last night Scott and I were wandering downtown after a couple drinks and some comic book shopping, and stopped into a new little French bistro for dinner. We took a seat in the half-full Chez Joly and ordered up a few items from the modestly-priced […]

Spaghetti alla Bottarga with Meyer lemon and parsley

I was going to call it “Spaghetti alla Bottarga con Limone e Prezzemolo” but that seemed too fussy, so I broke half of it into English. That way I can confuse the Italians and English-speakers who find me accidentally through Google. Plus I don’t know […]