Monday, December 29, 2008

Ham Salad

I like ham. Laurie buys them when they're on sale - something like $0.89/lb - and we'll cook one on a weekend then make sandwiches for the week.

This weekend we made one and I made ham salad with about half of it.

This time I added three pickled eggs as a secret ingredient and it made it extra delicious.

I make my pickled eggs with habenero peppers so they are quite spicy and that flavor came through in the ham salad.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Last night we made quinoa. It's been a while since we made it; I'm not sure why because it's quick, easy, and delicious.

Take a cup of quinoa and rinse it a couple of times. It has a natural pesticide on it that needs to be removed. I just do one cup in a two cup measurer and change the water several times.

Saute some aromatics - carrots, onions, celery - in a sauce pan. Add a lot of water or stock (not the good stuff - about 6:1) and a cup of quinoa.

Boil for 15 minutes. Do not stir!

Pour through a sieve and let rest for a few minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I haven't posted for a while, not because we haven't been cooking, but because I've been distracted - Chris, Keith, and Rachel had been taking up my time.

But look for more nightly recipes shortly!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Porterhouse Steaks & Chapatis

As always, steaks from Bunzels are great. We didn't have a chance to age these, however.

The chapatis are from Mark Bittman's recipe in the NY Times from last week. They were simple to make, pretty good, although they cried our for yogurt sauce, which we did not have.

The salads were made with produce from our farm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicken & 3 Vegetable Stir Fry

Cook's Illustrated has long argued the use a cast iron pan instead of a walk. The heavy, flat surface is more conducive to reaching and maintaining the high temperatures needed to quickly fry things.

I've used our Dutch oven before and decided to try it with our new, 13" i.d. skillet. It worked great!

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into little pieces and marinade in dark soy sauce, pepper flakes, oil, and a little salt and sugar for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the pan until very hot, add oil, swirl, and toss in the meat being careful not to crowd it. If the pieses are two close together the pan will cool off too much and there won't be space for the excess liquid to boil off. The result will be a simmer, not a stir-fry. Stir occasionally and cook till done, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and reheat pan.

For the vegetables I used carrots, onion & shallots, and summer squash. Peel and cut into bite sized pieces. Repeat the stir fry process, starting with the longest cooking item (carrots in this case) first. Successively add the others, removing done ones if necessary.

I added some oyster sauce at this point.

Recombine and heat through. Serve with rice and light soy sauce on the side.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chicken Breasts with Okra

Although an easy and tasty meal, we don't cook boneless-skinless chicken breasts all that much. The classic dry-wet-dry method is one of my favorite ways to prepare them.

Cut the halved breasts in half the long way by pressing it on a cutting board with the palm of your hand and running the knife parallel to your hand. Prepare three containers with flour, beaten eggs, and corn meal. Season to taste.

Dredge the breasts in order, flour-egg wash-cornmeal then saute in a cast iron skillet with a little oil for about four minutes per side, under golden brown.

Rest five minutes before serving.

We steam a lot of vegetables. Today we steamed okra and broccoli together.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pork Chops & Grilled Vegetables

These pork chops are from the quarter hog we bought through our farm. They are not nearly as lean as commercial pork so you need to be sure to watch for flare-ups as the fat renders.

Remember the Fourth Rule Of Cooking: Brine your poultry. Brine your pork. With pork, I usually add something sweet to the brine. Today I used honey. I brined this for about 10 hours but that's very flexible. Adjust your salt content up or down depending on the time.

I used Penzey's Ozark Seasoning as a rub on these.

Grill over low heat for 6-8 minutes per side. Let rest for at least five minutes.

Peel & slice zucchini into medallions.

Skewer, rub with olive oil, and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Grill until done, turning frequently, about 15 minutes.

Monday, July 14, 2008


We don't make ribs all that often, but I love them. They're pretty straight forward to make.

Rub the ribs with a rub. Usually I blend our own, but this time I used Penzey's BBQ 3000 rub. I'm generally suspicious of pre-made rubs since you don't know the quality or freshness of the ingredients, but I've come to trust Penzey's.

Grill over indirect, low heat for a long time - 2-3 hours. Since we have a gas grill, I put a pan of soaked wood chips over a lit burner for that good, smoky flavor.

When they look almost done, remove from heat, wrap in foil, and put into a paper bag for one hour. Don't skip this step; it make them moist and tender.
Add your favorite home-made sauce to the ribs and cut into two-rip pieces.

Laurie made this shreadded beet salad, although we both agreed that roasted beets are better.

The bread we got from Parthenon Foods, a Greek grocery on the south side. It's a great little store.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Acacia Cutting Board

We picked up this cutting board from Lowe's, of all places. It's made of acacia wood and is quite heavy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

3Qt All Clad Saute Pan

I had to replace our 3 quart saute pan. You can see that the non-stick coating is failing.

I brought the pan to William Sonoma and they did give me some resistance. They said that the damage was typical of excessive heat.

Thinking about it, there's a possibility that that may be true because we've now been cooking with gas for about eight months, whereas our old electric cook-top did not seem to give off that many BTUs.

I've had to replace various pans before, both All Clad and Calphalon. Laurie thinks I may be scamming the manufacturers, but I figure a lifetime guarantee is a lifetime guarantee!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kebabs and Skate

I've been working like a slave's dog lately and haven't had time to post some recipes. Hopefully things will get back to normal next week.

Last week we cooked beef and vegetable kebabs...

...and skate with capers. If you've never had skate, try it. It's fantastic. It tastes a little like scallops, only a bit sweeter.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ham salad

Ham salad is and interesting food. It doesn't taste a lot like ham to me, but I like it.

Grind up ham in a food processor until it's at the consistency it should be. You'll know it when you see it.

Add mayonaise and blend till smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber policeman as needed.

I put in a pickled egg (and some pickled onions and beets too) to give it that unique ham salad taste.

It's delicious!


I don't know why we don't cook ham more often. It's cheap, simple, and delicious - way better than the deli ham we usually get at the grocery.

Score the surface of the ham and cook to an internal temperature of 140F. That's it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tenderloin & Vegetable Kebabs

We like kebabs a lot. Generally I prefer ground meat to chunk because you can be more creative with flavors, but chunk is tasty with the benefit of being simple.

Today we used beef tenderloin.

Cut the meat into chunks and skewer along the long axis, counterintuitive to what you'd normally be inclined to do. Oil, salt, and pepper them than grill for three minutes per side for tenderloin.

Don't grill vegetables with meat. Their cooking times are different.

Skewer the vegetables and season with olive oil and whatever else you like. Grill for about 12-15 minutes, flipping occasionally.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grilled Rainbow Trout & Egg Plant with Pesto

I like grilled, whole fish a lot, although Laurie is not too keen on them. Something about the eyes, I think.
Slit the fish perpendicular to the spine. Stuff the body cavity with herbs - I used chives and rosemary for this trout.

Oil the grate of a hot grill and gently put the fish on it. Let it sit for five minutes, then gently move it so that it's loose from the grill. Let it cook for another three minutes and gently roll it over.

Cook on the flip side for eight more minutes.

I have mixed results with egg plant and want to master it this year. Egg plant has a very high water content which makes grilling a good technique and is also very porous, causing it to soak up oil like a sponge.

Peel and cut the egg plant into disks. Liberally salt in put into a colander to draw out the moisture. Let it sit for at least fifteen minutes, then shake off the water or blot with a towel.

Right before putting it onto the grill, coat with olive oil. Grill with indirect heat to prevent charring: easier said than done.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Orange Roughy & Shrimp

Lightly bread the fish in cornmeal and season. I used cajun seasoning and salt. Saute 2 - 3 minutes per side until golden brown.

Season the shrimp with olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook in olive oil and butter a couple of minutes per side and on their back. Smaller shrimp would take less time.
(Have you noticed that vertebrates have a nerve column on their backs and digestive track on their fronts, while arthropods have it reversed?)

I made the rice as a simple pilaf with shrimp stock. After it was done, I quickly tossed it in the pan where the shrimp cooked.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Zappa Family Spaghetti Sauce

We made this sauce on my birthday.

Noey was down for the weekend and Amy & Sara came over for dinner as well.

That day Sara & Amy had a rummage sale. They hadn't met Noey before, so she went over there unannounced and bought a couple of things.

When The Girls came over, Noey showed them her purchases from earlier that day.

A good laugh was had by all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Braised Cod in Romaine Leaves

I got this recipe from Mark Bittman. See how to do it here.

It took longer than expected to blanche the lettuce and I did have to remove the lower part of the stalk.

I haven't tried frozen cod in years and figured I'd give it a shot. It's convenient and readily available. Unfortunately, it's also tasteless. Still, this dish was good, easy, and pretty fun to make.

Next time I'll go with better fish.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is one of my favorite things to cook. Not only does it taste great, but it looks great as well.

This is one of the chickens that we got from our farm. It's the first time I cooked one, so I did not brine it. As expected of a free-range chicken, it was more toothsum than a caged bird and would have benefited from brining. It would also be good in some longer, slow-cooking dish.

Rub the chicken with butter and season generously with salt & pepper. Cut up some celery, carrots, and onions and stuff some into the body cavity and the rest in a roasting pan with a little water.

Lay the bird on its side in a roasting rack and roast at 350 for 20 minutes. Turn to the other side and repeat for another 20. Turn the chicken breast side up and roast for 20 minutes more until done.

Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Delivery

We got our first delivery from our CSA, Springdale Farm, this week.

Through another farmer they offered pork, chickens, and beef. We ordered a quarter hog and five chickens.

We got pork chops, hams, pork roasts, brats, pork sausage, pork steaks, and bacon – lots and lots of bacon. It was a total of 41 lbs of organic pork for $190.

The chickens average 6 lbs (at $2.50/lb) apiece and are free range.

Our freezer is pretty full right now. I can’t wait to start cooking this stuff

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks are delicious and a lot of fun to make. Like any braised meat, it takes a while to cook.
Brown the shanks in a little oil in a Dutch oven. Remove shanks and drain out most of the fat, Saute carrots, celery, and onion in the same pot, scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pan.
Return the shanks and add a couple of cups of red wine and a couple of cups of chicken stock to the pot. The meat should be nearly, but not quite covered.
Cover pot and braise at 350F for 90 minutes.
Uncover and turn shanks over. Cook uncovered for another 30 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pork Chop & Pasta

Normally I brine pork chops that are this thick, but I didn't have time this time. But, that reinforced that it is important to.

Laurie made the pasta for dinner the night before, using a couple of Italian saussages that we had. Quite delicious!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shrimp Stir Fry

Cook's Illustrated magazine has a tip to "throw out your wok." They arhue that a cast iron Dutch oven works better for home stir frying because most home cooktops do not have the BTU output necessary to stir fry. That certainly has been my experience, but I never tossed the wok I bought some 20 years ago. The electric stove that we used to have never had the output and "stir frying" was something that never really happened. We also did not have a hood, so when I tried, our smoke alarm went off.

Now, however, we're cooking with gas, and 18,000BTUs to boot!

Marinade peeled shrimp in olive oil and sriracha sauce. I add pepper flakes as well. Saute briskly in a hot non-stick pan for 1-2 minutes/side and set aside.

In the same pan, add cooked rice and heat thoroughly, absorbing all the leftover juices from the shrimp. You could serve the rice separately, but I had leftover rice so this worked out nicely.

For the stir fry I cut pea pods, red pepper, and green onions, about a cup each, into a small/medium dice. heat the wok until very hot, about 8 minutes. Add a little oil then toss in the pea pods, followed by the peppers. Keep tossing those for about five minutes, then add the onions and continue to cook until tender, a couple minutes more. Taste for doneness.

Add the rice and shrimp and toss.

Serve with soy sauce.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I adapted this recipe from Cook's Illustrated's book, Italian Recipes. Their recipe calls for 3:1 ground chuck to ground pork, but I did 2:1, for no good reason. I made 100 meatballs out of 3lb meat. They make their meatballs about twice the size I do.

Soak two slices of white bread, sans crusts, in buttermilk. Stir to form a paste. Add salt & pepper, a couple tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (I used BelGioso our standard cooking Parmesan), a minced clove of garlic, and some red pepper flakes. Mix in 2/3lb ground chuck and 1/3lb ground pork. Form into balls, being careful to not pack them very tight. You should have about 30.

Refirgerate for a couple of hours, then brown in hot oil on all sides.

Dump out the oil. To the same pot, add some oilve oil and garlic, sauteeing for about 30 seconds. Add 28oz of crushed tomatoes, scraping up the fond from the pan. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the meatballs for the last five. Stir in a chiffonade of basil leaves.

Serve over pasta with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Bean Thread Noodles

Once again, pork tenderloin is a meal we cook frequently. Rub the meat with oil and sprinkle with a rub. I used 'Tosa City Blend from The Spice House for today's entree. Brown it well (Rule #2) on all sides over medium high heat, then put it a 425F oven until the internal an internal temperature of 155F. Let rest for 10 minutes. We made a light gravy with the fond and chicken stock (Rule #3).

The broccoli is just steamed until tender.

We like these Chinese bean thread noodles. Soak in cold water for about ten minutes then add to boiling water for around four more.

We usually get the Pearl River soy sauce shown in the photo.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Crawfish Etouffee

I hadn’t made Crawfish Etouffee in a long time so I looked at several recipes. This is a simple dish: sauté some aromatics simmer in stock, add crawfish, and you’re done.

Still, I found myself a little confused since the recipes were all over the place as far as the base was concerned. Namely, do you start with a roux or not? Most of the recipes said not, some called for a “light” roux, others for a standard roux. The aromatics were also inconsistent. Some called for the “Cajun Trinity” of bell pepper, onions, and celery, others just for green onions.

In the end I decided to go with what I thought best, a roux and the Trinity.

Melt a stick or so butter in a black iron pot. Slowly add about ¾ cup offlour, whisking constantly to ensure that it doesn’t burn. This process takes about 20 – 30 minutes at least.

Add chopped onions, bell pepper, and celery (1:1:2/3) and sauté about 10 minutes.

Add 3 cups shrimp stock, paprika, salt, pepper, and Cajun spices to taste. and simmer to blend, about 15 minutes. Add 2lb crawfish tails, adjust liquid as necessary, and heat through, another 10 minutes.

Serve with white rice. I use Basmati.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pizza at Tessa's

We went to this new pizza place on 50th & Vliet. The pizza was pretty good, although I thought that the crust could be a little crispier and we all thought that they were a bit stingy on the green olives. Why skimp on green olives?

That didn't bother me too much. I love green olives on pizza, much better than black, but they cause me digestive issues.

The deep fried eggplant was excellent, but the mozzarella stick that Laurie and I split had no cheese in it. It reminded me of those sand tubes caused by lightning strikes. What are those things called?

There were four of us (we went with Amy & Sara), so we ordered 2, 14" round pizzas.

I have mentioned my pizza rule of thumb before: you need to order 50 - 75 square inches of pizza per person. People regularly argue with me about that ("what about toppings?" "what about deep dish?" Get your own stinking rule, then!) but it works pretty well.

A 14" pizza is about 150 sq. in. so we knew we'd have leftovers. A 14" & a 12" would have been perfect.

Be sure to ask if the pizzas are round or rectangular in order to calculate accurately.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chicken Thighs with Rice Pilaf & Bonus Recipe

Boneless, skinless thighs are a good thing, but I still prefer the bone-in, skin on variety. They are more flavorful.

What we do for this dish is season trim the excess fat, and season the thighs with salt & pepper. Brown in a dutch oven with a little oil, skin side down until well browned, maybe ten minutes. Don't move the thighs for at least five minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

Remove from the pot and dump out all but a couple of tablespoons of the fat/oil. Brown the vegetables, some combination of peppers, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, tomatoes, etc. The "Cajun Trinity" of onions, bell peppers, and celery is always a good complnation. I always make sure I have some bright red and bright green vegetables. It looks nice.

Remove the skin from the thighs and discard.

Add the rice and saute for about two minutes. Toss in some garlic for another thirty seconds or so, then add chicken stock and thighs, along with any accumulated juices.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for another 15 minutes. Don't peak!

Fluff & serve.

Bonus Recipe

My brother-in-law Frank sent us this Brussels sprout recipe. It's similar to Laurie's Posh Brussels Sprouts with an added flair. Enjoy.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Apples and Onions, with Balsamic Glaze

1 lb Brussels sprouts
6 slices bacon
1 T mustard seeds
1 medium onion, peeled, cut in crescents
1 tart crisp apple (I used a Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut in crescents
3 T brown sugar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 C dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
olive oil
salt, hot sauce to taste

Trim the root ends of the sprouts, remove dried outer leaves and cut each sprout in half. Toss with a tablespoonful or so of olive oil and roast uncovered in a preheated 325º oven about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove when the sprouts are cooked through and starting to brown and char along the edges.

Meanwhile, in a pan large enough to contain all the ingredients, sauté the bacon until just starting to crisp at the edges and remove to drain on paper towel. Pour all but 1 T of the bacon grease from the pan and discard. Add the mustard seeds to the pan and stir over medium high heat until they start to pop. Add the onions and apples, lower the heat to medium and sauté , stirring occasionally, until starting to turn soft, about 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in the sugar, wine and vinegar, raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring, several minutes until the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the mustard.

Chop the bacon and add it to the pan, then add the sprouts to the pan and stir and toss to combine. Correct seasoning. May be served immediately or at room temperature.

Note: to make ahead, slightly undercook the sprouts so they will finish cooking when reheated.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Salmon with Agrodolce Sauce

Laurie is not a salmon fan, but I really like it. She wants to like it, and she decided to make this recipe for me since it contains a lot of flavor combonations she likes, viz. balsamic vinegar.

Cut the salmon filet into 1 1/2 inch sections. Sesaon with salt & pepper. Saute in a hot, non-stick pan, skin side down for ten minutes. Turn the fish and cook for another three until down.

For the agrodolce sauce, saute a red onion in a medimum skillet until wilted.

Add 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and a little sugar and reduce to a syrup, about 10 - 15 minutes. Serve over the salmon.

We also had broccoli and somen noodles as sides. It was quite delicious!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chicken breasts & rice pilaf

Place the boneless, skinless breasts flat on a plastic (because plastic is easier to sanitize) cutting board and put your palm flat on top. Cut the breast in half, parallel to your palm. Season as desired. I used Ruth Ann's seasoning from The Spice House.

Saute in a little oil for about three minutes per side. I use this All Clad grill pan, but any non-stick pan will do.

NB: Don't pre-heat a non-stick pan dry. The coating begins to evolve fumes at about 500F and starts to break down at 600F.

I used red perrer, carrots, and onions in this pilaf.

Were I using thighs instead of breasts, I'd have finished them off in the rice, but that dries breasts out too much.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Corned Beef Hash sans Corned Beef

We ended up eating the corned beef on Sunday and fininsh the leftover meat in sandwiches on Monday and Tuesday. But that didn't stop me from making the hash with the remaining vegetables.

Drain the leftover cabbage, potatoes, etc., well. Saute a green pepper in a pan with some butter. Add the vegetables and cook a little to get rid of most of the remaining liquid. Spread the vegetables evenly.

Take a lid from a smaller pan and push down hard on the mix. Leave the lid on and cook for about ten minutes. Remove the lid, stir the vegetables, and repeat the process.

The mix turned out great! The vegetables carmalized up nicely (remember rule #2).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Corned beef & cabbage

I never corned a beef brisket before and did not this year. Maybe next year I will. I got this excellent piece of meat from Bunzel's butcher shop on Burleugh.

Remove excess fat. Put brisket in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add salt, pepper, allspice, and a couple of bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for two and one half hours.

Dice vegetables, carrots, celery, onions, and waxy potatoes. Add to pot, making sure that there is enough liquid, and continue simmering for fifteen minutes.

Core and cut cabbage in a lagre dice. Add to pot and simmer for another fifteen minutes.

Serve in bowls with rye bread, Guinness, & Irish whiskey.

See all pics here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New York Strip & Potatoes a la Holstein

I was at Bunzel's today to get a corned beef brisket for dinner tomorrow and picked up some New York strips that were on sale. I usually don't have have time to age steaks, and didn't this time, but it's worth it if you can.

Season the steak with salt & pepper to taste. Sear over high heat for about 30 to 60 seconds per side. Turn the heat down and cook until done. Remove from heat, top with blue cheese, tent, and let rest for about ten minutes.

The potatoes are my standard, fried potatoes. Dice, saute over medium heat in a little oil for 30 - 45 minutes. Add diced onion half way through.

This time I added the "a la Holstein" twist: i.e., crack a couple of eggs over the potatoes, cover, and cook until done.

Everything's better a la Holstein!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pork Medallions, Rice Pilaf, & Green Salad

Cut the pork loin into quarter inch medallions and pound flat.
Dunk them in milk and dredge in corn meal. Saute in canola oil over medium high heat, about two minutes per side. Take care to not over-crowd the pan.

We usually get Parmigiano-Reggiano, but I picked up a Wisconsin Stravecchio Parmesan , which is also excellent. A little creamer, but quite tasty. Pick some up if you can; it's worth a try.

It was my brother Chas who first pointed out to me that "Parmesan cheese does not come in green cans." Maybe that should be a Rule.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Moules & Frites

Is there anyone who doesn't like moules and frites?
Get 1 -1.5 lbs of moules per person. Throw out any that don't close when you tap them. Scrub them clean and de-beard them.
Saute some celery and shallots in unsalted butter in a pot until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the moules, about a cup and a half of white wine, some thyme, parsley and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.
Scoop the moules into a bowl. Add blue cheese to the sauce and stir until melted. Ladle over the moules and serve with crusty bread and frites.

Now doesn't that look delicious?

That's Laurie's famous aioli.

See all the photos here.

Fried eggs

Fried eggs with toast, large curd cottage cheese, and grape juice.
Heat butter in a frying pan. When ready, add eggs. Cook over medium low heat until they almost look done. If they look done in the pan, they're overcooked. I think that's one of the rules of cooking. Plate.

This is a pizza dough blowing up like a football. I had to poke a bunch of holes in it. We made an Italian sausage, onion, and fontina pizza.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I usually make this recipe with a white cheese such as fontina or grueyer, but I had some curds that were getting in my way, so I used them. Maybe not so good a choice as they are a bit oily.

Mix breadcrumbs with some herbs and spices, cheese, and tomato juice to make a stiff paste. Allow it to sit for about ten minutes.

Pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts to a uniform thickness.

Form the stuffing into an oval and cover with the chicken. Salt & pepper to taste.
Bake at 375 for 30 - 40 minutes.

Let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pesto Pizza with Shallots and Peppers

Our grocries now sell pizza dough. We've grilled pizzas several times before, but tonight we made a pesto with shallots and red pepper pizza in the oven. It was great and very simple to do.

Preheat the oven to 435F with the pizza pan or stone. We use a pan with vent holes in it. Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board. Saute shallots and peppers.
When oven is hot, put dough on pan and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove pan from oven and add toppings in layers: pesto, vegetables, fontina. DO NOT overload the crust! Bake for about 10 minutes or until it looks done. Let the pizza rest for 5 - 10 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pork Roast with Beets & Mashed Potatoes

Pork roasts in general take on sweet flavors well. I use maple syrup in this recipe.

Let roast warm up to room temperature. Oil lightly and rub with a herb blend.
Brown roast well – you know the second rule! Brown food tastes better! Put roast on a v-rack over a baking pan.

Mix cumin and cayenne pepper into maple syrup. Baste over roast, coating all sides.

Cook in a 325°F oven until it reaches and internal temperature of 150°F, about an hour.

Sara made the gravy out of the fond in the pan. Amy did the carving.

Laurie handles the beets and mashed potatoes. The roasted beets with blue cheese are a nice accompaniment to the pork.