October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
We stepped into the role of Italian grannies yesterday, and cooked a big, fortifying meal. The short ribs were from Painted Hills, in Oregon. We braised those and served them in a red sauce with mushrooms. We used a favorite trick for boosting the flavor of the sauce – after the meat is braised, skim the fat from the braising liquid and puree the long-cooked cooked braising veggies. With those added, the sauce becomes robusto! We cooked a batch of polenta, let it cool, then my husband Owen fried it up to a golden brown. Yum. At my house, I took the beef off the bone and stirred it into the sauce at dinnertime. This was a preventive measure against my kids whiiiiiining about bones and such. I was then able to scarf my meal in peace. Grazie very much.
The Salad Tri Colore lived up to it’s name. Beautiful radicchio from Full Circle Farm in Carnation, plus crunchy Belgian endive and green leaf lettuce. The red, white, and green was evocative of the Italian flag. Our Italian grandma hearts swelled with pride. Then we folded our aprons, turned of the stoves and returned to the humdrum lives of 21st century Seattlites. Next week we’re thinking of transforming into abuelas… stay tuned…
October 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
I’m sitting at my computer, eating the last of the macaroni & cheese from Monday. Still cheesey goodness, and the panko topping held up well in the fridge. Nothing soothes like mac n’ cheese. We grated a tremendous amount of cheese for this dinner, and a tremendous variety: sharp cheddar, regular cheddar, gruyere, parmesan, and the star of the show: cougar gold. Go Cougs! We love your cheese! « Read the rest of this entry »
October 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
JM & I snuck away with our families last week for our annual pilgrimage to Orcas Island. We had a blast, of course. Continued the important rituals – eating crab, digging in the sand, sitting on our arses. Another tradition on Orcas that I hold dear is shopping. One of my favorite stores of all is in Eastsound: Smith & Speed Mercantile. They carry the most beautiful things – Japanese gardening tools, lovely carved pocket knives, hand knit washcloths… The store perfectly suits my daydreams about island life (“If I moved to Orcas Island, I could buy this wood burning water heater for my galvanized outdoor soaking tub.”). This year my husband and I bought two things: an Amish-made hay rake for me (what?) and a gorgeous Japanese knife for him. Admittedly, his was the more practical purchase.
Owen bought our first Japanese knife a few months ago at Hardwick’s in the U District, and it became highly valued very quickly. Adding a second blade to our stable was a smart move. These knives are so sharp, and they stay sharp. The carbon blade is nice and heavy, and the wood handle feels great. It’s unfinished, so I anticipate the handle will achieve a lovely patina in no-time flat. Best of all, these knives are inexpensive – under $50. Get thee to the international district and see one for yourself!
October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
Gracious, I love duck. Tonight a friend & I were lamenting the lack of availability of duck at grocery stores. If I could find it fresh, not frozen, I’d cook it so much more often. Plus, when you cook it like JM & I did today you get the bonus of leftover duck fat. Frying food in duck fat is the way to go, if you’ve got a quart handy. Potatoes fried in duck fat are crispy and brown in no time flat. But I digress… « Read the rest of this entry »