Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I opened up my CSA box last week to find this funky looking thing. It reminds of of the creature in Little Shop of Horrors - "Feed me, Seymour!". The Romanesco Broccoli is a variant of cauliflower and can be treated the same way as any broccoli or cauliflower thus is ended up in my mid-week pasta.

Fettuccine w. Prosciutto, Kale and Broccoli

It seems as if this cold weather has gotten me on a carb and comfort food kick again. A fresh bunch of kale ended up on my CSA box along with more potatoes. With frozen Italian sausage in the fridge, it seemed like the perfect time to make one of my favorite soups - Zuppa Tuscana Soup inspired by Olive Garden.

Olive Garden was one of the better options when I schooled in Buffalo. For some reason the suburban OGs tasted so much better than their crappy outlets in NYC. The soup and salad lunch special for $6.95 could not be beat! As salty as it was, this was my favorite soup from OG, that every time I managed to find kale at Wegman's or Tops I'd be inclined to make a pot. Zuppa Tuscana is one of my first dishes I've ever cooked and still make today.

Another mid-week creation. Shrimp w. Linguine and Homemade Parsley Pesto

Malaysian Beef Curry adapted from this Kari Ayam recipe. Instead of chicken I used stewed beef and a Malaysian curry paste instead of powder.

I don't mean to cram my meals into one post, but laziness struck again and I wanted to get some food out of the way before the Holiday feasting begins - that means tons of food to come!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Linguine w. Clams

Calling the BF, 'BF' makes me feel like I'm in 6th grade. From now on he's 'C'. Ok, now that's out of the way, let me introduce you to my signature dish, as C would call it. Linguine w. Clams. However this is Babbo's rendition of it. Having dined at Babbo's twice I've never ordered the dish. I've never been inclined to order this particular dish at any restaurant. Though usually one of the cheaper items on the menus of several Italian restaurants I feel like I can make the equivalent (or better *snort*) at home. Either that or I'm too scared to find a recipe better than mine. Well Mr. Batali might have me there.

The recipe was adapted from here. The
Barton & Guestier Vouvray used is one of my favorite white wines. My wine noob vocab describes this wine as crisp, fruity and slightly sweet though not as syrupy as Rieslings I used to drink. What's even better is that it usually costs about $8-9 at the liquor store. I don't recall which restaurant introduced me to this bottle - perhaps because I drank several. May not have been the best wine to use for the recipe but it was what I had on hand. The dish was delish nonetheless.

Well Mr. Batali, this dish was deliciously superb if it is indeed your own creation. I am now ruined though and can't think that highly about my own rendition ever again - thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comfort Food

Comfort food for me is salt, butter and carbs. I guess that's kind of my idea of umami. During the car ride home I was daydreaming about opening up a small restaurant - of course everything on the menu would be my kind of comfort food. Then again no one who cares remotely about their cholesterol would be visiting my place on a daily basis! Haha one day..

Vegetables need to make it into every meal to compensate for the load of crap I shove down my mouth daily. Thank goodness for the CSA box!

Dinner the other night - Simple Noodle Soup. One of my favorite dishes to throw all the emergency food into when we're too lazy to get anything fresh - marinated pork belly, two stalks of Chinese broccoli from the CSA, dried fried onions, frozen shrimp, frozen broth & scallion - ok, I cheated the scallions were fresh.

Simple Noodle Soup: Boiled dried noodles separately while warming up your broth (chicken, beef, veggie, etc.). Prepare other ingredients - I pan fried the pork belly and then the shrimp in the rendered fat. The veggies were thrown into the broth at the end to cook for a few minutes before serving. Once noodles are done according to taste, put them in bowls, topped with meat items & scallions. Ladle broth on top and add other toppings. I love my fried onion bits. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil before serving.

Last Weekend's Lunch. Egg Salad in Pita w. Baby Carrots

Egg Salad: Combine chopped hard boiled eggs, bacon bits, dijon mustard, mayo, splash of vinegar, salt & pepper. Chill.

Can't help but love a complete breakfast - it's what I look forward to on weekends!

Mid-Week Dinner. Beef Souvlaki Pita w. Homemade Tzatziki and Chickpea Salad

Beef Souvlaki: Beef cubes marinated in lemon, salt & pepper. They can be skewered and grilled but I seared the cubes on a cast iron skillet.
Tzatziki Recipe adapted from an online recipe I can't find at the moment. Plain yogurt, cut seeded or seedless cucumbers (shredded would be better) lemon, salt & pepper and olive oil. Chill for an hour or so to meld flavors.
Chickpea Salad - Drained and rinsed chickpeas mixed with tomatoes, cucumbers, minced shallots, parsley, juice of 1/2 a lemon

Friday, November 7, 2008

Always a Time for Food

Work has been getting the best of me lately. There are many days I come home with the lack of motivation to pick up a pan let alone pick up the phone for take out. Some days I'll be happy with a bowl of cereal or nuts but after awhile my stomach will crave something a bit more substantial. I'm tired and beat but on to better things! Meals from the past 1-2 weeks.

Cheese Tortellini (courtesy of BJs) w. Pancetta & Kale

My attempt at Caesar Salad with homemade dressing. Used the anchovies and all but am too paranoid to use a raw egg.

Lemon Butter Chicken Breasts with Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Cucumber Salad

Lemongrass Shrimp

Breakfast w. my attempt at Homemade Sausage Patties

Chickpea Salad

Pepper Steak Stir Fry