Archive for December, 2005

New Years Smorgasbord

Well, it was a Chinese food Smorgasbord, pardon me for mixing metaphors. We were invited to David Janes’ house along with his friend Doug and family. We all brought a few dishes which turned out to be too much good food. Dishes included peanut chicken, sweet and sour pork, sesame chicken, mixed vegetables in Thai red curry sauce, Asian spiced flank steak, Singapore noodles, chicken fried rice, Vietnamese spring rolls, Italian cream puffs (for desert). All the food was excellent and there were more than a few comments, including myself, that the food rivaled many an outing to authentic Chinese restaurants. Happy New Year!


Turkey Quesadilla and Turkey Vegetable soup

What to do with Christmas turkey leftovers? For a change of pace I made turkey quesadillas along with a simple turkey vegetable soup, it was all very tasty. I wanted to do something different from turkey pot pies, stew, sandwiches and hot open faced sandwiches, ad nauseam.


Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo

This is a fairly traditional southern dish, think Cajun, with shrimp, a yard bird, okra and filé powder to name the key ingredients. I kind of like this recipe and approach by J. Michael Spector – Gumbo Recipe

Served with a mound of basmati rice.


Rogue Chocolate Stout Stew

This isn’t as weird as it sounds, and far exceeded my expectations, I used about half a bottle to make this stew (I drank the other half of course) along with a little white wine and some veal stock. The sauce was velvety and very tasty, better than most of the Guinness stews I’ve ever had. We served the stew over a bed of rustic mashed potatoes. There is just a hint of bitterness from the chocolate in the stout, simple superb. This is going into high rotation at our house.

Sausage and Peppers on Polenta

Sweet and Hot Sausage fried up with fennel, red and yellow bell peppers and tomatoes served on fried polenta. So simple and easy.


Pork Loin alla Porchetta

This is from Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food, the stuffing is all about fennel and is very good, but ultimately I found the pork to be very tough. I attribute the toughness to the high roasting heat (425 F) the recipe calls for. Next time I’m going to try a much slower temperature and see how things work out. Our good friend Nancy was over for dinner and being Italian I thought I’d give her the full experience by making a truffle infused polenta. I also served some simple boiled carrots. Until next time mister Porchetta.


USDA Prime, Strip Loin

You could boil this steak and it would taste good. It’s hard to compete with a well marbled piece of USDA prime steak. The steak was pan fried and a sauce made from the pan juices, which used shallots and Cremini mushrooms, porto, white wine and veal stock (my wife and I shared this steak). The mashed potatoes were finished with cream, butter and white truffle oil and fresh shaved white truffle (and at $10/gram for the truffle, this was an expensive dinner, but very tasty) finally we finish with some sautéed white asparagus.


Rack of Lamb (Mushroom Battle)

The text of this dinner was lost in translation from blogger.

Chicken Parmesan

A classic Italian dish, breaded chicken cutlet, baked with a tomato sauce and Mozzarella di Bufala (to make it a little more special) linguini. I made the bread crumbs from scratch grinding up light rye bread and seasoning them with paprika, Italian seasoning and Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Bay Scallops and Fennel with linguini

Sweet bay scallops sautéed with onions, fennel, white wine and touch of Pernod, finally 35% cream is added to thicken the sauce; Simple and very easy to prepare.