Archive for December, 2006

New Years Eve Dinner

We took it easy this year and had a quiet New Years. The starter was a simple sautéed mushrooms, shitake, dried porcini and cremini mushrooms along with fresh goat cheese, this tastes much better than it looks, if I was going all out I would have topped this with a little puff pastry. For the main course we had a braised lamb shank in Moroccan spices served on a mound of couscous which includes cilantro, red and yellow peppers. Also on the plate are some carrots and pearl onions from the braising liquid.

Chicken Parmesan

Pretty simple to make, but breaded things tend to be a little on the messy side. I mixed a little Parmigiano-Reggiano into the bread crumbs, and topped with Mozzarella di Bufala and tomato sauce.  When using Mozzarella di Bufala in this fashion it's important to reduce the water content by using paper towels to draw the moisture out before hand.


Hoisin Glazed Salmon

Hoisin glazed salmon with garlic and ginger, along with steamed basmati rice and the vegetable is stir fried broccoli with soy sauce, garlic and schezwaun chillies.


Filet Mignon

A simple filet mignon, pan fried with a veal stock, red wine, cremeni mushroom sauce. Served with boiled carrots and rustic mashed potatoes. We started the dinner with a celery soup with a little cream, chopped black truffle and truffle oil.

Young people who cook at home eat better

This story seems rather intuitive, but reinforces that dining out and fast-food in particular are probably not all that good for you, in large amounts.  If you need inspiration browse "What's for dinner"

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Young adults who frequently make their own meals have much healthier diets than their peers who never set foot in the kitchen, a new study shows.


Hoisin BBQ Ribs

Braised pork ribs in a hoisin BBQ suace. With lots of garlic, ginger, the ribs were sweet and succulent. Served on a bed of basmati rice and finished with roasted sesame seeds.


Pasta E Fagioli

This is a somewhat simple and hardy soup that I make with the left over Osso Buco braising liquid this makes for a remarkably rich tasting soup made with leftovers. Also in the soup are kidney beans, browned veal chuck, carrots, fennel, a can of whole plum tomatoes, white wine, veal stock and chicken stock in ratio of 1:1.  The pasta is Mezzi Tubetti, which is best cooked separately and added at the last moment, to heat through but not cook. Finally finish the soup (stew) with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil.


Guinness Irish Stew

A juicy strip loin sliced thin and fried to make a great stew for a damp winter night. Other ingredients include button mushrooms, carrots, fresh thyme (you can see a few sprigs in the picture, I made this very rustic) and of course almost a whole tin of Guinness. All served on a bed of mashed potatoes. There's also a cup of home made veal stock which adds to the depth and richness of the sauce.


Osso Buco

A special treat for my wife's birthday. A braised veal shank prepared the traditional way, but instead of topping the shank with Gremolata, I prefer to prepare a sauce from the braising liquid which is rich and very tasty. I served the Osso Buco with risotto Milanese and asparagus sautéed with white wine and finished with Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Working through my backlog

I have a small backlog of dinners from the course of the past year I'm currently working on. Stay tuned for new dinners starting this week.

In the past I used to use Adobe Photo Shop to crop and sometimes edit my photos, but I've switched to "light" weight free application called Paint.Net, so for all you techies out there the following might make sense, although is quite small 3.6MB, it requires the .Net 2.0 framework which is anything but small and light, but I digress.

So far has done a good job and looks like a keeper, I run it on a Virtual PC which keeps the .Net stuff off my main machine, a win-win in my books.

Stay tuned for more food coming soon, either from the past, but definitely in the future.