Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oct. 11-17th

Last week I decided to add a gadget to the blog: Dinner This Week. Sadly, I've already fallen behind on keeping it up. But, I do have some results of last week's dinners, and I will be adding this week's to the gadget.

Monday, Oct. 11 - Panacea cooked us up a delicious, comforting meal of Mac 'n' Cheese, with a salad of iceberg lettuce, frozen peas, bacon, shredded cheddar, water chestnuts, some other stuff, and a super light (as in fluffy, not low fat), and creamy dressing. Oh, and roasted broccoli.

Tuesday, Oct. 12 - I have been forgetting that David and I have dates on Tuesday nights now. I had planned on making flat iron steak sandwiches. I decided to proceed with it, even though we had originally planned on tacos at Licorous. I bought potato rolls at Essential Bakery, and made super simple mini sandwiches of flat iron steak & arugula, with a drizzle of olive oil for me, and some butter for David. I also make a roasted chioggia beet salad. With the remainder of the meat, I had our sitter make the boys steak quesadillas, which they enjoyed. Though this meal was super delicious, we still had to go try out those $1 tacos!

Wednesday, Oct. 13 - For my chicken legs, I braised them with mirepoix (onion, carrots, celery), a couple bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, white wine, and water. After the legs were cooked, I removed them, then added chopped Lucques olives, and allowed the liquid to reduce a little. YUM. I served this over some whole wheat pasta.

Thursday, Oct. 14 - Braised short ribs, sauteed crimini mushrooms, and apple/parsnips puree. What a labor of love. This was a simple meal, but it did take some time, and a full dishwasher of cookware. The night before, Vincent and I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper, and added some aromatics. The day of, I pulled the meat out of the fridge and allowed to come to room temperature. When it was time to cook, I patted the pieces of meat with paper towels to dry. Then, in a dutch oven, sear the meat on all sides. Ideally, you would remove the meat, then cook your vegetables in the pan, then add the meat back in. I didn't. I just deglazed my pan with red wine, put the vegetables (leeks, carrots and celery) on top with garlic, thyme and bay, brought to a boil, then reduced the heat and covered. I cooked the meat for about 3.5 hours.

As the meat cooked, prepare the other items.
*mushrooms: sliced. Sauteed in olive oil with garlic and shallots
*parsnips puree: Peel and cut apples to large dice. Cook in a little water, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until the consistency of apple sauce. For the parsnips, peel and cut to uniform pieces. Place in a sauce pan and cover with milk. Pinch of salt. Simmer until tender. Remove the parsnips from the milk and puree in a food processor with the cooked apples until very smooth. Pass the puree through a sieve.

Friday, Oct. 15 - Dinner out.

Saturday, Oct. 16 - With the leftover short ribs, I pulled the meat off the bone, shredded it, and stored it in a container with the mushrooms and cooking liquid. On Saturday, I reduced all of this on the stove by about half. Then, I put it into an oven-safe dish, topped with the leftover apple-parsnips puree, and sprinkled leftover breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, from Panacea's mac 'n' cheese, on top. Broil that up until nice and golden brown...Heavenly.

Sunday, Oct. 17- David took Vincen to his hockey game, so they ate out afterwards. Tyler and I had noodles with broccoli and tofu. Oh, wait, that's what he had. I had a Gardern Burger on a whole wheat english muffin. Simple.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken and Steak

Last week, I roasted a beautiful chicken. I was really proud of how pretty it came out, but still ended up with a meltdown on the kitchen floor. Think Julie Powell in "Julie and Julia". Pathetic.

I really have such a tough time roasting a whole chicken. I don't know why. I've posted about this the past. For some reason, I can't get that thing to the dinner table in time, no matter how well I plan. And, even when I inserted my thermometer, once again, and it read 165 degrees F, I still had some pink when I carved into the wings. The meat was cooked, but the joints were a little, well, not done, I guess. I mean, I've bought a store chicken in the past and gotten something like this. But, why?

So, here's my bird, sitting on top of a sheet of sliced yukon gold potatoes.
I just seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, put some aromatics into the cavity, trussed, and then let it sit in the fridge for about an hour (a tip from my friend, Jen, who said it'll help give it a crisper skin).
And it did..
The drippings from the chicken made the potatoes (which were tossed in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) oh so yummy.
The next day, I used the leftover meat to make chicken noodle soup, with broth made from the leftover carcass.
Now, the steak part of this posting...
Really simple. Just flat iron steak, seasoned with salt and smoked paprika, pan roasted and sliced. Served with roasted delicata squash, crimini mushrooms, arugula and balsamic vinegar, and plain, short grain brown rice.
One of the things I love about flat iron steak is that it seems to come out perfectly, temperature-wise, everytime. Not the mention its tenderness.

OMG! I Did That??

I posted the same food twice! What's wrong with me. I should check where I left off, huh? Well, moving forward...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh My, It's Been So Long...

Has it been a month? Maybe more? I have been cooking up a storm, actually, just not sharing. Here's a quick recap of some meals in September...

Poached Pork TenderloinChopped herbs and extra virgin olive oil, in a Foodsaver bag, then poached in a shallow pan of water for 8 minutes on each side.

Tender and juicy...
Served with new potatoes and roasted beets.

David made this chicken dinner: Balsamic chicken with mushrooms, sauteed chard, and whole wheat linguini.

Summer squash and chicken with whole grain mustard in packets.
My parchment paper and chicken, ready to be topped with vegetables and made into a packet.
Toppe with veggies...made into a packet...
Voila, another healthy and delicious meal. Baking in the packet helped keep the meat moist, and used so little fat.
I may have served it with this homemade tomato soup. Yes, those are homemade croutons. This is the kids' portion.Salad of tuna and canollini beans. It wasn't bad, but definitely tasted healthy.

Turkey shepards' pie. Check out the golden brown top.
Toddler portion.

We were away for part of the month, so that's all I've got. But, I did make a nice meal on Sunday. It was flat iron steak with roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Super simple, steak and potatoes kind of meal, but so good.