6.27 - blenderless caldo verde
6.26 - beautiful bacon cheeseburgers
2 spicy sausages (originally linguica, but we used andouille and chorizo), half an onion, 2 baking potatoes, a bunch of kale, 2 c water, 2 c broth, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper
if you're like us and forgot to thaw the sausages, just cut them into 1" rounds with a sharp knife and toss them in the bottom of the pot. brown them along with the onion (chopped) and potatoes (cubed). remove the stems from the kale and start chopping with a good knife until you can't do it any more. when the potatoes are about half-cooked, pour in the liquid, add bay leaves and kale. bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are done and kale is soft. serves 3.
6.25 - baked salmon and squash, ben's childhood cornflake-potato gratin
baked salmon and squash
1.5 lb salmon fillet, half of a medium onion, 1 summer squash, 1 small zucchini, 1 plum tomato, dill, salt and pepper, butter and olive oil, juice of half a lemon
smear butter around the inside of a casserole dish, and lay the fillet (skin-side down) in the dish. drizzle on some olive oil, then sprinkle on a decent amount of salt, pepper, and dill. slice the onion and lay on top of the fish, and squeeze the lemon juice over it. julienne the squash and zucchini into 1/4 slices and lay over the fish along with diced tomato. cover with tin foil and place in 350 degree oven for about an hour (depending on thickness of your fillet). serves 3.
6.24 - chicken cacciatore di farmhouse, fried fennel, mixed greens salad
ben's cornflakes potatoes
1-2 baking potatoes, cornflakes, cheddar, 1/2 stick butter
peel and slice potatoes and lay in a baking sheet (with a lip), one layer deep. cover with cornflakes and then shredded cheese. melt the butter and drizzle over everything. bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes. quite decadent in it's own way.
6.19 - figs and prosciutto, veal saltimbocca with grilled summer squash, butter-sage farfalle, and mixed greens salad
chicken cacciatore di farmhouse
6-8 chicken thighs, 3 strips of thick bacon, 1/2 medium onion, 1 clove garlic, 2/3 of a 12 oz can of tomato puree, 1 c red wine, splash of sherry vinegar, splash of tabasco sauce, rosemary, thyme, oregano, fresh sage leaves, salt and pepper, rotini pasta, leftover pork and parmesan rinds if you have them
start by cutting up the bacon into pieces and browning, then sautee the onion and garlic in the same pan. brown the chicken thighs, then add in the tomato, wine, and herbs, (pork and parm if you have it), and simmer for about an hour. in the meantime, get some pasta started. taste the sauce and season with vinegar, tabasco, salt and pepper. remove the chicken, add cooked pasta, stir and add chicken back. serves 4.
6.12 - dinner: ben makes flounder, butter-herb mushrooms, steamed green beans
thin veal cutlets (1-2 per person), prosciutto di parma, parmigiano reggiano, sage leaves, olive oil, marsala wine, toothpicks
lay out the veal, and adore lovingly. sprinkle on salt and pepper, then lay on 2-3 slices of prosciutto. using a potato peeler, shave parmigiano onto one half of the cutlet (a few shaves should do), and lay two or three leaves of fresh sage over the cheese. fold the cutlet in half, secure with toothpicks, and place in pan with olive oil at medium-high heat. brown on both sides (after this the veal will probably be mostly cooked through), then finish by adding a glug or three of marsala to the pan. after a few minutes, remove veal and reduce pan sauce.
6-8 fillets of flounder (1.5 lbs), a bulb of garlic (small cloves if possible), olive oil, 1 can whole tomatoes, 4 oz. of oil-cured olives, 1 c white wine, about 1 c chopped parsley
ben's uncle silvére was painting a mural in a restaurant, and observed the making of this dish enough to recreate it.
before everything, pit and chop the olives and chop the parsley - cooking goes fast once it starts. in a large pan, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. peel and crush (but don't chop) garlic cloves and add to oil. after they start to turn yellow (about 1 minute), add olives. add tomatoes by crushing them in your hands as you add them. add most of the parsley (save some for garnish). place fillets on top of sauce, add wine, and simmer until fish is cooked, roughly 10 minutes. it may help to push the fillets down into the sauce to cook them evenly. serves 3-4 (2 per person). serve with bread for sopping.
6.12 - lunch: air-conditioned-apartment summer soup
1 lb button mushrooms, 1/2 onion, few cloves garlic, 2 T butter, 1 t dried basil, glug of dry sherry
first quarter all the mushrooms. heat butter in a pan. chop onion and garlic and add to pan. add mushrooms and basil and sautee. when just about done (10 minutes), add in sherry and cook down. serves 3-4.
6.11 - pork loin braised in milk, sage mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, mixed greens salad
zucchini and mushroom soup
about 3 c homemade meat stock, 1/4 large onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 stalks celery, 6 smallish brown mushrooms, half a zucchini, half a green bell pepper, about 2 handfuls of ditalini pasta, salt and pepper, croutons, parmesan
normally hot soup in teh summer seems like a bad idea, but when you've got a.c. and fresh stock, why not make soup?
start the stock boiling, and cut up the onions and celery into rustic pieces. smash and chop garlic, and cut mushrooms in manageable pieces. add it all to the boiling pot and reduce to a simmer. slice the zucchini into somewhat thin half-rounds and add to pot. when the zucchini looks like it's getting cooked, after about 15-20 minutes, add the pasta. fins your soup bowl, and place several croutons in the bottom of it. then the soup is ready, do some final seasoning, then grate parm over the croutons, and pour soup over them. grate more parm over top. serves 3.
6.10 - lamb chops with roasted rosemary red potatoes and sauteed asparagus in lemon, arugula salad with herb vinaigrette
pork loin braised in milk
2 lb pork loin, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 large vidalia onion, 1 T butter, 3 c milk, sea salt, pepper
heat a cast iron skillet to med-high. cut slits in pork loin. smash garlic and madsh into slits. sprinkle a few pinches of salt and rub in. heat up 1/2 T of butter in the pan, brown the pork on all sides, and remove. slice the onion and sautee for 5 minutes, adding butter as needed. return pork to pan, add 1 c milk, and lower heat to low. cover and simmer for 1 hr. add 2 c milk, boil, then reduce heat and cover, simmering for 2 hours. serves 3-4.
6.08 - more matunuck: grilled pizzas (tomato-basil-mozzarella, sausage-goatcheese-caramelized onion), grilled chicken, warm spinach salad with portabellos, blue cheese, and toasted pine nuts
6.07 - at matunuck: "fish-in-a-fish" (fish, rice, and sauce wrapped in puff pastry shaped like a fish - from sunset magazine), tomatoes stuffed with ricotta and spinach
6.06 - four-cheese omelettes (swiss, cheddar, parm, gruyere)
6.05 - meatball-stuffed shells, spinach salad with herb vinaigrette
6.03 - chris' b-day: farmhouse gumbo, dom perignon 1993
1 lb ground beef, 1 lb ground pork, 1/2 vidalia onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 egg, 1/4 c breadcrumbs, s&p, 15 jumbo pasta shells, about 2 c red sauce (1 can tomato paste, the other 1/2 of vidalia, 1 clove garlic, some water, some wine), cheeses (1/4 c each of shredded parm and gruyere, 1/8 c stilton, 1/4 c fresh mozzarella)
chop onions and garlic, and mix together with meats, egg, and breadcrumbs, with some salt and pepper. form into balls that will eventually fit into the shells (this will depend on the shells you have and how much they expand - ours didn't grow much), and begin to brown - you want them to cook through. start the water for the pasta, then cook shells and cool - they should stay pliable. make the red sauce and add it to the pan with the meatballs, simmering for 5 minutes or so. preheat the oven to 400, then stuff each shell with a meatball and place them in a casserole. cover with the sauce from the pan and the cheeses, and bake until cheese are melted. serves 3.
6.01 - tuna steaks with cilantro-parsley butter, asparagus in lemon-butter sauce, sweet potato puree, spinach and arugula salad with roasted cherry tomatoes and mustard viniagrette, mussels with leeks and tomato, 1999 selvapiana chianti rufina
three celery stalks, half of a medium onion, half each of a red, yellow, and green bell pepper, 1/2 c chopped scallions, 2 t ground red pepper, 1 1/2 t salt 1 t ground black pepper, three large chicken breasts, 2-3 andouille sausages, 1 chorizo, 1 lb shrimp, 1/2 c veggie oil, 1/2 c flour, 6 c chicken broth/stock, two large garlic cloves, filé powder (if you can find it)
start by chopping the celery, onion, bell pepper, and scallions, and set aside. in a brown paper bag, combine the red pepper, salt, and black pepper. cut up the chicken into large-ish pieces (they will be shredded later), then toss them in the bag with the spices. heat up a cast iron skillet to med-high and brown the chicken, then set aside. brown the sausages whole, and set aside. pour veggie oil into the pan, then mix in the flour with a wooden spoon - you are about to make a roux, which requires some attention, and is supposed to take as long as it takes to drink two beers (maybe if it's bad beer and you drink it really quickly... like, 5-6 minutes). stir the roux constantly, scraping up the good bits from the pan, until it starts to turn a nice dark chocolate color (but don't burn it!). take it off the heat, mix in the veggies, and wait till the roux stops bubbling. transfer this to a large soup pot, then pour in chicken broth, and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, and add in the chicken (shredded) and the sausage (cut into rounds) and shrimp (de-veined, shelled), and chopped garlic cloves. depending on how much you cooked the chicken and sausage when browning, the gumbo should be ready in about 10 minutes (use the shrimp as a visual thermometer). put 1-2 t of filé powder in each bowl, then pour soup over it and mix a bit. serves 4-5. good with bread and beer (pilsner urquel did us well).