9.30.01 : pasta with vegetables
pasta with julienned veggies

1 zucchini, 3 carrots, butter, half and onion, penne, oregano, parm,

based on marcella cucina - she says it's "ligurian style"... wayne called it "meaty", which is a complement.

start sauteeing the onion (i should have julienned this, but didn't) in butter until clear, then add julienned carrots, salt, and more butter. cook carrots until they are nearly soft, employing whatever means necessary (such as putting the lid over them), and watch the onions - they will caramelize, but don't let them burn. add julienned zucchini (with middle seed-whites part scooped out - it will cook faster), oregano, salt and pepper, and sautee until finished. add to pasta, toss, and grate parm over it

9.29.01 :

9.28.01 : cuba libre in manhataan

9.27.01 : ceasar salad with chicken

9.26.01 : for susan's visit - argentine salsa, pigeon peas and rice, chocolate mousse

9.25.01 : pizza ;)

9.24.01 : pasta in red sauce (with leftover osso buco)

9.23.01 : osso buco, sauteed zucchini with thyme, capprese salad, white wine

osso buco

you're not ready for this...

4-5 center-cut slices of veal shank (thick, with a round bone in the middle), 3-4 garlic cloves, 4 anchovies, 1 c dry white wine, salt and pepper

(from various sources, including the joy and the minimalist) start about 1.5 - 2 hours before you want to eat. heat up your cast iron skillet, coat bottom with oil (pour out excess) and brown both side of meat. sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add anchovies and garlic cloves to pan (in whatever space you can find) and cook until the anchovies disolve and the garlic browns (did we do that? i don't remember...). add the wine, let it bubble for a minute, then turn the whole apparatus down to low and cover. check in 5 minutes to see that it's simmering. cook until meat is mad-tender and falling off the bone, about 1.5 hours, turning the meat every half hour or so. when you're almost ready to eat, remove the meat from the pan and keep it warm, then reduce the pan juices, adding butter if you want (not really necessary... the chemistry from the bones thickens things). pour sauce over meat, top with gremolata (1 T lemon zest, 2 T minced parsely, 1/2 t minced garlic), and don't forget to try the bone marrow. serves 2.
9.22.01 : chorizo-encrusted catfish based on emeril, beet rosti with rosemary, fennel gratin, beet greens salad (fennel seed, thyme, shallots, dijon, soy, sherry vinegar, s&p), 1986 cousino macul chardonay

this may be our Best Meal Yet

and go get mark bittman's the minimalist cooks at home

beet rosti

4 medium beets, 2 t coursely chopped fresh rosemary, 1/2 c flour, 1 T butter, s&p

[beware: beets are purple, and make everything else purple.] from minimalist: peel and grate beets into a mixing bowl with rosemary, and start heating up a smallish skillet on medium-high. toss in salt and pepper, and one half the flour, then toss in the other half. butter the pan and let the butter brown, then put the mixture in the pan and press down into a round and sizzle until the bottom is crispy, about 8-10 minutes. to flip, place a plate over the pan, flip the whole magilla, then slide it off the plate an back into the pan. cook for another 10 minutes, and sprinkle with a bit more salt to accentuate the sweetness of the beets.

fennel gratin

1 fennel bulb, 1/2 c bread crumbs, 1/4 c crumbled blue cheese, pepper

again, love the minimalist. preheat oven to 400 degrees. trim fennel (keep stalks around for other nefarious purposes), cut into 1/4 inch slices, and sautee in butter. place in shallow baking dish and top with bread crumbs and cheese, season with pepper, and place in oven until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
9.21.01 : tomato-melon gaspacho, tortilla espanola, chilean cabernet
tomato-melon gaspacho

half a cantalope, two small tomatoes, ice cubes, a lime, tequila, sugar

from the minimalist: seed, skin, and cube cantalope, skin tomatoes (by scoring the bottom, boiling quickly, and then dunking in cold water) and remove seeds, then sautee both in a bit of olive oil and salt until they are juicy. puree with some ice cubes and juiced of a lime. add a touch of sugar and some tequila. garnish with chopped mint, parsley, cilantro, and lime zest. serve cold, enough for 3.

spanish tortilla

6 eggs, three medium red potatoes, half an onion, a leek, two fresh chorizos (our local butcher has fresh as well as dried), gruyere, parm, s&p

based on the minimalist: start by pulling out your cast iron skillet, and cutting up one chorizo and cooking it into small pieces, while cooking the other along with it - the small pieces will cook faster - and set aside. in the mean time, cut potatoes into medium-thin slices, cut onion once in one direction and then in half (to make longer strips), and chop the white of the leek. pour ample amounts of olive oil in the same skillet and add potatoes and onions, a good dose of salt, and pepper. you do not want to brown the potatoes, just flip them and keep covered to cook. add leeks half way through. when the potatoes are tender, drain away the extra oil by placing them in a collinder and replacing them to the skillet, then stir in the small chorizo bits, pour in eggs (mixed), and layer on slices of the other chorizo, plus slices of gruyere and shredded parmesean. bake for about 10 minutes in the skillet at 350 degrees. top with parsley, cut, and serve. makes enough for 3-4.
9.20.01 : chicken curry on rice
chicken curry

about 1 lb of chicken, half an onion, garlic, 1-2t fresh ginger, a few shakes of tumeric and curry, 1 T sour cream, most of 1 (14oz) can of coconut milk, about 2 T chopped cilantro, salt, chopped mint

remove the bone from the chicken and cut into chunks. in a pseudo-wok or somwthing good for sautee-ing and stewing, sautee chopped onion, garlic, chopped ginger, tumeric, and curry (we added some thai green curry paste too... it's got blah-hoo-ah.) when the onions are ready, add in the chicken and sautee until mostly cooked. add sour cream, stir for a minute, then add coconut milk (not all... we think we used too much, and it diluted the other tastes), cilantro, and about 1/2 t salt. simmer for about 10 minutes, pour over rice, and garnish with more cilantro and some mint. serves two.
9.19.01 : tortelinni in squash sauce, honey and melted gruyere over italian bread, arugula and fennel salad with lemon and oil, port-poached pear
tortelinni in squash sauce

an acorn squash (halved and seeded), 1 T butter, 2 T sour cream, maple syrup, 1 T cream, s&p, parm, tortellini

this is somewhat adapted from the minimalist. acorn squash is impossible to peel, as we discovered (i.e. cut my finger), so we baked the bugger at 400 degrees it was somewhat soft, then peeled it easily. while baking the squash, start the pasta water. cut the baked squash into pieces and sautee in butter and some salt until it is soft. cool squash while boiling pasta, and place in a blender and puree with sour cream, maple syrup, and cream. return mixture to skillet, season with pepper, then drain pasta and add to skillet. mix it all up and serve topped with parmesean. serves 2.
9.17.01 : farmhouse lasagna, chianti
farmhouse lasagna

lasagna noodles (we used high-tech no-boil type), bechamel sauce with stilton and gruyere variation, one can crushed tomato, 1/2-1 lb sweet italian sausage, half an onion, garlic, 2t rosemary, oregano, s&p, parm, two large balls of fresh mozzarella, big bunch of chopped spinach, parsley

this may have been divinely inspired...

the name simply refers to our apartment

ok, preheat the oven according to noodle box (ours was 375 degrees), and get ready. it helps to have two people making the two sauces. the red sauce goes as such: bust open the italian sausage, cook and break into smallish pieces. at the same time, sautee chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. add crushed tomatoes to onion, add dried rosemary and oregano, some salt and pepper, and stir for a bit. then add this to the sausage and watch out for splatter (hope you're not wearing a nice shirt). also make the bechamel sauce, with fun cheeses. layers in 13x9x3 pan go as such: noodles, bechamel, spinach, noodles, red sauce, slices of one ball of mozzarella, noodles, bechamel, spinach, noodles, red sauce, mozzarella, and some parm of course. bake for about 40-50 minutes. if chesse gets brown early, put foil over it. sprinkle with parsley. put a fork in it. serves two for a few days.
9.16.01 : posole, followed an hour later by bratwurst with mustard and a spinich salad in shallot-dijon-rice wine dressing, served with gewurztraminer, then pears with stilton and crackers served with port, followed by irish coffee.

2 drained cans of hominy, one can of green chiles, 2 cups chicken broth, half an onion, several cloves of garlic, half a red bell (sweet) pepper, oregano, ground red pepper

adapted from the joy of cooking, this can also have chicken in it. i'm a fan of the subtle southwestern taste of this stew with green chiles.

sautee the chopped onion, add chopped garlic, red bell pepper, and a few shakes of oregano and sautee until pepper is soft. add broth, hominy, and chopped green chiles. bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 30 minutes and sprinkle on some ground red pepper (not too much - it can get overpowering). it may need salt, depending on the broth and hominy. serves two.

9.14.01 : pasta with spinach and garlic bread, at 10pm after opting not to go to "monk's" in philly cuz greg was coming over. the next morning there was sherry by the lamp, jack by the couch, beer in the bathroom, and port on the dining table.

9.13.01 : portabella-sage-sherry pasta, white wine

portabella-sage-sherry pasta

2 large portabella mushrooms, half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, one small tomato, several leave of sage, sherry, one red bell pepper, pasta, parmaggiano regiono

start the water for the pasta, then slice the mushrooms into half-inch slices, then cut in half widthwise. sautee mushrooms in olive oil with half onion and garlic and a few leaves of sage. put a bell pepper on a middle rack in the oven on broil and watch it (blacking is ok, but not too much). once the mushrooms are softening, add tomato, and pour in a few glugs of sherry. after a minute or so, add the roast pepper which you have skinned and seeded and sliced into managable pieces. sautee the whole thing, then when the pasta is ready, drain pasta, put pasta back in the pot, and throw the sauce over it, and stir for a bit, adding in some butter if you want. plate out pasta and add parma and pepper, and sprinkle over more chopped sage.

the secret here is the sage afterwards. also note the lack of salt. we weren't sure when to add it. still don't know. but it does need it. more sherry the better, more sage the better, but we are poor post-college-students.

9.11.01 : tortellini in broth, sour dough bread, gin and tonics, white wine - wayne didn't have much of an appetite, but this sure tasted comforting. then we resolved to get drunk.
tortellini in broth

about 8 cups of home-made chicken stock (from yesterday's chicken), a package of frozen tortellini, half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper

bring the stock to a boil. at the same time, defrost the tortellini, and sautee the onion and garlic. toss them all together, season (it will need lots of salt if you didn't season the stock initially). a small rosemary garnish at the very end is nice. feeds 2-3 potential blood donors.
9.10.01 : orange-cumin roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, salad (brown mustard, rice wine vinegar, worchestershire vinagrette), tomatoes and kalamata olives
orange-cumin-honey roasted chicken

3 lb whole chicken, 3 carrots, lemon quarter, fresh rosemary, garlic, 1/2 c orange juice, 2 T honey, 1 t cumin, salt and pepper

this one also adapted from the minimalist cooks at home... the idea came halfway into a standard herb-roasted chicken, hence the combo of rosemary and cumin... they both come out in different ways and work alright together.

preheat the oven to 400. stuff chicken with carrots, a sprig of rosemary, and the quarter lemon. under the skin stick more rosemary and some smashed garlic cloves. mix together the orange juice, honey, cumin, and some salt and pepper. place chicken in a baking dish (we did it surrounded by potatoes), sprinkle salt on the skin, and pour on about a third to a half of the orange sauce. place pan in the oven, and after 10 minutes, pour on more sauce, and turn a quarter turn. do this two or three more times, until sauce is gone. chicken should be done after about an hour, and the honey will make the skin brown, tho you can cover it with foil to stop browning when desired.

9.6.01 : lodge-style hot dogs, sage-roasted potatoes, bruschetta with caramelized onions, salad with kalamata olive, dijon, garlic, worchestershire, balsamic, salt, pepper dressing
sage roasted potatoes

(waiting for wayne to write up)

9.5.01 : red wine vinegar chicken with onions, perogies, veggies and hummus, salad and yellow peppers with soy, ginger, rice vinegar, horse radish mustard, garlic dressing
vinegar chicken

1-2 lbs boneless chicken, 1 medium onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper

this is from the minimalist cooks at home by mark bittman, but we improvized cuz we didn't have shallots, and didn't want to bake it. the flavor comes out more in the onions than the chicken - wayne likes dark meat anyway cuz it has more flavor.

sautee onion and garlic in olive oil, and put aside. brown chicken on one side in a pan, flip, and then doust with red wine vinegar. add onions and garlic in a minute, and continue to add vinegar and reduce until rest of meal is ready to serve. season to taste. serves 2.

9.4.01 : cinnamon couscous with sauteed summer squash and zucchini, sweet potato home fries with cinnamon, salad with dijon lemon vinagrette
sweet potato fries

1 large sweet potato, olive oil, salt, cinnamon

cut potato in half, then slice into evenly-thick sections - this means equal cooking. get oil hot in a pan and place fries down so that they cover the pan. watch to make sure they get evenly browned and don't burn on one side. when ready, place on paper towel on a plate, sprinkle with lots of salt and some cinnamon. serves 3. can also be baked.
9.3.01 : white bean, orecchiette (ear-pasta), and fennel soup with sourdough bread
bean, pasta, and fennel soup

1 can cannellini beans, roughly 2 cups of organic orecchiette, half a fennel bulb, 1 onion, several cloves of garlic, 3 vegetable boullion cubes made in 6 cups of water, pepper

sautee onion and garlic in olive oil, add to boullion in a large pot. sautee fennel, add to pot. when boullion boils, add pasta and beans (drained), pepper to taste (no extra salt - boullion is mad strong), and simmer until pasta is soft. serves 4-6.
9.2.01 : pasta with kielbasa and sauteed fennel