Archive for October, 2007

I’ve been doing it wrong.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

You’ve never had brussels sprouts if you haven’t had roasted brussels sprouts.  Years ago, brussels sprouts were probably the only regularly encountered food I didn’t like (pretty much everything else was ok).  They were bitter little stinky cabbages with rubbery little leaves, and I didn’t like them at all.  When Cati moved in, she got me to hate them less (heck, I even grew to like them).  We used to boil them, and that’s not bad as long as they are fresh (never frozen).  

Not long ago the Co-op started carrying local organic stalks of the little beauties.  One of the ladies I was working with in the cheese section one evening suggested that I try roasting them instead of boiling, and I was intrigued.  Roasted/grilled asparagus is better than steamed, so it seemed likely that the improvement would translate.  Incidentally, she is the executive chef at a rather large restaurant in downtown Albany.  So now we roast ’em, and the flavor is incredible.  They are like a healthful and delicious version of french fries.  The aroma that comes off while cooking them this way is remarkable.  Cook up some local, organic, free-range chicken (and some aioli), and you have a meal fit for a king. 

For the brussels sprouts, pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Coat the brussels sprouts in some olive oil and place them on a cookie tray.  Sprinkle on some coarse sea-salt, and add them to the oven for ~30min.  Vigorously shake the cookie-tray (or flip the bulbs with tongs) every 7 minutes or so to roast evenly.  Remove, let cool, and enjoy. 

sprout stalk

coat in oil

ready for the oven

shake shake shake

roasted to perfection

We enjoyed the brussels srpouts with some chicken from Misty Knoll Farms (remember them?).  We just lightly breaded the chicken and pan-fried. 

I still know my chicken

lookin’ good, eh?

the meal

It was a relatively easy and delicious meal. 

Miscellaneous Meals

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Cati and I had a great weekend.  We saw a very good movie, went to Saso’s, went to a wedding, and even tried that new burger joint franchise Five Guys. (the burgers were meh, at best; nothing special really).  I didn’t take any pictures at all, so photo-blogging about it all is pretty pointless, no?  Below is a collection of some nice meals that I DO have photos of:

I made “everything chicken” a couple weeks back according to this recipe.  I am a bit ashamed to admit that I discovered this recipe from seeing it on TV as made by Rachel Ray [cringe].  She strikes me as a loud townie who, for some reason, constantly speaks in superlatives; but oh well, she can cook.  See photos below:

the ingredients

the process

into the oven it goes

I also made “pasta a la suegra” (a recipe from my lovely mother-in-law) to go with the everything chicken.  The recipe is:

  • 4 oz. pasta of your choice.  We prefer whole wheat or spelt pasta over the white-flour stuff.   
  • one egg
  • one triangle of laughing cow cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (you make the call)
  • 1 Tbsp of dried basil
  • salt to taste

Mix all ingredients using an electric hand-mixer.  Boil pasta in salted water until desired firmness.  Dump pasta into a colander and shake to remove water.  Add pasta back to empty pot on low/med heat and immediately add mixed ingredients.  Keep stirring as cream sauce thickens with the pasta.  It’s pretty tasty.  We had some sliced tomatoes with dinner, but I bet a nice green salad would have been good too. 

 more fixin’s

the mix

add

stir

oh yeah

now with color

A few more weeks ago, I made more borscht and some turkey grilled-cheese sandwiches to go along with it.  Hey, what can I say?  We’re root-crop people. 

Borscht and a sammich

I am also pleased to report that Cati and I found whole wheat pizza crusts so we have been making our own pizzas lately.  The pizza below is topped with pizza sauce, dried garlic, basil, rosemary, greek olives, tomatoes, mozzarella, capers, and a pair of eggs.  Good stuff. 

pizza pizza

Isn’t this exciting?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

You dropped a BOMB on me.

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

I went to a “BOMB” party.  BOMB stands for Boys Only Meat Bash.  A friend of mine wanted to host a party, but he also wanted as little forethought and preparation as possible.  He felt that having his wife (and all the other wives) there would require things like plates, napkins, tables, vegetables, utensils, wine, manners, etc.  We menfolk view all of these things as luxuries/hassles.  So he fired up the grill and the smoker, got a keg of ale (he’s British), and scattered a few chairs around the backyard.  Each attendee was to bring, and cook, meat.   I kicked it up a notch; borrowed another friend’s deep-fryer, and deep fried a turkey.  I also broke the no-vegetable rule and brought some yams to be fried french-fry style.  Some of the culinary highlights of the afternoon were:

  • Pork chops with smoked apple-and-bacon apple sauce
  • Lamb with a fresh made mint and garlic salsa
  • Smoked duck 
  • Deep fried turkey injected with a habanero barbeque marinade (hey, a little self promotion never killed anyone).
  • Marinated grilled chicken with a creamy cashew curry sauce.

The list of great food goes on and on…

I had fun and so did a friend I brought with me.  He was visiting from Argentina, and people from Argentina know how to grill.  Asado is part of their culture.  We also had a $2 buy-in pool tournament.  I was hoping that Argentina would face England in the tournament final, and that there would be a controversial hand-ball that would become a tale for the ages; that didn’t happen though. 

All that meat probably shaved a year or two off my life (y’know, good ol’ CHD), but I have no regrets; I’d do it all again.  Afterward, el Argentino and I headed over to Red Square in downtown Albany so I could show him some Albany nightlife.  I griped about having to pay a $10 cover just to have a beer, but then I wound up liking the band that was playing.  They were called Lotus, and I liked what I heard. 

See some photo highlights below (mouse over for brief description):

The bird

The map

The designated driver

The drive

The laughing Argentino

The grill

The smoker

The deep-fryer

The boyz

The pool table

The band 1

The band 2

Who’s hosting the next one?  I’ll bring the Ezetimibe