Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is it summer yet?

To say I have been uninspired lately by my eating and cooking experiences is a bit of an understatement. Hence the lack of blogging. I think it has something to do with one day wanting to curl up on the couch with a bowl of soup because buckets of rain are being dumped from the sky and the next day wanting an ice cold salad because it is 80 degrees and my air conditioner doesn't work. As soon as I decided to cook a winter meal, the weather changes and I am all thrown off. The result has been bad takeout.

Damn this global warming.

The good news is that the husband isn't uninspired when it comes to cocktails.

Last weekend started off with a mint julep. I will get the exact proportions, but the ingredients are mint, sugar, and bourbon. How can you mess that up?!? The answer is you can't. This was delicious and I love that you don't have to stop drinking bourbon just because it is summer.

When you are outside at a baseball game all day, enjoying the spring/summer weather it is almost impossible to resist the offer of a summer cocktail.

Say hello to Mr. Mint Mojito.

Again, I will get all of the proportions for this one and post soon. But it was as refreshing as it looks.

One other mention - my new summer drink has been elected. The proud winner is a gin and soda with a twist of lime. So good. As much as I tried, the G & T never worked for me - but the soda mellows it out and makes for what I think is a perfect cocktail.

Ok, back to work.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Purple Potatoes?!?

In the same trip to the market that resulted in cipollini onions, a bag of fingerling purple potatoes made its way to my kitchen - mostly because how often do you get the chance to eat purple potatoes?

I first browned the cipollini's in olive oil and then covered and braised with sage, vinegar and water. I loved the way they looked, but I think I should have cut the sweetness and added some more vinegar to the braising liquid and finished it with some sea salt.

For the potatoes, i boiled them and then peeled them and fork mashed them with thyme, a little salt, and olive oil. I wanted to really taste the potatoes so I kept it simple. They were a little dry so I think I would maybe add some sourcream or milk - but the flavor was great.

I also roasted a chicken. This recipe is my favorite for chicken - I got it from the Tribece Grill cookbook.

Stud an onion with about 10 cloves. Put in inside the cavity of the chicken with 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 an orange. Make a mix of minced garlic, sage, tarragon, and thyme (about 2 tbsp of each). Stuff it between the skin and the meat of the chicken. Rub the skin of the chicken with a liberal amount of room temperature butter. Put chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and put about 1 inch of water in the pan. Then cook for suggested time (our chicken was 3.5 pounds, and I think I cooked it for 1 1/2 hours or so). Baste every 10 minutes or so. The oven should be preheated to 450 and then reduced to 350 as soon as the chicken is put into the oven.

I also made a porcini gravy. Essentially, I browned some onions, then I made a roux with butter and flour, added chicken stock, chopped porcini mushrooms that had been reconstituted, then added the liquid from the mushrooms. Oh, and I put some white wine in as well and of course some salt and pepper.

The finished product.

Pretty good farmers market meal for the middle of winter. Yes, it was March - and I didn't realize it at the time - but March is apparently now the middle of winter.

Off to Florida to escape the rain that has already delayed my flight by 3 hours (hence the multitude of posts). I'll bring my camera - hopefully I will make some good food finds.

Blackberries Two Ways

I rarely buy expensive berries because, well, they are expensive. But these blackberries were calling out at me.

We used them on top of vanilla gelato and the husband repurposed them for a delicous blackberry mojito sans mint.

With different lighting to get a better sense of the rich purple color.

The mojito included white rum, some sugar, and of course the muddled blackberries. I need to ask the husband if there was anything else in the mix, I don't remember.

The Perfect Onion

I really love the flavor and versatility of onions. And in the winter when so few vegetables are reason for excitement, the onion gets its day in the sun, or snow as the case may be.

A visit to the Farmers Market a few weeks back resulted in a bagful of cipollini onions for me.

Look how pretty this one was - almost too pretty to eat.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sunday Supper

I'm back.

Sorry for being gone for so long. I have many posts ready to go, so I am hoping to be pretty prolific this week.

I'm going to start with a quick post about the husband. Yesterday, Sunday, I had to work all day. That is never good. But I came home to a clean apartment!?!?! And a home cooked Sunday Supper, one of my favorite meals of the week.

First up, a Gin Side Car made with Hendricks gin, lemon juice, and cointreau.

I was a fan, the husband wasn't. I think we will keep working on this drink before posting the recipe.

Then we opened a bottle of delicious $10 Tempranillo.

Dinner was a beautifully constructed tomato salad with fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinager, and sea salt. Orechietti (little ear pasta) with crumbled sausage, broccoli rabe, red pepper, olive oil, and Parmesan completed the meal.

The broccoli rabe was boiled first for a few minutes to get rid of some of the bitterness and the sausage was minimal so that it didn't overwhelm the dish. Very well made.

And did I mention that I also was treated to an Easter basket? There was vanilla gelato in the basket which we ate after dinner. Tomorrow night I am using the root beer and the rest of the gelato to make an ice cream float....actually, is that bad to eat for breakfast?

Combine all of this with new episodes of Entourage and Soprano's and this is not a bad night at all.