Saturday, June 28, 2014

Simply Vegan

No I am not a vegan - I come from a looong line of carnivores and I am dang proud of it! Buuuut once in a while we try to err on the lighter side of cardiac arrest with a more veggie than meat meal.

 Braised Grape Tomatoes with Shallots over Spaghetti Squash

This little plate of food packs a ton of flavor and has a kind of meatiness that in surprising given the only animal product involved is a leeetle bit of butter. Spaghetti squash takes the place of real pasta - not a perfect replacement but the dish is not diminished but the lack of carbohydrates.

Pioneer Woman -

Well I suppose if you live on a farm you dang well better bee good at beef and Food Network's Pioneer Woman sure is!

I rarely get the luxury of watching TV anymore on a Saturday but not too long ago I just decided all the other things going on in my life could take a back seat while I murdered a few brain cells in front of the - I was going to say squawk box but who has a box any more - so lets just say the electric slab...

I think I have voiced my displeasure with the Food Network's new format before - they really ought to start calling it the Stupid Games with Food Channel...It truly is getting out of hand - Not too terribly long ago that was my go to place for recipes and instruction...Where oh where has Emeril gone and Ann Burrell and Good Eats??? The Food Channel that's where - ya religated to the rerun channel for sad that the greats are shoved off to the channel that you only get if you pay top dollar - the "extended cable bundle" and so on...Very sad...

If I see one more show where someone has to make a meal out of something stupid like jelly beans and duck I am gonna scream...Oh you did not capture the essence of the jelly bean in your sauce" says Judge Alex Guarnaschelli...have you no shame Chef? You of the most amazing Egg Plant Parmigiana to ever grace a plate, reduced to judging a show of off the street hacks trying to make their bones cooking moose liver and cough drops? Sigh.
Really people - Did ya have to go down that road? Really? Oh wait let's tape a freakin' pan to my hand and see if I can cook tea for the Queen...Alton Brown shame on you!

But I digress...There are a few shining lights - very few - and Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) is one of them. Now mind you Ree has been around for a while - let's not forget her blog on which many of us cut our teeth when food came to the interweb...My post today is a little twist on one of her eposides (Feeding Cows, Feeding Cowboys).

On this lazy day I stopped channel surfing just a moment when I saw the pretty horsey (who wouldn't stop to watch the pretty horsey I ask you?) and was hooked. Ree's treatment of boneless rib loin roast to make French Dip sandwiches looked FABULOUS, though I was looking for a dinner not lunch. But I figured we could make a few slight changes - Ree would applaud! So, since I no longer have a horsey, I jumped in my car and road off to the store to get me some MEAT!

I carefully and faithfully followed Ree's recipe but we did not slice up the meat for sandwiches - we served it up as a roast with the lovely sauce reduced to make a gravy. Now I will tell you there is a LOT of pepper in this bad boy so beware, it it not overpowering but close - strain the sauce and get a little of it out, then will want to bath in this stuff!

Yum Yum Yum...I couldn't tell you what I made with it because the meat was the shining star.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tariffa bene La Cucina Italiana

So very sad that La Cucina Italiana is leaving our shores - Yup this stunningly beautiful magazine will no longer be printing in the United States - such a loss to the culinary wanna-be like me.
La Cucina has not always been one of my favorites to cook from - I found things a little complicated sometimes but I ALWAYS found it to be a wonder to the eye!
In honor of this very last issue I have made the recipe from the cover.
As frequently happens with food art the recipe did not look like the photo! In this case either they used a MUCH smaller pan or doubled the recipe to gain the wondrous height you see in the cover photo...

The recipe - true to La Cucina form - was a little complicated and required the use of several of my kitchen power tools. The mess to taste ration was spot on - my theory - the bigger the mess the better the food!

One wonders why anyone would willingly use SOUR anything in a desert. Straight from the jar the sour cherries were basically meh - what ever. but added to the deep  dark flavor of the filling they really popped with flavor and not a bit sour either! Never one to let a good sugar syrup go to waste I reduced the syrup after draining the berries (with a sinful amount of additional sugar added). Well talk about elevating boring to beautiful! Not only was it bright and VERY cherry - it was beautiful to look at! Make the sauce you won't be sorry!

I really worried about the ground almonds in the filling - "it's gonna be grainy" is what I thought. Yes, there was a texture there but it was not unpleasant and think gave this desert a little character it might have lacked without that little roughness. Without it it would have just been a hefty flourless cake...been there done that, have the tee shirt...Rich luscious and of soooo chocolatey this one's a keeper.

torta morbida con amarene in guscio frible

Word to the wise, make it and eat it - don't refrigerate it - you loose the lush  depth of flavor and the interesting mouth feel once it has been chilled....