Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday Pasta

This was a "let's clean out the fridge" pasta sauce.

I used finely diced chopped ham, julienned chard greens, minced onion and shallot, slowly cooked in olive oil. Just before serving I added creme fraiche, white wine, and some fresh tarragon. Very nice, very nice indeed.

We ate the sauce over linguine and had a green salad.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday Night Italian

Last night somehow ended up being Marcella Hazan night. I did tuna with sweet and sour onions and some baked radicchio. As a side I made mashed potatoes with goat cheese (not a Hazan thing).

We also had a green salad.


  1. For some reason I always forget to deploy the food mill when making mashed potatoes. That's just dumb.
  2. Next time I make this tuna dish, I'm going to slow-cook the tuna, then top it with the onions and sauce instead of sauteeing it. It was good this way, but I like the texture of slow-cooked tuna better.
  3. Mashed potatoes with goat cheese are goooood

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday: Sauteed Winter Vegetables

I actually made this yesterday in order to have some time for the prep work.

The selection of vegetables was celery root, kohlrabi, carrots, leeks, wirsing, and garlic. I used a bit of turkey stock and some smoked ham for flavor.

And quite nice it was too! But then, when you start with this:
how could it not end well?

As a side I caramelized some halved brussel sprouts along with lardons (leftover salted pork belly, not smoked bacon).

Wine: Guigal 2003 Cotes du Rhone

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday: Choucroute Garni

Our original plan for yesterday was to have make a nice beef roast with red wine a la Marcella Hazan.

Then I saw a stand with fresh sauerkraut (mmm, oxymoron) at the market. I, of course, had to buy some of that. There's no way to have sauerkraut without including some sort of smoked pork product, so at the Coop I picked up a smoked ham (from three beautiful choices of types of smoked ham... I was in pig heaven).

Then I saw saucisson Vaudoise on sale, and that seemed like it would also go really well with sauerkraut. So I grabbed one. Andrea tried to suggest that I should get the sausage or the ham and not both, but I wasn't having any of that. I did allow common sense to intervene a little bit and switched plans to make choucroute garni instead of the pot roast. So I refrained from buying the beef roast; that dish will have to wait (not too long though!).

At that point I felt quite righteous about my restraint, so I also picked up a piece of salted pork belly.

For the choucroute iteself, I followed the basic recipe from Bourdain, though I used a Swiss chasselas (from Yvornne) instead of riesling. I cooked the saucisson Vaudoise in one piece on top of the sauerkraut, ham, and pork belly.

Served with some fresh parsley, boiled potatoes, and grainy mustard, I hardly need to say how good this was.

As a completely superfluous vegetable side I also did a gratin from some leftover chard stalks (recipe from Hazan).

There was a green salad.

The wine was a Pouilly-Fuisse from Georges DuBoeuf. It should have been an Alsatian Riesling, but since I had already tainted the choucroute with a foreign wine, I felt safe continuing the wrongness. It's a nice wine. :-)

Friday: Quick Pasta and Beef

This was a meal planned with the intent that it be fast to prepare.
For a protein, I seasoned some beef Saftplätzli (minute steaks) well and pan fried them.
To accompany I made a pasta sauce by sauteing some minced shallots in olive oil and then adding halved cherry tomatoes and cooking until they started to soften.
We ate this sauce over some nice linguine.
Before serving I sprinkled the pasta with parmesan and then sprinkled chives and olive oil over everything. I added lemon slices for the steak.

of course we also had a green salad

Good good good (and total prep time was less than 30 minutes).

Wine: Cantine Sasso 2001 Aglianico del Vulture, DOC Minorco; This was the second night we had this bottle open and it was even better than the first night. Good stuff this.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday: Braised veal, chard

I found a nice-looking piece of veal shoulder on sale, so last night I cooked that up.

Veal shoulder, cut into 1cm thick steaks
salt, freshly ground pepper, cumin, and coriander
1 onion, chopped medium fine
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 cup stock (I used turkey stock)
clarified butter (or oil)
chives for garnish

Season the veal pieces well, then brown both sides in the fat.
Add the garlic and onion and sautee another few minutes until they start to soften.
Add the sherry vinegar and stir until it mostly cooks off.
Add the stock, then cover and simmer until the veal is tender.
Remove the veal and reduce the sauce a bit; thicken with starch if you're interested.
Serve immediately, garnished with chives.

We ate this with some sauteed chard, buttered hartweizen, and a green salad.

I really ought to get back to finding interesting recipes in cookbooks and trying them, but somehow that doesn't end up happening during the week any more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday Night Curry

Last night I did a Thai curry where I braised chicken leg quarters (skinned and browned) in a sauce made from green curry paste, shallots, coconut milk, keffir lime leaves, and lemon grass. Just before serving I added some sugar and fresh lime juice. We garnished with cilantro and ate this with rice.


The wine was an Alsatian Riesling (Domaine Blanck, 2004) that was a bit too grapefruity for my riesling tastes but quite nice when considered on its own.

Saturday Night Indian

We were visiting Andreas this weekend and did the mandatory cooking evening. We made a batch of a relative of chicken with coriander as well as a South Indian inspired green beans and tomato dish.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday Dessert: Bread Pudding

A rare dessert for us. We had an entire (small) loaf of bread leftover from turkey day that was, needless to say, too stale to eat. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out, so I decided to improv a bread pudding.

To the cubed bread I added cream, milk, melted butter, honey, an egg, diced pear, some raisins, a splash of rum, and a bit of cinnamon. I mixed everything well and baked it covered at around 175 for 1-1.5 hours.

The result wasn't spectacular (not enough liquid), but it was downright edible.

Sunday: Potato Croquettes, Schüfeli steaks

The potato croquettes represent the last of the leftover mashed potatoes from turkey day. I added finely chopped leek, egg, sweet paprika, pimenton, salt and black pepper and then sauteed them in clarified butter. Very nice and light.

For a protein, I cut pieces of Schüfeli about 1cm thick, coated them with black pepper and freshly ground coriander (no salt! they're salty enough), then fried them in clarified butter until nicely browned on the outside. Quite good!

We also had a green salad (it's been a while).

Wine: Dynamite 2003 Cab

Saturday Night: "Garbage Soup"

Er, I suppose it's more appealing to call this "mixed winter vegetable soup" or something.

We had a bunch of bit of vegetable in the fridge and a big pot of turkey stock, so Saturday I made a big pot of soup. Contents included turnips, carrots, leek, wirsing, dried green beans, and leftover bits of turkey. For herbs I used parsley, bay, and thyme.

The dried green beans (Dorbohnen) are interesting things. they start out looking like little shards of plastic, but rehydrate into a decent approximation to a cooked bean. I'm going to have to play with these some more.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I wonder

I wonder how Schüfeli would behave in a braise...

Friday Night: Stuck-pot rice, Schüfeli and green beans

Neither of us could stand the thought of more leftovers, so last night I did something different.

I've been intending to make stuck-pot rice (from a Bittman article) with a potato crust since last week, but our stove problems last Friday stopped it from happening and then turkeyday intervened. Last night's version tasted quite good, but the potato crust didn't get browned and crispy, so it was missing something. Memo to myself: the burner needs to be set higher than 1.5

For the green beans, I cooked a diced onion in some olive oil until it started to soften, then threw in the washed beans and some cubed (1cm or so) Schüfeli (this is a cured and smoked pork shoulder) , covered it, and cooked over medium-low heat until the beans were done (about 30 min). I then uncovered the pot, cranked the heat up a bit and cooked off the collected liquid. Very nice indeed.

We had a salad with this.

Friday, December 01, 2006

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