Tuesday, October 31, 2006

halloween feast

L called today and asked if we were free tonight since she was roasting an 8lb. pork shoulder. Even if we weren't free, I think we would have cancelled any plans in order to enjoy this amazing meal.


cuban-style roast pork
Since L made the pork, I have no notes except to say that it was exceptionally tasty, especially with the mojo sauce that she made to go with it. (The mojo sauce was appropriately tinged blue, for Halloween.)

ugly vegetables
I was in charge of making the vegetables. They turned out tasty, but really ugly. Shredding the zucchini and carrots in the food processor was quick, but it shreds the vegetables too finely and unevenly, so they stuck together in unattractive clumps. I guess it fit the theme pretty well.
[carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, chili powder, salt]

pumpkin flan
This was my first time making flan, so I was pretty worried about it working out. Making the caramel was a little tricky, and most of the sugar stayed hard and crystallized on the bottom. There was still a fair amount of caramelly liquid that came out when I unmolded it, but it seemed a shame that there was all that sugary goodness at the bottom of my ramekin. Anyone have any thoughts as to why it didn't remelt once it was baked? Or tips on how to do it better? We couldn't resist trying one as soon as they were cool enough, and that's when we took the photo.
[pumpkin, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt]

Monday, October 30, 2006

twice fried

Chinese food is so tasty because many of the preparations require frying twice. This is especially true in the case of eggplant, since the deep-frying helps to keep the purple vibrant.

twice-fried egpplant with ground pork
This is one of my standards. The meat changes - sometimes it's strips of pork, sometimes ground turkey, sometimes flank steak. The rest of the menu included steamed broccoli (in the leftover soy braise from the short ribs) and rice.
[eggplant, ground pork, onions, garlic, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, sugar, cornstarch]

Friday, October 27, 2006

asian style short ribs

For a dinner with D's family, I brought a bunch of short ribs. Since his parents really only eat Chinese food, I decided to do them in a soy sauce braise. His mom made yummy black bean chicken wings, assorted vegetables, and lotus root soup.

soy-braised short ribs
Since I was making so many (9 lbs!), my cute green Le Creuset dutch oven wasn't going to cut it, so I decided to prepare them in a giant roasting pan. Browning the ribs was easy, at 500°F for about 40 minutes, rotating occasionally. It was the oven-braising that it didn't seem to be so successful. After 2 hours, the meat still seemed dry and tough, so I moved it up onto two burners. After another hour, the meat started to have that meltiness that it should. I guess the foil cover wasn't good enough to keep the heat all warm and steamy while it was in the oven. All in all, very tasty and tender, but I thought the sauce was a little lacking in depth. I think next time I'll use broth instead of water, and maybe add some carrots.
[short ribs, water, onions, red wine, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, pepper, sugar]

Saturday, October 14, 2006

chinese food

Just wanted to let people know that there will be nothing on the menu for a few weeks. We're off in China eating mediocre tour food, climbing walls, and petting pandas.

Monday, October 09, 2006

yummy yoshinoya

beef bowl
We love Yoshinoya beef bowl, and so I decided to try to make it at home. Ha ha, just kidding, this exactly what it looks like. Dr. M gave us the great idea of frying and egg and putting it on top. I added the stir-fried boy choy.
[Yoshinoya beef bowl, fried egg, garlic, bok choy, red pepper]

Sunday, October 08, 2006

cassoulet

Traditionally, this is served with duck confit. I have yet to make it with duck, but I think my lamb and pork mixture is quite tasty.

cassoulet
D dislikes beans, but will eat them when they've been soaked thoroughly in meat juice. This probably shouldn't be as meaty as I make it, but I do think the flavors meld together so beautifully.
[white beans, lamb shanks, Italian sausage, pork shoulder, bacon, tomatoes, onions, carrots, bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme, clove]

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

paella

I've had a weird craving for paella for weeks now; I've finally gotten around to making some.

paella
I bought the mussels frozen from the Korean market, but a lot of the shells were cracked, and they didn't open properly, so I felt vaguely unsettled about actually eating them. The recipe called for too much liquid, so the rice overcooked, and I didn't get the nice crispiness on the bottom like I should have. But the flavor was rich and saffron-y, and it made for a hearty meal.
[rice, chicken broth, chicken, chorizo, mussels, clams, peas, onions, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, saffron]

Monday, October 02, 2006

favorito pizza

Guess which ingredients were sitting around?

tomato, mozzarella, and prosciutto pizza
I used pizza dough that I had frozen (leftovers from our last pizza). I really need to learn how to photograph pizza better. Wow, they all look so ugly. This one is particularly unattractive because we started eating and then thought about taking pictures.
[pizza dough, tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, salt]

mi favorito

This is an attempt at recreating the "favorito" sandwich from Artú in the North End.

favorito sandwich
The bread (a French baguette from La Brea Bakery) had too hard of a crust for a sandwich like this. We ended up with the roofs of our mouths cut up. Artú doesn't use the balsamic vinegar in their sandwich, but they do use basil, which I didn't have. It's not the same as eating it in Boston on a sunny, blustery fall day, but it'll have to do until our next trip back.
[bread, proscuitto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic]