Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cold Potato Soup

It really is this easy. Julia Child says it's the easiest thing. And, it is!

3 1/2 cups sliced leeks
3 1/2 cups peeled and sliced potatoes
1 quart water
1 quart chicken stock
salt and pepper

Simmer vegetables in the water for 40-50 minutes. Cool. Blend and strain if desired.

Chill in fridge.


I also braised short ribs in syrah.

1 bottle of Syrah or dry red wine
5 pounds short ribs
1 onion
3 celery ribs
4 carrots

Brown the short ribs in a huge pot *which I bought on sale at big lots a 7 quart gorgeous one!

Remove the ribs to a plate and Saute the vegetables until tender in 2 tablespoons of reserved fat.

Return meat to pan and pour wine to cover.

Braise in 350 degree oven for 5 hours.

I served it with broccoli and au gratin potatoes.

Keep in mind, I had 10 guests so the portions were small and I think everyone left starving. Oops.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Opah not at all in the style of Alinea

The Alinea restaurant in Chicago makes fancy food. They manipulate food like alchemists. The recipe for Opah is based on the style of bacon. Oh my. Juniper berries are involved in the 17 recipes to make this one dish. This is what I made instead:

I brined the Opah in honey, salt and juniper berries. In Alinea's cookbook, they say to marinate for 4-5 hours. I thought 2 hours would be sufficient. It was. Then, Alinea wants you to freeze it overnight and slice it into bacon-like strips. That did not happen. Instead, I grilled the Opah like a normal person. The recipe called for 4 or 5 different sauces. I made one orange buerre blanc-y like sauce. It was just fine. Not quite right but I need to work on my sauces anyway.

Then, instead of the fancy sides that involved juniper berries and the accents of peeled juniper berry skins (um, really?) we had broccoli and boiled potatoes. Not very Alinean but still, the broccoli was crisp and the potatoes buttery. For the potatoes, I microwaved butter and sweet onions together for 30 seconds and then tossed the potatoes. Very good. Zoe liked the fish and the onions and the potatoes. Not the sauce. She hates sauce.

Exciting news for today: I'm going to make tortillas!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Erik's mom is a vegetarian. Sometimes, it's a culinary challenge. Other times, I just fake it. For instance, on the second night of our trip, I made shish kabobs. Does not putting meat on some of the kabobs a vegetarian dinner make? Possibly not.
However, the next day, I made pasta salad from a real Vegetarian Magazine Recipe. Blanched broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and red bells tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and topped with thin, thin slices of ricotta salata and Parmesan. Real veg. And then the next night, I adapted the over-fried chicken recipe for a portobello.
I doused the portobello in a bit of water and then flip-flopped it in cornstarch flavored with cayenne, garlic powder and celery salt (I'm developing a celery salt problem). Shake off extra cornstarch, dip in beaten eggs. Then, carefully dip in bread crumbs (not panko. Could not find panko bread crumbs in Loa).
Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes.
I did the same thing to chicken thighs but the mushroom was even more glorious.
To accompany the portobello, mashed potatoes.
And then, I attempted to make the green beans ala the Tinderbox.
I did it wrong. Tossed the blanched beans in miso and then in blue cheese. If I recall, the blue cheese was supposed to be a fondue and you'd dip them into the fondue like fries to ketchup. I suppose I'll have to return to the Tinderbox to try to perfect the recipe. Woe is I.
Everyone else loved the green beans. Even Rick who says he hasn't had a green bean in 40 years. Yay.