Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bread Baked in an Iron Pot

I baked this inside a 7 quart iron dutch oven according to a recipe in Michael Ruhlman's Ruhlman's Twenty cookbook. That's smoked sea salt on the crust there.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dinner with the Wife

This is the first time I've been able to fully apply myself to cooking for my wife, and only my wife, for one month. There has been much cooking, but often for a crowd in recent weeks.

The menu is:

Lamb chops on a bed of roasted red peppers with mint

Risotto with garlic and fresh oregano and rosemary

Salad of organic greens with beets, goat cheese and pecans

I had Acacia pinot noir. Lindz had San Pellegrino Limonata with muddled mint.

She took all these pictures. Here's an action shot of me preparing the red peppers:

The meat meets the heat:

I used Grandma's spoon for the risotto:

Here's the finished plate:

I was pleased with how the mint worked with the peppers and the lamb. I also enjoyed using my new All-Clad saucepan for the risotto. Lindz and I had a nice, romantic dinner while thunder rumbled outside.

Monday, July 04, 2011

A Traditional Independence Day Meal

Lindz was wanting something spicy involving seafood. She's really been digging Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook lately, so here's where we ended up: Banh mi with shrimp and scallops. What could be more typically American than Vietnamese sandwiches that are clearly a fusion resulting from French colonialism?
I made bread from scratch, but I did it on the grill as a big flat loaf instead of as a baguette in the oven. I marinated the shrimp and scallops in ponzu sauce, garlic ginger and sesame oil. I grilled them under a threatening thunderstorm sky, and we smeared the bread with sambal- and lemon-spiked mayo. We heaped it with cilantro, shaved carrots and bean sprouts. I drank Lone Oak Vin du Roi 2005 with it. I was very happy.

Rust, Reptile and the Flag: an American Triptych

Our famous nation is 235 today. Here are three snapshots from The Old North State, one of the original 13.
We bought our gas grill as soon as we moved into our first house. In fact, I think it was the very first "homeowner" purchase. I just replaced the lower grate (the grate upon which the lava rocks are piled). Note: it's not supposed to be easy to bend it like that, and, ideally, there should be more metal than rust in this item).I went to the North Carolina Museum of Art on Saturday. Its grounds are adjacent to the Capital Area Greenway, a very enjoyable system of paved walking/paths. In addition to large installations of scuplture, I found this fellow. I believe he's a rat snake, and I'd say he was five or six feet long. Although it's a non-venomouse type, "Don't Tread on Me" still seems appropriate for today.
And finally, here's Old Glory, flying at my house. I artsy-fied it with Photoshop Elements. I think it's the "palette strokes" option in the "contrived ways to make a picture more interesting" pull-down menu.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grapefruit Bitters

I used a wine bottle to do the steeping. Lindz thought that making bitters would be a cool idea, and, by golly she was right. This bottle contains six feet of grapefruit zest (three grapefruits' worth), some grains of paradise, coriander, rosemary, ginger and Everclear.
It should be quite a potent cocktail sharpener. I added a bit of sugar syrup after straining it 24 hours later.
There is no end to the permutations of home made bitters.