Sunday, August 30, 2009



Date Night Dinner

I wish I'd taken a picture, but it would have been fuzzy. There was some wine involved.

On the plate: a bed of saffron risotto. To the side, thin asparagus quick-sauted in olive oil, salt and pepper, then sprinkled with lemon zest as it went on the plate (if you do the zest with the asparagus, the acid turns them brown as they cook).

Gently placed atop this: a filet of red grouper from our local butcher/fishmonger. I pan-seared it, then just when the sticky parts got going good on the bottom of the pan I tossed in about a 1/2 cup of lemon juice/white wine. Steam & bubbles. I added about a handful of mint & thyme from the garden, a few capers, and then put the lid on the still hissing fish. After about 5 minutes of steaming, they were ready and the sauce had picked up those brown bits and thickened. Deep and rich, acid from the lemon and velvet from the fish.

The plate still needed some crunch. I flash-fried some baby okra from the garden, cut them lengthwise, and used them as a garnish for the fish. On the side, we had the heirloom tomato preserves I made a few weeks ago. Sweet, gingery, minty, and red as a dollop of garnets.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Noah Makes Dessert

Graham cracker crusts with melted butter. Sliced apples. Caramel sauce & cinnamon on top. Bake for 10 minutes, or until you get bored and want to go watch TV.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sweet and Salty

Me gustan los dos.

Monday with Meat

We were going to try to do meatless Mondays this year, but I forgot about this pork roast. I bought it on Friday, planned to cook it on Saturday, and other things happened. Between the planning and the other things I did manage to stick the pork in a shallow dish and cover it with garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil and red wine.

Every time I opened the fridge I craved roast meat.

So we made it tonight, along with some rice and green beans. We eat a lot of green beans.

Here's the meatless plate:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

This morning I woke up with a need to fry green tomatoes. I love fried green tomatoes; we've only had them once this season and that just seems a shame. We're growing Cherokee purples, along with some persimmon looking ones and your usual big red varieties. They've gotten so jumbled up and falling over, I can't tell one plant from another. These are the Cherokee ones, I think. Firm and meaty, they make a good fried version because they hold their shape but still have that tart, juicy flavor of a tomato just turning ripe. While I was up in the garden, I picked a red Anaheim pepper and a few leaves of basil.

I fried the tomatoes after seasoning them with a little Adobo seasoning and dredging in yellow cornmeal. I took the pepper and placed it right under the broiler till the skin turned mostly black and bubbly, then I took it out and wrapped it quick in aluminum foil. When the tomatoes finished, I started poaching some eggs the chef way, which is to do it straight in hot water rather than use some sort of egg poaching pan. I can't stand washing those things, they always stick, and I like the free-form edges of a poached egg.

The dish seemed to need some acid because the tomatoes only got sweeter with cooking. I made a quick, light hollandaise using Smart Balance and one egg. I chopped up the larger basil leaves and tossed them into the sauce.

After peeling and de-seeding the pepper, I put strips down on each plate, topped with four slices of tomato, then topped that with two poached eggs. I drizzled the basil hollandaise over the whole plate, then sprinkled with basil leaves. I did not say "bam." I never say "bam." I said "breakfast."

It turned out really well. Basil and tomato love each other, of course, but having the tomato with that slight edge of crunch filled out the dish more. Also, the tanginess of the lemon in the hollandaise paired nicely with the spicy red pepper. I thought maybe we'd miss a starch of some kind, or a meat, but we didn't.

I'd do this again. For company, I'd add a fruit salad.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Junk Food

Blah. We ate poorly yesterday--food from out and heavy on the salt. Plus a few glasses of wine. This morning I feel like mimicking the deer coming to snack in our yard. I'll just graze on green things all day.

Or purple things.

Or red.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday dinner

Meatloaf. Perfect for Wednesday night. Also, mashed potatoes just dug from the garden, and green beans I made Noah pick as part of his pre-dinner chores.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday dinner

Tonight I'm making Sam's ziti. With some adaptations.

I used Roma tomatoes from the garden, ground turkey, and 1/2 tube of Tennessee Pride sausage.

I sauteed garlic, chopped green peppers (also from the garden) and the meat. Then I added the tomatoes, peeled & squished. I let that simmer for a bit with some fresh oregano and basil and a bay leaf. Then, before picking up the kids from school, I added about a cup of red wine.

It's been cooking all afternoon. In just a minute I'll mix it, top with cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes.

I think I'll serve with some lettuce. We have some in the fridge, I think.

It's an Anne Sexton poem

And I'm not crazy about her, but I've always liked this poem.