Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thundersnow-inspired kitchen adventures

We're out from under the thundersnow, thank heaven. Though Pnin and I did have to cancel our holiday party due to said storm, at least we were able to stock up on provisions in advance and have some interesting kitchen adventures while hiding from the elements. Below, some reports from the front lines:

1)Lemon and cranberry scones ftw! These were beautiful and went well with eggs on snowy mornings. N.b. not with Meyer lemons; I'm not sure I've ever actually seen Meyer lemons on sale, despite living in a suitably Yuppified part of Arlington. New project in life: figure out what they are and whether they are indeed worth the fuss made over them.

2)Cook's Illustrated Cincinnati chili. Behind a subscription firewall, alas, but I'll post if there is demand for it. I've made before, and it's great to smell on a cold winter day.

3)My mother's boeuf bourgignon. It's quite easy and tasted the same way it did when I was growing up.

Directions: using a large pot, take 4 strips of bacon and saute the bacon to release fats. When bacon turns golden brown, remove.

Take about 1 lb. of beef cubes (stewing beef) and sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper. Then throw them into the hot bacon fat. Saute cubes until golden brown. Then add about 1 cup of red wine and scrape off little bits of stuff on the bottom. Then add about 1.5 to 2 cups of beef broth.

Add about a small can of mushrooms or about 1/2 cup of sliced fresh. Add some peeled carrots, some peeled quarter potatoes (2-3), then add some fresh chopped garlic. Stir. Stir together, put lid on, and stick in oven at 300 degrees for about 3-4 hours. Can keep almost indefinitely in oven.

4)Fennel, prosciutto, and pomengrate salad -- This dish is beautiful and ridiculously easy to make. No cooking required! Yet Pnin solemnly informed me that he does not like pomegranate seeds. They are too much like nuts, he informs me, which he does not like either. I protested that they are not at all like nuts, actually, but there is little sense in arguing about it. If he does not like something, he does not like it, and we ought to move onto foods that he actually does like. Maybe I will make this salad regularly when he is not here, as it is stupidly easy, and I never feel like things that are involved when he is gone anyway. Also, maybe parties?

5)I did not so much make this cranberry vanilla coffee cake as a sort of inspired riff on the recipe. Inspired riffs happen when you do not have any milk and instead have to substitute half and half. Also, when you do not have a vanilla bean, and instead dump half a bottle of vanilla into the sugar hoping that it will work. The inspired riff was actually surprisingly delicious, but I won't ever be able to make it again.

1 comment:

  1. The fennel salad is also good with thinly shaved hard cheese (J being anti-pork, that is how we roll).

    They sometimes have Meyer lemons at Trader Joe's. I have some from my grandparents' tree at home right now also, and am going to try to smuggle some more back this trip. V. tasty.