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Sunday Pot of Awesome

18 Jan

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Behold this thing of beauty; this vision in orange.

We recently spied this in our friend’s cupboard and gasped.

“That old thing? Never use it,” she said.

Quelle horreur. This vintage flame-coloured Le Creuset 4.5 quart with loop handle lid and scalloped side handles sitting unused? Time for a project!

This dish is perfect for dinner with a friend with enough leftover for Monday’s lunch.

COCONUT BEEF CURRY
1 lb package of stewing beef (plus flour/salt/pepper for dredging)
1 tbsp (or more) canola oil
½ onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp red curry paste (or curry powder)
2 handfuls of baby white potatoes (or more) sliced in two
2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 small can coconut milk
½ cup of water or beef broth
scoop of honey or apricot jam: optional
Chopped cilantro
Lime

Heat oven on 275*F

Dredge beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In enamel-covered cast iron pot (looking at you, vintage orange Le Creuset), heat canola oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per batch or until browned on two sides. Take care not to crowd the pan so they will brown and not steam. Remove and reserve beef on a plate to collect juices.

a62d87ea-328c-49f2-8042-7dee87baeed9Splash a bit more oil in pot, and add onions, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, curry paste, and tomato paste (or curry powder). Saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add coconut milk, water or beef broth; mix well. Add carrots and potatoes.

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Add beef and liquid (and Sunday’s surprise guest star, sliced mushrooms).

Cover and put in oven for two and half to three hours, or until vegetables are tender and stew is bubbling.

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Note: time this so the curry can rest to nearly room temperature. Take out of oven and let cool as you start to make the rice. Salt/pepper to taste. Serve over hot rice and top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

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The verdict via text message: “OMG this is the best dinner ever!”

Next up: boeuf Bourguignon, scaled to fit this pot!

Do you have any recipes scaled for a 4.5 quart pot? Let us know!

Rosy Rooster

3 Nov

Rosy Rooster Pasta, captured in all its glory via ghetto bberry photo


This isn’t exactly a recipe in need of recording — it’s a pretty basic, straightforward pasta and sauce.

We are having a serious crush on the chicken/rose/pasta combo, especially Wolfgang Puck’s delicious looking chicken bolognese.

But in our quest to fine tune a rose sauce, we like the ratio for this one. And we loved how our Barilla linguini soaked it up. We like using whole milk for this, because the extra fat in cream gives us the shakes.

This is a worthy contender for our new project, House Special, wherein we devise half a dozen no-brainer dinners that can be thrown together with ingredients on hand (or in this case, a quick trip to the market on the way home for sausages and celery. The rest we had in the pantry and fridge.)

SAUCY CHERIE’S ROSY ROOSTER PASTA

We whipped this up fast by sauteeing finely chopped shallots, carrot and celery with shitake mushrooms and minced garlic in olive oil.

We deglazed with a cup of white wine and added three Spolumbo chicken/red pepper sausages before covering the lid to simmer. We also added a generous splash of chicken broth. When the chicken is cooked, slice into rounds and return to pan. The liquid should be low at this point.

While we waited for the linguine to cook, we added three generous tablespoons of roasted garlic tomato paste to the saute pan, and nutmeg and herbs, and thinned it with a cup of whole milk.

Once that was mixed, we sprinkled a handful of asiago we had in the fridge.

We drained the pasta, but not too well. Must remember to reserve a cup of starchy pasta water. We added the still dripping noodles back into their pot and topped with the sausage and sauce, mixing with tongs.

Top with parsley and more cheese.

Fusilli, you crazy bastard…

29 Oct

We always crack up when we think of this 1994 New Yorker cartoon by Charles Barsotti. So we thought it would be a good idea to use fusilli for The Mister’s first crack at homemade mac and cheese. A little aged white cheddar, a little asiago, some fried onions and crumbled bacon et voila:

Just look at him. In the kitchen. Trying. This is going to be easy!
We used this recipe but remain confused about the ideal cheese/milk ratio, as all of our hoarded mac and cheese recipes are different.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole or 2 percent milk
3 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup or more shredded asiago
pinch of nutmeg, but wish we’d used 1/2 tsp
500 grams twisty pasta

Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add butter, when bubbly, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about three minutes.

Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in two cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time.

Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Taste and add a little salt, if you like. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce.

Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot broiler and brown the cheddar cheese on top.

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“This vibrant pasta, tossed with beet greens and creamy goat cheese, is an ode to Charles Barsotti’s 1994 New Yorker cartoon of a rigatoni noodle on the phone to a friend, exclaiming, “Fusilli, you crazy bastard!” Tarry Lodge chef Andy Nusser says, ‘Mario [Batali] and I saw the cartoon at the same time. It became the punch line to every joke.'”

Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard
Recipe by Andy Nusser
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fusilli pasta
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 pound beet greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 pound soft goat cheese, thickly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Directions
1.Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the walnuts for 7 minutes, until lightly browned; let cool slightly. Coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.
2.Raise the oven temperature to 450°. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 10 minutes, until browned in spots.
3.In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, beet greens and crushed red pepper and cook, crushing the tomatoes slightly, until the greens are just wilted, 3 minutes.
4.Drain the fusilli, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta, the reserved cooking water and the sliced goat cheese to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing to coat the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, garnish with the chopped toasted walnuts, top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.