Fancy wine night. 5/24/18

Every so often we have a fancy wine night. Over the years we have collected a small stash of “better” wines which we normally save for special occasions. Other times we just open a bottle as a special treat to ourselves. Tonight we had a Chateau St. Jean 2004 Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fancy wine with rose from our garden

Obviously a fancy wine deserves a special meal. Tonight we prepared ribeye cap prime steak, steamed new potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

Prime rib eye cap steak, steamed new potatoes, and brussel sprouts

We cooked the steak using the sous vide method and setting our immersion circulator to 125F for a perfect medium rare.  John gave it a quick sear on the grill afterwards. I steamed the new potatoes and gave them a dusting of smoked paprika so they would not look so plain. The Brussels sprouts were place in a pan cut side down with a little water and some butter. Once the water had almost evaporated I added 2 tablespoons of dry sherry. Once that had evaporated the sprouts browned up in the residual butter in the pan.

Yay! Fancy dinner night!

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Saffron Pernod Shrimp. 5/23/18

Saffron Pernod shrimp, brown rice, and collard greens with corn

Having finished up our leftovers of this dish last night our daughter declared that it was like eating in a restaurant! That is high praise indeed since she rarely eats any of our food. Saffron shrimp with Pernod sauce has become a real favorite around here and we seem to be making it every week or two.

It takes quite a bit of chopping since you have to make a brunoise of fennel, onions, bell pepper, and onion. There is also a cup of chopped tomato and a chiffonade of collard greens. I took care of all that before John got home from work so his job was just to do the cooking. I also made the brown rice ahead in the Instant Pot but have decided it has a better flavor when I make it in the oven.

 

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New! Vegan! Lentil salad with roasted potatoes. 5/21/18

I am always on the lookout for a new recipe to incorporate into my vegan/vegetarian Tuesdays. This recipe came into my mailbox via the Washington Post but I see there are lots of similar recipes online.

Lentils over hearty Italian greens with roasted potatoes

I was hoping for crispier potatoes. These were oven roasted with an olive oil, smoky paprika, and onion flake topping and were quite tasty and creamy although not crispy. The lentils were cooked and then mixed with olive oil, tomato paste, parsley, and red pepper. This was all served over an arugula and radicchio salad mix. Personally I think I would rather serve the salad greens separately with a bracing vinegary dressing for a little contrast.

I think I will tweak this recipe a bit and see if I can improve it.

Tweakable?

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3-Cup Chicken with Garlic Sesame Broccoli. 5/21/18

I got the garlic and sesame broccoli recipe from NYTimes Cooking. Reviews were saying it was like broccoli “crack”. I’ve never had crack but I have had broccoli many different ways and certainly “death by broccoli” (an insane casserole) and “crunchy broccoli” (a sweet/sour celery seed salad) were more delicious to me than this broccoli dish. It was okay but I don’t think I will make it again.

Last time we made 3-cup chicken it turned out pretty well except for it was a little too soy sauce-y and the pieces were too big. I made some notes on my recipe to correct those faults this time. Here is my mise en place.

Mise en place for 3-cup chicken

Strangely the chicken did not come out better. The sauce seemed lacking in flavor and not thick enough plus the chicken had a boiled aspect to it. I was disappointed.

3-cup chicken with garlic sesame broccoli and rice

We are supposed to have the leftover chicken later this week over pasta. I guess we will look into making more sauce and improving it.

Not great, sigh…

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Menu for the week 5/20/18

Since I have been pretty lazy over the weekend with my cooking, the only thing I have to show is my menu for the week.

We are planning on two vegetarian meals, two chicken meals, two seafood meals, and one red meat meal plus plenty of vegetable sides. Hopefully this will keep me interested in cooking this week!

Posted in Beef, leftovers, Pasta, Pescetarian, Poultry, rice, Shellfish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gobi Mongolian Grill. 5/19/18

It does not look like this is going to be a cooking weekend. In addition to our traditional Chinese takeout on Sunday night, our son came over for a visit on Saturday and we went out to lunch. We tried a new place, Gobi Mongolian Grill.

Normally when I go to our favorite Mongolian BBQ in Utah, I keep it strictly vegetarian but I thought I would try a few meats at this new place. They had beef, lamb, turkey sausage, and chicken. I chose a little beef and some turkey sausage and then a bunch of vegetables. They also had tofu which I tried. The turkey sausage and the tofu were not good. Both had a bad texture. Son and John raved about the lamb. All the vegetables were great. I think I will stick to vegetables next time!

A plateful from Gobi Mongolian Grill (I could not eat it all!)

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Spaghetti Bolognese-ish. 5/18/18

Spaghetti with meat sauce garnished with fresh oregano

Hardly a week goes by that I do not have some version of this dish. I made a bunch of sauce on 5/9/18 and froze two containers of it. The first time I used it, I diluted it too much. this time it came our perfectly after a little reducing and the strategic addition of fish sauce. It gives it such a great depth of flavor. The reason I call it Bolognese-ish is because it does not contain any dairy and only ground beef whereas true Bolognese usually has beef and pork components and milk. I like mine just fine and it is a lot less time consuming.

My fav

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