Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Mishmash of Stuff I've Cooked

Yes, this is a copout post. But I've got a bunch of pictures that didn't warrant their own post, plus I cooked some stuff and didn't take pictures. So here goes.

Fried cauliflower. I vaguely remember blanching, oven-drying, and deep-frying. Tasty. But not worth doing again.


Kama, or Yellowtail collar. This is so simple, just salt, broil, done. And it looks like a duck.



Stuffed mushrooms. I've made them before. These had sausage, and I think a smoked oyster.


Panko-Parmesan-Parsley Pork Chops from urbanbundle. These were delicious.


I also did le pied de cochon again, but this time with a shank thrown in for more meat. Tasty.

And I made Noble Pig's kapusta, or sauerkraut with pork neck bones and hamhock. Hearty, wonderful Eastern European peasant food.

Oh, and I made a salad out of the 2 smoked chicken leg quarters I bought. I was going to do something all fancy with cranberries and stuff, but Hubby said "make it like you make your tuna salad". So I did. And it was good. (Celery, peperoncini, hot "sport" peppers, parsley, celery leaves, green onion, sumac, black pepper, sansyo, mayo or yogurt)

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Biscotti

A friend of mine gave me a biscotti (sorry, biscotto) when I was at his restaurant the other day, and it reminded me that I haven't made them in a while. So I went home and did just that.


Biscotti

1/2 c whole almonds
1/3 c butter
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/4 t almond extract
2 t grated orange zest
2 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt

Toast the almonds in a 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool, then chop into 2-3 pieces each.

Cream the butter with the sugar, then add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest.  Mix in the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt, just until blended. Fold in the almonds.

Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a log about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. Place on a greased and floured baking sheet at least 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 23 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from the oven, transfer to a rack, and let cool for 5 minutes.

With a serrated knife, cut each log into pieces about 3/4 of an inch wide, at a 45 degree angle. I found that I end up with fewer broken pieces if I gently press down, rather than saw back and forth.



Place the pieces cut side down on the baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes more, flipping the pieces over halfway through. Let cool on a rack, and store in a covered container.



I brought these to my friend, and he said they were better than the one he gave me. He even offered to sell them in his restaurant for me. Looks like I may have found myself a part-time job.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pied de Cochon

Yes, you read that right. Pig foot, otherwise known as a trotter. It appears that I have a "nasty bits" obsession lately. After the ears, Michael over at A Dash of Stash persuaded me to try my hands at feet (heh).

I wanted to make something that my family would at least try, so I knew I couldn't go whole hog (ok, ok, I'll stop now) - I'd have to disguise the feet, alter their appearance completely. So I went with Thomas Keller's Au Pied de Cochon aux Sauce Gribiche, which I believe is in Ad Hoc at Home, but since I don't own the book, I'm not 100% sure. (Hint to anyone looking to get me a present!)

Using a Serious Eats post, this post by In Praise of Sardines, and this one by Slurp & Burp, I set out to make something delicious out of something slightly scary. Since those three posts give a pretty good step-by-step, I'm not going to repeat it. My only deviation from the recipe was in the sauce - I didn't have all the fresh herbs required, so I used parsley and shallots. I love this sauce. I want to put it on chicken, fish, asparagus...

Anyway, back to the feet. Unfortunately, my feet came without the shank attached, so I had very little meat - mostly tendon and skin. I tried to find a market that carried shanks, planning on boiling one separately, and adding its meat to my feety bits, but, alas, I could only find smoked shanks. And while I love smoked shanks for things like split pea soup, I didn't want smoked here.

[Gratuitous foot shot]

I used 3 different-sized biscuit cutters as molds, weighing them down with appropriately sized jars. The refrigerated disks solidified nicely, but fell apart once sauteed and baked. Maybe I should've added more broth? More fat? Maybe that extra meat would've helped. Not that I'm complaining too much, because regardless of the fall-apart-ness, this was delicious.

 [End result]

Final tally was 2-0 with one abstaining (Youngest wouldn't touch it). Would I make this again? Definitely. In about 3 years, when my arteries finally open up again.

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