Thursday, December 31, 2009

The last meal of 2009

Peanut Butter Beef Stew!

It can't get any easier than this.

1 cup of chunky peanut butter (I only had creamy)
5 cups of stew meat (I used tenderloin)
1 tsp. of allspice
rosemary (oops, forgot this)
2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup apple juice
In a large pot over medium low heat melt down the peanut butter and then add in the apple juice.  In a skillet brown the meat and add into the peanut mixture.  Stir and pour in beef broth and seasonings.  Simmer for 1hr or until meat is tender.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup, surprise!

More domesticity...

A few nights previous I had bought a rotisserie chicken from Wegmans.  I industriously cleaned much of the meat from its bones and put the carcass in a pot of water with carrots.  I let it boil away for quite some time.  What was left was some good chicken stock.

Today (Sunday) I bought about 2.5 lbs of butternut squash (already cleaned and cut) and decided to make soup. 

Loosely following a recipe, I baked the squash for about 30 mins (light coating of olive oil) and then poured it into the pot of stock.  I'm not sure how much stock there was, I'd say no less than 6 cups.  I also cut up a granny smith apple and plopped it in, along with the remainder of the bag of carrots.

I then squirted a good 3T of honey on top, threw in some bay leaves, and then liberally sprinkled cinnamon on top.  A little bit of cayenne pepper, some curry powder (not much) and my kitchen is now aroma laden and I hope this will turn out well.  When I get closer to the end I will put a cup of heavy cream into the mix.

When all was said and done I used a potato masher to even out the big chunks.  It worked out very well - very flavorful!  I now have several meals...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'd like a wafer thin mint... another successful dinner party!

I invited my friends Colleen and Adam (AKA my Foodie Consultants) and Bethann and Dan.  We found out we all met because of friends of friends, and even though we rarely get to see the friends who introduced us we all remained friends with each other. 

Three bottles of wine, three apps, two main course components, dessert, and great conversation.  If there is a better way to spend an evening I don't want to know about it. 

The apps were:  pate with truffles; brie and cherry jam; and Colleen and Adam brought absolutely divine goat-cheese stuffed little red peppers - spicy and marinated in heavenly juice (I need to find out the name of the peppers).  Two baguettes, a bottle of prosecco, one of white Bordeaux (from the area of Entre deux Mers, in honor of Bethann's heritage) and we were well on our way to a food coma before the main course.  With the meal we had a Cab from California (via Wegmans). 

For the main course I made two standbys:  marinated tenderloin and mashed potatoes - Paula Deen's mashed potatoes, no less. 

The marinated tenderloins could not be easier.  I got the recipe from a book my friend Jody gave to me (and quite the cook she is, too).  Here it is:

Curry Glazed Beef Tenderloins

It makes 16-18 servings which clearly I did not need or want.  Adjust accordingly.  I bought 6 cuts of beef which were about half a pound each (worked out to about 3.5 lbs of beef) and with that I halved the below recipe.

1.25 cups of mushroom soy sauce or tamari sauce (I got the tamari sauce - it is basically a more intense soy sauce)
.33 cups honey
.25 cup curry powder
Two 4-lb tenderloin slabs (I got half pound slices)
olive oil

Whisk the tamari sauce, honey and curry powder.  Score the meat.  Put the meat in two gallon ziplocs and pour the marinade in each.  Mix well and then throw in the fridge overnight. 

To cook:  Heat oven to 500.  Tenderloins, with all marinade sauce, should go into a baking dish large enough to hold it all - I used a 13x9 cake pan.  Pour olive oil on top.  Roast the meat in the top third of the oven.  Every ten minutes, baste the juices on top of the meat.  30 minutes should be enough, I had them in there for almost 40 (last ten the gas was turned off) and they were moist and tender although not rare.  The last ten minutes probably weren't necessary.

Paula Deen's Mashed Potatoes

As it turned out, I used the 10 potatoes it called for but didn't pay attention to the MEDIUM in the book, and bought large ones. Oops.  I doubled up on the butter and sour cream because it was clear there were a lot of potatoes.  It turned out magnificently and in fact more butter wouldn't have hurt.

8-10 medium potatoes (it calls for red, I used regular ones)
1/2 cup hot milk (I used heavy cream)
1 stick of butter (I used two)
.5 cup of sour cream - I used a full one.

Slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick.  Boil about 15 minutes.  Any old potato masher will work fine.  I threw in the two sticks of butter and put a lid on the potatoes (off heat) for about 10 minutes to get it nice and creamy.  Mash mash mash, then add the heavy cream and sour cream.  Mash mash mash. 

This stuff is SO EASY.  I really should do this more often. 

Bethann brought Rum Cake, which recipe will be put here later.  It was also quite good but we were all pretty full by then.  Oh yes, let's not forget the Twinings Tea I brought home from London. 

Time to take my tummy for a nap.  A run would be better, but, it's 35 degrees out and dark.  Maybe a nice walk tomorrow... 

I didn't take photos (of course, what is wrong with me??) so here is a photo taken in France earlier this year:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ice bath for the tomatoes?

That's what it said...

I'm making tomato sauce. Simple tomato sauce. It is bubbling downstairs right this very second. In 30 minutes I'll take it off simmer and let it cool and then toss it with pasta and some grated parmigiano cheese.

Garlic Tomato Sauce
Gourmet, May 2008

• 2 lb ripe plum tomatoes (see cooks' note, below)
• 2 heads garlic, cloves peeled and halved lengthwise and any green sprouts from center discarded
• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes

• Cut an X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. Immediately transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool, then peel, seed, and chop.
• Cook garlic in oil in a small heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Season with salt.

Cooks' notes:
•If ripe tomatoes are not available, substitute 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice (not in purée; preferably San Marzano), chopped, including juice; season sauce with sugar if desired.
•Sauce keeps, chilled, 4 days.

yield: Makes about 3 cups (enough for 1 pound of spaghetti)
active time: 45 min
total time: 1 3/4 hr

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Google speaks - 2009 top recipes

Top searched recipes are (drum roll)

Banana Bread
Pancakes (really?)

I suppose I better make the above and write about it then!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tasty Tarragon, heavy cream, and white wine - are we in France or Savannah?

It would seem to me that tarragon is favored in Southern cooking as well as French cooking. I come to this conclusion because two recipes I've made this year, from the same cookbook, feature tarragon (and also heavy cream which is reminiscent of French cooking as well - all those sauces... mmmm). Moments ago, today, I made Chicken in Tarragon Sauce. Earlier this summer (look how behind I am on this blog) I made another recipe called Potato Gratin with White Cheddar and Tarragon. Both with tarragon, both with heavy cream, and white wine either in the recipe or on the side.

The cookbook, Manna from Savannah, is one that I picked up on a trip to Savannah at a bookstore called E. Shaver, a small locally owned bookshop that has been in Savannah's Historic District since the mid-1970s. I'd urge anyone visiting Savannah to wander up Bull Street to Madison Square to have a browse through their many rooms of books. They have an eclectic range of books and have a strong local offering - from guidebooks to cookbooks. It was on one pilgrimage there that I bought the mentioned cookbook (also Paula Deen's first cookbook but I'll post about that some other time).

This particular cookbook is interesting in that it was put together by a sort of ladies' guild. Its subtitle is "recipes from St. Peter's family and friends". Doesn't it seem that the best cookbooks come from parishioners who gather their recipes together? St. Peter's Episcopal Church is found on Skidaway Island, Georgia.

Here is the chicken recipe:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 T unsalted butter
3 T chopped shallot
1 T chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 c heavy cream
fresh lemon juice, to taste.

Flatten the chicken with a mallet. In a large saute pan, melt the butter with the EVOO. When hot, add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute gently about 3 minutes per side (juices should run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife). Put chicken on a warmed plate and cover. Put pan back on medium heat and add shallot, sauteeing until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tarragon and cream, increase heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, until bubbling and slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Return chicken to pan and turn each breast several times in sauce until well coated and hot. Transfer to warmed plate and spoon sauce over the chicken.

What I did, instead:
I had dried tarragon (from the potato recipe to follow) and the chicken breasts were strips, pre-cut by Wegmans, so no need to pound them flat, really (my excuse for laziness). I didn't buy shallots and I did not use lemon juice. I also decided to throw the chicken in the oven on 375 for 30 minutes, with a nice coating of EVOO before throwing them inside. It all turned out just fine. I ate this with rice. The next recipe is also found in the same book.

The potato recipe:

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 t salt, divided
1 t pepper
1 t dried tarragon
7 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1 c heavy cream
1 c dry white wine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 13x9 baking dish and layer 1/3 of the potatoes, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the salt/pepper mix, 1/3 of the tarragon, and 1/3 of the cheddar cheese. Repeat this layering until the above-mentioned ingredients are fully layered. Separately, whisk the heavy cream and white wine in a medium bowl and when done pour over the potatoes. Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered another 30 minutes.


The photos: The top is from an outdoor market in Paris. The bottom is, of course, Savannah.

The old dishwasher has finally bit the dust

What have I done?
Originally uploaded by Skyhawk Flyer
And there is a bird on my head. Oh woe is me.

This is actually a happy blog because I have a really nice new LG dishwasher. It's SO QUIET, it's running right now and I can't even hear it. I love it! I didn't realize how awful the old one was until I saw it at the Home Depot (yes, they still sell it to the builders, who put in the cheapest thing they can find) next to my spiffy fancy new one.

So, GE, you are gone and LG rules the day! Life's Good!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Greetings, friends of Kavey!

Lavender evening
Originally uploaded by Skyhawk Flyer
If you popped by through visiting kaveyeats.blogspot, welcome, I'm glad you stopped by. I promise to start putting up new recipes soon, so please do visit again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The semi-annual dinner party, Jan 31, 2009

I had a dinner party the night before the Super Bowl. The friends who joined me each had their own Super Bowl party, so, it was a weekend of gluttony. Below is what we had.

Chorizo stuffed dates
Foie gras with cherry preserves, on bread or petit-fours type crackers.

The wines:
Bubbly to start.
A red with dinner.
A dessert wine from Virginia.

All wines came from the little local wine boutique, which has since closed (March 31) due to the horrible economy.

Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary (Epicurious)

1/4 cup diced pancetta (Italian bacon; about 1 1/2 ounces)
6 pounds bone-in short ribs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped drained canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 very large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary


Heat heavy large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown ribs in drippings in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. Add onions and next 4 ingredients to pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Boil uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Return ribs to pot, cover partially, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours longer.

Transfer ribs to plate; discard bay leaf. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot.

Simmer to rewarm, about 5 minutes.

Creamy Potato and Parsnip Gratin
8 Potatoes
8 Parsnips
1 Clove garlic, halved
1 ts Thyme
Salt and pepper
2 c Approx. whipping cream

Peel and thinly slice potatoes and parsnips. Generously butter 13x9 inch casserole dish; rub with garlic. Arrange single layer of potatoes in dish. Sprinkle lightly with a little of the thyme, salt and pepper. Cover with layer of parsnips. Sprinkle with seasonings. Repeat layer with remaining vegetables. Pour in enough cream to come three-quarters up side of dish. Place on baking sheet and bake, covered, in 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes longer or until top is brown and crusty and potatoes are cooked through.

Lemon Cream and Raspberry Phyllo Napoleons (Epicurious)

6 fresh phyllo pastry sheets or frozen, thawed
6 teaspoons (generous) sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup purchased lemon curd
2 1/2-pint baskets fresh raspberries or 2 cups frozen unsweetened, thawed, drained
Powdered sugar

For Phyllo Squares:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets. Stack phyllo sheets on work surface. Trim to 10 1/2-inch square (reserve scraps for another use). Place 1 phyllo square on work surface (cover remaining phyllo with plastic wrap and damp kitchen towel). Sprinkle with 1 generous teaspoon sugar. Top with second phyllo square. Brush lightly with melted unsalted butter. Sprinkle with 1 generous teaspoon sugar. Top with third phyllo square. Sprinkle with 1 generous teaspoon sugar. Cut phyllo stack into 9 equal stacked squares. Arrange stacked phyllo squares an prepared baking sheet. Repeat layering and cutting with remaining 3 phyllo sheets, sugar and butter making total of 18 stacked phyllo squares. Bake until phyllo is golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to racks and cool completely.

For Lemon Cream:Beat cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar and vanilla in large bowl until medium peaks form. Whisk lemon curd in another medium bowl until smooth. Add to cream mixture. Beat to stiff peaks.

Spread 1 generous tablespoon lemon cream on each of 6 stacked phyllo squares. Top each with 6 raspberries. Layer each with 6 raspberries. Layer each with 1 phyllo square, 1 more tablespoon lemon cream and 6 raspberries (save any remaining lemon cream for another use). Top each with 1 phyllo square. Sift powdered sugar over desserts. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover loosely and refrigerate).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Honey Baked Cod

This is another "google ingredients and see what comes up" recipe.

Honey+Cod = Honey Baked Cod.

The recipe called for

2 slices cod
6 tablespoon Soy Sauce
5 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine
1 tablespoon Water

Mix the marinade well.
Pour over the the cod and marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven at 160C.
Grill the cod for 20 minutes skin-side down before turning over.
Grill the other side for another 12 minutes or till fully cooked.

I was a lot simpler. I only had one piece of cod, for starters. I mixed one part soy sauce to slightly under one part honey and shook it to bits in a plastic container. (one part meaning less than 1/4 cup).

I marinaded it and popped it into the oven next to a baked potato at 425 for 20 mins - then I shut the oven off for the rest of it (the potato had already been in the oven for 35 mins...)

It really smelled up the kitchen, but it was quite good. The smell made me wonder if I had made a mistake - it was so cloying. It was a mild flavor after all that but it was a little dry. I wonder if I should have kept it at 325 instead.

The photo on the internet made it seem like this would be quite a honey glaze - well, my presentation wasn't remotely that!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chewy Curried Butternut Squash Soup (was Bisque)

I found this on Epicurious. Thank God for Wegmans, who already cuts up the butternut squash for you. If it weren't for that, I am not sure I'd venture into the wild world of this squash because they are rock hard. This recipe had a nice trick though - roast it! I even did it to the cut up pieces and it made it quite easy.

As always, the recipe is first and what I DID to it, is below.

2 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped peeled apple
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste*
2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons sour cream, stirred to loosen
Chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush cut side of squash with oil; place squash, cut side down, on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Scoop squash out into large bowl. Measure 3 cups squash (reserve any remaining squash for another use).

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and apple; sauté 5 minutes. Add curry paste; stir 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and 3 cups squash. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to same pot. Stir in cream and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm over medium-high heat.

Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.

What I did:

First of all, the above-mentioned Wegmans miracle squash is necessary for non-domestic goddesses. It is already nicely cut up and packaged, ready to go.
I poured two containers (about 20 oz each) into a cake pan and drizzled olive oil on top and popped it into the oven as directed.
It was then that I noticed the recipe did call for a blender. Drat. No blender. Well, I will just have to chew then - no sipping through a straw.

Wegmans ALSO sells chopped onions in a one-cup bag. Ditto julienned carrots (hey, at least I know what they are). Yes, I am lazy.

I threw in an entire chopped up granny smith apple. Well, all that I didn't sneak myself. (Can you sneak food, when it's just you cooking?)

From one of my last cooking adventures I had a whole container of bay leaves in the freezer (am I becoming a real cook now?)

I didn't add the red curry paste until near the end - it turned out just fine. I also don't have a blender so also near the end I took a potato masher and mashed away. Just enough to make it more fine, but clearly not bisque. Again, no worries. I only could find heavy cream, not sure if that is like whipping cream or not. It worked...

The honey is a nice touch because it is a little spicy (not a lot, but you can tell). I just dolloped some sour cream on top. No cilantro (although I should have sprinkled a wee bit of ground coriander on top, had I been thinking...)

This was marvelous and I've already set aside three lunch-size containers, with enough in the big container for at least 4 meals if not more.

This is a winter photo so I thought it would look nice here. Algonkian Park, not too far from home.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last meal of 2008

Last night I made a baked potato and filet mignon. Here is the sauce I poured over the filet mignon:

splash of red wine (less than 1/4 c)
splash of worcestershire sauce

Let the above simmer for a while. It will start to slightly reduce.

I added a squirt of dijon mustard and a tad of milk and kept it on heat and kept stirring.

I should have used cream if anything. The dijon mustard kind of separated - never really got rid of the bits and blobs look. It tasted pretty good though!

Heavenly salad dressing!

Last week (in 2008) I googled strawberries and oranges (since I have a bunch of both right now) and a wonderful salad dressing came up (the salad recipe itself has the strawberries and oranges).
Below is what was written, and far below is what I did - and I bet my version is better.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Whisk and drizzle over romaine lettuce/strawberries/cut up orange and sprinkle with real parmesan cheese. Sliced red onion optional.
What I did:
1 tablespoons lemon juice (I ran out, drat!!)
1 tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons EVOO
NO Dijon mustard (I thought I had some in the fridge, it was horseradish mustard - so, nothing at all)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
So slightly less lemon and no dijon. Used fork to whisk.
My salad was below:
an entire avocado, sliced up.
a good hunk of leftover rotisserie chicken, also diced
I had some strawberries in the fridge that had thawed and I had poured sugar on them so they were nice and juicy.
I mostly just used the strawberries, was not liberal with pouring the juice on the salad. Just enough to taste.
Pour all of salad dressing on salad, use chicken pieces to mop up remainder still in bowl.
HEAVEN, JUST HEAVEN. Especially as I got nearer the end and the bits and blobs of the strawberry juice mixed with the dressing itself.
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