There are matches made in heaven. Just exactly what does that mean, anyway? While you might be thinking about you and your partner; I could be thinking about Dave and me…Continue reading
If the goal of feeding folks in the summer is to keep the cooking and the heat at a minimum, I’m in. As my friend Jodie says, “I turn into a troll when the temperature gets above 65 degrees F.” Even it it’s not terribly hot outdoors — or is, in fact, lovely — my house seems to turn into a hot box on June 1 every year. Of course that’s just one reason Americans grill (the contemporary version of the separate summer kitchen) and eat outdoors anytime we can. The other is we’re inordinately attached to kicking back for three months every year. Or we say we are anyway.Continue reading
Ah, summer. Oh, oh: ratatouille!
ra· ta· touille
[rat-uh–too-ee, –twee; Fr.ra-ta–too-yuh]
I loved the movie (Ratatouille).
Also “The Big Night”
And “Babette’s Feast”
Try them. Food movies. Sigh.
It’s a drink, it’s an appetizer, a first course, a meal, or all of the above. Definitely cool and summer stunning in chilled, heavy on-the-rocks glasses with a crostini side-car, this Spiked Gazpacho with Crab would eat happily out of small bowls, coffee cups, wine glasses, or … …
The blog, Dave, doggies, and I are on vacation for a bit. See you soon!
Omelets are the perfect example of,
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…
Only you can eat the sad-looking/happy-tasting evidence over..and over…and over. No matter what, you’ll have breakfast, lunch, or dinner in under a couple of minutes because omelets are perfect for any meal and maybe especially so during hot muggy summer days. They’re also inexpensive, healthy, full of protein, and encourage creative invention. Leftover chicken and cheese? Stuff that in your omelet. A bit of salsa along with a half piece of grilled zucchini? There you go. Nothing at all but parsley? You have an herb omelet. Not even a sprig of parsley, but a tablespoon of sticky jam at the bottom of the jar? That, too, makes for a tasty omelet filling.
In most homes in the United States, if you mention, “stew” for dinner, you’re probably talking about beef stew. In Ireland, you would most likely be about to chow down on lamb stew–a dish I often saw on menus during visits to Ireland, though I never saw Corned Beef and Cabbage at all.
If you’re “in the soup,” you’re what? You’re in trouble. If you “soup up” anything, you’re making it more powerful; if you go from “soup to nuts,” you’re going from beginning to end. Nuts have not been the end of a meal at my house ever, but I somewhat vaguely remember my colonial culinary history, where the tablecloth was removed for the dessert course which might be or include unshelled nuts.
Up next in the blog is a simple, yet incredibly tasty soup I made out of on-hand ingredients to preface a meal of steak with oven-browned potatoes accented with burnt onions and roasted asparagus. If your meal is easy and nearly instant, as was this, what a good time to make a first-course soup. Get ready for, “Oh, you made SOUP?!”
Wine: If you’re having a separate wine with a first course, by all means serve an Italian Falanghina or a Spanish Albarino. An un-oaked Chardonnay might be a dog that would hunt here. We made do with a California Petite Syrah we were having with the steak—and loved it, but could imagine a light Italian red as well if you’re an only-red-wine-drinker.
For a soup/ sandwich meal: Grill Swiss, Gouda or Brie on ciabatta.
Bread for first course: This soup is lovely with a salt and pepper and/or parmesan crostini; I include directions.
Serves 4 as a first course or 2-3 as a main course
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and minced
- 4 celery stalks, trimmed and minced
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
- 1 15 ounce can tomatoes
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (garnish)
- 4 slices baguette
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In four-quart saucepan, melt butter and add carrots, celery and onion. Sauté five minutes, adding garlic half-way through. Stir in fresh herbs and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with fork or knife. You could food-process the tomatoes beforehand if you’d like. Cook briefly, one-two minutes to marry flavors. Add broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer until veggies are tender, 10-15 min. Add extra broth or water if soup becomes too thick. Check seasoning. Ladle into small bowls and pass feta cheese at table. Serve w/ salt and pepper crostini.Crostini: