HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Inexpensive Meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inexpensive Meals. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

Short Ribs in a Cinnamon and Red Wine Sauce: An East Indian take on a North American Classic


           
          This was one of the first posts I published back in 2010 when I started to blog.  Because my readership was nowhere near what it is now, I should not have been as surprised as I was to see that it never really attracted a big audience. That struck me as a shame because it is a spectacularly interesting take by a master of Indian cooking who invented one of the most unique cooking styles anywhere--a fusion between Indian inflected spices and great Canadian ingredients--in this case the country's phenomenal grass fed beef.  As to its seasonality, I say it would be as good in July as it would be in January.  After all, it's a variation on that summer staple--Ribs.  What makes it a particularly attractive take on Ribs is that it doesn't require firing up a grill.  Instead it cooks away in the oven for hours.   So here, a reprise of something awfully good that I hope will get the attention it deserves.
          If you’ve had any luck in life, you’ve had the good fortune to visit Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s a city that’s got it all. They say in winter you can sail and ski on the same day. Surrounded by water and a little over an hour from the slopes at Whistler, that sounds highly possible. Yes, it has that Pacific Northwest climate with a few more rainy days than I’d find ideal, but it’s blessedly warmer than the rest of Canada in winter and temperate all summer. And Vancouver is a foodie’s delight. In fact, Mimi Sheraton thinks the best Asian cuisine in North America is found there. I’d add that the best South Asian food in Vancouver is served at Vij’s, Vikram VijDescription: http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=52246-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1553651847’s no reservation restaurant at 1480 West 11th Street in the South Granville area of the city. And I wouldn’t be alone. The New York Times called Vij’s “Easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turkey Meat Loaves with Red Pepper Sauce


         I first wrote this post way back in 2010 when the blog was still quite new.  This year, Memorial Day put a crimp in my writing as we were up to our ears in gardening and celebrating the start of our being in the Hamptons more and more. So when I went searching for something to share with you today, I came across this recipe. It surprised me to see that it never attracted an audience because it really is worth making.  Even if you, like me, have very little fondness for ground turkey.  I’ll grant all those who extoll its low-fat virtues that it’s about as low as you can go, but to me it’s also low on taste and low on juice and low on my list of things I love to cook.  But an article in an old Food and Wine intrigued me.  It was entitled “French food that won’t make you fat”.  Now there’s something I can sink my teeth into.  And it has a very solid pedigree.  Its inventor is the chef Sandro Gamba who cooked under Joel Robichon and Alain Ducasse, was Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chef of 2001.        
        Apparently tired of rendering French classics at Nomi, in Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel, Chef Gamba quit his job and began to look for a place where he could cook “cleaner” and healthier versions of his mentors’ specialties.  He landed at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, CA which welcomed his healthy approach at all five restaurants on the property.  Unfortunately, visa problems sent him back to France where he spent two years at Sofitel headquarters as their Corporate Chef.  From there he went on to Geneva where he was the Food and Beverage director at the Intercontinental. Now, and for the last two years, he's been the Executive Chef at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.  I have to wonder if he's introduced his staff of 300 (!) to the virtues of his turkey meatloaf.  But I do know I'd like to re-introduce it to you.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms and a Balsamic Sauce


      Before getting to today's Pot Roast post, I wanted to give anyone who'd like, the opportunity to learn about Monte's Ham thanks
to my appearance yesterday on The Joan Hamburg show on WOR710.  Just click here for the link.  I am on at about the 45 minute mark
and you can skip ahead if you'd like.  Here it is:
http://www.wor710.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5002772 . Enjoy!
Now to today's post...


  Let’s be honest:  Balsamic Vinegar has taken the place of red sauce Italian in terms of being found almost too often.   It’s unfortunate too that America’s love affair with this ingredient is so completely antithetical to the way it’s used in Italy.  There, it is used sparingly—one or two drops at a time and never to replace vinegar but to supplement it.  And real Balsamic is aged for years and when finally consumed, it is a deliciously thick liquid which you only need drops of.   I was fortunate enough to be given a magnificently authentic Balsamic vinegar at the Fine Foods Show in June.  As you can see in the photo, it even looks precious and has about as much to do with its supermarket counterpoint as red wine does to vinegar. We drizzled that balsamic on hard cheese and it was out of this world. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pork and Poblano Tamale Pie




        "The Joy of Cooking" was one of the first cookbooks I was ever aware of.  


It, along with Boston Cooking School Cookbook (aka Fanny


Farmer), the enormous Gourmet Cookbooks Volumes 1 and 2, and something called “The 

Encyclopedia of Canadian Cooking” (yes, Encyclopedia) formed


the backbone of my family’s cookbook library.  Aside from


those Junior League recipe collections, which inevitably


involved cans of Campbell’s Cream of Something 


soups,  that was about it.  But one recipe from "Joy" remained


in my mind.  It was the notorious recipe for Tamale Pie.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken Paillards with Lemon Caper Sauce and Orzo with Spinach and Hazlenuts



        For one of the easiest dishes on this entire website, this one certainly has the longest name.  It is simplicity itself and I go to this dish every time I’m really pressed for time.  It’s amazingly flexible. If you're not a fan of capers, use garlic.  Or just make the lemon sauce all by itself.  You can choose to embellish the Orzo with cheese, parsley, fresh oregano, peas--it's amazingly adaptable.  In this case, I had some spinach and hazlenuts which I threw in with the orzo and then brightened with some freshly-squeezed Lemon juice.  The chicken is ‘marinated’ for all of 10-30 minutes in some garlic, lemon and oregano, then sautéed for all of about 4 minutes, then the capers, a little butter and some more lemon juice are added and the whole thing is on the plate in no time. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Coriander Dusted Roast Beef




When I was growing up in Canada, Sunday was almost invariably the day when a giant roast beef would appear at the dinner table surrounded by crisp, brown roasted potatoes.  My personal preference was to eat as much rare roast beef as my father would give me.  And I also loved to consume the crisp layer of fat on the roast. Heavily salt and peppered, it was among my favorite things to eat.  How my arteries survived the amazing amounts of beef fat I consumed before I left home, is likely some kind of medical miracle.  But once out of the house, a roast the size of the one consumed by my family, was relegated to major holidays, Christmas in particular.  This was nothing about eating healthier, it was much more a matter of economics.  It was just too rich for my blood.  Then along came this recipe from Grace Parisi.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Braised Chicken Thighs with “Pizza Spices”


        I don’t know about you but sometimes I think if I have to look at another skinless, boneless breast of chicken, I’d like to give up the bird altogether.  And yet a woman in my Food Writer’s boot camp says that, almost invariably, they’re the number one seller in the meat department and, along with Paper Towels, Bananas and Orange Juice, they're quite often the overall leader in what's ordered on the internet grocery site she works for.  I am a much greater fan of the chicken thigh.  White meat or dark meat preferences aside, the thigh is unquestionably the more flavorful of the two. Of course, the bone also helps here. The breast bone is puny in comparison and non-existent in the boneless variety.   Sizewise, the smaller thigh packs more taste. Hopefully this can compensate for the one thing the breast has over it. It’s about twice as caloric (278 calories vs. 138).  But really, two for a main course is still not a bad number. 
        This recipe has an interesting background.  I found it in Food and Wine’s “Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes” (Volume 12).  This is a compendium of the best recipes from 25 cookbooks, among them
Michelle Bernstein and Andrew Friedman’s “Cuisine A Latina” (Houghton Mifflin Company). 

Monday, January 18, 2010

On the menu today: Chili Rubbed Flank Steaks, Duck Fat Hash Browns and Austrian White Asparagus



Lately, we’ve been loving flank steak.  What’s not to love about the supremely beefy flavor of this chewy cut of meat—especially when it’s one of the great bargains at the meat counter?  It’s currently less than half the price of a New York strip—but hurry, because it’s been my experience that supply and demand take over (witness the price of Osso Buco (link), it will shoot up as more people discover its versatility and flavor.  And then there’s the speed at which you can get it on the table.  It’s a perfect cut of beef for a weeknight.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

French Onion Soup, the ultimate slow food that can’t be rushed.




Over the holidays, when we were snowbound and had plenty of time to make lunch, I jumped at the opportunity to make French Onion Soup—or at least, some poor misguided soul’s idea of onion soup.   The recipe, clipped from a magazine I’ve since tossed, claimed you could enjoy France’s gift to soup tureens everywhere in 30 minutes.  Tasting nothing like any version of onion soup, foreign or domestic, that I’ve ever had, this flour-y insipid brew was a huge disappointment and a waste of time.  Some things should never be rushed.  French Onion Soup is one of them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Quick and Easy Weeknight recipe: Orecchiette with a Veal, Caper and White Wine Sauce.




There are plenty of people I’d love to spend time cooking with:
My heroes like Tyler Florence, who seems to make everything I like.
Ina Garten, who makes everything look so effortless.  Thomas Keller who makes everything look well, so, complicated.  But I’d have to say that Grace Parisi is near the top of my list.   And this fantastic recipe is a reason why all by itself. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bacon and Beef Meatloaf




My friend Larry Hui is one of the leaders of a group of volunteers who help out at a homeless shelter in our neighborhood. I cook for the shelter and when I do, I often serve this meatloaf. It hits home with the men (and they are all men) and it’s a particular favorite of Larry’s so I am happy to share it here.