BRRRRR!! It has been brutally cold all weekend. Maybe wife and I should think about getting some of those "snuggies." (although, they do kind of look like standard issue religious cult uniforms..."Why, yes, I would like a glass of kool-aid!"). ok, anyway...food. I picked up some super sweet lambchops the other day, center cut (look like tiny t-bone steaks), not shoulder. Not that I mind the shoulder cut for certain things (braising, roasting, etc), but the center cut is just more suitable for broiling and saute, which is what I was doing. Served it with some couscous that had toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, spinach, and a healthy glug of olive oil, and also some asparagus. When I saute meat I usually finish it off in the oven. I like to toss in a little wine or stock, etc. right before to help me out when I make a pan sauce (I also threw in some tomatoes, it's for fun!). After the meat is done I take it out and let it rest, put the hot pan on the burner (remember, the pan's handle is wicked hot!), give it another shot of wine/stock, and then let it reduce. At this point, I added a little cream. I was using vermouth for the main liquid. In a couple of minutes, you have a pretty good sauce for your meat treats. There are a thousand variations on this method, and to many of you it will seem old hat, but I think it's pretty useful stuff, basic or not.
I made some risotto milanese last night. I like to eat risotto, particularly when it's frigid briskies outside. It's something that takes a little more work then rice, but it's really worth it. Plus, I had some saffron on hand that I was itching to use. I tried my hand at making little pyramids with the risotto (using an offset spatula), kind of felt like richard dreyfuss. don't worry, wasn't abducted...
the last pic is my breakfast today. I made a frittata with bacon, spinach, onion, and cheddar. Pretty tasty. had it with the bombtastic multigrain bread we make at the bakery. get some.
other newsy newsbites: I'm still trying to motivate myself to write the cookbook, I'm shooting for the end of the year. Also, really getting excited about the upcoming gardening season. hopefully I can get some really cool stuff, or talk people into giving me really cool stuff, that actually sounds better.
picking up some ramekins: this set from Le Creuset is around 24 bucks. This is what i used to mold the couscous in the lambchop picture. you can use it for all sorts of plating stuff. Sometimes I use it for risotto or mashed tates. oh, and you can also actually make tasty desserts with it too, the possibilities are endless!
Dish's Saute method (ex. beef tenderloin)
get a saute pan nice and hot
add some canola oil
add your seasoned meat (seasoned however you like) to the pan, browning on both sides (about 2-3 minutes)
go around the pan once with a splash of red wine (or beef stock), you can also throw in some shrooms or whatever
place into a 400 F oven
cook until desired doneness (3-4 min for med rare, 6 for med, 8 for shoe leather)
take pan out, let meat rest on cutting board
place pan on hot burner, add more liquid (wine, stock, heavy cream, whatever...)
let reduce (sauce should coat back of a spoon and you should be able to run your finger across the spoon and the line it makes should hold.) see video here (spoon ex. at about the 2 minute mark.)
plate meat, pour tasty sauce over your meat.