Monday, January 30, 2012

Alyce's Lamb Shanks on Mashed Ginger Rutabaga and Next Day Lamb Stew

I like a pasta bowl for lamb shanks and sides...sit them up in the rutabagas to show them off.
 If you're a bit unsure about lamb shanks... what they are or how to cook them, here's the deal:  they're pretty much like cooking a tiny pot roast on a big old bone.  Whatever treatment you've given beef chuck roast is probably going to work with lamb shanks--which are from way up on the lamb's leg.  Since the meat is tough, it needs to be braised (cooked in liquid) and the braising liquid of choice is often wine, though it needn't be.  A stiff stout would work, as would broth, tomatoes, cider and water...whatever floats your shanks.  Add root vegetables and/or onions, celery, garlic, and you've an entire meal.   Even just onions and wine with a bit of dried rosemary will give you something well worth eating.  Most recipes call for two lamb shanks per person; there isn't a lot of meat on one.  I find that given the vegetables and sauce inevitably cooked with them that one is plenty.

Friday, January 27, 2012

50 Women Game-Changers Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, #32 - Sullivan's Island Shrimp Bog

 Big bunch of bacon. (This is good.  I'm married to someone who eats anything with bacon.)  Next:  tons of onions.  Rice. Lots of shrimp, ahhh.  All cooked together in one lovely mess called a bog.  For those of us with no real connection to the south-eastern coastal states, a bog brings to mind cranberries in Maine or Wisconsin, even.  Or being stuck at work, as in:  "I'm all bogged down writing that article."  But this bog, this "Sullivan's Island Shrimp Bog," is just what it sounds like:  mounds of steamed shrimp mixed up on top of a velvety oh-so-thick tomatoed, oniony, spicy rice--perfect for brunch or a lunch bunch.  If the words "comfort food" weren't so over-used and so inappropriate (comfort food being food you had a gazillion times as a kid...), I'd call this comfort food extraordinaire.  Comfort food x100.

Just for fun, here's the wikipedia definition of a bog:   A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses or, in Arctic climates, lichens.

Food for thought, I'd say.  Read on:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese "BBQ" Pork, Five Heap Noodles, and Wine-Explosion Soup for Chinese New Year

Set your table before you begin cooking.
While I missed blogging Barbara Tropp a couple of weeks ago for "50 Women Game-Changers in Food" from Gourmet Live, it didn't stop me from making some of her incredible food in honor of a good friend's birthday and Chinese New Year.

I started out by spending a bit of cozy time with one of Barbara's books, The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking, just to see what I thought I'd like to make.  The choices were myriad and luscious... but I couldn't make all of them.  I did, however, want to keep reading forever; she wrote beautifully.  I decided on three separate dishes:  one a soup for a starter and the other two as a main course that could be eaten together, but that would also provide some great leftovers.  HA!  There were hardly any leftovers.  Do make extra pork; it's a perfect cold snack.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ricotta, Chive, and Prosciutto Omelette-Donna Hay-50 Women Game-Changers in Food-#31


 Lydia Walshin (The Perfect Pantry) often has great recipe links on fb.  One day, she linked to a recipe for Stir-Fried Rice with Mushrooms from Jeanette's Healthy Living.  Jeanette's recipe came from the famous Chinese cook and cookbook author, Barbara Tropp, of whom I'm very fond.  The post title indicated the recipe was part of the 50 Women Game-Changers in Food blogging effort.  Each week, bloggers from all over the country feature the recipes of one of the 50 Women Game-Changers from the Gourmet Live List published last May.  I had to get in on this thing and here I am the very next week, blogging down-under Donna Hay's recipe for Ricotta, Chive, and Prosciutto Omelettes.  Thanks, fellow food bloggers, for the warm welcome.  I'm thrilled to be participating!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shrimp Cobb or Starting Over in the St. Paul Kitchen

After a busy season of church, family, and travel, I'm back.  I missed blogging, but simply couldn't find a good way to do it with pictures from my ipad, which is what I take away from home. First blog must be about how we came home...

After a long drive, and a couple of weeks away from my still Christmas kitchen (I do admit it:  I was cheating with my other kitchen the whole time), we were hungry.  Friends offered one meal and we ate out another, but we needed to get back into the swing of cooking and eating at home.  Not wanting to do a serious grocery shop right away, I ran through the corner store for just a few things:

  1. avocado
  2. fresh greens
  3. blueberries
  4. cherry tomatoes
  5. 4 red bell peppers
  6. chicken breasts (several--on the bone, with skin)
  7. whole wheat bread
  8. plain Greek yogurt
  9. milk
When I arrived home,  I was able to put together the Shrimp Cobb (recipe below) that night and had plenty more for a couple of breakfasts, a pot of chicken chili, and leftover chicken for snacks and sandwiches.   (Thanks to a well-stocked pantry and freezer that included shrimp and bacon.)

Let's talk chicken chili another time.  Love this stuff.  You can do beans or no beans.