Tag Archives: Cook

Shepherd’s Pie

30 Nov

The CSA box this week was potatoes, onions, celery root, beets, sprouts, and kiwis, so continuing my CSA-inspired-dinner-with-one-or-more-friends Tuesdays: Shepherd’s Pie!

  • Potatoes and celery root diced and boiled until soft, mashed with some butter, salt and white pepper and some cheese.
  • Diced onions, garlic, and golden beets (since I had no carrots or celery) sauteed until soft, then ground lamb and some spices added to them, and a little red wine.
  • The potatoes layered on top of the meat in the same cast iron skillet, topped with grated cheddar, and broiled in the oven a few minutes to brown the top.
  • Pea shoots and broccoli on the side (with a sesame oil & sriracha sauce– nothing to do with the rest of the meal)

I’ve always been a sucker for shepherd’s pie, and this was a very simple version, but it turned out especially well. The bits of diced beet were a nice touch.

Thanksgiving Food

24 Nov

Breakfast:

 Picking lettuce for a light lunch:
Dinner (I made squash with crispy sage butter, and brussels sprouts with bacon and sauteed onions):

Apple pie*, later:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your food and family or friends afternoons treat you well.

* Which included my first time making pie crust in quite a while, and perhaps my first-ever lattice top? Ahh, delicious geometry. I used a basic dough recipe modified to use 1/5th whole wheat flour, and 50/50 shortening and butter.

Steak and Greens, take three

20 Nov

Apparently I’ve been on a steak-cooking kick— three times in three weeks?

I shopped at Olivier’s Butchery for the first time today, and picked up a grass-fed filet mignon. Sure, not cheap per pound… but $9 for what ended up being one of the better steaks of my life isn’t bad compared to going out…

Prep counter: steak covered in black pepper and a little salt on both sides, green beans, baby broccoli, sunflower sprouts (all from the CSA box), and shallots.

After heating some olive oil and peanut oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet, I dropped in the (thick) steak:

After four and a half minutes on each side, I took the steak off and let it rest under a foil tent (does that actually make a difference?) for 5 minutes, while I lightly steamed the beans and baby broccoli and made a pan sauce:

  1. Over medium heat, I sauteed a minced shallot and 3 small crushed cloves of garlic in the remaining oil and fat for a few minutes.
  2. Then I deglazed the pan: I added maybe 1/4 cup of red wine (which quickly boiled away) and used it to free the crunchy bits of meat and fat and seasoning left in the pan, then added another 1/4ish cup of wine and reduced it over the course of a few minutes.
  3. Finally, I melted a Tbsp of butter into the meat-bits-and-reduced-wine mixture, and spooned it over the steak.

Here it is: pepper-crusted filet mignon (medium-rare) with a simple pan sauce and three kinds of green vegetables:

Very good!

Deviled Eggs, Pickled Fennel, Kale, Squash w/ Sage Butter

11 Nov

CSA Week Two, a recent trip to City Beer, and a friend visiting from Boston inspired another little dinner party:

Deviled eggs (perhaps the best variant I’ve made: hard boiled eggs, the yolks mashed with quite a bit of olive oil (and no mayo!) and a little mustard, salt, and pepper, sprinkled with smoked paprika, and topped with crispy-fried capers, a crowning touch inspired by this printer & piemaker post).

Salami (Olli Napoli, smoked pork with red wide– fine but not remarkable, I probably wouldn’t buy it again).

Lightly-pickled fennel (two days earlier I boiled a mix of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water, with a few tsp of mustard seed, 1 tsp salt, and maybe 1/2 tsp coriander seed, then poured the hot liquid over a jar of sliced fennel and refrigerated it). I wasn’t sure anyone else would like it but we ate the whole pint.

Kale (minced shallots cooked in sesame oil over medium heat for 10 minutes until crisping. In parallel, kale boiled/steamed in about an inch of water for 8 minutes, rinsed in cold water and drained, then added to the skillet with the shallots for a few minutes).

Carrots brushed with olive oil and roasted for about 20 minutes at 400F.

Squash: a butternut squash and an acorn squash, each cut in half and brushed with olive oil and baked at 400F face down for about 40 minutes, until soft. I actually did this two nights before, scooped out the squash, and put it in the fridge, reheating it the night of the dinner. With a little salt and pepper and sage brown butter drizzled over it right before serving (5 Tbsp of butter melted over medium heat with maybe 1/4 cup of chopped fresh sage for 5-10 minutes). Quite good, and easy.

And the meal only took about an hour to make (not counting the prep a few days before).

Beer included Upright Brewing’s Six (a slightly malty rye beer, which I continue to love), La Fin Du Monde (a belgian-style tripel / golden ale), Upright Flora Rustica (from a Portland trip, saison-style but slightly vegetative and strange, in a good way), and La Trappe Dubbel. And Corona, but we won’t talk about that.

Fava Beans, Crabapples, Cod, Romano Beans, Fennel

7 Nov

I had dried fava beans, so for an afternoon snack made ful medames: soak the beans overnight, then boil them in a fresh set of water for about three hours until soft, adding enough water to keep them covered, they boiling it down and mashing them into a paste, with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, and a bit of salt. Like hummus, but earthier. Served with crumbled feta, fresh parsley, some sliced crabapples, and toasted pita bread. This was good– I’d make it again.

Then, a dinner for two: the final pair of artichokes from the CSA, cod (coated with pepper and salt, seared on both sides in a cast-iron skillet, then coated in a tahini + lemon juice mixture and broiled in the oven), and the romano beans (shallots, fennel, and cardamom seeds sauteed in a little sesame oil for 10+ minutes until translucent, mixed with from-the-CSA romano beans that had been steamed for a few minutes since they were getting tough). Not bad.

Artichoke, Kale, Fried Egg

3 Nov

Continuing to work through my first CSA box (which was kale, three artichokes, an acorn squash, a butternut squash, romano beans, sunchokes, and good eggs):

Kale, Tomatillos

28 Oct

After so many frites, I needed a salad break, so:

Kale shallow-blanched (a few inches of salted water for about 7 minutes), with green zebra tomatoes, radishes, feta, and roasted tomatillo salsa (purple tomatillos broiled in the oven about 10 minutes, then blended with the juice of a lemon, salt, pepper, a minced shallot, and a pinch of cayenne powder– I would have used a fresh or roasted green chili of some sort if I’d had one).

Not actually that great– too acidic, and not satisfying without meat or a grain.

Garbanzos, Spinach, Spices

13 Oct

I just made the bottom dish: “garbanzos, spinach, bread crumbs, spices” from Moro via Smitten Kitchen, and with clarified butter instead of olive oil. It was quite good, though maybe I’d use even more spices next time.

Butternut, white beans, tahini

10 Oct

Basically this Smitten Kitchen recipe, with a few changes based on what the store was out of:

  1. Preheated oven to 425.
  2. Diced a butternut squash into 1″ cubes, tossed with 3 cloves crushed garlic, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 tsp of a “Kashmir curry powder” blend I had around. Roasted in the oven for about 25 minutes.
  3. Made a tahini dressing (3 Tbsp tahini, juice of two lemons, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 crushed clove garlic, a splash of water).
  4. Let the squash cool about 5 minutes, then tossed with a can of cannellini beans. Drizzled with the tahini dressing, minced parsley, and pepper.

[ edit: It tasted great, but the texture was a bit boring– I think it would have been better with garbanzos as originally intended, or next to some crunchy fresh vegetables ]

I also opened a Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin (formerly Merkin) oatmeal stout with it… which didn’t fit at all (too strong a flavor).

Scones, eggs, smoked paprika

8 Oct

Maple-pecan scones, scrambled eggs with a little smoked paprika, fruit, and a view of the Bay.