Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The end result was red wine-glazed meatloaf w/ farro and asparagus. Ingredients used: lamb, beef chuck, Niman Ranch bacon (Brie, Whole Foods didn't have slab bacon nor fiddleheads!), garlic, mire poix, Malbec, raw parmesan, parsley, sage, thyme, s + p, allspice, nutmeg, molasses, sugar, worcestershire sauce, eggs, milk, bread, breadcrumbs, tomatoes, asparagus, farro, and chicken stock.
Mis en place
I was really happy with the strong flavor combination of lamb, chuck, and bacon. I brushed the loaf with some reduced wine, sugar, molasses, tomatoes and allspice under a broiler to form a nice glaze. I cooked the farro with some left over bacon, veggies, and chicken stock and will be feasting on that for a while. I love farro's nuttiness and texture. For the asparagus, I just blanched it, sauteed it with butter, s + p, and lemon juice and finished it with some raw parm.
We drank some nice Malbec with the dish and ate outdoors. I love working with such ordinary, unpretentious dishes. People already have a solid reference point for them and it's easier to make an impact with the contrast in quality that way. I was stoked!
Happy eating, friends.
My friend, looking over my shoulder just now, reacted thusly to this photo: "Ewwww-wuh!"
She obviously cannot appreciate the finer things in life!
Almoco, pictured above, was especially delicious today. I passed on the hot option (unappealing meatloaf, white and brown rice, beans) and loaded up on salads instead: lettuce leaves with mango slices; shredded beets with green olive rounds, farmer's cheese, and tomato wedges; new potatoes with onions, parsley, and vinegar; leftover cold pasta with broccoli and chorizo; cauliflower with red peppers and kale (?). Squeezed half a lime over everything. Topped off with a glass of mango juice, a persimmon, and some chocolate pudding.
This, of course, followed cafe da manha, during which I consumed: a mango, several slices of honeydew melon, a cup of yogurt with granola and sliced banana, half a crusty roll with farmer's cheese and guava spread, and water.
At various points during the day I ate an apple or two and also a Kashi Chocolate Almond bar. After a long day in "the field" sampling soil and other abiotic conditions, I am eagerly awaiting dinner. T minus 45.
P.S. I guess that puddin' does look a little suspect....
Friday, June 20, 2008
Day 1: The Posse Has Landed.
We met V, Mas & Heather at The Hopleaf, an airy, laid back tavern full of wood and light where we recounted the comical tales of our travels to V and his Chi-town posse over spicy golden beers and steaming pots of Belgian-style and spicy coconut-curry mussels. The Belgian-style mussels, steamed in Witterkerke white ale with sliced shallots, celery, and bayleaf were the crowd favorite; but personally, I preferred the coconut curry mussels, resting in a spicy yet soothing broth of jalapenos, cilantro, ginger, and coconut milk. The frites with aioli were also a hit. Alas, their steak frites had nothing on the delectable standard-by-which-all-others-are-measured, the steak frites at Union League. This was definitely a beer week overall (Dad was in his glory) and the Hopleaf was the perfect spot to kick it off with an extensive beer selection and an emphasis on Belgian ales of all colors and stripes. I tried the Allagash and the Leffe blond, both of which are now permanent additions to the (admittedly limited) repetoire.
I think V had some rabbit dish (correct me if I'm wrong) that looked (no offense, V) kinda sketchy, but maybe I'm biased because I own a pet stuffed rabbit. All in all it was a lovely meal with stellar company (Heather, we're adopting you!) and we left sated, refreshed, and ready to see more of Chicago.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
After allegedly swimming in a resavoir at an undisclosed location in the vicintiy of a city once populated by Elms i arrived home. Officer, in my defense i reside on the third floor of a sweltering apartment. Alone, all day, on a computer, bathing in sweat, listening to sun-ra, a mind, like spagetthi, can take some roundabout pathways, inside, far away and come back again.. an observer, almost in the third person and the fingers continue to clack and the sweat; moisture beading, falls, hits the keys and one exists only in wonder.
But this is a food blog and what happened after the kitchen was the second greatest feeling since waking yesterday. The first having been after emerging from the water that evening, standing on the ridge, awaiting the rain, watching fifteen minutes of lighting get closer; becoming dried by the wind whistling through the trees, bending limbs, whipping water up in chaotic pattern and carrying the storm overhead & past my ears.
Salmanilla threats aside, tonight (now being last night) called for a thick tomato sauce chock with french fry shaped zuccini, diced carot, minced onion, generous olive oil, pulverized walnut, plenty of garlic, pepper and cubes of queso. I ate olives while waiting for the spahgetti to boil and poured off the olive juice into the boiling pasta to give the nominally yellow a pink hue and a slight buttery taste. An ear of corn also received eight or so minutes in with the spagethti before the water was dumped.
There is something incredibly satisfying about spagetti on an empty stomach. I sat at the kitchen table, body temperature momentarily closer to that of a lake, and ate the tangled web of warm noodles till i began again to perspire all the while enjoying the contrast between the cool crumbs of raw baby portabellas aloft in sauce and the heat regathering on a full stomach.
Che vediamo ragazzi, che vediamo ciao.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
lunch: leftover corn salad (sweet corn, basil, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, fresh black pepper). grilled tofu. espresso with milk.
post-workout: cookies 'n cream ice cream.
dinner: green-pea and mushroom risotto. can of tuna (gotta get that protein) with cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, spices.
late-night snack: tbd
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Lunch: protein shake. apple. slice of lemon tart.
Early Dinner: asparagus-mushroom rissotto (the home-made makes a world of difference). grilled balsamic tofu. sauvignon blanc.
Dessert: frozen plain yogurt with strawberries.
Friday, June 6, 2008
lunch: i attempted not to eat as i wanted to build hunger the better to savor my meal at dinner. but then i felt a little lightheaded, so i ate a Liberte blackberry yogurt and a bunch of carrot sticks. (hmmm... maybe i should become a pharm rep...)
dinner: fresh anchovies on toast with avocado-cilantro puree (i think i only had 2, this was dad and t's joint). shrimp and scallop ceviche. part of a duck ravioli (appetizer) that was more like a wonton than a ravioli, stuffed with shredded duck and garnished with some kind of apple, tomato, and scallion salsa over pureed sweet potato. i wasn't a huge fan, but the others enjoyed it. braised short ribs over steamed cabbage-wrapped potato puree in a dark ginger-infused beer-soy sauce with dried apricots. fork-tender and delicious. my caipirinha was good too, but mom's mojito was even better.
dessert: fruit cake with custard and almonds from marjolaine that people were hating on because it had cake layers and cream and NOT JUST CUSTARD... but i thought was blazing.
¡salud y feliz cumpleanos, Guillermo!
lunch: cup of new england clam chowder, blackened grouper with saffron aioli sauce over corn and potato hash...out of control good.
dinner: marinated fresh anchovies on toasted bread, avocado, cilantro puree...about four of them...so good. because they were out of my first choice (roast suckling pig, honey sherry vinegar sauce, spinach and potato comfit) the waiter recommended roasted duck breast, smoked bacon, potato, grape tomatoes, scallions, granny smith apple, turron sauce. delicious. the sauce was a bit salty but you know how i love the salt!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Breakfast: omelet (unless specified otherwise, it's a 1-yolk 3-egger) with stilton (still trying to finish it!), asparagus, onion, mushrooms. dry flax toast. espresso.
Lunch: savory whole wheat pancake with finely-chopped sauteed mushrooms and onions, cilantro, and shaved parmesan inside. glass of a california (arroyo seco) sauvignon blanc.
Snack: granny smith apple.
Dinner: take-out jerk chicken breast. arroz y frijoles. fried plantains.
Dessert: cinnamon bread.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
mid-morning snack: espresso sized mate tea, two sugar cookies.
almoco: that soft green squash (it's almost translucent) salad again, this time with hard boiled eggs as well. rice mixed with shredded carrot topped with black beans and farina. roast pork. lettuce leaves. mango. squeezed a lime over literally everything.
cafe da tarde: chocolate cake. coffee with warm milk. apple.
jantar: rotini with sauteed carrots, peppers, onions, green beans, and chorizo topped with shredded parmesan and a little hot sauce (DE-lish, i made a similar version of this last semester but with carrots, onions or maybe shallots, spinach, and mango-turkey sausage instead--so good). lettuce leaves with oil, vinegar, and salt. cruussty roll. whole guava.
lunch: homemade cracked pepper turkey sandwich with swiss cheese, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, mustard, and avocado. salad with mushrooms, orange and yellow bell peppers, carrot, avocado, and annie's goddess dressing. water and a glass of soy milk.
snack: aha (!) 32 fatty delicious ounces of Baremans dairy chocolate milk while studying in the library (couldn't find a picture on the internet). like 800 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat, and 25 grams of protein. all in all, pretty unhealthy.
dinner: overcooked mushroom, onion, and balsamic vinegar omelet. does anyone have suggestions about cooking big omelets for more than one? i find it damn near impossible to make a good omelet with more than 3 or 4 eggs...
late night: big glass of soymilk
Lunch: tuna salad (tuna, diced tomato, parsley, olive oil, s&p, red wine vinegar). sprouted flax seed toast with key lime jalapeno mustard. broccoli sauteed in garlic, red wine, little bit'a oil, golden raisins, sliced almonds.
Snack: cappucino with a chocolate biscotti.
Dinner (after sneaking into dining hall): fish with mango salsa. green salad with balsamic. bulgar pilaf.
Dessert: strawberry ice cream.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
2 june 2008
pre-class breakfast: multi-grain toast with peanut butter and water
post-class breakfast: sesame seed bagel with coffee
lunch: Hyde Park Produce #3 -- Cracked pepper turkey and cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, and guacamole. Chips and water.
snack: peanut butter cliff bar
dinner: Turkey club and french fries from the Medici that i ate in the library while finishing my paper that was due by midnight. i e-mailed it in at 11:52...
Monday, June 2, 2008
Real Breakfast: 1-yolk, 3-white omelet (redundant?) with stilton (i can't stress enough how well bleu cheese works with omelets of almost any type), fresh cilantro, sauteed red onion and red bell pepper. leftover brown rice. baby haas avocado.
Lunch: leftover bbq chicken breast. collard greens. yams. pumpkin pie.
Dinner: spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette and any vegetable i could find in the fridge, which was not much: broccoli, carrots, orange bell pepper. enormous whole wheat pancake smothered with peanutbutter.
breakfast: scrambled eggs and cheddar on a bagel. coffee. water.
lunch: uno taco de pollo, uno de bistec - from monte alban, obvs. i hit that spot up at least once a week. agua.
dinner: this is where the descent begins. umm... a yogurt... some olives... a bowl of black beans (see below) and some tortilla chips.
now about the salsa. i posted this question in a comment and then it occurred to me that i should take advantage of our technological power to convene a virtual group and ask *everyone.* plus, there are few more important topics than salsa, no? so, what is everyone's salsa stilo? red or green, thick or thin, homemade or store-bought, chipotles or jalapenos? summer's just about to blow in the window so let's get it rolling ... here's my contribution.
and finally, a random question: how long can you store cooked (leftover) black beans?
p.s. the long-awaited INTRODUCTIONS are coming soon ... so, as pan would say, stay tune!
Breakfast: 2 eggs over easy. Multi-grain and flax toast. Earth balance and sel gris. Yes, I use earth balance on a daily basis in place of butter. Cyril Renaud of Fleur de Sel talked about how he sent back 20 pounds of that stuff to his purist father in France!
Lunch: Cauliflower and cannellini bean soup with that same toast and spread.
Post-workout snack: Cottage cheese and chives on rye toast with a protein shake.
Dinner: Eggplant parm.
Snack: Stonyfield Farm Organic Fat Free French Vanilla Yogurt (decent!) Parfait with diced peaches, craisins, and granola.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Breakfast #2 (post-workout): 2 fried eggs atop brown rice with leftover thai green curry.
Snack: bosc pear. a few salt and pepper kettle chips.
Early Dinner (get up on The House in San Francisco - best food for a good price that I've had in a while): salmon spring roll with some kind of wasabi dipping sauce (totally worth making my burps smell the rest of the night). special: black cod (can't remember the marinade! but so well-cooked..) with some kind of crab sushi roll all on top of some kind of sauteed green. sancerre (picked it for everyone off the menu myself!). coffee.
Early Night: tequila shots. some other sweet shots and long islands that my roommate (bartender) made.
Late-Night: multigrain crackers with sliced prociutto and brie. madd long islands. water.