Monday, June 25, 2012

romantic dinner

I'm truly disappointed in how these photos came out, but this meal was just too special for me not to talk about it just because it was kind of a hot mess for the camera. This year, with Nathan back at school, we've kind of scaled back on our big special occasion dinners, and have made fancy meals at home rather than shelling out the big bucks at a restaurant. For Valentine's Day we made this duck breast with orange gastrique, aligot mashed potatoes, braised leeks and then a lightening-fast chocolate mousse for dessert.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

game day snacks

I am, in general, a pretty big sports fan. As a child, I may have asked my grandma to read me recipes instead of stories, but once I learned to read I also used to pour over the sports sections of Newsday every morning, obsessing over baseball standings.

So obviously, giant game-day feast, combining two of my earliest loves, hold a special place in my heart. Above, you can see my spread for Super Bowl Sunday, which Laura and Jess so kindly helped me to prepare. I basically made everything delicious and decidedly not healthy that I would want to eat at my ideal Super Bowl party, plus the markedly more elegant brie en croute. I don't know about you, but for me the menu would include guacamole, taco dip, penne alla vodka, swedish meatballs and spinach dip.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

spaghetti with raisins and spinach

This pasta dish was actually spun off a couple of similar recipes that I had found for spinach with raisins and pine nuts, with almonds subbed in for their more expensive nut brethren, and spaghetti added to take this from side dish status to a full main course—aka all Sarah eats is pasta. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

avocado anchovy toast

Sometimes, a perfectly good meal can also be incredibly, ridiculously easy. Like if you smash up half an avocado and a couple of anchovies on some toasted whole wheat bread, drizzle it with olive oil. All you need is a little cracked black pepper and maybe, MAYBE a little extra salt, although the anchovy may have things covered. Avocados have a great creamy sweetness to them, and the saltiness of the anchovy compliments that really nicely. If you are worried about the anchovy being too fishy, try just a small amount. Just make sure to use a really ripe avocado that's nice and soft.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

saucy honey mustard pork chop/crispy quinoa leftovers with caramelized onions and a fried egg

As you may have realized, I like to read other food blogs, and that's where I tend to pick up my dinner ideas. However, sometimes (as with yesterday's entry) I like to just get down to business and cook, letting the ingredients take me where they will. That can lead to some plain sauteed spinach and fairly bland quinoa, but it can also lead to a legitimately awesome honey mustard pork chop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

roast vegetable mash with sauteed mixed greens and sausages

So recently I told you about a meal that I thriftily prepared from ingredients I found tucked away in my cupboard, and how Nathan probably wouldn't approve since thinks he's better than everyone who gets some modicum of enjoyment from throwing together a dinner that way. I also mentioned that he's equally dismissive of "market meals." Basically, he just likes to be judgey when foodies are involved.

On that note, I'm afraid I'm going to have to out him, because this meal is entirely composed of food from the Union Square Market, and Nathan was totally complicit in its purchase and preparation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

steak au poivre/spinach and mushrooms

As I think of what to write about this very traditional "meat and potatoes" type meal (literally), I realize just how infrequently I cook beef. That's healthy, I suppose, but also kind of a shame because I love meat and I love steak and ribs and all that good stuff. This meal, in particular, would totally be right at home on the menu of a steakhouse, albeit one with some heavy French influences. Like Les Halles.

Monday, June 11, 2012

raw kale salad with walnuts, pecorino, lemon and mushrooms/balsamic blackberry juniper ravioli

My first couple of seasons in the food co-op, I was not exactly what you would call a kale fan. The curly leaves and woody stems would totally languish in the fridge for weeks, and was always in danger of wilting and yellowing and even getting thrown out. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with the stuff, to be honest, and even I had a hard time finding many kale recipes online. Oh how times have changed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

olive oil tuna spread

Nathan likes to make fun of pantry meals. You know, when people brag about "oh you know I just dug through my cupboard and pulled out some dried goods and some canned goods and threw this and that together and voila! A filling, hearty and tasty meal that also happens to be totally thrifty!" I don't want to speak for him, but think he finds it rather self-satisfied and smug—although he also seems to have a problem with "going to the market and seeing what's fresh," so really there's just no pleasing him. Being inspired by the ingredients at hand is apparently obnoxious now.

Well, sorry Nathan, but this one is totally a "pantry meal," and I'm not afraid to brag about it. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

oyster and bacon soup

So this is not your every day soup. With 5 pounds of muscles that don't even make it into the final product, not to mention 36 oysters, this is definitely one of the spendiest dishes you're ever going to see on Garlicus Maximus. That being said, Andrew Carmellini's bacon oyster chowder is delicious and would be an excellent addition to a special occasion type meal.