Monday, June 28, 2010

Catch Up Monday

The summer days are flying by.  I can't believe that July is almost here.  It has been hot and humid here.  Too hot and humid. So, most of our meals have mostly been grilled.  Tom has perfected his circle of potatoes and green beans -- and has now added white button mushrooms to the mix, with great success. 

Preparing the packet of veggies for the grill ---

We tried Colleen's Chimichurri Sauce over steaks, too.  Very good.  Very bright and clean tasting.  A nice change for us.  And very simple to do.  A good way to use up your parsley-- ours is flourishing in the garden this year.

We've been having lots of salads, too.  I saw Jacques Pepin on TV recently --- he showed how to use the dregs of the Dijon mustard in the jar for mixing a week's worth of vinaigrette.  So, I tried that, too.  Jacques is one of my favorite TV chefs.
Making vinaigrette with the dregs of the mustard jar---

When you near the end of your jar of Dijon mustard, just add vinegar (I used balsamic) and extra virgin olive oil, lots of salt and ground pepper, then screw the top back on, and shake it all together to emulsify the mixture.  I also experimented with adding sun dried tomatoes to the vinaigrette because I was out of regular tomatoes, and it provided a rich, intense tomato flavor.  So, I guess it would be called Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette.

Sarah visited, so we celebrated her birthday (and also Father's Day) with one of her favorite meals:  grilled flank steak, using Tom's Flank Steak Marinade.  Tom made her favorite cake, too :  a chocolate cake with white frosting, but I forgot to take a photo.  

When we had Cindy's Arugula Salad with the meal, Sarah mentioned that her Wegman's in Buffalo did not carry the Bella Rosa grana padano Parmesan cheese.

 I should have been on alert because this weekend I learned that our Wegman's is not going to carry it anymore!  I can't believe it.  I am bummed.  So, I talked to the manager, with no avail, so now I am going to have to see if I can track it down at the larger, perhaps more sophisticated stores, in Ithaca and Canandaigua.

Tom demonstrating the proper way to hold a knife

Which reminds me --- we took a knife skills class together a few Sunday's ago at the Canandaigua's New York Wine and Culinary Center which Mary introduced me too earlier in the year--- and it was amazing how much we learned in a hour and a half!  We plan to go back to take more classes there together.  It was fun.

On the days when it is not too hot --- I have been practicing making no knead bread---

using Jim Lahey's book and his no knead technique.  His recipe was in the NY Times a few years ago and it became a food fad, but I only discovered him and his technique this past winter.  The bread dough sits for 12 -18 hours, then you turn it out, form a ball, let it rise again, then ---

it is baked in a pre-heated dutch oven at 475 degrees.  This photo is after the top of the dutch oven is removed for the final browning of the crust --

and I think I have finally got it right. 

An early attempt

It sounds very easy to do because you don't have to knead it, but I have little to no experience with working with yeast, so it took many attempts.

I also destroyed one pot in the process. (I accidentally melted a plastic colander inside the pot during the preheating step.)  I have been joking about how expensive this bread is, once I factor in the cost of the book, the two cast iron enameled pots and the various tools.  But that's part having a memorable food adventure...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the amazing meal. I'm lucky to have cooks for parents!