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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Parpadelle Pasta, Spinach And Meatballs...

Pork , Sausage And Lentil Stew

This is a particularly good dish at this time of the year if you like lentils. Not only is it filling and nourishing but you can use up all the scraps of vegetables that you have in your 'fridge from previous dishes. All those half pieces of carrot and other root vegetables can be thrown together to make this wonderful dish.

For this particular dish I used linguica and pork shoulder. I let the lentils steep for a few hours. Then I started the stewe with some sauteed bacon bits to get that bacon flavor. Then I added a little olive oil and when that was hot enough I added the meats. When they were browned I added plenty of chopped onion and let them cook for a couple of minutes, then a little white wine and reduced it.

I Then added all the root vegetables I could find. Don’nt forget thyme, bay leaf and of course, salt and pepper.

This is a dish you can play with so I added a little cumin.

Finally I added the lentils with plenty of chopped garlic , covered the whole thing with water and let it stew in the slow cooker for a few hours.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leftover Potroast Sandwich Sweet Potato Fries Provencale

This was the last of the pot roast from the other night. I made a tiered sambo and browned it in the oven.
For the fries.
I blanched them first then got some butter in a hot pan. I then finished off the fries so that they would be ready when the butter was brown. Then I tossed the fries in the brown butter with some chopped garlic, chopped tomato and chopped parsley.
It's all in the timing. This is a great accompaniment for steaks and the like.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Simple Pot Roast Dinner

Maybe not so simple.
This is a piece of beef that was perfect for braising. It could have had a little more fat in it but I compensated by studding it with garlic cloves. Then I marinated it in red wine for about two days. I added vegetables, also known in the trade as ' Mirepoix' with some garlic and herbs. This adds flavor to any piece of beef or pork no matter what the cut or quality. After it marinated I drained the wine off and braised it in the usual manner using the vegetables and wine from the marinade in the cooking process.
The carrots are also known as ' Carrot Vichy ' which is a classic in the french culinary repertoire. You make this dish by peeling and slicing the carrots. I used a channel knife on these for presentation but it is not necessary really. You then cover them with water and add sugar , butter and a little salt and bring them to the boil. Cook on a medium heat until al dente then remove them from the liquid. Reduce the liquid until you get a concentrated finish of butter and carrot juice. Then return the carrots to the pot and finish cooking. You will end up with intensely flavored , shiny carrots which are perfect for both taste and presentation. Add a little chopped parsley.
The mash here is a celery root mash with bacon bits and chopped scallions.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Potato Skins A La Provencale

Meridien Cairo December 1974

This was the Executive Chef, Pastry Chef And Sous Chefs of the Meridien Cairo . They were all french except for me and I am half hidden by the light. I know where Bernard is now. He is the corporate chef for Club Med but I don't know where the others are. Life goes on. It was a long time ago but it seems like yesterday to be honest.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fish Cakes, Sauteed Baked Potatoes, Salad And Fresh Tartar Sauce

For the fish cakes:
Bake or poach the fish you will use. I suggest a sturdy fish like a salmon or halibut or the like. Don't use talapia or dover sole or any of the fish that disintegrates after cooking. You can also use crab or lobster but obviously that will be a lot more expensive. Let the fish cool than flake it into a bowl, add about 1/4 of its volume in mayonnaise and also a little mustard if you wish. Add some chopped onion and red peppers to taste. Then add some white breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture. Form into cakes and put in the 'fridge for a few hours to settle.
To cook: Use a Teflon pan on medium heat. Allow the pan to warm then add a little oil. When the oil is hot slide the cakes into the pan and get to a golden brown. Try to turn them as little as possible and use a spatula that will cover the circumference to avoid breakage. You should only turn them twice or three times at the most.
For the potatoes:
Bake some bakers in the oven and allow to cool. Slice them into thick slices and fry them in some hot oil. When the potatoes are golden brown empty off the oil and add a little butter. Let the butter flavor the potatoes, add some chopped scallions and serve.

Cocotte Of Chicken With Oregon Chanterelle Mushrooms And Savory Braised Potato.

This was delish but from a presentation point of view a disaster. Everything is the same color and the plate is overcrowded. However it is a little touch of cuisine bourgeoise and that was OK in those days.
We are in the Oregon Chantrelle season at this time of year and although they are expensive at $10.00 a pound you only need a few. This is a chicken cooked in a pot or a small cocotte with the chanterelles and a chopped shallot then finished with wine wine and cream.
The potatoes were particularly good. I peeled a large baker and cut it into thick slices. Every few slices has a slice of raw onion or raw tomato with a couple of bay leaves for good measure. Some chopped garlic over the top with a few cloves of garlic and peppers thrown in then cover 3/4 of the way up with white wine, stock or water and olive oil. Don't forger the salt and pepper. Braise in the oven till done. This potato will go with anything.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Le Chou-fleur

This is a huge head of cauliflower I picked up today. It must weigh over twenty pounds. The local farmers bring big boxes of vegetables to the local supermarket here and put them up for sale outide the door. This cost $1.50

Simple Saute Of Pork Tips With Peppers And Onions In Garlic Tomato Sauce With Mashed Parsnips.

My Review of Rosle Digital Kitchen Timer

Originally submitted at Abt Electronics

Rosle Digital Kitchen Timer - 19220/ Easy Use Timer With Three Button Command On Its Front Side/ Large Well Visible Display And Stop-Watch Setting Up To 99 Minutes

Excellent product as usual from Rosle

By James Walsh from Roseburg Oregon. on 10/21/2009

5out of 5

Pros: Easy To Clean, Comfortable Grip, Quality Construction

Cons: There are no cons

Best Uses: Veggies, Bread, Meat

Describe Yourself: Gourmet Chef

I use the product every day in the kitchen. It is very dependable and has two timers that run consecutively. Rosle is such a quality product, it is very sturdy, very well designed and will last a lifetime.


For anyone who is shopping for kitchen tools: by sure to look at Rosle. I am not into fancy or unnecessary equipment and am very wary of any marketing the the amateur cook who is easily seduced by these products. However, I found this brand to be great value for money and designed to last forever. Just take a look at the engineering in design that went into the garlic press. Although is costs $40. you will never have to buy another one and this one works perfectly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pasta With Roasted Vegetables.

This is the easiest pasta I have ever made and also one of the best.

Add Grated cheese, correct the seasoning and serve.

Put the pasta into the same bowl that you used to season vegetables and add the roasted vegetables. Refresh with a little virgin olive oil and some chopped garlic and cilantro or parsley.
Cook off some pasta and strain it.

Then put them onto a roasting tray and roast them in the oven. Start them off high and finish them in a medium oven. Add bay leaf and thyme.

Find all the left over vegetables in your 'fridge and cut them up into largish pieces. Here we have zuchinni, red and green peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips,butternut squash, brussel sprouts and a jalapeno. Put them all in a big bowl and pour some olive oil over them with lots of crused garlic and salt and pepper and whatever takes your fancy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Skirt Steak Diane With Dijon Mustard, Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms And Tomato Gratin.

This is a variation on the old classic ' Minute Steak Diane' from the pre nouvelle cuisine period. Normally the steak is pounded and quickly sauteed in butter. Then some chopped shallots are added with a little lemon juice , chopped parsley and Worcester sauce. The sauce is then poured over the steak and served. I added a little white wine and some dijon mustard.
This dish was always cooked in the room by the restaurant manager. This doesn't happen any more thank god and everything is prepared in the kitchen as it should be. There was however a touch of romance about the fact that the guest was fussed over at his table. The only problem was the inconsistency of the dish depending on the skill of the person preparing it.
The sprouts here are blanched then sauteed with the mushrooms and a little bacon and onion. I added a chopped raw tomato and seasoned the whole thing. Then I added the bechamel sauce with a little cream and some cheese, put it into a gratin dish and glazed the whole thing. It was delish.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Variation On A Paella

I was about to make another Paella and I wondered about anyone who would want to make a Paella but did not have access to one of the basic ingredients which is saffron. Saffron is very expensive and the good stuff is very hard to come by. I made this one with curry powder and it was very good.
All the main principles and ingredients are the same and the only things missing are the items I can't find here like mussels, calamari and clams. I also have to admit that I forgot the chorizo but this was enough to eat and turned out to be a delicious dish.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Famous Baked Potato Bacon Soup With Romaine, Dijon Dressing And Garlic Croutons.

After a couple of inquiries I have added a pretty extensive recipe and explanation on the original post. Here is the link to that post.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Garlic studded roast porkloin, braised red cabbage and buttermilk mashed potatoes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Breakfast With A Twist.

Bake a small potato and let it cool. While it is cooling slice a tomato. When the potato is cool cut it into thickish slices and fry them in a little olive oil in a pan. Let the potato get nice and crisp and then lay them flat in the pan. Season the potatoes. Lay the slices of tomato on top of the potato slices and turn the pan to medium heat, cover the pan so that they cook in the heat. Best to use a transparent cover for this. Like the ones the use on the slow cookers.
Then break an egg in the middle of the tomato and cover again until the egg is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and maybe a little Worcestershire sauce and gobble up. Great.