Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Boring Night of Eating Something That Resembles a Grilled Snake

Tonight we continued on with last night's grilling preparations. While I hated the idea Jen had last night of grilling for the week I became a much larger fan tonight when all I had to do was start the oven and throw a bunch of stuff together.

Beet Greens with Blueberries, Grape Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic

In an effort to work a few more healthy elements into our meals I started up by using these fresh beet greens to make a salad with blueberries, grape tomatoes, feta, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Grilled Rope Sausage with Carmelized Onions, Potatoes, and Kale

In an effort to eat things that look more like snakes I made this rope sausage.

While the oven heated up I carmelized some vidalia onion and red onion with garlic and chopped Russett potato before throwing them in the oven to roast. When they were done I threw in some kale and topped them with the grilled rope sausage for about ten minutes.

Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewing, Inc.

With the new varieties of beer slowly dwindling I opened up this Bridge Burner from Lakefront Brewery, Inc. This is a far more bitter beer than I would really choose to have under normal circumstance but even thought it's not my normal style of preference I could certainly appreciate it.

And there you have one of the most boring entries I've ever written. Every meal has a story, it's just that sometimes they're not really worth telling.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Teach a Man to Grill, Feed Him for a Week

After a great weekend of cooking out, friends' weddings, and attempting unsuccessfully to watch the film Summer School we returned home today around 6:00 PM with a strong desire to sit on the couch and do nothing. However, a more adult look at our week indicated that we were going to need to go grocery shopping and prepare for a week where neither of us were going to have any time to cook dinner. Thus came a brilliant idea:

We would grill enough food to last the week.

A Week's Worth of Grilling

We marinated beef sirloin tips, seasoned a mess of vegetables, and fired up the grill to partially cook our hastily assembled menu.

Maple Plank Grilled Salmon with Mustard, Dill, Kale Salad and Quinoa

While I was grilling everything Jen put together a kale salad with lemon, chives, olive oil, salt, and pepper. She also made quinoa with almonds, blueberries, green onion, orange juice, almonds, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

For tonight I covered a salmon fillet in whole grain mustard, fresh dill, salt, pepper, and olive oil, then grilled it on top of a plank of maple wood. It's the first time I've made plank-grilled anything in at least ten years and after eating it I'm reminded that I should bring this into the rotation more often.

De Dolle Oerbier

For beer I continued my Belgian crusade with this Oerbier by De Dolle Brouwers. This beer is a whole lot of Belgianness. It's extremely rich and tasty but I would avoid pairing it with fish in the future. I think it would be best enjoyed after dinner with no food at all.

Visiting their website they tell a story about how this man was discovered on a cave painting from 30,000 B.C. I'm pretty sure something was improperly translated because I refuse to believe that this silly man was on a cave painting from 32,000 year ago. Nothing this silly could have been dreamed up by pre-historic artist.

Even in Belgium.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fridge Cleaning Risotto

There is precious little left in the fridge. That is if you don't take into account several dozen beers from all over the world. Well, mostly Canada and Belgium. As we wind down our inventory the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer. Luckily there still are some things in the fridge so cobbling something together tonight was possible. Tomorrow, I'm afraid, we may have to eat shrimp with peanut butter and barbecue sauce.

Spring Greens with La Quercia Speck, Parmigianno-Reggiano, and balsamic glaze.

For a salad I topped some spring greens with La Quercia Speck, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, sliced tomato, olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic glaze.

Asparagus Risotto with Robusto

We still had some New Jersey asparagus in the fridge from the weekend so I made this risotto with onion, garlic, white wine, arborio rice, and rendered slab bacon. I finished it with a splash of heavy cream, butter, and the remainder of a chunk of Robusto from the fridge.

Bornem Triple from Brouwerij Van Steenberge

As an accompaniment I had the fifth of six Belgian beers generously given to my by my parents. Tonight's beer: the Bornem Triple from Brouwerij Van Steenberge. This was lighter than I'd thought it would be and tastier.

Since we have no cable we are spending the rest of the evening refreshing Google to see if my Boston Bruins will make it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in twenty-one years or if they will be a huge disappointment for the first time in one year.

Here we go, Bruins, here we go!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Pirates of Playland

We had planned on going to the Buddhist temple in Kent, NY today. With a weather forecast of extreme grayness we opted instead to spend the day at Rye Playland, testing out my new lens.

Tiki man

I decided the lens was quite nice after taking this picture at the Tiki Bar. Only a nice lens could manage that.

Curried Cucumber Rounds with St. Agur Bleu

When we got home we watched the Vancouver Canucks soundly defeat the San Jose Sharks then I made an hors d'oeuvre for Jen out of cucumber rounds, St. Agur bleu and a sprinkle of curry powder. I did not have any because this contained cucumbers which are disgusting. Jen said this hors d'oeuvre was "interesting" which, as we all know, is the highest form of praise.

Grilled Artichoke Salad

After that I used some of the leftover grilled artichokes from last night to make this salad with lemon and grape tomatoes.

Seared Scallops with Boiled Potatoes and Sauteed Ramps

I had some nice Jersey ramps and I sauteed them quickly, serving them with some pan seared Jersey Sea Scallops and boiled buttered potatoes. This was a very Jersey-centric main course. The only thing that could have made it more Jersey is if Bon Jovi had come over to play an acoustic version of Dead or Alive for us while we were watching Young Guns II.

Piraat Ale by Brouwerij Van Steenberge

I decided to have this Piraat Ale by Brouwerij Van Steenberge. I thought this would fit in well with the nautical theme of the day. We were by the ocean, we had scallops, and then we finished it with a pirate-themed beer.

Just for the record: this beer was incredible. It was very high in alcohol (10.5% ABV) but much lower in alcohol than rum so I'm pretty sure real pirates would think I was a wuss for drinking something so weak.

After that Jen had the genius idea to go to Longford's for ice cream. You may want to be careful as Google has apparently marked this site as an "attack site" which seems pretty unlikely. All I know is even if my computer is now infected with spyware it's not big deal.

The "Graham Slam" ice cream was definitely worth it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

End of Days Tasting Dinner

The last few days have been a roller coaster ride crap and pure gold. On Thursday my hard drive crashed and I lost all my data. Through a lucky combination of my network attached storage backup and my Carbonite account I'm slowly working through restoring everything. Unfortunately based on my recent estimates from my Carbonite backup it looks like I won't have everything back until some time in early 2013.

On the plus side my cousin Jeff was coming to visit. Also, a friend of Jen's had lent me a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM to test out. I was really excited about trying this out this weekend on the road but instead all I could really do is take a lot of pictures of me swearing at my computer.

Judgment Day is coming May 21, 2011

On another negative side the world is going to end today and that kind of bums me out. I always kind of liked the Earth.

Abbruzzi with La Tur, Jasper Hill Ascutney Mountain, and St. Agure French Blue

So, if the world was going to end I was going to at least treat Jeff, to a good meal before the antichrist pops in for cordials.

I started off by making this charcuterie plate with some abbruzzi dry Italian sausage from Milano Sausage in New York City. I served it up with some Ascutney Mountain from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont; some Saint Agur Bleu from Il de France; and La Tur, an old favorite

I made use of the salt block once again, slowly whittling away at the shame I've felt at not using it for a year and a half.

Grilled Asparagus with La Quercia Speck, Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Lemon

The first course was this grilled New Jersey asparagus with speck from La Quercia, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and lemon. I had planned to grill so, of course, it was raining but I masterfully timed my trips outside without getting a drop on me. I'm starting to get pretty good at this.

La Ferme Saint Pierre 2010 Ventoux

Jen and I walked to our local wine store and picked up this bottle of Ventoux from La Ferme Saint Pierre. Jen has been itching to hit the rosé. In her opinion the summer is almost over and she didn't want to go the entire summer without having any rosé. I've known Jen long enough to not bother explaining the science of why her worrying may be a bit premature.

While the man at the store explained how good this wine was and how he's cycled up Mont Ventoux with the owner of this particular vineyard we were already sold on it
based on our memory of climbing Mont Ventoux with the aid of a diesel-powered car.

Roasted Satur Farms Baby Beets with Balsamic Glaze and Feta

The second course was roasted baby beets from Satur Farms on Long Island. I drizzled them with some balsamic glaze and fresh rosemary then Jen suggested adding the feta. I'd resisted the urge to put the feta on (for fear of seeming trite) but Jen had the sense to say, "who cares" and I had to agree. There's a reason feta and beets are often paired together: because it's delicious.

Grilled Long Stem Artichokes with Lemon, Garlic, and Herbs

For the third course I steamed and grilled some long-stemmed artichokes and then threw them on the grill. While they were warm I tossed them with chopped garlic, lemon, chervil, chives, and parsley.

Grilled Grass Fed New Zealand Lamb

The fourth course was also from the grill: grass fed New Zealand lamb chops. Nothing other than olive oil, salt, and pepper on these guys. Fantastic.

Gnocchi with Butter and Parmigano-Reggiano

It was at this point that I started taking requests. Jen asked for more of the homemade gnocchi from last week so I took some out of the freezer, boiled it quickly, then tossed with butter, salt, pepper, parsley, chive, and chervil. I think they may have swelled just a bit too much in the boiling water but they were still pretty tasty.

Boiled Baby Potatoes with Butter and Truffle Salt

The sixth course was boiled baby potatoes tossed with butter, black pepper, and truffle salt.

Slow Cooked St. Louis Ribs with FunniBonz Barbecue Sauce

The seventh course was some St. Louis barbecued ribs that I slow cooked in the oven for a couple of hours then finished on the grill. I tossed them in FunniBonz from West Windsor, New Jersey which is still my favorite barbecue sauce.

Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with Sweet Chili Sauce

Finally, I sliced some small Chilean sea bass steaks which I grilled and finished with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce.

Jeff and Jen

Afterward we enjoyed some brownies and Top Gear before Jeff set back out on his trip back up North to Rhode Island.

Sadly, the world did not end (yet) so I'm going have to end up paying my credit card bill for these groceries. Major bummer.

I had hoped to top off this meal with La Fin du Monde from Unibroue. Jeff and I walked to the beer store to purchase it it but the Unibroue shelf was filled with all their other beers and an empty space where La Fin du Monde used to be. They had sold out.

Apparently I'm not the only would be comedian in my neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ஐநூறு - A Celebration of Adequacy

I'm not one to draw unnecessary attention to this blog (follow us on Facebook!) or reflect back on any of our past posts (follow us with Google!) but I think it's worth mentioning that this is our 500th post.

That's right, this is the 500th post since we started blogging our dinners over three years ago. That's a pretty big accomplishment. Even though 400 or so of these meals probably weren't even worth mentioning and the other 100 were only moderately interesting. If nothing else I have to admire my own compulsive, misplaced discipline.

So I only really realized last night (when I noted it was the 499th entry) that tonight would be the 500th. I got home around 7:30 PM and Jen was working quite late so I wasn't really sure what to do with this 500th entry. Should I write an entry to reflect back on the last 499 entries and bore you all to tears? Should I create an elaborate multi-course meal and bore you all to tears? There really were an unlimited number of options.

What I decided was to do exactly what I was going to do for dinner tonight anyway. Given that I didn't really have any interesting ingredients around it's barely worth blogging about, however, it does pad my numbers nicely.

Easter Lamb Tikka Masala

I slowly cooked some onion and potato in what I like to call "the lazy man's ghee." Basically that's just melted butter that I haven't clarified because I don't feel like it.

In the freezer I had the leftover lamb leg meat from Easter. I cut that into chunks, tossed it together with the vegetables, then poured in some ready made Tikka Masala sauce and simmered everything for about an hour. After the potatoes were tender I added some remaining frozen okra and green peas then served a few minutes later over some cooked white rice.

Bornem by Brouwerij Van Steenberge

I wouldn't have really had a beer with this meal but I figured it was the 500th entry so I owed it to myself (and my fans fan mom) to have one. What better than another Belgian ale from For beer Brouwerij Van Steenberge that my parents had brought over for Easter? It would be a perfect accompaniment go the lamb (also from Easter).

Traditionally one would pair a lager with Indian food. The theory is that foods like Indian are so flavorful that you want a really neutral beer to accompany them. My theory is that that's all well and good but wouldn't it be much more fun to have a beer that was actually good on its own. It turns out I was right!

I think I'm at a point in my life now where I don't really ever need to have another lager again. Then again, who knows. My tastes and preferences are always changing. Maybe in the distant future I'll be tempted to have a lager again.

So the 500th entry on this blog is nothing special but it is touches on a lot of the themes we've developed over the past years: eating dinner at 10:30 PM, Belgian beer, using up a bunch of stuff from the freezer even if it's not really what we want to eat.

For that reason this entry is probably the most average representation of everything that's lead up to this point.

Maybe by the 1,000th post we'll have finally cleaned out our freezer while enjoying a lager.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eastern European Eating

Regulars to the blog know that I have absolutely no knowledge, skill, or practice in cooking any of the cuisines of Eastern Europe. Regulars will also note that this doesn't stop me from trying to cook the cuisines of Eastern Europe. You can tell about my lack of knowledge about Eastern European cooking with the simple fact that I'm lumping all the cuisines from one half of an entire continent together as if all the countries in that half of the continent shared one distinct culinary tradition.

Ignorance is bliss.

Cucumber and Carrot Salad with Sour Cream and Dill

Since I was making an Eastern European meal I figured I start off by making a salad that I imagined Eastern Europeans might make. I didn't do any sort of research to back this up. Instead, I did the next best thing and went with my gut feeling.

I sliced up a cucumber and carrot and tossed them together with sour cream, dill, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. I served it over some mixed greens. I'm not sure how this was because I can't stand cucumbers. Instead I made only one of these salads for Jen.

Pickled Beet and Herring Salad

For me I combined a lot of things that Jen either hates or just feels very neutral about. I put some pickled herring, pickled beets, and grape tomatoes over mixed greens with salt and pepper. This salad was fantastic. The herring, from
Blue Hill Bay is one of my favorites. Jen, on the other hand, can tolerate about one or two tiny pieces a decade so I enjoyed this all by myself.

Potato and Cheese Pierogies with Fresh Herbs and Butter

For the main course I made up some very simple potato and cheese pierogies which I tossed with fresh parsley, chervil, chive, and melted butter.

Cabbage and Noodles (Haluska)

I wasn't really sure what to do as an accompaniment but I found this recipe for haluska which is a Hungarian dish made with cabbage and noodles. I toasted some carraway seeds in butter and olive oil, browned some onion, and tossed in some chopped cabbage. At the end I tossed in some cooked egg noodles. Traditionally (I guess) you're supposed to toss this all together with sour cream. I was a little suspicious of this so I served the sour cream on the side.

Bruegel Amber Ale (Belgian Pale Ale) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. in Ertvelde, Belgium

With the beers of Canada thoroughly conquered over the past couple of weeks (Canada only has ten beers, right?) I moved back to Belgium this evening. Tonight I enjoyed the Bruegel Amber Ale from Bouwerij Van Steenberge. I must confess that I chose this one simply because it looked the most Eastern European. I figured that those guys on the label could possibly have been Poles. Well, medieval Poles. Medieval Polish monks. Who may also have been Belgian.

My hastily-themed meals always fall apart under any sort of scrutiny.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Dinner For Lunch

Yesterday it began raining immediately after I grilled the last burger. This was a welcome change to what has been happening for the year up until now which is that it starts raining the second I start grilling and stops immediately when I finish. Today the rain carried on through much of the morning causing us to cancel our plans to go out for the day and instead we had a friend over for an afternoon Sunday dinner.

Jen says that, on occasion, her family would have a Sunday dinner where they ate in the middle of the afternoon. This was not something that happened in my family or our dinner guest's family. However, conditions were perfect today for such a Sunday dinner.

Charcuterie on Himalayan Salt Block

Two Christmases ago Jen got me this Himalayan salt block. Ever since then she's been chastising me for never using it. While I worked on dinner I decided to give it its inaugural use by topping it with some hot soppressata and genoa salami, leftover Irish cheddar from last night's burgers, and some 34° Crispbreads.

Arugula and Mixed Greens with Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Balsamic, and Olive Oil

For salad I tossed some of the remaining New Jersey arugula with spring mix, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, balsamic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Gnocchi Dough Cut

I decided to make gnocchi for dinner today so I boiled some potatoes, put them through a ricer, added some flour, egg, and salt, then rolled them out, cut them, and boiled them in water until they floated.

Buttered Gnocchi with Ricotta and Fresh Herbs

In a separate pan I heated up some olive oil and butter then tossed in some crushed garlic. After throwing in the cooked gnocchi I tossed them with fresh chopped parsley, chives, chervil, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Finally I topped them with a dollop of ricotta.

Sterling Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

To accompany the gnocchi we opened this bottle of sauvignon blanc from Sterling Vineyards. This reminded me of the giant gallon bottle of Gallo white wine my Uncle Herb used to bring over for Thanksgiving when I was younger. I don't mean that as any sort of insult to this wine. I really loved that gallon jug of wine. I think there's far too much stigma attached to wines that come in vessels which are measured by the gallon.

Lemon Bread with Blueberries and Lemon Glaze

For dessert Jen baked a loaf of lemon bread which we served with lemon syrup and fresh blueberries.

There's a problem with finishing dinner at 3:00 PM. When you're used to being done by 9:00 PM you encounter a Pavlovian reaction and want to immediately lie down and go to sleep. We tried to fight this off but instead just took a long nap.

Now we have to figure out what we're going to do for our midnight snack at 8:00 PM.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Burger Differences and a Healthy Marriage

Jen and I have varying opinions on how to make burgers. One of the ways we make our marriage work is by trading off methods each time we fire up the grill for burgers. When it's my turn I simply pack in the ground beef and heavily season the exterior. When it's Jen's turn she mixes the ground beef together with chopped onion, relish, ketchup, mustard powder, Worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

This is what our marriage counselor calls "compromise."

New Jersey Arugula Salad with Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Feta, and Lemon Zest

To start off I made this salad with some New Jersey arugula, mixed cherry tomatoes, olive oil, feta cheese, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. One of Jen's greatest pet peeves is a salad where the leafy greens are intact. I, however, find that it makes for too good a presentation to not do it this way much to Jen's dismay.

This is what our marriage counselor calls "inflexibility." Apparently this is something I need to work on.

Grilled Canadian Style Burger with Picked Beets

It would be boring to always write about the same burgers. Admittedly it's boring when I write about different burgers. Still, I took Jen's burger mix and made my own version of the burger using arugula, sliced tomato, Irish cheddar cheese, pickled beets, chopped onion, and a sauce made with mayonnaise, kethcup, and hot sauce.

This is what our marriage counselor calls "problem solving."

Apparently pickled beets are a typical Australian burger accompaniment. Often this is paired with pineapple and a fried egg. Since I have not yet learned how to unhinge my jaw I opted to leave it here.

This is what our marriage counselor calls "reptile deficiency."

Boréale Blanche

For a drink I poured Boréale Blanche, the last of the Canadian beer varieties we hadn't tried yet. Since this is is a wheat beer, Jen's favorite type of beer, I served it with an orange wedge which made more sense than when I did it the other day with the honey beer.

With Canada's beers conquered it's time for me to move back to my Belgian roots soon. While I'm looking forward to doing this I have thoroughly enjoyed drinking a tiny sampling of the beers from the Great White North.

The Blanche from Boréale is a very nice low alcohol beer from our French-Canadian brothers across the border.

This is what our marriage counselor calls "a tasty beer."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bee Sting Pizza

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In the past three days I've heard the term "Bee Sting Pizza" mentioned about a hundred times. Up until Sunday I'd never heard it mentioned at all. Most of the Google search results for "Bee Sting Pizza" (at least at the moment) seem to be from May 6th through May 9th. All these articles seem to reference that this phenomenon comes from Roberta's Pizza in Brooklyn.

The pizza is nothing too crazy: it seems to be a pepperoni pizza (though some say it uses a spicy sopresatta) with mozzarella, honey, and red pepper flakes.

Bee Sting Pizza

I made my own version of the pizza tonight since I had all the ingredients lying around to make it pretty easy. I used a spicy genoa salami in lieu of the soppresata/pepperoni. I drizzled it with a little honey, sprinkled some red pepper flakes on the top and threw it in the oven.

It turns out that there's a good reason that this pizza has been getting a lot of attention in the last week. It's fantastic!

It's incredible that simply adding some honey (the bee) and chili pepper flakes (the sting) can totally change the entire taste of a pizza but it really can. I highly recommend that anyone reading this make this pizza or run out to Roberta's and get one for yourself. I'm assuming that the one at Roberta's is much better than mine and mine was pretty good.

Boréale Dorée

Too keep with the honey theme I cracked open a Boréale Dorée, a beer fermented with honey. I garnished it with an orange slice even though that's not a generally accepted garnish for a honey beer. But I'm not one for generally accepted practices. People who are into only following generally accepted principles of cooking do not come up with pepperoni pizza with honey on it.

And, therefore, they are fools.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Broiled Garbanzo Beans (and French-Canadian History)

For a few weeks every year we have access to fresh garbanzo beans, something that I'd never really encountered until a few years ago. I've done a number of different things with these in the past but tonight I wanted to try something new.

I was reading something about cooking garbanzo beans sort of like the way you would cook edamame beans in the pod. I decided to give it a try. I browned some lemon zest with some olive oil and tossed the garbanzo beans with this along with salt and pepper.

Sauteed and Broiled Fresh Garbanzo Beans

They didn't get quite enough color so I threw them under the broiler where they crisped up nicely. While they were delicious they weren't quite as easy to eat as edamame pods. Each garbanzo bean requires a different method to open it. Each time I thought I'd figured out a clever new method to opening the bean pods I picked up the next pod only to find out that the previous method was unsuccessful on a different pod. Also they were quite slippery after being tossed in olive oil.

All this complaining shouldn't overshadow the fact that the beans were quite tasty cooked this way. The toasted lemon zest was a great pairing with the beans. While I was delighted to not have to remove the beans from the pods prior to cooking them we had to pay for this by peeling them individually afterward. They're like pistachios: delicious but you have to work for it.

Linguine with Roasted Red Peppers, Roasted Broccoli, Garlic, and Ricotta

Jen's sense of taste is not quite back yet but I was able to prepare a dinner that she could sort of taste. I roasted some broccoli with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. Then I threw it into a hot pan with roasted red peppers, white wine, lemon juice, and cooked fresh linguine. To finish the dish I tossed in some ricotta.

Jen was able to almost taste the broccoli from the large amount of garlic I roasted it in so I am confident that by tomorrow night she may regain her sense of taste completely!

Unibroe Blanche de Chambly

Since it's been so long since I've had a Belgian beer (about a week) I decided to make my beer tonight be the Blanche de Chambly by Unibroue. Unfortunately this beer did not feature guys in musketeer hats or beautiful French women but instead just a picture of some fort where some French guys fought. Happily this was a very tasty white ale.

For more information check out their website where they feature a video of a fantastic Quebecois man in a beret telling the story of Captain De Salaberry.

I enjoy a beer that comes enclosed with a history lesson.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Soup and Half Sandwich; Nay, Soup and WHOLE Sandwich

This blog has long been looked to as a source of amazing culinary inspiration.

Worchester Glazed Ribeye Sandwich with Blue Cheese and Asparagus with Minnestrone

So here's some for you: take all of last night's dinner and cram it together in between some bread for a tasty sandwich! I sliced some baguette, lined it with baby greens, then topped with sliced ribeye, Wochestershire glaze, grilled asparagus, and blue cheese. I even took the leftover mashed potatoes and spread them on the top piece of bread.

I don't really like to toot my own horn but this was pretty good and, as previously stated, a stroke of culinary genius.

I also made a small pot of pseudo-Minnestrone and Had a little with my sandwich while Jen had the remainder with some bread and butter. Since she's still unable to taste she is merely eating foods for their texture. She said that the texture of tonight's meal was pleasing.

Rickard's Red

For beer I had a Rickard's Red, the latest in the dozen or so beers we brought home from Montreal. It turns out that on their website they even offer a recipe for Rickard's Prime Rib so it turns out it was the perfect pairing. There are a lot of beer recipes on their site, however, the only way you can view the site is to lie and say you're from Canada. I told them I was born in 1945 and that I was from British Columbia in order to view that recipe.

I'll stick to drinking their beer rather than cooking with it. However, I will continue to lie about living in Canada and being a baby boomer.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Medicinal Cooking

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One of Jen's favorite foods to eat whilst sick is creamed salmon on toast. Generally this is made with canned salmon but, oddly, I was unable to find any canned salmon at our local store.

Creamed Salmon on Toast

I tried to recreate the dish using some pretty expensive wild salmon. It wasn't quite the same. It was better but I'm not sure that that's a good thing in this case.

I made a roux with some butter and flour then I whisked in some milk, tossed in the skinned salmon, then seasoned it with salt, pepper, a dash of hot sauce, and fresh dill. I served it on some toasted rye bread with more fresh dill and diced red onion. It was pretty good but Jen couldn't taste it at all.

Jen's inability to taste anything at all gave me quite a challenge for dinner. I decided that I would make as flavorful a meal as possible so I could try to break through her anosmia.

Worchestershire Glaze

While the grill was firing up I made a Worchestershire glaze using Worchestershire sauce, water, corn syrup, and ketchup and reducing it down on a low flame. The smell in the kitchen was enough to make my eyes nearly bleed.

Worchestershire Glazed Grilled Ribeye with Danish Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asaparagus with Lemon Zest

Then I made some boiled potatoes which I mashed together with a small amount of butter, black pepper, and a large amount of extremely pungent blue cheese. After grilling some asparagus I tossed them with lemon juice and zest.

The result: Jen couldn't taste it at all.

Boreale Rousse

To drown my sorrows at the horrible failure of my plan I had a Rousse by Boréale, yet another beer we'd brought home with us from Montreal. I was expecting this to be a red ale but, as you can see, it is surely not. Apparently Rousse is an adjective meaning red but also describes a type of bitter made in Quebec.

Those sneaky Quebecois tricksters!