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Last night, we went to a party thrown by one of the professor's in Julia's department. The excuse was that one of the adjunct professors had gotten married over the holidays and we wanted to celebrate. Actually, it was just a bunch of anthropologists and geographers wanted an excuse to get together and gab (and eat and drink).

Our contribution to the party was was roasted vegetables in a Gouda cheese sauce. Nummy, especially given that the sauce was quite an experiment. I took about two cups of milk and half a cup of heavy cream and added several shakes of thyme, three bay leaves, and some cracked black pepper. I simmered this mixture for about five minutes or so, then strained it. I added 1 cup of Reisling and nearly half a pound of shredded 12-year-old Dutch Gouda (with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch). Of course, I added the cheese in batches so it would melt more than clump. Once the cheese was all in, I simmered for another 4-5 minutes. I then spread this over the veggies and put the whole thing in the oven for about 10 minutes. It turned out better than I had hoped.

Sable got a little overwhelmed by the kitten today. He was being rather psycho and managed to earn a time-out in the bathroom. Once he was let out, he was much, much calmer.

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Baby back pork ribs -- umm yumm. Surprised to hear me gush about pork?? I've learned how to cook it since I left Pgh. and have actually started experimenting a little.

The ribs were rubbed with a little salt, olive oil, paprika, cumin, coriander, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, and cloves. Then I roasted them for 1 hour at 300. I basted them in a sauce made from the remainder of the rub, white wine vinegar, and a little Jack Daniels barbecue sauce. I raised the temp to 425 for a half hour (while I roasted salted potato slices in canola). Oh my. The sauce could have be a little thicker to help keep the spices a little more moist.

But yummy anyways!

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Oh my. Oh my my my. I made a wonderful mushroom onion sauce for over chicken. I chopped the onions and mushrooms finely, then sauteed them. I transferred them from the skillet to a saucepan and added water. I browned the chicken then deglazed the skillet with the weak broth. I added the remaining broth to the skillet and returned the chicken. I then braised the chicken and broth. While that was going on, I added more water to the mushrooms and onions, then boiled the hell out of them. As they softened I began pureeing them with a hand blender. Once the chicken was done, I returned the skillet liquids and drippings to the saucepan and pureed again. Oh my.

I'm freezing the leftovers!

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Still feeling a bit crappy, mostly just aches and pains. Cleaning up the plowed area in front of the driveway didn't help any -- sent the middle of my back and my shoulder into spasms and has made my lower back all twingy. *grumble*

Work is going well. I got a Christmas thank-you note from my boss that made me feel all warm and glowy. Of course he said my gift was thoughtful -- that's to be expected. But the statement about my work ethic and him never having to worry about the quality of my work because it is always high-quality made me feel wonderful!

Tonight's dinner was country ham with roasted paprika potato chips and steamed broccoli. LJ seems to be a good place for me stash and share recipies, so here goes.

Take a large yellow, red, or white potato and slice thinly. You want the creamy, starchy mashing potatoes, not mealy baking potatoes. Drizzle in olive oil, sprinkle with a couple dashes of smoky paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well to ensure all potatoes are well-coated. Place in a single-layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (until potatoes are crisp and tender).


June 2012

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