You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


DMBLGIT stands for Does My Blog Look Good In This? It's a monthly blog photo event that showcases some of the great photographs found on the vast number of food blogs out there. Each month you can submit a photo from your blog and submit it to the blogger hosting that month's event. It's then judged and a winner is picked. So far I've entered a few times but never came close to winning. There are some great photographers out there. I"m hoping that my entry from my October posts stand a better chance. It's on this post, and the picture I submitted is this one. To see the rest of the photos for this month's edition, check out Spittoon Extra.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Seared Ahi Tuna and more No-Knead Bread

While out shopping today I came across a package of fresh ahi tuna that screamed at me to take it home. So I did. And tonight we dredged each piece in sesame seeds, pan seared them for 2 minutes per side and ate them. *burp* They were delicious.

Jim was the chief cook tonight, I merely provided the tuna. He sauteed some stir fry noodles with garlic and green onion and put a some on each plate. Then he carefully sliced the seared tuna and placed each fillet on top of the noodles.
Simple and delicious. Even Sophie enjoyed a nibble or two.

Coming up this week I'll be off from work (woo hoo!) so I'll have time to tinker in the kitchen. There'll be more no-knead bread for certain. The last loaf I made yesterday didn't stand a chance.
We ate most of it before it had a chance to cool. This loaf was slightly different. I added some freshly ground rosemary and dried onion and added it to the flour mixture before I added the water. And who knows what I'll do with the next loaf...... Then later this week Jim's parents and brother are driving up for a belated Thanksgiving visit. We'll have a family Thanksgiving dinner then. On the menu, brined turkey breast, wild mushroom risotto, green beans and fresh baked bread. We'll probably also make a pizza or two on one other night as well as going out. So stay tuned.......

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

No need to Knead

Like so many other food bloggers, I have been intrigued by the No-Knead bread recipe that appeared in the New York Times recently. It's taken me a little longer to actually making this bread because my schedule at work has been a bit nutty. I've taken off the entire week after Thanksgiving and now find plenty of time on my hands to get back in the kitchen. And this makes me very happy. :)

On Thursday afternoon I put up my first batch of no-knead bread. 18 hours later, (yesterday morning) I followed the instructions and gently folded the bread over on itself and let it sit for 15 minutes. The nest step was to gently form the dough into a ball and place it seam side down on a floured towel. This is where I think I goofed. I accidentally dropped the dough onto the counter. The gentle thump of soft dough may have been enough to stop any chance of it rising. After letting it sit for two more hours, the bread hadn't changed much. Oh well, we'll just have a smaller loaf than I planned on. I had no doubt we'd still eat it no matter what it looked like.
And this is what the final result looked like. The crust was beautiful and crunchy just the way I like it. Inside was pocketed with nice airy holes here and there and the texture was just chewy enough. Yum!

I was so intrigued by this recipe that I went and put up another batch to bake today. And I took a cue from Kitchen Monkey who added some spice and flavorings to his bread with great success. My added flavoring of choice was some dried rosemary and dried onion. I ground each pretty much to a powder and added it to the initial flour, salt and yeast mixture. Later today, I'll have to post on the results. But for now, here's how we made use of our first loaf.......Poached eggs with bacon and toast.
Is that a beautifully poached egg or what? Jim's been enjoying poaching eggs and is really getting good at it.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderfully quiet day today. Heck I didn't even go out except to walk Sophie. To say the least it was great. We piddled around most of the day, I read and Jim played on the computer. And now that we've had dinner we find ourselves quite relaxed. And for this wonderfully relaxing day I am thankful.
Tonight's dinner was my take on an inside out turkey and stuffing. I took panko bread crumbs, seasoned them with your usual stuffing herbs like sage, thyme, ect. then coated some turkey cutlets in the bread crumbs. We pan fried them til golden brown and served them with some salad and roasted fingerling potatoes. I originally planned southern style green beans but forgot to cook them earlier today so salad took their place. And for dessert, chocolate lava cakes. Again, I planned something different, pumpkin creme brulee. But as I was a bit of a slug today, I forgot to make it. The lava cakes were quick and easy so they were made instead.

And seeing that it's Thanksgiving I thought I would say what am I most thankful for. A
terrific husband, the world's cutest dog, and a great family (on both sides). Plus lots of other little things that are too numerous to list.

Check back tomorrow when I post about the infamous No-Knead bread recipe that's been the hit of the blog world lately.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Menu

Our Thanksgiving plans have changed several times over the past few weeks. First Jim's family was planning to drive up this week and spend Thanksgiving with us. Then that changed to coming up the following week. So now they're now coming up next Wednesday instead.

At first Jim and I thought we'd just go out to one of our favorite places for Thanksgiving. Well that changed too. We decided to just eat at home and have a nice quiet day together. We'vbe both been sorta stressed out from work and a day together with nothing else to do besides relax and fix a nice dinner would be nice. But what to fix? A turkey and all the trimmings for two seems a bit excessive. Then I had a moment of brilliance! Inside out turkey and stuffing.

You may be wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Well, if I take a piece of turkey breast, pound it out to about 1/4 inch and coat it in some panko bread crumbs that have been seasoned with traditional stuffing herbs like thyme and rosemary and such. Viola! Turkey with the stuffing on the outside. A little pan fry action and the main course is done.

So our menu will be as such:
Inside out stuffed turkey breast
Southern style green beans
Roasted fingerling potatoes

And for dessert: Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Now when Jim's family comes up we'll fix what we originally planned for Thanksgiving dinner which will be:
Roasted Cornish Game Hens (that have been brined)
Wild Mushroom Risotto
possibly more Southern Style Green Beans
fresh baked bread, possibly rosemary focaccia

and for dessert: Deep dish Apple Pie


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Braised Lamb Shanks

Two posts in one day. Not quite a record but the first post today was done by my other half. I've been telling him for months to feel free to post and finally he did. His Chorizo breakfast was yummy. And he spoiled me by also cooking dinner tonight .....braised lamb shanks. We saw the shanks on sale a couple of weeks ago and he got the bug to cook with them so I picked up two nice ones. I mentioned making Scottish Broth soup with them but he had other ideas....other yummy ideas.

We got the recipe from a Food TV cookbook I got for Christmas last year. It was a simple uncomplicated recipe that let the lamb shanks really show their stuff.

Sophie was especially happy to get a bone to gnaw on.
She quickly ducked under the table right after we took this picture and made quick work of stripping every bit of meat off it. Although Jim seemed to rather enjoy gnawing on one himself.
Braised Lamb Shanks2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 whole cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 lamb shanks (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
About 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 cups of red wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and season with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, mix well and cook until the tomato paste darkens, about 3 minutes.

Salt and pepper the lamb shanks and lay them in a single layer, over the vegetables in the Dutch oven. Add the wine and enough stock to surround but not cover the shanks and bring to a simmer. Transfer to the oven. Braise the shanks, uncovered, turning every 30 minutes or so, until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. (The meat will brown during the final stages of braising.) Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the surface of the sauce. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Skim the fat from the surface of the braising liquid. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the vegetables with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables. Degrease the sauce again if necessary and return to the Dutch oven. Simmer the sauce until reduced by about half. Return the shanks to the sauce, and warm gently over low heat. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve.

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Hangover breakfast

by Jim (a.k.a. Biscuit Boy)
No, we're not hungover. This dish, however, may be the ultimate hangover breakfast food ever. Backstory is that a few years ago we were out sampling various tapas places, planning one for dinner and one for brunch the next day. Well, the one for dinner was near an Irish pub, and after sangria with dinner, a cocktail, then several beers at the Irish pub, I was drunk. How drunk? Well, not so bad that night, but the next morning I had a raging hangover.

However, being game, I decided we'd go ahead and hit the Spanish tapas place, Jaleo, for brunch. The best dish I had that day was a combination of Spanish chorizo, fried potatoes, and a poached egg on top. Ah, comfort food I can keep down.

I kept meaning to try to make it at home, but we had not had luck with the chorizo I had found previously, and then forgot about it until I found some small chorizos at a gourmet market a few weeks ago. Getting the potatoes ready for frying was easy, a quick dice, then boil until done. Drain, then into the skillet with hot olive oil. A mistake was putting the chorizo in then as well. While it rendered out its reddish fat, making the potatoes nice and red, it also cooked too long and too hot, making it crunchy. Barbara liked it, but then she likes crispy bacon too. Otherwise, it was tasty.

Topping it is a couple of poached eggs. The first egg was a disaster. The water was boiling, it had been vinegared to set the whites, but we thought we were supposed to get the water swirling to hold the egg together. I had it swirling so fast that we ended up with the white of the egg being shredded by the water, and got something that looked like egg drop soup. Second try, without swirling, was a success. Here's a good description from Jaques Pepin. Since we are going to eat them now, ignore the part about icewater, and instead place the eggs onto a plate with a paper towel to blot off the excess water. They were cooked a little too long but were very tasty and still somewhat runny. Next time I'll only cook the eggs for 3 minutes, not 4-5 minutes.

Huevos, papas, y chorizo

2 potatoes

1 1/2 oz. Spanish chorizo (a small link)

4 eggs for poaching

Olive oil for pan frying

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Friday, November 03, 2006

You say Donkatsu, I say Tonkatsu

Either way you say it, it's good. This version was made for me by a co-worker. She's from Korea and knows that Jim and I love Korean food. In fact, Jim even spent 8 months in Korea while in college studying abroad. He has lots of good memories from his time there and many of them involve food (and beer) .

To make this tasty dish at home, try this recipe.

4 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons flour
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Pound pork to 1/4-inch thickness. Coat with flour, then dip into egg, and finally coat thoroughly with Panko. Deep fry in 1 inch vegetable oil, heated to 350ยบ, 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Top with tonkatsu sauce and serve on rice with some shredded cabbage and sliced pear.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging

Weekend Dog Blogging is still a couple of days away but why wait when you have such a cute picture. Sophie is not an evening dog. She's bright and perky in the morning but come nighttime and she's done. Usually around 9:30 or 10:00 at night, she starts staring at me. This, I've learned, is her way of telling me it's time to go to bed.......or at least go upstairs.

If I ignore her, she'll sometimes go on upstairs and sit on the landing and stare at me from there. Other times she just plops on her blanket and snoozes until I'm ready to go to bed.

For other cute pups, head over the Sweetnicks on Sunday night.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chicken and Ricecakes

While my dad was here, we were a bit indulgent, dinner at Ray's the steaks, fish and chips at Eamonn's and lots of beer consumption on the part of Jim and dad. This is usually the case when we have friends and family come up to visit. We take them out to our favorite places most every night they are here then repent and eat at home once they go home. So true to form, we are trying to get back to eating at home this week including getting in more veggies.

Last night we had a veggie stir fry consisting of Brussels sprouts, Chinese long beans, orange cauliflower (yes, orange........more on that later this week) and lots of garlic. And a bowl of homemade potato leek soup.

Tonight, chicken with the rest of the long beans, some garlic and ricecakes. I threw everything into the skillet at the same time then added soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha hot sauce. While this all cooked, I boiled the ricecakes. (These aren't the puffed rice type of cake you find in the snack aisle. These are disc shaped noodles made of rice flour that when cooked are a bit chewier than pasta but add a nice texture to what ever you add them to. ) Once the ricecakes were done, I drained them and added them to the stir fry. Each plate was topped with a little sprinkling of fried shallots and some sesame seeds. And it was tasty.

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