Sunday, February 26, 2006

Risotto al Ragu

Sure, there has been a touch of dieting in this house, but not without its own bit of relief, full of flavour, and meat-soaked, liver-chopped fun. That's right, I'm talking about Saturday night meat risotto. Or, as Egi Maccioni prefers, "Risotto Al Ragu".

Egi's preference for- get this- 6 tablespoons of butter IN ADDITION TO a half cup of oil, makes for truly soul-satisfying material.

Now, I know I'm still fairly new to cooking, but that's a dizzying amount of fat to fry some veggies in! However, I like to follow the recipe through the first time, so into the pan went an incredible amount of butter and oil. Oh, such a rich, golden colour!

Speaking of colour, we finally have a break in the winter-riffic brown-foods marathon. I wouldn't say these vegetables are sauteeing, so much as deep-fat frying. I'm okay with that.

As this was my first time using chicken livers, it was a bit- odd. At the same time, the cats were quite present and supportive of this decision. With their re-assurance, I pressed through.

For the humans here, the deep red, intense flavour was momentarily disconcerting. Yet, the more the dish cooled off, the more it mellowed into an incredibly complex and rich-tasting version of risotto.

In short order, DucCat and I had quickly scraped our bowls clean. Peasant food was never so good, so right and so clean. Grab your baguette, and hold on for the ride!

Risotto with Meat Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
6 Tablespoons butter
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 pound ground beef
2 cups chicken broth, plus more if necessary
2 chicken livers, finely chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
salt and pepper
2 cups arborio rice
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots, and cook until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the ground beef and cook 3 minutes more, until the meat begins to brown.
Add 1 cup chicken broth, the chicken livers, tomato paste, wine, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the rice and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed.
In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining 1 cup chicken broth. Stir the hot broth into the risotto 1/2 cup at a time, making sure the previous addition has been absorbed before adding more.
Cook until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of each serving.

Serves 6

From The Maccioni Family Cookbook, by Egi Maccioni with Peter Kaminsky

Don't forget to share a bit with those you love.

Weekend Cat Blogging

Weekends are a great time to catch up on napping.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Muddled by the Book

After renting both seasons of Nero Wolfe, I was completely and utterly hooked. Apparently, Santa also received word, as DucCat found a copy of the Nero Wolfe Cookbook in his stocking on Christmas morning.

Filled with not only recipes, but a great collection of relevant quotes from the books, it was irresistible. It sat on our nightstands for months, making for great bedtime reading. Perhaps it was one of those late-night reading sessions that gave me a twinkle of recognition when DucCat was toying with the idea of chicken and dumplings.

Ah, yes right here on page 177: Chicken Fricassee with Dumplings.

The recipe at first glance seemed straightforward enough, and I set about chopping the veggies, while DucCat hacked apart the chicken. It all went smoothly, until I realized that the vegetables were to be strained out, a pan sauce made, and then put over the reserved chicken.

No veggies? I went ahead and chopped more onions, carrots, and celery, sauteeing them in a bit of butter in another pan. I added them back to the simmering stock, and took a taste.

Heavy cream and egg yolk? It may not be fricassee anymore, but they seemed completely unnecessary additions.

The dumplings proved particularly vexing. Even after almost two hours in the fridge, the balls never seemed to get quite firm enough, and all but 3 completely dissipated when added to the boiling stock. The colour looked good, though, and the aroma was heady, so I checked the flavour once again.

I think we can safely file this one under "‘cold remedies"’.

Chicken Fricassee with Dumplings

1 4-5 pound chicken
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cut the chicken into serving pieces, and place them in a large pot.
Add the celery, onion and carrot to the chicken, along with the peppercorns and bay leaf.
Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about an hour.
Add the salt. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the flour. Cook for 3 minutes, and gradually pour in 2 cups of the strained chicken stock, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened.
Blend the cream and egg yolk, and add to the sauce. Heat thoroughly, and season with lemon juice and more salt if necessary. Arrange the chicken pieces on a warm platter, and pour the sauce over.
serves 4


½ pound fresh spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons melted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock

Wash, trim, and blanch the spinach in salted water. Drain well, and chop fine.
Mix with the cheeses, salt, pepper, egg and half the butter. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Shape the dough into balls, roll them in flour, and drop, a few at a time, into gently boiling chicken stock.
As soon as they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a hot buttered baking dish.
Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the dumplings with additional Parmesan cheese, drizzle with melted butter, and broil under a hot flame until the cheese browns.
Makes 12 dumplings

s'’kat'’s notes: I didn'’t let the stock cook down, nor did I add the heavy cream or egg; this made for a wonderful soup. Also, I just boiled the '‘dumplings'’ in the stock I was already using. Most burst apart, but still added a great flavour.

"Archie, I must thank you"”- Wolfe puts his napkin down-"“for suggesting the fricassee. It is superb. Only female Americans can make good dumplings, and not many of them."”
-from the Nero Wolfe Cookbook

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What to do with that leftover steak

Make a French dip sandwich, baby!

The crucial element is the au jus, part rich veal stock, part red wine, and just enough garlic to give a hint of sass. Simmer the meat in this luxurious condiment until just warmed through. Place promptly on a split roll that was toasted open-faced in the oven, gruyere now perfectly melted.

Before taking that first bite, dip into the au jus with child-like glee.

What a great lunch! Thanks, Kalyn!
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Monday, February 20, 2006

A little chocolate goes a long way

It’s cold today, baby, but summer’s right around the corner. The hot, unyielding summer, resplendent with wide-brimmed hats, the ocean breeze- and swimsuits. After a season of brown, yet delicious, comfort foods, I’m in no shape to squeeze into an unforgiving lycra bikini.

You’d never guess from reading this, but DucCat and I have indeed been striving for a somewhat more healthy mode of eating. Brekkie is full of satisfying whole-grains and yogurt, while lunch has become green with salads and raw vegetables.

You’ve seen some of the dinners, but those are the ones that have kept us going between evenings of lighter fare. The biggest change has been no desserts. Not a single one has graced our little kitchen since the holiday baking spree.

Taking all of this into account, I found myself unable to say no to DucCat one evening, when he so cleverly ate a salad for dinner- then asked very sweetly for something chocolatey. Something brownie-like. Something delicious, and filled with good-for-the-soul ingredients.

Luckily, I had just the thing: Chocolate-Espresso Cookies.

Now, a brownie would have been great, but I wanted the quickness of a cookie. The compromise came from the dough itself, impossibly loose for scooping out by the tablespoon. Since I didn’t have time to let it firm up in the fridge, I pulled out my mini-muffin tin, and put it to work.

And what good work it was. Each warm mouthful was much like a little brownie, especially since I took care to underbake a bit. Just to gild the lily, I drizzled on a quickie chocolate glaze.

There ain’t nothin’ healthy to see here, folks. *big smile*

Chocolate-Espresso Cups

adapted from

6 Tablespoons AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (I used an equivalent amount finely ground coffee)
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
Combine bittersweet chocolate and butter in large heavy saucepan over low heat until melted (I did this in the microwave on low power, stirring frequently). Remove from heat.
In medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, espresso powder/coffee and vanilla until well blended.
Stir egg mixture into warm chocolate mixture.
Stir in the dry ingredients; stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop batter by spoonful into prepared mini-muffin cups, and bake for about 10-12 minutes.
Use a toothpick to test for doneness; the interiors should still release a fair amount of moist crumbs, while tops will look done.
Transfer cups to racks for cooling, and let cool completely.

Optional glaze: I was going to make a ganache, but didn't have any cream, so simply made a glaze of melted chocolate and milk. After doing so, these needed to be kept in the refrigerator. To enjoy again, warm briefly in a low oven.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

An Ode to the Verdant

I was desperate, aching to have something that was not only NOT brown, but light and flavourful to boot. Since DucCat usually had his poker games on Wednesdays, I saved for that night some leftover roasted chicken. Happy, green, and vibrant thoughts of Vietnamese Bun Ga flooded every pore.

I first spotted this recipe on eGullet's Dinner Thread . Specifically, fantastic photographer and gorgeous eater pcarpen made this meal one night. I found the simplicity of the ingredients intriguing, easy enough to understand, yet different enough to captivate. I bought my first ever bottle of fish sauce, and got to work.

Since then, this has remained a favourite on warm days. Light, flavourful, and filling, it was the perfect dish to remedy a season of relentlessly brown and heavy foods.

As I sat down to enjoy this meal, I wasn't the only one eyeing a bowl full of greens.

No, perhaps my lovely little vegan wasn't interested in the bowl full o'chicken after all- that lass has quite the inquisitive nose for wine.


Mum and Dad are so proud.

Vietnamese Bun Ga

(recipe adapted from pcarpen from eGullet. I typically use leftover, roasted chicken for this recipe, instead of having the forethought of poaching it my own self.)

1 package rice stick or cellophane noodles
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
handful of sliced scallions
handful of chopped fresh mint
handful of chopped fresh cilantro
handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
4 carrots, finely julienned
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced
handful of bean sprouts
handful of mixed field greens

for the sauce:
2 tspn. Vietnamese fish sauce
4-5 limes, juiced
4-5 teaspoons sugar, to taste

Prepare noodles according to package. When done, drain in a strainer and rinse in cold water.

Chicken breasts can be cooked in a number of ways, the traditional way is to grill them in a teriyaki-type marinade, but in this case we just dropped them in a pot of salted boiling water and poached them for about 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through, removing from water, and shred. Since the chicken is hot this is done with two pairs of kitchen tongs acting as hands. You could also cook them ahead of time and let them cool before you shred them, but we rarely have the foresight or the time to do this.

The sauce is the tricky part. In a small bowl, you want to add 1 tspn. sugar for every lime that you use. For a batch that serves four, we use about 5 of each. Then, slowly add the fish sauce to taste. The sauce is powerful, so adding too much can overwhelm everything. It helps to have tasted the sauce in a restaurant to know what it should taste like, but if not, just add it until you like the taste of the mixture.

Assembly: Put a pile of noodles in the bottom of the bowl, add the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, sprouts, herbs and scallions. Add the shredded chicken on top, top with peanuts, spoon over sauce, and add Sriracha hot sauce for a little kick.

Mix it all up, and eat!

***s'kat's notes: First of all, I typically skip the noodles in this salad. I'm sure it's great, but I love the intense, raw taste sans noodles.

Secondly, I pretty much skip the peanuts, as well. I'm sure they'd be awesome, but I never seem to have them 'round when I'm making this.

As far as the herbs, I add what is suggested, but I also really like adding Thai basil. Yum.

This recipe is really just a blueprint. The sauce, especially, is not constrained to any sort measurements. Sometimes, I can follow the guidelines, and its great. Frequently, I'm just tasting and adjusting as I go. Eventually, you get to where you want to be.

Oh, and the Srircha... not optional, in my opinon. Enjoy.

Late Weekend Cat Blogging

We may not be timely enough to keep up with the official cat blogging postings, but occasionally, we check in with some feline love.

A finicky Mel, who was finally given a little dish from which to enjoy her fishly dinner. Note the fish on the counter, which did not past muster.

A snoozing Shishi, happy now that her human had finally surrendered her fireplace stool.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

I'd been hoping to make a special V-Day posting, complete with hearts, candy, and flowers. It seems, though, that this is the week my image hosting site is upgrading their servers, leaving me unable to upload any new photos.

In lieu of something new, here's to something very old: the enduring bond of love.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

An Offer They Can't Refuse!

Last Sunday, a goodly portion of American folk spent their day noshing on chips and dips, as they cheered on their favourite team to victory, surrounded by like-minded family and friends.

In this household, not so much. We had an anti-super bowl party.

The plan was to spend the day listening to Italian opera, as we prepared all the necessary components of the glorious timpano di maccheronni. Once safely in the oven cooking way, our friends would be welcomed into our home with drinks in one hand, a nibble in the other. In the background, the television would be playing The Godfather series- in Italian, of course.

DucCat woke up that morning, and went directly to the kitchen, forming and cooking the meatballs, and crafting a fine, pungent meat sauce. Shortly after that, as fate would have it, our guests began phoning in to cancel, with many sad apologies.

Before long, we were faced with only having two guests that evening. Much as I love them, I didn't want to go through the whole timpano drama for only two. The mythic pasta dome quickly became a legendary pasta casserole.

I boiled a pound of penne to the barely 'there' side of being done. Once properly strained from the water, it was mixed with the meat sauce and chunks of fresh mozzarella, and poured into a casserole dish. DucCat halved the meatballs and studded them liberally throughout the mixture. The final touch was a layer of prosciutto at the very top, all the better to crisp, m'dear.

Once ensconced in a 400-degree oven, it was time to drink a little wine. I'd chosen two from the area that we'll be visiting in the fall, the first of which was a Soave Corte Giara 2003.

It quickly became apparent this had been a very poor choice. The nose was astringent and tart, while the wine itself tasted grassy, with unpleasant notes of lemon and fetid flowers. One sip was all it took to send this bottle down the drain.

Luckily, there was still the house white to fall back upon, before moving onto something red.

The second of my choices was the Brunello di Montalcino 1999 Casisano Colombaio. An intense looking wine, the nose offered up steeped, intense cherry and leather. Ultimately, it proved to be fiercely tannic on the tongue, so much so that we decided to forego that bottle just for the time being. Sadly, I left it uncorked over night, and we weren't able to go back and taste for another taste. Definitely not a wine for sipping before the meal. Speaking of, lets get back to that.

After close to an hour, this behemoth emerged from the oven, tomatoes bubbling with cheese and sausage. The prosciutto had crisped up nicely, although they leaked a fair amount of fat into the casserole. While it looked impressive with the whole pieces, I'd chop these up into mouth-sized morsels in the future.

We sat down to dinner, opening a wine our guests had brought: a Bardolino Le Banche San Lorenzo 2003. The wine was well-balanced between bright cherry and earthen undertones, and accompanied the meal almost as well as Senore Corleone. Buon appetito!

Click here for instructions on the meatballs and meat sauce.

A Bad Case of Azars

I actually made it through the tunnel recently, and so it was that I found myself driving aimlessly through Norfolk, tummy grumbling, looking for a bite of lunch.

Turning the wrong way down a one-way street, I found myself facing Azar's Natural Foods Market and Cafe. The name rang a bell... hadn't I read a good review somewhere? I pulled into the parking lot and scurried in.

The interior was fairly large, the area to the right taken up by by racks of shelf-stable goods, and an extensive refrigerated section. Directly in front of me was the lunch counter, and a deli-case, filled with a variety of salads and dips.

Quickly perusing the menu, my eyes stopped at the word, "Shwarma". Usually they're called gyros on this side of the pond, and come in lamb, beef, or chicken. I grew addicted to shwarma over in the Netherlands, and haven't had a really good one since.

I ordered the beef (no lamb available, sadly), and sat in the nearly-empty dining room to wait. And wait. And wait.

After an interminable amount of time, my food was ready. And it looked like this:

Very unpretty. And it bore no resemblance to any shwarma I've ever come across. Suspiciously, I bit into it. The meat didn't even taste like shwarma-meat; it was like thickly-cut, overcooked, unseasoned steak. The rolled bread was crunchy, and shattered when I took a bite.

Eventually, I gave up, and just munched on the hummous with a bit of pita. The hummous was okay, but I've had better.

Looks like I'll continue to wait until my next visit to the Netherlands for a really great shwoarma. No stars upon Azar's!

Alessi Intervineas Scacciapensieri Red Table Wine

At first, the nose holds just a touch of schnozz-crinkling alcohol.

Thankfully, it skips down the tongue with a parade of laid-back, soft red fruits.

Exceedingly easy-drinking, this is everything a red table wine should be.

Drink it- drink it now!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Shrimply Marvelous, Darling!

It’s Wednesday night, and you know what that means. And no, I am not referring to the latest installment of the utterly addictive Project Runway (Nick! I love you, man!).

No, what I mean is:

Poker night! The menfolk gather in the red room for a testosterone-filled evening of betting, drinking, and eating penultimately unhealthful ‘man-food’.

No offense to you menfolk who take the more healthful approach.

What this also means is that I’m on my own for dinner, free to indulge in DucCat-condemned fare. I'm talking seafood, shellfish, cruciferous vegetables, and sandwiches.

Sandwiches? Apparently these are not appropriate dinner-time fare. But I digress.

Since I wasn’t getting home until late, he kindly hit the grocery, picking up my requested shrimp and broccoli. As he set up the poker table, I washed and chopped the broccoli, and quickly peeled the shrimp. With a handful of garlic, and a generous glug of wine (for me AND the shrimp), table for madam was soon ready to go.

If you make this, I would seriously recommend doubling, or even tripling the pan-sauce. The garlicky reduction packed a powerfully rich punch, screaming for bread, rice, noodles, anything, really, that would soak up each and every pungent drop.

Garlic Lover's Shrimp

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine (I added close to a cup)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add pepper, garlic, and bay leaf; sauté 30 seconds.
Add shrimp and salt; sauté 3 minutes.
Remove shrimp from skillet.
Add wine, parsley, and thyme; bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 1 minute).
Return shrimp to skillet; toss to coat. Discard bay leaf.

Yield: 4 servings
from Cooking Light Magazine

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No Dough, Joe

Since a Trader Joe’s recently opened in my town, I’ve slowly but surely been making an effort to sample a variety of their products. A round of late-afternoon appointments prevented me from arriving home at a decent, meal-preparatin’ hour. Since I was in the neighborhood, I grabbed a couple of T.J.’s pizza dough balls, and got to work.

The dough was not as easy to work with as my benchmark (Florimonte’s). Still, it eventually came out into a nice enough round, which I promptly decorated with sauce, vegetables, anchovies, and cheese.

DucCat was in the mood for something a little different. In the spirit of using up some leftovers (oh, my heart is all a-quiver!), he made a calzone of andouille, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.

He also pulled out an interesting bottle of wine to go with the meal: a Wynns 1997 Coonawarra Michale Shiraz.

The nose was a little oaky, and mottled with dark fruits. Medium-bodied, it turned a bit aggressive on the tongue with candy-coated cherry and magnanimous spices. There may have even been a bit of a licorice whip in the decidedly sweet finish.

It was probably not the best choice to go along with pizza or calzone, and we both let our glasses sit untouched ‘till the meal was over.

Right, then, back to the question at hand- how is Trader’s dough?

It looks like I’m going to take a most unpopular stance, but truth be told, it didn’t do a thing for me. Now, I may just be spoiled by the lovingly crafted offerings at Florimonte’s. Even so, our middle-of-the-road “New York” pizza joint does better dough than this.

The flavour was anemic, the texture very odd. The exterior of the crust developed a chewy ‘snap’ to it that I found unpleasant. It was so bland and unexciting that I actually threw away my leftovers.

I compulsively freeze ALL leftover pizza. Let that speak for itself.

Friday, February 03, 2006


At least, that’s what the menu read.

With the barometer briefly back into the milder side, DucCat and I met some friends for a cocktail on Cowboy Syd’s patio, a 2 years+ tradition.

“The umbrellas of the veld, starkly silhouetted against the breathtakingly beautiful African sunset, is a memory etched in the mind of many a traveller. The Umbrella Thorn (Acacia Tortillis- from the Greek word Acantha, meaning thorn) provides shade and shelter to both man and beast, all year ‘round."

Our evening started with the charmingly mis-spelled South African Thorntree 2004 Chardonnay. This golden little glass was definately on the sweeter side, with soft stone fruits, and a tickle of citrus. As the evening wore on, the sweetness became more pronounced, ultimately ending on an unpleasant, syrupy note.

Ah, well. At least the company was good.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Garlic and Eggs

Indeed, it was a chilly evening, one that would have been well-served by a steaming cup o’ DucCat’s finest.

However, he had a poker game to attend, and I was home far too late to get a pot on. I poked around the fridge, browsed through a few cookbooks, and finally settled upon Gourmet's “Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs.”

The recipe was simple, fast, and I had all the ingredients close at hand. I began heating the broiler while chopping the garlic and onions. While they were softening in the pan, I broiled a piece of bread, chopped a tomato, and washed a few dishes.

I am notoriously bad at attempting to halve a recipe, and this little experiment proved no different. It was all good, right until I threw in a large pinch of red pepper flakes- the full recipe amount. Thank goodness I like the spice, but it was rather overpowering.

While the egg simmered in the stock, I finished chopping some parsley (sadly, my cilantro had already turned to mush in the fridge), and tidying up around the kitchen. All that was left was the eating.

Even though the red pepper flakes demanded immediate attention, I was still able to discern the simple, soothing melange of flavours in the broth . The bread, toasted extra crisp in the oven, soaked all the garlicky juices right into itself. The addition of the onions and tomatoes made this feel a bit more substantial, and any excuse to work in some extra veggies are fine by me. The perfectly poached egg was the crowning jewel of this little dish, pulling it all together with that wonderfully rich yolk.

With the promise of colder temperatures right around the corner, I know this will be my go-to weeknight comfort food.

Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs
adapted from ‘The Gourmet Cookbook’

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium head garlic (2-inches in diameter), separated into cloves, peeled, and thinly sliced
8 (1/2-inch thick) baguette slices
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large eggs

garnish: 1/2 cup loosely packed small fresh cilantro sprigs and 4 lime wedges

Heat oil in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and pale golden, 8-10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a small bowl.

Increase the heat to moderate, add bread to skillet, and cook, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes total. Divide toasts among four large soup bowls.

Add stock, red pepper flakes, and garlic to skillet and bring to a simmer. Break 1 egg into a cup and slide egg into simmering stock. Repeat with remaining eggs, spacing them evenly in pan. Poach eggs at a bare simmer until whites firm, but yoks are still runny, 3-4 minutes.

With slotted spoon, transfer eggs to toasts and season with salt. Ladle soup over eggs and garnish with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

s'kat notes: Added some chopped onions along with the garlic. Due to using what was on hand, I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup veal/beef stock. Forgot that I was reducing the recipe, and added the full amount of pepper flakes, not really recommended. Chopped tomatoes were added just before it came off the heat. Used parsely, but cilantro really would have made this sing. Oh, and I toasted the bread under the broiler instead of the pan.

It Finally Turned Chilli Again!

In a day, we've gone from the mild 60's, to the downright windy and chilly high 40's. It really gets a girl in a particular mood.

I know what I'm having for dinner tonight!
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