Sunday, April 30, 2006

IMBB 25: Give Us This Day Yesterday's Bread

Is my blog burning? In a word, yeah, baby, and it's burning with slightly stale, yet perfectly serviceable bread ends.

A few months ago, I would have met this challenge with any number of things. Fondue, French onion soup, bread pudding, panades, and French toast all leap to mind. But with warmer weather murmuring tidings of summer, I found myself glancing yet again at my panini grill.

Stale bread is perfect for toasting or grilling. Simply schmear the exterior with some form of fat- I'm fond of olive oil- fire it up, and enjoy the toasty goodness.

Today's sandwich was a prosciutto, goat cheese, and fig jam panini. The salty pork played straight man to the sweet marriage of goat cheese and jam, while the bread transformed from paltry wallflower, to a show-stealing flavour-hog. Truly, a properly fitting end to those stray slices of aging bread.

Catch the rest of the round-up with Derrick at an Obsession with Food (And Wine).

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chicky Goes Grillin'

Ding! Ding! Ding!

This recipe was selected to participate in the May "I Loathe Sandra Lee Monthly Recipe". Woo-hoo! Can I get a 'hell, no!' to processed and heavily refined products in here?

Seriously, though, go check out Joe's fabulous paen to all things good and natural at Foodie NYC.

A weekend trip to Costco left the refrigerator full of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, jugs of salsa, bags of lettuce, enormous blocks of extra-sharp cheddar, and yes- a bag of garlic whose cloves will begin sprouting before I'm halfway through it. Obviously, the time for grilled chicken taco night had come.

The marinade was a simple affair, equal parts spicy horseradish mustard and white wine, chopped garlic, cayenne, and some ancho powder. Let chicken marinate throughout the day, fire up the grill when you remove it from the fridge, and there it is: tender, zingy chicken touched with a bit of smoke, and surrounded by just enough vegetables to make you feel good about yourself.

Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos

1 cup spicy horseradish mustard
1 cup white wine (it can be fruity and fun, just like me)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
pinch of salt and fresh grind of black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
warmed soft tortilla shells
lettuce, tomatoes, thinly-sliced red-onion, shredded cheddar, and salsa to finish

Combine all marinade ingredients, and add to chicken in large plastic bag. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least six hours, turning bag over once for even distribution.
Grill, preferably over charcoal. Let cool slightly, slice, and serve in soft tortilla shells with desired accompaniments.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Livin' the Lush Life


No, not you.

The wine a few nights ago- it could simply and comfortably be described by that one word: lush.

A friend stopped by the house bearing a half-full bottle of wine. "You two have just got to try this!" he said to DucCat and I, pulling and pouring our glasses.

Intrigued, I swirled the Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel 'Black Chicken' 2004 around, catching potent whiffs of dark fruit, vanilla, and secret meeting places.

Sipping it was just as smooth, filled with brazen fruits, furiously flavourful, yet riding a velvet edge. The truly amazing thing? This wine came plundering in at 16.5%, easily a couple more points than I typically care to go.

Yet had I not been told, I never would have known. This hedonistic wine was surprisingly suave- and gorgeously lush.

Since dinner was almost ready, I invited our wine-sharing friend to pull out a plate and have a seat at the table.

I'd fallen under the spell of short ribs several years ago, and they seem to keep tripping me up again and again. Their newest incarnation unfolded itself from the pages of Scott Peacock and the Grand Dame Lewis Edna's "The Gift of Southern Cooking".

These are two cooks who couldn't have hailed from more different walks of life, yet managed to find common ground 'round the kitchen hearth. Exchanging recipes, wisdom, and camaraderie, their crossing paths eventually fused into an unlikely friendship. More than that, really, this was two kindred souls finding resonance in the other, and proclaiming that pairing in wonderfully detailed, carefully-wrought recipes.

Most of the cooking had been done the day before, as much to aid in fat removal, as to intensify the flavours. After two days of smelling that rich, thick scent- and admittedly, taste testing for seasoning correction- it was finally time to dig in. The wait was, without a doubt, entirely worthwhile. The short ribs practically slid off the bone, redolent with long-simmered goodness. All in all, it turned out to be the perfect dish to bid farewell to winter's chilly nights.

Braised Beef Short Ribs
adapted from 'The Gift of Southern Cooking', by Scott Peacock & Edna Lewis

8 meaty beef short ribs
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup duck fat, lard, or peanut oil
3 large onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
3 bay leaves
12 whole cloves garlic, peeled
28-ounces canned whole tomatoes, or 8 very ripe garden tomatoes, cored and peeled
1 cup veal or roasted chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine

Preheat the oven to 325-degrees.
Mix together the salt, black pepper, and thyme: coat the short ribs generously in this mixture.
Heat the fat in a large Dutch oven until hot, then add the ribs in batches to avoid crowding. Cook, turning as needed, until deeply browned on all sides. Set aside.
Immediately add onions to the pan, and stir well. Cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any caramelized bits of meat.
Add the bay leaves and a few grindings of black pepper, stirring well to distribute evenly. Add the whole garlic cloves, and cook 3 minutes longer.
Pour in the tomatoes, stock, and red wine, and bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Taste carefully for seasoning- the braising vegetables and liquid should be highly seasoned.
Pour the vegetables and liquid over the browned ribs, and spread the vegetables around so they are in an even layer. Place cover on Dutch oven, and put into the centre of the preheated oven to cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until a paring knife pierces the meat easily.
Remove from the oven, and spoon off any visible fat.
[Alternatively, remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and refrigerate overnight. Remove the solidified fat from the dish, and continue.)
Place pot on stove over medium-high heat, until liquid is bubbling. Allow to cook down for about 30 minutes, until sauce is slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning once more, correcting if necessary.
Serve hot, with the vegetables and braising juices spooned over as a sauce.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dining Out

So, Hampton Roads peeps, watcha doin' this Thursday?

Hopefully, you'll be joining me in dining out for life, at any number of locally participating restaurants.

What is all this, you ask? I'll let sum it up for me.

Dining Out for Life is a one-day restaurant fundraising event benefiting HIV/AIDS service organizations in over 35 cities internationally. Full Circle/CANDII benefits locally from the Hampton Roads Dining Out for Life event receiving a minimum contribution of 25% of the total dinner food sales from the participating restaurants on the day of the event. To support this event, you and your friends dine out at a participating restaurant and 25%or more of the food sales from you meal will be donated to Full Circle/CANDII. Over 60 restaurants are expected to join Full Circle/CANDII in fight HIV/AIDS in the Third Annual Hampton Roads Dining Out for Life. Please join thousands of your friends and neighbors Thursday, April 27th in dining and helping those affected by this devastating disease.

Save the date, raise your fork, and throw some money towards a great cause!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sittin', chillin', and Sunday afternoons

Livin' the life, each and every day. She sure has come a long way since being a stray Vet's Office kitty. :)

Please check out all the other fabulous felines with wonderful host Kiri at Eat Stuff.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Strawberry Parade

It's that time of year again, when strawberry-filled plastic containers start stacking up at the supermarkets. Typically, I try to hold off on purchasing any, as strawberry season theoretically doesn't start for another couple of weeks. In the end, the thought of those sweet, juicy berries does me in, and against my better judgment, home they come.

I have two go-to strawberry recipes, one of which is Balsamic Strawberries with Mascarpone Whipped Cream: even early-season strawberries can shine in this.

One evening, my generous neighbor brought over two of these, extras from his dinner party. "They need to be eaten tonight," he said with a smile, handing over the precious berry-filled sundae glasses.

This fit the bill perfectly, as my husband and I were having dinner with friends, and hadn't made any plans for dessert. Each couple shared a spoon and a cup. It was soon evident from the soft gasps of "Oh my god! This is sooo good!", and the frenzied scraping of spoons that this was a must-have recipe. We ended up doing a roshambo to decide who got the last bite. While I lost that battle, the recipe was in my hands the very next day.


Yes- vinegar and berries: The mellow balsamic, sweet strawberries, and rich mascarpone come together beautifully.

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chilled mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1-pint baskets (about 24 ounces) strawberries, hulled, halved

Combine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup is reduced to scant 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Combine mascarpone, cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Whisk until thick soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Combine berries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl; drizzle with balsamic syrup and toss to blend. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Divide berries and syrup among 6 goblets. Top with mascarpone mixture.

Makes 6 servings.

Bon Appetit
July 2001

Monday, April 17, 2006

Candy-Coated Goodness

Easter only comes once a year, and along with it, the much-lauded Cadbury Mini-Eggs. Now, I'm no candyfreak, but these are really special. A thin, crisp candy shell encircles Cadbury's finest chocolate. Simple, yes, but it works, and very well.

I waited until the last minute to stock up this year, and frighteningly, didn't find any until my sixth store. I swooped in upon the rapidly dwindling supply, dodging the frenzied canes of sweet-looking old ladies, and just barely avoiding the boisterous pushing and shoving of possibly rabid young children.

Yep- that's what the Cadbury's does to normal folk. Suitably outfitted, I returned home and began making the Easter Nests.

I saw something similar a few years ago, but never got around to making it. Just recently, Nosheteria posted up a paen to Cadbury's Mini Eggs, and an incredibly cute photo of some egg-filled Easter Nests.

I vowed to make some for my little nieces and nephews, but something was amiss. While Nosh used a thumbprint cookie for the base, there was still some component absent from the equation: coconut.

There are plenty of good coconut macaroon recipes out there, but this was a special day: I turned to Ina Garten for assistance. Equal parts coconut and sweetened condensed milk transformed into tender, rich little cookies; adequate browning ensured a charmingly nest-like exterior.

Thank you so much for inspiration, Nosheteria! There were many a delighted child yesterday afternoon, and I daresay, many slyly grinning adults as well.

Coconut Macaroons

adapted from Ina Garten

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in bowl. Whip egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Emergency Bulgogi Update

I made this again, and discovered a rather important little adjective left out of my bulgogi recipe.


If you don't, it's more than likely to turn out so salty as to be pretty much inedible. Trust me on this one.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging

When Spot's not busy looking like an over-sized, pale gum-drop...

...he can usually be found looking like a noble white dragon, gazing soulfully into my eyes.

Happy Weekend Cat-Blogging! Catch the rest of the round-up over with Clare, at eat stuff.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

The Unholy Trinity

I was poking through some old recipe print-outs... perhaps I could make a scallop this? No. Maybe a catfish that? Nah... then I saw it. Originally spotted at Joe's, I'd tucked it away for an evening such as this: Shrimp, Broccoli, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Pasta!

DucCat was indeed lucky that he was away for Wednesday Poker Night. You see, there are certain food items that are gut-wrenchingly anathema to him. The three I just mentioned- excluding the pasta- are pretty high on that list.

Shrimp? Still can't get over a certain food poisoning incident from his youth.
Broccoli? "That foul weed had best not besmirch my kitchen!"
Sun-dried tomatoes? "Are you kidding me?"

Truly, the antithesis of everything he holds near and dear. I got right to work.

The recipe called for oil-free sundried-tomatoes, but all I had was the tinned and oily variety. I placed a colander over a bowl, and in they went, while I sorted out the rest of the ingredients. The recovered tomato oil was subbed for the olive oil, and I got down with the sauté.

Heedless of Cooking Light's waist-friendly recommendations, I unabashedly used full-fat everything. A little salt and pepper, a nice pinch of red pepper flakes, and I had something that smelled a lot like dinner.

Shrimp, Broccoli, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Spinach (but you can do pasta, if you really prefer)

adapted from Cooking Light

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
4 garlic clove, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup good quality chicken broth
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
salt and pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
fresh basil, chiffonade, for finishing dish
toasted pine nuts
baby spinach

Place tomatoes in a colander, and let drain into a bowl. Set aside, retaining the oil.
Steam broccoli, covered, 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; easily done in the microwave with a bit of water.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add reserved tomato oil to the pan. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add shrimp and red pepper flakes; cook 4 minutes.
Add broth and cream cheese, stirring to combine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and broccoli; stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as necessary. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, basil and pine nuts.
Serve immediately on a bed of wilted spinach.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Note: See the original recipe for notes on doing this with pasta.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Trader Joe's Rocks the Sandwiches

I've recently become hooked upon a couple of Trader Joe's products: the Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant & Garlic, and their fabulous Tzatziki.

My first attempt manifested itself as a 'tzatziki sandwich'. Sliced baguette, a generous amount of tzatziki, topped with tomatoes, thinly-sliced red onion, and cucumbers. It was an interesting idea, but ultimately failed in the execution. The bread turned squishy almost instantly from the sauce, and something about the cucumbers in the sandwich didn't quite do it for me.

The second go-round turned out far more tasty, if a bit more hastily photographed: the greek-style panini.

The red pepper spread, tzatziki, goat cheese, and basil were compressed between two thinly sliced pieces of bread on a hot panini grill. All the elements were in perfect harmony, and made for a great luncheon interlude. The only thing I'd do differently next time is to use more goat cheese!

Tzatziki Sandwich: Not really recommended.

T.J.'s Kinda-Greek-Style Panini

2 slices baguette
1 Tablespoon Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic
1 Tablespoon Trader Joe's Tzatziki
1/4 cup goat cheese, or more, as desired
minced basil

Coat 1 slice of bread with red pepper spread; coat the other slice with the tzatziki.
Layer a generous helping of goat cheese on bottom slice; strew with basil, and cover with top slice.
Spray outsides of bread with olive oil; cook per panini-maker's directions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Little Marrow, a Little Cake, a Lotta Love

There comes a time in a man's life when he simply must celebrate his birthday. And hopefully, he'll do so in the jovial, festive atmosphere of s'kat and DucCat's kitchen.

Dad raised a glass to another year, and requested German as his birthday meal of choice. Side dishes were prepared, marinades were readied, and all that was left was to thaw the freshly-caught venison for a fine and fulsome stew.

However, DucCat went to the market, stocking up on odds'n'ends. Passing by the butcher's counter, he paused upon seeing some meaty, marrow-filled veal shanks. Luckily, he had a cell phone at the ready. A brief conversation ensued, and we changed the meal from a hearty German stew to the penultimate Italian delight: osso bucco.

We began the night with a fine, tasty cheese. I'll update this posting once I've tracked down the name of it, but suffice to say, it was rich and complex like a vintage Parmesan. There was no need to sully the experience with crackers; each bit was simply shaved thinly from the wedge, and enjoyed fully as it dissolved slowly upon the tongue.

Prep-work was undertaken in the presence of a Dante 2004 Chardonnay.
Fruity, buttery, oaky, it was a well-packaged chard, and a good enough start to the evening.

Not every dining companion that evening was as enamored of the marrow as I. Ha! I wasted no time in absconding with all the extra bones.

The accompanying risotto was rife with mushrooms, the perfect canvas upon which to taste that rich, slow-roasted veal, and most importantly, the marrow. Yes, let's get back to that.

Black bone butter. Looks kind of icky and slimy, but the taste is closer to liverwurst, the richest cheeses, or pure cream in flavour profile. It slams into your mouth with an aggressively smooth touch, intense, almost too much, and at the very end, leaving you wishing for just a bit more. Pretend it's butter; soon, you'll be right at home scooping, slathering, and enjoying that most intimate of spreads.

We finished with dinner, but of course, still needed a little something sweet and festive. Bring on the Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake, then!

My Dad is a huge fan of the classic German-chocolate cake. As soon as I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart, I immediately tucked it away for his birthday. As the day drew closer, mindful of past Martha-recipes-gone-bad, I did a test-run of the cake layer.

It came out, literally, like a ton of bricks. Make no bones about it, this was a rich, chocolatey, and decadent ton of bricks- but too dense, too thick, too much. In distress, I did a quick search online, and came up with two more recipes that seemed to promise good, wholesome cakiness: the Epicurious recipe, and the Domestic Goddess version.

I'd meant to try both, but time was short, and I went with Epicurious. The cake layers were thinner, but fluffy and chocolatey, like little floating islands. I used the Martha layer as the base, used both of the Epicurious cake layers, as well as it's filling, and finished with Martha's ganache, garnished with coconut à la the Domestic Goddess.

It looked stunning, tasted great, and most importantly, let a great guy know how special he is to me. Happy birthday, Dad!

Epicurious Inside-Out Chocolate German Cake (I used the cake layers, and the filling from this; in the interest of keeping things simple, I also used purchased dulce de leche.)

Domestic Goddess Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake (This one was also based upon the Martha recipe, and I borrowed her idea of garnishing with the coconut.)

Osso Bucco
adapted by DucCat from the Gourmet Cookbook

8 (12-14-ounce) meaty cross-cut veal shanks, 6-61/2 pounds total)
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/8 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 California bay leaf
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups drained canned plum tomatoes (from a 20-ounce can), chopped
4-5 cups beef stock

Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
Tie bay leaf, parsley and thyme with kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni.
Pat veal shanks dry and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Dredge shanks in flour and shake off excess. Heat 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon oil in large 7-9 quart heavy ovenproof pot wide enough to hold shanks in one layer over moderately high heat until foam subsides.
Add 4 shanks and cook, turning once, until well browned, 12-15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 more Tablespoon butter, and brown remaining shanks in same manner; transfer to the plate.
Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to pot, adding a bit more oil if necessary. Cook until just softened, then add wine, bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up the browned bits.
Add tomatoes, bouquet garni, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add shanks, along with any accumulated juices, and enough stock to barely cover shanks; bring to simmer.
Cover pot, transfer to oven, and braise shanks until very tender, about 2-2 1/2 hours.
With a slotted spoon, transfer shanks to a roasting pan (leave oven on). Keep them warm, loosely covered with foil. Pour braising liquid through a large fine-mesh sieve into a heavy saucepan, pressing on solids; discard solids and skim fat from sauce. Bring to a boil and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 cups, about 15 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.
Baste shanks with some sauce, then bake, uncovered, basting 3-4 more times with sauce, until glazed, about 15 minutes.

Friday, April 07, 2006

This Is the End, My Saucy Friend

Unbelievably, there was some Marinara with Italian Sausage leftover from the other night, and DucCat was no slouch in giving it a fine send-off.

The dough practically threw itself out, intent upon receiving the sausage-laden sauce, halved meatballs, pepperoni and black olives. I've seen many things come sizzling off that peel, but this was truly a breath-taking homage to "Florimonte's, our favourite neighborhood Italian deli.

My own pie was slightly more humble. Mushrooms, onions, sweet red pepper, kalamatta olives and asparagus tips proved a fine foil to the rich sauce, and a hint of piave kept everything from sliding right off.

As an aside, I used to prep some pizza-destined vegetables in the microwave, to get rid of excess water, or jump-start the cooking process. But, my friends, there is indeed a better way, and one almost as convenient: a quick sear on the panini grill. The slight bit of carmelisation amps up the taste nicely, and the water quickly evaporates under the heat of the grill-plates.

The wine o'the night wasn't me, but a 2004 Ironberry Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot. I'd previously tasted the 2003, and while enjoyable, found the fruit to be a bit more forward than I would prefer. The new year's offering was still soft and fruity, but with a bit more character. A touch of spice worked nicely in reigning in the galloping fruits, and it settled down into a nice, cheerful finish.

At about $8 a pop, it's the perfect pizza pairing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bulgogi's Back in Town

When Harris Teeter recently advertised a London Broil special, "Buy one, get one free", I quickly grabbed up two heavy bundles. I paused, then grabbed two more. Bulgogi is serious business, after all.

I had my first bulgogi experience years ago, on the tail end of an anemia-filled vegetarian phase. Slowly, I came 'round to fish and chicken, but hadn't yet dabbled in honest-to-goodness meat. Then a friend invited me over for dinner, where Mom was cooking bulgogi and kimchi.

That night, with wide eyes and fluttering stomach, I crossed the great beef barrier, and never looked back. The 'national' dish of Korea had completely won me over, and I made sure I got the invite any time bulgogi was back on the menu.

Before I moved, I requested and gratefully received the recipe for both treasured dishes. And, almost as promptly, lost them. In my mind's eye, it had been easy enough to prepare, but nothing I did throughout the years came close to lighting those tastebuds with quite the same passion.

Last week, I found this recipe, and shortly thereafter, went on that fateful grocery trip.

Finally, all those years of waiting seemed to have paid off.

Rich, savory, sweet, and untraditionally shot through with garlic-chili paste, it was like being 22 and iron-deficient, all over again.

This time, the recipe's mine. Unless the Internet goes down. Now, to continue my search for the kimchi...

adapted from and Tina. I vouch not for the authenticity of the recipe, only it's soul-satisfying flavour.

2 lb London Broil, thinly sliced
1 tbls sesame oil
1/4 cup sugar (or little bit more or less, depending on how sweet or salty you want it)
4 green onions, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2-4 Tablespoons garlic-chili paste
4 cups LOW-SODIUM soy sauce
pepper, to taste

In a bowl mix sesame oil, sugar, both onions, garlic, garlic-chili paste and soy sauce, until everything is well combined.
Add the meat, and make sure it is completely submerged.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Grill to desired degree of doneness.

s'kat's notes: I took the leftover marinade and boiled it for about 5 or so minutes to use as a sauce for the finished dish. While I'm not entirely sure how safe that is (comments?), nobody got sick. We had this with a bit of rice, wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Doo Dah Huzzah

I'd mentioned that I was in a little parade last week. One photo finally surfaced of our crazy crew, just before readying to strut our stuff down Norfolk's Main street. More photos, and most likely, tales of excess, to follow soon.

You may now continue with your regularly scheduled food blog.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fun in the Sun

It may have felt like 2 A.M., but it was closer to 12 P.M. (Let's just say that I had some sleep issues the previous night, and leave it at that.)

Tummies beginning to rumble, DucCat and I hopped on the bike to the Warwick Cheese Shoppe , for a dose of enlightenment and nourishment.

$100 later, we were back at home. DucCat cleared off the patio table while I arranged a little European-style lunch.

From 6 o'clock we have: water crackers, sweet red grapes, sliced Fuji apple, Cheese Shoppe bread, liverwurst, a great cheese whose name I sadly can't recall, a sundried tomato and pesto torte, and a mild, flavourful salami. A bowl of giardiniera sits in the middle to make us feel better about our vegetable consumption.

You certainly can't have a lunch like this without some wine, and George introduced us to a nice one.
The Cortenova 2004 Chardonnay di Puglia is very light-bodied, with lush tropical stone fruits, and a bright squirt of acidity that brings it full-circle.
A real pleasure to drink, I've the feeling that this may edge out Pac Peak as our new house white.

We sat and soaked up the afternoon's abundant sunshine, when suddenly there was a tapping at the door. DucCat opened it, and the Princess Melange made an un-announced, unprecedented visit in the great out of doors.
Sometimes, a girl just needs a good roll in the dirt.
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