Holy mother of mothers, folks. I don’t know if you know this about me, but [Read more →]
Holy mother of mothers, folks. I don’t know if you know this about me, but [Read more →]
Hello dear readers! I’m sorry I haven’t been writing much lately…I’ve been in a bit of a funk. My cuh-RAY-zee meds got screwed up and it really sort of effed me right up. Things are better now…ye olde kinks have been worked out and I’m back to being only an average level of mental rather than full on nuts. This is a good thing…because today I have a special treat for y’all. Tamales!
Last month I read on someone’s blog about a new group called Recipes to Rival (to find out how to join, scroll down the sidebar), which is kind of a savory counterpart to the Daring Bakers…
Mmmmmmmmm….Delicious tentacley octopussy goodness. (holy crap, that sounded way dirtier than I intended it to. )
Attention all units…a rogue potato salad has been spotted at the canaryhouse. Please use extreme caution when approaching…this salad has NO recipe. It has NOT been tested 100 times. If you see this salad, grab a fork and sit down quickly. Quietly. And apprehend that sucker before anyone tries to get in the way.
As I’m sure you’re all aware, Melissa at Alosha’s Kitchen had a run in with the folks at Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated, where she had adapted a recipe of theirs, noted her changes and credited the source…but that was apparently unacceptable behavior, because their recipes are PERFECT and are not to be changed by anyone, fer cryin’ out loud. In my opinion, they can stuff their so called perfect recipe. Recipes are *meant* to be changed, adapted, and perfected in our own ways. Perfection in the kitchen isn’t measured in precise measurements and techniques, it comes from being creative, being happy and having fun. If the folks over at CC/ATK/CI don’t see that, well, there’s something wrong in *their* kitchen.
So, with that, I offer you my humble potato salad. I’ll give you the ingredients I used, but I’m not posting a recipe, just the ingredient list. Personal adaptation and creative expression are encouraged. I was out of celery, so there’s none in there, but hey…I worked with what I had, and it tasted freaking awesome. SO there. I’d also like to enter this subversive salad into this month’s Potato Ho Down Event, hosted by Evil Chef Mom.
Yes indeed…not only do I have rogue non-recipes, I’m a ho too. Deal with it. lol
potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
celery (if you’ve got it)
sour cream (or quark cheese or Greek yogurt)
red wine vinegar
salt and cracked black pepper
Mix up the dressing ingredients and pour over chopped potatoes and eggs.
Feel free to add more stuff like peas, peppers, green onion etc.
Taste it to make sure you like the seasonings and the tang factor.
Let sit in the fridge for an hour or so.
It’s even better the next day.
Ok, so how’s my Italian so far? hmmm? lol Italian is such a beautiful language…just hearing it makes me happy. The way the words flow, and the intonation, well, it’s a language I would love to learn. Languages have always fascinated me…ever since childhood I wanted to learn Spanish, and once in high school, I found that I loved it! Then, I moved on to French…and after that, Japanese in college. Italian has been on my list of things to learn, though, for quite a long time. I wonder if it’s possible to teach one’s self a language? Probably not, huh? lol Some day. Some. Day. In the meantime, cooking Italian dishes and coming up with corny Italian titles for them will have to suffice. hehe (**let me clarify…I am NOT fluent in all of these languages…only English and Spanish! lol I have only studied them, and love them. )
Risotto Negro, or “Black Rice,” is another one of the things we ordered on our night out. At the restaurant, they served it with pan seared monkfish, but, I thought that prawns would be better suited. I like monkfish when it’s prepared to mock lobster, but other than that….not so much. (Do you have any suggestions for improving the texture? It always seems so rubbery. yuck ) This particular variation of Risotto is made with squid ink, which gives it its signature color. If you’ve never tried squid ink, please consider it. It has such a divine, subtle flavor…just hinting at the taste of the squid (calamaro or seppia). Even Mr. Picky Pants loves this rice–and that, my friends, is saying something. lol
So let’s get cooking, shall we?
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 cups rice
1 cup dry white wine
4-6 cups fish stock (I used prawn stock I had in the freezer–the amount will vary depending on your tastes)
3 envelopes of squid ink (12 grams total), or 3 squid ink sacks
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 pounds (1 kilo) prawns, steamed
alioli to garnish
Before anything, combine the squid ink packets with a small amount of water and thoroughly combine.
Heat oil and butter over moderate heat.
Saute garlic until golden, then add onion, tomato and pepper (save a little bit of pepper for garnish).
Continue to saute until tender, then add in rice and stir well for about 2-3 minutes.
Add wine and reduce, stirring constantly.
When wine is absorbed, add broth, ladle by ladle waiting for the liquid to absorb before adding more. You’ll need to stir this constantly as you cook it, to avoid sticking and burning.
When the rice is nearly done (depends on how you like your rice, and whether you like it drier or with more of a brothy feel), add in the squid ink mixture and thoroughly combine.
Test your rice for seasoning, and adjust salt and pepper.
Add in the parmesan and stir to combine.
Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with steamed prawns, chopped roasted peppers and alioli.
2-3 cucharadas aceite de oliva virgen
2 cucharadas mantequilla
3-4 dientes de ajo, majados
1 cebolla grande, picadita
2 tomates maduros, pelados, sin semillas, y picados
1 pimiento rojo asado, picado
2 vasos arroz
1 vaso vino blanco seco
4-6 vasos fumet de pescado (Utilicé fumet de langostinos que tenía congelado. La cantidad varía dependiendo de los gustos de uno)
3 paquetes tinta de calamar (12 gramos en total), o 3 bolsitas de tinta de calamar
1 vaso queso parmesano, recién rallado
1 kilo langostinos, cocinados al vapor
alioli para acompañar
Antes que nada, mezclar los paquetes de tinta con un poquito de agua.
Calentar el aceite y la mantequilla sobre fuego medio alto.
Sofreir el ajo hasta que esté dorado, y a continuación, añadir la cebolla, el tomate y el pimiento (reservar un poco de pimiento para adornar después).
Seguir sofriendo hasta que esté todo tiernito y a continuación añadir el arroz, removiendo constantemente.
Añadir el vino y reducir, removiendo constantemente.
Cuando se haya absorbido el vino, añadir el fumet de pescado poco a poco (cucharón a cucharón) asegurando que se haya absorbido todo el líquido antes de añadir mas. Tendrás que removerlo constantemente para evitar que se pegue ni que se queme.
Cuando el arroz esté casi hecho (dependiendo de como te gusta el arroz…mas seco o mas caldoso), añadir la mezcla de tinta de calamar y remover bien.
Comprobar el sazón y rectificar la sal y la pimienta.
Añadir el queso parmesano y remover bien.
Retirar del fuego y servir de inmediato, adornado de langostinos, pimientos asados y alioli.
Do all of you know Michelle at Thursday Night Smackdown? If you don’t? Get over to her site right now! I’ll wait.
No, seriously, I will.
Isn’t she great? She has the best sense of humor, and her blog is filled with delectable goodies ranging from appies to salads to mains to desserts. I discovered TNS a few months ago, and it has quickly become one of my “first reads” in the morning. Thursdays are “Smackdown” days. Michelle chooses a recipe from one her many cookbooks and makes it. Mondays are “Cheap Assed” days, where she uses pantry staples and inexpensive ingredients to make incredible meals for *under* *$5!* per serving. With today’s economy, that is one hell of a bonus! You may remember her Extreme Rotini and Cheese, that I am totally claiming as my own from now on (sorry Michelle! lol) As of late, she has been making meal after incredible meal…all spot on with my tastes. It’s as if she were trying to seduce me with her cooking. You’re not, are you, Michelle? lmfao I’m just teasing. It’s just that…I dunno…awesome food…swearing…getting my funny on…well, it’s just the best, that’s all. It’s like one stop blog shopping. Treats! Snark! Giggle! See what I mean?
So anyway…the other day she made this incredible looking lentil salad. Lentils! Salad! I’m so there. Not only is this salad good, it’s EXCELLENT. I even cheated. I didn’t cook my lentils with the oh so fun to make cloved onion. I used a jar of lentils. That I had in the pantry. Then added the ever so smallest pinch of ground cloves to the salad. Nobody noticed that I hadn’t spent that extra hour plus cooling time. See that? And? AND I was frugal, because I used pantry goods, as well as basil from my leetle basil plant on the patio. I also subbed Feta cheese, because that’s what I had. That salad was free! I had everything in the house. I bet you do, too.
Now, there are a couple of events that I want to participate in. My very good friend Shaye, at Smarter than Pancakes had a birthday recently, and would like us to bring something to her Birthday Picnic!
I’m bringing this salad. Not only because it’s freaking fabulous, but because it’s a dish that lends itself *perfectly* to an afternoon outside with friends. So, Happy Birthday, Shaye! MUAC!
that I’d like to participate in, seeing as it’s hot as Hades round here, and we’re all looking for refreshing dishes to combat the scorching heat of summer. The catch? No heating up the kitchen! Microwaves and ice-cream makers are allowed, but not the stove or oven or any other heat emitting appliance. Grace, check this salad OUT man. Seriously. If this doesn’t beat the heat, maybe we’ll have to have a beer with it or something. lol