Saturday, March 27, 2010

Light and Fluffy Pancakes p. 812

I flipped to this recipe first when Bryan requested pancakes one morning. It didn't occur to me that there was an Everyday Pancake on the page before. But it was a weekend morning and we had slept in and I hadn't even had my coffee yet, so light and fluffy it was.

First get out 3 bowls. This is not a "clean" recipe. You'll dirty 3 mixing bowls, various things to beat, whisk, and stir, a pan, and a spatula.

In on bowl you beat milk and egg yolks (the yellow part, I always have to remind myself of this). In the second bowl is your whites. You will whisk until stiff, but not dry. Please explain this to me. I still do not understand.

In the third goes the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder).

I made half the batch in small pancakes and then got tired of those so I made several pan sized cakes. This recipe will make enough to feed six hungry boys. So unless you are feeing a crowd, be prepared for left overs. Although I do love having left over pancakes. I will put a couple in a bag in the freezer and pull out for a quick breakfast on the run. Simply pop them in the toaster and they are good to go! Yum!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Steamed Artichokes p. 253-4

I do love a good artichoke. Steamed artichokes with a good dipping sauce are the perfect appetizer for an intimate meal.

The only tricky part is preparing it. You have to trim the leaves and scoop out the middle part. But all that work is worth it in the end.

Steam your whole artichoke(s) for 20-40 minutes until done.

Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. I personally like melted butter with lemon and garlic, or a nice rouxemalade or comeback sauce.

If you've never had an artichoke like this, you take off a leave, dip the end in your sauce, and bite off the end, scraping the leaves with your teeth (much like a crab claw).

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank my best friend Allyn A. Sossaman for introducing me to the glories of a fresh artichoke. Thank you, Allyn.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pan-Cooked Thin Fish Fillets p. 564

Do you ever get those thin frozen fish fillets at Sam's or grocery? I usually get tilapia. They are great to have on hand to make a quick dinner after a hard work day.

This recipe is perfect for those little fishies. And the sauce is to die for.

Dredge the thawed fish fillets in flour and add to a warmed pan with melted butter. Cook for a few minutes on each side. Once the all the fillets are cooked, add more butter to the pan. Add lemon juice and cook scraping the bottom of the pan. Drizzle of your fish.

Bryan and I literally faught over the last bites of the fish with sauce.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eggs Benedict, Unleashed p. 799

This is really a triple whammy recipe as you are really just assembling several seperate things.

First toast your english muffins. I hate english muffins and didn't have any (I made this spur of the moment one Sunday morning) so I used regular bread. A nice french bread or something fancier would probably have been better, but I was a poor planner for this meal.

Make a hollandaise Sauce (page 59-60). This mixes egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and some cayenne. Careful with the cayenne, I made mine too spicy. Keep it warm while you prepare the ham and eggs.

Next you will heat up your Canadian bacon. It only takes a minute or two, you just want to get it warm and crispy. Once done, let it drain on a paper towel.

Final step, poached eggs. I must admit a deep fear of poaching eggs. I've never had a poached egg before, but I've witnessed the process on cooking shows and read about it on various cook books. It seems weird and a freak of nature. So I was very hesitant about this step. But it ended up okay. The water had a milky foam over it, but my perfectly poached eggs were still in there and okay!

Finally assemble. Toast, bacon, eggs, and generous spoonful of hollandaise. Enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Broiled Lamb Ribs p. 778-9

Bryan and I never had much lamb growing up, so I've had fun experimenting with a "new" meat. We've had it a couple of times since we were married and it always makes a "special" meal.

This recipe is all about the glaze. I'm surprised it doesn't have more of a prominent roll in the title. It should be something like Tangy Glazed Lamb Ribs.

Since the weather is yucky, I broiled these ribs. First you have to parboil them. This seemed odd to me, but when you broil them you are really just finishing off the cooking and adding flavor.

Mix together orange marmalade or syrup (I used plum preserves because that is what I had and it turned out amazing), Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, and ground cumin. This little glaze is your best friend. I've put similar glazes on pork chops. It'd also be amazing in chicken. Bryan almost liked the bowl clean.

Glaze your lamb on both sides, broil, turn and re-glaze a couple of times until brown and crispy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Classic Pot Roast p. 742

Yes, somehow after two years of cooking for myself I had not managed to cook a pot roast. I've done stews, which I consider similar, and briskets, but never a pot roast. Determined to change that, I held a family dinner at my house last week serving a classic pot roast. I had to wait to make it for company because there is no way Bryan and I would be able to eat a whole pot roast on our own.

This version of pot roast is cooked on low over the stove top. I always thought it was cooked in the oven, but I was wrong.

I won't go in depth about each step, but my main concern with this recipe is that there aren't nearly enough veggies. Mark Bittman calls for 2 carrots, 1 celery stick, and 2 onions. I intended to follow the recipe to a T since I was nervous feeding a crowd. But the onions were over powering. So I added at least on more celery stalk and 3 or more carrots, I forget now. I've made a note in my book so I remember to add more when I make it again.

The end product was delicious, flavorful, and tender. I served the meat and veggies over homemade mashed potatoes. The perfect causal dinner for a casual get together.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mashed Potatoes p. 339

I'm not sure why its taken me this long to try Mark Bittman's mashed potatoes. Maybe because its such a simple thing.

Last week I made pot roast for the first time. It just seemed natural to make mashed potatoes to go with it.

Start off by boiling your potatoes. When done, drain. Melt butter and warm milk in the drained pot, then add your potatoes back for mashing. At this point I veered from the recipe. I just added milk, butter, cheese, and salt to it satisfied my taste buds. I don't think you could mess mashed potatoes up. Unless you over salt them.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spaghetti with Butter and Parmesan p. 506

Out of my lazy few weeks, I prepared this dish with things I had on hand. I just adore recipes like this one. So easy to adapt to whatever you might have on hand.

It really can't get easier than this. Cook pasta. Toss with softened butter and parmesan cheese. Yes, that is it.

As always, Mark Bittman gives plenty of additions to your spaghetti dinner. I added frozen peas and a fried egg.

Easy, delicious, and I didn't have go shopping. Beautiful.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Leeks Braised in Oil or Butter p. 311

I've made leeks a few times, and I love them. Each time I made them I grow to love them just a little bit more.

For this recipe simply melt some butter and throw in your leeks. Add salt and pepper and some stock. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes or until tender and liquid is gone. Add a bit of lemon juice before serving.

This is a great, easy recipe to keep on hand for a simple weeknight meal.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Detour: Salad Dressing

I think I was around the age of 12 when I was introduced to salads. I don't know how it happened, but I was at a restaurant with my family and it suddenly dawned on me to order a salad. Ever since, me and salads have been best pals. I order them out regularly, I take them for lunches, I make them for dinner. But I haven't been brave enough to make my own dressing until the last year or two.

I happened upon this recipe a few months ago and bookmarked it for further use. Finally, I made a mason jar of creamy dressing last week. It was an inspiration. So simple and so delicious.

I've since made it three times... in only 7 days. Its that good. While its not part of How to Cook Everything or the project this blog is dedicated to, I feel it my duty to pass it along to the public. Try it. Today.

Since I'm not one to measure when making things like dressing, I've included my eyeball measurements. They are probably not accurate, but I just made a jar and it turned out good.

Creamy Salad Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise (about 1/4 a mason jar)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (heaping, I love things tangy)
1-2 gloves garlic, minched (or more... I used 4, but they were small)
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (or 1 juice lemon)
3 tablespoons water
freshly ground pepper

Put in a mason jar and shake vigorously.

Originally stumbled upon here.

Pictured here with pork tenderloin, risotto, and braised leeks.