Moroccan-Style Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Capers
It begins with a mea culpa. I thought that preserving Meyer lemons would be foolish. They’re slightly sweet, I thought, they are too floral to be packed in salt and preserved like yellow pickles. The wife disagreed. I told her to find a preparation or commentary about preserving Meyers and within all of five minutes she had found several, including the one we used from The Gourmet Cookbook. The tome claims that the floral delicate nature of the Meyers makes them especially apt for preservation.
Who knew? Read More
Stracciatella of Tarragon, Semolina Flour and Pecorino Cheese
I have to say that I kind of love the habit of coming home after a weekend trip to Pennsylvania and indulging in a soup and an eggy dish. We did it back in August with gazpacho and our ugly-but-delicious tortilla, and after Thanksgiving we toasted to our uneventful Amtrak ride with lovely stracciatella and a simple fritatta. As we worked together to make the meal, both Michael and I started to channel Nigella Lawson a bit because both of these dishes seemed like ones you might see on one of her many BBC programs: fast, loaded with vegetables but all with a heavy does of indulgence. There may have been some bad British-accented commentary going on as we cooked, but I won’t say for certain. All I will confirm is that dinner came together in very short order that night–and that’s something, I think, we could all use in this otherwise hectic time of year. Read More
Grilled Cornish Game Hen with Roasted Asparagus
I’m going to be honest. For whatever reason, the night I made this meal I was scared. I was scared of my wife. Why? Honestly, I don’t remember. Maybe I had made roasted chicken the previous weekend, maybe because I didn’t think E was up for asparagus… frankly, I’m not sure. How do I know what I felt if I cannot remember the circumstances leading to the evening in question? Simple. I made couscous. Couscous is my offering to the gods of egalitarian epicureanism in my own kitchen. Whenever I think the Mrs. won’t necessarily pick up what I’m putting down, I put some couscous under that stuff. [Ed.--This put a smile on my face after a rather lousy commute this morning. Well done, sir.] Read More
Grilled (and perfectly brined) Pork Chop with Garlic Scape Pistou over Couscous
I have to say, when dinner becomes such a lovely picture you’ve gotta write something about it. [Ed.--in all fairness, those perfect grill marks made me want to take a great picture.] My pork brine has been touted many times over on this site but for purposes of clarity and focus, one final time: Read More
Chimichurri over Brined Pork Chops with Citrus Couscous.
Usually, traveling for me is reserved to hopping onto an Amtrak to visit either my family or Michael’s or both over a weekend and eating on the road is relatively infrequent: a bag of pretzels at the Montvale travel plaza here, maybe the errant late lunchtime meal at Maggiano’s in King of Prussia there. We might bring some cold food on an Amtrak train or get some snacks in the cafe car, but ultimately, dinners were made by either one set of parents or the other–so aside from snack foods or the quick breakfast bagel I didn’t identify with the corporate traveling culture. Read More
Moroccan Lamb Stew
Every once in a while Elizabeth uncovers a food gem in some online repository of recipes. When something lights up her attention, she gets so excited that we have to make it immediately. Whenever lamb is involved, I’m usually right there behind her. Read More
Panko-Crusted Cod with Mushroom, Garlic and Parsley Couscous
I really wanted Michael to write about this so he could explain how he used up some leftovers from this meal, but as one of the meals that he had right before he got sick last week, he didn’t want to look at it–negative associations and all that. Since I fortunately was not stricken by a fever following this meal, I will sing its (and his) praises instead.
I’ll be honest: we’re not always the best about saving things like bones, or shrimp shells, or the like, and when we do, we always forget about them and therefore never use them (a habit I’m working on breaking). This, therefore, is a rare example of us really stretching our resources and ending up with a pretty tasty dish to boot. There was excess mix, along with the stems, from our recent stuffed mushrooms dish lying in the fridge and Michael mentioned that he wanted to do something with them, like throw them into a veggie broth or similar. It sounded reasonable enough to me, and I promptly put them out of my mind until I came home Monday night to see him whipping up a garlicky mushroom topping for the panko-breaded cod and couscous.
Not only was I thrilled that we had stretched our fridge contents to make two meals from one recipe, but the two applications naturally tasted completely different from each other: here it was light an unassuming, while the originals were dense morsels of toasted goodness. Needless to say, it took most of my willpower to not wolf it down that night so I’d have lunch the next day, but it was hard to do–and a delicious reminder to always find ways to re-purpose ingredients that you otherwise would be tempted to throw away.