Monday, March 31, 2008

Saturday Dinner

Simple, quick and grilled. A fresh spring salad with bell pepper, hot-house cucumber, spring onions and sliced crimini mushrooms. Grilled asparagus, coated in olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon and salt/pepper. (Ground sea salt of course.) Finally, a medium-sized New York Strip, marinated for 20 minutes in a Shiraz, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt/pepper, then grilled rare, not more than 4 minutes on high heat. All told? 30 minutes, 20 of them used to marinate the meat.


Friday, March 28, 2008

It really is this good...

Same recipe with a couple of variations. No fresh asiago, as I left it at work with the rest of my lunch. Instead, shredded parmesan in a plastic cup. Not fresh, but it's better than that shit with the green lid that momma raised me on. (No offense Mom, but I deserved better.) And, to thicken the sauce a bit, less than a tablespoon of flour.

Remember that rigatoni was a bad choice? Angel hair is much better. The result was an even better version of last night's dinner, and given that consistency in cooking is hard to come by, I was very pleased with this meal.

For my next cooking feat, cornbread waffles, topped with fried chicken and smothered in sausage gravy.


I still have not figured out how to cook for one, so the portion is about twice as large as it should be, AND, I have enough left over fresh, uncooked vegetables, shrimp and scallops to make it again!

Recipe is as follows:

Melt about 3 Tbsp of butter in a sauce pan, throw in some chopped garlic, and after the butter simmers for a few minutes, throw in a quarter cup of heavy cream or half & half and a a few tbsp of dry sake. Bring to a simmer, then add a few tbsp of sliced red onion or shallots, depending on your preference (I used red onions as I did not have any shallots.

Chop a half cup of yellow and orange bell peppers, slice a half cup of crimini mushrooms, cut two-inch lengths of asparagus, and save leftover red onions that you didn't use in the sauce. Fry up the veggies over medium-high heat with a little bit of olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper about a minute before removing the veggies from the heat and place the veggies in a small bowl for later.

Return the pan to the heat, use a little olive oil, and sear each side of the shrimp for a couple minutes. At the same time, place the scallops in the pan, but cook them for a few minutes per side. Shred some fresh asiago cheese, about an 1/8 cup, and place in cream sauce. Once the shrimp and scallops are cooked, pull them out and wipe down the pan.

Return the veggies, shrimp and scallops to the pan along with the cream sauce for about a minute, then pour over a pasta of your choosing. In this case, I used rigatoni, which I do not recommend after this meal. It was good, but not quite right. Maybe a good penne or an angel hair would have been more appropriate.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Cooking for One

I have spent the better part of the past five years cooking for at least one other person. And this is what that other person is missing out on.

Frozen wild Ahi Tuna, seared for less than a minute per side. Tri-color bell peppers lightly fried in walnut oil. Mixed greens with sliced English cucumber. Toasted sesame oil with fresh lemon/lime juice, soy sauce, walnut oil, wok oil and salt/pepper. 10 minutes. In case you are hungry.


I was only at the actual convention for about 8 hours, but were it not for Murphy and Rachel, it probably would have been more like 2. Thank you for the guilt trips, the miracle-withholding and the great company.

Santa Rosa Rural Cemetary

If you have never been, and you are in the area, I recommend taking time.

7 hours represents the youngest person buried within the cemetery.

The monolith was ever present at each prominent family plot within the cemetery.

The Overton clan represented the largest family burial I came across, while McCann simply had a different take on the monolith.

J.W. Carlton had perhaps the most eloquent epithet, "Death is the crown of life." Nicely put. To the left of Mr. Carlton represents the readability of most markers within the cemetery. Beautifully crafted yet desecrated by time.

James and Eva were not close in proximity, nor any other measure I could discern. But I liked them both, and in that regard, I am presenting them together.

Davis Wright is the illegitimate child of Winfield Wright, and he was designated as such by not only his placement within the family plot, but by the words, "Colored Boy."

And flowers. Everyone loves flowers.