Lazy New Years Week Lunch

January 2nd, 2011 by brady

A Good Start So many tasty things start by throwing some diced onions into a generous blob of butter. (Or okay okay okay, olive oil.) I figured I’d make the usual resolutionish early January post with something that was pretty easy.

I often plan to make stuff on Sunday or Monday that’s easy to take for lunch all week but don’t always get around to it. School starts tomorrow and we’re still restocking our larder (okay, fridge) after two weeks away and I threw together some super lazy super easy spinach hand pies, mostly out of stuff we have on hand. Voila!

Lazy New Year

I used 1/2 a big yellow onion, sauteed in a blob of butter (see above). I added garlic, dried oregano and then a package of frozen spinach to that and let it cook until the spinach was softened and some moisture cooked off. I turned it off. Meanwhile, I took some Trader Joe’s puff pastry and rolled it out a little flatter and a little more oblong, so that each sheet could be cut into 1/6ths. (Squares.) I buttered a 12-muffin tin and stuck each little pastry square down into the muffinhole.

To the slightly cooled spinach, I added a package (small) of feta, crumbled three eggs and some black pepper. I folded the edges over and drizzled/brushed a little more butter around on top. I baked that whole thing until it was nice and brown (25 min?) ta 400.

David ate one warm and declared it delicious, and the rest will be tasty room temp for school lunch this week. It’s not the super scratchiest cooking, but it kinda looks good and it definitely tastes good and the prep time was pretty short.

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Summer in San Francisco = Winter Comfort Food

August 1st, 2010 by brady

Summer Dinner

It was cold. I had guilt about wanting to turn on the heat in July. I wanted leftovers.

The Good Life Market a block away on Cortland has had big roasting chickens lately, so I got this one.

beeeeg cheeeeecken
Seven and a half pounds! Yay! I went outside to the garden and picked a fistful of all the herbs we have. (Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, Italian parsley and mint– I was verrrry sparing with the mint.) I chopped all those up and mixed with olive oil, some ground medium-heat New Mexico chilis and ground mild mustard powder. Oh, and black pepper. Rubbed it all over the chicken, inside and out. Into the chickenhole went a quartered lemon and some onion hunks. I roasted it at 400, breast down for an hour and fifteen minutes, and then breast up (having flipped the bird) for about 45.

Meanwhile, I roasted purple potatoes with butter and rosemary and black pepper in foil. (For the last half hour of chicken roasting time, which gave them about 45 minutes to cook once I took the chicken out to rest.)

purple taters

To finish off our hearty wint… errrr, light summer meal, I quartered a bunch of big brussels sprouts and coarsely chopped a red onion, tossed with olive oil and roasted them in a baking pan covered in foil. (For about the same time as the potatoes. They got super creamy, nutty and sweet, and the onions just caramelized.)

I always eat some dark meat parts while the skin is still crispy, and then use the breast meat for salads, sandwiches, general snacking.

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A Year Of Braising Dangerously

February 11th, 2010 by brady

Lamb Shanks, Creamy Polenta and Braisedish Chard

shanky

I impulse bought some lamb shanks (not anywhere exotic– Safeway) and I got four, because having the oven on for as long as I liked to braise seemed like a waste.

Anyway, they are pretty easy. In a dutch-ovenesque pot, I browned the shanks on all sides after rubbing them in a mix of kind of random spices from the spice cabinet: marjoram, thyme, black pepper, ground chili, crushed bay and tiny bits each of orange rind, cinnamon and allspice.

Then I added an onion to the mix, and then poured in about a cup of red wine (I like the highly drinkable screwcap Perrin Cotes du Rhone they sell at TJ if I don’t have some leftover wine sitting around) an onion, some garlic, and a can of chopped tomatoes. I added water to almost cover the shanks, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.

I put the cover on the pot and ignored it for about 3 1/2 hours somewhere between 275-300 degrees.

There was some whole thing after I read Heat about nine hour polenta, but this time I just added 1 c polenta to 6 c water, and cooked that until it thickened, added a cup of milk and some salt and cooked it a little longer til it seemed very creamy. This took about 90 minutes.

Turned that off and sauteed/braised the chard for about 10 minutes, finishing it with a little balsamic.

Heaped it all into the bowl above and had a nice fall-aparty lamb shanky dinner, with the rest of the tasty screwcap wine.

Despite all the long cooking times, the shanks were super-easy and you could do a much quicker polenta or a root vegetable mash if you don’t feel like stirring for so long. Braise, my friends, braise!

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