Archive for August, 2011

food. and school. but mostly food.

August 31, 2011

last weekend, emily and tristan came to visit and we ate paella with seared scallops. it was so good. i did not take any pictures. then we ate an eatzi’s chicken with some tasty salad. i did not take any pictures. then i made a bread and tomato salad on sunday. i did not take any pictures.

this matters because scott won a brand new fancy digital camera (i say fancy because it is purple; i do not actually know what any of the numbers or letters on it mean) a few weeks ago, but i have been too busy (read: lazy) to use it until today. here is some rainbow chard with which i am currently obsessed.

so now that school is back in session for me, we are having several pre-made meals each week. like, a LOT of them. thank you, central market, for ruling. so here is what we’re eating this week, along with a paella recipe and my favorite breakfast foods.

monday – burgers. blech, but whatever, scott claimed he needed a ‘stress burger’ and the man works 70 hours a week.

tuesday – cm grilled salmon with hatch chile pesto, spinach and arugula salad with goat cheese and french dressing, gruyere toasts

wednesday – cm cm honey-marinated grilled flank steak over soba noodles, veggie stir-fry, beef broth

thursday – cm chicken parmesan, bread salad

friday – thai shrimp curry (if i actually clean the damn shrimp this time)

chorizo and scallop paella

1.5 cups bomba rice

7-10 saffron threads

1.5 cups water

1 yellow onion, diced

6-8 small, sweet peppers or one large yellow or red bell pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound spanish chorizo, diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound scallops

add your saffron threads to water and soak for an hour or more.

over medium heat, cook veggies in olive oil until they just start to soften. add in diced chorizo. stir in rice until everything is evenly coated with grease, then add saffroned water and turn down heat to low. you will totally have to add more water to this; as the rice dries, simply add a bit more to keep it moist. i love the crisp on the bottom of paella, so i leave the heat closer to medium than low and i let the water almost all cook off before adding more. after adding about an extra .5 cup of water, the rice should be finished cooking when that is gone. total cooking time for this rice is about 20 minutes, covered.

while paella is finishing, warm butter and olive oil in pan. sear scallops over medium heat, only about a minute on each side.  i HATE overcooked scallops. hate. them. season to taste with kosher salt and fresh pepper. plate paella and top with three or four seared scallops.

bread and tomato salad

3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped

6 ounces fresh mozarella, torn into chunks

1/2 bunch fresh basil, torn

2 cups day-old bread, torn into chunks

3-4 wrist-swish drizzles of balsamic vinegar

3-4 wrist-swish drizzles of olive oil

kosher salt

fresh pepper

combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl. drizzle balsamic and olive oil, then season to taste.

rainbow chard and fried eggs

2 tablespoons butter, separated

1/2 bunch rainbow chard, chopped and rinsed

soy sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

2 eggs

garlic chili sauce

over medium heat, warm butter. cover bottom of pan with greens and flavor with just a bit of soy sauce. when wilted, remove from pan and plate. pour excess water from pan and return to heat, adding second pat of butter. fry eggs to desired doneness and top greens with them. serve with garlic chili sauce. this is a really satisfying breakfast…it’s pretty big, though. really more of a brunch.


chicken thighs simmered in vichyssoise with popovers

August 22, 2011

i love every single ferrer soup i have tried. this week’s darling is their leek and parmesan vichyssoise (‘i don’t even know what that means,’ said my cheffy-chef sister. ‘it means it’s good to drink cold from the bottle,’ i told her.), and it has an even better flavor when cooked down a bit.

this is a really easy go-to dinner for me, and it goes with any sort of veggie you have around. i served it with a garden salad.

simmered chicken thighs

4 chicken thighs

kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 large yellow onion, sliced thinly

.25 cup white wine

1/2 bottle ferrer vichyssoise

in a skillet with a well-fitiing lid over medium heat, brown butter. season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and sear in butter, about three minutes on each side. pour in wine and scatter in onions; swirl to coat. pour in soup, turn heat waaaaaaaay down low, and cover. simmer for two hours. just before serving, remove chicken and thicken liquid to desired thickness with flour.


2 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp kosher salt

preheat oven to 425. divide butter into 6 sections of popover pan and heat in oven until butter begins to smoke slightly, about three minutes. quickly whisk together remaining ingredients just until smooth. pour batter into hot popover pan, filling each section no more than halfway. return to oven, set a timer for 20 minutes, and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until that timer goes off. i mean it. you’ll regret it if you do.

remove from oven and cool on rack for five minutes. soak these guys in gravy and gobble them up.


August 22, 2011

this month’s cover recipe for bon apetit took me two days to make. it is getting relegated to the ‘special occasions only’ section of my recipe folder, and the number of dishes i had to wash before this pie was complete was RIDICULOUS, but it was totally worth it. go clicky for the recipe.

bon apetit’s lime blackberry italian meringue pie







menu planning

August 20, 2011

saturday – banh mi

sunday – shrimp, spicy capicola, and gruyere on focaccia toasts, caesar salad

monday – leftover brisket with soba noodles, shitake and enoki mushrooms, bok choy

tuesday – chicken thighs simmered in white wine and vichyssoise, garden salad

wednesday – shrimp curry, lentils

thursday – first night back to school! this probably means pizza. or a burger. or whatever scott gets on his way home because i’ll be damned if i’m cooking when i get home at 10pm.

friday – pork and leek potstickers, fried rice

brisket banh mi

August 20, 2011

let me start with a disclaimer; i know very well this is not a traditional vietnamese sandwich. first of all, it’s made with brisket instead of meatballs or pork belly or head chesse. also, there is no frenchy-type dressing.

HOWEVER. i fairly frequently claim ‘this is the best sandwich i have ever eaten’ because (1) i really like sandwiches and (2) my husband thinks it’s funny when i over exaggerate. tonight, when i claimed ‘this is the best sandwich i have ever eaten,’ it was totally true. so even if i’ve made it too american, i don’t care because it’s good.

for the brisket

1.5-2 lb brisket

4-5 tablespoons fermented soybean paste

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot chili oil (i used more, but i’m a heat freak)

4-5 dashes soy sauce

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1/2 cup water

heat the oils in a skillet over medium-high heat. rub the brisket with soybean paste. sear brisket in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. arrange onion sliced in a layer on the bottom of your slow cooker and place brisket in over them. place skillet back on heat, turn down to low, and pour in water with soy sauce. scrape up browned bits of soybean paste and brisket and pour mixture into slow cooker. cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

for the veggies

juliened daikon

juliened carrots

1 cup rice wine vinegar

juice of 1 lime

10 generous turns of freshly cracked black pepper

place all ingredients in a tupperware container, shake, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. drain before serving.


i served this with chopped cilantro and a generous spread of chili garlic sauce. adding fresh jalepenos to the pickled veggies would have been lovely, but my husband won’t eat them and i knew i would be just as happy with the heat from the chili garlic sauce. i also cheated and got a central market baugette; next time, i will make rebekkah’s version instead.

the caramelized onions were really, really tasty and the juice from the brisket made a nice dip; these sort of ended up being asian beef dips, and i’m not sorry. they went nicely with a cold glass of kirin ichiban.

menu planning

August 9, 2011

tuesday – grilled swordfish with artichoke and lemon sauce, spinach salad with goat cheese and almonds

wednesday – dinner date

thursday – chicken and bok choy stir-fry over fried brown rice

friday – beef stroganoff, green beans

saturday – grilled chicken over wilted spinach with bacon

sunday – sliced chicken in soy, ginger, and lime over lentils

for lunches, i made scott some tomato and basil focaccia for turkey and ham sandwiches (which will be dressed with some herbed mayo my beloved mixer, shaft, is currently emulsifying). breakfasts are egg, spinach, arugula, and chile scrambles on wednesday and friday, cinnamon rolls on thursday, and sausage and egg tacos on saturday.

sophie is sticking to bananas, squash, strawberries, lentils, and milkies this week.