Composed

 

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I was in the Super Duper the other day and I saw a man who looked like he might be the butcher.  My husband told me that Super Duper had a butcher and that he was available on certain days, but I forgot the days and just happened to see him on this particular day. He looked like he just might be from Texas and so, emboldened, I strolled over and asked him if he ever cut beef flanken ribs.

He:  Well sure!

Me:  Are you from Texas😀

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Well he wasn’t, but close enough and his ribs were a whole lot cheaper than the ones at the German butcher😉

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I imagine that in the paleolithic age salads weren’t exactly “composed”.  Or maybe, in a way, they were; the gatherers going out with their baskets, adding edible fruits and vegetables, then communally sharing the basic contents around the fire.  In the good seasons I imagine these baskets were colorful and attractive, sort of like my market baskets after shopping.  Although I wouldn’t feel comfortable just plunking it in the middle of the table and saying “Let’s Eat!” without slicing, cubing, peeling, leafing, etc.  I don’t know why this popped into my head.  Instead of “sliding down”, I must be plummeting😉

It seems I’m suffering from “pernicious anaemia”, the doctors don’t say that but I got it from reading about Jane Austen’s life and liked the sound😀  Don’t you all fall to your knees and start praying yet, I’m okay😀

Easy Coriander Cumin Beef Flanken Ribs

4 thin cut beef flanken ribs

1 tbsp powdered cumin

1 tbsp powdered coriander

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

Make a paste with the cumin, coriander, pepper, salt and olive oil, then rub onto both sides of the ribs.  Cover with plastic warp and allow to rest for about 2 hours.  Preheat the oven on broil for about 5 minutes, then broil the ribs for about 6 minutes, turn,  and continue to broil for another 6 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Whosenever

 

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I was watching the Neville Brothers on youtube yesterday and realized that I had lost and forgotten a useful and beloved word from my childhood vocabulary, “whosenever”. Whosenever conveyed more than “whoever” or “whomever” to us.  It was an expression of perhaps disinterest and unconcern, expressed in a southern Black way while conversing. That was a good word.  As of today I’m reclaiming it and teaching it to the kids:)

Our daughter Jade is graduating from high school this Saturday, and the family will be briefly back together again; our son is coming from Maryland and my husband from Haiti. I wanted to make something special that everyone loves and decided on a file gumbo.

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Unfortunately,  I have still not been inspired to make up a batch of Emeril’s essence that is the perfect mixture for Creole and Cajun dishes.  Rummaging around the pantry, I did find a jar of my neighbor Caroline’s Cajun Spice Rub.  Caroline makes good rubs/salts and while I wouldn’t say her rub was authentically Cajun (more herbs then spices), this was a tasty rub and I just added a heaping teaspoon of piment d’espelette to the mixture as a work around.  Perfect!

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My husband who has apparently been starving to death in Haiti, and rightfully so, had to be beaten away from the browned chicken.

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My poor thyme plants are under an avalanche of weeds.  My husband will fix this before he returns to Haiti.  In the meantime I was able to scrounge up enough for the broth.  I used white peppercorns because I had white peppercorns😉

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The recipe for this gumbo can be found here.  There are many gumbo variations.  Try your own with duck, okra, whatever you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Farmers’ Market Hawley, Pennsylvania

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Yesterday, my pretty girl Jessie had an appointment in Hawley, the next town over, for a shampoo and grooming.

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While waiting for the deed to be done, I noticed there was a small farmers’ market in the park across the street and thought “why not”, with little enthusiasm and low expectations. Still, I knew that “Jessie Jane” was going to have a ball with those groomers and that it would take time, so I crossed the street.

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What a pleasant surprise!  The market was small but the produce was lovely, the farmers loquacious and friendly.  It was almost like, dare I, France:)  I’m going back every Friday! Look at this lettuce!

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Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

Veal Parmentier

 

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I’ve always been fascinated with the life of Antoine Augustin Parmentier who introduced potatoes into the cuisine of France.  Click the link above to see more about his life and his tombstone in the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

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I’ve made numerous “Parmentier” dishes while in France;  my favorite ones contained boudin noir.  I miss boudin noir😦   However, this Parmentier with veal and spinach was very good.

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In the meantime, here in Honesdale, Pa, my neighbor Caroline Romano gifted me with some golden, baby beets that she found at The Cooperage, our town’s Farmers’ Market.

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The beets, oven roasted, were a great addition to my simple salad of greens, tomatoes and feta cheese.

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Veal Parmentier with Spinach

4 large potatoes, cut into chunks

4 tbsp butter

1 cup grated parmesan or more

4 cups spinach, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 onion, chopped

1 1/4 lb ground veal

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp all spice

Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until cooked.   Add 2 tbsp of the butter and 1/4 cup of the parmesan, then coarsely mash.   Set aside.

Cook the garlic in the olive oil until soft, add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Set aside.

In the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, toast the pine nuts until brown, remove and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and saute until soft.  Add the veal, cinnamon and all spice, then cook until all the pink is gone.  Stir in the pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste.

Layer 5 individual casseroles with the veal, the spinach, parmesan and the potatoes.   Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minute.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Don’t Hurt Yourself

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I enjoy cooking, so when I don’t want to cook, I don’t.  I never want to associate this wonderful past time with drudgery or, eek, housework:)  Still, everyday is different, dependent on whether I want to be challenged by an involved and complicated dish or I just want to make something attractive, tasty and easy.  I never want to hurt myself, choosing to do what makes me happy.

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After all these years of cooking with avocados, cutting them in half still intimidates me.  I don’t know why.  I’ve probably suppressed some youthful, traumatic run in with avocados that resulted in ugliness and although I can’t remember,  remains imprinted on my culinary soul, causing rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms.

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Yet each time, year after year, I cut the avocados in half, give them a gentle twist, and they are halved.  Whew, until next time:)

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I usually make my own seafood cocktail sauce but this time I chose a random prepared sauce from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  This sauce is good!  Not too sweet with a zing of horseradish.  I’ll buy this again.

The shrimp salad is enough for about 6 avocados.  I only used two and plan to eat the rest of the salad with greens.

Shrimp Stuffed Avocados

2 avocados, halved, seeded and sprinkled with lemon juice

1 branch celery, finely chopped

4 scallions, finely chopped

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1 lb cleaned and cooked shrimp

1 tsp lemon juice

Your favorite seafood cocktail sauce to taste

Scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon, leaving a small layer of avocado in the shell. Dice the flesh and set aside.

Mix the celery, scallions, eggs, shrimp, avocado flesh, lemon juice and cocktail sauce together, then fill each avocado shell with the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate the shells until ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food and Wine, Recipes, Salad, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Flanken Beef Ribs

 

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I like beef ribs.  It must be a Texas thing.  My Mom prepared the beef short rib cut, the large, Neanderthal slab cut and my favorite, the flanken beef rib cut.

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The flanken is meaty, cut horizontally across the rib bones.  The thinner cut ribs are good for grilling, while the thicker cut can be braised or oven roasted.  These ribs were just thin enough to grill, so I marinated them overnight in an improvised Asian marinade.

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It’s still asparagus season and I stir fried some with wax and green beans.

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Fabulous!

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Grilled Beef Flanken Ribs

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

5 scallions, sliced

3-4 thin slices of fresh ginger

1/4  cup Chinese cooking wine

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

5 slabs beef flanken cut ribs

Mix the first 10 ingredients together in a bowl, then set aside.  Place the ribs in a large zip lock bag and pour the marinade over all to coat.  Place in the refrigerator over night.

Preheat the grill to 450 -500 F.

Remove the ribs from the marinade and pour the marinade into a bowl for basting.  Grill the ribs on the hot racks, turning and basting until done to taste.

Asparagus and Bean Stir Fry

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp water

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch asparagus, tough end discarded and cut into thirds

1/4 lb wax and green beans

Dissolve the sugar in the soy sauce and water and set aside.   Saute the garlic and onion in the sesame oil until the onion is wilted.  Add the asparagus and continue to saute for 1 minute.  Add the beans and continue to saute all for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the soy sauce mixture, stir to coat, cover and steam for a minute or two.

 

 

 

Posted in Asian, Chinese, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, side dish, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

I’m Still Here and I Cooked

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No matter what my issues are, there is always one thing that will send me resentfully shuffling to the stove; severely neglected refrigerated vegetables.  It is shameful the way I will meticulously paw over fruit and vegetables ( I learned that from the French) to get the most attractive ones, then allow them to reach an unappealing state, two steps away from from the garbage bin, before I cave in.  Of course this doesn’t always happen, but it happens enough.

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Anyway.  Vegetables are good things and it doesn’t take too much processing or “recipe-ing” to quickly make a delicious, satisfying something😀  Ratatouille?  Yes, that’s it, stewed vegetables. I assembled the refrigerated yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes on the cutting board, added garlic, onion, bay leaves and fresh oregano from the herb garden that my husband planted for me before he went back to Haiti.  The herbs are doing very well and I am pleased!

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I briefly craved a crusty baguette, slathered with fat rich, Échiré French butter but I’m in Pennsylvania now and got over it.  I found these “sandwich thins” at one of the supermarkets that still have bread with gluten.  A heart throb plate for vegetarians😉  But for the rest of us, I added butter browned, smoked pork chops from The Alpine Meat and Wurst House (German butcher).

Stewed Vegetables

2 tbsp olive oil

2-3 large garlic cloves, slivered

1 onion, coarsely chopped

3 small yellow squash, cut into chunks

2 small zucchini, cut into chunks

2 tomatoes, cut into chunks

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil until the onion is translucent.  Add the two squashes and continue to saute until they are crisp tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper, cover and steam for 3-5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, side dish, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments