Seriously Spicy Aubergine and Veal with Pasta

IMG_1300b

There were two motivations behind the plate I made today.  The first was the wonderful spicy, garlic aubergine I had at the take-out Chinese in Hawley and the fact that when I went back a couple of days later it wasn’t as spicy and on the third visit they were completely out of aubergine.  This was not the tragedy it could have been because I make spicy aubergine all the time ;)

IMG_1294b

My second motivation was that I wanted to try some of the artisanal pasta produced by Northern Farmhouse Pasta in Sullivan County, Roscoe, New York.  We’re just across the Delaware river from Sullivan County, so I regard anything coming from there as “local”.

IMG_1151b

In the meantime, our son requested that I make Haitian chiquetaille from the Christmas holidays which I was happy to do.  And here are my ugly jar pictures that I have a tendency to take.  I repacked the jars with the intention of trying for better photos but by that time I had fallen out of love and couldn’t be bothered :(

IMG_1186b

Still, this was a good batch of chiquetaille and I’m sure our son will be pleased.

IMG_1338b

Anyway.  I wanted some of the pale green, Thai aubergine like they had at the Chinese restaurant but I couldn’t find any.  Shockingly the Wegmans in Scranton, the supposed end all, be all in supermarkets, had the ugliest aubergines that I have seen since West Africa with big unsightly, rotting splotches on the skin.  People please!  Of course I didn’t buy them but went back to the Super Duper in Honesdale; they’re not famous but they had decent aubergine.

IMG_1191b

Aubergine/eggplant is just good!  This time I made the recipe with a bit more sauce to soak into the pasta because normally I serve this as a self contained Asian lunch dish.

IMG_1279b

I ate some plain for lunch anyway :)  It was spicy and good!

IMG_1239b

Note:  If you’d prefer spicy aubergine for babies, half the amount of sriracha.

Spicy Aubergine with Pasta

2 large, regular aubergine

Salt

7 tbsp peanut oil

1/4 cup Sriracha chili garlic sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup sake

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp corn starch

1 lb ground veal

4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

1lb cooked pasta

Scallions, sliced

Cut the aubergines in half vertically, then cut the halves vertically again into 4 strips each. Chaos cut the strips into chunks, sprinkle with salt and set aside in a colander to drain. Pat dry with paper towels.

Mix together the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sake, sesame oil and sugar.  Set aside.  Mix together the chicken broth and cornstarch.  Set aside.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok, add half the eggplant and cook until it begins to brown.  Remove. Add another 3 tbsp oil to the wok and cook the other half of the eggplant.  Remove.  Add the last tbsp of oil to the wok with the veal, garlic and ginger.  Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes or until the veal is no longer pink.

Return the eggplant to the wok along with the chilli mixture, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove the wok cover and stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until the sauce thickens.

Ladle the sauce over the cooked pasta, sprinkle the sliced scallions on top and eat immediately.

 

Posted in Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Rabbit Tajine

IMG_1114b

Super day today!  I had some lovely rabbit that I picked up from Quails R Us.  The weather was a little warmer also; 38F(3C).  Sultry :)

IMG_1091B

These are nice, meaty, perfectly cleaned rabbits, heads off.  The people at Quails know what they’re doing!

IMG_0994b

They even provide you with a little plastic pouch with the offal from the rabbit!  I’ve fallen in love with these people!  I thought I did an excellent job of cutting the rabbit into pieces. Look at that “rable”!

IMG_1010b

I like it that they do their own slaughtering, butchering and packaging of the rabbit and their labeling is reassuring.  I’m getting some guinea fowl when they have it :)

IMG_1016b

Serendipitously, my husband discovered a bottle of Pascal Bouchard Petit Chablis in an unpacked carton of our affairs today.  Hallelujah!  I was really going into a decline 😡

IMG_1054b

Lifted, I sliced the baby bellas for my rabbit tajine.  These were the closest to the Paris(crimini) mushrooms I could find, and they were good.  Earthy.

IMG_1027b

This is a ragout that tempts you to eat it even before the final cooking but, sipping my wine, I just put the cover on, put it into the oven and walked away.

IMG_1082b

Rabbit Tajine

1 normal sized rabbit, cut up

2 tbsp olive oil

6 bacon strips, sliced

1 tbsp of butter

2 onions, halved and sliced

4 celery branches, sliced

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

10 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped of leaves

2 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb large crimini mushrooms cut in half

6 small potatoes, quartered

1 glass white wine

Brown the rabbit in the olive oil and put into a large bowl.   In the same pan, brown the bacon, remove from the pan and put in the bowl with the rabbit.  In the same pan, add the butter and saute the onions, celery and garlic.   Mix in the thyme and parsley, then pour all into the pan with the rabbit.  Add the mushrooms and potatoes, stirring to blend.

Put the rabbit mixture in a tajine and pour the wine over all.   Cover with the top and bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Herb Crusted Lamb Rib Rack

IMG_0970b

Those of you who have been following me for a while know how intolerant I am about American lamb.   I prefer to pay a premium for imported, frozen New Zealand lamb than to allow any of the American, factory produced, tasteless meat called lamb disgrace my table.  I have never eaten any U.S. lamb that I have more than just chewed and swallowed. Until today.

IMG_0858b

Quails R Us, an organic farm about 10 miles from Honesdale, has educated me and changed my mind about American lamb.  What did I learn?  Buy your lamb from a farm with a farmer on it who has personal knowledge of the animal you are about to eat.  Yes, I know that other bloggers have told me this but I didn’t need to search for good tasting, reliable meat in France and, until now, didn’t have access to or know how to find “normal” farms.

IMG_0906b

Like many of the regional, local farms, Quails R Us takes their meats to Larry’s Custom Meats in Hartwick, New York for slaughter, butchering and packaging.  The downside of this is that ole Larry butchers and cuts the meat the way he prefers to butcher and cut the meat.  Apparently, he likes to package his racks without the long, elegant chop bone which the lack of makes these packaged racks look like ribs until you open them.  Thanks Larry.

IMG_0871b

With low expectations, I decided to roast the racks with a fresh herb rub, seeing as how I had a lot of parsley, some rosemary and thyme.  Fresh herbs are such a compliment to the flavor of good tasting, succulent lamb, and this was good tasting lamb!  Eureka!  Thank you Quails R Us :)

IMG_0953b

I bought some fresh angel hair pasta at Wegmans and a Mexican tomato from Super Duper.  Here in the U.S. we laugh in the face of salmonella and slave labor.  Ha, Ha, Ha.

IMG_0920b

A plate of pasta that includes heavy garlic, basil and olive oil is a satisfying stand alone meal for vegetarians and carnivores alike.  Delicious.

IMG_0943b

But it’s not a law or anything :D

IMG_0979b

Herb Crusted Lamb Rib Rack

1 large rosemary sprig, leaves removed and finely chopped

5 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped

1 large handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

2 lamb rib racks

Mix the herbs together with the garlic, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Take one tablespoon of the mixture and place in a separate bowl with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, then set this aside for basting.

Rub the lamb racks with the large amount of herb mixture, then place in a roasting pan, on a rack, cover with aluminum foil and roast at 325 F for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove the aluminum foil, increase the oven temperature to 425 F, continue to roast for another 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the reserved olive oil.

Angel Hair Pasta with Basil

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, coarsely diced

1 red bell pepper, coarsely diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

1/4 cup red wine

1 package cooked angel hair pasta

1/4 cup basil, cut into strips (chiffonade)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion and red bell pepper until the onion is just translucent.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, then add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes stirring. Pour in the wine and boil for 2 minutes.

Toss the sauce with the pasta, basil, parmesan, salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Iron

IMG_0854b

One day my mother and father were having one of their infrequent spats.  My mother declared to my father that she was not made of iron.  He thought that was so hilarious that for the rest of his life “Iron” was his nickname for her.

IMG_0806b

I would really, really like some calf’s liver!  Baby beef liver will not do.  The liver should be pale pink, not dry and fresh.  Unfortunately I have not found that yet and I’m starting to feel weak from an iron deficiency.  That’s why I bought this farm grown kale and the oh so cute baby Japanese turnips.  Medicine.  Bacon is also nutritionally beneficial.  Protein.  Voila :D

IMG_0819b

Hakurei turnips are delicious, both raw and cooked.  I should have bought more!

IMG_0830b

I’ve made this stir fry before using chard in both France and Germany.  It’s hard to say whether I prefer the kale or chard.  It doesn’t matter, they both are very good!

IMG_0841b

Kale and Hakurei Turnip Stir Fry

1/2 cup lardons or bacon cut into batons

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cup hakurei turnips, cubed

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 cups kale leaves, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp water

Salt and pepper

Cook and brown the bacon in a wok until almost crisp.  Remove and set aside.  Take out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, then add the tablespoon of olive oil.

Add the turnips to the wok, stir frying until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside.  Add the kale leaves and stir fry until wilted.

Put the bacon and turnips back into the wok, add the bay leaf, vinegar, water, salt and pepper.  Steam for about 5 minutes until the kale is crisp tender.

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Recipes, side dish, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Pennsylvania Louisiana Jamaican Meat Patties

IMG_0777b

Frustrated with trying to find decent eggs in the supermarket, we finally returned to Quails R-US Plus.  It’s really not that far from us and I don’t know what we were thinking because they have farm raised eggs, chickens, rabbits, lamb and goats.  Getting my Jamaican on, I decided to make some spicy Jamaican meat patties, inspired by Emeril Lagasse, using Quails R US Plus ground lamb and goat chorizo.  Why not?

IMG_0741b

This is the chorizo that I know; Mexican-like, stuffed raw into casings, to be cooked as a link or in bulk.  Spanish chorizo is new to me and good, but not what I think of when I think of chorizo.

IMG_0753b

This was a good mix for the patty stuffing.  The lamb was a bit strong with a kind of sheepish smell that made me wonder about the lamb age classification, but this was fine for this recipe.

IMG_0717b

I liked the Emeril mix of spices and aromatics, still next time I will add cinnamon for a more authentic Jamaican flavor. Everything smelled wonderful!

IMG_0767b

I cooled my filling down in a leftover, random snow pile because it was there and it pleased me to do so :)

Jamaican Meat Patties

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp tumeric

1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup cold water

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 large egg, whisked

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 inches fresh ginger, finely chopped

1lb ground goat meat

1 lb ground lamb

1/2 tsp ground tumeric

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground Jamaican allspice

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp dried thyme leaves

1 Scotch bonnet, seeded and finely chopped

6 scallions, finely chopped

2 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can beef broth

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp rum

1 egg whisked with 1/4 cup of water for an egg wash

Mix the flour, salt and tumeric together in a bowl, then place in a food processor with the butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal.  Add the water, vinegar and whisked egg, then continue to pulse until the dough forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add the meats, tumeric, cumin, allspice, cardamon, thyme and scotch bonnet sauteing for about 10 minutes.

Add the scallions, parsley, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper, bring to a boil and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated.  Add the rum and boil for about 1-2 minutes.  Remove from flame and cool.

Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness and cut into 6 inch circles.  Place about 2 tbsp of the meat filling on 1/2 of the circles, fold over, then seal the ends with a fork. Brush egg wash over the top, then bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 25 minutes.

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food and Wine, Jamaican, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Steve DeVeau’s Jerk Chicken

IMG_0698b

Steve didn’t want to give me the recipe for his jerk chicken rub, something about it being a secret recipe.  However, after prolonged whining on my part, he consented to share this fabulous rub with the world.  I made Navajo flatbread, layered each piece with a crisp salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and thin slices of red onion then topped that with a piece of jerk chicken garnished with cranberry chutney.  Mah-velous.

Steve DeVeau’s Jerk Chicken

2 tbsp Jamaican allspice

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp crushed red pepper

2 tbsp ground cloves

2 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp piment d’espelette

2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp nutmeg

1 tbsp dried thyme

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1/4 cup toasted brown sugar

2 tbsp rum

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup vinegar

1 young, regular size chicken, spatchcocked

Mix all the seasonings together and rub the chicken with the mixture.  Refrigerate overnight.

Heat the grill to 500-600 F, then sear the chicken on both sides.  Turn the flame off on half of the grill and place the chicken, skin side up, on the cold side.  Grill for 45 – 60 minutes, turning and basting every 15 minutes.

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Jamaican, Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

“Have Some Rum, Mon”

IMG_0612b

Before Steve, our bathroom remodeler, decided to go for the big bucks he, a graduate of C.I.A., worked as a chef at Breezes Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica.  When he told me this, of course, I asked about Jamaican cuisine.  I have tasted Jamaican meat pies and once attended a very good lunch hosted by Jamaican friends, but have never attempted to make anything myself. We discussed Jamaican jerk rubs and the next day, he brought his own spice mix over for me to try.

IMG_2886b

Today I added rum, vinegar and olive oil to Steve’s spices, rubbed a spatchcocked chicken with the mixture, then put it in the refrigerator to mature overnight.  I remembered that the Jamaican friends served their meal with roti, a homemade flatbread and, not wanting to try two new things, decided to make Jamie’s Navajo flat bread to accompany the chicken, perhaps wrapping pieces of the jerked chicken inside of the bread.

IMG_0644b

But wait!  Wouldn’t that be kind of dry?  I needed a sauce, salsa or something.  Cranberry chutney to the rescue.  I made this chutney in Germany and it was a big hit with the family. With more enthusiasm than I’ve shown since coming to the States, I whipped up a batch of chutney, thinly sliced some leftover char sui pork, layered some on toast, topped it with chutney and handed samples to Steve and my husband.  Good.  I should make another batch to have on hand for the random open faced sandwich :)

IMG_0659b

As I was preparing to spatchcock the chicken, a chicken neck and assorted giblets tumbled out onto the counter, and that’s when I realized that it had been years since I bought a chicken that included the giblets and neck!  The French chicken butchers must keep those for themselves because you don’t get them unless you buy a specialty chicken like Bresse chicken.  Such riches!  Instinctively, I tossed the giblets and neck in a pot with water, carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf, then boiled.  After a decent period of time, I removed the meat from the neck bone, chopped the giblets and returned them to the pot along with a cup of orzo pasta.

IMG_0684b

Okay, tomorrow the chicken will be jerked and we shall take the measure of Steve’s Jamaican experience :)

Cranberry Chutney

2 tbsp olive oil

12 fresh sage leaves

2 purple onions, sliced into thin wedges

1 cup of cranraisins, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and drained

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

2-3 tbsp water

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Flash fry the sage leaves in the olive oil, then remove and set aside.  Add the onions to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the cranraisins, cinnamon and water, then simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the ginger and vinegar, then cook for about 1 minute.  Serve warm or room temperature.

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Jamaican, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments