So, the first day of fall kicked off on Sept. 22 and despite being, like, 385 degrees outside, I decided to it was a good time to recreate a pumpkin sage cream sauce ravioli dish that Katie had been craving for years and years. Last time I made it, it seemed like a perfect weeknight dinner because it was so simple and you could just use store bought ingredients and still make it taste swell.
However, I wanted to up the challenge a little and decided to make everything from scratch. So, Tuesday night, I made chicken liver mousse and quince paste for an appetizer, then Wednesday morning, roasted some butternut squash (could not find any pumpkin yet. so much for fall.) and pureed it, made some pasta dough with a little saffron for color, made a ricotta porcini filling, pickled some onions for the mousse, then made some orange blossom panna cotta for dessert.
When I got to Jancy’s, we all set to work cranking out sheets of pasta and filling those babies up. It went surprisingly fast and we slipped them into the boiling water while I whipped up sauce. So easy! Heavy cream, butternut squash puree, chiffonade sage, salt and pepper and soon we were eating.
Oh, and appetizer was chicken liver mousse crostinis with quince puree and pickled onions. And we had roasted broccoli on the side of the pasta. And old fashioned cocktails to imbibe on. So delicious and so drunk.
No pictures of the panna cotta, but jancy made some cookies to go with it that didn’t flatten, so we crushed them and ate them on top and it turned out better than if they had been wafer-like.
I found some recipes for Pad See Ew and it seems pretty easy. So, I think next week, I’m going to make Pad See Ew and Tom Kha Kai (or Tom Kha Shrimp, not sure what the Thai word for shrimp is). Is that cool?
I’ve been really about cooking the last few weeks. Consider me re-inspired. I might revert to my original plan of catering because I think I like serving people food that tastes good. Maybe I’m not a 9-5er after all.
here are some photos. I didn’t take that many. oops.
ok, I’m on a yelping rampage. I want to be elite! I need to think of restaurants to review. I can do this.
I put in my notice yesterday. Last day is Aug. 10. New life, here I come. Oh yeah, I can probably say goodbye to cute shoes. Sad.
Eeeeeeeh. I’m going to be a college student again. How weird. I feel too old for that.
Sadly, I’m just really lazy and this dinner recap is from June 5… only a month late. evs.
Sea Scallops with Orange Tarragon Butter and Mushroom/Asparagus/Tarragon Risotto
I found this really great recipe for scallops with an orange tarragon butter sauce from Details and really wanted to try it, so I bought some big ol’ sea scallops from Costco (only $9.99/lb!) and decided to pair it with some risotto. I mixed and matched from a bunch of different risotto recipes, so I’m not going to attach that. The risotto ended up being mushroom, asparagus, tarragon risotto? Maybe some other things. But, no matter how easy they make risotto look on tv, it’s still a time consuming pain-in-the-ass.
The scallops were easy. Salt and pepper them, although I think I should’ve washed them because I remember them being a little gritty. Oops. Anyway, grill them for about 2 min. per side, but make sure they have some grill marks. By the way, overcooked scallops are rubbery and gross, so don’t overcook!
The risotto was a bit harder. Saute the rice in some butter, oil and onions, then when it’s golden, add warmed up chicken stock, one spoonful at a time and stir, stir, stir until that bitch absorbs it all. Then repeat. By the way, I think I was supposed to saute the mushrooms and add them in toward the end, but I just sauteed them with the rice and the mushrooms sucked up a lot of that oil. Once again, oh well. Also, you’re supposed to boil the asparagus a bit before adding to the risotto, but I just threw it into the simmering chicken broth. Worked fine. When the rice is finally softened, add in asparagus, tarragon, salt and pepper, then add in a large pile of grated parmesan cheese. The cheese kind of takes the soupiness away from the risotto, so in retrospect, I probably would’ve added another ladle full of broth, instead of having sticky risotto.
Oh, and the heavenly butter sauce. You’re supposed to boil wine, vinegar and shallots together until the liquid is almost gone. Well, I looked away for a second after staring at it for a good half hour and suddenly the liquid was ALL GONE. Oops. I threw some more wine and vinegar in there, let it cook a little, turned the heat to low and began adding chunks of cold butter in very slowly. Crisis averted. I thought the sauce might be too sour, but after all that butter, it was fine. After two sticks of butter, the sauce is nice and thick and velvetty. Then add grated orange zest and chopped tarragon, then season the sourness out with salt and pepper.
Plate the risotto, top with scallops, throw some chopped parsley on top and douse with butter sauce. Mmmmmm. I’m hungry right now.
Since we’re trying out Wine Tasting Tuesdays, I brought along a sparkly-ish Rose. Good pairing and a nice summer color!
Sorry for the long wait, I’m sure everyone was waiting with baited breath for the arrival of this recap. Turns out I’m not really a good or consistent blogger. What will I do with my life now?
So… Tuesday, May 15… Tandoori Chicken Night
Most of the recipes I found for Tandoori Chicken called for overnight marination, but I didn’t have that kind of time. I finally found this recipe from epicurious/gourmet that was quick and simple, although I didn’t think I could find that Vindaloo paste from Trader Joe’s. Solution: make it!
Katie happened to have all the spices needed for the vindaloo paste, so once that was made and all the skin was off the chicken, we just needed to mix up the yogurt, the vindaloo paste, mint and cilantro, plus salt and pepper. Massage onto the chicken and put in the oven for 30 min. at 500 degrees. Everyone (except me) freaked out over the high temperature, scared that the oven would explode, but all we managed to do was set off the smoke alarm with all the smoke that temperature created. 30 min. passed and the chicken was perfectly cooked and super juicy. Wow. I heard that yogurt kept the chicken moist, but this was pretty awesome for something so simple.
Chicken, Trader Joe’s brand basmati rice with dried things in it (next time, don’t make it in the rice cooker, as it was a little mushy), Trader Joe’s Palek Paneer in a box, Trader Joe’s Curry Naan and some homemade yogurt dipping sauce and it was time to eat. Super delicious and quick.
Here’s a photo of Jancy’s empty plate. Yum. Full.
My co-worker’s husband posted this on their blog.
I’ve never been to Clifton’s, but I’ve always been pretty interested in the concept and a few years ago, there was this really great article in Los Angeles magazine about it.
Anyone want to go?
DO NOT see that movie Lucky You, with Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana. Sure, he’s hot, but I wanted to punch her in the face in every scene she’s in. I’ve finally reached my limit of watching her play her Earth-Goddess, spiritual hippie self in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE. ugh. dialogue is bad, story is contrived and she was just plain annoying. I’m glad I saw it for free.
Is it an advancement or deterrent to the Asian advancement movement if an Asian “wins” on The Bachelor? It’s really a catch-22 because while I want an Asian girl to win over blonde girls in any media, is the winner of this contest really a winner?
By the way, a quick scan of The Bachelor forums revealed that he has an Asian fetish. Hmmmmmmm.