Saturday night – 07/24/10

I think the headcount this week was 11. Some at dinner said this was the best meal so far. Not sure myself but I’m always harder on my cooking than others.

The Menu
Oven braised country style pork ribs
Rice & Lentil Pilaf
Ana’s Persian style Carrots
Roasted Baby Bok Choy
Oatmeal bread from ted_badger

Pineapple Upside-down Cake for dessert

Why this menu, notes on prep and the carrot recipe

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Lentils & Sausages

Second attempt at making this seemingly simple dish. Ted had it somewhere and I keep trying to make something close to what he had. I forgot to write down my first attempt and this one came out a bit soupy. Any way here’s what I did.

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. fat (I used bacon fat, vegetable oil would work fine)
1 lb. pork sausages
1/2 lb. lentils, picked over for non-lentil bits and rinsed
2 medium onions (or 1 large), small dice
3 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup dry vermouth
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper

How-To
Melt the fat in a large pot over high heat and brown the sausage links. Turn 1/4 turns to brown all sides. When fully browned set aside.

Lower heat to medium. Add onions, carrots & celery to remaining oil. Stir every 30 seconds or so and saute ~5 minutes until the onions are opaque. Your aim is to soften, not color.

Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

Add the vermouth. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer until most of the vermouth has evaporated.

Add the lentils, bay leaves and the chicken broth. Give it a stir. Nestle the sausages into the lentils.

Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the cover. Temp the sausages. If they are at 165°F remove and cover. Continue to cook the lentils, uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes. Taste starting at around 15 minutes. The lentils should have softened but not be mush.

Season with salt + pepper to taste. Serve 2 sausage links on top of a nice pile of lentils.

Saturday night -07/10/10

It started with carrots this week. Ted and I saw an episode of Jamie at Home where Jamie Oliver made a salad out of a rainbow of carrots. Long thin strips of carrot. Very pretty looking.

The CSA box this week contained a rainbow of carrots. Jamie’s recipe had a Mediterranean feel to me, even though he calls it Indian, so I tried to come up with a menu that fit with that.

The Menu
Turkey “Kofte”
Indian Carrot Salad
Pasta, Pesto and Peas
Grilled bread with olive oil, salt & pepper

Shortbread cookie sandwiches with a cream cheese & chocolate shard filling brushed with chocolate. Think Milano only tastier.

Notes and such under here.

Saturday night – 07/03/10

The menu this week took some time to come together. I didn’t finally figure out what I was going to make until Saturday morning. Normally I have the menu worked out several days in advance and hit the grocery store Friday after work.

Part of the difficulty has been trying to incorporate produce from our CSA box. We don’t pick that up until Thursday afternoon and it’s always interesting to see what the box holds. This week we received lovely carrots, fava beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, radishes, bok choy and basil. We also had some fennel & rainbow carrots left over from last week.

The farmer sends out a newsletter on Thursday with a description of everything. This week he included a recipe for an orzo salad which used fennel & fava beans. I’ve included the recipe under the cut below.

The Menu
Grilled chicken thighes
Oleana-style orzo salad
Grill roasted beets
Roasted rainbow carrots
Ted Bread

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert

Notes and recipe under here