babalon: (Default)
So I made the most awesome dinner last night. Knee-weakening level awesome. And so simple!

Documenting here so I can remember how to do it for the future...
Read more... )
I sliced it thin and it was OMG perfectly rare/medium rare. Signore and I finished off a pound of it (and he's not a big meat eater). The wine was perfect and the simple sides of toast and salad set everything off nicely. (I even added a nasturtium flower to "dress up" the salad.) It helps to have great ingredients. But yeah, it turned out so incredibly good. Ahhhhh...

We ate out back in our garden, with the waterfall on one side, flowers everywhere, and the climbing rose on the other side. Windchimes provided music. A hummingbird stood in the air above us for a time and then zipped off. The new patio lights came on toward the end of the meal (twilight was starting). I can't imagine a more perfect dinner.
babalon: (Default)
Yay - it's fiddlehead season!

I'm cooking them sauteed with red onion and chopped chanterelle mushrooms, then a dash of red wine and maybe a little tomato. Serve over pasta.

I'm really looking forward to it. Yay!
babalon: (Default)
OMG - this is SUCH a fabulous incredibly yummy sauce. Wild boar, cooked until tender and shredded. OMG. SOOO FANTASTIC. Serve over Pappardelle (really wide long egg pasta - like fettucine only wider).

Ragu (courtesy of Mario Battali - the man is a GOD!):
2 onions, finely chopped
1/8 pound pancetta
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, shredded
6 bay leaves
*6 cloves
*1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
I substituted 9 juniper berries instead of *
3 1/2 pounds wild boar shoulder or butt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bottles Barolo (cheaper variants can be found at Trader Joes)
1/2 can peeled plum tomatoes
8 cups Brown Chicken Stock, recipe follows

In a large casserole, combine the onion, pancetta, and olive oil and cook over high heat until the onion is golden. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the carrot, bay leaves, cloves, and rosemary. Season well with salt and pepper, then push the aromatics to 1 side of the pot.

Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook over high heat until it is browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir it in thoroughly. Add the wine and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir them in thoroughly, then simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

Remove the meat and set aside. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it with a fork. Return the meat to the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes, until it is a nice thick ragu consistency.
babalon: (Default)
I was writing about this on a friend's LJ, and thought I would share it here:

Here's the style of pasta pot I recommend. You can get them at Target for way cheaper than the pricy calphalon ones at Amazon.
pasta pot with strainer

I use it for everything from 200 grams (a bit less than 1/2 pound of pasta) and up.

If you want really good pasta, here's some lessons I learned in Italy from my husband's sister.

The best way to cook pasta is to have *LOTS* of water boiling, so that you've got enough heatmass to *keep* boiling when you put the pasta in. The point is that you want the water to stay boiling when you put the pasta in, or regain boiling point as quickly as possible, which is why you want way more water than you "need". Also - salt raises the boiling point of water, which is a *good* thing for pasta, so put salt in the water. Don't ever put oil in the water though.

Set a timer for a minute or two before the pasta is supposed to be done. Pull out a strand or piece, cut it with a fork or with your teeth, and look if there's white on the inside. When it's cooked, that white will have disappeared and it'll be a uniform color. If you check regularly, you can pull it out as soon as it's cooked, while it's still al dente, without overcooking it. Drop it into the serving bowl, or directly into the skillet where your sauce is heating, mix it up with the sauce, and serve immediately. (Don't leave it sitting while you do other stuph.)

Since Signore is not just Italian, but Bolognese (even the Italians consider Bolognese obsessed with pasta!), I had to learn to cook pasta well.


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July 2009

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