Category Archives: Dinner

Red Light Green Light

There are TWELVE days of Christmas – all of you ever so eager to put those lights UP in November, don’t be in such a hurry to take them down – keep ‘em around at least until the 6th of January, the Feast of the Epiphany. That’s the day the Three Wise Guys, um, I mean Wise Men, finally get to the party. And let’s face it – January could use some low key good times, not to mention a little more light.

As for the red light….

Beets.

beetroot

Can’t beat them, so just enjoy them.

Last summer I used fresh tomatoes in salads and uncooked sauce for pasta. Once I found one recipe for uncooked tomato sauce, it seems as if there were thousands.

Or at least several.

Lidia!

lidia_bastianich_2014

Lidia Bastianich

Marian Morash!

vgcb

 

Total stranger from somewhere else!!

Newspapers and magazines…..

So when I got a new Italian cookbook (much of the Italian being American chefs in Italian restaurants…and the Italian cooking was restaurant cooking too.)

italian_intermezzo

 

AND

It came with music. To cook and dine with Italian music. The music was the deal-breaker.

As I was listening to Ciribiribin

– not to be confused with Chili Bean

 

I found yet another variation on the uncooked tomato sauce, but this one had a twist.

The variation called for beets.

RED LIGHT

That were cooked. For 1 1/2 hours.

Which is very different from uncooked. Or tomatoes.

So I really don’t know how this qualifies as a variation and not a whole new recipes.

BUT

I had beets….

GREEN LIGHT

So I scrubbed them, tossed them with a little olive oil and roasted them in a 350 oven for 90 or so minutes until they were tender.

I took them out of the oven and put some water on for the pasta…..

Alton Brown has embraced the cold water method for cooking pasta….

abeverydaycook

 

Cold water pasta is another post.

Anyhow,

While the pasta cooked

farfalle_pasta

Farfalle – butterflies!

I peeled the beets and cut them into a dice. Tossed with some olive oil wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Also some minced parsley and a little rosemary.

Added with the now cooked pasta and some ricotta, a 1/2 cup or so of the pasta water. Stir, taste, adjust, EAT.

It was pink…..and it was good.

It was NOTHING like the uncooked tomato sauce.

But it was delicious.

It was also good re-heated the next day.

 

 

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Filed under Books, Dinner, Italian, Recipe, winter

Down the Tubes

Tubular pastas, that is.

I went into the sandwich shop, and they had a supper special – meatball or eggplant with ziti.

Ziti_(cropped)

This is what I’m looking for.

I looked in the case and I could see the meatballs and the eggplant…

and a big tray of penne.

Penne_all'arrabbiata

This is what I see – can you see that they’re not quite the same?

And then I was confused – where’s the ziti?  It turns out it was right THERE, even though it was penne and not really ziti .

Am I getting too picky in my old age? Is there a difference between the two?

Back to the books…

.

Pastabydesign

Pasta by Design by George L. Legendre, 2011.

and

geometry of pasta

Geometry of Pasta Caz Hildebrand & Jacob Kenedy, 2010

 

   Penne:

Dimensions:

Length: 2.12 in.

Width: 0.4 in

Wall thickness: 1mm

Synonyms – mostacciolo (little mustaches); mostaccioloi rigati; penne a candela, penne di natale/natalini; penne di ziti/zitoni, pennoni

They are hollow cylinders with the ends cut at an angle (like a quill pen)…..

penne,_cooked_and_uncooked800px

“Penne should not be confused with Italian ziti, but they often are. In the States, a popular dish of baked pasta referred to as “baked ziti” is in fact made from either the much shorter penne …or American ziti – tubular pasta like smooth rigatoni.p.194 Geometry of Pasta.

According to Past By Design :“A versatile pasta, penne rigate (grooved quills) come from Campania, in southern Italy, and belong to the pasta corta (short pasta) family.” p. 124.

Penne_custom-Geometry of Pasta

Penne in Geometry of Pasta

 

 Ziti

Dimensions

Length: 2 in.

Width: 0.4 in

Wall thickness: 1.25 mm

Similar form: ziti candelati

“Intrinsically Neapolitan, ziti cannot be separated from marriages. The word in fact means “the betrothed” or “the bridegroom”, and ziti are invariably served as the first course of a wedding lunch.” p. 282 Geometry of Pasta

ziti napolean

 

“A pasta reserved for banquets and special occasions, ziti (‘grooms’ or ‘brides’ in Italian dialect) originate from Sicily. Tradition has it that they should be broken by hand before being tossed into boiling water.”)p. 196.Pasta By Design

and since we’ve going down the Tubes…..

Rigatoni

Dimensions:

Length:1.8 in.

Width: 0.6 in.

Wall thickness: 1mm

(PBD – “Members of the pasta corta (short pasta) branch, and originally from southern Italy,….p. 148.)

rigatoni_geo ofpasta

Rigatoni from the Geometry of Pasta

By the way – the PENNE was delizio!

 

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Filed under Dinner, Italian

For Calling Birds

When I was younger I thought they were collie birds – dog birds as it were …

Lassiebw

Lassie – best collie EVAH – just add some wings to make her a bird…..

Hey – there are Catbirds and Bird Dogs, aren’t there?

Green_Catbird_-_Lamington_NP_-_Queensland_

Green Catbird of Australia

birddog330px-English_Setter

English Setter trained as a bird dog

Bird_Dog_single_cover

Bird Dog was also a hit single for the Everly Brothers the year I was born

 

Calling birds isn’t much clearer

tweety.bird.aminated.phone.and.alarm.clock

Tweety Bird on a combination phone/alarm clock.

In some versions of the song, they’re colly birds, which just might be a black bird, colly another word for black, being related to coal, which brings us back to the collie dogs who herded sheep with noses that were black like coal…

4-calling-birds

Colly or calling, these birds have it covered

There were no birds of any other kind at my sister’s table Xmas day. We just don’t do turkey or goose for Xmas; we’re a lasagna/stuffed shells/manicotti kind of crowd

There were 4 generations of family, all present and accounted for, 30 some odd altogether.

There was food, glorious food.

I had my list to pack and take:

Cinnamon Rolls (Grandma B’s recipe made by her grandson); Shrimp Rings; Sweet Potato Chips and Marshmallow dip and Dunkin Donuts  coffee & ½ and ½ (notice how much is store boughten – and I didn’t really make the cinnamon rolls, I just provided space and equipment, and there were issues with each this year, just to keep things interesting. The next time I make the dip I’mma gonna try cream cheese instead of the sour cream, a suggestion/variation that came up at the table, but with so many talking about soooo much, I’ve lost track of who, but sounds great.)

None of this food was lonely when it got to the party….

There were charmellas and cannoli, although the cannoli had chopped nuts on one end and mini chocolate chips on the other, so they seemed to be trying a little too hard. Not that it slowed down their consumption any.

italian-cookies-0081

Charmella

cannoli

Nuts or chips – or melted chocolate dipped in chopped nuts

There were sugar cookies made from the package because that’s what we used to make, back in the dim dark ages, and no one is particularly fond of them (there is one brother who is a noteworthy exception) but we all expect them to be there and we all had one. Or two as the afternoon wore on…because it would be not quite as Christmassy without them;

sugar-cookiesPillsbury

The infamous cut out sugar cookie of our youth. Which is why we still need to have it.

The Santas had spread out to almost life-size size in baking

sugar cookie santa Pillsbury

Much MUCH bigger then a hand…the heads were almost head size

and the candy canes were

HUGE.

sugarcookie candy cane Pills

These are what they were supposed to be – but they spread out MUCH MUCH larger. And still we ate them.

We’re blaming on the unseasonably warm weather…we had a serious conversation about turning on the AC Xmas day. We didn’t, but it was an option. Almost everyone mentioned that they weren’t wearing what they had planned, but something more LESS.

There were also oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies, and cookies with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries mixed together, a gingerbread house made for eating…..there was a point where I couldn’t see the other end of the table and I didn’t care…..Pies, lemon meringue and pumpkin and homemade  arrived and were made welcome.

It wasn’t all sugar….there was fruit, too. Covered in chocolate…..

edible arrangements boxes

Oh, yes.

But it wasn’t just sugar

Nonnie meatballs and sausages, made ahead and kept warm in a slow cooker.

Pulled pork (a new addition and very nice, very nice indeed) in a slow cooker – my sister is a genius! (She takes after me.)

Calzones – chicken, cold cut – something with peppers….I was saving room for the

Lasagna – and a bowl of sauce. Excellent Lasagna, not too cheesy, not to meaty, not too soggy noodlely – everything just right and very nice indeed. The sauce was also a good dip for the chips…..

This is just what I remember and not a complete list.

santa headband

It was not too hot for Santa headbands

and as for for calling turkey birds:

ClifftBoxCalls002

Hand made turkey call by Robert Clifft in Bolivar, Tenn. His Shop is called: ‘The Last Call’ . I read about him in my new  Xmas cookbook  Smoke & Pickles by  Edward Lee. More about Smoke & Pickles later……

 

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Filed under Christmas, Dinner, Holiday

Shore Dinner

See Food. Sea Food. See Food.

clara_peeters-eggs

This painting and the header image are both Clara Peeters paintings – both painted between 1635 and 1640 in Holland

Shore Dinner, 17th century Dutch style – Lobster, crab, shrimp, butter and cheese, eggs and salt, bread and rusk.

Some sort of dipping sauce in the saucer.

Beer, in the bowl (I’m assuming this – but it goes with this meal.)

Life is good, even still life.

This is an American lobster - lobsters in the paintings are European lobsters

This is an American lobster – lobsters in the paintings are European lobsters

This is a European lobster on the rocks

This is a European lobster on the rocks

This is Rock Lobster, the type of lobster you might expect to find in Plymouth, what with the rock and all...

This is Rock Lobster, the type of lobster you might expect to find in Plymouth, what with that Rock and all…

Crabbe or Lopster boiled.

Take a crabbe or a lopster, and stop him in þe vente with on hire clees, and seth him in water, and no salt; or elles stoppe him in þe same maner, and cast him in an oven, and bake him, and serue him forth colde. And his sauce is vinegre.

(Take a crab or lobster and stop him in the vent with her own claws, and seeth him in water, and no salt; or else stop him in the same manner, and cast him in an oven, and bake him, and serve him forth cold. And his sauce is vinegar).

Basically – keep the creature from hurting you and get him in some hot water pronto OR  – and unless you have a woodfired oven, preferably outdoors –  toss him into a hot oven until done.)

Warning – the lobster will have a few moments of being able to wander for the oven version – don’t try this in an electric or gas fixture, even a small chicken lobster could harm your appliance with those claws.

– Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.

this recipe (and many more!) from the webpage All Goode Cookery Recipes

  • Vinegar is a good sauce – vinegar mixed with fresh ground pepper is also good.
  • Mustard is also good on sea food and keeps things balanced in a 17th century sort of way.

Today’s post is fueled by a Sea Salt Carmel Latte at Kisakdee Coffee Company

I took this from flickr - the sea salt makes the foam a little wrinkly, but GOOD

I took this from flickr – the sea salt makes the foam a little wrinkly, but GOOD

I'm at the table just inside the window on the chair side - hearing the country (ish) band playing next door and watching the Harleys on parade - and at parade rest as the riders go in to the bar next door with the band...

I’m at the table just inside the window on the chair side – hearing the country (ish) band playing next door and watching the Harleys on parade – and at parade rest as the riders go in to the bar next door with the band…

 

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Filed under Dinner, Recipe, Summer