Monday, August 31, 2009

Problem Solver

So... here we were several beverages into the evening, after a beautiful sunset at Montana de Oro state beach, and I was told, "Here's some halibut, can you do something with it?". Well, here is what I did.... sorry for the lack of photographic evidence, too much wine and beer was consumed...
I buttered a pyrex dish, placed the thick halibut steaks in the dish, salt & pepper, and into a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. Then Andrew finished on the grill. That's it, there was no magic formula, no secret recipe. Just simple, fresh, honest. Some perfectly grilled yellow squash, a steamed local artichoke (with lots of butter & mayo of course), some green salad, and the forementioned wine - Claiborne & Churchill Riesling and Gewurtztraminer to be exact.
What a great weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Japanese home cooking.

I saw this post on Serious Eats (after it came across on my email) and decided to give it a try. I love kara-age at the Japanese market, I figured it wasn't that hard...
I'm not much for frying usually, too messy or I don't do it right, but figured this was something I could do in my Le Creuset with not too much effort or mess. Plus the 2 nice side dishes were a bonus. I had to resort to basmati rice instead of short grain, I had pantry bugs from somewhere... I hate tossing half used bags of pasta but that's where it always starts isn't it?
The cucumber salad & green bean salad came together very quickly while I marinated the chicken, got some rice started (and cleaned out the pantry) and got some peanut oil to temperature in my pan.

The frying actually worked out well for me! I think that as long as I don't attempt my grandma's crisco fried drumsticks, I'll do fine. I can do hot wings & now these, oh and onion rings. It's just the bigger pieces of chicken that I never get right.
Paired with some American lager (couldn't justify spending the high price on Kirin at the regular grocery!), the sides & rice, it was a perfect meal for a weeknight!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dog days of summer...

Thankfully though, the summer has been fairly mild here this year (so much for global warming...). We did have a hot spell a while back, but it has been delightful, nice enough to finally get outside to enjoy it. Now that our (just turned) 11 year old is back from hanging out with his grandparents and cousins, we can get down to enjoying the last few weeks before school starts. Of course there are baseball practices & tournaments thrown in for good measure, but that has become part of the daily life around here over the last year.
I dusted off the pots and pans for this simple summery pasta that I found on Serious Eats - Sea Shells and Creamy Basil-Tarragon Pistou with Crab and Sweet Peas. Of course, shopping for the ingredients at Trader Joes limited me to fusilli instead of shells, and no tarragon (my garden did not happen for me this year, too busy...), but they have such a good price on the canned jumbo lump crab I didn't want to make more than 1 trip.

It was so easy to put together, the pistou (or pesto if you like) was easy to whip up while the pasta cooked. The guys both said this was "a keeper" and I agree, the lemon zest gave it a nice freshness and the bit of cream stirred in made it less like standard pesto. It went perfectly with our patio, some music, and our "house white", Harmony Winery Riesling.