We spent a too-short weekend in New York recently, visiting Dan’s brother Sean, his lovely wife and their adorable baby boy. We love their neighborhood in Brooklyn, partly because of the Breuckelen Restaurant, where we had an early dinner on Saturday. When you dine at Breuckelen, you can tell how much the Chef really loves food and appreciates combining quality ingredients into mini masterpieces on every plate. All of us enjoyed our meal immensely.
Month: March 2011
Weekly Menu (Mar. 26)
- BBQ Cajun Shrimp, Sauteed Okra
- Crispy Chicken Tenders with Red Pepper Relish, Skillet Potatoes, Broccolini
- Carne Asada, Rice with Roasted Poblano, Spinach & Cheese
- Asian Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops with Wild Mushroom-Soy Vinaigrette, Egg Fried Rice with Scallions
- Fish Tacos, Avocado with Chips and Salsa
Beef Stroganoff (with leftover beef)
One of the reasons we are able to cook as often during the week as we do is that we try to cook a protein that we can use in another dish later in the week — two meals out of one. I have mentioned before that I’m not a fan of leftovers, so transmogrifying the remaining protein into a different meal is my thing. As you may have seen, we recently made a delicious pot roast. It was a lot of beef for two people, so we needed a recipe for the leftover meat. I found one that was perfect for a weeknight and had the additional benefit of being reminiscent of a dish my Grandma used to make — Beef and Noodles. Grandma’s Beef and Noodles is not something we’ve ever attempted to make, and I’m not even sure an actual recipe exits. It’s one of those magical meals that the creator just knows how to make, and hopefully someone has been able to witness it enough times to re-create it. My mom watched and learned, but only makes it for special occasions because the men in our family have been known to gorge on it to the point of near-sickness. It’s seriously that good. This stroganoff recipe is a close enough second that it brought up many fond memories of Grandma (yet not SO good that Dan ate himself sick.) We’ll work on learning Grandma’s Beef and Noodles, but in the meantime, this stroganoff is a decent substitute and a great use of leftover pot roast.
Veal Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad
Whenever we have an exceptional and memorable meal at a restaurant, we like to attempt to recreate the dish at home. This recipe is one of our most successful attempts thus far. We discovered the dish at Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse in Houston. Pretty much every summer for the past several years, we travel to Houston to attend what we affectionately dubbed the “Baseball Extravaganza” weekend with my parents, who are huge Astros fans. The Extravaganza involves a night game on Saturday and day game on Sunday, with two nights lodging at a wonderful hotel — the baseball-themed, but still-surprisingly-classy Inn at the Ballpark, which is located right across the street from Vic and Anthony’s. For many years, the steakhouse was not open on Sunday nights, so we would longingly pass it on our way to other restaurants downtown after the Sunday games. But the planets aligned for us a couple of Extravaganzas ago and we found ourselves lucky to finally be enjoying a meal at this elegant dining establishment. (FYI, their website now indicates they are open on Sundays, so this year’s Extravaganza will most likely include a visit.) It was a memorable meal — or at least mine was, to me — I don’t remember what anyone else had to eat, but my “veal chop milanese” was amazing. It was one of those dishes that is so good you insist everyone else at the table have a taste (but not too big of a bite!) So I was absolutely thrilled when Dan found a similar recipe in his Michael Symon cookbook. Symon’s recipe is a little more complex than the average weeknight dish, but it’s worth it on a weekend or weeknight when you are craving a unique presentation of baby cow.
Company Pot Roast
We’re not sure why, but pot roast is not something we cook very often. In fact, this may be the first time we’ve ever made it. Maybe it’s because we don’t eat a lot of red meat. Or because I never thought I really liked pot roast (turns out I do.) But I happened to catch an episode of the Barefoot Contessa’s cooking show when she made her “Company Pot Roast,” and I was intrigued. It seemed like a pretty easy recipe that would be perfect for a Sunday evening. We didn’t have any company to share the pot roast with us on the night we made it, so I thought the leftover beef would be good in another dish later that week (turns out I was right.) Hint: the dish involves beef, noodles and creamy sauce — stay tuned for the post later this week! Continue reading “Company Pot Roast”
Weekly Menu (Mar. 19)
- Cheese Plate
- Pork Kebabs and Rice
- Seared Scallops with Sweet and Spicy Sauce and Spicy Green Beans
- Chicken Fettucini Alfredo (with leftover chicken) and Salad
Stuffed Pork Chops
I’m always looking for good pork chop recipes, probably because I seldom find any that we love enough to repeat. But I finally found one that could be a contender. We adapted this pork chop dish from this recipe on the Epicurious website. We’ve mentioned Epicurious before — it’s a great, user-friendly site with tons and tons of recipes. The “user rating” and review features of the site are so helpful and provide tips and feedback from other people who have cooked the recipes. For example, several reviewers of this pork chop recipe mentioned that they substituted panko for the cubed bread and suggested putting a little extra stuffing around the chops in the baking dish. We followed both of these tips and the pork chops turned out great.
Homemade corned beef. Three months ago that may have been an outlandish idea, but after tackling duck breast prosciutto and our own bacon, corned beef really didn’t seem so intimidating. As we have mentioned, we are participating in Charcutepalooza, which is a year- long monthly effort to try different charcuterie challenges, organized by the amazing Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The Yummy Mummy. This month’s challenge was brining, and we decided to tackle corned beef. I unfortunately do not have lifelong memories to share of “Mom’s corned beef” — I grew up in a household of German ancestry in Central Pennsylvania, and corned beef was never on the menu. It wasn’t until I moved to Pittsburgh for law school that I encountered my first Proper Deli, and there, my first Real Corned Beef. I love it, but I have become a complete and utter snob for corned beef and have had a tough time finding good corned beef since I moved to Dallas. Could homemade corned beef be the solution? (**spoiler alert** YES!)
Weekly Menu (Mar. 12)
- Dinner Out
- Company Pot Roast, Smashed Potatoes
- Escarole Salad with Bacon and Poached Eggs
- Thawed Green Chile Chowder
- Beef Stroganoff (with leftover pot roast), Baguette with Herbed Butter and Radishes
- Italian Fish with Tomatoes and Olives, Garlic Pasta
Earlier this fall, when we had lemons from our Meyer lemon tree, we experimented with recipes using lemons as one of the main ingredients. We consulted one of our cooking heroes’ most recent cookbooks — the Barefoot Contessa’s “How Easy is that?” and found a recipe that was as easy as it was lemony and delicious. (Bonus — the link to the recipe includes video of the Barefoot Contessa on the Today Show.) The original recipe calls for chicken breasts, but we usually prefer chicken thighs over breasts because we like the flavor better and thighs are almost impossible to overcook. Considering how the chicken got crispy on the outside without drying out on the inside, we may try this recipe with chicken breasts next time. Continue reading “Lemon Chicken”