Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Dinner with the Parents

For Channukah this year, the Thrifty Sifter and I banded together and created a menu for her parents. They could select an appetizer, a soup, a salad, an entree, and a dessert. We're talkin' real five course meal here.

Thon à la provençal was not on the menu, but after seeing my thon à la provençal entry the Sifterly Rents decided they wanted their own. While they also declined to select a soup from the menu, the rest of the meal was entirely from the plan created by the two of us.

Whilst the Thrifty Sifter and I focused on our main signature dishes (her the cobbler, me the tuna) we both helped out with the other dishes as far as prep.

The best part for me was getting a crack at her parent's kitchen which, as you can see, is pretty kick-ass.

Probably the first difference you'll notice between this and my original tuna recipe is that I'm using yellowfin here. We hit up several local grocery stores before finding a great fish and the yellowfin was the best. I'd still go for a regular tuna in the end, but this was quite tasty. 

Here I prep some tomatoes for juicing and dicing.

All lined up for the kill.

The Thrifty Sifter shows off her apron (and face).

Prepping the various ingredients for bruschetta.

Blueberries are ready for cobbling.

Kale is ready for wilting.

My evening work station. You've got tuna on the left, the rest of the ingredients right up front, and my meat glaze reducing to the right.

Yes, that is a crazy-looking chicken near the kale. No, I don't know why.

Cobbled yet not cooked.

The table set for bruschetta.

Traditional, white bean, and roasted red pepper bruschetta.

Yup, I screwed up and didn't get a picture of the finished tuna. Here are the (few) leftovers. 

And a yummy, yummy cobbler.

Your soundtrack for this entry: Default - All Over Me.

The Homemade Margherita Pizza

No, the Thrifty Sifter hasn't blogged in some time. I'm a bit upset with her over that since she has been baking up a storm the entire time. It's now up to me to document some awesome baking.

We decided to make our own margherita pizza with mushrooms and it was fan-fucking-tastic. The Thrifty Sifter and I took some classes at the Culinary Institute of America a couple of months ago. While I was learning how not to flay my own thumbs, she was learning artisinal baking, including pizza.

Since then Thrifty Sifter acquired a pizza stone and we decided to make use of it tonight. In forty minutes with pizza dough, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, mixed fresh mushrooms, and a tomato sauce of canned plum tomatoes mixed with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, you really can't go wrong.

So easy and simple (even quick), but SO tasty. We still need some practice at making it completely circular.

Your soundtrack for this entry: Danko Jones - Lovercall.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Homemade Pasta Sauce

This one is pretty easy and not too much more time than using a pre-made grocery-bought sauce. You can substitute the canned crushed tomatoes or plain sauce for fresh with tomato paste if you like.

1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh oregano, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

Preheat your sauce pan on medium high, then add olive oil until shimmering. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Mix in herbs (minus the parsley) and cook another minute or two.

Then you should add in the tomatoes. Heat until at a light simmer, then add the parsley. Cook another 10 minutes.

When ready you can add to any type of pasta. I used fresh fettuccine and sprinkled with shredded pecorino romano.  

Your soundtrack for this entry: Arkells - Oh, The Boss is Coming.