Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Red Headed Steak and Roasted Veggies

I'm calling this one the Red Headed Steak because it's basically just a steak and I wanted to spice it up. While I myself am a red head, this steak literally is, too, as it's seasoned licentiously with red pepper flakes.

This one was a quickie as I was still cat sitting Tricky the Cone Head.

This dish started out with a 400 degree preheated oven and some mixed veggies tossed in salt, fresh ground black pepper, and olive oil. Here I had young, fresh asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower (with some carrot tops). Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.

While the veggies are a-roastin', give ye olde steak a nice seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper as well. Then apply a volcano god's portion of crushed red pepper flakes. I mean, you want to rival Mount Aetna on this puppy. Well, I do anyway. 

When the veggies are about 25 minutes through cooking, pre-heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and, when shimmering, lay that bad-boy steak on. I give it about two minutes per side. 

Alongside this I toasted up a couple of thick, delicious slices of sourdough bread. Those I topped with some shredded parmesan and, while I was at it, decided to put some shredded parmesan on top of the veggies, too. 

And no, I don't tend to trim the fat from the side. I like the flavour it adds and cut around it. If the recipe really called for trimming the fat, I would, and in cases where I have guests who I know prefer not to have fat on their chops, well, I'm an abiding host. 

Your soundtrack for this entry: Normandie - Bomber.

Also, I've redone and begun using my old web site Axes & Alleys. I don't promise that it will be frequently updated yet, but that's the aim.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Chicken with Mirepoix, Yukon Potatoes, and Green Beans

Yesterday I had a great ride through Astoria. It was our first nice weekend day in seven or eight months. Still chilly...not quite warm enough for kickball, but good for a ride. Half the ride was documented from my Instagram account. If you see things of interest and photograph same with pre-selected filters created by others applied to them, feel free to friend me.

After the ride, which I chose over the gymnasium 'cause being stuck inside to exercise when it's that great outside is dumb, I wanted a healthy dinner. Knowing I had the ingredients for mirepoix in the house and having not made chicken in a while, my decision was made! Stumbled upon a bag of yukon gold, blue, and red skin potatoes. Completed the meal with green beans!

- one small yellow onion, diced
- two medium carrots, diced
- two celery ribs, diced
- two tablespoons unsalted butter
- two tablespoons fresh thyme
- half pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- one cup of green beans, trimmed and halved
- four cloves of garlic, minced
- one cup of sauvignon blanc
- half cup chicken stock
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Minus a few details, any photograph of mirepoix you see will look essentially like this. 

Here I pre-heated my oven to 400, coated the potatoes in fresh thyme and olive oil,  coated with salt and pepper, and put in the oven for about 35 minutes. These are obviously small potatoes. While I was cooking these I prepared the rest of the meal.

I always want to shout "GREEN BEANS!!!" when I'm done prepping. Much like I shout "TOAST!!!" when I hear the toast pop up. 

My cast iron skillet is well-seasoned, but I wanted to get some buttery flavour in there. 

Once I melted the butter, I added some seasoned (in salt and pepper) boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Now, I've heard that the chicken "cutlet' is a terminology peculiar to New York City or New England. If any experts out there would like to let me know the distribution and origin of the term "chicken cutlet" in comments, it would be much appreciated. 

Browning the chicken on the other side. 

Remove chicken, deglaze with the wine, then add the chopped mirepoix. 

Steamed the hell out of these green beans. Put the minced garlic underneath, then covered for 15 minutes over simmering water. 

After 15 minutes, add the chicken back to the skillet. Cook an additional ten minutes. 

When you're done, you have a beautiful, flavourful, healthy meal prepared in less than 40 minutes.

Your soundtrack for this entry is: SABABA - Pelvic Exam.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Paul Sorvino Carbonara

For years I've said that Paul Sorvino and I are pretty close. I dated his daughter Mira for six months in 2005, we opened a restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC way back in 2007, and he still comes over for dinner on occasion. Just like last night.

When I told Paulsy that the Thrifty Sifter was out of town and I wanted to make some carbonara, he came calling and helped me put dinner together.

The first thing I did is get some bacon, which I haven't touched in 16 years.

The Thrifty Sifter's kitty, Tricky, has a fancy cone on his head to prevent him from licking a wound on his butt. You can see how effective that is above. 

Paul is so helpful, he even had a package of dry spaghetti created just for me!

Yeah, bacon. I know it's hip now, but it's still really good. This is some thick cut pig belly. 

I mixed up a pair of eggs with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Which Paulsy helped me shred. 

Some fresh garlic and parsley.  

Cooking up some bacon and garlic in olive oil. 

Mix that cooked spaghetti (you should've been cooking it) in with that great bacon flavour. 

Since it was a boys' night out, we cracked open an chill bottle of Cellar No. 8 Pinot Grigio

The final product was tasty, smokey, porky, and enjoyed by me, Paulsy, and Tricky.

Your soundtrack for this entry: Arkells - No Champagne Socialist