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Coq au Vin, Rooster in Wine, was my choice this year to make for Robin, my wife of almost 40 years, and Marnie, my daughter. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes some ambition and time. But it is well worth it. Delicious!
Just a few suggestions. Prep your ingredients first. I suggest paper bowls for your prep work. Take your time and don’t rush through this. If you are thinking of using an Instant Pot, try, instead, a large cast-iron skillet, at least 2″ deep and a glass lid, you can’t watch the cooking through a solid lid. The dish takes almost a constant vigil.
I used a package of frozen Pearl Onions instead of fresh ones that I would have to peel; heirloom carrots instead of the orange ones; Courvoisier Cognac instead of brandy; dried morel mushrooms reconstituted in the wine used for the dish instead of button mushrooms; pork belly cut into strips instead of bacon and for the beurre manie, I just added to the oil in the pan some flour for thickening. For the chicken, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The original recipe, Julia Child’s, calls for you to cut up a chicken. (Still had to skin and de-bone the thighs.)
And this really needs to be emphasized: Watch your temperatures and don’t burn the sauce. Keep the liquid level just covering the chicken – use chicken stock, not broth, if necessary – and use a medium to low simmer temperature.
In my opinion, the dish has enough vegetables in it. So I did not use asparagus or rice to serve with it. I also served it with a dish of fresh cut fruit. Marnie had a Red Velvet Cake for dessert Try this and let us know what you think. We loved it.
Here are two meals we made. The first is probably one of the best alfredo sauces I have ever eaten. Not “gummy” with cheese, but rather clean and smooth. Shrimp went very well with the sauce. The second is an “Old Persons Meal”, of sorts. Fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes with pan dripping gravy and garden green beans. Enjoy these.
The recipe calls for penne pasta, but we didn’t have any. So we used linguini which worked very well. The shrimp really added to the dish – you could probably use any seafood, scallops, lobster or Dungeness crab might be good, or other protein. Use your imagination.
The Alfredo was smooth and creamy and not grainy. It added to the shrimp we used and did not conflict with it. Several flavor levels came through that were delicious.
I have had problems when frying chicken, but this one seems to have over come that flaw. I added some baking powder to the flour that I used to coat the chicken and beaten egg to dredge the chicken in before the flour. We also made sure the chicken was dry before dredging. Cook slowly over medium high heat for about 5 minutes per side, taking care not to burn the chicken. Start cooking skin side down. We always use thighs, or second joints if you are on the East coast, bone-in and skin on.
The gravy was made from the pan drippings to which we added some flour and some wine. Made sure that was all mixed then added some half and half and completely combined to make the smooth gravy. It was delicious.
So there are two more meals from this past week. Next thing I am trying is Coq au Vin, Rooster in Wine. Probably not as good as Julia Child would do, but good nonetheless. Stay tuned and Good Eating!
Actually I have never made either of these dishes before, so this was an exciting trip! The idea for the kielbasa dish came from Rachael Ray, but I radically changed some of the ingredients by adding additional spices and herbs and eliminating others. The sauerkraut, for instance, was to be one with cumin and caraway and if you could not find one like that, adjust it by adding a “scant” teaspoon each. I went to a 2 teaspoons each and it was wonderful. I also added turmeric and Riesling wine. I guess that’s the German in me. Here is the recipe for our CS Kielbasa and Pierogi Combo dinner – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Kielbasa-Pierogi-Combo.pdf
The second dish we made, my wife Robin came up with this one, I definitely have never made. It takes some time and effort, but I think well worth it. It’s basically, ground pork, not sausage, fresh ginger and garlic, Shoyu soy sauce (Japanese) and green onions wrapped in wonton pastry. Care must be taken when frying these and not burn them. They should be a light brown color. Here is the recipe for these – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Pork-Wontons.pdf.
So there you have two more dishes to try. The wontons might just make a good appetizer or “tailgate food” for a sporting event. Enjoy!
No. Not all at the same time, except for one dish which is a combination of two items. But first, let’s talk about lamb. Many people don’t like lamb and I can appreciate that. But I’m not so sure that folks are confusing lamb and mutton, which come from the same animal. Here are some differences from masterclass.com. Hope this helps. It’s mostly about time.
Mutton and lamb are two types of meat from sheep at different life cycle stages. Here are the main differences between the two types of red meat:
Age: The key difference between mutton and lamb meats is the animal’s age. While mutton refers to the meat of an older animal (typically around three years old), lamb is the meat of a young animal (often around a year old).
Flavor: Lamb is a younger animal, so the meat hasn’t had time to develop as much flavor—thus, it is milder with a faint, grassy flavor. Alternatively, mutton comes from an older sheep with more fat and muscles, giving it a strong, gamey flavor similar to goat, venison, or wild boar.
Preparation: Due to its toughness, mutton tastes best when cooked slowly, which you can do using a slow cooker, slow-roaster, or meat smoker. In Kentucky, chefs sometimes use the mutton of older sheep for barbecuing. Lamb, however, is a tender cut of meat that benefits from a range of cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, and braising.
Texture: Mutton comes from older sheep that have had more time to develop dense muscles and fat content, resulting in tough meat that can be dry or chewy. Conversely, lamb hasn’t had the time to develop much connective tissue, so the meat is often more tender and moist.
This is a wonderful dish which is fruity and a delicious way to prepare lamb chops. Especially thick cut ones. We get our lamb from Meadowlark Farms in Nampa, ID. The beets – home grown -, Harvard Beets, is from a recipe that Robin came up with and they are wonderful. You can find her recipe at Robin’s Harvard Beets. This makes a wonderful dinner and is a great paring. Any good, jammy Zinfandel will pair well with the lamb. We used a Once & Future Zinfandel (Joel Peterson)
Once again. A delicious Asian type Panko Sesame Shrimp with Broccoli. The photo shows broccolini. That’s all we had so we used it. I think broccoli florets, as the recipe calls for, would be much better. Broccolini tends to be a little “woody” and can be hard to eat. The original recipe called for ginger powder – I changed it to fresh grated ginger and also added some garlic cloves.
The next recipe I want to try is adapted from Rachael Ray, Kielbasa and Pierogi Tray Bake. Problem is, I am having a hard time locating frozen potato pierogis. She used red, yellow and orange peppers, but Robin can not “handle” those peppers, so I have changed it to Poblanos. She has no problem with Poblanos. I also will change the high hot pepper level to 4 drops of Sriracha, which should “tame” the dish, somewhat. We are not particularly fond of hot, spicy foods – Carolina Reapers, habanera or Thai Chilies – so we tend to go light on those hot spices. But you can adjust to your liking when I get the recipe complete.
Sorry for the long delay in getting articles or recipes posted. It’s been a crappy Fall, but things are returning to normal now. I will create this post, as I have done in the past with all posts, with a good description of the dish and a link to the recipe that we have created. Most of the recipes, however, are original only to the point that we have altered the original recipe to fit our needs. Most of the recipes presented here and on this blog, have a note attached to them “Source: adapted from (some other recipe)“. At least then, you know where you can find the original recipe. Please, as in the past, feel free to use and try any recipe presented and let us know how it came out and if you liked it or not.
Let’s start with a great soup. Did you ever see the movie Tortilla Soup? Well here is the recipe for that soup, Tortilla Soup http://www.rockinrs.com/Tortilla-Soup.pdf. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of it. This is fun to make – you can make it as spicy as you want – and great eating. We love it!
And to start the main course off, how about Roasted Prime Rib of Beef? Really easy to do, but be sure you follow the cooking directions exactly. Recipe – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Prime-Rib.pdf. This recipe calls for an herb butter and we used our Herb de Provence, http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Herbs.pdf. Use it liberally and mix well with room temperature butter. I even went so far as to, after adding the herb butter and salt, to dry brine this in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Came out great!
And here is a great leftover prime rib dish, Leftover Prime Rib Beef Stroganoff. (recipe – http://www.rockinrs.com/Leftover-Beef-Stroganoff.pdf) The original recipe called for Baby Portabella mushrooms, but we had some dried Morel mushrooms collected this past Fall and I reconstituted them in a little vodka and used some of the liquid in the sauce.
Total time to make this dish is about 20 minutes, not counting preparing the egg noodles or rice. If you would prefer not to use noodles, you can always use rice. If you use rice, I would probably use Basmati or Jasmin. Either way, we loved this and will make it again. Delicious flavors and easy to do. I even had someone tell me they have made a similar stroganoff with leftover meat loaf.
For the last of the prime rib, you can also make a delicious and scrumptious Prime Rib Soup. This is almost a one pot meal. Hearty with the barley in it. Great on a cold winter day. Just takes some time to make, about 3 hours and 15 minutes. But well worth it. Great herb combination in it. Here is the recipe – http://www.rockinrs.com/Prime-Rib-Soup.pdf
It takes a little time, but well worth it. The barley is really a great addition. That pretty much uses up the prime rib leftovers. But, there are 3 different meals from this cut of beef.
This is a big, hearty meal that will satisfy most big appetites. The speck gives a wonderful flavor the the spaetzle a great texture. We used a store bought spaetzle because I don’t have a spaetzle maker. We bought the spaetzle and the speck from a German shop here in Boise.
A great shortbread treat full of toasted pecan bits, almond extract and a little rum, that is not in the recipe. I don’t usually do this, but our neighbor has a cookie business and they are good. Her business name isCrumb by devlyn and can be reached at (910) 405-4718 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org (No. I made the shortbread cookies!)
Enjoy these dishes. They are all good and worth a try. gutes Essen in German or biadh math is Gaelic. That covers my heritage.
We came across this recipe from two different sources, one was Chef Jacques Pepin, and then we adjusted both recipes to make this one. It was delicious! We added a little chervil (French parsley) and Herbs de Provence, which we blend ourselves. We also added a little ground pork. Next time, too, I may add some diced garlic cloves. It is missing in this recipe, excerpt for the Garlic Toast (Acme Bakeshop Sourdough).
The other item that you may want to contemplate is the type of Passata – tomato sauce – you use. I like Cento Traditional, but I also like Rao’s Traditional and Mutti. Any of these are good, but if you prefer to use your own that you have made from all those seasonal Roma or San Marzano, then do so. Please though, when you puree the sauce, leave the skins on.
This is by far one of the best CS Brisket that I have made in a long time. Perfect smoke ring and awesome flavors using the rub that is included in the recipe. I love it in sandwiches – pictured here – or just to “nibble” on. It takes some time, but is well worth itt. Just remember to use a very sharp knife to slice it thin, almost shaved. Give it a try.
Now don’ let the name of this dish fool you. This is one awesome chicken dinner. Try it! You’ll like it! (*Left-Click these photos to see them enlarged.) IP Chicken with Ketchup, Honey and Soy. And if there are any leftovers, it makes a great chicken/rice soup.
IP Chicken with Ketchup, Honey and Soy
And when you get done with the main dish and you have these wonderful leftovers, try some Chiken/Rice Soup. Delicious!
The time really has come. We are supposed to stay “self quarantined” and restrict our travels and public “contact”. Robin and I try to practice this and, I think, we are succeeding. With that in mind, think about creating a “Victory Garden”. We have no grass to mow in the front yard – it is mostly herbs and flowers. More herbs than flowers. And I have some pots going in flowers, Pansies right now, but there will be more and a pot of micro greens. You really can grow squash or zucchini or tomatoes or cucumbers or beans and the list goes on and on. Use your imagination. And then grow it. It will help to keep you home and away from the store and the crowds. Here is some information on growing edible flowers and some suggestions. You can print these out for your use. Left Click the graphic and then CTRL+P to print. (Zucchini and squash flowers can be picked and stuffed.)
Some edible Flowers
Spinach and Rainbow Chard for pots is a good idea. Healthy too!
Here are some things we have made with edible flowers and vegetables grown in pots.
I love it when I hear of a new food item. New to me, at least. Hamantash Cookies is just that. Thanks to my friend Joe Levitch for mentioning them. An so I search.
Hamantash cookies are associated with the Jewish Festival Purim. The Purim cookie is, “… all associated with the Purim story involving a bad guy name Haman, a Jewish lady named Esther, and her victory over his plot to destroy the Jewish People. The cookie is shaped to resemble the three corners of Haman’s hat. Purim is the name of the festival and both Hamantaschen and Oznei Haman are derived from his name.” [Veenaazmanov]
Jelly Filled Hamantash Cookies for Purim
And from the NY Times, “Early versions of the cookies were more commonly known as oznei Haman, meaning “Haman’s ears.” The late Jewish food historian Gil Marks’ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food traces that phrase — but not the cookie — to the Roman scholar and poet Immanuel ben Solomon (c.1261-1328) who, thanks to “a misinterpretation arising from the medieval Italian custom of cutting off a criminal’s ear before execution,” argued that Haman’s ears had been cut off after he was hanged, at the end of the Purim story.”
And Purim is, “Purim is one of the most fun holidays celebrated by the Jewish people, but is often under recognized. Purim (held on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar — usually March or April) commemorates the day Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jewish people from execution by Haman, the advisor to the Persian king.” Purim this year is March 10, 2020.
Here is a recipe for the cookies. It looks like there are many. Enjoy! Hamantash Cookies