Tomato and Anchovy Butter Sauce

Tomato and Anchovy Butter SauceTomato and Anchovy Butter Sauce

My mother would have let the family starve before she’d combine butter instead of olive oil with tomatoes for pasta sauce. Tomato and Anchovy Butter Sauce? I try to keep an open mind. Here’s my cover of Bon Appetit’s recipe and it’s not bad at all.

 

Tomato and Anchovy Butter Sauce

Tomato and Anchovy Butter Sauce

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Lightly cook the anchovies and garlic in the melted butter until the anchovies dissolve. Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften.Tomato and Anchovy Butter Sauce
When the pasta is almost done add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Add the chopped herbs and mix just before serving.

New York Times – Squab: A Primer

New York Times – Squab: A Primer

New York Times - Squab: A Primer

The New York Times Food section just did an interesting illustrated article called – Squab: a Primer.

New York Times - Squab: A Primer


According to Wikipedia – squab is a young domestic pigeon, typically under four weeks old. . . It formerly applied to all dove and pigeon species. . .  More recently, squab meat comes almost entirely from domesticated pigeons. 


There’s more to pigeons than the ones raised for food and the others you see on city streets. Some people race them as a hobby. There’s also the sport of triganieri  that originated in Modena and is still practiced in New York today. And others just like the look of the fancy pigeon breeds.

New York Times - Squab: A Primer


Some pigeon facts –

A pigeon can fly as high as 6000 feet, at an average speed of 75 mph and cover 600 to 700 miles in day. They’ve passed the ‘mirror test,’ – the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. They are one of only 6 species and the only non-mammal able to do that. These facts apply to the ones you eat as well as the ones in the street.

New York Times - Squab: A Primer


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Chinese Cookbook Illustrations

Chinese Cookbook Illustrations

This is definitely worth a look if you interested in Chinese cooking. Even if you’re not, the recipe illustrations are something special.


The Illustrated Wok, a new print collection of hand-illustrated Chinese recipes from 40 chefs around the world. The book pairs each chef with an artist who produces striking and frequently surreal interpretations of the recipe.

Beef Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Beef Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Ingredients:
  • 4-5 pounds bone-in beef ribs
  • Olive oil for browning and sautéing
  • 1 cup Trinity (onions/carrots/celery)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus more
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 4 cups beef stock
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Season ribs with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown short ribs on all 6 sides. Transfer ribs to a plate. Pour off all the drippings from pot and return 3 tablespoons to the pot and use 3 for the roux.
  2. In separate pot add 3-4 tbsps. drippings and 3 tbsps. flour to make the roux. Then add the tomato paste to the roux (don’t tell any New Orleans chefs that you’re doing this). If it’s too dry add some more drippings or wine.Beef Rib Braised in Red WIne
  3. Add trinity to Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add the roux and cook, stirring until well combined. Stir in wine, then add ribs bone side up with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes.Beef Rib Braised in Red WIneBeef Rib Braised in Red WIne
  4. Add all herbs and garlic to pot. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.Beef Rib Braised in Red WIne
  5. Cook until ribs are tender, about 1 hour 45 min. Transfer ribs to a platter.
  6. Strain sauce from pot or remove herbs, garlic, onions, etc. with a spider. Mix 2 tbsps. flour with a little cold water and add to sauce. Stir until it thickens and then whisk in 2 pats of butter. Pour the sauce over the ribs and serve.

Beef Rib Braised in Red WIne

This is good with rice, spätzle or pasta.

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Family Dinner

Sunday Family Dinner

Family Dinner

A family dinner – click on the links for the recipes.


Sunday Family Dinner

Antipasto – We started with some cheese, suprasade and caponata.


Sunday Family Dinner

Sunday Gravy – It doesn’t heave to be Sunday for Sunday gravy – pasta and meat simmered in the gravy. This time it was hot pork sausage and beef short ribs.


Sunday Family Dinner

Gladiatore String-Beans – A very old recipe.


Sunday Family Dinner

Giambotta – This is a vegetable stew with a twist.


Sunday Family Dinner

Spezzatino con Piselli – The main course, veal stew with peas.


Sunday Family Dinner

Soufritte – This was one of my mother’s specialties. Her’s was made with beef heart and lungs, and calve’s liver. I use liver but with chicken hearts and sirloin.


Sunday Family Dinner

Espresso –  How else do you end a meal?


 

Baked Pasta with Peas

Baked Pasta with Peas

Baked pasta is typically made with red sauce. Baked pasta with peas is white and green with no mozzarella.

Baked Pasta with Peas

Baked Pasta with Peas

Butter 9” spring loaded pan and dust with Parmesan.
Sauce – Melt ½ stick of butter in a pot and add ¼ cup of flour and whisk until blended.  Slowly whisk in quart of milk and bring to a simmer.  Cook until thickened – whisk occasionally.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup Fontina and 1 cup Parmesan.  Add egg, whisk and taste for seasoning.  Cover & keep warm.
Place rack in upper 1/3 of 375o oven.

Baked Pasta with Peas

Put ½ of pasta mix into 9“pan and dot with ½ of the ricotta.  Put the rest of the pasta in the pan and dot with remaining ricotta and sprinkle with ¼ cup of Parmesan.
Bake for 30 min. then sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan and bake for another 10 minutes.  Place under broiler, watching closely, for a minute or so to brown top.
Let it rest for 30 minutes before removing from pan so cheese can harden.  Cut into wedges and sprinkle with parsley and mint.

Baked Pasta with Peas


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Roasted Turnip Slices

Horses and Figures in a Turnip Field by William Edward Millner

 

 

Roasted Turnip Slices

Roasted Turnip Slices

My favorite vegetable has always been fried potatoes.  Vegetables aren’t really something I’m crazy about especially if they’re braised, boiled or steamed. But roasted is another story. Roasting is almost as good as frying and roasted  turnip slices even look like French fries.

 

Roasted Turnip Slices

Roasted Turnip Slices

Preheat oven to 425o.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Peel the turnips, and cut into French fry-sized sticks, about 1/3 by 4 inches. Place into a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, paprika, onion powder to the bowl and thoroughly mix with your hands.  Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Bake in preheated oven until the done, about 20 minutes.

 


Roasted Turnip Slices

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Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce

(short ribs or flanken are beef ribs cut across the bone)

 

Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce

This sauce has an intense flavor for two reasons – first, the ribs with their collagen and marrow and second, the fond created by the meat and then the onions and tomatoes. Le fond is French for the caramelized bits of food that stick to the bottom of the pan. There’s even a very good restaurant by the name Le Fond. Deglazing removes the fond and reincorporates its flavors back into the sauce.

Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

Bring the ribs to room temperature and cut into pieces. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and brown in olive oil. Remove and set aside A fond should be beginning to form.
Add chopped onion to pan and sauté on low-medium heat. Add tomato paste and stir and coat the onions. Cook until softened and translucent.
Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

Add diced tomatoes and simmer uncovered on medium until almost dry (more fond is formed). Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan.Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

That’s not burnt – it’s fond


Add enough pasta water to thin the sauce. Return the meat, add the bay leaf and simmer on low for fifteen minutes.
Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

           after deglazing with wine                  after thinning with pasta water

Cook the pasta until almost done, drain and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Serve with grated Parmigiana.Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce
Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce

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Excerpt from Hanging Out on A Sunday Afternoon

Excerpt from Hanging Out on A Sunday Afternoon

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“Hey, Sam the knish guy is coming down from Houston Street. Let’s go get one.”
An old Jewish man named Sam passed by with his cart just about every day selling hot potato knishes. Joe got his with mustard. Mine was plain. I knew it would take the edge off of my appetite for Sunday dinner but I couldn’t help myself.
Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon
Joe said, “Let’s go back to Dom’s and get a Lime Rickey to go with this. It’s funny; I like Lime Rickeys, which you can only get in the summer, but I can’t wait for colder weather when the sweet potato guy sets up his cart on Allen Street. I love those things.”

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“I know who you mean but I’m not too crazy about sweet potatoes,” I said.
Joe paid no attention to me. He was feeling nostalgic again.

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“But what I really miss is the old guy who used to sell jelly apples all winter outside the school at three o’clock. He’d dip them in hot jelly when you ordered one so the jelly would still be hot and soft as you ate it. And if you wanted, he’d roll it in coconut – no extra charge. I haven’t had a good jelly apple since the old guy died.”

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

We ate our knishes and talked as we walked to our building. I asked Joe if he wanted to have dinner with us. He declined but said he would stop by later. We climbed the stairs and he went into his apartment as I entered my crowded kitchen where dinner was being prepared. My mother, aunt and sisters were cooking. My father, although he didn’t help except to grate enough parmigiana cheese for the meal, often seemed to find reasons to pass through just to see what was going on. When we finally sat down to eat, the dishes seemed to just keep coming. There was someone constantly getting up to bring still more in from the kitchen.
Once, a high school classmate of my older sister joined us. She wasn’t Italian and asked for a knife to cut her pasta.
My mother sometimes took offense when someone simply asked to pass the salt, saying, “Why, I didn’t put enough salt?” But this time she said, “Hon, let me show you how to twirl your fusilli on a fork.”
Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon
Dinner ended with the inevitable question, “Who wants black or brown?” meaning espresso or American coffee. As the coffee was being served there was a knock at the door. It was Joe who wanted to see if I was ready to go out.
“Come in, Joe,” my mother said. “We’re just finishing dinner. Come in and have something to eat.”
“Hello everyone,” he said as he entered the dining room, “No thanks. I just ate.”
“Well, sit down anyway and have some coffee. You know everyone here. This is my cousin Gloria from Staten Island.”

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“I remember Joe when he was a little boy,” Gloria said. “Have a piece of Blackout cake. I got it at Ebbingers on the way over.”
“Honest, I’m really full.”
“All right, sit down anyway. Somebody cut him a piece of cake to go with his coffee.”
“OK, just a little piece.” Joe knew he couldn’t win.

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon