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My sister, Brooke, and I just came up with the idea of cooking out of the same cookbook.  Since I was one birthday present behind for her, I got the ball rolling by ordering her (and me) a copy of Mario Batali’s new book, Molto Batali.

My first foray into this book was good, but not great.  It was the Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Thyme.  I liked the flavors but not the preparation.  My plan is to repeat the recipe using the Cook’s Illustrated Roasted Brussels Sprouts preparation.  I will roast them with the Thyme and then after the foil comes off add the Pecorino.

Crispy salmon is simple.  Just well salted and peppered.  Cooked in a hot pan.  Finished under the broiler.  Arugula with Emeril’s basic balsamic; fresh and yummy.

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After a long week with back to back work events on Thursday and Friday, it was great to cook at home on Saturday.  We were joined by Polly & Marshall and surprise, long distance guests, Jen and Claire.  It  was great to be together with everyone.  On the menu:

BA’s Salt and Pepper Bone-In Rib Eye.  This is my go to steak and there is a good reason.  Bought the steaks from Drewes Brothers in Noe.

Mashed Potatoes with Crimini Mushrooms from Epicurious.  Followed the lead of one reviewer and added a little truffle oil.

Cook’s Illustrated Really Good Roasted Brussels Sprouts: 2.25 lbs Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved.  3 Tbs. olive oil 1 Tbs. water.  Toss Brussels sprouts, oil, water, .75 tsp. salt, .25 tsp. pepper in large bowl.  Transfer to baking sheet with sprouts face down.  Cover sheet with foil and roast for 10 minutes at 500.  Remove foil and cook another 10-12 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tuscan kale & Ricotta Salata Salad. Take out the rib from the kale, slice very thinly (chiffonade) cross-wise, toss with ricotta salata and dressing of shallot, lemon juice & olive oil.

Photos by Marshall and his sick off-camera flash skills.

Alas, after hours of cooking, largely by my mom, our meal was ready to serve.  Our friends Janet, Marshall, and Polly came to join us.  My dad treated us to two wonderful magnums of Failla wines, a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and a beautiful Pinot.

A few recipes in the mix:

  • Ina Garten’s perfect Roast Turkey carved per the instructions of the Fairway head butcher.
  • Cook’s Illustrated Really Good Roasted Brussels Sprouts: 2.25 lbs Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved.  3 Tbs. olive oil 1 Tbs. water.  Toss Brussels sprouts, oil, water, .75 tsp. salt, .25 tsp. pepper in large bowl.  Transfer to baking sheet with sprouts face down.  Cover sheet with foil and roast for 10 minutes at 500.  Remove foil and cook another 10-12 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Anne Hobbs’ fix-ahead mash potatoes:   3 potatoes (4 large) peeled and cut into chunks ½ tsp. salt 2 Tb. butter 6 oz. of cream cheese 2/3 cup sour cream ¼ cup milk ¾ tsp. salt 1 Tb. butter melted Paprika Place peeled potatoes in pan and add water to cover with salt. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer until tender. (25 minutes or so) Drain. Put in mixing bowl with the butter and mash. Add next 4 ingredients, mixing until well blended. (cream cheese needs to be at room temp). Spoon into a greased 12X8X2 baking dish. Brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with paprika. Cover, refrigerate and when ready to cook, bring to room temp. 350 degrees 30 minutes or until hot.
  • Sweet Potatoes with Sherry And Walnuts: 8 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes, about 6 medium 4 eggs beaten 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar ½ cup sherry ½ tsp. salt Chopped walnuts Combine all ingredients except walnuts, blend well. Put in greased 2 ½ quart casserole. Sprinkle on the walnuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge. Let stand for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until heated through. Serves 10-12. I roast my sweet potatoes ahead, 400 for about an hour depending on their size.
  • Pepperidge Farm Stuffing: The recipe comes on the box 🙂
  • Janet’s corn bread

We also did a vanilla icecream tasting.  North won.

I am thankful for a wonderful wife, family, friends and food.  A great Thanksgiving!