Sunday, November 30, 2008


"They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;"

One of my favorite stanzas from "The Owl and The Pussycat" that nonsensical and delightrful poem.

Quirky shaped, but with an intoxicating fragrance, quinces are a real challenge to work with, they are all but impossible peel and core. A little roasting time helps to bring the little stinkers into submission.

2 pounds of quince about 8)
1 cup golden raisins
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large clove of gfarlic, minced
1/4 cup minced frsh ginger
2 Tablespoons of mustard seed
1 Tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar

Roast the quince in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour, let them slightly before continuing.

Quarter the quinces and cut the core out.

Add the quince and the rest of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed kettle and cook until soft and syrupy, 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
Really good with roasted fowl such as duck and goose. I plan to use it with rack of lamb for a holiday dinner.

Brussel Sprouts

I took this idea for Brussel Sprouts from Open Source Food. I couldn't find the original post on that site, so this is an approximation, I know the original recipe also included peas, which I deleted. I found it to be a delicious winter vegetable dish.

1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and blanched

2 Tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup diced ham

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1/4 cup sliced shallot

salt and pepper

Saute the ham, carrot slices, and shallot over medium heat until the vegetables are browned and caramelised, about 5 minutes.

Add the brussel sprouts and lower the heat, continue cooking until the brussel sprouts are tender.

Season, taste and serve.

Open Source Food is group of food bloggers that I belong to, and if you love beautiful food you must visit it. A truly international group of bloggers. There are lots of Asians, with stunning photographs and recipes. Many Spanish, Eastern Europeans, and Americans are also represented.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Dinner-Italian Beef

Staff meal in many restaurants is often called called "family dinner". And if you've ever worked in a small business you know how the personal dynamics of the employees can be more like a family than a business or corporation. There are of course both good and bad aspects of this situation, but one of the good ones at Gallagher's is Mrs."s Gallaghers Sunday dinner. On Sundays Susie Gallagher, the owner and my boss, makes dinner for her family as well as the restaurant staff, various cousins, friends or other gypsies that end up at the back door of the restaurant.

This is one of my personal favorites, Italian beef. Of course Chicago is famous for their Italian beef sandwiches, and I think this is a variation that has traveled South.

1 rump roast (about 5 pounds)

1 package Italian salad dressing mix

1 jar pepperoncini

1 bottle of beer

Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker or crock pot and cook until the meat easily shreds. Serve with soft rolls and provel cheese.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Veal chops with Proscuitto and Preserved Lemon Buerre Blanc

Here is the centerpiece of my next cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory, next Tuesday. I am crazy for preserved lemons these days. Soon I'll write a post about them They provide such a mellow lemon nuance to things.

4 fourteen ounce veal chops

4 large slices of proscuitto

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 clove of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Rub the chops with the crushed garlic, and season with the sea salt and pepper.

Wrap the chop with the proscuitto and press firmly so that it adheres to the chop.

In a saute pan, heat the oil over a medium hot flame. Place the proscuitto side down and saute for 3 to 4 minutes-lower the heat if necessary. The proscuitto caramelises and forms a deliciously salty crust. Turn the chop and continue cooking until desired donenes-another 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare. Serve with preserver lemon buerre blanc.

Preserved Lemon Buerre Blanc

2 Tablespoons of minced shallot

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

12 Tablespoons of chilled butter, cut into cubes

2 Tablespoons of chopped preserved lemon peel

salt and pepper to taste

Combine the shallots, white wine, and lemon juice in a saute pan over high heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons. Turn off the heat and begin adding the butter cubes one at a time, continually shaking and swirling the pan until the butter is incorporated and makes a rich creamy sauce. Add the preserved lemon peel and season with salt and pepper. Can be stored in a thermos for a short time, but does not hold well.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Chocolate Pear Upsidedown Cake

For the bottom of the pan:

1/2 cup of butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

4 pears, peeled, cored, quartered, and poached in syrup. Optional to reserve 1/2 pear and cut into a fan for the center of the cake.

In a heavy 10" iron skillet, melt the butter, add the brown sugar and make caramel. Add the poached pears and simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the caramel is bubbly and syrupy. Arrange the pears in a circular pattern with the fan in the center. Ladle out and reserve 1/4 cup of the caramel.

For the cake batter:

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 teapsoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup butter

1 cup 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour boiling water over the cocoa in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth, cool before using.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt-set aside

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla.

Alternately add the cocoa and flour mixture to the batter.

Spread the batter over the pears in the skillet and bake 30 to 45 minutes until done.

Let the cake cool a couple of minutes befor unmolding.

Brush the top with the reserved caramel, serve with whipped cream.

Carved Pumpkins

The kids carved pumpkins again this year. Some of the pictures didn't turn out, but here is Carlie fixing her "Big Mac". Cody's "pumpkin dungeon", Angie's Sarah Pailin-I think it really does look like Sarah, and Rick's McCain Pailin. I think we have alot of young Republicans working for us.