You might be saying to yourself, “self, doth my eyes deceive me or is this really a new Cooking Inside the Lines post?” Yes it is, and I also made you sound like a Shakespearean actor, ha! I know, I know. I’ve been really bad about posting but I have managed to try some fantastic recipes recently, even in the midst of planning a wedding and running my own pie business. I still can’t believe I get to marry the man of my dreams next month. I am just dripping with happiness that I get to be Mrs. Emily Kealey! Sorry, I digress.
Food and Wine magazine has this excellent little slideshow featuring recipes from top female chefs, and I have the pleasure of telling you that the three I tried were all rock stars. Go ladies, do your thang! I liked these so much, that I’m trying three more from this round-up this week to see how they turn out. Scout’s honor, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, give these three beauties a try. Here they are with my thoughts:
Spicy Chicken Cacciatore – Deep , rich, spicy flavors. A beautiful dish from Chef Barbara Lynch. We loved this “deconstructed” version of a chicken cacciatore, and I love me some chicken cacciatore so I’ve tried many at home. See, you don’t have to pick from the litter, just make this one!
Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding – When I saw the pairing of these two dishes I thought, “hmm not sure if they fit together, but they both sound so delicious, let’s just see.” Well, they don’t pair really. I would like to serve the Sweet Corn Pudding with some kind of ham smothered in some kind of gravy. The scallops were just delicious with the basil and anchovies, and I think I would have liked it better if they were nestled on top of a turnip or parsnip puree. They are just so elegant that the pudding kind of threw us off. Either way, both were delicious, and quick to boot.
Hanger Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa – Hands down our favorite of the group. They had us at herb-nut salsa and Chef Naomi Pomeroy is one of my favorites. This was quick, delicious, crunchy, savory, herbalicious and packed a super flavor punch. if I’m in a pinch and want something I know is going to be the bomb, this is it.
Poodles, you probably saw this coming, so it should be no surprise that I am going to have to put Cooking Inside the Lines on a brief hiatus. With a home remodel, starting a new business and that little thing called life going on, I’m afraid CITL has moved to the back burner (pun intended). Although I hate to leave the blog I’ve loved updating for the past two years, it’s actually a positive sign since our little pie company that could is doing quite well! Yay The Pie Society!
I hope to be back by the start of June when I’m a little bit more in the swing of things and heck yes, when summer fruits and veggies are flourishing. I hope you have enough content here to inspire you to try some recipes and keep cooking up magic in the kitchen. With that, I leave you with one amazing burger recommendation from Cooking Light and my menu plan from the magazine’s new issue. Can’t wait to make these!
Oh, hello there! So nice to see you! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but my cooking has kind of fallen off the map due to home renovation (we are thisclose lambs) and the launching of The Pie Society. As soon as I get my kitchen back to optimal operating standards I’ll start testing and tasting recipes again – scout’s honor.
I have had a little time to try some pretty good recipes including this Pan- Seared Strip Steak and Warm Potato Salad with Ramps and Bacon from Cooking Light; they both were amazing! Tonight I’m trying their Slow-Roasted Tomato Pasta. I can’t wait for a gentle night in with David and then back to work on cabinets, floors and more!
P.S. Be sure to “like” Cooking Inside the Lines on Facebook and if you dig pies, you can “like” The Pie Society too!
I, well, I have no words really to describe this Malaysian Beef Curry from Bon Appétit. It was so rich in flavor and the beef was so fork tender, I kind of whimpered after I ate it. If you are into a kind of lengthy prep and ingredients that may send you on a wee bit of scavenger hunt, then this is for you. With lemongrass, tamarind paste, dried New Mexico chiles, more lemongrass, coconut milk, fish sauce (YAY!), and star anise, it is definitely out of my usual comfort zone for cooking at home but WORTH IT. Ha, just check out the ingredient info from the magazine to see what I mean: New Mexico chiles can be found at some supermarkets and at Latin markets. Fish sauce and coconut milk are sold at supermarkets and Asian markets. Look for star anise, star-shaped seedpods, in the spice section of the supermarket. Tamarind is available in Asian and Indian markets.
Although the spice paste takes a little time the worst part is waiting for this to cook while it fills your house with such a lovely aroma it makes your mouth water. I served this over basmati rice with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. I took a first bite and was like “meh it’s pretty good”. Then I realized I clearly didn’t include enough of the delicious sauce/paste it had cooked in. After topping with a boatload of sauce I gave it a second bite, whimpered and kept saying mmmmmmmmm over and over again.
For those adventurous cooks out there this is a great dish to serve to family and friends. Even if this a wee bit our of your usual dinner plans I urge you to try, it’s an amazingly flavorful dish. Trust me, I’m not an expert.
Poodles, first and foremost, please make this Easy Braised Brisket from Cooking Light as soon as you can. For something that was made out of five ingredients this was insanely good. I was little thrown off by the olives at first but combined with the tomatoes and oregano they helped round out the sauce beautifully. Mmmm and the brisket was perfectly moist and fork tender. One recommendation, I kept adding more water as I went or I would have burned the heck out the brisket. Just keep an eye on it because a 1/2 cup of water on my stove was just not going to cut it. Besides that small issue, this was amazing and even better the next day for lunch!
Moving on to our menu plan this week, I’m revisiting some recipes to give David a chance to try them too – I think he’s going to love that cheeseburger:
Fingers crossed we’ve got some good dishes coming up! Also, if you are a social media poodle, follow me on Twitter @EAIFood and on the Cooking Inside the Lines Facebook page. I tend to posts quick recipe reviews and food news there as well!
Last night we had a BIG Oscar party in our house and I was a little nervous since it was the first big shindig in our casa, well that and I chose to make a flotilla of food. I simply adore our gentle friends and one thing I know about our group is we love to eat. With that in mind I was going to make darn sure everyone had enough to nibble on during the three hour show.
Epicurious assembled menu plans based on the Best Picture nominees and the one that stood out to us was the Inception option. It’s very French inspired since part of the movie takes place in Paris – the scene with the city folding on top of itself is still incredible every time I see it. Although I liked the recipes they suggested, I decided to stick wtih French fare but do it my way. And the award goes to….
To get real nerdy about it I made an “Execution Plan” to ensure everything was done by 6:00 p.m. so we could watch arrivals and snarkily judge away.
2:00 p.m. Prep and mis en place
3:00 p.m. Make compote for Brie, while compote cooks, make pots de creme, refrigerate
3:30 p.m. Make soup
4:00 p.m. Make green beans, assemble and bake Brie rounds
5:00 p.m. Make sandwiches
5:40 p.m. Fire steaks, let rest and slice, make fries
6:00 p.m. Guests arrive
Everything pretty much went according to plan and let me tell you, the soup, green beans, sandwiches and brie rounds with that stellar compote were delicious. For the steak frites I kept it very simple. David (the super poodle) ran to the store and bought a Weber charcoal grill so he could grill them properly. Little salt and pepper on the steaks, grill and you are done. I took frozen fries and mixed with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme leaves and baked until crispy. Thanks to my lovely and talented niece Alex who is a bomb chef for coming up with that tasty concoction.
I’m giggling at the thought of the Pots de Creme because the flavor was amazing but I didn’t have enough glasses to properly make individual servings, so I decided to place the whole shebang in a large ramekin. Yeah, don’t do that. We had to put it in the freezer so it would set up, but a few minutes on the table and it was like ice cream. Of course, no one cared and it was gone by the end of the night but I highly suggest not being an idiot like moi and scratch the idea if you can’t do it individually.
The Oscars were OK this year, a little zzzzzzzzzz at times and it wasn’t as exciting as in years past but I am so happy for The King’s Speech! It’s an excellent, heart warming story and if you haven’t seen it yet, GO.
Here’s our spread and more posts to come this week…I hope.
Three simple little words for such a powerful dish. Bon Appetit did a special on chilis from around the country and of course this proud little lady chose the one from TEXAS! Some Texas chili rules. Number one, no beans. EVER! Rule number two, there will be beef. Rule number three, bring on the spice. Sometimes following the rules is fun.
As the magazine states:
Chili is practically a religion in Texas. The thick, meaty “bowl of red” dates back to San Antonio in the 1820s. By the 1880s, the city’s plazas were full of pushcarts run by “chili queens” who would lure customers with live music. And Texans may argue about chili ingredients – but purists agree that the hearty stew would never, ever involve beans.
Roger that. This chili, like most real versions, has a lot going on and takes quite some time – but if you heart chili you won’t mind one iota. I followed this to the letter and it turned out perfect. It’s beefy, spicy and yes, a very dark bowl of red. I topped with fresh tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and Monterrey Jack cheese. YUM! I aslo served with this amazing and so simple to make Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. The only addition I made was I added pickled jalapenos and sauteed cork kernels for a little spicy/sweet oomph.
Before the cold slips away (YAY!) make this bowl of chili today. I just wicked rhymed that without meaning to.
So on to what you should be making tonight or this week for sure is homemade pici. We had a little ladies’ dinner at my friend Kari’s house and she’s been to Italy not once but twice. Mmm hmmm, next time she better pack moi in her suitcase. Her food tales alone make my mouth water. Since she’s returned, we’ve been able to have a little Italy in Austin, including this homemade Pici and Bolognese Sauce. For me, rolling Pici requires me to use a section of my brain that I don’t think is actually functional. Kari made it look as simple as breathing and I made it look as easy as neurosurgery…not good poodles. I sucked at it completely, but don’t let my lack of brain cells or motor skills deter you. This was super fun to do as a group plus it’s homemade pasta people, it just tastes that much better. For the full pici making process and recipe, you can visit the Cretaiole website and then be a sad panda that you are not actually at Cretaiole rigt now. Kari also shared her bolognese recipe which is so superb. Mangia!
6 to 8 ounces (150-200 g) ground beef – it shouldn’t be too lean, or the sugo will be dry
2 ounces (50 g) pancetta, minced (optional; if you omit it increase the beef)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
A quarter of a medium-sized onion, minced
A half a carrot, minced
A six-inch stalk of celery, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes or 2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water (I used fresh tomatoes, quartered them, quickly scraped the “goo” (seeds) out of each quarter and cooked them in a pot with some garlic until they were soft and mashed.)
Beef broth (If you don’t have any, dissolve half a bouillon cube in a cup of boiling water)
A pinch of salt
A pound (500 g) of pasta.
If you omit the pancetta you will want the full 8 ounces of meat. Mince the pancetta and the vegetables, and sauté them in a casserole or Dutch oven with the oil. When the onion is golden, add the ground meat and continue cooking till it’s browned. Stir in the wine and let the sauce simmer till the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes, a ladle of broth, and check the seasoning. Continue simmering over a very low flame for about two hours, stirring occasionally, and adding more broth if the sugo looks like it’s drying out. (I ended up using the entire 2 cups of broth to make sure it didn’t dry out over the 5 of so hours I simmered it) The sugo will improve steadily as it cooks, and if you have the time simmer it longer – Artusi suggests it be simmered for six hours, adding boiling water or broth as necessary. When it is done it should be rich and thick. This meat sauce will serve about six as the topping for a first course of pasta or gnocchi, or about four if served over pasta with a tossed salad on the side; in either case serve it with grated Parmigiano.
January 15, 2010 will be on of my favorite days of all time because it’s the day that David walked into my life. Neither of us were looking for any sort of potential partner, in fact I was against the idea before I met David, but then a mutual friend saw the potential and introduced us immediately. For the next few hours, we sat and talked and talked, something we are still very good at by the way. I owe our dear friend a lot for making the introduction and now one year later here we are. Just goes to show that life can you throw you very amazing curve balls – always embrace them lambs.
I’ve made the Beef Short Ribs before so I knew this would be a huge win with David. I still don’t have a food mill but ran the sauce through the food processor and reheated as necessary. The potato gratin was creamy, bacony and so full of delicious flavor; a perfect complement to the ribs. After the ribs, chard and potatoes the pudding was a delightful, bright and not-too-sweet ending to a perfect anniversary meal. Paired with a 2002 Silver Oak Cab? Perfection all around and David loved all of it.
Even if it’s not a special occasion this meal would be a great Sunday night supper or something to impress guests at a dinner party. One year down and hopefully many, many more to go right David?
Oooh lambs, we are getting to my favorite time of year – the holidays! In fact, each year the city of Austin puts on the Trail of Lightsand the Zilker Christmas Tree. Sadly (due to budget issues) the Trail of Lights did not happen but the tree, thank goodness, is up. A brief history for you from the Nile Guide:
For more than 35 years, one of the tallest man-made trees in the country lights up the holidays in Austin. The 175-foot Christmas tree, decked out in nearly 4000 twinkling lights, is lit every night from early December to the end of the year. It is tradition to stand in the center and spin around with your loved ones underneath the tree for a fantastic light show. Be careful, as you will find many people twirling in circles. The lighting takes place in Zilker Park.
Since we live in the Zilker vicinity, our friend Kari had the great idea for a small holiday get together for some food, hot chocolate and a visit to the tree. Here is her photo from her twirling underneath the tree. I also took my first ever spin with David. Warning, you will get dizzy but there was something magical and yes, a little touching to see all of our fellow Austinites whirling and twirling under the tree.
But what to make for such a festive occasion? I decided to make this All-American Chili and Mexican Hot Chocolate from Cooking Light. Who doesn’t love chili and hot chocolate!? No one I care to know. I made the chili the day before, because even as Cooking Light says, chili is even better the next day. I really liked this recipe and the perfect chili-ness of it all. Beans, two kinds of meat, veggies and oh yeah, a spicy kick. One thing I changed was instead of ground sirloin, I cut a sirloin steak into small cubes and browned along with the sausage since I tend to like big chunks of beefy mcbeef in my chili. Also, this thing had a KICK. When I tasted it the day before the spiciness was right on, but the next day? Yowza. I would recommend if you are making this to be enjoyed a few days after making, to either deseed the jalapeno or lower the chili powder level if you have a spicy-sensitive group. However, I was getting great reviews from the table so maybe I’ve become a spice-pansy.
Kari, who just got back from Italy, also made awesome Cauliflower Fritters and homemade bread. Maybe if y’all apply enough pressure here she will give me the recipe as these were molto buono! UPDATE, Kari gave us the recipe, see below. Also Lex, being the awesome chef that she is, did some kind of delicious wicked voodoo with Kari’s leftover bell peppers from the farmer’s market. I asked her what she did and all she could say is “magic Aunt Moey!”. She’s so kin to me.
On to the Mexican Hot Chocolate. We loved it. It was simple, chocolatey, spicy and the perfect beverage to take with us down to the tree. And if you want to add a little Bailey’s we would highly recommend it 😉 Overall, the gang loved all the yummy dishes and beverages but isn’t that what food does? It brings us all together to share stories, laugh, and appreciate the time we have with our good friends and family; especially this time of year. Not to get all sentimental but my life has changed in so many ways this past year, from David being in my life, new amazing friends, and my wonderful niece and her significant other moving to Austin. I couldn’t be more grateful and can’t help but look back over this year and grin from ear-to-ear. In fact, I kind of feel like this…http://en.vidivodo.com/210589/hugh-grant-dance#videoalt
Here are some more pics from our fun holiday evening AND we survived our first dinner party with the new countertops. Digital high five!
Recipe by Maria Jewitt in Rogliano, Italy
4 oz/Tbsp white flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 Pt liquid (half water, half milk, or whatever you have)
3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 garlic clove, diced
Several Tbsp vegetable or canola
Veggies – You can use Cauliflower, brocolli, corn, potato, squash; the more veggies you use, the more fritters you will make. For 6 people, I doubled the recipe and added a whole (small) head of cauliflower.
Mix flour and salt in medium sized bowl. Make a dip in the dry mixture and add egg, mixing together with a fork. Slowly add milk/water mixture – you may not need all of the liquid, it will depend on the size of the egg. The batter should be fairly runny and come off the fork easily. Add diced garlic, shredded parmesean and chopped parsely. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Cook vegetables until soft while batter rests. Tear (do not cut) into bite sized pieces. Fold veggies into batter. Heat vegetable or canola oil in a medium sized pan – add enough oil so that you will be able to shallow fry the fritters. When oil is hot, add a spoonful of batter in available areas in the pan. Once they start to cook, you should be able to push them closer together and add more batter to the pan. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper plate. Serve hot.