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Monday, May 31, 2010

Tomato Soup (forget the can)

Happy memorial day! Coming soon... pork. Lot's and lot's of it.

So I came across a recipe for some tomato soup and thought, this has some potential. Here is what I came up with.
Um can I just say... naw I'll wait till the very end.

You will need
  • 8-10 Roma(plum) tomatoes
  • Fresh basil (a couple sprigs)
  • 3 Shallots (or 1/2 onion is ok)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Chicken or Veggie stock 
For the croutons
  • 1/2 a loaf french bread (stale is fine, a little better even)
  • fresh parsley
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
 So for the soup let's start off with.
The veggies
I did it. I mean it looked so amazing. The best peeler I'd ever seen in action. And guess what. It is. As seen on t.v.

This is the free extra thing that came with the peeler and it shreds carrots and whatever else you have just as good as a mandolin and for a lot less.

So here's an ad if you want one. Hey wait. That's even less than I paid for mine. Ah well.

Where was I?

Ok so cut up the carrot shallots and basil and toss them in a pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot.

Let those go for 10-15 minutes on med low heat while you peel your tomatoes. btw the aforementioned peeler can peel tomatoes. Otherwise you are going to have to drop them in boiling water until the skin cracks an then peel them by hand. 

Chop em up nice and add them to the other veggies after you're done.

Like so.
Make sure that you get all the good juice from those tomatoes into the pot. That stuff is liquid gold... or liquid um... tomato.

Let that go for another 10-20  minutes or until fairly mushy. This would be a good time to start the croutons *(see below).

Add enough stock to cover the veggies while not drowning them.

I almost stopped here it looked so good. But I must persevere.

I used an immersion blender to mix everything up till smooth. Any old blender will do but that stuff is hot. So I recommend an immersion blender and a high walled pan (to avoid splatters and burning pain).

The last step is to mix up all those other strange ingredients.

The half and half, egg yolk and vinegar all get mixed together and put aside.

Wait till the soup cools down to not boiling. Steaming is fine.

Right before you serve.
Add the cream mixture. Crutons and a sprig of basil. Be careful not to boil after this point or the yolks will do some funky stuff.

Yum. There I said it.

Garlic butter Croutons

You will need
  • baguette
  • butter 
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • parsley
These are super easy and can go an anything you want croutons on. I have trouble staying away from them plain.

 Cut up your bread into crouton size
The butter mixture is fairily easy.
melt 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil together. Add tons of finely chopped garlic. As much as you can stand. That's it.

Toss it over the bread.

Toss in a little handful of chopped parsley.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 325-350 degree oven until crunchy. 30 minutes? Depends on the oven and temp.

Or until this.

Turns into



Friday, May 28, 2010

Habanero Garlic Roast Beef

Woah! That'sa onea spicy roast beef sandwich.

You will need
  • 1 large piece of beef suitable for roasting (this is a sirloin roast)
  • 4 or 5 Habaneros
  • 5 or 6 large cloves or garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking String 
  • Baguette (toasty)
Yup that's it. Oh, and a really sharp knife.

So let's get this show on the road. First you'll need to trim some (not all) of the fat off the beef. This was my first attempt at a sirloin roast and you can see some of that really tough stuff running through it. So I just cut it out after it was done. Once I have a solution to that I'll let you know.

Anyway I cut along the fat patterns until the roast has pretty much unrolled. Then you can trim some of the fat and any gristle you see as long as you don't cut the roast into pieces.

Next go horizontally across the meat to basically butterfly it. Be careful that you don't go all the way through.

Now thinly slice the habaneros and be careful to wash your hands after handling them.

Also with a stout knife, smash the garlic flat. You can do this with the skin on and the peel will come right off.

From cute little peppers to devilishly hot diabolical green goodness.

Whack! Press scrape place.
So the inside of the beef should look nicely covered in all the stuff. Then you'll want to roll it all up. Like a so.

keep going.

Looking good.

Tie it together. I just used one string. One thing you can try and do to keep it all together better is tuck the edges while you are rolling.

Ok now that the hard part is over crush up some pepper. Grab some kosher salt and rub the outside of the meat. You gotta love a good crust.
just put it in an appropriate pan and bake for 2 hours at 325.

Or until internal temp reaches 245

After the timer beeps.

Take it out.

Wrap it up

When you unwrap there will be a bunch of jus.
Pour it over the beef right before you serve over crusty baguette bread.

Slice it thin.

Scarf it down.

HOT Italian Sausage Pasta

Mi piace davvero.

It's time to get down on some sausage pasta. 

What you will need
  • Hot Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Parmigano / Pecorino
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Red wine  
  • Fresh or dry oregano
So I like to start off by grilling up the sausage and getting some lines on it. You can do this in a pan or cast iron skillet if you have to.

This will really just help firm up the sausage so that you have pieces instead of ground pork in the pasta. If you prefer remove the casing and just saute in the pan for a ground pork pasta.

Anyway after these are done cut them in half lengthwise and cut little half moons. Like so.
Ok, so now that your hands are all greasy pour a couple glugs of olive oil into a dutch oven and heat on high. When it starts to get nice and hot, right before it begins smoking, add the pork and sizzle and stir. Don't worry if some of the stuff gets stuck to the bottom of the pan we'll get it off later.

Once everything is nice and browned add 2 tbsp red pepper plakes and stir for 30 seconds then add
1 roughly chopped onion to the mix.

When the onion starts to brown add 1 cup red table wine. Really whatever you're drinking is fine. What? Then go open a bottle and pour yourself a glass. Anyway at this point you can use a wooden spoon to scrape all of the stuff off the bottom of the pan.

Let that go for a while till 60% or so boils off.

Now you can add your  roughly chopped tomatoes. And any tomato parts you might have left over from pasta salad.

let them go for about 10 minutes and add 1 can of tomato paste. I prefer the organic kind because it tastes better. I hope that ad
is for a case... it's like $1 at Publix. Oh it's for 24. That's not too bad.

Well, we're almost there.
Now feel free to turn down the heat and add some oregano from the garden. Or from the garden from last year in my case.

Let the stuff simmer.

Now go ahead and boil up some rotini pasta. You want to subtract about 2 minutes from the cooking time on the box because we are going to finish it in the sauce and let the noodles soak up all the goodness instead of just water.

If the sauce gets too dry just add a scoop of pasta water. When your noodles are almost aldente strain but reserve some of the pasta water just in case. place the noodles in the pot, stir to coat evenly and put a lid on it! Right. 2 minutes later and check for doneness. If it tastes good go with it. If not salt and pepper to your taste.

Top with cheese and some fresh parsley.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Springtime Vegetable Confetti Pasta Salad

Mirror mirror on the wall, what is the freshest pasta salad of all.
This salad is really tasty and has more veggies than pasta when you finish so maybe this is a veggie salad with some pasta. All of the veggies that I list are recommended but as always if you don't like something or thin of something else that you want to add, you are the boss in your kitchen.

You will need
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Vidalia onion
  • Broccoli stalks
  • Green/Red pepper
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Fresh corn
For the rest
  • Ditalini Pasta
  • Mayo
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt / Pepper

 So this recipe really lets you work on your knife skills. In other words, be prepared to chop some major veggies. After you wash every thing and peel what's appropriate. Toss your broccoli stalks in a steamer and let them go for 5-7 minutes.

They need to be peeled around the outside to avoid any really tough bits.

Besides cooking the pasta, that is the only other thing you will need to cook for this recipe. The rest is raw. (Raw=Healthier)

So cut up all your veggies the same size as the pasta that you are using so that every thing will be farily consistent throughout. I use Barilla Ditalini because it is well... perfect for this salad. You can boil the pasta whenever you want, keep it nice and aldente would you? Rinse in cold water when it's done. Set aside.

So a couple of cups of each veggie is going to do you right for this recipe. There is no perfect ratio or anything. Cut more of what you like it will start to look like fun stuff in no time.

For the tomatoes, seed them with a spoon so you are only cutting up the outer flesh.

This will keep the pasta from getting soupy.  This will also give you some tomato ammunition for any pasta sauce that you want to make in the future. (foreshadowing?!!)

So now that we have all our veggies cut and the pasta ready to be thrown in.

I really just wanted to get to these pictures.

Looks pretty good to me.So all you need to do now is dress it. How about 2/3 cup mayo 2/3 cups yougurt and 1/3 cup red wine vinegar. 2 tbsp pepper and 2 tbsp salt. Himalayan sea salt is the shiznit but sea salt or kosher salt will work just fine. Mix that all up and add it to the salad. And there you go.


I entered this side dish in the side-dish showdown on  Cinnamon and Spice

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So this will be my first Concert posting for Dinner and a Concert. I have the great joy of presenting you all with the first look at a couple of videos that we shot live at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Atlanta. Much thanks to downtown sounds and Eric Newcomer, and Ali for getting us in the door.
This is a little one called
Come Together Machine

And for an original

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meatloaf for a lazy day.

So I really didn't feel like doing a whole bunch of work yesterday, so after a quick perusal of the deep freeze I settled on some ground beef. Lets make some meatloaf.
You will need
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 sweet (preferably Vidalia) onion diced
  • fresh thyme chopped
  • fresh rosemary chopped
  • your favorite steak sauce 1/2 cup
  • ketchup
  • 2 eggs
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
So it's pretty easy like I said. I had some potato salad and cole-slaw sitting around so I had the sides already taken care of.

Lets get all these ingredients into a bowl. Add together the
  • beef
  • eggs
  • breadcrumbs
  • steak sauce
  • rosemary 
  • thyme
  • onion
Ok now wash your hands and mush it all up till just mixed.

Stefanie makes a great hand model eh?

OK now I shape it into a giant burger like loaf and set it on some wax paper.

The fancy onions can be done of left off. I just like playing with my food.

Now just heat up a large cast iron skillet and at the same time pre-heat your oven to 350. Put a little oil in the skillet. I also put a thin layer of kosher salt down, 1 tbsp, in the spot where I'm going to put my meat. This does 2 things. One you get a nice salty crust on the top, and two it makes it really easy to get the meat off the pan when you flip it.

After about 5-6 minutes on the hot skillit you should have some nice browning going on. and this is the hard part. You have to flip it over. After you flip the sucker add a nice layer of ketchup and it is ready to go into the oven. 30 minutes later. you have your delicious meatloaf.