31 December 2009

It's venison roulade

Not to mention an awesome set of plates!

So yeah. We went to Michigan for holidays, and spent several days alternately playing with tiny children, trying desperately to do work at coffeeshops (the one at which I wanted to work is closed! no!), having wine with relatives, and eating copious delicious food. We managed to get to Travelers Club, El Az, Frank's, and Jerusalem Garden, although once again China Gate thwarted our endeavors to eat sesame tofu and dryfried green beans by being closed for the entirety of the holiday season.

But on the last night of the base 10 number system decade, I really want to talk about christmas eve dinner: venison roulade.

Look at that beet-red meat! This is what happens when you have a brother-in-law who hunts. The chest freezer in their basement is full of hand-butchered local game: mostly deer and fish. On christmas eve we had a venison tenderloin, and not for the fifty bucks it would have cost in NYC, but free. You heard me.

This was optimal dinner.

Ok. John wanted to try the roulade he made me for birthday with a whole tenderloin; we were just lucky the tenderloin in question turned out to be so awesome.

According to Kevin, hunter of the deer, venison cooks faster than other meat since it's much leaner. It also smells very gamy while cooking, being game and all. So we changed things very slightly to accommodate said leanness, only searing the meat on all sides in the pan and not finishing in the oven. We used kale for the greens and gruyere for the cheese and white wine to deglaze, and it was perfect: seared on the outside, rare on the inside.

I had only just had venison for the first time the day before, in leftover stew, and while it was awesome there, it was exponentially more awesome in the roulade.

It was even better with the massive amounts of wine-deglazed grape tomatoes.

Meanwhile, for last dinner of the decade I'm having black bean and kale soup out of the freezer with penne, parsley, and hot sauce.

25 December 2009

I got you some presents

They are picture presents.

This one is a picture of quartered green cabbage doused in olive oil, salt, and pepper, roasted in the oven, and covered with wilted red onion and toasty sesame seeds; idea courtesy of cupcake punk.

This one is a picture of gnocchi with a bunch of slivered garlic and an entire bunch of wilted chard.

This one is a picture of long grain brown rice mixed with more wilted red onions and chiffonaded chard and parsley and lots of fresh pepper and asiago cheese.

This one is a picture of scalloped potatoes made from redskins and yukon golds, a bunch of chopped yellow onion, salt, pepper, and paprika, most of a quart of whole milk, grated cheese of some sort, and a layer of thinly sliced and totally indistinguishable celeriac.

Yay presents!

20 December 2009

You've got it all wrong, you guys

I mean, I know this looks almost identical to the carrot soup from yesterday--but no! No carrots whatever were involved. It is squash!

Yes! We had two acorn squash, legacy of the CSA, hanging out on our counter for weeks. So I hacked them in half, scooped out all the seeds and goo, and proceeded to roast them for Heidi's Thai curry squash soup.

Once I got the squash actually cut in half, this was so easy. The cutting, of course, required serious arm strength and leverage. It probably took ten minutes to get both of them fully dissected. Then they went straight into the oven.

I didn't deviate from the recipe at all, oddly enough. Roasty squash, coconut milk, red curry paste: bang.

I also washed as much goo as possible off the seeds, tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika, and roasted them at 375F. Then I got to throw them over the soup with wild abandon. I also chiffonaded some radicchio for ultimate color/texture contrast.

Verdict: totally thick and rich. The greens were an excellent idea, especially since I wasn't eating anything with it; I had double greens and zero seeds for the next bowl. Copious toast, an actual contrasting satay and honey/vinegared salad, or even summer rolls recommended.

19 December 2009

Further avocado

How could I forget for so long? I love avocado! I want to eat it every day! Of course it's not exactly practical or seasonal in the middle of a snowstorm in NY, but you know. Avocado!

Sourdough toast, carrot soup (this one with no dill), and so much avocado.

16 December 2009

Delicious dumple

Here's what happens when I need lunch badly:

1. Get veg dumplings and broth out of freezer.
2. Defrost/heat broth in pot; add a little nip of soy sauce, one of rice wine vinegar, and a slightly larger amount of sriracha sauce.
3. Fry dumplings in a little oil.
4. Chiffonade a couple leaves of cabbage; put in bowl.
5. Add cooked dumpings, hot soup, and maybe a little more sriracha.
6. Eat hot hot soup, wilty spicy cabbage, crusty delicious dumplings.

If only I froze my own huge batches of dumplings. That's going to have to happen one of these days. In the meantime, though, I live in New York. One of these days I have to actually go out to Flushing (or, you know, Chinatown) and buy a huge awesome bag of somebody's grandmother's frozen dumplings.

12 December 2009

Taco taco tostada

Oh man. Things are so busy.

I rediscovered the corn tortilla.

I first discovered how to toast corn tortillas over a gas burner from...Kim Gordon! in an issue of Sassy! Of course, then I didn't really apply that knowledge for another ten years, but still. Tortillas on the gas burner are one of the best ways to eat corn, especially corn and eggs.

To toast: turn on your gas burner to medium-high. Holding your tortilla in tongs (or in your fingers if you're quick), put it directly over the flame. Let toast about 20 seconds, then flip and repeat. It usually takes two flips to heat your tortilla through, four or five to get it completely crisp. Just take it off the heat whenever you're satisfied.

(If you have no gas burner, you can totally warm tortillas in a foil packet in the oven, or toast them in a frying pan.)

Now you can use the soft tortillas for tacos, and the crispy tortillas for tostadas. Yay!

I stuffed my tacos with scrambled eggs, red pepper, guajillo salsa, and massive amounts of cubed avocado. For my tostada, I spread sautéed onion and chopped green olive on one tortilla, then put a fried egg on another. Then I stacked them up, added a little shredded cheese and salsa, and put the whole business in a lidded frying pan to quickly melt the cheese.

Corn and eggs! Corn and eggs and tea!

07 December 2009


Now that I have a new desk the kitchen table suddenly looks like this. The computer does not live directly in front of the serious Brooklyn street window. Instead it is on the desk in my new office. I have a desk drawer for the first time since I moved out of my parents' house. I can open the curtains and not reveal my glistening hardware. I eat like this, on a table, with light.

Penne, fumé blanc

olive oil
green olive
dry vermouth
crushed tomato
salt, pepper
fresh basil, parsley
grating cheese
fumé blanc/other

Put the fumé blanc in the freezer. Put the water on to boil. Salt it.

In the sauté pan: crushed chopped garlic, sliced green olive. Deglaze with dry vermouth. Use fumé blanc if it's not in the freezer but already open.

Add tomato, salt, pepper. Cook.

Boil and drain penne. Put it in the pan with your sauce. Stir and let cook another minute.

Pick basil and parsley off your plants; rip up.

Taste for seasoning, put in bowl, grate cheese and scatter herbs.

Open fumé blanc; pour.

03 December 2009

Deborah Madison would be proud

I mean, maybe not about the green beans in December, but otherwise:

Green bean on toast

olive oil
a green olive or two
green beans
good bread and butter
parmesan/grating cheese
salt, pepper

Chop up a shallot and sauté in olive oil with a similarly chopped green olive or two. In the meantime, wash, top, tail, and chop the beans. Add beans to pan with a pinch of salt; cook until awesome.

Serve on buttered toast with grated parmesan (or whatever grating cheese, or no cheese, or toasty nuts) and pepper.

I recommend folding the bread in half for exciting (but potentially messy) green bean sandwich. It is an excellent breakfast.