Monday, June 23, 2008

Girl gone Wild

Just another wild and crazy night at my house...

Making apricot jam (recipe coming soon)...

Seasoning my new cast iron skillets...

Getting rhubarb ready for the freezer (blanching and drying).

I'm off to Denver for the rest of the week and will surely have many tales of eating and drinking and more eating when I return!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lamb dinner with S. Compton

My dear friend S. Compton and I cooked up this awesome dinner sometime last week. S. Compton is one of my favorite food buddies. She's always good for some adventure and encouragement. And she's a meat eater from way back. None of this vegetarian/vegan nonsense for her. Not ever. On her roller derby resume one of her qualifications was "eats red meat." Can't argue with that.

And not only is Ms. Compton an expert meat eater and cooker, she has a good source. Her Dad's farm in Elkton. Every time she goes home, she comes back with large quantities of frozen lamb which she kindly shares with her hungry friends and roommies.

For this dinner, S. Compton was in charge of meats and veggies while I was in charge of drinking rose (my summer 08 love) and making these fabulous potatoes. Rough life, eh?

First my friend whipped up a quick mint sauce with sugar, vinegar, and fresh mint. Don't tell her, but I was a little unsure about this concoction until I tried it on my lamb. Then I was in heaven.

Then she put two cast iron skillets over high heat and warmed those babies up good. In went the lamb (shoulder chops) to sizzle and brown for a few minutes. After one side was good and brown, she flipped them to finish. While the meat was resting, she sauteed up some broccoli until crisp-tender (my favorite vegetable state). We pulled our taters out of the oven and had ourselves a tasty meal.

Thanks for the food and love S. Compton! Let's render lard soon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Warm Lentils with Bacon

This recipe was my starting point, although I didn't even read the recipe all the way through. I was attracted by the title as I just happened to have both lentils and bacon at home. I'm always drawn to simple and satisfying recipes since I do cook nearly every night. I'm also drawn to recipes that are very forgiving on specific ingredients and proportions and that work well in both large and small quantities. I've made this twice this week, once for dinner and once for lunch. The first time I didn't measure anything and it turned out great. The second time I did measure (uh, sort of) for the sake of blogging and it was also great. So the quantities below are roughly what I used to make one serving and they can easily be doubled or quadrupled and adjusted. Mmmmm....

Warm Lentils with Bacon

1/2 cup green lentils (not those mushy little red ones)
water to cover
pinch of salt
2 strips bacon
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
scant 1/4 cup chopped purple onions
small handful parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil

Bring lentils, water, and pinch of salt to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Make dressing by whisking together mustard, vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

When lentils are almost done, cook bacon over medium heat. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Pour of most off the bacon grease, leaving a thin film in the pan. (I'm decadent and save my bacon grease for other uses.) Chop bacon and set aside. With your yummy bacon grease pan over medium heat, add garlic and onions. Don't cook them too much or the purple onion will lose its lovely color. When garlic and onion are just soft, add the finished lentils and bacon. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and dressing. Stand back because vinegar steam is nasty in the nose.

A note about salt: I only added a tiny bit to the cooking lentils and none to the dressing or onions and garlic. The bacon and bacon grease have enough salt for the whole dish.