Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Wrap up, move up, catch up.

Posted: January 2nd, 2009 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | 1 Comment »

I love homey comfy foods. I’ve mentioned this before, I’m sure. But I do. I love foods that are rich and savory and simple and….delicious. They’re not always the most photogenic foods, although I will admit to the occasional beautiful roast chicken. But most of the things I love to make aren’t “money-shot” foods. They’re just darn tasty.
Recently, we’ve had a lot of that. A couple weeks ago, I made a bangin’ meatloaf. I used both beef and veal, sauteed carrot, celery, shallot and mushrooms, bisto, marsala wine, egg, crumbs, and parm. It was delicious. I’m not sure why it was so good…. but it was bangin’.
I made a roast chicken on Monday, one of the better ones I’ve ever made, and also one of the most winged ones ever — I literally had no idea what I was going to do with it until I started doing it. Luckily, the amount of Firefly Sweet-Tea vodka that Lyssa and I had consumed throughout the day did not compromise the quality of the chicken. I salted it inside and out, sprinkled pepper and poultry seasoning over the skin and smeared it with olive oil. I snuck a pat or two of butter under the skin on each side of the breast, and a bay leaf. I stuffed half an onion and half a lemon in the chicken’s cavity, and put it in my pre-heated casserole dish breast-side down, flipped it after 10 minutes, gave it another 10, and then added in some baby yellow carrots, turnip, onion, and garlic cloves that were all tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Marvelous. And it’s making a marvelous stock as well.
I also had a go at eggplant parm, which is funny because I’ve never cooked or eaten it before it my life. Luckily, parm is a pretty standard procedure, and baking breaded eggplant smothered in sauce and mozz was something I was down for.

Yesterday, to properly bring in the new year, I made New Years Lucky Lentils — in some traditions, specifically the ones I ascribe to since Jesse doesn’t like beans, lentils are eaten on New Year’s day, because they resemble coins and are said to bring luck and money. They were ugly. But delicious.
I’m sure that this is a lot like how to cook collards, but having never had collards, I had to go my way. So — an onion, and a rib of celery cooked until softened in some butter and olive oil. Then, garlic and proscuitto were added, while Red Chard was prepped. Salt was obviously added. The chard was sweated and softened and cooked down until it was time to add the lentils. These got sauteed sort of with the chard and the stuff, just generally trying to convince them to suck up some of the buttery vegetabl-y goodness. Then, about a quart of chicken stock and a couple red pepper flakes went in. It simmered for about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. Served over rice, it was delicious, but as I said before….ugly.

Tonight, it’s burgers. Tomorrow, soup I think, from the stock I’m making tonight. Also, we have pot roast, in the slow-cooker, on schedule.

I resolve to blog more, try new things, give you pictures.



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