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January 2010

January 31, 2010

Top 10 Super Bowl Recipes


While considering the Super Bowl party I'm not having, I started thinking about all the great appetizer-type dishes that make these parties fun for those of us who aren't such big football fans. There are the classics, of course, and the misadventures (usually in the form of a seven-layer-bean-dip) - but good food always makes a good party. 

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January 25, 2010

Pot Roast


OK - so I have never made Pot Roast before, and always wanted to.  When I got a new enamel cast iron dutch oven (cuisinart - on sale TJMaxx), I decided to give it a try.  Any covered pot will work - metal, cast iron, or glass.  I bought my roast at my local butcher, and it was already trimmed of fat, and tied.   If you buy it at supermarket, trim off excess fat with a sharp knife, and tie the roast together with twine - 2 pieces of twine, in order to keep the cooking more even. This is yet another easy one-pot dish...although I did make mashed potatoes and string beans separately.   

- 1 boneless rump roast or chuck roast - approx 3 ~ 3 1/2 lbs

- olive oil

- salt/pepper

- 1 large yellow onion (sliced), 1 package baby bell mushrooms (sliced), 2 large carrots (cut up), 4 cloves of garlic (whole)

- water

Take the roast out of fridge 1 hour beforehand.  Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.  Heat up 3 tbsp olive oil in dutch oven on the stove top.  Get this HOT!   Sprinkle the roast with (kosher) salt and pepper.   Sear the roast in the pot, getting all sides a nice brown color - approx 4 to 5 minutes per side....including the ends, if it is shaped like a log.   Remove roast from pot and set aside.   Add all the vegetables to the pot, and let them caramelize - approx 10 ~ 15 minutes.   Then, add the roast back to the pot, on top of the veggies. Fill pot with water, about halfway up the roast.  Cover and put in oven for 3 hours.   

Once done, carefully (meat is very tender and will fall apart) remove the roast and let rest on plate, tent a piece of alum foil over it.   With slotted spoon, remove veggies and set aside.  The makings for gravy are left - heat over burner....add a little bit (1 tbsp) of flour and whisk together, to thicken it up....and add more stock (or even a little bit of red wine) if there is not enough gravy for everyone.  Feel free to add any other spices/herbs that you like - for example - more cracked pepper and thyme.   Put everything together on a big plate for the table - the roast, veggies, gravy, and serve.  


January 24, 2010

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip


So I'm standing on line at the grocery store, and I'm next. There are several people behind me with loaded carts and I notice I have a voice mail. It's from my wife. She's asking me to bring home some hummus. There's none in my cart but there's no way I'm abandoning my spot in line.

I'd be committing another 30 minutes for those mashed garbonzos and it's not that my wife isn't worth it, but I figured I could come up with a substitute when I got home. Here's what I improvised.

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January 06, 2010

Meatballs with Soy-Mirin Glaze


My kids aren't the best eaters.

Well, let me clarify. The Big One is happy to try most things and has a broader palette (which mostly doesn't include vegetables), but the Little One has a diet whose entries you could count on one hand.

Wedged between the hot dogs and the chicken fingers are little meatballs that my wife get's from a local deli. He wants nothing to do with my Real Italian Meatballs, which is a point of contention and the reason I'll be taking him out of my will unless he changes his ways, but I figured I could at least try to replicate the golf-ball-sized spheres of beef he drools over whenever my wife returns from town. I tried once without much success, then a co-worker gave me a recipe, which I've based these on.

I'm pretty sure those deli meatballs use some kinds of canned beef gravy and I'm absolutely sure these are much better. As it turns out, the Little One thinks so, too.

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