Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

This is a pretty low key holiday for us around here, and since we are poor we tried not to place too much on the holiday. I presented each of my men with a big bag of pistachios(super sale price of $2 each) and a giant candy bar $1 each on sale, but not from valentines sales. (I feel like it is stupid to pay more for candy on the holiday just because it's wrapped in pink and white.) Anyways, we went to our favorite breakfast dive in Topeka, only to find the staff and menu have changed. Bummer, but the food was still decent even if slightly more We rounded out the rest of our day with a trip Big Lots, Lowe's and Orschelin' I said we don't celebrate a whole lot, but a trip to Topeka was worth getting to go to some stores we don't have in Lawrence. We got a new lampshade and a birthday present for a friend at Big Lots, nothing at Lowe's and chicken feed ($3.00 cheaper)at Orchelin's. We dragged a screaming child out of Orschelin's, (he wanted a John Deere movie) and headed back to Lawrence. I will cruise the candy sales tomorrow looking for pink discounts to pass off as Easter treats. All in all nothing special or romantic about this day.

My Valentine's Menu:

Grilled Chuck Steak
herbed potatoes
baked beans
steamed cauliflower

Sprinkle both sides of steak with a steak seasoning blend, use meat tenderizer tool and pound both sides. Place in marinade for at least 4 hours. Cook 8-10 minutes on each side on grill or until cooked.
Marinade for steak:
1/2 cup cider apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
Whisk together before placing meat in marinade. Flip meat a few times during marinating.

1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 bundle fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or sage
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Pluck the little leaves off of the stems of your fresh herbs until you have about a tablespoon of them. Wash and pat dry the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil, then toss them so they're fully coated with the oil. Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt and toss again to distribute the salt evenly. Add the fresh herbs and toss once again. The fingerling's should now be fully coated with the oil-salt-herb mixture. Place the potatoes in a roasting pan and roast until a knife slides easily into one of the largest potatoes —20 to 25 minutes — turn them every 10 minutes so to the tops don't burn.

Red lentil Dahl

1 T. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils,
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1 t. turmeric
¼ t. cardamom
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. cayenne pepper
1 t. salt, or to taste
2 T. tomato paste

In a stockpot or other medium-sized soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
Stirring constantly, add the water or broth, lentils, spices and salt. Bring to a low boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender. Stir in the tomato paste until well combined. Remove from heat, let cool. Place in blender or using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Serve heated over rice, very yummy.

Chicken and barley bake

1 tbsp. butter, divided
1 tbsp. oil, divided
1 lg. onion, minced
2 lg. cloves, garlic, minced
1/2 c. minced celery
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, drained & chopped
1 c. barley, rinsed
3 c. chicken broth
Black pepper to taste
6 chicken legs & thighs, skinned & separated
1/4 c. milk

Heat 1 teaspoon butter and 1 tsp. oil in large saucepan (3 quarts). Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook over moderate heat about 5 minutes. Add wine; bring to a boil and stir until almost evaporated. Add tomatoes, barley and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover and cook for 25 minutes. There should still be plenty of liquid in the pot. Stir in pepper and transfer to 3-4 quart casserole with a cover. While barley is cooking, brown the chicken on both sides in remaining 2 teaspoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of oil. Transfer chicken pieces to the casserole embedding them into the barley mixture. Cover and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the milk over the casserole and bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Breakfast for dinner
Fried potatoes
scrambled eggs

Adapted from TOH recipe
Meatball torte
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 bag of store bought meatballs
1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, (6 ounces)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, place tomatoes and onion in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, herbs and salt.
Punch dough down. Divide into three portions. Roll two portions into 11-inch circles; line the bottoms and press partially up the sides of two greased 9-in. spring form pans. Roll third portion into a 12 inch x 10 inch rectangle; cut into 12 10 inch x 1 inch strips.
Place meatballs in prepared crusts; top with tomato mixture and mozzarella cheese. Make a lattice crust with strips of dough; trim and seal edges. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. This makes two tortes, make one for now and freeze the second one.


No comments: