Tuesday, November 28, 2006
One Fresh Bell & Evans Turkey
The Fresh Market began carrying Bell & Evans last year and I was impressed. The bird just seemed to taste better. I also appreciated the dark meat which was actually dark and packed with scrumptious flavor. Preparation is fairly simple: salt and pepper between the breast and skin and the leg and skin. Add pats of real butter (I go all out and use Plugra) between breast and skin and leg and skin. Insert herbs between breast and skin and leg and skin. This year I placed thyme on the breast and rosemary on the legs. I roast the bird in an electric roaster. The roaster keeps the turkey moist and frees up the oven for dressing.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Yukon golds, Plugra butter, a few garlic cloves, a tiny amount of cream, salt, and pepper. I make sure we have enough potatoes left over to make potato cakes for breakfast the next morning.
Sautéed Green Beans and Shallots
Sauté the shallots in butter until just caramelized, add fresh beans that have been soaked and then boiled in salted water. I cooked the beans until they were soft because I had diners who preferred them that way.
I make a roux of butter and flour and then pour in juices from the cooked turkey. This year I had enough turkey drippings to forego the addition of canned chicken broth.
A bunch of fresh cranberries, the juice of a lemon and orange, a couple of cinnamon sticks. Add water and a ton of sugar. Boil to jam-like consistency. I did not add enough sugar for eating at the Thanksgiving table, but I reheated and added more of the sweet stuff. This made a great alternative spread for the inevitable turkey sandwiches. I also liked it on toast. I wished we had had some biscuits.
While most of the menu is fairly standard, I always try to make a different type of dressing every year. This year I wanted to make something with fennel. Alas, the store was out of fennel, so, I used my imagination and made it up as I went along. It turned out to be quite popular. And, of course, I’ll never be able to quite repeat it, but here is the list of ingredients: a loaf of sesame bread and a loaf of challah torn into bite-sized chunks and toasted; toasted pine nuts; crushed fennel seeds; sautéed onions and leeks; a couple of Irish banger sausage links fried and sliced thin; minced garlic; turkey broth from boiling the turkey neck supplemented with some chicken broth. Combine everything and bake for an hour. It was yummy!
We washed it down with a sparkling rose.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Very tasty, laid back, with an extremely nice and attentive wait staff. If you like fish and seafood, you must experience it!
Next course – I ordered Steamed Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers over Mixed Greens topped with Asian Dressing, Sweet Potato Fires, Red Peppers, and Crispy Noodles. The Pot Sticker dough was thin (just how I like it) and the filling was very flavorful leaning more toward pork than shrimp. The Asian dressing seemed to be more for the pot stickers because it was not drizzled over the mixed greens. But the shoestring cut fried sweet potatoes made up for the lack of dressing on the actual salad. A decent light lunch, but I knew around 3 PM I would need a snack. My husband had the Tuna Salad Served with Fresh Fruit and Crackers. Typical tea room fare, and while good, nothing spectacular.
Chez Foushee was a decent place for lunch, but not worth making special plans.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
2 veal shanks, ~ ½ pound each
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried sage
½ cup dry white wine
Tomato puree (I used about ½ of a 28 ounce can)
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Salt and pepper the shanks. Put flour in a zip close bag. Place shanks in the bag. Seal bag and shake to coat the veal. Pour olive oil in a small deep-sided frying pan and heat on medium high until oil is almost smoking. Put shanks in the pan and sear for about 3 minutes on each side. Take shanks out of the pan and set aside. Put onions in the pan, sprinkle with salt, and sauté for about 3-5 minutes on medium. When the onions are beginning to become translucent, add the garlic and sage. Sauté for another minute and pour in white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio from Cycles Gladiator). Turn heat up to medium high and let the white wine reduce by at least half. Once reduced, add about ½ a cup of tomato puree and stir. Nestle the shanks in the sauce and spoon about another ½ cup of puree into the pan, letting the sauce come up about to the top of the shanks. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Let simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, turning the shanks occasionally. Serve over angel hair pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated Romano cheese.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
My husband and I traveled to DC this past weekend. Highlights included:
Best Show: Corteo – Cirque du Soleil’s traveling show now performing under the Chapiteau in the heart of our Nation’s Capital. A wild romp complete with lingerie bedecked acrobats swinging from the chandeliers. http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/
The Place for a Cheap Martini: Medaterra – This bistro, located at
Our Latest Italian Find: Dino http://www.dino-dc.com/ – The address is
Avinyo Brut Reserva Rosado – A Cava (sparkling wine) from the Penedes region in
Thursday, November 02, 2006
White wine is not my usual thing, but I do tend to sigh over a nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. And with the 2005 Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, I’m downright rapturous. For me, it’s the grapefruit. The website - http://www.giesen.co.nz/ - describes the taste as citrus. Citrus can conjure up a variety of remembered tastes from pucker-up lemon to honeyed tangerines. With this wine we are talking in your face grapefruit. I think it pairs well with salads and can stand up to most salad dressings. The other night I served it with a Curried Carrot and Apple Soup. Delightful!