Snowy day cooking

January 9, 2011

It’s Sunday, it’s snowing, and I’m cooking and watching football with the dawg asleep, her head on my knee, and a glass of wine on the coffee table. Life may get better, but not a whole lot.

The toll to date — cheese biscuits (and eggs and bacon) for breakfast; coconut macaroons (made 20, have eaten five, made myself quit); carbonnades a la flamande in the pot braising. I’m about to experiment my way through an apple salad, for the Food 52 contest this week (have posted one, about to try another), curried fruit to go with dinner. Still to come — mac and cheese, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Sometime this week, possibly tomorrow, I’m going to braise some country style pork ribs in ancho chilenpowder and coffee, and make quesadillas or tacos with that.

The carbonnades are the beef tips the PJF guy brought me last week in lieu of short ribs. That’s OK by me. He brought me short ribs this time, along with another lamb shank or two, so we’ll be working on those next weekend.

I just let Lucy go out on the deck to investigate the snow. She did not seem to know exactly what to think about it.  Wish I had photos, but alas, the camera is still in Memphis (will get it next week), and the cell phone has decided it no longer wants to mail photos to my computer. Go figger. So I guess we’re photoless until sometime after next Sunday.

These macaroons. Seriously, y’all. I’m not sure how anything so easy can be so good, but these are. Thank you, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, for sending this recipe along. I’ve made them twice now, didn’t almost-burn them this time. The too-simple-to-be-believed method:

  • 3 cups dried, flaked, sweetened coconut (the kind you get in a bag in the baking section)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 eggs.

Beat the eggs and the almond extract. Stir in the sugar. Dump in the coconut and stir until it’s all moistened. Make 20 “haystacks” on a parchment covered baking sheet, and bake them at 350 (at least in my goofy oven; may be as much as 375, or for a longer time, in yours) for about 18 minutes or so. Period. The end.

Oh. And try to wait until they cool just a little before you eat them. Else you burn your tongue and fingers. Some of us know this from experience.

Mac and cheese. I find myself in one of those odd predicaments, highly unusual in my house. I have no Velveeta. Nor, for that matter, do I have any elbow macaroni. Not to be deterred, I used a bag of egg noodles, as I want buttered egg noodles to put my carbonnades over anyway, and grated sharp cheddar, co-jack and butterkase. Butterkase tastes kinda like Velveeta with a little flavor other than salt, anyway. Should work. NS will be the final arbiter of that, of course.

Apple salad. I’ve concocted a topping of crumbled bacon, sweetened dried cranberries,  toasted walnuts and feta cheese, and made myself a honey balsamic viniagrette with balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, a little allspice, a little thyme, a teaspoon of smoked paprika and two or three tablespoons of honey. Good stuff. I kept adding until it tasted right. So I’m going to chunk up my apple, sprinkle it with a bit o’topping, and drizzle it with a little viniagrette, and I think that ought to be a fine, fine salad. I’ll enter it, and it just occurred to me I ought to make up some of the Culinary District’s orange vanilla white balsamic viniagrette to go over a salad of apples, grapes and fresh coconut. Ya think? Or — oooh —chunked apples and cubed chicken breast! Yeah! That!

UPDATE: Am enjoying apple salad as we speak. I did not go amiss with this one. Will try the apple-chicken one tomorrow. The rate it’s snowing, we may be home again tomorrow, anyway.

Got to consider whether I want to cook anything else today or not. Have most assuredly enjoyed what I’ve done to this point. With that, I believe I’ll leave you and y’mama ‘n ’em to enjoy the snow whilst I enjoy carbonnades a la flamande.

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2 Responses to “Snowy day cooking”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    …it just occurred to me I ought to make up some of the Culinary District’s orange vanilla white balsamic viniagrette to go over a salad of apples, grapes and fresh coconut. Ya think?

    I think.

    Would this be the first time you’ll make this vinaigrette, or have you made it before and not mentioned it here?

    No, haven’t made it. I’ve been eating soup-and-salad lunches down there about twice a week, which satisfies my jones for the viniagrette…and I don’t eat enough salads at home in the winter to justify making it!

  2. Sharon Says:

    Are you coming to Memphis to retrieve said camera? Have time to vist?

    Your snow day food adventures are inspiring. I made riboletta last night – nothing better than peasant food.

    Riboletta….yum. I’ve never made it.

    It’s a one-day trip to Marion, actually; baby shower for Child B. Said child’s godmother is bringing the camera to the shower. I MAY wind up coming over Saturday, depending on what arrangements are for Ray Mattingly; don’t know if you knew him and Pam or not….


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