Sunday domesticity

January 30, 2011

UPDATE: I cooked. It was good. I drank too much wine. You do not have photos. You’ll have to deal with whatcha got.

Yesterday was a gift. It was 70 degrees, the sun was brilliant, the horses were running, and I was at the track and not in the kitchen. It was a glorious day.

I did come home about 5 p.m. and make this:

It's a little conflicted, is what it is. But it has possibilities.

and a steak sandwich for NS. Because I knew he wasn’t eating any Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Galette, not even close.

I haven’t quite made up my mind about it, other than to decide that I don’t like the way the garlic plays with the squash. You slice and roast the squash, and while you’re about it, roast 10 garlic cloves. The softened garlic gets blended with ricotta cheese and spread on a pie crust atop a cookie sheet. The butternut squash goes on top of that, grated cheese on top of that, and the edges folded up to make a rustic-looking tart. And you bake it.

It called for fontina, which I did not have, and parmigiano, which I did. I subbed PJF sheep’s milk for the fontina. It called for thyme, and I just didn’t think that’d hit the flavor profile I wanted, so I added paprika. And then for good measure, I drizzled a little honey on top.

Sans the garlic, it would have been excellent. I’m just not real big on the garlic in this application.

Today’s been the kitchen and domesticity day, to make up for going out and about and playing yesterday. I started with cheese biscuits, which are sadly lacking in salt. Then I went to this:

NS's favorite of the new stuff I've tried recently

This is Guinness Whole Wheat Oatmeal bread, and while it’s a fair amount of trouble, NS thinks its the finest thing ever, and being that it’s all whole-grain and such, at least it’s good for him. So I made another loaf today, and he and I will enjoy it for breakfasts and after-school/work snacks this week.

In honor of Mark Bittman ending his 13-year run of the Minimalist column in the NYT, I’m making Mark’s pernil tonight. It was Mark’s pernil, which I tried in an attempt to recreate the lechon asado I had at the regretfully short-lived Cuban joint in Memphis, that probably set me off on my quest to cook something other than the stuff I’d grown up with. It’s got about two hours left to roast. I’d been jonesing for a good pork shoulder roast anyway, and lo and behold, what did I find at Kroger Saturday but a five-pounder With The Skin On! Said skin is now cross-hatched, marinated, coated with mojo (a paste of onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, ancho chile powder and cumin, thinned with a touch of red wine vinegar and olive oil), and merrily roasting away in the oven. Cracklings, people! Cracklings! Dear GOD, how I love ’em!

Going to make mac and cheese with them, and spicy braised sweet potatos, also from the NYT today. May see if I can scrounge a can of beans from the pantry, and doctor those up.

Back to Bittman — you’ve seen me rave about his cookbook, and I’ve probably not said nearly enough about his NYT columns. Well, much like Christmas, here’s the entire collection:

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/features/diningandwine/columns/the_minimalist/index.html

There is nothing in here that I have tried — and I’ve tried many of ’em — that is not excellent. Even better, they’re accessible, and not tremendously intimidating, and won’t keep you in the kitchen until you’re too damn tired to eat. Most have only a handful of ingredients, but Bittman stresses, and I agree — make sure those ingredients are the very best quality you can find. If it’s locally grown or fished or raised, it’s going to be better than if Super-Mega-TooDamnBig-Mart ships it in here from BFE, where it was farmed with all kinds of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers and picked before it was ripe and then forced with CO2 or some such, or raised in a feed lot and shot full of 97 bajillion different kinds of hormones and antibiotics. I’m not even speaking of the benefits, or lack of them, in avoiding these additives. It’s taste, folks. Buy a cantaloupe at your local supermarket. Buy another one at the farmer’s market. Sample them, compare them, and get back to me.

That’s my soapbox for the day. If I don’t get overly exhausted with what’s left to accomplish, you can expect another post from me with the results of dinner, et. al. Otherwise, you and y’mama ‘n ’em may return to your regularly scheduled programming.

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