Monday, August 11, 2008

Dinners that didn't make it


...to the blog. These are from July and early August. I have to admit it looks rather meaty. Vegetarians skip.

Pork loin chops, pan fried with grain mustard and Lillet to deglaze. I ate one with roasted, sliced apples and small, fried potato cubes, and had the other as a very substantial sandwich the next day.

A small, small chicken: roasted with terrace herbs (tarragon, thyme, parsley) and white grapes in the cavity. Later added some leftover ajo blanco (!) to the pan juices with sliced grapes and made an incredible gravy.

Below, for Eric and Mimi: the beginnings of the aromatic vegetables for the chicken pieces I roasted: here, leeks, garlic and fennel, later to be joined by julienned carrot (btw - OLD carrots taste better than young 'uns).

The roasted, rather charred chicken with its additional layer (on top) of heirloom tomatoes and thinly sliced lemons. The chicken cooks on top of the sauteed vegetables above, then is roasted slowly with the tomato and lemon, as well as thyme. Wine and chicken broth are good additions.

OK. It was anchovy month. I stopped shy of the anchovy ice cream my mom makes to put in gazpacho. Hm hm hm. Anyhoo: Bevan sent me a recipe for Abbaccio alla Romana. Oh my goodness, it was good. Cubed lamb browned, then cooked in a pan with vinegar and water, sage and rosemary and...anchovies, till tender. You wouldn't believe it. It is utterly divine. The first time I made it, perfection. The second time, the lamb was tough. Must investigate.

This is just before it all cooks and melts together. We ate it too fast for a finished picture. Anyway, it's not that prepossessing, very monochromatically brown.

Sigh. Squeak. Roast lamb. Deboned, stuffed with garlic, anchovies, rosemary, lemon zest and feta cheese. Slow and long-roasted. This isn't pink, rare, lamb, it's very tender, long-cooked lamb. I added quite a lot of white wine to it, so lots of juice and I served it on toasted focaccia. It's...rustic. Yes. Rustic. Also quite brown.

Ah me. Nice opening to a beautiful aria in Handel's Semele. Yes. The ribs. This is weird, but you'll have to trust me. I have a much-loved rib marinade recipe, but I wanted something different. So, basically a bagna cauda without the oil: lots of chopped garlic, anchovies and red wine vinegar. Add rosemary. Black pepper. And then the weirdness: Maple syrup. Yes, really. I was operating on the traditional barbecued rib principle, of sour/sweet/salty/spicy. It worked. I'm not sure that one can separate those flavours once it's all done and that's probably a good thing. It's yummy.


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