Saturday, May 31, 2008

Enjoy. Just Enjoy.

Bon Appetit! The Semi Ho Way. More Fun. Sunset Clambake. Good Stuff, Folks. And this video has my most favorite line from Sandra. (And this is so TOTALLY DISJOINTED, I freakin' love it.) Here goes: "I love being outside. Doncha just love outside? The ocean or if it was a lake ... that would be good too. You're in your bathing suit, a sundress, you're relaxed ... I CANNOT WAIT FOR THAT WATERMELON FIZZ." Here, at 2:11 into the video. Always Jonesin' that Sandy is. God, I love this woman. Sandra Lee as Cher. Sandra Lee's Christmas Tree. 'cause nothing celebrates the birth of the Christ child like BARWARE.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time That song is like an ear worm.

Update On The Sweetbreads Issue.

FYI, Mr. Hawthorne hasn't eaten anything I've cooked today. Such chickenshit culinary cowardice. Daughter Hawthorne, upon finding out she had eaten GLANDS, told me "That was evil. No, that was more sick and twisted than evil." Mission accomplished. I am both sick AND twisted. Youngest Hawthorne and his girlfriend came in last night, hungry. I fed them the program. They scarfed it down. YH'sGF said, "You cook more than ALL the women in my family." I think that was a compliment. Middle Hawthorne came home from out of town today. Right at supper time. Hungry. I fed him sweetbreads, risotto, polenta, black bean/corn salad. He had two helpings. Loved it. The Hawthorne Boys don't know what they ate. They didn't ask questions. Just ate and enjoyed. Now, I prepared everything. I knew what I was eating. And I loved it. Wazza madder wid dese peeples?

Delicious Lunch Today.

I decided to make a nice accompaniment for the leftover polenta.
Here are my ingredients:
freshly cooked black beans
a can of corn (Wish I had fresh.)
red onion

For my dressing, I have:
2 limes
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
olive oil

I minced the jalapeno, cilantro, and mint,
finely diced the onion, cucumber, and tomato, and added them all together with the beans and corn.

Isn't this pretty?

For the dressing, I minced the garlic, added it to the juice of 2 limes, then slowly poured in the olive oil (I used Bertolli's Extra Light.), whisking, until I had about 1 cup of dressing. And I also added maybe 2 teaspoons of sugar to cut the tartness of the limes.

Pour the dressing over the salad.


I sauteed some more pieces of polenta and added the corn/bean salad for a delicious combination. I liked that you could taste all the flavors in the salad. Not one overpowered. Just a lovely fusion of flavors.

Notice I said you could taste all the flavors, unlike Aunt Sandy, who apparently can see all the flavors. I was watching Semi Ho this morning, and caught her saying that yet again. Daughter Hawthorne was also watching, so I asked her could she see the flavors. Very matter of factly, she responded, "Of course I can see flavors, Mama. I can smell colors, too." Nose in the air, sniffing the room, she announced she smelled "burnt sienna."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Daughter Hawthorne Comes Home.

Daughter Hawthorne showed up last night with Giada,
her new precious puppy.

Her friend LoosyGoosy came over and gave me a thumbs up for my strawberry mousse.

Youngest Hawthorne didn't want to be photographed.

Now Dixie is not having a problem with this new puppy like she did with Beau. She actually tolerates Giada. With Beau, she just snarls and growls and sneers and barks at him.
I think it's because she realizes he's got "the boys."
And she doesn't like that.
Giada is a fluffy little girl and she can relate.
Here's Dixie on the rug right outside Giada's room, where she spent the night.

Giada appears relaxed.

Have you ever seen an egg like this?

Odd, isn't it?

I've never seen an egg shaped like this.

Mr. Hawthorne had to fix him some comfort crabs
after his disturbing experience with the "veal" today.
Yes, Carol, he can eat soft shells, but can't eat veal.

Beau left with Middle Hawthorne last night and Giada went with Daughter Hawthorne this afternoon to visit friends, so Dixie has the place - and her pillow - all to herself.
Sweet dreams, Dixie.
Look. She's smiling.
And she feels pretty.
After all, her toenails are painted.

Mr. Hawthorne Gets Bored While I Blog Today.

While I was blogging about our delightful lunch this afternoon, Mr. Hawthorne was experiencing a bit of ennui. And by the way, when he says "blog," he makes it sound like a dirty word he's regurgitating up:
as in, "Oh, you're BLAHHHHHHHging again."
But, I digress.

Notice the picture above.
What is different about Dixie?

Mr. Hawthorne painted her toenails.

And he's also vowed never to let me go to the grocery store alone anymore.
He will accompany me on every trip.
He's scared to death what I might buy now.
It must be exhausting to be Mr. Hawthorne.
Poor little man.

Poor Mr. Hawthorne.

Here's Mr. Hawthorne, reading my last post and reacting to it.

You could actually see the color drain from his face as he scrolled down.

"Oh, jeeze, it looks like something leftover from a coroner's office. The only thing missing is the jar of formaldehyde."

"Oh God, it looks like a FETUS!"

"Oh My GOD! It has a membrane."

"Oh ... OH ... OHHHHH! No fucking way a carrot and celery is gonna help that shit."

"Stupid me. I knew you didn't have to soak veal scallopini in water."

"You tricked me, BITCH!"

"Imonna sue Coastal Provisions for organ substitution and false labeling!"

"WHAT??? You paid 20 fuckin' dollars for that?"

"Thymus gland. That's that little sac that holds sperm, isn't it?"

"OH NO. I think Imonna throw up."

"Where's my colon cleanse?
I need my colon cleanse.
I gotta get this shit out of my system."

Poor, poor Mr. Hawthorne.

Mr. Hawthorne's going to have nightmares about this.

Now, the funny thing is, he LOVED it when he was eating it, thinking it was veal, which it IS.
Now, he refuses to eat it.
I honestly thought he was going to throw up while reading the post.
Hmmm ... what can I feed him next?
Any suggestions?

Maybe Carol could invite him for dinner.

Rosie's Mystery Dish.

Mr. Hawthorne and I were at the grocery store the other day, looking for some new meat, when I saw some tripe and suggested we try it. I thought he was going to lose his cookies right then and there.
"Well," says I, "what about some sweetbreads?"
Mr. Hawthorne: "Good God, no. That's disgusting. I don't eat organs."
Me: "But you eat the skin on fried chicken."
Mr. H.: "That's different."
Me: "And you love chicken livers. That's an organ, too."
Mr. H.: "It's not the same thing."
Me: "OK, then. What about oysters. That's just one big ol' organ."
Mr. H.: "No, no, no. It's not the same at all."
Me: "Well, what about soft shell crabs? Gotta be some organs in there."
Mr. H.: "That's totally different."

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

Oh my goodness.
If only I could be a fly on Mr. Hawthorne's wall when he reads this post.
The look on his face would be priceless.

I called around yesterday and located my mystery meat.
Mr. Hawthorne glanced at the package and asked what it was.
"Veal," I said.
"Oh good. Are we having scappolini?" he asks.
"Not exactly, " I reply. "And that would be scallopini."

Now, I don't know how I prepared everything without
Mr. Hawthorne seeing anything,
but I did.

Let's unwrap my veal scallopini.
Does this look like any veal scallopini
you've ever seen?

Didn't think so.

That's because it's SWEETBREADS, veal thymus glands.

Now, how to prepare.
I get out my trusty Joy Of Cooking and
Marcella Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook.

First, I soaked the sweetbreads in cold water for a couple of hours, to release any blood.

I'm holding the sweetbreads up
so you can see the membrane.

Here I am, peeling the membrane off the pieces while they soak.

After about an hour, you can see that the water is a bit discolored.

So I changed the water and
soaked for another hour.

I drained the sweetbreads and
covered them with plastic wrap.

I weighted them down with an iron pan
and put in the fridge to set overnight.

Fast forward to today.
I put a carrot, a piece of celery, 2 TB vinegar, and 2 teas salt in a pot of water, brought it to a boil, then added the sweetbreads to blanch.

Barely simmer for about 6 minutes.

Then drain.

Now, here's my mise en place:
sweetbreads in the bowl, then a can of Italian diced tomatoes, some oil, frozen peas,
butter, and shallots.

Close up of

Are you still with us, Mr. Hawthorne?

Chop up the thymus glands into bite-sized pieces.

Hang on, Mr. Hawthorne, it gets better.

First, I melted 4 TB butter with 2 TB oil and added the chopped shallots.

I lightly breaded
the sweetbreads
in seasoned flour.

Then I added them to the pot and sauteed them until they were lightly browned.

Added in the can of tomatoes with juice
and stirred.

I decided to add in a fresh tomato
for good measure.

I slow simmered this for about 35 minutes.

Then I added in frozen peas and gently
simmered for another 20 minutes.

Mr. Hawthorne and Daughter Hawthorne walked in at this point and both said the house smelled wonderful.

"What are you cooking?" they wanted to know.
"Veal," I said.
"It smells delicious!"

I heated up some phyllo pastry cups and spooned the sweetbread mixture into them, then plated the risotto and the polenta.

I must say, this was some kind of good.

Here's Mr. Hawthorne, digging into his veal.

I asked him how he liked lunch today.
He replied,"I thought it was DAMN good. One of the best things you've done."

Heh, Mr. Hawthorne.
And like we always say, "Parts is parts."

Bon appetit, Mr. Hawthorne!

OH ... By the way, S is for SWEETBREADS.

Rosie Cooks Risotto.

Along with my polenta, I decided to make a nice Parmesan Risotto. Here's my Arborio rice and a wedge of Il Villagio Parmesan.

I melted about 4 tablespoons of butter (Land o' Lakes Unsalted) and sauteed 2-3 tablespoons of chopped scallions.

Add in 1 cup of the Arborio and cook for a few minutes, stirring.

Here, I'm melting my block of homemade chicken consomme and heating it up.

Add in about 1/2 cup of stock at a time.
Let the rice absorb the liquid, stirring.

Ooooh. Steamy.

I cooked the rice on low heat, adding the quart of liquid, just a bit at a time, for about 30-35 minutes, until the rice was nice and tender.
Then I added some peas.

Finally, stir in the Parmesan cheese.

And the risotto is creamy delicious
and ready to serve.