Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Tasty Dinner At The Hawthorne Household.

Hello everyone.
Here are last night's clouds.
I know you wanted to see them.

I just wanted to push that little cloud out.
So, I did.

Dixie is getting very tolerant of Bo-Bo.

Check it out.
Bo-Bo stretches in his sleep and Dixie keeps a watchful eye on him.
She even allowed him on her blankie.
Small steps. Small steps.

Now, on to tonight's dinner.
Here, we have sliced rutabaga and carrots.
I had a lone rutabaga left over from the other week when I did R is For Rutabaga.

First, I sauteed the sliced rutabagas and carrots in butter and olive oil.
Salted and peppered.

Then added some water and simmered, covered, until the veggies were soft.

Into a colander.

Add a pat of buttuh.

Add a little bit of cream and smash.
With a smasher.
No beaters.

Next up, my rice dish.
OK, I use boxed rice dishes.
In this case, Jambalaya.
Who doesn't?

I chopped some peeled celery stalks and some onion.

Sauteed the onions and celery in olive oil and butter.

Add water to boil.
Then poured in the rice mixture.

Cooked about 25 minutes-
until rice absorbed the water, then set aside, covered.

Now, for my Jerk Chicken.

I had chicken thighs in my freezer which I'm trying to clean out.
I went to Food Netwok and searched for chicken thighs.

I came up with Booby Flay's recipe and decided to give it a whirl.

Now, just let me vent for a moment or two.
I'm doing Jerk-rubbed chicken thighs.
A Caribbean recipe, methinks.
I must say, I have a problem with respecting any cuisine
whose the most famous dish is dubbed "JERK."
Enough island shit, Mon.
Yet, I'm doing a Jerk Chicken.
Why, I don't know.

But I chose Bobby's recipe
instead of
Sandra Lee's Tandoori Chicken arrrrusssupppiieee,
which was tempting, but I don't have a tandoor.
Neither does Sandy, but that didn't stop her.
I imagine she could substitute her slo-kukker for a tandoor.

Let me just say:

Tandoori is NOT a recipe.
It is a cooking method.
Marinated (marinaded to Sandy) meat is cooked over intense fire in a TANDOOR, which is a clay oven where the fire is built. Heat can only escape through the top and the ceramic sides reflect the heat, intensifying it, so the oven can easily reach temperatures of 500 degrees.

So Sandy aside, I did take her method for slathering my chicken in yogurt since
I had some leftover yogurt from B is for Borscht.

Here are the chicken thighs.
Awaiting rub.

And here, Mon, are the rub ingredients:

2 TB ground coriander
2 TB ground ginger
2 TB light brown sugar
1 TB onion powder
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB Kosher salt
1 TB cayenne powder
(Sorry, that item - the cayenne- wasn't in my picture.
I forgot it. Beat me. Not that anybody really is ticking off each ingredient.
Unless you're really really anal.)
2 tsp. coarse black pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves

I combined all spices in a small bowl.

Aren't these spices beautiful?
I can smell all the colors.
It is truly grand.

I glopped some yogurt on the underside of each chickie thigh,
then sprinkled with the spice mixture.
Turned over, spanked the bare chickie butts, then slatherd with more yogurt
and the rest of the nicey spicey.
I let the chicken set for at least 30 minutes.

Mr. Hawthorne got home from work and immediately fired up the grill.

Aren't these pretty?

I believe this plate belonged to YoungestHawthorne.
Top, is my chicken thigh.
Bottom right is my rutabaga and carrot smash.
Bottom left is my rice, with onion and celery.

The chicken was quite good.
I was expecting it to be spicier than it was, but it was still very flavorful.
Very moist.

Youngest Hawthorne ate everything on the first plate,
then complained because I wasn't using the BIG plates, so he got a BIG plate and piled more food on it and ate everything.

They like my food.
They really really like my food!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mr. Hawthorne Cooks Dinner.

Before I start with Mr. Hawthorne's dinner tonight, I must show you last night's sunset.
Very pretty.

Today, Mr. H. wanted to make clam chowder.

First, he immediately starts cutting his bacon into his pan.

"No, NO, NOOO!!" I tell him.

"You must get all your ingredients together and put them on the cutting board
so I can take a picture of your mise en place."

Well, for heaven's sake.
You'd think I was talking French to him.
Mon Dieu!

"I ain't doing no stinkin' whatever you said. I'm cookin'."

So, I'll just narrate and shoot pictures.

Next in, a diced potato.

Then some chopped on-yons.

Damn, I miss Justin Wilson.

Ooh. Oooh. Action shot.

Then he remembered he'd forgotten his carrots.
I told you to do your mise en place.

Next, he poured in his clam juice.
Oh, man, nice stream!

This is the brand we use.

And the clams lump into the pan.

Here's the clam chowder so far.

Next, Mr. Hawthorne got out his leftover tile fish with its fish jelly
which we had for dinner two nights ago.
If you haven't had tile fish, please do so.

Pull out all bones with a pair of pliers.
3/4 inch thick fillets
350 degree preheated oven
Slice some onions on top.
Add some butter.
Juice of half a lemon.
Old Bay seasoning.
20 minutes.
Check after 15 minutes.
If it flakes, it's done.

Poured the tile fish into the pot.

And stirred.

Lookin' good.

Bo-Bo and Mr. H.

Beau is like Dixie.
He stays right at our feet when we're cooking.
Smart doggies.

Oh, and Middle Hawthorne has instructed us NEVER, I repeat NEVER, to give his dog any types of treats, to respect his relationship with his dog, blah, blah, blah, fishcakes.
Yeah, right.
I'm his Nana.
That's what Nanas and PawPaws do.

But we will now do it in a clandestine manner.

Take that Middle Hawthorne!

And BTW, Middle Hawthorne (And I say this 'cause I'm pretty sure MH doesn't read my blog.),
if you leave your puppy with me to babysit while you go to a concert in Richmond, for several HOURS, you can believe that when you get home, Beau will have a NEW WORD in his vocabulary. Today's new word he learned is "TREAT," as in "Come here, Bo Bo, TREAT!"
And, by golly, Beau comes.
And he gets a treat.

>End Rant<

Next, some smoked paprika went in.

Oops. Forgot the celery.
Mise en place.
Mise en place.

In a separate pan, Mr. Hawthorne made a roux.
He melted some butter (We use nothing but Land o' Lakes Unsalted.), then added Pillsbury's Shake and Blend Flour that comes in the cannister.

Next, he added some milk,
and cooked until nicely thickened.

He added the roux to the clam chowder.

Then added some heavy cream.

And a bit more smoky paprika.

And some sherry.
And cooked a bit more to thicken.

I added some chopped parsley.

Just heaven.

Not only could you see all the flavors,
you could taste the presentation.
And I could smell the colors.
And I could feel the aromas.
And I heard the chowder:
It called out to me like a Siren.
"Come to me. Eat me."

I did.
And was glad.
It was good.

A sensory coup, if you will.


Day-um, I dun tawt dat man to cook!

I guess I'll keep him.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rosie Cooks Dinner. Big Surprise, Huh?

Tonight, I decided to use my leftover wontons from the other night and my potsticker filling and my crabmeat filling to make something.
Something different from the other night.
So's I go to the fridge and pull out my wontons.

What the hell is this?
If you answered "smashed wontons,"
you would be correct.

I had these little buggers nicely floured and stacked and somebody, I'm looking at YOU, Mr. Hawthorne, put a weight on them and I can't separate them.
So, I balled them up, kneaded a bit, and rolled the dough out again.
Sheesh, why do I even try?

Sliced and fried and set aside.

Here are my newly RE-made wontons and my potsticker filling - ground pork, shrimp, green onions, soy sauce, ginger, garlic - did I miss anything?

Yes, I did.
The cabbage.
And probably something else.

Yup, I just checked my post from the other night.
Carrots and water chestnuts.
And sesame oil.

I'm making mini egg rolls.

Put in the filling, rolled up, moistened the edges with water, and sealed.

And here they are, ready for frying.

I've fried and drained them on paper towels,
and I have the two dips left over from the other night.

Then I decided to add some Wasabi sauce.
Mmm mmmmm gooooood.

I picked a few peppers out of my garden, stuffed them with the crabmeat mixture, and topped with Parmesan cheese.

Popped under the broiler until nicely browned on top,
then added a bit of butter and lemon juice and served.
The lemon juice and buttah added just the right je ne sais quoi.

I had a surplus of celery in my refrigerator, so I decided to make a celery soup.
I wasn't in the mood for cream of celery, so here's what I put together:

peeled celery
tomato paste
homemade chicken consomme
Parmesan cheese

I cut up the bacon into pieces and sauteed the bacon and the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil until nicely browned.

Added in the chopped celery and about 2 TB tomato paste and cooked for about 5 minutes.

Then I added in a quart of my chicken consomme, deglazed the pan, scraping up the goodie bits, and simmered, covered for about 15 minutes.

Added about 1/2 cup of rice and simmered for another 20 minutes.

Ladled the soup into a bowl, added fried wonton strips and grated parmesan cheese.

This was quite good. The bacon imparted a lovely smokiness to the whole,
while the celery lightened it up.
The wonton strips added a nice crunch and the Parmesan added, well, Parmesan, which is always a good thing.
Come to think of it, I never seasoned this soup with salt or pepper.
And it didn't need it.
I thought it delicious.

Mr. Hawthorne declared the soup, "Excellent. I'd want it again."

Maybe I will.
Maybe I won't.
Don't squash my friggin' wontons ever again.
Then we'll talk.