Friday, October 31, 2008

A Nice Hearty Meal For An Autumn Repast.

Hello, all. And a Happy Halloween to you. I've been meaning to post earlier, but I've had computer problems. After calling Charter Communications yesterday, listening to their instructions and jumping through hoops, pulling out cords, re-plugging cords, different links, changing cables all over the place, finally the techie informed me my router was ka-poot. She scheduled me for a repairman to come out today. He arrived earlier than the 1-5 o'clock window I was told. Came in, pushed a button. Internet back on. Apparently, I had yet another ID-TEN-T error. That would be ID10T. I swear, all those lights were on when I called Charter yesterday. Really, the internet just stopped. Standby mode on the modem, indeed. Happily, I'm back now. This is the house across the canal from us. Geese have found it to be a buffet lately.
I still had two Oysters and Pearls leftover from the other day.
This was our appetizer. I used pieces of rosemary focaccia to scoop it up.
The rich creaminess of the tapioca. The salty, crisp, crunch of the focaccia. What a nice combination.
Mr. Hawthorne will be preparing the main course.
Mr. Hawthorne has 2 cups of chicken stock, a bit of brown and wild rice blend, and Lipton Onion Soup Mix.
We found boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillets on sale for $1.99 at Harris Teeter the other day. We've always liked the dark meat better. Higher fat content and better flavor. Chicken breasts are fine, if not overdone, for one meal, but not really good for leftovers, unless it's for chicken salad. Chicken thighs lend themselves nicely to heated up leftovers. They don't dry out like the breast meat does.
Mr. H. lined a baking dish with foil, then spread carrots and celery on the bottom.
Chicken thighs went on top.
Pineapple goes on top of chicken.
Chicken stock and rice gets poured over top.
Then, Mr. Hawthorne Sandra-Lee'd it with a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.
Pineapple juice for good measure. Mr. Hawthorne covered the dish with foil and baked it at 350 for about 35-45 minutes. In the meantime, I prepared brussels sprouts and I must give credit where credit's due. Thanks to Sara, of Sara's Kitchen, for this recipe.
First, I oiled, salted, and peppered the brussels sprouts.
Toasted my walnuts.
And got out my leftover pomegranate seeds.
I made little x-marks on the end, then roasted the brussels sprouts for about 20 minutes.
Those browned outer leaves are delicious.
After roasting, I sauteed in butter.
Added the toasted walnuts.
Some red onions.
Then the pomegranate seeds.
Cook through and serve. What a colorful, pretty dish.
Pineapple/onion chicken with wild rice, carrots, and celery, and roasted brussels sprouts with walnuts and pomegranate.
What a nice meal for a crisp, cool fall evening. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, the vegetables aromatic, the walnuts rich, the rice nutty, the pineapple sweet, the pomegranate seeds tart. Just an all around good combination. And a big thank you to Sara, for your brussels sprouts recipe. It was delicious.


Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rosie Uses Up Her Leftover Pizza Dough.

The wind's been kicking up here a bunch, so I went out to pick a bunch of basil leaves before they got torn all to pieces.
A nice batch of pesto seemed in order. First, I processed 4-5 garlic cloves, grated parmesan cheese and the basil leaves along with olive oil.
Then I added pecans which I prefer over pine nuts.
Drizzle in the olive oil while processing.
I always taste as I go along. Needed more parmesan and nuts.
And a bit more olive oil.
And that's the consistency and taste I want.
I reserved a little bit of pesto for my upcoming breadsticks, and spooned the rest into ice trays, covered and froze it. After freezing, pop the pesto blocks into a freezer bag and you have individual servings.
I poured boiling water over sun-dried tomatoes. After the pizza dough I made the other day, I had saved half the loaf, wrapped it in plastic, and refrigerated it, until I could figure out what I wanted to make with it.
Here's the loaf right out of the fridge. It was still trying to rise in the plastic. I kneaded it again for about 10-15 minutes, then covered with plastic and a damp, hot towel, and left it to rise several hours in the microwave.
And here's my dough.
The punch down. As always, my favorite part.
My dough, chopped, softened, and drained sun-dried tomatoes, and my reserved pesto.
I gradually kneaded in the tomatoes and the pesto.
I rolled the bread out and placed it on oiled baking sheets, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese, and let rise.
A quick bake at 350 degrees - maybe 25 minutes - until nice and crunchy.
Serve with homemade blue cheese dressing : mayo sour cream cream garlic chives salt and pepper
The blue cheese is a wonderful complement to the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.
I didn't use all the dough for the bread sticks. I saved half for rosemary focaccia.
I spread the dough, thinly, on a greased baking sheet, then gave it a liberal grinding of sea salt and black pepper and added the rosemary and a drizzling of olive oil. Let it rise for a little bit.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Salty, crunchy, herby goodness. Next, Mr. Hawthorne got out a couple of crab cakes he'd made and frozen the other day.
Just to give you an idea of the size of his crab cakes, here's a large Roma tomato for comparison.
Mr. Hawthorne melted some butter, added olive oil, then lightly sauted the crab cakes over medium heat.
And here's dinner. Crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce and remoulade, cole slaw, and basil/sun-dried tomato breadsticks with blue cheese dressing.
Sweet, delicious crab cakes with big chunks of crab meat. The tartar and remoulade sauces are nice tangy accompaniments. Doesn't get much better than this.