Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mo' Oysters.

Rosie is making mo' oysters.
And that would be Moreover Oysters.

Rosie, as you know, doesn't do 'Leftovers."  She does "Moreovers,"  which is when you take "leftovers" and make something much more better!

My leftovers today include yellow rice and black beans and cornbread.

I put a few grains of rice, a few black beans, some chopped onion, and a pinch of cumin on each oyster.
Then I crumbled some cornbread over top.

Add some grated PepperJack cheese on top.

Then give it a quick trip under the broiler.

And enjoy!
More oysters forthcoming.

After all, 'tis the season!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rosie And Her Oysters!

Now, what do we have here?
I believe it's another oyster preparation.
You know the Hawthornes love their oysters,
so we're always trying to come up with
different toppings to accentuate the oyster.
We don't want to overpower the delicate, briny oyster.
We just want to accompany it with a few extra flavors.
And in the Hawthorne household,
you never know what those flavors are going to be.

 Toppings For My Oysters
 1/4 fennel bulb, roasted, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 TB chopped scallions
1 TB minced celery with fronds
2 TB chopped apple
1 orange, rind caramelized
grated Parmesan cheese
panko breadcrumbs
unsalted butter

Pour a little olive oil over the fennel,
roast over an open flame, cool, then chop
along with the scallion, celery, and apple.

Place some caramelized orange on each oyster (2 dozen).
Top each oyster with fennel mixture.
Give each a light grating of Parmesan cheese,
a sprinkling of panko, and a small pat of butter.

Under a 450° broiler for about 6-7 minutes,
until lightly browned.
You may want to turn oysters halfway through broil time.
Remove from oven and top with more caramelized orange.

(I put the first caramelized orange pieces underneath the toppings
so they wouldn't burn under the broiler.)

To caramelize orange rind,
 peel the rind off one orange, 
being careful to avoid the pith
(bitter white part),
then slice into thin strips.
Place in small saucepan,
cover with water,
bring to boil.
Pour off water and repeat twice.
Add juice of the orange, 1/2 cup cold water,
and 1 cup sugar to pan with orange peels.
Bring to boil, 
then simmer gently over very low heat,
 occasionally swirling pan,
 until peels are sticky and syrupy - about 20 minutes.

 I normally don't have fennel,
but sometimes one finds themselves with the odd vegetable.
I had 1/2 a fennel left over from one of Mr. Hawthorne's concoctions -
Pasta with Sausage Ragu.
He's so pleased with himself and this dish.
He's already made it 4 times
and tomorrow he wants to make it again
"because don't you think it would be better that way?"

Who is this man?
What have they done with Mr. Hawthorne?

Whomever he is, he can stay.

And stay tuned for his Sausage Ragu recipe.
You'll be quite happy with it!

I doused the fennel with a little extra virgin olive oil
and roasted it over an open flame.

Boil the orange peel.
3 times.

Add the sugar and orange juice.

Bring to boil,
then gently simmer.

When it gets syrupy like this,
take it off the heat.
Caramelization can go downhill in a heartbeat.
As in burn.
So don't become a statistic.
Not that I am.

Choppy-choppy the fennel, scallion, celery, and apple.

Write down directions as you go along.

Place a little caramelized orange on top of the oyster.

I wouldn't mind slurping this down just as is.

Top with a little of the fennel mixture,
sprinkle on the Parmesan and panko.
I put on the pat of butter halfway through cooking.
Almost forgot it.

450° broiler.
6-7 minutes.
Until lightly browned.

I love oysters.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Hawthornes' Thanksgiving. 2016.

The wonderful thing about the Hawthorne Thanksgiving this year is that it was a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Holidays, being holidays, don't carry much weight with me, but of all of them, Thanksgiving is the least offensive.  No new attire is required and no gifts are given or even expected.  What is expected is food.  And that's why I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.  The food.

This year was bittersweet, even though no chocolate was involved.  Two Hawthornelets, two Hawthorne doglets, and one Hawthorne catlet were missing, but I am grateful for one Mr. Hawthorne and one Hawthornelet and one Little Junior who were all here, in addition to the hangers-on and drop-ins we always have.

Another wonderful thing about the Hawthorne Thanksgiving this year is that you can eat this meal ANYTIME!  No turkey was involved.  No gravy.  No ham.  No mashed potatoes. No potato salad.  No biscuits.  No rolls.  No casseroles.  None of that stuff usually reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And don't get me started on why we eat the same stuff at Christmas we just had a month earlier.  It's crazy.

So I welcome you to the Hawthorne Thanksgiving, non-traditional as it was.  In fact, the only thing traditional about it was one item I made, which I make every year.  Julia Child's Gâteau de Crêpes-  only one of the most perfect things I've ever eaten.

I sorta had an epiphany.   No. I wouldn't call it that.  A realization, I would say.  In the process of life, and how things go on with or without you, and how you have choices, and you can choose what and how to do things, I decided that I'm neglecting my blog and, with this post, hope to rectify that and to continue posting in a more timely fashion and in ways that would help the home cook.  That said, the 4-5 of you that still read my blog will have some new things coming your way.  Here's a hint:  Go buy oysters.

Back to Thanksgiving.
Always, check out the food first.

 Mr. Hawthorne made Caesar salad dressing and blanched green beans.
I made homemade croutons with herbs from the garden.

 The only traditional thing about this Thanksgiving was Julia Child's Gateau and the Champagne.
I make it every year.The gateau, not the Champagne.

I love this.  Homemade crepes, dilled carrots, mushroom duxelles, blanched broccoli, Swiss cheese, custard sauce.

And then I look out the window and see this.
 An apparent adult with three minors.  In a canoe.
I did not see any flotation devices, but I could be mistaken.

And yes, I have identifiable photographs of all four, but choose not to post pics of minors on my blog.

 My thoughts are now on oysters. And I bet you wonder where Rosie is going with this.
 I caramelized some orange peel.
Not to worry.  Rosie knows where she's going.

 I reduced cranberries with cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar until thick and syrupy.

 I picked a mess of collards, kale, and sorrel in the yard.
These are all volunteers.  Happy little vegetables.  The fittest of the fittest.

 I sautéed the greens and sliced mushrooms.

 Topped each oyster with greens, cranberry reduction, caramelized orange, pomegranate arils, and Brie cheese.  Quick trip under the broiler for the Brie to melt.

Loves me some wafting steam.

 I could eat a dozen or so of these.
 Mr. Hawthorne's contribution - Mediterranean Shrimp with sliced potatoes and fennel, shrimp, lemon zest, feta cheese, kalamata olives, parsley from the garden.

I will have Mr. Hawthorne make this again.  It's that good!

 Ooooh...  What's Rosie up to now?

 If you guessed, "Making fettuccini with garden greens," you would be correct.
I need someone to clean up behind me!
And in front of me!
Green fettuccini.  Grown in my garden!
 The fettuccini was tossed with olive oil and butter and paired with pecan-battered and fried scallops and shrimp with ...  reduced cranberry sauce and caramelized oranges, along with Mr. Hawthorne's contribution - dipping sauce - mayo, Texas Pete, and Chablis mustard.

Oh...  Almost forgot the Parmesan crisp.

And the food continues.  Saturday, THE VanderCamps of Michigan visited.
I made a butter, seasoned, and toasted tortilla filled with ...
... carnitas which had been simmering for hours, along with black beans, yellow rice, crème fraîche, shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced scallions and jalapeños, grated cheddar cheese, and Mr. Hawthorne's canned salsa, along with cilantro from the garden.

And Mr. Hawthorne made his most excellent sausage ragu with my homemade pasta.
Sausage ragu recipe will be up soon.  Promise.

And then for the finale, I cranked the pasta maker up to the thinnest setting, #8, and made angel hair pasta, just to show off.

I think THE Vandercamps of Michigan were duly impressed.

And then, Saturday night, I started on Sunday morning breakfast.
Yeast waffles.  The batter needs to sit at room temperature all night.

It's Sunday morning.  The blessings are still flowing.  And the waffles are steaming.
I like to crisp them up even more in the toaster oven.

Yeast waffles, with Plugra butter, Mr. Hawthorne's homemade blueberry sauce, some heated up cranberry reduction sauce, some caramelized orange pieces, pure maple syrup, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

And Youngest Hawthorne made dessert for breakfast.
Mr. Hawthorne had made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  He couldn't help himself.
Me?  I can do without pies and I don't particularly care for pumpkin.
However, this was a pumpkin smoothie.
Pumpkin pie with ice cream done up in a blender.
I will eat this happily.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Hawthornes.
Count your blessings!