Wednesday, December 26, 2012


All these posts about food when all I really want is some cheese (Triple Cream and Shropshire).

One Pot Meal

My goal was to cook everything in one pot. Saute carrots in olive oil:

Add some arborio rice:

Slowly add warm chicken stock, one ladle at a time. When it (risotto) is done, turn off the heat and add some spinach:

Then top with salmon and cover:


One Plate Meal

Not a one pot meal but not far from it. Lay down a bed of spinach (this could have been dressed with a little olive oil):

Top with hot pasta:

Then sauce with a pork and apple ragu (recipe from The Girl and the Goat):

Delicious, filling and healthy (at least the spinach was healthy).

Friday, November 23, 2012


Nothing special about dinner:

Biscuits with liver butter / pate, oil cured black olives and three cheeses

Mixed greens, cheddar cheese, almonds, apples

Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, green beans

(no photo)

Pecan pie, iced cream with sugar and vanilla.

That's all. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012


I have probably written about cauliflower but this photo turned out well:

Heat a wok, add some vegetable oil, add some cubes of bread and brown them

Remove the bread

Add cauliflower (sliced) and "sauté" (if that is the right word for a wok) until brown

Add spinach (the baby ones in a bag)

Toss the croutons back into the wok and sprinkle / swirl / dump sriracha (Thai chili sauce) on top

Meat Balls

Ikea meatballs: who knows what a 5 year old in Thailand made them out of but they are great: here they meet up with Safeway fettucine (I'm liking fettucine more than spaghetti or smaller), "home made" marinara and sauteed kale.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


A simple, early-fall Sunday dinner:

Grilled Hen (olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper)

Green Beans (olive oil)

Potatoes (olive oil, salt, butter)

"Gravy" (2c chicken stock, 8 garlic cloves, salt, butter - reduce everything but the butter until thickish then stir it in)

Time for a nap!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Fish

My first go around with the new range (Bosch dual fuel, four burner). Lake trout bought today paired with some veggies: farmers market tomatoes (I really don't like using that term but it does describe the fact that they are better than the super market kind), edamame and spinach. Farmers market (again) sweet, sweet corn.

Saute the tomato with olive oil and sea salt, add edamame then add spinach for a few seconds (seriously). Remove to plates, wipe the pan, add oil and slowly cook the fish.

Boil the water, and add the corn.

That's pretty much it - healthy and tasty.

Oh, and add that scallion / ginger sauce.


A friend called Tilapia "bottom feeders" (and went on to describe what they feed on at the bottom). I didn't need to hear that and still cook them occasionally - :).

Here with green beans, tomato risotto, the bottom feeder topped with scallion / ginger sauce (if you have read any of my other posts then you may remember that sauce). The risotto was the best part - as usual.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fried Fish

Frozen fish and several veggies all in a one pot (wok):

- Pre-cut and washed Kale in a bag
- Trade Joe's green beans (aka haricort verts)
- Fresh tomatoes

I started with the green beans, sauteed them in a hot wok with a little vegetable oil until slightly brown, removed them and added the tomatoes, let them collapse (so to speak) then added the kale. Kale is a very nutritional vegetable.

Put the green beans to one side and drizzled with aioli. Put the tomatoes on top of the kale. Heat a cup or so of vegetable oil, dip fish in milk and then a salty, peppery flour mix then fry to golden brown. Put on top of the kale / tomato and drizzle hot sauce!

Friday, July 27, 2012


Not really... there were some dishes after but none worth reporting. Tonight, everything is packed so I picked up sushi, tomorrow is dinner with friends and Sunday will probably be the last visit to the Mexican restaurant around the corner (it's not that great - mostly the convenience and the excellent salsa).

Anyway, what do you do with some farmers market peaches, plums and tomatoes? A gift of fig balsamic vinegar and GOOD olive oil (inside joke)? Mix it up and add sea salt! Delicious.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Last Dinner

(I think) - We are moving in two weeks (I just got the final confirmation while typing this). There is a lot to do, it's hot and I probably won't feel much like cooking.

Anyway, this meal was for my brother-in-law Craig and nephew Max. They went to Wrigley on Sunday for a game, got back around 5:00 and (unusual for them) needed to leave because Craig was having knee surgery at 7:00 the next morning! He probably won't be reading this tonight.

Cauliflower and croutons, green beans and "fish" aioli, roasted beets and lemon preserve. I'm kind of in a rut, but I like my rut. 

Maybe the new kitchen will inspire me to move on (we were there today for the second time and, for the second time, my photos are lousy):

Three-hour roasted pork loin with that delicious ginger and scallion sauce.

This will - probably - be my last blog from Ridgeway.



In - N - Out

I don't care much for burgers - unless there is a little beef (3-4 oz) and lots of other goodies:

1. Half of a bun smeared with their special sauce. I found it online (who knows if it really is):  basically a spicy Thousand Island dressing). One of my least favorite salad dressings but it works on a burger.
2. A slab of dead bovine flesh (it should be flatter so as to cover the bun).
3. There should be a slice of American cheese but I skipped it. Not sure why because I do like it in this context.
4. A slice of tomato.
5. Sliced onion - evidently I also skipped that - but then it was July 4th with a house-full of people and too much hosting to do (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
6. Some iceberg lettuce.
7. The other half of the bun. Squeeze it all - a little - and enjoy. That's my kind of burger!


What do you do on a work-night when you don't know what to do? Pull some "stuff" out and hope for the best:

Brown rice


I love buckwheat noodles! Firm and tasty. All they need is chicken broth but here they have some pesto that I whipped up:

Another Summer Dinner

Again, nothing special except for the Cornish Hen. One serves two and grilles nicely:

Summer Dinner

This photo makes me sad (no more of the garden in two weeks):

Grilled pork with ginger / scallion sauce
Cauliflower and croutons

Nothing special except the location. :(

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Salmon

Weekly shopping on a weeknight + light lunch = hungry stomach, however, it is nearly summer so think about this:

Teriyaki salmon sprinkled with wasabi sea salt, buckwheat noodles in (my) chicken stock, cucumber in rice wine vinegar and fish sauce. The noodles were the best part (and you know how I love salmon)!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


If you don't like it stop reading.

If you do (and I do) think about this:

1. 1/3 lb (approx) pasta boiled in salty water for 5 minutes (linguine would be good). Ina Garten says that pasta should be boiled in water that tastes like the ocean. Not a bad rule!

2. Three or four cloves of garlic, big mince (I know, I hate it when I read that kind of thing so I mean 1/8" to 3/16")

3. 3/4 tin of anchovies, small dice ( just chop, chop, chop).

Turn the water on and bring it to a boil.

Saute 2. and 3. in a little olive oil. When the fish are cooked they become salty, smoky wonderfulness and not at all fishy.

4. Croutons from earlier in the week (I have been finding that making small dice comes in handy for vegetables or pasta (tonight).

5. Flat leaf spinach

Add the pasta to the anchovy / garlic mixture (reserve some pasta water in case it is too dry). Not the other way around - you want to get all of the good bits from the fish and garlic. Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes. Mix and split between two bowls (this is for two people). Top with the croutons.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Home Alone

Dinner at 9 is late (even for me) and by myself is really unusual. So it was fast food on Irving or a quick salad at home. I chose the salad - partly because the temperature is in the 80's and partly because I have been taking a good look at my midriff lately:

A bag of washed (flat) spinach always comes in handy so I pulled out a bit, made some croutons from a leftover baguette (bread in Chicago is disappointing but makes fine croutons). Slice a little of the frozen, grilled-many-months-ago flank steak that I pulled out this morning (thinking of a different evening) and Green Goddess In A Bottle. For a few seconds I thought of tearing up some fresh mint but decided that it was too late to make a second dinner. :) Still, I have to wonder...

The Green Goddess is from Kraft. I used to be a snob about store bought dressings but life is too short. I like Cardinis's Original Caesar, any of the Paul Newmans because most of the profits go to charity (they say) and the Safeway brands because they are cheap and good enough (especially Jalapeño Ranch).

Sunday, March 4, 2012


We haven't had salmon here for a while so I pulled out ye olde cauliflower puree trick. Cooked the salmon in a 425d oven for 15 minutes in a pool of lime juice and olive oil with (what else?) scallion / ginger sauce. Roasted green beans for about 45 minutes and served with (what else?) fish sauce! I'm in a rut with those two sauces but it is a really tasty rut.

Refrigerator Dinner

Poke around the inside and see what comes out:


Cannellini beans

Scallion / ginger sauce

Cauliflower, tomato and spinach

Not bad!


Slow cooked ribs heat up nicely, too. Just put them back in the oven at a low heat for an hour or so.


My sister told me about this so I gave it a whirl - literally. Coarsely chop some cauliflower then "puree" it in the food processor. You don't want it to be a puree, actually, more like the size of rice.

Sautee with olive oil and salt. It wasn't the most delicious dish that I've ever made but what can be added to it is endless.


When a friend volunteers to come over on a Sunday afternoon bake a cake! No reason, just the cake (and he left 75% of it!).
Torching the meringue

Waiting for the soup to finish


Sunday, February 19, 2012


In my family we draw names at Christmas and make the gift. This year I made my brother-in-law a dinner. Originally conceived as a tasting menu (eight or more small-portion courses) it ended up being not-so-many courses that were a bit larger. The awful photos on the left are by me - evidently I was feeling too rushed to pay attention to focusing the camera. B-I-L took the photos on the right, fortunately.

1. "Shrimp Cocktail" - one large, cold shrimp in a sauce of tomato, garlic, chili pepper, soy, honey, brown sugar worcestershire and butter - reduced until it is fairly thick.

2. Green beans, cashews and fish sauce (from the Girl and the Goat restaurant here in Chicago). The fish sauce is a little misleading: it consists of Asian fish sauce, soy sauce, dijon mustard, lime juice and habanero sauce.

3. Chilled corn soup with strips of spinach and spam croutons (seriously).

 4. Cauliflower, mint, pickled peppers, bread croutons.

5. Whole wheat pasta with pistou and romano cheese.

6. Slow cooked baby back ribs, scallion ginger sauce and fries with bacon powder (the bacon never quite powdered).

7. Key lime buttermilk ice cream with crushed graham cracker.