Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Polenta and Italian sausages

So the New York Times Dining section left an impression, from a very basic dish of polenta and sausages. Tried it tonight and it's a keeper.

Italian Sausage and polenta/ NY Times

I have used regular cornmeal for polenta before, but this time I used Red Mill coarse ground corn grits/polenta. Cooking time = 30 minutes.

While that was cooking, I browned and cooked through some sweet Italian sausage, cut in chunks. I cooked two links, only half a pound and used chowed on not even one sausage, didn't need more because it flavored everything. And put a large thinly sliced onion in a pan to caramelize.

Also added in Marcella Hazan's cabbage recipe, long and slowly cooked thinly slice cabbage that yielded such a sweet flavor.

End result was very deep and flavorful and creamy polenta, topped with the caramelized onions, the crisp sausage with a side of sweet and braised cabbage.

Peasant food, to be sure. The whole meal, which was enough for at least six, cost maybe $4. An inexpensive but good red wine rounded out the meal.

But price doesn't always count, does it, when it comes to comfort food on a cold winter night?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Antics in Aspic

When you think you've seen all the horror aspic can unleash, there's this.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Abraham Lincoln - A great president and cook

Abe Lincoln was a cook

Coincidence - a great statesman who cared a lot about food, was a cook? I think not.

Food played a great part in Lincoln's life from an early age - does this make a great statesman? I like to think it does.

Friday, February 14, 2014

House of Seafood

Yes, it's Valentine's Day but also the new season of House of Cards. A small celebration of both at our house featured some very fresh littleneck clams and shrimp.

Garlic and white wine made these into a fine meal on another cold, wintry night. A Kermit Lynch white Bordeaux made for wonderful sipping as the clams and shrimp cooked.

Spaghetti ala vongele - aka w/ clam sauce was so simple - olive oil, garlic, a splash of the good white wine cooked together, tossed with simple pasta.

The shrimp were sauteed with garlic, butter and black pepper. Fresh asparagus rounded it out. And to sop up the juice a couple chunks of toasted baguette.

In less than 30 minutes, we were feasting.

And then onto the dark vortex that is House of Cards. What could be better on a slushy and cold winter night?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Happy Hour on a cold night in Birmingham

Nothing like meeting long time college friends for a drink and a snack and lots of talking. We tried Townhouse in Birmingham, MI tonight, because the Happy Hour menu was appealing and the price was right.

The regular menu at Townhouse is very pricey - burger's $19 bucks, NYC prices for local chow.

The happy hour menu = 3/ $20  - drinks and apps. (e.g. 1 drink + apps, 3 apps, 3 drinks, etc.)

The three of us shared two 3/$20. Two glasses of really decent sauvignon blanc and a pinot noir. Snacks were totally outstanding:
        Crispy Brussels sprouts -- crisped in brown butter and sauced with balsamic
        Fried Manchego cheese -- crusted with almonds and served with apples, dried cherries
        Truffled french fries w/ garlic aioli sauce

All were beautifully crisp, flavorful - in fact just delicious. Portions were more than generous. Service was extremely friendly.

Planning on another gathering in February.