June 8, 2014
Many moons ago, I attempted to make this steak for my now-husband (back then new-ish boyfriend). I was just out of college, in my first “real job”, and while I had cooked quite a bit in my days, I hadn’t made up recipes on the fly much. Maybe I should back peddle a bit and explain why I was attempting to cook a palomilla steak…
Cuban food was not something that was easy to come by growing up in northeast Tennessee. Black beans and plantains weren’t in the grocery. I had never even heard of a Cuban sandwich. This all changed on a trip to Tampa. My mom and I ate at Columbia restaurant. I had my first taste of black beans and rice and plantains, served on the side of this magical, flavorful thin steak which I’ve for years referred to as Cuban steak, but I’ve learned after many Google searches is actually called a palomilla steak. Initially I always slid the onions to the side, preferring the light flavoring left behind. But as I grew up, I learned to love onions, and the green stuff they mixed in with them, and this became my go-to dish at any Cuban restaurant.
Back to the attempt to recreate this dish in the early 2000s. (more…)
April 13, 2014
When I saw this recipe, it just screamed “Spring!!!” at me. Fresh artichokes, veal, carrots, citrus, and a bit of cream. Just heavy enough to break the chill of a spring evening, but light enough to not weigh you down as you’re moving into the warmer months. With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to post this special meal that takes a little bit of time, but shines so beautifully on the dinner table and is the perfect meal to serve family style that it is worth it! (more…)
October 4, 2013
A few month’s ago, while in Carmel, I had what might be the best roasted chicken I had ever had out on the town at Hog’s Breath Pub. Maybe it was just because my husband and I were enjoying a weekend away together, maybe it was the wine, but either way, I couldn’t get the perfectly crisp skin, flakes of salt, and fresh vegetable succotash out of my head. So of course, I decided to recreate the meal at home.
Of course, I didn’t actually know what constituted a succotash. I assumed corn, because every succotash I had ever seen had corn. Making this meal was a little on the fly, as I noticed the grocery store had a large bunch of fresh corn in. So I wandered through the produce section, picking up some okra and zucchini, because it looked good. Only later did I learn that succotash also includes lima beans, by definition. So we’ll call this Courtney’s sort-of-succotash, sans beans, but you won’t miss them.
For the chicken recipe, I decided to try Thomas Keller’s simple roast chicken. (more…)
September 30, 2013
On September 22, the first day of fall, that autumn feeling was in the air, and I completely switched into fall food mode. Even though here in the Bay area we keep swinging between crisper, breezier days and sunny, summer days, when my husband suggested we have something with pork for dinner, I jumped at the chance to make this whole pork loin atop apples. It is so simple I’m not sure why I haven’t made it in a few years, but I’m so happy I made a quick stop by the store for the ingredients this weekend. Pork + apples, it’s been too long! (more…)
June 17, 2013
A few weeks ago I found a surprise on my doorstep – a cooler full of elk! A friend who has enjoyed more than a couple of dinners from the Madd Hatter’s kitchen thought I would enjoy this bounty from the Rocky Mountain states, and he was right. Surprisingly, it’s not a meat I’ve had the privilege to try before, so a little research was needed before I decided to embark upon my elk feast.
Elk is a very lean, red meat. At first glance when I opened the cooler, the coloring of the meat reminded me of bison or venison, both of which have little fat to add flavor to the meat, and the latter having a much more gamey taste. After a little reading through the information Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company sent with the elk, I decided it must be more similar to bison meat. Thus I developed a flavorful marinade that would bring in some extra flavor where the fat was missing, but wouldn’t mask the mild, sweet flavor of the meat, which might have been needed if it were more gamey.
I recently added a new flavor to my lineup of olive oils from the Olive Bar – a chipotle olive oil that has a definite kick to it! With this as my base, I began to build on the flavors that I thought would pair nicely with a syrah, as I had decided this is what I would serve with the elk. What I ended up with was one part Southwest, one part Southern, with a sprinkling of Asian spice thrown in for good measure. And might I say, I wouldn’t change a thing about this marinade. (more…)