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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday night dinner

Tonite is a good nite for Tuna (sushi grade)and it is good night for the two of us to enjoy food that we like and to spend the evening doing so.

The meal will be:
Salad: Tomatoes,(the best you can find this time of year), blue cheese and onion in a balsamic dressing. You can chop or slice which ever you prefer. This salad is based on a salad made at one of our favorite hometown restaurants.

Side vegetable: Broccoli with sauteed shitake mushrooms. Or if you would prefer just steamed asparagus that would also would work as well.

Entree: Tuna coated in a honey mustard panko crust. I have also made this by coating the tuna in black peppercorns (obviously the latter is spicier. I quickly sear it in a hot grill pan and then stick in the oven for just a few minutes, depending on how rare we like it. My husband tends to like his very very rare so mine stays in a little longer.The star of this dish with either the panko/mustard or the black pepper crust is Balsamic Caper Sauce which I found in the January 2009 issue of Gourmet. That receipe used it as a sauce on a polenta crusted chicken. I was not in the mood for chicken, so I thought why not try it on tuna.

And please remember how I first described my cooking...I take ideas from sources not necessarily the specific recipe. Also my purpose for this blog is to provide ideas for dinner, not the actual recipe.

If you drink wine (I don't feel any worthy meal is complete without it, but do respect those who do not "drink") I will recommend a full bodied Pinot Noir.

Enjoy planning, enjoy the cooking and most of all enjoy the dining experience.


Friday, January 22, 2010

My favorite sources

Before passing along my initial dinner entry let me share the cookbooks and cooking references that I typically use:
The New Basics Cookbook (Silver Palate Series) My copy has come apart from the binding and I often vow to purchase it in hardback. But I have so many notes int it and the actual book holds a personal place in my cooking heart.
Sonoma Diet (Guttersen, 2005) I like it because its power foods are all my favorites and it "gives you permission" to accompany meals with wine.
West Point Market Cookbook (Vernon 2008) Published by one of my favorite grocery stores. It is probably a good thing that the store is at least 25 miles away or I would be bankrupt.
Bistro-Style Cuisine (Pence 2002). I bought this on one of those lonely nites strolling Borders in 2003. I probably have prepared at least 50 percent of the recipes beginning with the very first one for a new guy I was dating. He is now my husband.

My other favorites that I use for very special occasions or to look for the correct way/proper ingredients are:
The Art of Mastering French Cooking (of course). It was actually my first husband's but he left it for me because he was going to a place that had one. (another story):
Bouchon (Thomas Keller) It is a heavy book but if you want to do it right it is worth it. We had by birthday dinner last week at the Bouchon in Vegas
Jamie Oliver's Kitchen. Jamie reminds me of my son-in-law who is a grand cook
Mediterranean Diet (Jenkins, 1994) It reminds me of the right way to eat.
My newest cookbook is the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. It has some interesting recipes that I try to prepare at least twice a week. It is a nice break from heavier meals with wine. The Diet does not encourage wine and it is hard to prepare four meals a day but it makes us feel good that we are trying to flatten our bellys!

Most often I refer to my cooking magazines for ideas...some of the best that I have prepared are inspired by ideas from Food and Wine, Gourmet and Cooking Light and occasionally the Food section in the New York Times.

There you have a background of where I get my ideas. My next Blog will be a suggested meal.

my initial entry

I love to plan meals, pouring over cook books and magazines to find just the right meal...matching my day or matching my mood. Now that I am no longer traveling on a weekly basis for my job (I call it my wifey transition or retirement reluctance period) I have more and more time to plan, cook and shop. I tend to create my own versions of recipes and I do not like to repeat dishes often unless it is really really good.

Over the years I have kept journals, lists, bits of paper listing my favorite dishes and then in more recent years the dishes that I have enjoyed making. These lists include not only the dish, but a reference to the cookbook/magazine, the guest list and menu if a special occasion, and the wine (oh the wine). Just yesterday I found a list of favorite recipes jotted on "McGovern Shriver '72" note paper in the cover of my Julia Child's French Cookbook - yes the same book from the recent movie.

So since I have these collected lists and I do plan on continuing my daily dinner ritual I wanted to share my passion with others...thus this new blog.."yo jo what's for dinner?" It might just make planning and cooking more enjoyable for others.