Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rigatoni Bolognese

From Giada diLaurentiis's Everyday Italian

Madeira Cake

"My Mother-in-Law's Madeira Cake" from Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I don't ever have any self-rising flour, so I used this substitution:
1 1/3 c self-rising cake flour = 1 1/3 c cake flour + 2t baking powder + 1/3 t salt

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dinner for Friday, June 1, 2007

Today I made dinner all by myself (usually Paul helps with deep prep or stirring/ watching/ getting out of the oven, he's my sous-chef). Paul had to work late setting up for Monday. It was storming and the lights were flickering and I was thinking, please please don't let the power go out before I get this steak finished (we are not so lucky as to have a gas stove). Fortunately, we didn't lose our power at all. Dinner really was simple. I was fine handling the steak, because raw beef is A-OK, just not raw chicken (ew). The technique for Bifteck Sauté Bercy (1) is the same as for Merlot Filet Mignon. The steaks only cook for 3-4 minutes on each side and come out a perfect medium-rare. The peas and carrots were just as simple. For the carottes à la crème (2), I just used the leftover carottes étuvées au beurre from when I made chicken fricassée, so basically all I had to do was pour cream over them and let them simmer. The peas were frozen so I used the frozen pea recipe (3). I was quite surprised by them, they are just boiled in chicken stock and butter with some shallots and they turned out really well. They were sweet and tender. Overall, I was really proud of myself for this one.

1. "Bifteck Sauté Bercy" in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1 ed. Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), 294.
2. "Carottes à la Crème" in ibid, 478.
3. "Frozen Peas" in ibid, 466.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Blackberry Wine Cake

This wonderfully magenta cake is Blackberry Wine Cake, a totally delicious cake made on the cheap with Duncan Hines White Cake mix, Royal Blackberry gelatin, eggs, vegetable oil, and what is quite possibly some of the nastiest wine ever, (and is only $2.90 for 750 mL) Mogen David Blackberry Wine. Even Paul wouldn't try it. Miraculously, it makes a damn good cake. It was really easy to make since it uses a cake mix and because the recipe includes a glaze made with powdered sugar and blackberry wine, it's very similar in texture to an English-style pudding. I'll be making this again since I still have half a bottle of wine that cannot possibly be used for anything else and 3 more boxes of Royal gelatin (I stocked up because I had no idea if I'd ever be able to find it again). The recipe I used was Blackberry Wine Cake II from Allrecipes.

Dinner for Thursday, May 31, 2007

Photos: Pearl Onions, Thyme, and Parsley; Fricassée de Poulet a L'Ancienne, Carottes Étuvées au Beurre, Gratin Dauphinois; close-up of Gratin Dauphinois

The best thing about this meal was that it was all ready and I just had to heat it up. Good thing, too, because the potatoes took about 1 hour, and the Fricassée took FOREVER. It was worth it, though. The chicken is actually better as leftovers. It has lots of cream and wine and veggies and we all know that chicken is no good unless it is covered in a sauce full of fat. The whole fryer chickens were on sale, but Paul had to cut it up because raw chicken is just icky. If chicken weren't so much cheaper, I'd just eat steak all the time.

Yes, we do eat a lot of carrots. They're cheap and plentiful and I happen to like them. So there.

All three recipes are from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1.