Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bittman/Vongerichten fried rice

This recipe was posted on Mark Bittman's blog the other day. I thought I would give it a try. The crispy garlic and ginger was really good. I also added thinly sliced lap cheong since we had some sitting around our fridge. Here's the recipe.

Roasted chickpeas, swiss chard, and lamb sausage

This meal is quick enough to do on a weeknight. I've made a variation of this same chickepea dish here, and I've made several variations of chickpeas and greens here. Usually I stew the chickpeas with the greens, but this time I roasted the chickpeas with some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. For the chard, I just seared them with some olive oil, garlic, and red wine vinegar. To cook the sausage, just throw them in the oven along with the chickpeas. This only takes a few minutes of prep time.

1 large can chickpeas
1-2 bunches of Swiss chard
2 lamb sausages
Olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Toss together with olive oil, half of the garlic, cumin, paprika, and add salt and pepper to taste (toast the spices before using them to bring out the flavors). Place the chickpeas and sausages on a baking sheet/pan and roast for about 30 minutes.

While the chickpeas are roasting, rinse the chard, cut off the thick stalks, and cut crosswise into 1 to 2 inch strips. Heat up about 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil over high heat in a large saute pan. Add the remaining garlic. After a few seconds, when the garlic begins to brown, add the chard in batches. It will cook down fairly quickly. Season with salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. You only need to cook the chard for about 5 to 10 minutes.

When everything is done, mix together the chard and chickpeas. Serve with the lamb sausage.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Dinner

This year was the first time that I spent Christmas outside of Washington state. While my family has a tradition of getting together on Christmas Eve, this year, it was a bit quieter. Nothing was planned for Christmas Eve, so Abby and I decided to have her brother, Tony, and my brother-in-law, Mitch, and niece, Midori, over for dinner. We did a "surf-and-turf" menu with salt baked branzino and an herb-crusted rib roast served with brussels sprouts and bacon and roasted potatoes. None of this is really new. I've made each of these dishes before, so I won't go into detail about the preparation, but here are some pictures.

Above is the branzino, peaking out of the salt crust, and below is a picture of the finished product with some olive oil that we brought back from Tuscany.
Here's the rib roast.
And hear are the brussels sprouts. Usually, I half or quarter the brussels sprouts and roast them, but this time around, I just shelled (peeled off the leaves) and sauteed them.

Top Chef Finale Dinner

Abby and I had a couple friends over for the Top Chef finale. I didn't get many great pictures, but you can check on one of our guests' blogs for an account. We forgot to record the episode of Top Chef, so we were never actually able to watch the show on our "Top Chef Dinner Night." At least the food was good.