Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Food

Well, well, well. I have not written about food in a while, so I thought I'd put one up there for the fun of it. I was going through the left overs in the fridge earlier today and realized we've been eating pretty well lately. First, Madeleina and I have cut out rice and potatoes and pasta most nights. Maybe two nights a week. Bread we have once every couple of weeks in the form of a hamburger bun or a burrito or if I make a nice hot roast beef sandwich with freshly roasted sweet red peppers and a slice of good pepperjack cheese. Otherwise, no bread--except for November, when a friend sent us a dozen bagels from Zabars in NYC. We had three bagels each in a week; the remainder are in the freezer.
   So we're not doing much carbo from bread, pasta, potatoes or rice. We have substituted a nice salad nightly. It's a mix of organic romaine and organic spring mix greens, topped with organic cherry or other small tomatoes, a bit of feta on Madeleina's salad; I take a bit of good blue cheese. She takes Ken's Steakhouse light ranch dressing; I take a homemade olive oil/balsamic vinegar/minced shallot/bit of seared garlic. And if you're making a nice vinagrette, forget the 3-1 or 2-1 oil to vinegar ratio: If you have good vinegar, whatever type you like, hit it at about 1-1 with your olive oil and that vinegar will come on strong.
   Then we have a veggie or two and a main thing. So, in no particular order, what we have had in the last week or so was:
--Thick piece of chuck steak, seared black, sliced thinly and sauteed with muchrooms/onions with juice from a fresh orange and a bit of Lee and Perrins' Worcestershire sauce. Served with steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets and a thick slice of organic beefsteak tomato sauteed in pan juices and topped with parmesan cheese.
--Swordfish, sauteed in garlic infused olive oil. When near done, add diced red pepper, chopped red onion, diced scallions, coarse sea salt and coarse black pepper. When near finished, add capers with liquid, served over steamed asparagus.
--Chopped meat sauteed with spinach, garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, diced tomato, diced zuccini and yellow squash. Saute the meat, pour off fat. Steam zuccini, broccoli, cauliflower and yellow squash, then add to pan with chopped meat. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic. Add good white vinegar to a bite. Add minced habaneros from my friend Lynn's garden. Stir in a couple of packets of Goya's Achiote con Culantro, a couple of slices of good cheddar and top with fresh cilantro. Serve over good brown or, in our case, garliced-basmati rice.
--Sopa de Mariscos--Three sticks of celery and a diced red onion sauteed in garlic and olive oil till transparent. Add a dozen fresh, cleaned shrimp, a dozen fresh mussels, a few fresh bay scallops, some fresh calamari and scungilli, cut small. When half-way cooked, add a couple of diced Roma tomatoes, a can of organic veggie broth, a can of good quality tomato soup (I know, but I was running late and needed a quick meal) and a good dash of Crab Boil. Don't overdue that last one: Crab boil is HOT.
    Stir that all around for 5 minutes, toss in a bit of vermicelli for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, add minced cilantro to bottom of soup bowl and serve the zupa over that. Good stuff.
--Corned Beef and Cabbage: That was Christmas. Good old 5 hour corned beef with fresh cabbage wedgies and potatoes added in the last hour of cooking. Add pickling spice, lots of coarse ground pepper and good white vinegar as you're cooking. And don't forget a good stone-ground mustard.
--Salmon filets sauteed high and hot in olive oil. Keep them clean except for coarse sea salt and coarse black pepper. Start on meat side when pan is scalding hot. When you turn them onto the skin side you keep the skin burning/drying until it's nearly candied, then add a good dash of teriyaki sauce to finish the candifying of the skin. When done to a pink inside, remove from heat. Add a bit more olive oil with garlic, diced onions/a couple of gorgeous scallions, a bit of white vinegar, minced fresh ginger and a diced tomato or red pepper. Served over a bed of steamed spinach.
--Chicken Wings--buy em, cut em, line a pan with celery stalks or onion, and after washing them, put the wings on the veggie bed. A little salt and pepper, garlic olive oil and then bake at 325 until done. Remove from heat. Put whatever dressings you like in bowls and stir in a few of the wings. One bowl might have barbeque sauce, another hot wing sauce, another garlic and teriyaki with orange zest. Whatever you like. Serve with salad and fresh organic celery.
   I guess we're killing a lot of veggies and fish and meat. And in the mornings we've been making smoothies from banana, yoghurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and black berries. No sugar necessary. We alternate that with juice of celery, spinach, beets, green apple and carrots--no need to add anything to that baby.
   Anyway, any of these that you try will be expensive but fantastically delicious. And you'll wind up only eating a few ounces of the meat or fish because it's all so good you'll spend your time just drooling while you eat.
   And I haven't said anything about stuffed pork chops, babyback ribs, burritos from left over anything, an occasional whole baked chicken with gravy or a million other things.

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