Monday, February 15, 2016

Lover's Borscht - Post Valentine's Day Edition

I think that Valentine's day is a good excuse to make red things, to get messy, to experiment, etc., etc. And he wanted soup. And I wanted red. We've made borscht before, and it went pretty well, but this.

This belongs in the recipe arsenal of every aspiring seductress. I think we managed to make borscht sexy. I think we may have proven ourselves capable of making something that rivals a reservation at a 4-star table. And where I tend to taste my meals with thoughts of "next time I'll [insert recipe modification here]", this time there was none of that. There was just pink stained porcelain, rich broth and a brilliant wine pairing.

 Lover's Borscht
Makes 4 settings

1/2 lb. ground beef
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 small onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef stock
1 cup grated carrot
1 1/2 cups diced beet
1 cup red cabbage, shredded (approx. 1/4 head)
4 cloves
pepper to taste
4 springs dill for garnish

Start browning the ground beef in a skillet over a low flame with the butter. As the red fades, add the onion and garlic to the skillet and continue browning the meat.

In a separate pot, pour in the beef stock and set the flame low. Add the remaining ingredients save the dill, transferring the beef/onion/garlic blend to the stock lastly. Fit a lid, one that lets out as little of the steam as possible is best, and let simmer for one hour.

(Options for the interim: sex. Game of Thrones, spelt crackers and wine)

Ladle the borscht into bowls and garnish with dill. And cheese, if that's your thing.

We'd been sipping on Les Hérétiques (one of Château d'Oupia's) and we highly recommend it, grudgingly, because you should know that this is our wine. This is a wine over which I told him that I wanted to translate, over which we plotted New York, over which we both tasted something that you could dip a pen in, to write something you'd only whisper.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts w/ Bacon and Apple

(Mettant le "d" à la fin de "sautée" me semble un peu déjà-dit.)

But how else would it be said in English? Otherwise it looks like an instruction: "Sautée the brussel sprouts with the caramelized apple and bacon."

(And with that, I think you have a good idea of what's going to happen here.)

And here I'll admit that I made this before the holidays were in full swing, and I've forgotten the exact quantities. The rough outline is more or less:

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts w/ Bacon and Apple
makes 2 settings

2 cups brussel sprouts
1 apple
3 slices of thick smoked bacon
3-5 garlic cloves
2 oregano sprigs

Steam the brussels sprouts for approximately 10 minutes, or until they start to soften. As the sprouts are steaming, slice the apple, bacon,  garlic and oregano. Crisp the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, then set the bacon to the side, keeping the drippings for the brussel sprouts and the apples. 

Put the sprouts in the skillet first, give them a head start, and when they're starting to brown, add the apple slices and garlic. Once the apples are soft, add a generous dash of cinnamon and immediately remove the skillet from the heat. 

Divide between two bowls. Garnish with oregano and the bacon. I also shaved some Asiago cheese on top.


Holidays came and went, along with my favorite piney color. I've my hungry eyes peeled for green. Early January has hit Brooklyn like Long John Silver's frozen breath. My own little room is creaking in the wind and water is starting to seep through the ceiling. 

(That last bit is actually true.)

O Tannenbaum. Vous me manque.