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  • Meatless Monday – Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

    As a side dish to my Chicken Picatta, I found baby carrots and new potatoes. I’ll add a sweet onion then roast at a fairly high temperature, to cook and caramelize the natural sugars of the carrots and onions. One could use pearl onions for this but I have a Vidalea sweet onion that I will use.

    These with the addition of some basic spices and herbs, these become a side dish fit for a dinner party, or a very private dinner for two.

    One should note: By baby carrots, I am talking about full carrots with greens, where the root of the carrot is under 5″ long, NOT the bagged “baby” carrots that are actually over matured specimens, that have been tumbled and ground down to make a “bite sized” “baby” carrot.

    One can use larger carrots for this dish by scrubbing, and slicing on a bias.

    The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus, Etymology: Middle French carotte, from Late Latin carōta, from Greek καρότον karōton, originally from the Indo-European root ker- (horn), due to its horn-like shape) is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot, although the greens are edible as well. It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot.

    It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot, which stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year. The flowering stem grows to about 1 metre (3 ft) tall, with an umbel of white flowers that produce a fruit called a mericarp by botanists, which is a type of schizocarp.

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  • Spiced Cauliflower, Potatoes and Chicken Curry

    Madam Badwolf as decreed that she would like something exotic for dinner. Ok, maybe a curry, but will it be Thai or Indian? Looking in the cupboard I suppose this will be Indian. I’ll take a Indian classic, Cauliflower and Potatoes, (Aloo Gobi), then work in some chicken, and maybe mushrooms, then lengthen and moisten the dish with chicken stock.

    Background

    Aloo gobi is a dry Indian dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi) and Pakistani spices and Indian spices (Phool). It is yellowish in color, due to the use of turmeric, and occasionally contains kalonji and curry leaves. Other ingredients include garlic, ginger, onion, coriander stalks, tomato, and cumin. A number of variations and similar dishes exist.

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  • Chicken Piccata

    As spoken prior:

    My client has launched their website, to good reviews, so I am taking a couple of days off for rest and recuperation at my mountain top lair.
    Whilst I am home, there are a number of dishes Madam Bad Wolf has requested, and given the snow, cold temps, (but much better than earlier in the week), I’ll put together some hearty dishes.

    One of these dishes is a chicken piccata, breaded chicken dish with a lemon and caper pan sauce.

    Piccata is an Italian word. It is sometimes incorrectly spelled “picatta” or “pichotta.” The word “piccato”, to which it may be related, may be a translation of the French piqué, past participle of piquer (“to prick, lard”), though it doesn’t seem to fit the culinary use of the Italian term.

    In Italian it is used only in reference to a way of preparing food. When used in reference to a way of preparing food, particularly meat or fish, it means “sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices, usually parsley.” The best known dish of this sort (in the United States) is chicken piccata, using chicken, but the term originated and is most commonly used, in Italy, with veal (veal piccata). Vegetarians and/or Vegans have adapted the recipe to be used with seitan (seitan piccata).

    A chicken breast used to prepare chicken piccata is usually butterflied, or sliced along its width, and then flattened either with a tenderizer or between two pieces of wax paper. It is then seasoned and dredged in flour before being browned on both sides in butter or olive oil. The sauce is made using the pan drippings. Lemon juice or white wine is added to the pan and reduced. Shallots or garlic can be added with the capers and slices of lemon. When reduced, butter is stirred in to finish the sauce.

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  • Liver with bacon, onions and gravy

    My client has launched their website, to good reviews, so I am taking a couple of days off for rest and recuperation at my mountain top lair.

    Whilst I am home, there are a number of dishes Madam Bad Wolf has requested, and given the snow, cold temps, (but much better than earlier in the week), I’ll put together some hearty dishes. The first up on the hit list is Bacon, Liver and onions in a brown gravy.

    Liver and onions is a traditional dish. Its main ingredients are slices of liver (usually pork or beef) and onions. The liver and the onions are usually fried or cooked together, but sometimes they may be fried separated and mixed together afterwards. The liver is often cut in fine slices, but it also may be diced. Liver and onions is a favorite in the UK and in Germany,[citation needed] where it is usually eaten along with boiled or mashed potatoes. Lamb’s liver is the usual choice in the UK and is often accompanied by fried bacon.[citation needed]

    In the French traditional recipe the liver is fried with butter and lard. In Catalan cuisine olive oil is used, instead of butter, and fried garlic is added to the mixture. In Italian cuisine, the fegato alla Veneziana recipe includes a dash of red wine or vinegar and the fegato alla Romana a dash of white wine and is cooked in lard.[4]

    In the USA, liver and onions as a dish once enjoyed widespread popularity and could usually be found at family diners and American home-style restaurants. This meal is currently more common to the cuisines of the southern and upper mid-western style foods.

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  • Ginger Noodles with Prawns

    The British SAS motto is “Who Dares Wins”. Considering my last brush with Chinese food, it was a definite dare that took me to an out of the way, hole in the wall noodle shop in Chinatown.

    It was a definite win in the culinary department. The food was superb, the sauce was a delight, and we all know what happened next. With broken English, mangled Mandarin, much gesturing, and many repetitions, I manged to capture the recipe.

    The heart of this dish is the sauce, if fact the chef there claims that if you have this sauce you will never go hungry.

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  • Gourmet Grilled Cheese

    It’s another snowy day in New York, the heater is going full blast, I’ve shut down the air intake to the data center, and have a small electric heater going under my desk. I’ve layered up on the clothes, and am wearing woolen socks. I am just plain cold.

    Time for some serious comfort food. And one thing that comes to mind is Grilled Cheese and soup. Rich, hearty, tomato soup like my Tomato Bread soup, and to stand up to it a hearty Grilled Cheese of tasty bread and smooth cheese.

    Considering the construction of a perfect grilled cheese, I turn to my trusty chill box, where I found sour dough bread, Munster cheese, prosciutto, bacon drippings, pickles, and of course butter… This looks like heart attack al la grilled cheese…

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