Monday, 2011 October 03

My wife and I were both back in Michigan/Ohio for a wedding around October 1st. I came back to Seattle on the 2nd but Krista stayed in Toledo until the 14th. I decided to take advantage of my freedom by trying some new recipes, some of which I didn't think she'd be a fan of.

For my first night of bachelorhood I broke out an Italian recipe that I learned when I spent two weeks in Rome visiting my friend Josh. He spent several years there teaching English. When I was there he was dating an Italian woman named Serena (now his wife). One day we went to the local open-air market and they had some really nice fresh mussels. Serena bought some and for supper we had a wonderful pasta-and-mussels dish. I got the recipe (and later learned that it was in an English-language Italian cookbook I had purchased while I was there, on the advice of Josh). This is one of my go-to recipes when Krista is out of town, as she doesn't like the texture of mussels.

That was Monday. On Friday I tried something rather different - pan-fried duck steaks with roasted parsnips. I'm sure I've had duck before but it's been a very long time and I don't remember the context any more, so I was very intrigued by this. I got the recipe from The Improvisational Cook, a cookbook I bought several years ago at Powell's in Portland. I learned several valuable lessons here:

Next up was turkey pot pie. If you're thinking of the typical American pot pie, you're wrong. This is actually a Pennsylvania Dutch dish that my mom used to make, so named because it's made from "bot boi" noodles. I had gotten the recipe from mom, although she was somewhat nebulous about the details. I did the best I could and it turned out damn good, in my opinion. Not as good as hers, of course, but a solid first effort. This is basically soul food for me and I'm looking forward to making it regularly from now on.

Finally, because I didn't have enough leftovers yet, I made a new beef short rib recipe. I absolutely love beef short ribs. My wife is less enamored of them. Normally I make a wine-braised slow-cooker recipe. This time I tried something different, a sherry-braised dutch oven version. It was good but, honestly, I prefer my old standby.

Sunday, 2011 September 18 Sunday, 2011 October 23