Sunday, November 4, 2007

A New Take on Meat & Potatoes

I just got paid from a relatively lucrative consulting gig and I went to town on menu planning for the week. Last night we had grass-fed lamb chops (coated with honey that I brought back from Ukraine, allspice, cardamom, salt and pepper) on top of curried couscous with cranberries.

Tonite, we had filet mignon au Jus, fresh stringbeans with bacon and almonds, and pureed parsnips with white truffle oil. I dry rubbed the meat yesterday afternoon with thyme, allspice, salt and pepper, and wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge. This afternoon, I boiled the parsnips in chicken stock and skim milk, then put it through the food processor and added salt and pepper. D blanched the stringbeans, shocked them in cold water, and then sauteed them with the bacon and almonds. We braised the meat in olive oil, then stuck them in the broiler for 26 minutes. We made the sauce by adding shallots, thyme, and brandy with beef stock and the beef juices. Then we heated the parsnips and added the white truffle oil at the end.

Served it with an Organic Rioja from Spain.

A completely new take on a traditional meat and potatoes meal. The pureed parsnips were like pudding. Kids would never know the stuff was healthy. They'd be too busy lickin' it off the plate.

It was an exquisite meal, perfect to top off an exquisite weekend. Last week was hard: Me recovering from some health stuff and D getting over a cold, and me just finding out that I've deveoped some kind of allergy with spots on my forearms. Here I sit watching interesting Sunday night television, finishing off the last of the wine, being fed Marzipan chocolate after D's cleaned the entire kitchen after the meal. And to top it all off, D said despite my spots, he might have to do me anyway.

The whole meal must have cost me $35 at the most (the most expensive thing was probably the white truffle oil, and we've got plenty left for other recipes. Or maybe D's labor). The Rioja sounds fancy, but it was really just $11 at "Big Nose, Full Body" on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. Mostly everything else came from the Farmer's Market at Grand Army Plaza, and the best neighborhood butcher on Prospect Park West and 16th Street--a great little Italian place, family-owned, just the kind that are disappearing from all over New York. I even bought a big ole dill pickle while I was there. Had to go to Fairway in Red Hook for the truffle oil, though.

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