Monday, January 21, 2008

Buffalo Shishkebabs

A few months ago, D and I went to Pennsylvania to visit some friends. Driving through a town called Hamlin, we saw a Buffalo farm and decided to stop. It wasn't open for another 20 minutes, and it was freezing outside, but I got out and checked out the Buffalo. They looked totally content, munching on the grass with the younger ones chasing after one another. I used to be a vegetarian; now that I experiment with different recipes, I use meat a lot. I'm concerned more about the condition of the animals before they die, and how their treatment impacts their taste and nutritional value. Cage free eggs--case in point. Those things are not only tastier, they're supposed to have less cholesterol.

We bought a bunch of Buffalo meat, and so far, we've made chili and stew. Tonite we made shishkebabs.

Buffalo Shishkebabs


1 1b Buffalo meat cubes
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
pinch of salt, dash of pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion
1 medium orange pepper
6-8 cubes of pineapple
12 cherry tomatoes
6 skewers


Marinate the Buffalo cubes overnight (or at least four hours) in the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 F

Prepare the vegetables, onions, and fruit (cut into comparable cubes)

Skewer onion, tomato, pepper, meat, pineapple, onion, meat, tomato; repeat on the next five skewers; mix it up, or follow the same pattern--whatever looks groovy to you.

Serve with mashed red potatos with sauteed onion and garlic

Key lime pie for dessert!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ukrainian Solyanka

I traveled in Ukraine in September and I've been carrying around the idea that I'd make this awesome soup I had in a cafeteria. With all kinds of meat in a rich broth, lemons, olives, and dill, I knew my sweetie would love it. Its taken me this long, but this morning, I found a recipe on a Russian blog and we picked up all of the ingredients at Fairway this afternoon. It took me about two hours to prepare the whole thing.


8 cups rich meat stock
3 lb different sorts of meat (we used pork rib tips, beef ribs, and beef shank steak with bone)
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 pickled cucumbers (cut into 1/2 inch strips)
1/2 head of cabbage
1 cup brine
1 small can of tomato paste
2 bay leaves
25 or so black peppercorns
3 lemons
Olive oil
25 pitted olives (black and green)
2 Tbsp capers
fresh herbs (dill, parsley)


Brown the meat (on the bone) with olive oil in a large Dutch oven
Once brown, add 8 cups of meat stock
Cover and let simmer until the meat is falling off the bone
While the meat is cooking, saute the onion and garlic until browned in a soup pot
Add the pickled cucumbers, cabbage, and tomato paste
Saute until tender
Add brine, 2 bay leaves, peppercorns and simmer for about 2 minutes
Once the meat is falling off the bone, lift it out of the Dutch over with tongs and set aside to cool off until you can handle the meat.
Shred or cut the meat into little pieces and place into the soup pot with the onion mixture
Skim the fat from the top of the meat stock and discard
Pour the soup stock into the soup pot
Shortly before serving, add chopped olives, capers, 2 Tbsp dill, and juice from one lemon
Serve with a garnish of dill, thinly sliced lemons, and sour cream on the side.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Curry Chicken Salad

We had a big party last weekend and made chicken-pesto-pasta. I baked about 2 breasts too many chickens in order to shred enough for the pasta, so I froze the two leftovers. I took one out last night and when it was defrosted, I made some curry chicken salad for lunch for me and D. I shredded the breast and mixed it with 1 1/2 tsp curry powder; 2 TBSP tarragon mustard (other mustard will do, but it won't do it justice); 2 TBSP raisins; 1 TBSP mayonnaise; pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Mix it up real good. Let it sit overnight. Serve with small squares of pumpernickel or multigrain bread. Very different.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Honey Cardamom Chicken

I've never cooked with cardamom before, and I was looking for a way to jazz up the chicken breast I took out of the freezer this morning. I found a bunch of recipes for cardamom chicken online this afternoon, but none of them were quite right. So I used them as inspiration and made my own.

Honey Cardamom Chicken for 2


1 big ole chicken breast (skin or no, I used no skin)
1 medium sized onion
2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup of white wine (Chardonnay)
1/2 cup of honey
pinch of salt
olive oil


Whisk together the wine, honey, cardamom, salt & pepper in a small bowl.

Cut the chicken into 1 x 1 inch chunks, place in a medium-sized bowl, and pour the mixture over the chunks. Cover with plastic and let the marinade sit for about a half an hour.

Saute the onion in the olive oil until tender.

When the chicken is sufficiently marinated, pour about 3 tbsp of oil into a pan and heat it until it starts to smoke. Brown the chicken in the pan.

Cut the lemon into thin, round slices and line a baking dish with them. Sprinkle sauteed onions over the lemons.

Place the browned chicken pieces on top of the lemon and onion. Pour the rest of the marinade mixture over the chicken, sprinkle with salt, and pop into the oven at 390 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Serve with jasmine rice cooked with onion and raisins and spinach sauteed with garlic. And the rest of the chardonnay.

* * * * * * *

It was actually a really good dish; different and with a nice, gentle taste.

What would I have done differently? I would have used sherry instead of white wine; I would have used regular clover honey instead of the honey I brought back with me from Ukraine (the taste was too strong); and I would have served the dish with asparagus (but only if it was in season).

I would also bake some cardamom cookies to have with tea after dinner. : )

What I'm outaged about today? The way that the American Idol judges make fun of trans people.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lackluster Lentils

I guess its just the doldrums of mid January creeping in, but I'm feeling less than inspired lately. I made a not-so-tasty lentil soup over the weekend. Same recipe as always, but I think maybe the fact that we've been cooking so well lately makes my old standards pale in comparison.

What I do feel surprisingly inspired by, though, are the primaries. I loved Hillary's show of emotion the other day. I'm definitely not a Hillary supporter, but I don't like the feeling that when people think of change, change in terms of leaders and gender isn't palatable to people. There have been some really good pieces written about this, though, in blogs (check out Gara LaMarche's blog, there's a link on this page). What I do like is that that people are clearly expressing a desire for positivity, optimism, and a new discourse.