Thursday, January 01, 2009

Chicken Piccata: Mis en place

Chicken Piccata: Mis en place, originally uploaded by wickenden.

Tonight I made Chicken Piccata. A good recipe from America's Test Kitchen. This is a portion of the mis en place. The food pic turned out too blurry. Was good!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Dinner

Had a nice farfalle with a red marinara doubled with a white cream sauce topping with sun dried tomato. Pan roasted asparagus and broiled pork loin chops. A bit of wine with dinner as well. Well and good. No image ;(

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Vension Dinner

Vension Dinner, originally uploaded by wickenden.

My buddy Gary brought me some venison chops. Here they are pan friend to a rare-medium rare with and onion garlic marsalla sauce. Also, pan roasted brussel sprouts and pan roasted fingerlings finished in sweet vermouth. Very! yum.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lately, Dinners

After I came back from my dad's house, I tried my hand at a recipe that was suggested by the waitress that I'd ordered at the restaurant (Casa Christine's in Pvrovidence, on Fedevral Hill). Here first, is a pic of the end of that meal:

Allegrini Amarone with Veal in cream

It was so good. Basically veal in a sauce made from garlic in olive oil, red roasted peppers, sun-dried peppers in a cream sauce with anchovies.

So, here's my attempt:


Ok, so... too much garlic, too many anchovies, too many sun-dried tomatoes and too many chili's, and reduced the cream way too much.

But, I'll get it.

The good note is that a few days later, with the yummy leftovers (I didn't say it wasn't good) I added them to a dinner I was making that had pork, pan roasted on the fat side and then broiled, with a sauce that started with garlic, onions, balsamic vinegar and white wine, and then I added the leftovers of the veal dinner. It was wonderful. The way the balsamic vinegar combined with the anchovies.

Another dinner you can never replicate.

Monday, October 08, 2007


At the end of last night's dinner, my friend Michael came up to me and told me about a film he saw, titled like my post here-- about a group of people who came together through some happenstance, ate a marvelous meal with wine, and experienced something singular.

It was not only a compliment to which, after a fretful 48 hours of planning and creation, was how I felt as well. It was nothing short of beautiful, despite the few snafu's. As Nils Christie, one of my distinguished guests told me, he'd personally rather be in the middle of it all, than have it all done behind the scenes. Good, I thought, as I pushed plates, knives, forks and so forth around the already crowded, already relaxed group that were off on a million conversational journeys.

In attendance were: Nils Christie, Bud Welch, Margaret Vandiver, Sandy and her husband Richard, Michael, Deano, me and occasionally my daughter Tina, coming in to sparkle (literally) for us in greeting or in a quick plate of food. The first three are all speakers in tomorrow's Death Penalty Symposium.

Here's what I made:
We started with fresh tomato-vodka, with garlic and cream over farfalle. Then we had an end-of-summer tomato, basil, and red onion salad, dressed with very special olive oil and balsamic and finished in feta. Third course was a cauliflower fried in allspice and butter dish that I love (I adapted it from a preparation stage of a Mahqloube) and the last course was sweet Italian sausages and a side of very picante salsa verde, made from neighbors anaheim's and jalapeno's, roasted and simmered together with a beer reduced over a sofritto of onion and garlic.

We had 4 wines. Two white and two red. Clois Du Bois Sauvignon Blanc (very nice) and a rather too sweet Reisling and Renwood 2005 Red Zinfandel and another Renwood I don't remember the name of. The two Renwoods were lovely, about 10 bucks each.

Dinner was a hit, as I've alluded, and the food met my requirements with a couple of minor caveats. There, I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Baby Back Ribs, Squashes, and Tortellini

Tonight a yummy dinner, perhaps a bit rich -- could have used a course of something with more acid...a tomato salad or something with vinegar.  But it was good anyway, and a glass of wine seemed to help it along.

The day before I marinated baby back ribs (2 slabs) in white wine, worcestershire, olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a decent dash of xxxtra hot habenero sauce.  I turned it several times during the day and let it come to room temp while I prepared the rest of dinner.  

I love using my mandoline, but I tend to forget I have it.  I took some zuchinni and yellow squash and made nice little julienned strings.  I fried them in batches in olive oil in a pan with two red jalapenos that had been frying in the oil.  When they were all done, I returned them all to the pan and added a half cube of butter and stirred until it melted and covered all.  I topped it with reggiano parmesean and put it low, under the broiler for about 4 minutes, and then let it sit on warm until dinner was ready.

I put the ribs on the bbq and alternated them between full heat bone side down, to short stints meat side down until they got color.  Finally, I banked the fire to one side and cooked them bone side down on the cool side until done.

I boiled water and salted it and cooked Barilla Tortellini's stuffed with "three cheeses".  When they were done I buttered them and stirred in about a 1/2 cup of reggiano parmesean.

So, you can see... a lot of fatty yummy... not much acid.  I was the only one who drank wine, but no one really complained.  Deano was here and ate with us (second dinner, and literally sucked his bones devoid of meat.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

E-mer-gency dinner

We had a great day -- had to buy a new mower, but, at least we got the lawn mowed.  But, for dinner, what?

Finally I decided to pan roast those green beans I got the other day from the neighborhood "take what you need" booth, and I decided to bbq the baby back ribs.  A bastamati rice dish with peas and butter completed the ensemble.

Good enough.