Buying the Wrong Thing at the Store Doesn’t Make You a Donkey

4 07 2010



Ever tried to save your own ass in the kitchen? This happened to my friend, K. She emailed me on Friday, dismayed at her blunder at the grocery store. She said she had gone to the store with the intention of buying feta cheese to make a watermelon and feta salad she’d been reading about. When she got home and unpacked her groceries, she realized that she had, instead, bought gorgonzola, which probably wouldn’t taste too good with watermelon. So now what?



What’s where I come in – she asked me to help her come up with some solutions so the accidental purchase wouldn’t be a total loss.



Option #1 – Beef Tenderloin
Roasting a beef tenderloin and then topping with gorgonzola is an easy solution – the rich flavors seem to go together perfectly. Serve with some roasted potatoes and a simple salad and you have a meal to be proud of.



You could also top a salad with tenderloin slices and crumbled gorgonzola. I’d probably dress it with a simple vinaigrette for a lighter option.



Option #2 – Roasted Asparagus
Snap off the woody stems and oven roast asparagus – for best results, lightly coat with EVOO and a little kosher salt. Toss with toasted walnuts and gorgonzola for a luscious side dish.



Option #3 – Pasta
Gorgonzola easily turns into a creamy pasta sauce. A simple variation is to combine 2T unsalted butter with 1 1/4c milk and 8 ounces of cheeese and bring to a slow boil. Yes, this is an easy version of cheese sauce, but I think it’s a bit runny and doesn’t really cling to pasta the way a sauce should.



Instead, melt 2T butter and then add 2T flour. Stir until you have a roux. Flavor the roux with some salt and pepper, and then begin to slowly add 2c milk (you must slowly add the milk and continue to stir over low heat. Milk that is brought to the boiling point too quickly tends to curdle, which is a surefire way to send someone to the ER).



Once you have combined all of your milk with the roux and the texture is smooth, start to add the cheese. Continue to add cheese until you have reached the desired texture – you will probably need between 1 1/2c and 2c of gorgonzola. This sauce is thick and rich, as well as terrific on pasta or veggies.



For a lighter option, cook your favorite pasta and combine with your favorite veggies, and then top top with gorgonzola crumbles. I just made this tonight with fresh tomatoes from my garden and spinach, and it was great. Can’t wait to take this with me to work for lunch.



Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever gone to the store and bought the wrong thing? What did you do to remedy the situation?




Mmmmmmm…Tuna!

20 03 2008

Ugh…it’s been so cold and rainy here for the last couple of days. I haven’t really wanted to do much of anything, except lie on the couch. Tonight, for whatever reason, I was in the mood to cook dinner (hallelujah!), so I dusted off an old favorite recipe: tuna burgers. The recipe is actually pretty simple:

2 cans of tuna (chunk style, in water)

onion

salt

pepper

1 egg

breadcrumbs

I know it’s probably annoying to you that IO don’t give actual quantities, but I tend to cook (unless I’m baking) by gauging quantities based on how the recipe looks, smells, etc. In this case, mix all ingredients until the meat starts to hold together. Spray the grill with Pam and grill until you’ve reached your desired level of done-ness:

tuna.jpg

I served on a bun, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Hubs insisted on tarter sauce, but to each his own!

I can’t wait for Easter! The little one has the most adorable dress and hat and I can’t wait to put her in it! And I can’t wait to watch her search the house for her Easter eggs!
I’m also looking forward to baking, but I haven’t decided what yet. At this point, it’s a toss-up between hot cross buns, cinnamon rolls, or wheat bread. What do you think?





Beef Equals World Peace

16 03 2008

So cute and yet so tasty…

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the world would be a much happier place if everyone had equal access to beef. Why? ‘Cause everyone would be in too much of a food coma to be angry, war-like, or genocidal. But it can’t be just any beef. It can’t be the crap they pass off as burgers at Mickey D’s. I mean BEEF-as in roast or steaks or whatever moves you. No one who has ever had my beef roast has left our house in anything less than a stupor-like state. It’s the easiest recipe, too–I marinate in Italian dressing (I usually use zesty Italian, but I’ve been on a balsamic vinaigrette kick lately), horseradish, and rosemary and then slow roast at 375 for about an hour or so, depending on the size of the roast and your desired level of done-ness. For me, the roast has to moo, or it’s no good, but that’s just me!

Speaking of the roast, I made yet another one tonight and it looked a lot more done than I like it to be, which led to a massive come-on-you-know-you’re better-than-that moment in the kitchen as the kids were bellowing from the other room that they were starving. Luckily, it was still plenty pink in the middle, so my moment vanished pretty quickly once the hubs poured me a glass of wine to go with dinner.

Today, I headed up my church’s Easter Egg hunt and, quite frankly, it nearly ended in a homicide. Last night, I spent considerable time with my fellow mommy friends setting things up and hiding eggs so that everything would be ready to roll this morning. So we got there today and there was this woman hanging out with her kids in the room where the hunt was to take place. No big deal, right? Ha! I came back to the room to check on things before the hunt was to start and she had let the kids dismantle and rearrange everything we had worked so hard to prepare. I was so mad that I, literally, had to walk away and send in one of my friends to contain the damage. The hunt itself, however, went off without a hitch – little people were everywhere, flinging themselves under furniture and squeezing themselves into remote corners in an orgiastic frenzy, all in the pursuit of the elusive golden egg.

What’s on the agenda for tonight? Not a whole lot, but I am in pursuit of the ultimate blueberry muffin recipe. I don’t want the crap from a box or the recipe from the BH&G cookbook that everyone and their grandmas have been making since 1940-something. I want the Ultimate Recipe. Something so unbelievably moist and tasty with maybe a hint of lemon zest? I may have to call in the experts. Stay tuned!