Meat Archive

Saturday, February 27, 2010

baked rigatoni with tiny meatballs

tiny meatballs, baked rigatoni

Did you hear a resounding whine/sigh/moan the volume of the entire Eastern seaboard? Because there’s a fresh foot of snow outside for the 200th time this year and friends, I love snow. I get so excited when it is going to snow. But this? Lacks charm, likely because the first day of this anticipated four day storm was three to four inches of mucky slush.

sleet day

Anyway, I still maintain that complaining about the weather is dull, thus if any one good thing can come of this, it is that pasta, meatball and cream sauce season just got extended by at least another weekend. After the excitement over Marcella Hazan last month, I wanted to share a recipe from her on the opposite end of the spectrum, sort of the Italian version of Italian-American baked ziti. Except, the ziti is rigatoni, which she insists holds up better to being cooked twice (plus has large hollows that nicely slurp up their surroundings). The red sauce is a white sauce. The cheese is subtle and oh, there are wee meatballs scattered everywhere.

about to make the meatballstiny meatballs, one dredged in flourshaking off excess flourbrowning the wee meatballs

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, January 2, 2010

southwestern pulled brisket

southwestern pulled brisket

I had the very best New Years Eve meal, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. But first, I must scroll back to tell you my favorite kind of story, one about what an idiot I am. Yes, another one.

Nearly five years ago, we received a slow-cooker as a wedding gift. I looked at it with suspicion, determined it squarely in the realm of 1970s housewives and those that still cooked like them, and stuffed it, still-boxed, in the far reaches of a closet. In the five years that this box has been collecting dust, I started a home cooking site and not a month went by that a person didn’t innocently ask if I have any good slow-cooker recipes and I’d pfft back, “Meh, not my thing.” In the five years that this box has been collecting dust, we have moved twice, each time taking this still-boxed machine with us, and stuffing it in another closet.

pulling the brisket

And this week, I unpacked it. At 11 p.m. on December 30th, I unwrapped a piece of brisket nearly the size of my baby, browned it in a pan, laid it in the stoneware liner, threw in some onions, a pile of spices, cups of tomatoes and water on top, turned it to low, and at 9 o’clock the next morning woke up and nearly fainted from the deliciousness all around me. Dinner. Was. Made. I had done nothing. And it was the most perfectly cooked piece of brisket I had ever seen. Why did I wait so long? I am consumed with regret.

saucing
green onion, red cabbage slaw

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

quiche lorraine

quiche lorraine

So, I’m cheating. I really wasn’t planning on cooking just yet. You see, I spent a whole lot of the last few weeks of pregnancy honing in on cookbooks that focus on simpler, but uncompromised cooking (and I will absolutely do a post on these, soon), bookmarking the kind of recipes I could imagine assembling with one hand tied behind my back (or you know, holding a squawking newborn) and even banking a decent amount of recipes, such as that date spice loaf and the stuffed eggplant, and a few other things I have even told you about yet. And I don’t need to cook either: Our fridge is filled with homemade matzo ball soup, spaghetti and meatballs, endless bagel fixings, pickles galore, fruit, sandwich bread, lunch meats, milk for cereal and you name it (did I tell you our families were awesome or what?). Do you hear me? There is no reason on earth that I need to be pulling down the pots and pans right now. And yet I did. Because there was something — one tiny thing, perhaps — that I had not anticipated when I mapped these early weeks out in my head.

I am so freaking hungry.

leekscaramelizing the leeks and onions

Here’s the thing: When I was pregnant, I never had a huge appetite. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. Trying to figure out what to eat was an exacting process, to say the least. I’d eat perhaps half of whatever I had in front of me, and listlessly push the rest around the plate. I tried to woo my tastebuds with beef empanadas, migas and pasta but I have to confess: none of it did anything for me. It kinda blew.

ham, diced

Continued after the jump »

Friday, October 2, 2009

lebanese-style stuffed eggplant

stuffed eggplant

I suspect most of you think it has been pretty quiet around here because we’re crazed, sleep-deprived and wholly consumed with nuzzling squishy baby cheeks and, well, you wouldn’t be completely off-mark, minus the crazed part. But mostly it has been quiet around here because we’ve been trying to use any downtime we can spare to take Jacob out as much as possible, as much to maintain our own sanity as his. And let me tell you, this two-week old has been everywhere: Ess-a-Bagel, The Doughnut Plant, The Pickle Guys and today he even made it to the Shake Shack. He’s been to two parks, been carted around with countless cups of coffee, caught a first fall leaf and even hit a farmers market, where he attempted to make off with an eggplant before we intervened. Who knew 11-day olds could already have such wayward ways?

busted

[We’d actually been looking for a small pumpkin, which my BabyCenter 40-week email had informed me he’d been the size of, but alas, there were no pumpkins out yet.]

baby bell eggplants

I can’t tell you how happy these little burst of fresh air make us, not only because I’m really impatient about not being allowed to exercise for four weeks or swim for six (!) but walking is deemed safe, but because this is kind of exactly how I hoped it would be. I spent a lot of time this summer waddling around the different Greenmarkets (“scaring the locals” as I’d call it, as people seemed uneasy to see a 9 million months pregnant woman out sniffing produce, and not home with her feet up and her spoon buried in a pint of Haagen-Dazs) and imagining how much fun it would be to do the same with our baby. “We can’t wait to take you everywhere” I’d say to my stomach (no doubt giving the people around me more reason to look uncomfortable) as I stuffed eggplants, tomatoes and zucchini in my shopping bag.

eggplants, stuffed, ready to cook

Continued after the jump »

Monday, September 14, 2009

grilled lamb kebabs + tzatziki

lamb kebabs

What do you do to prepare for a baby? We’ve talked about it endlessly this summer, and I have no doubt you’re out there thinking, “my goodness, has she still not had that baby yet?” Tell me about it. But really, how do you get ready? Do you try to figure out learn how to cook respectable meals in a minimum of time? Do you cook and freeze weeks worth of lasagna and enchiladas to ensure you don’t go hungry when the baby demands all of your attention? Do you use your remaining unscheduled time in the kitchen to bribe labor and delivery nurses?

rosemarymarinatinggrilling kebabslamb kebabs, grilling

Among the many slightly absurd ways we’ve been getting ourselves ready, we decided that we needed to clear out our DVR queue last week, to make room for all of the shows we’ll likely be missing the first runs of. And what needed clearing out? Episodes and episodes of Barefoot Contessa, it turned out, and it was some dangerous stuff. All of a sudden I was bookmarking recipes in threes, despite knowing that it might take me months or longer to get to them. And I was totally willing to wait until I hit the episode where she goes Greek.

cucumbersshredded cukethe best tzatziki i've ever madegrilled pita wedges, tzaziki

Continued after the jump »