Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jet Lagged Shopping

Don't go grocery shopping hungry. Don't go grocery shopping drunk. And now I must add:

Don't go grocery shopping tired and jet lagged. I did this coming back from Germany. With a couple friends coming over for dinner a couple days later. I had no idea what I was going to make. Which should have set off big, loud, fire alarm style warning bells. Of course I was tired and jet lagged so the bells fell on foggy inattentive ears. And off to Whole Foods I went. Remembering my previous debacle with the fish counter I avoided that. However that was where my good judgement for the day ended. I moved straight to the red meat counter. And what happened after that was kind of a blur. There was some sort of ordering, a parcel was handed to me, and a few minutes later money exchanged hands.

Fast forward to when I actually woke up and thout about cooking dinner. Opening the fridge was like Christmas when you are a teenager. Are you going to get that perfect pink Walkman you have been begging for? Or will it be pink socks that you father will try to make some joke about that he got the color right and you have to pretend you like it. Well, to my surprise I had actually bought butterflied leg of lamb. Have I ever cooked this cut of meat? No. Did I even know what this piece of meat was when I bought it? No. Did I have a recipe? Well, the Internet is an amazing thing. After an hour or so of searching and being totally unsatisfied with all the options I decided to make something up. Garlic and rosemary stuffed lamb based in a balsamic and red wine glaze. Came out amazing. I was thoroughly impressed. And not as fatty as I thought it would be. Meat was beautiful. The sides were pretty standard oven roasted potatoes and spinach salad with bacon and goat cheese. Desert was also something I completely made up.

I saw a pie recipe for salted caramel pie. But I couldn't for the life of me remember where I saw it. So I made the caramel part I thought I remembered and pored it over apples sautéed with cinnamon. And there you have it, Caramel Apple Pie. And it was darn good. Caramel could have been slightly softer, but overall it was pretty awesome.

Recipes for both to follow later. Time to land. Off the Charleston. The land of decadent seafood!

Visions of Sugarplums

We just put a contract on a new house. And by new I mean brand-spankin', smellin' the paint, picking out the granite new. In Annapolis, MD. A block from the water. And best of all it has an enormous kitchen. A feeding the masses sort of kitchen. And since it is new I get to pick out appliances! So, I'm taking a poll. Do I need a 48" Wolf range with an infrared grill?

Do you have any idea what I could cook with a stove and an oven like that? First meal, Tur-Duck-In! We are hoping to close around thanksgiving. That could mean Christmas in the new house. And cooking all sorts of sweets and savories and snacks and big meals in the new kitchen. Tur-Duck-In may be a little much, but I can't wait to do something equally outlandish. Now, do I really need a 48" stove?

After all, I did cook thanksgiving dinner for more than 20 people in my shoebox sized kitchen in Germany. And it was pretty successful. But the big stove would be so fun! And maybe I would do more entertaining like I did in charleston. Like the time I cooked beef Wellington for Trey's boss. Or the Chinese New Years party that had more people than our wedding. Or the Oktoberfest party with schnitzel, kase spatzle, and apfel strudel. There are definite benefits to being "the commander's wife." ok, so the plastered on smile and small talk with the other wives about the price of cabbage isn't so much fun. Or that silent pressure that the response to every question is either "we're just so excited about (fill in something inane and mandatory like having to listen to someone drone on for hours about how important it is to volunteer for the presidents day fund raiser)" or "of course I didn't mind the deployment.".

So fast forward the couple weeks since I started this. We actually did buy the Wolf range. And Sub-Zero fridge. Yes, I am spoiled. So......

Tur-Duck-In at my place!